Archives for the month of: January, 2010

Seeing “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” at the rep cinema near a friend’s place today  the different characters neighbourhoods have strikes me . Last time, we were the only ones that laughed in the film, this time, we laughed along with people (kids includes, which also didn’t happen last time) for the first part of the film.  The second part, my friend and I were alone again.

Watching “District 9” last night with a different friendit is interesting how different people are tuned to different messages.  I see a film and racism and oppression, he sees a film about aliens with cool technology.  I see a film with a very clever and thoughtful ending, he sees a film that he wants to see the sequel to, so he can aliens kicking some human butt.

Thing that had my attention all week-end: Cancer Bats covering “Sabotage”, by the Beastie Boys.  Whoa.  Awesome cover.

I don’t understand your band name, but love your cover.

Thing I learned today: Sometimes I think to hard.  Just relax the brain of let the body take over and everything will be ok.

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“Cecilia” playing on the radio this morning, some cover version, stayed with me – hard not to spend all day singing along with the worm in my ear.

Reminds me of when friends Carl and Kevin spent one gloomy, wintry week-end in the university dorm playing this song.  No one got angry. Sitting around in the hall outside their room talking and singing for hours – when the song finished Carl or Kevin would pop up, run into the room and hit replay.

Reminds me of the best parts of summer.

Listening to it now – I love the sound of records, the snaps, the crackles and yes, even the pops.  Digital is lovely, but the imperfections, the warmth of a record is unbeatable.  Maybe this is the real reason that I haven’t got an iPod?

So, read the reviews and looked at the specs.  I want an iPad.  Right now. This little machine is totally sexy and exactly the Mac for me – thanks Steve Jobs!  I knew you could make something just for me – small, sexy, touch sensitive and awesome for travel.  Just like me!

Should be called the “iBex”.

What I learned today: Dell sucks. Really. Dell sucks.

Why I didn’t believe the rumours: No company can be that bad and still be in business, right?

Other thing I learned: All that talk about call centres being in other countries is true.

What this makes me wonder: If I’m talking to them at 8am my time, what time are they working and doesn’t this mess up their circadian rhythm? What do they do about the problems with sleep deprivation?

Other thing that I learned: I’m a little bit racist.

How I learned this: I thought:  “May I please just speak to someone who speaks English?!  Pretty please?!!” while I was trying to get help from the Dell call centre.

What this makes me what to do: Sing that song “We’re all a little bit racist inside” from Avenue Q.

Heard the news on the drive home – JD Salinger passed away yesterday.  Go in Peace and thanks for all the words.  “Catcher in the Rye” was an amazing read and I remember it well from reading it in one sitting over the course of an evening spent in the Hart House courtyard at Uof T – my dad and bro were doing a run to raise money for the ROM.  The amount of lives this man touched with his words is mind-boggling.

Thing I learned on Wednesday: There is no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such thing as free edamame.

How this makes me feel: Awesome.  I love edamame.  Happy I went for sushi after the climb – the free beans were the universe’s way of saying “Thanks for coming out!”

What I learned today: WordPress thinks “edamame” is a spelling error.

Today’s observation from people near me: People don’t read directions or instructions.

Observations from me: People read directions and instructions, the people who write directions and instructions write poorly.

I am a walker.

I have a car, I love my car, but given the choice, I would rather walk and take transit.

This month 14 people, pedestrians, were killed crossing the streets of Toronto.

Talking it over with a friend about this matter, my take is “It is the driver’s fault.  You can’t compare the two, a human body is no match for a machine. Regardless of how stupid a person is being, unless they throw themselves on a busy road in front of a vehicle trying to get killed, it is always the person in the car.”

We walked along and argued about it for a bit, until we had to cross the street.  We looked both ways, no cars and the street we had to cross was one-way, one lane – nothing.  We crossed the street.  A car came to the stop sign and we watched the driver come to a rolling stop, looking the other way for cars and almost hit us.  We stopped and then the car stopped, I shrugged at the driver and mouthed “There is a stop sign there.”  The driver did not read lips.  “See”  I said to my friend “Always the driver’s fault.”

My friend had to agree – there is no way we were at fault, we did everything right and the rolling-stop car still almost hit us.

My stupid, free advice: Drivers – slow down, walk once in a while, go the speed limit, and look around.

In other news, some woman who has no political background or experience is running for Mayor.  Ok.  I admire the guts, but I’m uncomfortable outsourcing everything.  And she sounds like she is twelve.

What I learned today: It is ok to stand on the shoulders of giants, as long as you acknowledge the giants and add your own two cents.

Other thing I learned today: Mixed metaphors are annoying but hard to avoid.

Third thing that I learned today: WordPress thinks “lady” is a biased word.

EDIT: 13 people.  Not 14.  The title of this post evokes a short story by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Good kind of day, rainy and Monday, but good.

Nothing much going on in the ole’ brain, thoughts about that movie and what Tuesday will bring.

Today I learned: You can’t always count on the “Preview” button.

What I would do differently: Don’t trust the “Preview” button.

Wow.

This movie is a punch to the gut.

Exemplifies the very best about sci-fi – social justice issues head up, surprising information and actions, amazing action, honesty, amazing story-telling.

It is interesting that people are so dismissive of a genre that tackles important issues in a straightforward way – does the message get lost and hidden because of the use of science and aliens?  Isn’t that some bias?

I loved how this movie confronted racism head-on, without coating it for consumption.  It is almost that we need this metaphor to show us the true issues that we are confronting, without worry about offending real people as we are trying to solve the problems and the issues.

What I liked most about this movie: There were multiple layers of racism depicted, showing how this is not easy or straightforward kind of issue – it is everywhere and takes all kinds of forms.

Most interesting facet of racism this movie showed was reduction, stripping away the many layers of the group of people we are keeping down. I loved how the issues slowly became clear – we learn about the hearts, desires, hurts, emotions and intelligence of the aliens slowly, we learn about their “humanity”, their love for their children – they are not “like us”, there are us.

This was a great way to spend time thinking about a very important issue and an issue that it is far to easy to forget about in our daily lives.

Very ill yesterday, couldn’t wake up, so slept away most of the day.

Feeling better today, so tried to make up for the lost time.

Bad climbs.  Good company, good brunch.

Finally went to the King Tut exhibit.  Really enjoyed seeing the artifacts, uncomfortable with all the death – walking through tombs.  Not exactly sure about the morals here, learning vs. respect for the dead and the beliefs of others.

Very well laid out exhibit, plenty of information, especially for people who are unfamiliar with ancient Egypt. A kick to see a few of the artifacts seen before only in pictures – the scale is what threw me off, the pics make everything look huge, but the reality is that many of the things are small, delicate, human sized, not “god sized”.  King Tut was only 5’6.

I really liked the”preamble” part of the exhibit, it really set the tone and placed everything in a cultural context.

What I learned: There is a lot of junky tourist crap with King Tut’s name all over it.

Crappy tourist thing I bought: A “mummy” rubber duckie.  For my niece, she collect rubber duckies.

Oddest tourist thing: “Make your own mummy” kit, complete with rotting corpse!

What I wonder: Is is because of the Nile tides that the Egyptians were so obsessed with death? Life must have been such a delicate thing, death was a for certain.

Favourite parts of the exhibit: Seeing the statue of Queen Hatshepsut, seeing one of the leopard masks.

Weirdest moment: Harrison Ford narrates the intro video that shows before going into the exhibit.

Stupid comment made to my friend: “I liked how they got Indiana Jones to narrate – he is a great archeologist.  Discovered the Lost Ark and the Holy Grail you know.”

My friend’s reply: “Shut up.”

Other stupid comment to my friend: “I expected more about aliens.”

My friend’s reply: “Shut up.”

This exhibit is time well spent.  I recommend.

Finally saw the DVD of “Anvil: The Story of Anvil”, documentary about Canadian heavy metal band Anvil.  I’m not into metal, but I see the appeal. This documentary rocked.  No pun intended.  It was interesting, compelling, had really interesting footage and truly human moments.

The film was very candid and a true documentary, so the film makers didn’t get involved with the subjects, the documentarian never even spoke on film.  It was really good to watch a true documentary, I’m a fan of Michael Moore’s films and similar story telling, but I have a weakness for true documentaries.

Excellent story telling.  Interesting subjects. Time very well spent and I recommend.

This film reminds us to follow our dreams, for our whole lives, keep trying for our dreams.

Also watched DVD “Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen”.  Loved the first movie, have no idea what the second movie was about.  I am the only one who can’t stand when story tellers reveal hidden or forgotten pasts to make a sequel?  Am I supposed to believe that we have to wait until a sequel to find out about the “real” conflict that was happening in the first film.  Sloppy, sloppy story telling and nicely explains why I don’t like sequels.

That being said – I enjoyed all the combat scenes, although it really bothered me to see so many ancient ruins reduced to dust and rubble.  And I also think that Petra is over used as the site of ancient secrets, seriously, I was yelling at the screen “No, no, the tomb can’t be there! That’s where the holy grail is!”

I also can’t tell the good robots from the bad robots.

Best quote of the movie: “Bad robots suck.”

Funniest moment of the movie: A character looks at a pyramid and comments that is was built by aliens.

Oddest moment in the movie: A little robot humping Megan Fox’s leg.  umm, gross and not funny.

I wouldn’t recommend this film, but it was inoffensive way to spend some time and I like movies that have excellent special effects, even if I can’t follow the fight sequences.

Lukewarm on this film – fun for two hours of nonsense and robot combat.

In other news, some guy asked for my number.

Thinking about the rhythm of traffic during the last couple of drives to and fro.

I think I may have found the perfect timing – there are no other cars around going, I’m in this odd spot between one group of cars and the next.

Coming home is similar.

Interesting rhythms are everywhere.

Is the universe trying to teach me something with this rhythm?

Today, things got done. Repeatedly, we are making really progress, whatever “progress” means.  Feeling very good about things and the stuff I’m doing and isn’t that, really what is important?  Maybe.

Friend of mine told me someone she knows has a crush on me – oooooh!  A crush!  How flattering!  How lovely! Poor guy, he has my sympathies.

Lucky for me, my friend is kind enough (to both him and to me) that she warned him off me right away “oh, no, stay right away!”

Ah! it is great to know that other people are on the look out for my best interests.

I met a handsome man today. I was a fool – I held his hand too long when shaking hands.  Note to self: remember personal space!

Days ago, I received something from the Urban Forestry department at The City.  I didn’t know there was an Urban Forestry department!  How cool!  There are people looking after our lovely urban trees and the trees on our lawn are under their care.  I feel..good about that.  Too bad we don’t have “Urban People” department at The City, somewhere we could get cared for…

What I learned today: It is possible to have a good day, even if you are having a bad hair day.

What I would differently next time: Nothing.  My hair looked bad, but it was a good day – fair trade, right?

Sometimes you are in it and sometimes…well, you know.

One of my favourite non-human people passed away this week.  Got word by email.

Email lets me pretend that I’m brave, that I’m colder, untouched, that I have a clue what I’m on about.  Cried and gave the survivors my best memories, thoughts and feelings.  Those are trite compared to those tears.

In the news – the Dems lost their “super majority” in USA.  Well, use it or…

In other news, prorogation of  the Canadian Government continue – good on you, guys, there isn’t anything important going on around here anyway – the economy is in great shape, there are plenty of jobs to go around, no international events coming up in the near future…wait a sec…

Yes, I do want them to go back to work, sure they are a conservative government, but they are (kinda) running the country (sorta). These are serious times, people, and serious times call for…

Lesson to the people of USA and Canada: you get the government that you vote for – or in some cases the one programmed into those ballot machines…so, quite complaining and vote.

And if there isn’t anyone you want to vote for, show up at the polling station and try to decline your ballot on the grounds that you don’t have confidence in any of the candidates…tried this at the last election and managed to get the Regional Director on the phone to explain my situation.  Yes, I did follow that up with a complaint to Elections Canada saying that I want “decline my ballot on the grounds that I have no confidence in any of these candidates” as one the options on a ballot. This recommendation was in a study they did a while ago and failed to carry out.

Thing I learned today: Sometimes you can hold on for too long.  This is true in climbing and in life.

Other thing I learned today: Sometimes you have to let go to get to where you want to go.  This is true in climbing and in life.

What I will do differently next time: Let go and reach!

Today I learned: Alligators breathe like birds.

Today I’m thankful for: Alligators don’t fly like birds. (Thank you to sleddogracer on the CBC forum who pointed out how annoying this would be!)

Other thing I learned today: A lot of people don’t understand evolution.

Today’s interesting discovery: Ancient temple to cat goddess found in Egypt.

Thing to think about: The use of the words “god” and “goddess” – do omnipotent beings really need a gender? I mean, can’t they do anything they want to do?  Like asexual reproduction?  Or gender switching?

Why I shouldn’t let it bug me: Gender identification is a personal and private thing, even for omnipotent beings. Even for fictional beings…

I love Tuesdays and today just proved again why Tuesdays rock my socks – someone in the hallway wished me a “Happy Tuesday!”

How cool is that banana?