Friday, January 27, 2006

This is sooooooo cool!

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Des!

  1. Des once came third in a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest!
  2. If you drop Des from more than three metres above ground level, he will always land feet-first.
  3. Some birds use Des to orientate themselves during migration.
  4. Desomancy is the art of telling the future with Des.
  5. If you kiss Des for one minute you will burn six or seven calories!
  6. Reindeer like to eat Des.
  7. The National Heart Foundation recommends eating Des at least three times a week.
  8. Des can not regurgitate!
  9. If you blow out all the candles on Des with one breath, your wish will come true!
  10. You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching Des.
I am interested in - do tell me about

These are so fricking cool. Thanks Vesper! 1, 2, 4 and 6 rule. 8 is an outright lie but 9 had me laughing out loud.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The one where Des bites his tongue about the election and quotes somebody else in order to refrain from going to prison...

Hmmm...Conservatives eh?

I once promised that if Harper won I would leave the country. Any non-Canadian friends/readers have a couch that sleeps a family of three?

I was going to rant and spit venom and vitriole until I came across a nice little email from Warren Ellis. It goes like this:

Doesn’t Stephen Harper look like the kind of actor a US or US-but-produced-in-Canada TV show uses as the bad guy when they can’t afford a British actor?

You know the kind of guy. Grey hair, so white you can practically see through his skin into his
circulatory system, with the kind of unblinking half-glower that lets you know that no matter what he’s talking about, he’s actually thinking about shoving pregnant lesbians tits-first into a woodchipper. He’s the white guy in the suit whose last job was sitting behind a big desk condemning Tia Carrere to death in an episode of RELIC HUNTER.

Paul Martin should never have let on that he was desperate. And now he’s in the bin and my Canadian friends are ruled by the guy who plays Creepy Vice-President in Sci-Fi Channel shows.

That is all for now.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

An important shout out.

I thought I was being ostracized for no comments on the last post. I was sure that Rick would at least comment until I heard that he was mugged and shot three times.

Good to hear you're doing ok, Rick. Let me know when you plan on dressing up and stalking the streets for your mugger. I'll be your sidekick.

PS This is considered a shout out because you now have the cred to be a rapper.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The one where Des proposes the coolest TV show ever...

Alright...I was reading Dav's blog about how he just picked up the 24 season one DVD and was awed at how each episode ends in an undie-staining cliffhanger. He likened it to Y the Last Man (the comic book) and its tendency to leave readers hanging for a month to find out what happened.

I was halfway through berating him in a comment when it dawned on me. Something Robert Kirkman says in the introduction to the first volume of his Walking Dead series: "the zombie movie that never ends."

Think about that.

We start with a man, alone, in a room crying. The room is disheveled. He sits on the bed holding a picture of himself and his wife in happy times: on a beach somewhere. The camera pulls out of the room through the skylight and pulls way up into the sky. All we can see is a suburban area completely devoid of people. Cars sit in intersections, garbage blows through the streets and everybody's lawn is yellow and dead.

We flash back to simpler times when he wakes late to see his wife off to work when he turns on the television. There is a warning on the news of strange riots on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The Coast Guard has been called in to deal with the malcontent.

We follow the man through the day when news keeps cropping up about the riots spreading West. A man from the Center for Disease Control comes on the TV and tells everyone to stay away from everybody else. There is a disease spreading throughout North America and the bst thing to do is to stay home.

This continues for days as he ventures into the city to catch up ith his wife who he can't seem to contact on the phone. In a very short time the entire United States has been crippled as far as economics, communication and civility.

Men and women stand on rooftops firing upon anyone who comes near their homes. Children sit in rooms crying. The less militant board up their homes.

There is no disease. The recently deceased have returned from their graves to devour the flesh of the living.

Our main character has to travel into the city to find his wife. When he does and it is not the way he pictured it (psst! she's a zombie) he flees to a seemingly abandoned home to take refuge as night is coming soon and noone should be out at night.

The house is inhabited by a family and a priest. They are shut in but are good Christians and let the man into their home. They hole up in the house for a few days and fight off the hordes of zombies at their doorstep until they get the idea: overseas. Other countries must be fine. We have to find a way to cross the ocean. Let's say season one ends with them on a boat.

As the camera pulls away to show them out at sea we can barely see a strange figure walking out of the hul of the ship toward the hopefuls on the deck.

Get George Romero as Executive Producer (he wouldn't direct TV), Ennio Morricone on the theme music and some fresh new actors. A contract with Showtime or HBO (you can't have flesh-eating on basic cable) and you're all set.

Follow the revolving cast as they explore the zombie-infested world for a cure for seasons to come.

The idea is not new. It doesn't have to be. There haven't been zombies on TV before. Romero's name attached and maybe get Martin Sheen to play the priest of the father in the family to add some renown and you've got yourself a hit!*

*steal this idea and I will cut you.

Weigh in folks. Would you watch?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Schoolboy Mentality Comparison and a Bad Idea

Yesterday I subbed for a grade 11 English class. A young man in the class was taking a poll of who is cooler: Pirates or Ninjas. I chose ninjas (duh!) and he was outraged by my answer. My response to him: First of all, you asked the question, second of all, they are the Japanese masters of the dark arts and the silent messiahs of death. How could you choose pirates?

That certainly threw him for a loop.

Today, subbing for the literacy development fellow at an Elementary school I was accosted in the hallway by a boy of about eleven who asked me: Can you help get my pants down from the basketball hoop? That is not a lie. It is a quote. He was using his pants in lieu of a basketball. When I asked him what he learned afterwards he looked at me and said: Wrap my pants in a tighter ball next time.

It's good to hear that boys don't change much.

The Bad Idea:

Last night I watched the first of 10 films on my Wal-Mart special $5 Cult Horror Collection DVD set: 1973's Don't Look in the Basement. It is a monumentally poor film. Awful. Almost so awful that it's good but it doesn't quite reach those heights/lows.

The bad idea found within: treating a delusional psychotic who thinks that he is a judge and that everything in the world is impure by allowing him to chop wood with an axe while you crouch within axe-swinging range.

It's just a bad idea. I took 2 years of psychology in university and not once was that method of treatment recommended.

You can imagine how that ended up.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

O Heavy Metal, Cleanse this Noise from My Haunted Mind!

Today I taught grade 6 band...all day. 5 periods of 25-odd 11 year-olds stumbling their way through a layered rendition of Frere Jacques.

If I hear Frere Jacques one more time I think I may hang myself.

To cleanse this evil spectre from my mind I've been listening to heavy metal all day. I thought I'd talk briefly about some new CDs acquired through Christmas:

City of Evil-by Avenged Sevenfold
Disagree all you like but I think this was the best album of 2005. I was a punk rocker when it was uncool to like heavy metal. Very uncool. I also happened to be a staunch Guns N Roses fan in my youth. The one metal band it seemed was okay to like was Iron Maiden.

It just so happens that Avenged Sevenfold sound like the Misfits mixed with GNR and Maiden. Perfect. Arena metal with punk snarl and questionable lyrical content. Music seems dangerous again.

Epic punk metal tunes dedicated to late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell and Hunter Thompson with sweeping choral arrangements and flamenco guitars! Sweet Shitstick! Why don't you own this?

9.0 Live-by Slipknot
Now, I preface this discussion with the observation that for the past few months I have been distancing myself from metal. I used to live and breath it and sing it for that matter!

I have found myself listening to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Brian Wilson a lot. Slipknot (and singer Corey Taylor's side project Stone Sour) has been the one standby.

Slipknot are punishing, brutal, violent, melodic at times and a little scary. I've seen them live 3 times. They are the one band on earth of whom I would buy a live album without a second thought.

It begins better than any live album I've ever heard: a British guy's voice over the loudspeaker telling the audience that Slipknot will not be performing this evening right before the music begins. Beautiful. Drummer Joey Jordison (one of the most talented fellas working in rock music today) produces the album and thus added a drum solo of which I am not usually fond. His however was blistering.

Needs more cowbell though.

Masters of Horror Soundtrack-by Various Artists
I usually steer far clear of movie soundtracks that don't involve a score these days. Especially horror movie soundtracks containing heavy metal. I got this one on sale Boxing Day so I bit. And it's pretty good.

It is without the "lame remixes of a Marilyn Manson song by a guy from Linkin Park" type songs. This double disc has a lot of underground and indie metal bands of which I witnessed a few at the Sounds of the Underground festival. However, a lot of that falls flat to me.

Highlights are: "This is My Own" by Shadows Fall, "Nervous Breakdown" by The Bled (a cover, I know, but it does the original Black Flag tune justice), "End of the Road" by Murder By Death (winner of coolest band name on the album and most Nick Cave-ish sound), "Discover Me Like Emptiness" by In Flames, "Victoria Iceberg" by Bear Vs. Shark (winner of the third coolest band name) and "237" by Fear Before the March of Flames (you guessed it! they came in second).

It's got the "collaboration" song. Only this one's okay as it is a collaboration between psychotic kabuki-masked, Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket wearing guitar murderer Buckethead and Serj the singer of System of a Down. Not many people could come up with something as insane as "We Are One".

One thing is regrettable: live songs on a horror soundtrack. Because nothing's scarier than "Hello Cleveland!" The real shame is that they have live tunes from two bands who really deserve to have their music on this album: Mastodon and Avenged Sevenfold.

What's missing you ask? The horror! Slayer's "Dead Skin Mask." Satyricon. Cradle of Filth. Dimmu Borgir. Really edgy and scary shit.

Rosenrot-by Rammstein
One band I find myself coming back to over and over again. It seemed silly even buying their second album when I heard "Du Hast" on the radio. I knew in my mind that the novelty was going to wear off but it hasn't yet. 10 years later.

Their first album is still their most ferocious but these German metalheads seem to get better and better at writing music the older they get.

I love them and the German language was suited for heavy metal.

Their last album (Reise Reise) had singer Til Lindeman singing in English and Russian. This one has him singing in Spanish accompanied by Spanish Brass on "Te Quiero Puta!" (which I understand to mean: You Want Bitches!).

Click here to listen to the title track as well as watch its cinematic creepy video. Rammstein are known for making short films out of their music videos.

That is all.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

No Real Direction Whatsoever...

Excuse me but this will be a bit of a ramble:

I'm here in Port Alberni by myself as Meg and Cade are on the mainland. She has assured me she will give him a kiss for me. I came home early to work if called in and I pulled a half day today at the high school.

Since returning home from work, I have kept myself busy in my loneliness with a frenzy of writing. Good stuff is getting done but with very little to show for it. This is my curse.

After watching a bit of the Canadian Federal Election debate I have come to notice two things:

1. Hearing these party leaders scramble to make points in a short allotted time makes for some interesting sentence structures. I believe I just heard Paul Martin refer to Aboriginal peoples as the "cause of poverty" in Canada and that Stephen Harper (boo! hiss!) refers to poor people as "them" a lot.


2. The phrase, "with all due respect" at the beginning of a statement means: "I don't mean to be respectful in any way."

One thing that makes me feel very special is that I get at least one email a day from Warren Ellis. I, of course, along with thousands of others who belong to his Bad Signal mailing list received this link to an interview of him by artist/writer Michael Avon Oeming. It interestingly has both fellas talking a bit about their creative process as well as urine-stained crack whores.

I mean to talk about comics in depth more, maybe even tonight, but allow me some short praise for writer, Brian K. Vaughan.

Ex Machina is a story about a former superhero becoming mayor of New York City. This is much less about superheroes than it is about politics. Vaughan does it beautifully.

And of course Y the Last Man is one of the reasons why I read comics. Yorick and his pet monkey, Ampersand, are the only living creatures on the planet with a Y chromosome to survive a worldwide instant mass death of every male creature. Yorick, whose mother was formerly the Minister of Agriculture or something and has succeeded to presidency, happens to be an escape artist on a mission to find his fiance in Australia while accompanied by an Asian scientist and an African American secret agent charged with protecting the world's only known male human.

More about some new music later as well.

Back to writing.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Me and Cade...

Being a dad is the coolest thing that has ever happened to me. He makes me feel as though my life was purposefully driven up to this point.

I won't, however, be posting picture after picture of him (only the ones I find particularily amusing or extremely cute). That honour is left for my wife who has changed the direction of her pregnancy blog (The Womb Expansion Project) to a photo blog on our boy: Cade Files!

Otherwise, here's a picture of me and my boy mean-mugging for the camera Ludacris-style. Note that he is already sporting the faux-hawk and shaking his fist at those "wacky kids".

I'll be back with comic, music and movie stuff later this week.