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Saturday, January 29, 2005

The End of an Era 

So i finally retired my brown suede jacket today.

After years of loyal and devoted service, I finally concluded that my beloved jacket had completed its final tour of duty after a previously miniscule tear widened to become something of an eyesore. Also, as MT observed, "Sam, you should get a thicker jacket."*

So, after stripping it of the buttons that I wanted for later, I headed out to Black Market to get a new jacket to fill the void. As luck would have it, they were having a "50% off everything" sale, so I managed to pick up a fine leather jacket, not entirely unlike my previous jacket, for $25 instead of the usual $50! It's a thicker jacket with a warmer lining so, while it may not be a "winter coat" as such, it should get me through the rest of this winter (I mean, it's past the equinox, right?) and many a spring and fall season. Anyways, I picked up some new shirt buttons as well, so hopefully my new jacket will soon feel just as homey as my old one. As for my old coat, I have made a special "retirees" area in my closet for it, so it will always be remembered.

*May not be a direct quote, but a close approximation

My new hero 

... is this guy.

A preview of this amazing story:
A Slovak man trapped in his car under an avalanche freed himself by drinking 60 bottles of beer and urinating on the snow to melt it.

Rescue teams found Richard Kral drunk and staggering along a mountain path four days after his Audi car was buried in the Slovak Tatra mountains.
I can just picture him when the rescue team found him. "I pissed my way out of an avalanche! Oohahuha!"

Just more proof that drinking can get you places, and even save your life.

Asplorin Mediocrity 

Yesterday in between classes I was wandering around the Trent Science Complex when at the bottom of a staircase I saw one of the nondescript metal doors that are usually closed. But by my good fortune this door happened to be propped open by a cinder block. I couldn't resist. I managed to convince my two hella schlubby classmates that goin murda asplorin would be a grand adventure. So we journeyed into the darkness of subterranean Trent. We discovered a gloomy labyrinth that carried all the wiring, plumbing and gas lines, I was so tempted to start turning nobs and valves and shit. After wandering around for a while we decided to head to class so we found the nearest door, but before I let the door close I used the tried and true UFA trick of sticking a dime in the locking mechanism so the door will close but not lock. I plan to go back and explore further. I was a little disappointed that I didn't find some secret chamber, richly furnished with mahogany and deep leather armchairs and heated by a crackling fireplace.

I just read
this article linked from fark.com. Synopsis: an elementary school in Rhode Island is canceling the spelling bee because it breeds competition which violates the principal's interpretation of the No Child Left Behind Act. She wants to teach children that everyone is a winner, which is a fucking crock. If everyone was a winner in real life there would be no janitors, garbage men or fast food servers. Not everyone can be a pro athlete, rock star, philosopher king, astronaut, traveling minstrel or warrior priest. This is just another example of the pussification of North America which is why we are falling behind the rest of the world in important fields such as research, development and awesome. If this trend of celebrated mediocrity continues we will become a society made entirely of middle managers and desk jockey bureaucrats (sorry mom, as valuable as they are no one aspires to such a position "Timmy, what do you want to be when you grow up?" "I want to be the deputy assistant director of Human Resources" This conversation is not happening, yet), and that's when we'll be conquered by the French. THE FUCKING FRENCH! Would you want to live in an entirely equal society anyway? No, of course you wouldn't, I'd be so bored outta my gourd. Our differences, our strengths and our weaknesses (and how we protect those weaknesses) are what make people interesting. God and Darwin don't want people to be equal, if S/He did S/He wouldn't have created unibrows, birth defects, good looks, big boobs or fetal alcohol syndrom (Thank you Matt for one of the greatest moments of grade 12 drama at Janna's expense). Becuase the weak members of society survive beyond birth (damn you modern medicine) we rely on Darwin Award winners to improve the gene pool by removing themselves from it. That being said, I do like the idea of reviving the practice of sending the really dumb and the really ugly into the woods to fight packs of wolves.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a short story on just this topic ( forced mediocrity not packs of wolves), here is the story of
Harrison Bergeron.

woof that was an exhausting rant. But I feel better now.

The chaplain came to ask me out to beat and to butcher his mother's sow-ow-ow 

Shit guys being drukn is the fucking best ever, like. At 11.30 I am c alled up but Anne of frosh fame and she is all like BEN WE ARE AT THe BRUNNY and I'm like, cool, but I'm doing my homework, and she's like PITCHERS ARE 6.50 ANd I'm like fuck it i THERE guy so I go and Who's fuckin there but LEIF shit man, I han't seen him for ages. Also there? Trevor! Trevor who, you ask? Trevor muthafuxin Drop-out's guide to first year. He is awesome. We took pictyures of us throwing a paper airplane around and such.

Anyways so we ares drinking at the Brunny and we decide to go to the dance cave, which is actually, lee's palace, but upstairs. Why s a cave upstairs? Yeah well it's awesome, we are dancing and stuff and this girl comes up to me and is like you're Ben, right? and i'm like Yeah? and she's like, COOL. We danced for a while. And we made ouit. she was pretty hot.

I ate a chicken shwarma on a pita on the way home, from this place near my house. It was the best chicken shwarma I ever ate. ?T tasted like VICTORY.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Piece of shit day. 

So I picks up my iBook from being serviced this morning, after 16 days spent diagnosing and repairing something that was supposedly on a "rush" status in their ticketing system, and I realize that in fixing one thing, the idiot at CPUsed fucked up something else. Imma call Apple Customer Relations and tell them that one of their service providers in this city employs retarded people (this is the second time that I've gotten the computer back with something new wrong with it, and the dude fixing it this time tried to tell me my screen lamp flickering might be caused by 'shareware').

I brought it back to him and in 3 hours it was ready, but still. I also had to give a seminar on how to use the computer labs (Linux-based) at school. Somehow, someone decided that a seminar about computing wouldn't need a fucking data projector. So I was stuck Writing on a blackboard and inhaling the resultant chalk dust. It was catered with cookies, coffee and juice - way too much of it in fact - so that was nice. Still.

I'm running out of money again. Fuck.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Crazier Than A Bag of Fuckin' Angel Dust 

Not really, but it sounds cool.

I had a busy weekend doing a shooting and glad it's mostly over.
All out of money now.
Taking on tutoring plus bbsitting to recupe.

They dropped the price of movies down to $10 for evening shows at Famous Playahs. Yae YAE! Benji.

In 3 minutes they will start a new 1.5 hr apprentice. I'm excited. I hant seen any of the new series yet.

Glad to see Ape Buzzin' again.

I can come 

Expect me at the explosions in Peterborough. It would be nice if you could set a concrete date for the thing, but for now I'll assume it is 18th.

Dissapointing endings seem to be a big feature in the entertainment I have been partaking of recently. I bought "Beyond Good & Evil" for the PS2, and it is a fun and charming game, but the ending "reveals" a ton of stuff that was never even introduced in the first place and has no affect on the rest of the story or the gameplay, and has a crappy set-up for a sequel. The way the information was presented also sucked ass, which is a real shame becuse the whole game leading up to that was really enjoyable. I appreciate a game where you are a ninja reporter who is hired to photograph different animal species and later recruited by a resistance movement to photograph government atrocities. That is a-okay with me. The puzzles were fun, the fighting was enjoyable, if simple, and I did not mind the fact that the musical theme for the game was basically reggae in space. But when whoever wrote the story decided to throw in random crap at the end, seemingly to make the game more interesting, it really pissed me off. So suddenly not only am I a ninja reporter, but I'm a ninja reporter who has alien DNA and can bring people back to life. Imact on gameplay? ZERO because it's all introduced in the last half hour and doesn't even fucking matter. GAH! GOOD GAME + BAD STORY SO INFURIATING!

Then there was Zatoichi, which is a movie taking place in 19th century Japan (or around there). Fight scenes are awesome, characters are interesting/entertaining (geishas trying to assassinate the men who murdered their family, blind samurai with awesome fighitng abilities who is really good at dice, bumbling peasant who sucks at gambling and wants to be beautiful like the women are), but nobody who was making the movie seemed to be capable of figuring out what the story was supposed to be, which resulted in a poorly edited mishmash of story-like crap with terrible transitions that ended in a ten minute folk dance number FOR NO REASON! The bartender is actually a servant of the gang leader pretending to be the gang leader pretending to be a bartender, while the real gang leader is pretending to be a helpless old man who is serving the servant, and IT DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER!


On a brighter note, my exams are finished and I think I did well on them. Now I get two weeks of free time. A game of Samurai, anyone?

Feb 18-21 Ptbo: BE THERE! 

Okay I'mma set the record straight: most of us get a reading week some time in Febuary. Here's the deal y'all are invited to the Ptbo for a weekend of fun. Right now the dates are Feb. 18-21. Between Neil's house and my own there is plenty of space as long as everyone brings a sleeping bag (we have a couple spares here in a pinch). Neil and I are sure there will be "fireworks" and Ben wants to visit the biggest hick bar we know. Neil and I would pobably return to Toronto on the sunday with everyone, we can have a bus party!

One way bus fare to or from Ptbo with student Id is $13.91. I'd suggest you could drive, but I remember what happened last time we tried to arrange a carpool, also I don't think anyone has a car.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Note to self: 50 wings + guy who can eat ANYTHING + prairie fire = penis waving & chicken hangover. 

Hola all!

So Monday night is ALL YOU CAN EAT wing night at the honest lawyer - for **9.95**. The choices are: mild, medium, hot, bbq, sweet & spicy, curry, cajun, carribean jerk (which is smothered with jalepenos), and honey garlic...each of which is fairly decent in its own right. Combine that with air hockey & pool, and you've got a hella awesome night out.

And then At gets spiteful. At decides she's gonna out-eat 3 grown boys (one of whom is 6 10'). At succeeds.

Yeppers, I ate 50 wings that night, and very nearly died. And they were decent sized wings too, bigger than the ones you get at pizza hut/pizza pizza. And they were DAMN good.

My competitor, Michael (not the tall one. The tall one I call Meyers. Because he's tall. Hahaha.) matched me though, he ate 50 too. And then we split a cheese cake and a glass of milk.

And boy did I feel like SHIT the next day.

But glory is MINE!!

---> go pride and gluttony. :D

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Dun dun dun 

And the Dizzave is bizzack.

I don't know, I have this bad habit of letting my life and education and all get in the way of aping.

So, the lineup for this semester is a bunch of ultra-rad Computer Science courses and a rather lame Political Science course that I have to finish up. The coolest of these by far is Intro to Neural Networks and Machine Learning, where I train artificial neurons to do pattern recognition and conquer the world, in that order. Less interesting are Data Structures & Anal, where we learn about why binomial heaps are worth giving a shit about, Operating Systems where I get to, well, write an operating system, and Embedded Systems & Software, where we learn how to put computers in toasters, who will aid the aforementioned neurons in world conquest. I think we get to play with Lego Mindstorms later this semester but so far it's just been "Hey, let's make lights blink on and off."

I still hate my job, and my employers are still perpetually late in paying me. Oh so prompt to find me and harass me when they need something done, though. Ain't it always the way. As notable homosexual and my countryman Oscar Wilde once said, "Work is the curse of the drinking classes." Ain't it the truth, brother.

UPDATE: Well okay, not an update, I just felt like writing more, and to avoid a double post, I did this. Ben, you finally told Mansoor to shove it, eh? What-ever for? Have working standards at the ol' GC improved at all?

Speaking of which, check this out. It's like looking in on a period of my life. I wonder if that was Sam or Shaheed.

Finally, since you guys seems to like your comics, I wonder if you've ever heard of Daily Dinosaur Comics. They get published every week in the Newspaper here at U of T, and I think they're pretty awesome. Here and here are two of my favourites as of late

Double post but for good reason. 

Ch-check it out: Weirdest junk mail of all time:

Hello, what's a nice girl like you doing in...?

(broken image)

(broken image)

(broken image)

Chok lepm lepm lepm

The endearing elegance of female friendship.
Whether a glass is half full or half empty depends on the attitude of the person looking at it.

I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.Every life is a profession of faith, and exercises an inevitable and silent influence.

The living need charity more than the dead.
To know how to disguise is the knowledge of kings.
We are all geniuses up to the age of ten.
There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.

To betray you must first belong.Ideas are the factors that lift civilization. They create revolutions. There is more dynamite in an idea than in many bombs.
Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy.
What a man knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty is for the most part incommunicable.

I had no ambition to make a fortune. Mere money-making has never been my goal, I had an ambition to build.

They condemn what they do not understand.
We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now. The tragedy of life is not that a man loses, but that he almost wins.
Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one's aim.

Men, for the sake of getting a living forget to live.

Punk rock isn't just for your boyfriend. 

I saw that written in pink marker on a white label and stuck on a subway window tonight. Totally awesome.

I feel so good. The above is part of why, also, work today. For those of you who don't know, I quit yesterday. I came in today expecting passive aggression from the boss, only to have him apologize to me v. sincerely and offer me a raise. I said I'd consider it. Will I accept, Benketeers? Stay tuned to find out!

Additionally awesome was my trip to Indigo after work. I have this paper comin' up whereupon I have to look at three different magazines for images of the body, and argue how they conform to a single hegemonic ideal, or something like that. I decided to be crafty and do it with special interests magazines, particularly those that decry the mainstream. So I felt pretty awesome when I brought my selections (Spirit of Aboriginal Youth Magazine, bitch, Paranoia (conspiracy theories), and Vegetarian Life) to the cashier. She gave be a weird look. It warmed my insides for the cold walk home.

Best. Phone. Call. EVER. 

So I'm doing this incredibly stupid assignment where I have to get data I can't access from my computer (you can only get it from university computers). Of course, you have to use excel which isn't on the university computers. So I copied it earlier today e-mailed it over and found some problems when trying to paste in from my e-mail. So I'm sitting there doing this and my phone rings.
Me: Hello.
Girl: Hey this is [Lana?] from the pysch department.
Me: Oh?
Her: We'd like to know if you want to take part in an alcohol study we're doing?
Me: Really?
Her: There are two situations, the sober and the intoxicated. The sober one involves doing a questionaire and pays $10. The intoxicated one involves getting into a state of intoxication over a 3 hour period... it'll be a vodka-based drink and you'll be watching The Simpsons. Then you'll do the same survey. This one pays $20.
Me: What time is it?
Her: Thursday at 3:00.
Me [checking schedule seeing class at that time] Yeah, I'm free.

It just seemed so wonderful, that I'm finally getting paid to drink. And it's even more wonderful that I'm not enrolled in this study

The Extended Benji Holidays are Over 

Starting next week, there'll be a rediculous amount of work due, whereas earlier I was basically on extended vacation, hardly any tests or assignments.

According to my doctor, I'd ripped the tendon in my right forearm and so now I've got a splint and some drugs to help the healing process. Apparently ripped tendons take a rediculous amount of time to heal - fuck!

What're y'all doin for reading week? If my wrist is in good shape by then, who wants to go snowboarding/skiing for a couple days? As long as nobody is dragging me to a casino it's all good. Speaking of gambling though, it just doesn't leave me alone...lately I've been drinking and playing texas hold'em with my room mate.


Things are Looking Up 

So I check out Mondo today, and I done been published! My prose made a whole page! Now alls I gotta do is sit back and wait for my party invite. Also, Leo & Jenna's thing got in, which is good.

As if that wasn't enough good news, I've also become the top search result for "Sam Linton" on google, narrowly beating out a scottish soccer player and southern baptist minister. Woo!

OK, enough ego tripping for now. Peace out!

%&*^!!! *#%$* &@$%! 

I just wrote a really long post explaining everything that's happened to me but the internet ate it so now you'll never know.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Old before my time 

Today I knew I was truly becoming a cynical upper year university student. This revelation came when I was passed by a group of what were obviously first year students who despite the biting cold and lack of sunshine were bouncy, loud and full of energy. "The nerve of them" I gumbled to myself. They have yet to be crushed by society/bureaucray/schoolwork/financial burdens/pretentious ego. These were the same old man feeling I felt towards the kids in grades 9 and 10 when I was in grades 11 and 12, but I know I'm not alone. A couple weeks back Leo and Ben had wanted to cuss out some schluby freshman who had been coerced by a pack of girls to put stupid twists in his hair. I suppose the cycle of maturity must go on.

On another note: the following item is from Raunchy Love the sex advice column in Arthur, the Trent student newspaper:

Dear Raunchy,
I've been a vegan since last summer. I recently meet this guy at a drumming circle. There's a vegan issue I'm unsure of. If I want my body to remain vegan, does that mean that when I go down on him that I cannot swallow?
Vegan Goddess

Dear Vegan Goddess,
Thw only "meat" you're ating, is the one you're sucking on like a lillipop! I say that swallowing your boyfriend's cum is definitely vegan. After all, his jizzy is not an "animal product." If anything it's a little cannabalistic. A "vegan cannibal," how 'bout that? Just kidding! Not only is his cum vegan, but it is also protein enriched. Yet, since you only get about two teaspoons per blow, you'll have to suck a hell of a lot of cock to get the kind of protein found in your tofu.

I think this letter and the reply that accompanies it should be republished in every student newspaper or healthfood magazine in Canada.

I am made of Posioned 5.1.9. 

Hurrah, my favourite lil' filesharing app is back from the dead and filling my ears, and thereby brains, heart, and liver, boiled in my stomach, with more of the Decemberists. I got their EP "The Tain" a while ago, and it was so fantastic I had to have more. But their other albums are like 30 dollars, and they're not that fantastic. The Tain is a single 20-minute long song in five parts. This very fact appeals to my neglected prog-rock sensibilities.

Also more Sonic Youth. They are so great. Kim Gordan is my hero, and Thurston Moore is Jesus.

The end.

Reading Week 

Happy Worst Day Of The Year Everyone

So what's everyone doing for reading week? I heard something about a Peter's Borough trip. My reading week starts on the 18th (but I still have classes on that day).

I went to the Queen's film festival last night. I was in one of the films orginally, but they cut me out :(. Oh well, there goes my shot at silver screen fame. The theme was "student life" which most seemed to interpret as "film student life" (though there was one that made a movie about a guy named Stu Dent, unaffiliated with university).

Most of the films were pretty unremarkable and unmemorable. There was one called "Turnbull" which didn't actually have the eponymous Student Council President in it (they flashed his picture at the end, the same one that's two posts down). Then there was one good one that had no words at all. Set to mornfull violin's playing, super-speeded up people zipped through the library, lawn sprinklers shot out water at fast rates and one guy moved through all this at normal speed. The movie ended with a black screen and the quote "eternity can be experienced in the blink of an eye". It could've been terrible and pretencious, but it wasn't.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Ice Cube has lost his one frosty facial expression. 

I have recently discovered the Independent Film Channel which shows great movies like Scarface, Resevoir Dogs, Traffic and last night Boys in Da Hood starring Lawrence Fishburne as a dad trying to keep his son (Cuba Gooding Jr.) away from gang life in Compton. It also featured Ice Cube as a thug mentor to Cuba who eventually succumbs to the violence. During commercial breaks they were running ads for 'Are We There Yet' where Ice Cube drives 2 kids across the country in his massive Lincoln Navigator so he can score brownie points with their mom. Throughout the ad the Hampster Dance song was playing! Agh! This seems like a far cry from NWA and 'I Ain't The One' but I suppose work is work.

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a gorilla with no superego.