Everything posted by Insomniak
Yet another tie severed as I have noticibly drifted away from the Doom Community (I blame lack of serious interest in developing Zdoom for OS X). I have decided to register with a blog that, while not likely having any significant readership, will be open to a wider range of readers, not just doomers.
If it wern't for #zdoom and the IRC channels, I wouldn't even exist here anymore.
Farewell, for now.
Am I Doomworld's biggest lurker?
Seriously. My last reply wasn't that much. My most recent posts are always in the Blog section, and I am unable to remember when the last time I posted in a regular forum was, especially the regular Classic Doom forums.
Not that I've really had anything to say on the subject. When I do play Doom (which is very rarely now), it's on the Doomsday engine, which I use out of shear lack of decent OS X-compatable ports. Zdoom developers have been blatently slow and apathetic to covering this OS. It's a shame, because I used to really love using zdoom for multiplayer games on CSdoom, zdaemon, and skulltag in my Windows days. Doomsday is pretty much laughed out of that field, and Legacy is only good for one thing: the Nimrod wad. As I'm not a developer, Odamex is useless to me, and it's early alpha stages put me off it for now.
(I'm going to make a small not here about Fraggle's Chocolate Doom: While idealistic and cool, it does not permit the openGL effects and all around beauty I expect from a modern doom engine. Sorry)
So if I don't doom anymore, why do I still use DW as my main blog? Most of it has to do with the day Linguica or BS opened the Blogs forum, which provided me with a free blog page at the time to vent, but ultimatly cost me more trouble than it was worth.
And look, my total postcount is still under 820. Not counting the +1000 posts I originally made as Sleepy_Boy when I initially joined the forum in 2000, or the fact that Lut decided to award me -999 posts on the old forum software, and I painstakingly worked back those posts until my account mysteriously stopped working, and I re-registered as Insomniak. Blog posts don't add to the total.
But for some strange reason, I stay. I lurk. I vent on #zdoom even though I don't use the engine and hardly post on DW at all, much to the chagrin of the moderators, developers, and more affluent members. I'm not even too sure why: maybe it's out of some form of social acceptance that I used to get in this community. Maybe it's because x-chat is just a part of my old startup routine, and the channels I visit are set to autojoin.
I am really starting to question my whole purpose here.
And yet, I can't just up and leave. Six years on an internet forum and you develop what might be described as freindships, but that just sounds too creepy. It's people like
BBGNaked Snake, Danarchy, Darknation, Quasar`, Isle, Bloodshedder, zarkyb, Ralphis and deathz0r, just to name a few off the top of my head, that keep me here. Most of you are interesting people with some of the same interests as me.
but I just don't get the same thrill I used to when I load up E1M1 and start shooting shit. The magic of the game is gone for me.
Would any of you really notice if I never came back?
Would my presence have made any difference in any of your lives?
Why should I keep playing Doom?
...in a polyethylene bag...
...Is fast and bulbous, got me?
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i can't believe none of you picked up on the Captain Beefheart reference.
I did, but I ignored it. The squid eating dough quote is way too cliched.
Too many people quote the zany quote but not enough people quote the sheer poetry that follows it
When she wears her bolero then she begin t’ dance
All the pachucos start withold’n hands
When she drives her Chevy Sissy’s don’t dare t’ glance
Yellow jackets ‘n red debbles buzzin’ round ‘er hair hive ho
She wears her past like uh present
Take her fancy in the past
Her sedan skims along the floorboard
Her two pipes hummin’ carbon cum
Got her wheel out of uh B-29 Bomber brodey knob amber
Spanish fringe ‘n talcum tazzles FOREVER AMBER
She looks like an old squaw indian
she’s 99 she won’t go down
Avocado green ‘n alfalfa yellow adorn her t’ the ground
Tatooes ‘n tarnished utenzles uh snow white bag full o’ tunes
Drives uh cartune around
Broma’ seltzer blue umbrella keeps her up off the ground
Round red sombreros wrap ‘er high tap horsey shoes
When she unfolds her umbrella pachucos got the blues
Her lovin’ makes me so happy
If I smiled I’d crack m’ chin
Her eyes are so peaceful thinks it’s heaven she been
Her skin is as smooth as the daisies
In the center where the sun shines in
Smiles as sweet as honey
Her teeth as clean as the combs where the bees go in
When she walks flowers surround her
Let their nectar come in to the air around her
She loves her love sticks out like stars
Her lovin’ sticks out like stars
Just when I get comfortably settled, albeit in an awkward arrangement with my gracious female roommate (gracious in that she hasn't given me the boot for being a stupid pothead, working the night shift, or moving in under the guise of being a student), in this awesome little apartment, it looks likely that i'm going to have to move again.
The apartment is great, but old. I have very few complaints about it, mostly that the plumbing is bad (old, rattling pipes in the walls, my room being right above the boiler room, radiators that are prone to freezing and need to be kept on, an archaic toilet that doesn't flush or fill right, tap water with a disturbing oxygen content, taps that pour hot before running cold, etc.), and I got used the the smell within the first week. It's very close to downtown, 10 minutes walking time to work, close to the college, the bars, the greyhound station, the bus terminal. A very good apartment for a man my age.
But my lease expires at the end of April. I am subletting from Heather, my roommate. The apartment costs $700 a month, with a $700 damage deposit, plus utilities & internet. She paid $600 of damage deposit, and will get it back when she moves out (also end of april). I paid $100, which is a bargain, and we both split the rent.
I wanted to keep living here after she moves out, and asked her about being able to transfer the lease over to me. She talked with her parents (her dad paid the DD), and she said it wasn't possible, at least not without her being able to get the DD back. I offered to pay it back to her, but then she told me how much it was. :S
I don't make that much right now. I work part time, 5 days a week, and barely have enough to pay the rent and feed myself. I've been blowing too much money on luxuries recently (like beer, or laundry detergent, or yellow mustard). There is no way I could save up $700 before the end of april and still be able to pay the rent, do my laundry, and feed myself.
There is also another issue: noise. I play guitar, and I havn't been playing as much as I used to recently due to a number of constraints, like my need for new strings, my tiny practice amp, and the other tennants in the building. Our apartment is right underneath the landlady's son's apartment, and I *******ly don't want to be pissing him off. I can't bring my rowdy friends home with me from the bar because Heather is trying to sleep. I can't wail on my axe like a mofo, or even have a jam session with my friends.
I'm going to talk with my parents later this week, and then my grandparents next week, about what my options are. As much as I like this apartment, the downsides like the plumbing and the inability to be loud are enough that i don't think I would want to live here much longer, especially not in the summer and with the friends I have.
Here are some options I have determined:
1: Stay here. Get some money from my family to pay Heather's DD to her or pay it myself, Put up with the ancient plumbing and the square neighbours, and stay in a nice little apartment downtown.
2: Move in with Josh. Josh is a friend of mine from college, a musician, actor, artist, and hobbit. He has a sweet house in neerby West Park that his parents own, and it has 2 extra rooms that he rents out. One of these rooms is rented to Mark, our mutual friend and a very talented musician. The other room is currently being rented to Josh's deadbeat friend from high school, who they are thinking of kicking out because he hasn't been paying the rent on time. I have asked Josh if he would consider me if he does give the guy the boot. Last I talked to him, he was still thinking about it. I'm going to need an answer soon. It would be to his advantage: he'd have access to my instruments and talents, and I pay my rent on time. It's close to the college, but quite a bit farther from work.
3: Move in with Jim & Cam. These two dudes are good pals of mine, and we often go drinking together, do karaoke, etc. They live on the top floor of a 3 story apartment in Riverside Meadows (Formerally known as, but still called Lower Fairview a.k.a Lower Harlem a.k.a the Ghetto of Red Deer), where I lived last summer, but back then I lived in one of it's good parts; these guys live right at the crossing where the most crime happens. Their other tennants are probable crack dealers, pimps, lowlifes, etc. and the building has security cameras. The rent is about the same as here, if not a bit cheeper because it's a 3 bedroom apartment. It's close to my job, especially if I use my bike this summer. The downside is, asides from the crime and homeless people neerby, is that they told me the entire building is infested with bedbugs, or some form of ticks. Gross.
4. Move back in with Kris. My hosts this summer, Kris and his dad Doug have a house down in the good part of Lower Fairview, and they rent out rooms to tennants as a means of income. Poor old Doug has this and a farm in Edson that he goes out to every weekend, but he has recently moved back to Edson, possibly permanently, because even with the master & guest bedrooms rented out to 3 people, and a fulltime job at the college, he still wasn't bringing in enough. Now they're thinking of selling the house, but Kris is opposed to the idea. My old bedroom might be available again if Kris' brother moves back to Edson to work. This is a very unstable option.
5: Find a random place to live. Look in the classifieds, the college off campus housing postings, anywhere, to find a place close to work, college, etc.
i wish I didn't have to worry about this shit. My dad doesn't really want to help me move again, another trip to RD for him after helping me move in Jauary and the fiasco that happened in December. I also wouldn't feel too comfortable with him helping me move into Jim & Cam's place, as they're heavy smokers, not very clean, live on the 3rd floor, and have those bugs. I also wouldn't feel comfortable letting my mom check out the place, which I know she will want to. i'm almost 21, and I can live where I please, but i'm getting tired of always trying to make my family happy with my important decisions, and I don't want to have to ask them for any more money ever again.
So, if you please, read over my listed options, and tell me what you think, or give me advice on the subject. Thanks.
Stay away from option (3). Seriously, are you actually considering moving into that mess? Again: stay the fuck away from that place. Option (4) also does not sound like a very stable situation.
I don't get it why this Heather is not able to get her DD back if you take over the lease of the apartment?
Do option (5) first. It's also good idea to hang up an ad at study/work place, or to let collegues know you're in the market for a new place. While checking out apartments, try option (2) first and probe into option (1). If it looks like that (1) and (2) are not going to work out, you at least haven't wasted time doing (5).
Do not settle for stuff looking like anything described in option (3). Your home needs to be a secure place; you don't want to have to wonder if it's going to get burned down / burgled tonight by one of your crackhead neighbours.
So, as you know doubt have noticed, the seventeenth of March will soon be upon us. For most of us, this means:
-Shamrocks (not those annoying ones from CK4)
-people pretending to be Irish
-being able to get away with "Kiss me, I'm Irish"
Myself, I am only 1/4 Irish (1/2 Scottish, 1/8 English, 1/8 German, 100% Canadian), but I am proud of my Irish heritage. My family has made 2 trips to Ireland within the last 3 years, and has gotten in touch with distant relatives, traced their genealogy back to Captain Edward Tubman who came over to Ireland with the Orangemen. Strange, really, because all the Tubman's living over there right now are all catholics, while the ones that emigrated to Canada were all protestant.
This year, St. Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday, and while I'm not too sure whether or not my favorite watering hole will be open that night, there will no doubt be some rambunctious shenanigans.
I plan on buying a 4-pack of Guinness canned stout (or possibly a 6 pack of bottled Guinness, or even Guinness Extra Strong, if they have it), as long as it has a widget in it, i'm happy. And some good quality Irish whiskey too. I'm not too sure what brandto get, as it's a bit overwhelming (this is why I don't drink Scotch). The 3 most available brands here are
-Bushmills (probably the most expensive, single malt)
Any advice on this matter would be advised.
and of course, it wouldn't be St. Patrick's day without a little of the Greenage (and I don't mean no clovers)
Return of the Jedi is, in my opinion, the 2nd worst film in the Star Wars cannon. Only the shear badness of The Phantom Menace can top it.
Essentally, the film can be divided into 3 sections:
1. Jabba's Palace
2. Endor & the fucking Ewoks
3. Luke, Vader, and da Emperor on the Death Star.
Part 1 is the most impressive, and the most rewarding. It also had the highest budget. The puppets for Jabba, the Max Rebo Band, and the Rancor are awesome, the sets are great (the palace, the sand barge, and the rancor pit), and yes, we get the best Boba Fett fix, but it has it's share of cheesiness. With the exception of the well-choreographed sand barge fight, Luke comes off as an arrogant tool, giving ultimatums and dicking around. There's a few good scenes, like Han and Chewie in the cell together, the droid torture chamber, and R2D2's fun little moments of heroism on the barge, but these are outweighed by bad scenes like the STUPID Max Rebo Band performance (made even worse by extending it in the re-released version), that annoying monkey-lizard thing with the laugh, and Leia's tastelessly skimpy slave girl outfit.
Then there's 2 brief sections in the middle. Luke on Dagobah, where Yoda confirms that Vader is indeed Luke's father, and then dies (Yoda was so fucking cool in TESP, and kids loved him), and then Alec Guinness does his force ghost thing to clue in Luke. You can just see the hatred of the whole franchise in Guinness's face when he does this scene, it's very deus ex machine to me. The second brief section is the planning for the Death Star assault, where we meet at least 3 new characters without any exposition (Admiral "It's a Trap" Ackbar, Mon Mothma, and General Crix Madine, who at least Dark Forces and Darksaber gave some more depth into this guy).
Parts 2 and 3 happen at the same time, and annoyingly cut between both with bad editing (the soft wipes in ANH and ESP, hell, even in the prequal trilogy, were alot more aesthetically tasteful then these hard cuts). Part 2 is only good for the speedbike chase, which used some cool steadycam work. What ruins it is those damn Ewoks, which, when compared to the advanced puppetry in Jabba's Palace, seem hilariously low budget and cheesy. The attack on the imperial shield bunker is pretty bad too, with these furry little bastards overrunning it with sticks and stones. Do you really expect me to believe this shit, Lucas?
Part 3, Luke vs. Vader, would be the best part of the movie for me if it wern't for The Emperor's lousy acting. Sure, when you first saw it, long before the prequel trilogy came out, he seemed pretty imposing and frighteningly ugly, but in retrospect, all he does is sit around, brooding and taunting Luke. Family Guy was right to mock this scene with the "something something something Ultimate Power..." flashback. The set is awesome, very dark, mechanical, and with cool lighting, especially when Luke's hiding from Vader.
There's another thing, too. When Luke surrenders to Vader on Endor and they take the shuttle back up to the Death Star, I can't help but wonder what they talked about on the trip. The conversation probably went something like this:
Luke: So, you're really my father then, eh?
Vader: That's right.
L: Okey. Then who was my mother?
V. Queen Amidala of Naboo.
L: No shit? What happened to her?
V: I killed her, or at least that's what my master told me.
L: You bastard. Why do you put up with that old freak anyways.
V: You don't know the power of da Dark Side.
L: Yeah, uh huh, whatever. So what's up with that suit?
V: I need it to live.
L: Why, what happened?
V: Obi Wan tried to kill me...
L: Yeah, Right. More like you tried to kill Obi Wan, but got pwned, isn't that right?
L: So what do those buttons on your chest do?
V: They control my life support systems.
L: Really? What does this one do? *click*
And so on and so on.
Of course, the climatic scene of this whole movie is when Luke removes Vader's mask, which i'm pretty sure if you were seeing this movie for the first time, on drugs, you would freak out and run out of the theatre screaming. From the very beginning, Vader was such an imposing figure. If you were watching ANH for the first time, up until Like meets Obi Wan, you don't even know if Vader is human or not. He could be an alien or a robot for all you know, which gives him that great mysterious feel. Removing the mask, while dramatic, is sort of a letdown. With all these imperial officers running around in the cargo bay, panicking because a huge freakin' Super Star Destroyer just plowed into the station, you'd think one of them would've noticed some kid in black hauling Lord Vader's body down some halls and onto a shuttle.
Despite it's big budget scenes, Princess Leia in a metal thong, and a sense of closure, ROTJ is still one of the weakest entries in the Star Wars franchise. It's almost like they ran out of money halfway through and had to resort on midgets in fursuits to finish it off.
I need advice on this. My roommate is moving out at the end of april, and i've asked her about transferring the lease on the entire apartment to me. Naturally, this is a major financial transaction. The kind, yet very elderly landlady, is probably going to need me to have this.
I have no idea about the process involved, how long it would take for me to be approved, if my current job situation would allow it, if I have any credit I can use from the phone which is in my name.
it would be < $700 for the two-bedroom apartment; electrical bills, internet, living expenses, etc are seperate. I would need to find a roommate to live with me (preferably someone with some music knowlage and some instruments), and split the bills. I would move into the master bedroom.
It would also be useful to have a credit card to pay for expensive shit like guitar amplifiers, new stereo etc.
This is a really sweet location and I don't want to lose it. Close to my job, close to alot of really cool shit in the downtown area. What advice can you give me?
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If you apply for a card online your approval should be pretty much instantaneous. Most people have some kind of a credit history. You'll probably get the card about a week after applying. If you don't ever use it you can cancel at little or no cost (maybe something like a 50 cent charge).
The process is pretty straightforward. You'll be asked how much you earn, what you do for a living, and possibly how much you have in the bank.
What does a lease have to do with a credit card? Does your landlord even have the ability to process credit cards? You should never EVER write checks or withdraw cash from an ATM against a credit card. The interest is ridiculous and there is no grace period. You begin accruing interest on such withdrawals immediatey.
so there I am, walking up the hill past the hospital across the street to go to my friend Devo's place, and this security van from the hospital comes up behind me. He slows down and looks at me, and I look back and continue walking up the hill. He pulls up a block ahead of me stops. I continued walking up the street and around the corner, and he starts slowly following me! i walk another half block and have to cross the street, and i'm getting tired of this creepy bullshit.
the van pulls up sharp in front, and the driver got out. He was significantly more security looking than some commissionare or mall cop. He had a cop walkie talkie, huge flashlight, and what could have possibly been a night stick. He tells me to stop, and to get on the sidewalk. I follow the instructions because i am a good, law abiding citizen.
out of nowhere, 2 RCMP cruisers come around the corner streets, and blocade off the street. I also notice one of the cars moving around in the parking lot is an unmarked car. Two officers, an older male and a younger female, get out of their respective cars and walk towards me.
"No, this isn't the guy," says the older cop. "Looks nothing like him". Mentions something about whoever they're looking for is wearing sweatpants. I ask the female officer if i'm free to go, and she says yeah. I cross the street and the 4 emergency vehicles take off past the hospital doors.
I continued on my way to Devo's to get drunk and tell this tale.
oh wow, here's the total what I have in my cupboards and fridge:
-half package of spaghetti noodles, uncooked
-jar of generic spaghetti sauce (with mushrooms, as I just found out today on the label)
-packet of Lipton onion soup mix
-2 cans of Clover Leaf Flake Light Tuna
-half a box of Quaker Instant Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal
-1 small bag of generic rolled oats
-1 can of Magic baking powder
-half bottle of artificial vanilla extract
-1 large onion, probably gone bad
-half a jar of generic peanut butter
-1 packet generic ground cinnamon
-1 packet of my mom's homemade curry powder
-1/2 cup white flour
-1/2 box Minute Rice (but no small pot to cook it in)
-1/8th of a container of Imperial margarine
-1/2 jar Cheese Whiz
-1/2 jar Miracle Whip
-1/4 container grated parmesan cheese
-1 bottle French's yellow mustard
-1 3 oz. container of ranch dip (very likely expired)
-1 packet lemon-lime Kool-Aid (but no sugar)
Do I have enough to keep me from either starving to death or passing out at work from malnutrition? You tell me; i have to make it last me 4 days from now, when i get paid.
Challenge: Come up with meal plans for the next 4 days, with 3 meals a day, little repetition, and a balanced diet.
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OK here's what I figgure i'll eat. Keep in mind that I sleep during the day, so Dinner occurs after midnight:
Dinner: reheated Spaghetti
Breakfast: instant oatmeal streached with rolled oats
Dinner: onion soup with sauteed onions
breakfast: oatmeal again
Dinner: tuna salad (can of tuna, drained, mixed with mayonaise. period.)
Breakfast: Binge on McDonalds :) I'm lovin it.
I was welcomed back. Never had so many people been so happy to see me in Red Deer. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, I guess.
I was in Calgary for almost 5 weeks, counting christmas & new years. it took 2 weeks to find a place to live in Red Deer for under $400/month CAN. I was VERY lucky to get this place. 2 bedroom apartment, mid 50's with an art deco feel. Directly across the street from the hospital, specifically, the tall smokestacks of it's furnaces/incinerators that remind you instantly of Pink Floyd's "Animals" cover. Near downtown, equal distance away from The Vat, the Greyhound depot, the cheep 2nd run cinemas, and a recently renovated Safeway with an amazing deli & bakery. Can you say "fresh baguettes every morning" ?
Close to the college, too, about a mile away. Took me 15 minutes to bike there today (winter biking on my thin tires is a bitch), and get back once I saw that they shoveled the bike path. Close to bus routes, close to pretty much everything I could ask for right now. Just what I wanted, being out of school with a downtown apartment.
So now the search is for a new job, a bed or futon, and a desk. A bed is my immediate priority, as I need a place to sleep. the sleeping bag on the hard floor isn't working, in fact, it downright sucks. Should have remembered to bring that blue foamie up, not that it would do much good. I've managed to make a makeshift desk out of milk crates and my old drafting board, but I want to keep the board in good condition for resale next fall. My ass is falling asleep on my milk crate stool.
And the roommate. Heather, a girl who I randomly e-mailed regarding a vacancy posting on Nexopia. She's always busy with her call center job or college, so I never see her much, but she's pretty hot. I wonder how long until the relationship becomes more intimate than either of us needs, and then things go sour, and I get the boot.
won't happen. I'm not looking ATM for any kind of relationship. I need a fulltime job. RC Superstore is hiring for the graveyard shift doing shelf stocking. They're like a non-evil version of those super Wal-Marts in the States, non-evil because they're Canadian based, have superior selection, more ethnic variety, and less homogenous products from China. I know this, I have, in the past, worked for both Wal-Mart Canada's and Western Grocers (a division of Loblaws, the same company that owns and distributes to RCS) distributors as a order picker at their warehouses in Calgary. I'm a shoe-in the door.
Lucky bitch. My apartment is one bedroom with a kitchen and bathroom and I'm paying 512 a month.
I'm sleeping on a futon. It's a cheap easy bed and it works better then people make then out to be. I'd get that.
And you and she may be able to pull off being fuck buddies but that usually builds to some affection and jealousy.
Cabernet Sauvignon & Stilton to finish off New Year's Eve. Before that, a few glasses of cheep champagne (Friexinet), sliced Ukranian sausage, cheddar cheese, and soda crackers. a Guy Lombardo LP from 1958 playing on my dad's hi-fi, and counting down the seconds to another shitty year.
*blows party hooter*
and now, the crisis:
Christmas went well, and on the 28th me and my dad drove back up to Red Deer to move me into a new place. A girl (whose accursed name shall be withheld) with whom I had arranged to move into a spare room, posted as a vacancy on the off-campus housing board, was supposed to let me move in on the 28th. We got back to my residence, vacated by my roommates for the holidays and with all my worldly possessions packed into banker's boxes and milk crates in advance, loaded 1/3 of them into my dad's SUV, and drove over to the house.
Only, no one was home. And noone was answering the phone.
A few aimless hours later, she calls me back. She had been on vacation too, and while she was gone, her other roommate/landlord had given the room to someone else. There was nothing she could do about it.
I was furious. I hadn't paid a damage deposit or down payment (that was to be paid after I moved in), so I had no basis to challange what had happened. So much for handshake deals. This was totally out of the blue, My dad said that the chance of this happening was fractionally possible, yet it happened anyways. We went for dinner to try and think things through at East Side Mario's, where my dad bought me a double rye and coke by request to help ease my stress.
So now I had a room full of shit to clear out by Dec. 31st. I have no job, i'm literally flat broke, I needed the following things, ASAP:
a) a place to temporaraly store my stuff
b) a place to sleep
c) a place to move said stuff to with a bedroom and a mailing address
d) a job
Not easy to find within 2 weeks, I know. Red Deer has a housing shortage, just like every other place in Alberta. Now i'm running out of options. Here's what i've narrowed down:
1) Find a place to live by myself in Red Deer, for under $400/mo.
2) Find a 2-bedroom place in RD with a roommate for under $800/mo.
3) Find a place to live in Calgary by myself (under $400/mo = impossible
4) Find a roommate/friend in Calgary and split the bills.
5) move back into my parent's basement for a while, get a job here, and then move back to Red Deer once i'm financially secure.
6) Stay in Calgary permanently.
I really want to be living in Red Deer right now. For a hick city, it has alot of potential for me. I wanted to start a band this summer, I wanted to explore the city some more this summer on my bike. I wanted to play at The Vat on sundays nights, do Name That Tune & Karaoke on Tuesdays at The FarSide. I wanted to stay out late and cause trouble like old times. I need advice here, and quick.
I'm here 'till at least Wendsday, I have the funeral of a dear friend to attend.
OBSERVE THE SOLSTACE AND KEEP IT HOLY
Today I part with my high speed cable modem, by returning it to Shaw.
I don't know when I will be able to log in again to DW, or even use the internet at all.
After the 31st, my student account at the college will expire, and I will no longer be able to print off resumes as easilly as I used to, or even have the ability to use an (ugh) windows computer.
And as part of my flunking out of college, my parents insist I pay for my own cell phone and internet this new year, and I may not be able to afford both. I need a job first.
Happy christmas, you brits. likewise to US doomers. And a happy new year.
#1: The FarSide Bar & Grill. Don, Connie, Kerry, James, Rikki, and Tim are some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of buying food and drink from. I've hung out with a few of them too, even been offered a job there on more than one occasion. In the mornings they have the famous Eggs & Stuff plate for $4.75 CAN, which is 2 slices of texas toast w. margarine, 2 slices of either bacon or sausage patty (I always go for the sausage), 2 eggs any style (scrambled for me), and a shitload of deep fried tater tots being passed off as hashbrowns. In the afternoons, Poutine is the big seller, along with burgers, killer pre-made sandwiches, or crazy old Don's dinner of the day. The evenings are ususally dominated by heavy drinking for dirt cheep prices, rednecks taking on the Boxing or Big Buck Hunter games, and Name That Tune & Karaoke on Tuesdays at 9. the acoustics suck, mostly due to the architecture and the slanted tin roof, but the place is truly the heart and soul of the college.
#2: The Bench. A small wooden bench overlooking the Waskasoo Creek valley south of the college, painted white, with a memorial plaque dedicated to an elderly couple who enjoyed the view there at one time. If they only knew that the bench has long been the favorite outdoor, off-campus spot for stoners every year for 1,000 years, probably even before the white man came. One of the few neerby locations where you can actually see most of the constellations, the milky way, northern lights, and meteor showers with very little light polution. Watch out for buck deer.
#3: Residence Towers commons room AKA Steveistan. A big screen TV with no cable connecting it to...well...the cable outlet. Uncomfortable couches good for people watching and lying around stoned in.
#4: The Margaret Parsons Theatre. My lecture hall for Art History & Astronomy, with comfortable movie theatre-style chairs with those stupid boards that spring up for a writing surface, but never work right (you wind up putting your neck out when writing a test). Also the stage for Andy Garland's award-winning play "Rum & Ritalin", of which I was a stagehand for. The script has recently been purchased by a major movie studio.
#5: Tim, residence manager. I can't beleive this guy has put up with my bullshit for as long as he has. He knows I'm a heavy potsmoker, he knows I do it in my room, he knows that all my roommates the last year and a half hated my guts, and i'm pretty sure HE hates my guts, but he's always been relitivly relaxed about it, probably the conditioning of too many management seminars. "Hey Tim, how's it going?" "SOLID!!!"
#6: The school library. Your average college library, but with a few cool exceptions. The Media & Toy collection on the 2nd floor, which very few students know about, has over 200 blockbuster and influential films, especially hard to find Art House & cult films (Triumph of the Will on 4 16mm filmstrips, anyone?) Toys galore for childcare students, including that crazy Space station playset I loved in preschool, in perfect condition. Lots of good classical music on vinyl,too, like Bach performed by Glenn Gould, or the works of Stockhousen, original 1960's pressings! The staff is incredibly awesome and hardworking, and have been good to help me find weird shit, and trusting me with their precious media.
#7: Jamison T. Mr. Edward Forty Hands himself, AKA Scarecrow, AKA "That punk-ass motherfucker who stole 6 pitchers of green lager on St. Patricks day and drank it all to himself!". If one student has left his mark on RDC, it's him.
#8: The Fishbowl. 2nds story glass window overpass connecting to the Arts Center, and even though I have no business there anymore, the view is amazing. Overlooks the east courtyard towards the library.
#9: The Forum, 2nd story. An outdoor concrete concourse, has the best view of the sunrise anywhere on campus. Also the best place the smoke and spit.
#10: The Arts Center. Bottom of my list because I have a grudge against some teacher who, at one time, I thought were on my side. This actor factory has an amazing, high-tech procenium theatre with a professional surround sound system (too bad the sound teacher is TONE DEAF! FUCK YOU, WONG!), it's a shame they put such ridiculously pretentious plays like "The Dada Play" or "Alarum Within" in this building, I have nothing but hatred for the clique-like staff, and pity for the poor techies. Good luck finding a job in Harper's Canada, kids.
Hey guys try this:
E B D Ab B e
open barre cords work great up and down the neck, works good with a slide too. You can use your other fingers for adding 9th or 11ths. I've been using this for strange basslines too.
recordings coming soon
Is there truly any finer breakfast sandwich?
Seriously. Here in Canada, the Sausage McMuffin (served at McDonalds from 6 am to 10 am, 11 in some places) is one of the best ways to kick off a day for me, and on so many levels: Budget, taste, replication, energy, and memory.
Memory, you ask? when I was 13 I went on a whitewater rafting trip with my family. that morning, my mother insisted that, while I was not hungry, I should have something to fill my stomach for the long drive to Sundre. She managed to fit a glass of milk (blech!) and a NutraGrain bar in me before we left.
I found out the hard way that very morning that I was lactose intolerant. Without going into details, there was no way I could keep down that milk in a fast moving rental van on the QE2 freeway. After we cleaned up the mess, we stopped at a Wal-Mart with the built in McDonalds, and my sick, shamed person was comforted by Sausage McMuffins. Hot, dense food with nothing harsh like egg, milk, citric acid, or caffeine.
Similarly, when I was in junior high I had to have a blood test, and I had an intense fear of needles (thanks alot, Star Trek: First Contact). Anyways, I had managed to get myself through the grueling process (to date I havn't had to have another blood test), and afterwards my dad took me to the McDonalds drive through for quick ood that would help me rebuild blood cells, similar to the cookie and orange juice you insane people get after you...ugh...voluntarily give blood to the blood bank.
Financially: In Canada, Sausage McMuffins are included on the Extra Value Menu at $1.39 CDN (working out to $1.23 USD) + 6% GST. This is a bargain for what some would consider swill, but what I consider delicious
Substance: My sister, Sarah, worked at the local McDonalds for under a year, the only job so far that she was able to hold. She was still naive and in high school, so I don't blame her for not knowing many of the internet-supported rumors I loved taunting her with. That McDonalds clearcuts Brazillian rainforest to convert the valuable real estate into cattle ranches and slaughterhouses, that they keep their chickens in battery cages and de-beak them mechanically, feeding them a cornucopia of antibiotics and fertilization drugs to (try to) keep them healthy in their own waste and so they can make their egg quota (more on why I don't like the egg part later). That McDonalds employees jizz in the secret sauce.
Fact is, the sausage mcmuffin has only 4 parts: the toasted english muffin, some margarine the pork sausage patty, and a slice of american cheese, not the crappy Kraft Singles slices. the pork is of higher quality than what you get at Dennys, A&W, hell even the cafeterian and the bar & grill here at the college don't have sausage patties this good. Pork's a little roughly chopped compared to a pack of frozen Maple Leaf storebought ones, but they're both distributed by Sysco Inc. Only difference is packaging.
Now the $1.39 doesn't come with egg, If you can call it egg. Don't get me wrong, eggs are an important food, and essential to many kinds of cooking (cakes, merangues, sauces and mayonaise), but when it comes to being a staple of breakfast, I only like my eggs 2 ways: scrambled and in omlettes. Fried, poached, soft boiled, florentine, all of those don't mix well with my pallete. Hard boiled eggs are time intensive and take too long to cool.
Edit: shit, I posted this too soon by accident.
The egg part of an Egg McMuffin (the bacon variety or so-called "canadian bacon" is inferior to the overall sodium and flavour of the sausage patty) or a Sausage McMuffin with egg is usually rubbery, undercooked in the centre, and has the yolk all mixed in with the white. Egg yolk in all it's cooked forms is pretty much disgusting on it's own, the roots of my distaste being a passover supper I once attended were egg yolk was one of the symbolic foods I had to eat.
And it's easy to make one of these bad boys at home. Not identical to the product you get at McDicks, but nonetheless fulfilling. a bag of english muffins, some "I Can't Beleive It's Not Butter" spray (yes, it's what they use), a box of relitivly lean sausage patties, and some square slices of american cheese (again, NOT Kraft Singles, I can't stress this enough, those godawful things have 1/4 cup milk in them).
So ends my tyrade on the only good food that McDonalds serves. While i'm not sure how they treat their pig farmers, or the pigs in general (ever seen The Meatrix?), the end product is the kind of fuel I need and a bargain price. My daily cycling across town more than burns off the fat and carbohydrates I consume, and the McDonalds is less than a mile away from the campus.
Go get one. you'll be glad you did.
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As a matter of fact, they involve pole-vaulting oranges, dancing/swirling letters (corn-based), and swan dives into huge vats of milk.
AndrewB lives in a cereal commercial.
Anyway, whenever I have parties with my friends we get a veggie platter and a few bags of chips. THe veggie platter is always the first thing to go. We usually have someone cooking something wholesome too. Of course, me and my friends are pretty weird. We have Halloween parties involving pumpkin carving contests and stuff.
"Drive west on sunset, to the sea..."
I first disovered Steely Dan in late June of 2006, during my first summer living alone and independantly of my parents. I was living with Doug Wedgwood, father of classmate Kris Wedgwood, in a house he was renting in Lower Fairview, generally onsidered the ghetto of Red Deer. We lived at the far west end of the rundown neighbourhood on a cul-de-sac filled with yound families and retired seniors, shelted from the weather my a steep hill arved by glaciers. We had a garage in the back where we kept my bike, as well as Kris's various incomplete soldering and de-soldering junk, the tools, and empty beer bottles.
"Turn that jungle music down, just until we're out of town..."
I remember it very clearly: I was working on my bike on a hot summer afternoon, cooling with a 40 oz coke and lime crush slurpee, the radio cranked in the garage and tuned to CKUA, independent radio from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Mulligan Stew, a eclectic radio programme hosted by Terry David Mulligan was up after 2 hours of blues and roots, a refreshing change. Terry picks random songs that he happens to hear at say, a shopping mall or at a friend's house. Formerlly a VJ for CBC when they showed music videos before MTV or MuchMusic had been created, he's like the Dick Clark of Canadian media, but totally in touch with international, independent, and just plain cool music. His show brings memories of BBQ's back at home with the radio on the deck and pork on the grill.
"...This is no one night stand, it's a real occasion..."
It struck me like a splash of cold, fresh water. Soul music. A dry reggae kit with sparse reverb. A teasing, intricate, deep electric piano leaving the ghosts of notes it used to hit. A bass guitar so calm and controlled like Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams", but deeper and funkier. I hummed along to the song, but I couldn't keep in tune, it kept changing it's progression to chords I never would have predicted or expected. F# to B, then down a fourth to G#, but then even lowed to E, and then back to G#? what the hell is going on here? you can't do that in pop music!
"...Close your eyes and you'll be there, it's everything they say..."
Horns...a small horn section, big on trumpet, alto and tenor sax, but there's a trombone in there too...matching that great little shakeup, followed by that B9...man this is as smooth as velvet..smooth as milk...
wait, I know that voice...
Donald Fagen. I associated his name with the word "Fag", which i'm sure he got teased alot into adulthood. I was only familier with his solo album "the Nightfly", a concept album about growing up in the 50's but with very 80's sounds. The only track from it I knew was I.G.Y (International Geophysical Year) which has this spooky introduction, and strange polyrhythms that my young ears could not appreciate. It's one of the first CD's my dad ever bought when CD's first came out which, along with The Cream of Eric Clapton, made up most of my listening around the ages of 2 and 3. I can distinctly remember hearing I.G.Y. and Layla with images of the wood-paneled air conditioner in out apartment in Saskatoon (we moved to Calgary when I was 3).
Mulligan revealed that the artist was, in fact, Steely Dan, and not some jazzy Motown or Stax single. "Babylon Sisters". Hell, they didn't even release it as a single, Terry just Picked it. It was catchy, and it was just what I needed, some new music for jam night at The Vat. How good was their other material? Did they have any acoustic stuff? Would I have to learn tricky jazz chords like majors with added 2nds?
So here's what i've learned about Steely Dan. It's not some guy with that name, the band is actually named after a massive steel dildo that a young man's girlfriend fuck him up the ass with after volunteering to give him a rimjob. The band was two creepy looking guys named Donald Fagen, who could play great piano, but liked cool experimental jazz stuff on the electric piano (think of that scene in The Blues Brothers where Ray Charles busts out "Shake Ya Tailfeather" on the pawn shop Rhodes), and also dug early synthesizers. The other guy was this skinny, junkie looking guy with really long hair and a thick mustache named Walter Becker. Both guys hung out at an upstate New York arts college, probably smoked alot of pot and opium, read beatnik masterpieces, and listened to great jazz. They tried to start a rock band, but discovered that the songs they wrote required more thanjust a guy on piano, bass, and drums, so they hired a shitload of session musicians for their albums, resulting in only touring for 2 years after their debut. The guys could never be rock stars, they didn't have the look or the right sound.
They didn't just write good stuff; they produced good stuff, constantly. Every detail of their music is scrutinizingly meticulous, from the pacing of the hi hats to the depth of the phasing on vocal tracks. and this was stoner music too: i could toke up and turn my brain off and it would still get better. The Dan put out 7 albums in the 70's, one every year from 1972 to 1977, then they missed 2 years while getting hit by cars, having master tracks deleted, having their girlfriend die of heroin overdose, you know the usual things that happened to rock bands in the 70's. by the time they released Gaucho in 1980, they had become a bunch of old farts who were being mocked by the young upcoming 80's yuppies. They didn't release another album together for 20 years.
The Magnificent Seven:
Can't Buy a Thrill (Pop Rock, good debut, typical 1972 record)
Countdown to Ecstasy (Weird fucking album but some good songs)
Pretzel Logic (a black & white snapshot of their college years)
Katy Lied (the one album by them that doesn't sound better on vinyl)
The Royal Scam (the darkest and funkiest of their works)
Aja (Jazz Pop at it's finest. Chord Progressions that amaze me)
Gaucho (one of the first albums to use computerized drum beats. So 80's)
So why am I telling you about this lousy band from the 70's that your parents probably listened to and you probably don't like? Well, because I didn't grow up listening to it, I discovered it independently of my parents through a chance encounter on the radio. Not since Wilco, and NIN before that has a band caused me to obsess over every detail of their music, their background, and their rock legend. I can't tell you where to start, but I think that if you like classic rock, any of Miles Davis' late 60's work, or are a guitarist/musician looking for some interesting, challanging, weird and downright funky material, that Steely Dan may just be the band for you.
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I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn't understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where Phil Collins' presence became more apparent. I think Invisible Touch was the group's undisputed masterpiece. It's an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums. Christy, take off your robe. Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument. Sabrina, remove your dress. In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, the sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism. Sabrina, why don't you, uh, dance a little. Take the lyrics to Land of Confusion. In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority. In Too Deep is the most moving pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as anything I've heard in rock. Christy, get down on your knees so Sabrina can see your asshole. Phil Collins' solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way. Especially songs like In the Air Tonight and Against All Odds. Sabrina, don't just stare at it, eat it. But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group, than as a solo artist, and I stress the word artist. This is Sussudio, a great, great song, a personal favorite.
Half a box of LP's, courtesy of my cousin John.
including such gems as:
Queen - The Game
The Rolling Stones - Still Life (American tour, 1981)
Pete Townshend - White City
Pete Townshend - All the best cowboys have chinese eyes
Pete Townshend - Deep End Live
Pete Townshend - Scoop
Concerts for the People of Kampuchea
Big Country - The Crossing
Supertramp - Even in the quietest moments
Waylon Jennings - Music Man
Ozzy Osborne - Blizzard of Ozz
Joe Jackson - Night and Day
Joe Jackson - Body and Soul
Ry Cooder - Get Rythym
Steve Winwood - Arc of a Diver
Steve Winwood - Back in the High Life
George Thorogood - Maverick
Van Halen - Diver Down
The Eagles - The Long Run
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms
Also the following garage sale fodder:
Bryan Ferry - Bete Noire
Ringo Starr - Blast from your Past
Warren Zevon - Bad luck streak in Dancing school
Paul McCartney - McCartney II
The Steve Miller Band - Book of Dreams
Sting - The dream of the Blue Turtles
George Thorogood - Better than the Rest (bad shape)
Fleetwood Mac - Tusk (already have a copy of this thick bastard)
Paul Simon - Graceland (got it)
2 copies of Roxy Music's "Avalon" (I already have 1 copy too many)
Van Halen - 1984 (got it)
...wait for it...
Heuy Lewis & The News - Fore!
it's been over a year since we last talked?
sometimes I wonder how you are.
most times I don't care.
I've changed, have you?
or are you exactly the way I remember?
I'm sure there's things we want to tell each other
but i'm also sure we're never talking again.
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I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular
You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does
I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Oh, of nothing in particular
You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does
There’s a club, if you’d like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go, and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home, and you cry
And you want to die
When you say it’s gonna happen now
Well, when exactly do you mean ?
See, I’ve already waited too long
And all my hope is gone
You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does
Life goes on after college
Well, I shouldn't say AFTER. While I may have gotten a GPA of 1.04 and been rejected from the theatre studies program, and my school status is "required to withdraw", I can still possibly get into college again for next september.
The trick? Appealing my mark and changing majors. Student services assures me that 95% of all appeals go through, elimingating the order that i'm not allowed to attend college for a year. Even so, this will be my last year at Red Deer College.
As for switching majors, I have no idea what to take. I'm leaning towards the new Open Studies program; very similer to General Studies, but you pick which individual classes you want to attend. I'm thinking Film Analysis and Astronomy as a few, but I need to talk to an acedemic advisor. I am no longer pursuing a degree or diploma.
So, as far as the long term plan is concerned, I want to attend APRA (http://www.apra.ca) in Calgary, once I have the $6,000 to pay for it. They don't grant certificates, so they don't take tuition. Last year, when my RDC admission status was in limbo, I applied there and was pre-accepted by my interveiwer, a studio technician. However, as mentioned before, my tuition wouldn't cover it.
So now I work. I will work blue coller jobs again until I have more than enough funds to attend APRA. My resume looks good, I've got years of carpentry and metalworking skill, as well as everything I learned from the Theatre (rigging, lighting, sound, carp, welding, management).
Which brings me back to the reason I posted this blog in the first place. I am now working at Travelaire, a large RV/Trailer (Caravans for you brits) manufacturing plant close to where I live. It pays $11.45 CAN/hour and is union (steelworkers). The people are extreemly nice, but blue coller dumbasses with bad teeth.
So, for now, life is good again.
Life, as it turns out, is not always fair
My future has become cloudy
I had a department year-end interveiw last thursday, and needless to say, it did not go as well as planned. The feedback was generally negative, and my instructors have made it clear that they do not want me to return to the program next year.
My stagecraft teacher says what, while I'm great to have around and talk about music and such with him, I'm have not met expectations of the program, and that while I get objectives acomplished, I tend to be distracted. The shop foreman apparently doesn't want me there at all, and had been putting up a pleasent facade towards me this whole time. My drafting teacher insists I am constantly late in both assignments and punctuality. My lighting teacher didn't say nothing during the whole thing, my audio teacher thinks I should be in a music program, or take a year off to work. My stage management teacher knows I am a threat to the program and a threat to upcoming productions.
My first words after the interveiw were "I need a cigarette". I then proceded to the washroom to wash my face, and seek out comfort. Somehow.
I have been reduced, rendered, torn apart. I've spent the past 5 days on the brink of conciousness, intoxicated on what little I can afford. Hard liquor has dissappeared and used bongwater has returned in it's place.
I want to caress someone, but my hands are on fire.
I want to scream but I am silent.
I want to get emo on your asses.
My watch has stopped.
I move out on Sunday. I've been living in residence for 8 months, but it seems like so much longer. Pizzas, parties, fights, drama, cowboys, fags, schitzos, posers, so much booze.
So now my options are limited. While a week ago, I saw myself attending a second year of Theatre Studies, and possibly a sound design practicum with few cares, I am left with harsh reality on my doorstep.
1. work full time next year.
2. attend college next year, different program
3. attend college, no program, classes that intrest me, but have no career advantages (i.e. film analysis), and work part time.
Eventually, I'm going to have to tell my parents, but not quite yet. I'm very disturbed by what's happened, and I have noone to blame but myself.
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My first words after the interveiw were "I need a cigarette". I then proceded to the washroom to wash my face, and seek out comfort. Somehow.
WTF? Why not just smoke a cigarette and then wash your face. It seems a bit akwart that you say: "I need a cigarette", and then not smoke one, or was it just to add to the melodramatic atmosphere. Hard work for little pay will help you understand life better.