03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004
I've been eating too much salmon lately.
Depending on when Lina's centre island adventure is, I can or cannot go to your bbq. plus, hip hop is on saturdays! plus, can you bbq salmon?
I think? Some stream of Englishy names anyway.
We should go, maybe.
Now that I've got THAT out of my system, I guess I can fill you guys in with something a tad more coherent.
I wasn't supposed to get the job in Red Rock. I was too young or something. I got the call yesterday from my dad saying I'd landed it. That I had to be up there as soon as possible.
So now I find myself with a one way ticket to Thunder Bay for Saturday May 31st, and a stretch of *3 MONTHS* before I can return to civilization. I've clearly pissed someone off, but I don't know who. So. This is where I am right now.
I must pack. Plan. And try to stay sane. Any suggestions?
Have an awesome summer. Yeesh.
Here's some interesting stuff for you all to look at.
One of the things we do at the lab in enumerating Internet censorship is try and find sites to fit all the different "categories" that censoring software allows one to block. In the process, we often find sites that are completely miscategorized. For example, cowswithguns.com is in the "weapons" section. One of my favourites: dickshovel.com - decide for yourself - porn or not porn? - and then click the link.
The MATRIX, or Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information eXchange (don't you love how those Americans come up with the greatest acronyms?) is some disturbing and scary shit. I wonder what my "terrorist quotient" is.
Also, you've all probably heard about the "brutality" employed by "terrorists" taking vengeance upon America by decapitating Nicholas Berg. This article lists fifty points about the situation that don't add up, some of them offering rather weak evidence but others that are quite convincing. Personally I wouldn't put it past the CIA to cook up that tape in an effort to sway public opinion after the humiliating photos were released. Read the article and decide for yourself.
Finally, this fucking rocks. Now I must go, for I am wasted. Adieu.
Oh and party on, Neil. Everybody likes BBQ.
So next weekend, not this one the next one, my parents are going out of town, so on the saturday, (its the 28th I think) I'm going to have a barbecue. You're all invited, and I figured I'd mention it now, because already Leo and Meyers can't come.
My sister just informed me that Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Coldplay have named their first child Apple. Apple, fer chrissakes, the child destined to be a star. Sadly, Apple is a girl.
New pants: Desert print combat fatigues. An interesting question arises: is this old school hip hop, or classic punk? Do I buy D12 World and leave hipsterdom forever, or pick up Go Sailor and throw myself ever more into indie rock obscurity? These decisions take time.
Hung out with a bunch of cute U of T girls who like Kanye West, Talib Kweli, and Obie Trice. You should have been there, Leo.
Actually they were tall-ish, and 19. But skinny. I dunno, man, your call.
Been listening to the new Beastie Boys track (Ch-Check it Out) off their upcoming album (To the Five Boroughs), and it passes muster to be sure! If you like synth-brass hits, steel drums, and good rhythm bass/drum lines, this is the song for you. It ain't perfect, but I'd say it represents well for the new disc.
In other news, on the bus, all the ladies is checkin' me out. This is both welcome and new.
So, yesterday I had my first session of Calculus!, Round Two. Already, things seem to be coming a little clearer than they did before. I have the same lecturer, oddly enough. He recognized me, too, when I went up to the front during the first break. "What happened?" he asked. I explained my general bombing of the course in light terms, that I'd failed by 7%. He offered to "take another look" at my marks, and I told him not to bother - that I deserved to fail, that I really hadn't grasped the material, and that I wanted to give it another go.
Several people have called me insane for turning down an offer of a possible "way out" of this hell. I mean, he "looks" at my marks, what's the worst that can happen? He says "No, you really did fuck up" and I retake the course, which I'm already doing anyway. One would think I'd have nothing to from such a transaction, and in a purely pragmatic sense, they'd be right -- well, not even. I plan to attempt the sequel, Multivariable Calculus, next year. Doing so would be a death wish at my current level understanding. But turning down a possible get-out-of-jail free card was more of a question of pride. Calculus! is possibly the hardest course I'll ever take. It is a monolith. One must humble himself to it, take in all the knowledge that he can, and rise to face his opponent. I intend to make MAT137 my bitch, just to say that I did so.
I finished my first "project" at the Citizen Lab today. It's a script I've dubbed "ninja turtle" (I'm slowly renewing my obsession with those fun-loving mutants). Now I'm just extending it and extending it to do other weird and wonderful things. After work I hit the CSSU dinner, where the old council and the new council got together for a night of tasty (buffet!) dining at the Hot House Café for a night of dining, paid for by the CSSU budget. That kind of made me feel a little wrong, but my gustatory sensations made me forget my morals after the first bite.
Tomorrow, I get my second taste of 3 hour calculus lectures at New College (no air-conditioning and pop machines that don't fucking work), as well as my study group meeting with this Computer Science professor. He's suddenly very into Groovy, which I have found so far to be an awkward and kind of stupid language. I have to attempt to read 100 pages more by 11am so that I can stand up at this meeting to talk about this book with some semblance of intelligence.
There's a guy in the study group named Neo, which I find both hillarious and rather cool. He actually chose it as his English name (he's from China, I believe) after seeing the Matrix. I'm glad I didn't get to choose my name like that - somehow I don't think I'd be taken too seriously if I were named Splinter or Egon.
I decided that I should do an update on the supervillainous status of my employment. Probably the last one, cause I think they might be getting old. Neil (or Leo?) pointed out to me that the name of the international network I work for, Hemoglobal, sounds pretty supervillainy. Not to mention their logo which looks like the world crying a tear of blood. They also though that it was further evidence that I had a co-worker named "Zena" (pronouced the same as the warrior princess) and one who was an international kung fu champ (alas, not the same woman). Then there was a mission I was assigned that hasn't happened yet so I probably shouldn't put it in print (but it did sound like something a supervillain would order). Lastly FYI, I mentioned below that one of the other students was doing "SQUID verification" as her project. Rest assured she is not verifying actual squids. SQUID is an acronym for Superconducting Quantum Interference Device.
On a completely different note, as long as we're inducting fictitious (Tony Soprano) or semi-fictitious (Rob) people as New Awfulists, this guy from the onion gets my vote.
I've taken up a disgusting new habit.
Computer solitaire. The Spider Version. It's not like I even have all that much time on my hands. It's just that I waste the time I should be using to write scripts and clean my fucking room. I renounce it. from this day forth not one more fucking game of that unsatisfying, horrible time waster. Even crackheads get some satisfaction from smoking crack. Not so with Spider. It's like a fucking rubik's cube except it actaually seems doable. But it's not. And if there a strategy for ensured success (I've won 2 of 20 games) I don't think I wanna stick around to learn it. You could learn how to draw, instead. or learn how to write better. Or clean your room with that time.
2 pm. Time to shower and get out of my PJ's. Oh god.... how did I let it sink this far. [HATESPLOSIONS!]
Mow the fucking lawn. Eat some food. Something productive. ARGH!
Troy was alright. I rather liked it, and there some great moments in it. Ash, they deliberatly excluded all that supernatural stuff. If they hadn't it would have been a much longer movie. Orlando Bloom is a really good wuss actor. The only reason people expect him to kick ass is becasue he played an elf, and elves always look like pussies, but in LOTR they fight like devils. He is overcoming his Legolas past and is becoming a very promising "lover, not a fighter" character.
today is monday. Monday = shenanagins.
So the question is: Where? When?
Answers soon I hope.
Ashley, when they were making Troy they made a choice to exclude the gods from the film, they wanted it to be about the people. And yeah, Orlando Bloom was a simpering twit in that movie, it was great.
I don't think you should drink so much next time Dave, but I figure you already know this. Cool being on CBC though.
Congrats on getting a Kilbear job leo!
What a weird old man Meyers, he sounds crazy.
Ben's mum + Ben's weed = guilt.
See you next week.
On Saturday I got a break from Pizza Hell and my buddy Dave and I went cruisin' in the east end. The first order of business was to see Troy, which was *supposed* to be amazing.
I was not amazed.
Admittedly, Brad Pitt is the only man who can EVER look sexy in a quasi-belly shirt. He was stunning. Drool-worthy. AND, incredibly enough, Orlando Bloom was perfect for his roll. He was a sucky pretty boy who couldn't keep his 'pecker in his pants' - er - skirts - and thus started a war. Much testosterone-inspired fighting ensues.
I remember reading the Illiad when I was younger (a much cooler, illustrated version, but I got the gist) and all the movie seemed to me was about glorifying Achilles (that whole 'fear of being forgotten' was REALLY overdone.Yeesh.) and trying to create 'epic' battle scenes. You barely got a feeling for the characters (except for Hector, who was the man) and the gods/goddesses were practically non-existant. Thetis came off as a senile old woman, and her air was sooooo far from goddess-like I cringed. Continuing this trend, Apollo's statue got hacked up, his priests/priestesses got violated, and NOTHING BLOODY HAPPENED. Where's the SMITING?!
I'm sorry if you guys liked this movie. There are parts of it I can appreciate, but as a whole I was just hugely disappointed. No depth. Just fighting (POOR fighting at that)...some cool camera shots...nothing of the awe I remember feeling when I was 8 or 9 and reading about the battles, the gods/goddesses...
Hollywood definately got their slaughter. An epic was killed that night. Grrr.
The evening got progressively better from there - Korean BBQ (I love meat.) - Bubble Tea and cruisin'. Good times.
Eventually I'm going to have to see you guys eh??
Holy shit. This time I really did it. Guys and gals, I would like to announce my retirement from the binge drinking circuit. From now on it's manageable amounts of beer only. As you've surely guessed, I had a wild night recently. Somehow I got mixed up (with about 8 or 9 other people, some of whom I knew) in this quest to drink thirty pitchers on Thursday night. My memory breaks up somewhere in the low 20's. All I know is that a couple of engineers were the ones who made sure I got home safely. Thanks a lot, you guys - I suppose not all SKULE'rs are bad.
I was apparently being rather pushy hitting on a girl that I had just met. She was, of course, involved, but that didn't stop Booze Man from slinging his arm around her. Sigh - poor girl. Getting hit on by a drunk me. I figure getting hit on by a sober me would probably be pretty disturbing. Which is why I don't do it when I'm in control of my logical faculties.
Since then, not much. I spent much of Friday trying to recover from the enormous hangover I generated for myself. Saturday, Alan had a rocktacular end of year party, where I conversed with friends new and old, watched entire seasons of Trailer Park Boys, downed a few Crown Royal + Coke's and a fair amount of beer. However, I still remember everything, and that's what's important. What's beautiful is that the party was a few blocks away, well within stumbling distance. I came home at 3:00am and fell into a wonderful sleep. I spent today doing really redundant, horrible work.
You know, I think I've earned the respect of the folks at the beer store. They didn't card me when I went to pick up a six pack for Alan's party. I suppose that when I went through a list of beers I like only to be told "we don't got none", they figured that only an experienced (over-19) drinker would know what he was talking about to that extent. I've earned my stripes, I guess.
Oh yes, working at the Citizen Lab is totally awesome. As I think I told Ben, I managed to completely destroy a Windows partition in my first few hours on the job. That's pure, unadulterated talent working. First day and a half or so, I spent setting up a box to call my own (screenshot here), after which I got down to business. Essentially I just do random programming tasks, all in Python thus far (I love Python. Python is great. Python is awesome. Python Python Python!). The work environment is great; just me and one or two other guys, occasionally visits from Prof D. We were on CBC Radio One on Friday morning, so that was kind of cool - we all sat around listening to it, laughing at some of the ridiculous errors they made (like that we're getting "millions of dollars" in funding). At any rate, it's the best job I've had so far. Hopefully the grant will go through so that I can get paid sometime soon.
How could I have missed WB's post on our antics?
By the way, I got into Killbear as assistant naturalist. I am big time happy. I am already picturing myself dressed up as a fish and telling some kid that talking during our performance can result in dire and devastating consequences.
I also picked up TMNT # 8 - First printing, guest starring CEREBUS!!! And I also got a comic by one Jon Blair. Nightlab!
We'll start today and go backwards, like "Spotless Mind".
Today my dad got back from B.C. He's been on a 6 week vacation and plans to perhaps move there. Ugh, altogether weird when divorced mom and dad meet again. A family friend was having a baby-shower. This is the first time I've ever been to a baby-shower. It's really funny, because a baby-shower is a very traditional, conventional thing to do and yet here's this woman, 25 years old, unmarried by decision and having a baby shower. Her partnerhusband is a tall guy with whitedreadlocks. All their friends are really hip and bohemian. Neo-hippies or lesbians with terrible haircuts. We just knew the older family friends... er, wider circle, y'know. And, predictably, I got tricked into eating too much cake.
The night before involved rollerblading, Jack Daniel's and vidye games. Physical exertion followed by alcohol is a winning combo as any member of Easy Company can tell you.
The day before that I do the tutoring session from Hell. It's a saturday and the kid (10 yrs) don't want to work. He's also turning against me, predictably. I used to be likeable babysitter, now I'm transforming into vile tutor, bringer of book report questions and general Yelling Guy. He threw a hardball to me last week, it missed and hit my arm. So this time he keeps asking me if he can throw it as hard as he can and telling me the "pain is part of the game, Leo." Very frustrating, but it's not the worst. The worst is when we're playing ball-hockey on the street and a man motions for the parking spot where we've set up the net. I take a minute to figure it out, then move. The kid, however, yells continuously at the man that he's being a jerk and he can't do that. I tell the kid shut up, stop yelling. I usher him into the house. I yell back to the man on the street that I'm very sorry for all this. The kid pokes out from behind me and yells at the guy that he deserved to be yelled at because he is a jerk. I close the door and tell the kid that yelling at strangers is something you do not ever do. That some people are not just going to get angry, they will get violent and you do not want this. I use the words "grave and dire consequences". A story by his mom in which she gets her car's hood kicked in supports my thesis.
The day before that I see Gladiatorminus with Box and Neil. Following Gladiatorminus, Box and I do some downtown sneaking. We wriggle our way into a large church(like building?). It is packed with people. Most are over 60 years old. Most are dressed in fine clothing such as suits and dress shoes. Box and I are wearing baseball hats and plaid shirts. I am carrying a pair of rollerblades, he is carring a slurpee. Despite the extremely tempting idea of taking some refreshments (snacks and alcohol are served liberally) we decide to be gentlemen about our snooping, Box helping an old lady through a door and me keeping my voice down. Box later informed me we had crashed what was likely an anniversary.
After Troy on Friday Leo and I went traipsing around UofT and broke into the Faculty of Forestry where I stole food from a staff lounge and disturbed some tree art. Then we marched through a very swank black tie part-ay for geriatrics at Victoria College, both of us in shorts and T-shirts, Leo carrying his rollerblades and me a half-gone slurpee.
I'm still jeaorb hunting at a feverish pitch. I went and talked to my commanding officer at cadets on thursday. He said he'd make some calls to smooth out the application for a staff job I want for the summer, probably doing Phys Ed instruction with 12-15 year olds. Otherwise he may be able to find me a job in the exciting field of traffic accident insurance claims for the OPP or Attorney General. I've also dropped off resumes at the new Dominion grocery store down the street (it's right beside the Academy of Spherical Arts where we had our prom) and at Chippy's the hippest fish and chips joint on Queen West.
Bizarre sightings for the week:
#1 On the streetcar I saw an old man with a big white beard wearing a SARS mask, plastic construction goggles and rubber dish washing gloves that were duct taped to the cuffs of his shirt.
#2 Walking past Bickford Park I saw a group of teenage boys on the baseball diamond. One of them was standing facing the fence back stop with his back to the infield while another boy stood at the pitchers mound and kicked soccer balls at the kids back.
#3 I was sitting in a Chinese resaurant on Dundas eating spring rolls with my pal Clint, when an old lady came in and tried to sell something to the diners closest to the door. The owners saw her and judging from their reactions her's was a regular and unwelcome visit, they brandished a giant spoon and chased her away. After a couple minutes the woman returned crept up to the nearest table, grabbed a spoon and a single chopstick, screamed something incomprehensible then ran back out the door.
I can go camping if it's not on a monday or wednesday, plus, if I end up getting a job, i have to ok it with the boss. yeah.
"rule #2, I want to sunbathe naked and I don't want you dogs sniffing around." (Y Tu Mama Tambien)
also, I would need a drive. But I can provide a smallish tent. tent! huh-huh, tent! yeah!
plus, it would be nice to have flushing toilets aka plumbing.. as I am a tenderfooted-shybladdered-wussy.
but otherwise I can survive in the bush. hardcore, grrr.
Except Alison cause she's hot. And cool, our teacher, etc.
Working at Killbear will be fun, but how's everyone on the camping front? Is there any time we can all go?