First of, if I lived in America, I'd be a Democrat. But it's really bugging me how this story is being portrayed. "She was banned for saying 'vagina'?" No, not really. She was banned for making comments that would qualify as sexual harassment in any other workplace setting. Don't believe me? Look it up yourself in your own workplace's standards manual. Or, just try telling a woman in your office "Hey, I know you can't stop thinking about my penis, but no means no." If she has a sense of humor, she'll laugh. But if she's the kind of woman who would take offense at such a comment, she WILL report you for harassment, and the law WILL be on her side. So suck it up, folks. Can't blame Republican congressmen for using our own principles against us, sneaky bastards!
Every day on the way to work, I cross the Queensborough Bridge before dawn, and every day I think that the early predawn light reflecting on the river could make for some nice photos -- wish I could stop and take a few. So I finally got up early on a day off and headed down there. First problem: on weekends, the buses don't run that early. So I plugged Sheryl Crow into my ears and started walking. About three kms.
Results not bad. Ran out of battery juice before the sun actually came up, but got good stuff before then. I'm actually rather particularly proud of this shot, because it's a part of New Westminster that is actually extraordinarily ugly...but I saw beauty there, and I think I managed to capture it. I'll do you the courtesy of only giving you the best one, as they're all more or less identical (they get a bit brighter as the dawn nears).
( EnjoyCollapse )
Time to tell the story of the Kelowna road trip. Strap in.
As an Avril Lavigne fan, amateur photographer, and biker who will take any excuse for a road trip, I decided to make the most of it when she took the Black Star Tour to Kelowna last Saturday.
Road Trip Day started out in the worst possible way. I woke up at 3AM with a splitting migraine. I've been diagnosed with atypical migraines; normally they just fuck with my vision without causing any pain. Not this time. I couldn't lie down because it made my head throb too much. I just had to take some Advil and sit upright on the couch in the dark until it went away. It finally did after a couple hours, and I went back to bed and stayed there until noon.
So now I'm totally behind schedule. Still plenty of time to make it to Kelowna from Vancouver, but it doesn't leave a lot of time for sightseeing.
I always mentally divide trips like this into legs, based on fuel. Vancouver to Kelowna is three legs, about 120km each: Vancouver to Hope, Hope to Merritt, Merritt to Kelowna. The spacing is perfect, because between Hope Merritt and Kelowna, there's literally nothing; no towns, no gas, no services. You fuel up in Merritt or you go without.
Weather was nice, mostly sunny. Got a little chilly on the Coquihalla Pass on the way to Merritt. Merritt to Kelowna was mostly high mountain highway as well, and it was even colder. But the moment I left Merritt, the scenery got amazing. You hear "mountain highway" and you think of tall peaks, deep chasms, crashing rivers, but this is nothing like that. You're up on a high plateau, and it's all rolling hills covered with yellow grass and stands of pine. It's autumn, so there's blazing yellow accents mixed in with the green. And it was about 4 in the afternoon, so the sun was hitting everything at that perfect angle. I've just got to come back here in October at 4pm to take photos sometime in the future, but today I couldn't stop. Plus I was getting seriously fucking cold by this point. Even through the leather.
Around 5, I got my first glimpse of Okanagan Lake, where Kelowna is located. First thing I did when I arrived was head to the north of the city to Knox Mountain. There was a lookout there that I wanted to check out, and I was originally planning to camp there overnight. I was already having second thoughts about that...I was thinking that it was probably too cold to camp out, and I'd be better off just pulling an all-nighter and riding home after the show. I've done it before at night, and that was SCARY cold -- whole-body-uncontrollably-shaking losing-control-of-the-bike cold -- but at least I'd be home. I found out that the access road to Knox Mountain was gated shut at night, and they had zero-tolerance for overnight parking, which just clinched the decision. But as long as I was there, and had a couple hours to kill before the show, I went up and took some panoramas.
I didn't stay long. There was an obnoxious wedding party already up there. I don't know what's wrong with people...I know it's their happy day, but I don't know why a gang of guys in a limo always have to act like a bunch of complete douchebags. And the photos weren't really happening either. If the sky was exposed properly, the city was too dark. If the city was exposed properly, the sky was too bright. I gave up after five or six sets. Maybe they'll edit up into something.
I had brought a little present for Avril. I've been a fan for ten years, so I wasn't really interested in yet another autograph. I've got autographs. I wanted to give something back. So I got one of my favorite panoramas blown up five feet long and printed on canvas. So she can look at it and be reminded of Canada. And I don't mind saying, it looked friggin' fantastic. With any luck, maybe her friends would see it, ask "hey, where'd you get that?" and she could send some business my way. But for now I had it rolled up in a white cardboard tube, strapped to the back of my bike with my camping gear. I hoped it would be alright while I was at the show.
Before going into the theater, I took another two Advil. Based on experience, I suspected I'd need them. And when I got inside, I hit the second major bummer of the day: they wouldn't let me take my camera in. I put up a good argument -- I'm up in the seats, it's a ten year old camera, there were people on the floor with phones that had more resolution. It didn't even have much zoom. But they wouldn't give me a break. So, long story short, no photos. It still pisses me off whenever I think about it. Fine, they have their rules. But everything I said was true. Everybody there has a camera, and some of them are pretty high quality. They can't possibly keep people from taking pictures, so why single me out just because my camera is "professional"? Which it really isn't even, by the way. On top of that, this is the first time it's ever been an issue. Nobody's ever cared about my camera at any stadium I've been in, as long as I wasn't on the floor. Rogers Arena didn't care for U2. Even Kelowna didn't care last time I saw Avril here! So what the fuck? I still had a cellphone though, so I figured I'd just record the whole show. So there. Next time I'll hide my "professional" camera on a string down my back and carry a cheap one in my bag as a decoy. ;)
It was about an hour before the show. I tweeted quite a bit at first, but stopped when I noticed I was using up my battery too fast. My twitter ID is @impossiblebones if you're interested in anything I said. Three opening acts...Ewan, Cab, and New Cities, or something like that. Who really cares? Except Cab wasn't too bad. Family of four beside me, two girls both under 13 with glowsticks they bought for 5 dollars each. Your first lesson in Practical Economics, kids. I see Jimmy and Steve standing by the stage stairs, waiting for the signal. Almost showtime! Then the woman to my right nudges me, says "You see that woman at the end of the row? That's Avril's mom." Goddam, she was right! I didn't take a picture, because A, I was already recording, and B, creepsville.
Lights went down, roar (more of a screech) went up. The theater was, I'd estimate, about two thirds full. I was a bit surprised. I wouldn't have expected that Kelowna could muster that many Avril fans.
As much trash as I've talked about Avril, I have to admit that the show was really a lot better than I expected. Avril sounds much better live than YouTube would lead you to think, and she's gotten so much better at performing the high-energy songs. She milked He Wasn't for all it was worth. She did a genuinely impressive long note at the end of I Always Get What I Want. Even What The Hell was passable...if she'd sung it like this while doing promo, she probably would have moved more units. I was actually having a lot of fun, for the first half of the show. Then it sort of faded, as she moved into new material that I don't much like, and ballads that she's just not that good at performing anymore. I think she's so determined to prove that she's strong and confident and has a big voice that she doesn't realize how much songs like I'm With You depend on that 'insecure kid who sings to her sneakers' vibe to work.
Plus, the crowd was getting to me. Over and over and over, the exact same scream, lasting the exact same period of time. "I'm so glad to be in KELOWNA!" wheeeeoooOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo! "You guys are the fucking BEST!" wheeeeoooOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo! "I want everybody to be really quiet!" wheeeeoooOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo!
It was like being trapped in an auditory version of The Wave. But the Advil was working, at least.
My phone started warning signs about halfway through, but it lasted all the way to the end of I'm With You. She disappeared for a long time before doing the encore of Everybody Hurts, I Love You, and Complicated.
I Scare Avril's Mom
Yeah, I approached her as I was leaving, and asked if she was Avril's mom. Me, with the beard and the leather jacket. She didn't seem too thrilled about answering, but she finally admitted that she was. I said I didn't know if Avril was planning to meet fans outside later, but could she tell her daughter there was a guy who'd brought her a gift from Vancouver? She said she would. Hope I didn't scare her too much.
Behind the stadium was a lot more people waiting than I'd expected. That was different from The Best Damn Tour, when there'd only been about ten people, so Avril came out, chatted, shook hands, posed for pictures, etc. Another thing that was different was that instead of a waist high barrier around the loading area, it was a full eight foot fence. With about a hundred girls pressed up against it. Clearly there would be no actual interaction with Avril.
It was pretty much as you'd imagine. Screaming whenever a blond head appeared in the distance, which was never her. Chanting Avril! Avril! Avril! I figured that if she came out at all, it wouldn't be until most of the crowd was gone. Like the end of Titanic, they wouldn't send the boats until most of us were dead...and for pretty much the same reason.
There were a lot of fan-renditions of What The Hell being sung, and Smile. I couldn't resist the temptation; as one song trailed off, I started singing as loud as I could: "DANIEL IS TRAVELLING TONIGHT ON A PLANE! I CAN SEE THE RED TAILLIGHTS HEADING FOR SPAIN!" And not too badly, if I say so myself. I've got a fair singing voice when the spirit moves.
The only other male fan in the crowd, mid twenties, German accent, said I was probably singing to the wrong crowd. And then he asked me something that broke my heart: "Who is that song by?"
Jeez, these kids today. They know NOTHING.
And then Avril actually did come out. Security tried to keep the girls from pushing the fence over. And I saw her face...she may say she loves her fans, and I'm sure she does on some level, but when she's confronted by a screaming horde, I'm pretty sure she just disconnects and goes someplace else. Head down, blank eyes. And who can blame her?
People passed things over the wall, she'd scribble something and move on. I held back -- didn't seem to be much point. Like I said, I didn't care about an autograph. But I saw her mom, hovering nearby, so after Avril and the crowd had moved on a bit, I waved to her, and handed the tube to her over the fence. Said I was obviously not going to get anywhere near her, could she please make sure she got this? She said OK. Avril went down the whole length of the fence, about a hundred feet, before heading back to the bus. Last I saw, her mom was following her back with the cardboard tube in her arms. Dunno if Avril ever got it.
I just had a depressing image of it being tossed in a corner of the tour bus, and eventually thrown out without it even being opened. Whatever.
About midnight now. Surprisingly warm. I wasn't looking forward to getting back on the road and facing the mountain passes at night, but I figured at least the coldest part would be over early. But before leaving, I went back to Knox Mountain on a whim. And to my surprise, I found that although the road had been gated shut, I could easily fit my bike around it. So I got to do some night panoramas after all. I spent about an hour on that. I've gotten a lot better at it -- the first one I took turned out to be the keeper. I took about four more, and figured I was about done.
Heading back to Merritt, it was about what I expected. Cold, but manageable. Time passed quickly. I was about thirty kilos away from Merritt when I heard the awful sound on my helmet...it couldn't possibly be RAINING, could it?
Fuck, it was. And by the time I got into town, it was a real rain. And that was about the limit of my endurance. I fueled up at the 7-Eleven, reminded in the process of the downside of small towns, namely, drunk teenagers. And then I went to a motel and got a room from a sleepy Pakistani woman.
Once I got inside, I cheered up a bit. I hate spending money on motels, but I LOVE staying in them! There's just something about the beds with layers and layers of blankets, and thick pillows, and the TV right at the foot of the bed... I watched Pawn Stars and Life After People before falling asleep.
I started late in the morning, and took it easy. So...lots of time on the bike to reflect on what it all means and what I feel about it all. Just like has happened with every album, now that I've seen the show, it's like the end of this particular cycle, and time for my fandom to go back into hibernation. I think this might be my last time seeing Avril live. I just feel too weird in the middle of that crowd, you know? Unless something drastic happens to her demographic (and seriously, what are the odds of that?) I can't see myself doing this again. Still, I think I'll always be curious enough to check out a new Avril album. I like the girl. I wish her the best.
So that's it. Except of course..
( Panorama frenzy!Collapse )
- Current Mood:awake
It's in the Similkameen Valley, about 30 km east of Princeton, if you want to look on Google for it. Only took four hours, not six, and then a hair-raising climb along an insanely twisty and steep gravel road, but at the top I had an incredible view of the valley stretching off in both directions. I made a camp, and then I spent eight hours photographing it, from evening to well after midnight. Tried some experiments; some worked, some didn't. Tried some star trails, but they didn't work at all. Full moon drowned most of the stars out. But the light was amazing even to the naked eye.
Had a hard time getting any sleep. The hammock is super comfortable, but almost impossible to sleep in any position but on your back. And I just can't sleep on my back. At all.
Rode hard to get home early the next day, so I'd have some relax time at home before work starts again on Monday. And then on Monday morning I realized my keys were gone. They obviously had to be somewhere between the parking garage and my apartment, but I couldn't find them anywhere.
Got them back a few days later, after putting a notice in the elevator. Creepy guy on first floor picked them up. I dunno why, it would make more sense to either leave them there, or turn them in to the landlord, but he picked them up and was just keeping them until he saw my sign and then he gave them back. Oh well, at least I've got them.
Anyway, photo dump is coming, but it will take a while to process this bunch and whittle them down to the good ones.
Anyway, I was planning to spend the long weekend on a camping/photo shoot trip. Saw a place on Google Earth that I thought could make a great panorama. Somehow though, I wasn't able to muster the energy to get on the bike and ride for six hours. Plus, it's hard to justify the expense of travelling that far right now.
Still, I was bummed about it. But I put that negative energy into something productive, and revamped the photo website with a new layout and a new logo. And this is just the beginning. I'm going to change the whole arrangement from what it is now to more of a galleries/store emphasis. When it's ready, I'll try putting some ads in the local papers. It's time I started trying to make some money from this.
First, the plan. I wanted to return (again) to the Alexandra Bridge, and Hell's Gate. I've gotten good results over the last few months, and wanted to try different POVs and different times.
So I planned to head out on a Saturday afternoon, get to the bridge around five, set up a camp. Then I'd hike along the train-tracks to Hell's Gate, about five kms. Say, an hour or maybe an hour-and-a-half. That would give me evening light to shoot Hell's Gate by. Then I would cross the river, hike back along the highway, shoot the bridge at night, then head back in the morning.
Second, the setting. Fraser Canyon runs roughly north-south, with the Fraser River running through it. Both sides of the canyon have a railroad running along it; the Trans-Canada Highway runs much higher up the canyon wall on the west bank, until it reaches the Alexandra Bridge where it crosses to the east bank. North of that point is Hell's Gate, the narrowest point of the canyon, funnelling the entire river through it. It's a genuine wonder of nature, passing more water per second than Niagara Falls.
There's a little village there - well, more of a shopping mall/research station - clinging to the side of the cliff on the west bank. You reach it from the highway either via a gondola that carries you down and over the river, or by a VERY steep and rocky series of doglegs that leads down to a suspension bridge.
I've shot around the area from almost every perspective I could reach, except one. The tracks on the west bank run behind the Hell's Gate village. Those tracks would give awesome views of the river, if you could just walk along them, but you can't. Barbed-wire fences keep people strictly within the Hell's Gate village.
So my idea was to start at the old Alexandra Bridge, get onto the west bank tracks from there, then just follow them north. Sort of a back door way to Hell's Gate.
Everything was going fine. Got to the old bridge (which used to be part of the old Cariboo Highway, bits and pieces of which still exist and are still used as trails, but were decommissioned after the Trans Canada was opened). It was about five o'clock. Good late-afternoon sunlight. I found my way to a point down by the river with a view up at the bridge, and took a couple of panoramas. Then I found my way to the tracks with less difficulty than I expected, and started walking.
It was pretty cool for a while. Not as much to see as I would have liked, since trees blocked the view of the river most of the way. But I walked through a long tunnel and several smaller ones, and over a couple of bridges spanning side canyons filled with dense bush and tiny creeks, and it was just generally an adventure.
After I'd been walking for almost three hours, I started to realize something was wrong. I thought that it was only 5km, but it was actually 10. And I should have known that! I had checked it on Google Earth (and checked it again when I got home), so I knew damn well what the actual distance was. But for whatever reason, I'd had some sort of brain-fart, and set off believing the trip was only half as long as it really was.
As I'm starting to realize this, I have a choice to make. I don't want to turn around and walk all that way for nothing. But I know that this is a much much more challenging trip than I'd bargained for. Stubbornly, I continue on. I eventually reach Hell's Gate, find that the view isn't quite as good as I'd hoped, due to obstacles like telephone wires, and it's full twilight anyway. I take a few pictures, but I'm too tired to experiment much.
Now there's a second problem, although in my defense it's a problem I anticipated. There's still a barbed-wire fence blocking me from getting into Hell's Gate, and therefore back across the river. I suppose I could have headed back the way I came, but it was almost full-dark and I didn't relish the prospect of following the tracks in pitch blackness (in hindsight, that probably wouldn't have been much of a problem, due to the full moon), and began to suspect that the only way I'd get back to my bike at all would be to hitchhike. But, the village/mall was closed by now, so I figured with nobody around it wouldn't be impossible to scale the fence. And if someone WAS around, surely they'd open the gate and let me through?
Nobody was around, and I successfully scaled both fences to get across the bridge. Then I had to take the road up to the highway. Five doglegs, and each one felt like a trek in itself. It's full dark now. My feet are aching, and I'm staggering like a zombie with every step. And when I finally got to the top, I was just...done. So now what? It's the middle of nowhere. Eleven o'clock at night. There's nothing up here, not even streetlights. The only people out driving are the long-haul truckers. I've got a load of camera equipment on my shoulder, and sharp pains in my feet with every step. Oh, and I've used up the last of my water. No way I can walk three more hours.
About this time, I remembered I had a celphone and by some miracle there was coverage out here. I called the police department in Hope first to ask if they could give me a lift. They had no officers available. So I called the cab company in Hope, who said they would do it for 60 dollars. I'm willing, but I have no cash and they don't take plastic. Next I tried a towing company. They would do it, but they wanted TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY DOLLARS just to give a guy a lift. Tried the BCAA, but I wasn't a member so I'd have to pay, and they didn't take plastic either. They did give me the number of a guy in Boston Bar with a tow truck, but he was busy doing a tow for the police in Lytton, fifty km north of there.
I started walking.
I went about two more kms (and passed through three tunnels) when I came to a roadside cafe with an Elvis theme. It was closed of course, but I thought it might be a good place to stop and maybe sleep until morning. But there were people out back, and after some initial suspicion I managed to talk them into giving me a lift back to the bridge.
I had no intention of camping anymore. I was just going to call it quits and ride home. But damned if I wasn't at least going to stay for a few night shots. Unfortunately, I soon found out that a full moon is terrible if you want to take star-trail photos. Two minutes exposure under a full moon is essentially the same as daylight. So I got a few night photos that didn't even look like nighttime. And it's just too time-consuming to experiment when each exposure is anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes.
Also I had a headache. So I packed up and rode two hours to get home.
So after all that, I didn't get very much good stuff. But I did get a few nice shots, and I suffered for them, so you will like them or else!
I will spare you all the sight of quarter-sized blisters on the soles of both feet.
( You know you waaaaaaant to...Collapse )
I had a lot of spare time to reflect on how gorgeous Emma Watson is with no makeup. Amazing how one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen can be so completely unremarkable as a fashion model.
I didn't want a repeat of the Patton Oswalt rainstorm debacle, so rather than take the motorcycle I asked Mom if I could borrow her car. It caused me some problems at the border crossing, when they checked the trunk and found a bunch of her empty drug bottles. She was going to take them in for recycling, but I didn't know that at the time. And since I couldn't explain why all those empty bottles were there, they pulled me out of the line for inspection. For almost an hour, some guy in a Kevlar vest asked me a series of remarkably random questions. "Did you ever have a trespassing charge dismissed?" "Um....no, where does it say that?" "I'M ASKING THE QUESTIONS!!"
Finally, they said there were no problems, and they let me go. Honestly, I don't think I'm ever going to return to the States, at least not without a better reason than seeing a show. It's just not worth it anymore.
Found the Neptune theater no problem, in the University district. I was there about two hours early, and good thing too, because the tickets were general admission and people were already lined up. Tim has a very enthusiastic fanbase. The Neptune itself is a very cool venue; it was originally a movie theater, but was recently renovated for live shows. A bar was installed at the back of the theater, and a stage put in. Tim was only the third live act to perform there, and the kinks weren't entirely worked out yet, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Got a seat at the front of the balcony, pretty sweet. Tim came out, and opened with Rock and Roll Nerd, which is pretty much his signature piece. He expressed surprise at the number of people who came out. I don't know why he's surprised; even though he's never really done a North American tour before, he's huge in Australia and the UK, and also on YouTube. And in the Internet age, if you've developed a following through word-of-mouth, as Tim has, that following is worldwide.
He went into 'Context' next. Halfway through it, he stopped and stared up at the ceiling. Water was pouring down onto the floor. A lot of it. I never found out exactly what happened, but Tim's dressing room was up there and he theorized that it was caused by the shower he took before the show. "My cleanliness has come back to bite me on my soapy ass." A stagehand mopped up the water as best he could, and Tim went on with 'Context'.
Can't swear to the exact order of the setlist, but among the other songs he performed were 'Thank You God', 'If I Didn't Have You', 'The Pope Song', and 'Lullaby'. And then he spoke the fateful words: "This is a nine-minute beat poem..." and the crowd went insane.
I can now say I have seen Tim Minchin perform 'Storm' live. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
He finished with 'Darkside' as he always does, then did a double-encore. A cover of 'Country Roads', and then one of my favorites, 'Not Perfect'.
Afterwards, Tim came out to the bar to pose for photos and sign autographs. I introduced myself as Phil Daoust, but let him know pretty quick that I was kidding, lest he deck me.
So, an amazing night, an amazing show, and a new autograph for the Wall. But enough talk...( time for PICTURESCollapse )
I just realized that nobody was ever going to hire me as a dental receptionist. They all want people with at least two years experience, and they all want young women, not men pushing 40. And I'd probably suck at it anyway. I should have gone with the truck-driving course. What the fuck was I thinking?
Anyway, I started applying for other jobs, and last week I got a call for an interview. It was for a temporary (two month) job at a company that frankly had a hard time explaining to me exactly what it was they did. Something to do with doing information searches for banks and other clients. They had a two-month project that needed doing, transferring files from one system to another. It wasn't even really data entry; just endless cutting and pasting. Hell, I could do that. It would be like all the time I spent downloading Rolling Stones' top 500 albums of all time, and retagging every single file the way I wanted it.
The interviewer reminded me of Stuart's Mom from MadTV. She was very very concerned about whether or not I was suited to a job this boring. I said something about how I was sick to death of customer service, and just wanted to be a cog in someone's machine. And basically I charmed the pants off her. She said she was prepared to offer me the temp job immediately, but she also thought I'd be perfect for a permanent job they had available, doing straightforward data entry. So she called in another woman in charge of filling that position, I had a second interview with her, and she gave me a quick data entry test.
The following Monday, I had to come in for a THIRD interview, and today I got the official email: I got the permanent job!
I start on June 28, after they do a background/reference check.
I'm really excited. It's not a great job or anything, but it's been over two years since I had any kind of job at all. It's been a very dark time in my life. For a while now, I've felt that I just didn't have any future, and had the terrifying feeling of slowly slipping off the face of the earth. I have no friends anymore, hardly ever go out, and stopped doing the things I used to enjoy because it didn't seem like there was any point to it. The dental reception course was a temporary ray of light, but it turned out to be a bad decision. And I was getting to the point where I would simply be living on the street if I didn't figure out something soon. This comes just in time.
And I meant what I said. The thought of spending my days in front of a computer, entering data, not having to deal with customers, not having any particular responsibility or authority, sounds very very appealing right now. I'll make money being a cog in someone else's machine, and in my spare time I'll continue to print and frame my best photos until I have enough to start showing in galleries. Maybe I'll join a gym and learn to box or something. And I'd still like to do the truck driving school thing, after I've saved a little money.
I said back at the New Year that I thought this would be a year of transformation. This is another step on the path.
EDIT: To you-know-who. I'm not embarrassed by anything I write in this journal. If I was, I'd post it privately. So show whoever you want. I bet the Royal Army frowns on things that reflect poorly on the service. What do you suppose is their position on cyber-stalking? Lastly, I just have to ask...what's it like to fuck a woman obsessed with Avril Lavigne? Doesn't it make you feel like a kiddy-diddler?
I have an unusual hobby.
I'm into standup comedy, so whenever I hear that one of my favorites is going to be in the area, I'll do a sketch of them in pencil and then try to get it autographed. There's one comedian I've wanted to 'acquire' for some time now, and that's Patton Oswalt. He'd just done a show in Vancouver, but I missed my chance. So when I heard that he was going to be in Seattle recording a CD, I decided to head down on the motorcycle and try to add him to the Wall of Fame. He'd be in some pretty distinguished company; so far I've gotten Ellen DeGeneres, Robin Williams, Bill Cosby, Doug Stanhope, and Woody Allen. (I also did one of Stephen Colbert, but he refused to sign. Turns out he's kind of a dick in real life).
Aside: I continue to maintain that these drawings don't require any particular artistic talent. What I do is, I find a photo on the Internet, trace the basic features to get the proportions right, and then it's just shading shading shading until it starts to look vaguely realistic. It's really more about hand/eye coordination than anything else. If you can play Halo, and have about two hours to kill (which if you're playing Halo you probably do), then you could probably do as well or better. But as a souvenir, it's a helluva lot cooler than a program or a T-shirt.
The show was at the Moore Theater, on Saturday, May 14th. I'd been eying the weather reports nervously for several days, because they'd been forecasting showers, which turned out to be an accurate description; every half-hour or so I'd get a five minute sprinkle that was actually kind of refreshing, and dried quickly. I considered myself lucky. Then I nearly hit an owl. He banked off just in time, close enough for me to see the "oh fuck!" look on his owly face. As omens go, I really had no idea how to take it. It wasn't a situation I'd encountered before.
I made it to Seattle, nervous about my bike. It needs a lot of work done, especially a new chain, and I didn't like the sounds it was making. I tried the burgers at the Red Mill (thanks, Adam Richman!), then headed to the theater. And while hanging out in front, I heard something that really pissed me off: some guy asking if there were any tickets left, and he ended up with a pair in row B. I had bought my ticket the day they went on sale, and I was in row M! It hardly seemed fair. Anyway, I got my seat, tweeted Patton about having a sketch I'd like signed after the show, and enjoyed a fantastic performance.
Since it was the early show, I was planning to kill a couple hours until the second show ended, and then hang around the stage door. That's what usually works. As I was leaving, the MC warned everyone to drive carefully, because it was raining. Shit. And then I stepped out of the theater into a pounding, drenching, last-scene-of-the-Matrix downpour. And as I'm thinking to myself how much shittier this night has suddenly become, I look over to where I parked the bike, and it gradually dawns on me that it isn't there.
Seriously. I stared at the spot for three minutes, just to be sure. Then I tried to make it be there through sheer will. It didn't work.
Stolen? Or impounded? A closer look gave me the answer. I was in a three-minute loading zone. And what really pissed me off was that I genuinely hadn't noticed the sign! A parking attendant told me I could park on the street for free after six o'clock, so in ignoring the sign that said "pay street parking", the second sign below it must have just been swept up in the general mental dismissal. If I'd seen the sign and decided to risk it, I'd be more complacent about it. But since I honestly hadn't noticed, couldn't the Universe have cut me a freakin' break? While literally pissing on my head?
So I was kind of shellshocked, sort of like the time I got stuck in the moshpit at an Avril Lavigne concert. The towing company was 24hr, so I didn't see any reason to go pick up the bike until I was actually ready to head home. So I just wandered the downtown area for a while. Everything interesting (read 'the comic store') was closed. I don't like to drink or interact with other human beings, so there was no point in going to a bar. Eventually, I ended up in a Macdonalds, and just sat and felt sorry for myself.
Aside no.2: Think I'm kidding about human contact? Until just a few months ago, I'd never even owned a cellphone. But holy fuck, was I glad I'd finally broken down and gotten an Android recently. This little marvel of technology made itself astonishingly useful tonight: contacting the towing company, locating it, looking up transit directions, using the GPS to make sure I got off at the right stop...I can't imagine how I ever got along without this little gadget. My life would have been even suckier tonight without it.
When the second show finally let out, I started the process of trying to watch the lobby and the alley simultaneously, hoping to catch Patton. Sometimes comedians come out front to hang out with the crowd. Sometimes they dash for a limo. I didn't see any limo in the alley, just a semi and an SUV. And no obvious stage door. And in the lobby, the ushers are yelling at everybody to GET OUT. I got out my phone and sent the following tweet:
@pattonoswalt I'd still love to get that sketch signed. I'm waiting in alley if you'd like to save my night -sniff
Absolutely pathetic, right? I'm not feeling optimistic. But I went back to the alley and there's some other guys hanging around talking. And I heard one of them say something about 'the guy with the sketch'. Jesus-graham-cracker-Christ!! I'm all "hey, that's me, I'm the guy with the sketch!" And just like that, they're leading me through a door, and there's Patton!
"Are you Impossiblebones?"
"I am Impossiblebones!"
This is, for the record, the very first useful thing Twitter's ever done for me.
Aside no.3: It's been called to my attention that the nickname @impossiblebones could lead a person to assume that I'm a creationist. Nothing could be further from the truth. I chose the name to refer to one of my favorite mottoes: "History is littered with the bones of the impossible." Meaning, it's a bad idea to say anything is impossible, because historically, things are only impossible until they aren't. It sounds more impressive in Latin.
So Patton was amazingly nice, and I told him the tale of my shitty night in somewhat abridged form, and he signed my drawing. And suddenly the whole rotten night was worth it. Including what was to come, because the night was far from over.
I still had to free my bike. Getting there on the bus was easy enough, thanks to Google. 120 bucks later, and it was time to head home and I wasn't looking forward to it. It was after midnight, still fucking pouring, and I was facing a very long, very wet, very dangerous trip back to Vancouver. Oh well. I've ridden farther in worse weather, though I can't remember when offhand. In addition to being cold and wet, I was also half-blind from helmet fog and the generally shit-poor reflectors on the I-5. There were times I was just following the taillights in front of me. And cursing them for going too fast for me to keep up. After three hours of sheer terror, I made it.
Aside no.4: It occurred to me later that I forgot to ask Patton if I could get a picture with him. But that was OK; I looked like complete shit anyway. Also, I found out later that for some retarded reason, none of the photos I took outside my cellphone service area were saved. I have no idea why. Why should roaming affect photographs? It's not like I was sending them anywhere! Fucking cellphones...
So that's the story of how I met Patton Oswalt in Seattle, and got very very wet as a result. Thank you Patton, for your kindness and generosity. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. Specifically, next month when Tim Minchin comes to the Neptune! Wish me sunshine....
The Wall Of Fame
Ta da! Patton!
Aside no.5: Wishlist? Christopher Titus, Jon Stewart (you're dead to me, Colbert), Maria Bamford (actually saw her last year, but didn't get around to doing a drawing), Joe Rogan, Penn and Teller (the drawing is done, just waiting for them to come to BC again), Kathy Griffin, Bill Maher and of course the irreplaceable Tim Minchin.
One last thought: If you want to see a comedian at his absolute best, see him when he's taping a show. Patton absolutely killed. And it wasn't just the performance either. He also rocked this awesome, tailored suit and looked pretty fucking sharp. Watch the show when it airs, and tell me if I'm wrong. But here's what he wore three weeks earlier in Vancouver.
Ah well. At least it wasn't sweatpants.
Well I went back to the original photos I took the first time, and decided to try to cobble them together anyway. It took several hours, but they turned into something decent after all. It's far from ideal -- I had to practically bolt the photos together in some places -- but definitely worth the effort.
In Which I Witness Two Flaming Disasters While Remaining Personally Unscathed.
I was working at the computer the other day, and kept getting a whiff of some strange smell. It smelled sort of electrical, which made me worry that my computer was overheating, but smelling my computer didn't reveal anything unusual, so I'd forget about it. But it kept coming back. Finally I started looking around. I looked out the window.
Huh. ( Dumpster's on fire.Collapse )
Ow ow ow...
I've done something to my back. I don't think I've "thrown it out" as they say, but maybe some sort of muscle spasm. Same thing happened to me when I was 13, only in my neck. The muscles suddenly tightened up for no reason, and I couldn't move it fully for about a week. I hope it's just that.
Anyway, the course has been going really well. I've finished the first two weeks, and I'm learning a lot. First few classes dealt mostly with dental terminology. I had some biology background, so it was mostly familiar. Then it was memorizing the abbreviations dentists use, looking up procedures in the dental price guide, and calculating how much the client owed vs. how much was paid by insurance. It's really not that different than writing up an order at the restaurant and adding up the prices.
The teacher, Carmelita, is nice, but kind of awkward at teaching. Her strategy is usually to take the readings that we were given, and then just reading them out loud while we follow along. And she has an odd way of dropping letters or syllables from words, or mispronouncing them in other ways. For instance, she can't seem to pronounce a long-u sound, so a word like 'mandibular' comes out as 'mandibbiler.' I amuse myself by composing lists of "Carmelisms" while she talks. First test is tomorrow, Mon Oct 4.
Worst part of the class is that, like I said, I'm the only guy. The women in the class all seem to want to work in groups, and Carmelita mostly lets them. But I prefer to work alone, always have, always will. I think you learn more that way. So, while I'm trying to look up codes for dental procedures and write down their prices, I can't concentrate because of all the chatter as the ladies compare notes and trade answers. It's frustrating.
Also frustrating is that the learning materials are really shitty. I finished an assignment first, so Carmelita checked my answers first, before going through the whole thing with everybody else. She found a number of mistakes. All except one were due to errors in the question. Like, the question would ask for the cost of two x-rays and three fillings, but the answer on the answer sheet was for THREE x-rays and three fillings. So my answer was actually correct, it just didn't match the teacher's materials.
I just got back from another trip to Boundary Country. I thought the last trip would be the last chance I'd get for a while, but we just got a stretch of unusually spectacular weather, and since my classes are just Monday Tuesday and Wednesday, I thought I'd grab the chance.
But before I get into THAT trip, I still owe you pictures from the LAST trip.
So, ( without further ado...Collapse )
Anyway, both tires were flat so I had to walk it home from Mom's, but after filling them up I took it out for a midnight ride around New Westminster. It was fun. I should start riding regularly again. Ten years ago, I rode to work every day, and was in fairly good shape. Today I ride the motorcycle and I'm...not. Hard to believe I once rode a bike over the Rockies and across the Prairies, and would have gone farther if I hadn't run out of money in Winnipeg.
But now, it's time for those photos I promised, from the Merritt Rodeo.
( Click for CowboysCollapse )
I Meet Doug Stanhope!
I did a drawing of Doug beforehand, and got him to sign it.
On the way home, I got a border guard with an attitude; she asked me question after question, and then said she thought I was hiding something. I really didn't know what to say to that, except to shrug. The cunt finally let me go after about ten more stupid questions. I should have told her to just search the car, take as much time as she wanted, provided that when she was done, I could tell her that she sucked at her job.
Anyway, here's the drawing, and a series of photos I took.
( Photos from Doug Stanhope in Kirkwood, WACollapse )
The Othello Tunnels, Coquihalla Canyon, Hope BC
Then last week, I went out again, but the original intent was something I've had a bug up my ass about for a while now. I found a mountain lake on Google Earth that looks absolutely beautiful, but there's no trails of any kind going to it. Forestry service roads would get me about three km from it, then it would be a hike over a ridge. I decided I wanted to reach that lake. I didn't even get close. The road was a bit steeper and rougher than expected, and eventually my bike just decided not to go any further. It died on a steep and unstable uphill slope, which is a terrible position to find oneself in... You have no power, so you can't go forward. You don't want to slide backwards too fast on gravel, because if you do, you won't be able to brake without skidding; and skidding backwards downhill with a sheer drop on one side of you is a terrifying prospect. But eventually I managed to finesse the bike around to be facing downhill again, and managed to get it started. With tail between legs, I decided to try to salvage something by returning to Hope for some daytime pictures of the tunnels.
( Photos Under The CutCollapse )
The Queens Of New Westminster
Speaking of which, I couldn't be prouder of how Canada did in the Games, or of how Vancouver did hosting. Considering all the shit that went wrong, from the death of the Georgian luger, to the torch not working correctly, to the lousy weather, it all just felt amazingly perfect.
I'm actually a bit bummed at just how much I missed out on. I was hoping to watch the hockey final somewhere downtown, but got the game time wrong...by the time I realized my mistake, the third period was already starting. And what a bloody incredible finish that was, eh?! I also never got to ride the zipline, I missed out on an amazing opportunity to photograph the cauldron from the top of an office building so I could go see Colbert instead...and that worked out so well, didn't it? I never even sampled any of the nations pavillions. Mostly it was the rain that kept me out of downtown. Nevertheless, I feel that I took part in something special, something that will live in the hearts of Vancouverites for generations. One day I'll get to say "I was there."
Meanwhile, in a few days you'll be seeing my photos from the downtown party. But for now, it's time to post ( those panoramas I've been working so hard on. Enjoy!Collapse )
Two Days Of Stephen Colbert
I was down there at six AM, and there was already a moderate clutch of people waiting, so I took a few minutes to try a ( panorama of False Creek. Click for many many pictures of Colbert.Collapse )
Downtown Olympic Flavour (With A 'U')
Friends Only from now on.
Another Manic Monday
I had a letter in the Vancouver Sun today. Surprising, because it's been over a week since I wrote it. It was a pro-RCMP, anti-media opinion about the guy who died after being Tasered at the airport. I'd given up on it. But apparently, they've been saving up letters on the topic, and printed a bunch of them at once.
Did some diet shopping at Safeway, got cereal, skim milk, canned pasta, pickles. Canned pasta is great for when you're craving something that tastes like fast food; it's surprisingly low on calories. I just wish Heinz didn't stop making plain ol' spaghetti. When did that happen? When did every kind of canned pasta become some sort of kiddy gimmick? Alphagetti, Zoodles, Simpsons, Dinogetti, Dora the Explorer...I just want spaghetti, dammit!
And somewhere along the way, they seem to have stopped making my favorite cereal, Team.
Then I went across the street to the library to photocopy my tax return and return an overdue book (Adventure Motorcyclist's Handbook or something like that).
My PlayStation 2 crapped out for good, and I was thinking about treating myself to a PS3. I drove down to BestBuy (after a brief stop at Staples to buy laminate sheets) but at the last minute I decided that 400 dollars was just a bit more than I wanted to spend on ANYTHING right now. Especially when I need a new mattress, and to get my bike fixed, and since stopping at Staples, I suddenly want a new filing cabinet too. With fancy hanging folderrrrs! Mmmmmmmmmm. God I'm a nerd.
And I finally put my bed back together. Since the bedbug spraying, I've been sleeping on the couch, only 'couch' is a rather generous term for what's really more of a loveseat. Bloody uncomfortable. I need to stretch out!
Meanwhile, ( Stephen Hume responded to my email.Collapse )
Daily calorie count: Super big gulp (700), cup of dried apricots (350), bowl of corn flakes, skim milk (120). Total: 1170
Shit, I can actually FEEL those apricots going through me. Wild.
I hate taggers.
So I painted over it today, and also installed a new doorstop. I only mention it because it's nice to have some record of the extra shit I do at work. God knows I'll never get a 'good job' from Mel.
And what the hell is this? Snow? Again? Really? REALLY?
Doesn't seem to be lasting though. Actually, it's sort of pretty out right now; the snow fell, then started to melt, then froze again after dark so the trees all have this white crust on them. I think I'll go out and try to grab a shot or two.
In the meantime, today I just had a can of tuna (115) and three glasses of Coke (450). Total: 565.
But I didn't get to run because of the snow (aw shucks, it's always something, isn't it?)
EDIT: I went out, ( here's the pictures I tookCollapse )
After trying about EIGHTEEN DIFFERENT PLACES I find one near Brentwood that can do it. I drive down there, and while I'm discussing possible colors with the mat-cutting-person, someone says "Hi Steve." It's Nicole, who used to work at the restaurant. Beyond the pure coincidence, all I can think is how much I wish I could find a cool job at a place like this.
Anyway, I got the mat and the picture looks great. Mom loves it.
I pick Mom up, and we go to Lisa's house to meet Kelly. Lisa's got my Christmas presents from Dad and Joyce, and also my last birthday presents that I wasn't able to take home on my actual birthday. We go for dinner at the Mongolie Grill, where you fill a bowl with whatever you want, and they grill it for you. Good, but expensive; my bowlful was 26.00.
I'm feeling proud of myself today because I did my own tax return, for the first time. In previous years, I would give all my forms and shit to Mom, and she'd take it in to her accountant and they'd do it as an attachment to hers, and charge me 30 bucks.
Not this year. This year I face the last true test of manhood, to prove my mental worth, dammit! I got the forms and a guide from the post office, and, armed with a copy of last year's return to use as a comparison, I plowed in. It took about two hours, and was pretty slow going, full of odd references to 'schedules' and 'articles.' Where's my spirit-guide when I need it? Having last year's return helped a lot. It wasn't really difficult; just time-consuming, and requiring a lot of jumping from place to place, putting numbers in boxes, jumping through hoops, dotting i's, crossing t's. Long story short, I'm getting a refund of 360 dollars, more or less consistent with other years. And it will definitely take a lot less time next year.
Yay! I'll never have to pay some guy 30 bucks to do my taxes again! Self-reliance wins.
Finally, I think I need to quit eating for a while. I don't mean fasting, I just mean that I've been stuffing myself silly all winter long, time to take a little break -- I'm starting to feel an effect on my health. I'm at 234lb...wayyyyy too much.
So, taking a page from misslaceration's book, I'll be listing what I eat and the calorie count every day, as a way to harness the awesome power of peer pressure.
So, today: Four hard-boiled eggs for breakfast = 300 calories, and three glasses of Coke at work (my major vice) = 450 calories. Total: 750.
And I ran a lap after work. Definitely need to do that more often.
Dear Mr. Hume:
Regarding your piece in yesterday's Sun, you made a few good points. When you talk about how the 'new media' really is the 'old media,' just in different form, I'm with ya, I'm with ya.
Beyond that, many points you make can be criticized. What I mostly objected to is the idea that professional media outlets such as the Sun provide some sort of filter, separating the wheat from the chaff and assuring the consumer of quality. I'd agree that the Net has a high ratio of chaff to wheat, but from where I sit, newspapers aren't any better.
Consider yesterday's Province. On the front page, we are asked "how is it possible" that a 100-sqft. rathole in East Van costs $3.90 a square foot, while a luxury penthouse is only $2.90 a square foot. That is a jaw-droppingly stupid question, and that's on the front page! You speak of accountability? What do you think the odds are that the reporter responsible -- one Lora Grindlay -- will be fired? Zero, that's what, and it's a shame because I can't respect a newspaper that employs someone that dumb.
Maybe you're thinking "Well, that's the Province." But is the Sun any better? Yours is the paper that has Shelley Fralic writing on social issues, and Doug Todd writing about religion and ethics. Just last Saturday, Todd took some flaky New Age pamphlet about the 12 Theories of Evolution, barfed it back onto a page and called it insight; and as for Fralic, I've known the woman to do half a page on ice cream cones.
I'd like to explain briefly what I think is the biggest problem at the heart of journalism, and to do that I'll have to tell you a story. Think of it as a microcosm.
It happened about a year ago, in a small town in Pennsylvania. It was one of those local brouhahas that gets picked up as a larger story around the country, and concerned a garage door in Minersville on which appeared an image of the Virgin Mary at the same time every evening.
With the power of Google News, I was able to see quite a few of those reports, and it was pretty clear to me almost immediately that the image of the Virgin Mary was caused by the light of the setting sun shining off a window across the street.
But that idea was only briefly suggested, if it was mentioned at all. Instead, what we got was a stream of stories all following the same formula: laying out the story, shots of the crowds gathered, a quote from a weepy fat woman overwhelmed by the 'miracle', another quote from a skeptic saying he wasn't sure what it all meant, and finally some sort of banal observation about how there was no way to say for certain, but it sure inspired strong feelings in people.
But I didn't really have to describe the formula to you, did I, Mr. Hume? You're in this business yourself, after all.
Now, I'm pretty much 100% sure that every single journalist in Minersville knew what was really happening. Every journalist there knew that this was just light reflecting off a window. But not one of them was willing to say what they knew to be true. Truth as an ideal is not a popular idea in journalism anymore.
I'm cynical enough not to be surprised at the crowds of gullible people who came from miles around hoping to see a miracle. I suspect that there's a form of peer pressure involved; everybody pretends to believe so that nobody has to feel stupid. But I believe that journalists should be held to a higher standard; they have a obligation to the truth that should trump any concerns for 'fairness' or 'a good story.' If journalists won't say what they know to be true, then...what's the fucking point?
Let me take that idea a step farther. I know that you're probably preparing a counterargument that involves the idea of being 'balanced.' "Tell both sides of the story, and let people make up their own minds," seems to be the justification.
The problem there, ironically, is that when you present both sides of an argument equally, you actually take away the very tools we need to make up our own minds. If there is balance, then there is nothing to base a choice on. Like a donkey midway between two carrots, the reader can't really do anything but default to his preexisting beliefs. Small wonder then, that two people of opposing viewpoints can both read the same article and come away feeling that their beliefs were supported.
Let me quote you back at yourself:
"Do you want to leave the news to wealthy dilettantes or those with vested interests -- spin doctors, marketers and propagandists?"
In light of that, what on Earth am I to make of the fact that directly underneath your article was a piece by Christoph Kind on the benefits of naturopathy? Naturopathy isn't really all that ambiguous; it's pretty obviously composed of hucksters fighting for the right to make a buck as healers, even though the average restaurant manager probably has more insight into, say, allergies than Kind does. Kind also happens to be president of the B.C Naturopathic Association, and that sound you hear is the knife in Truth's back. All in the name of balance, I suppose.
I'm curious, Mr. Hume. What do you personally think of Christoph Kind and what he wrote? Are you willing to say it in print?
I Saw Her Again - The Mamas & The Papas
Will I get far in life?
Baby - Iggy Pop
How do my friends see me?
Drivin' Sister - Mott The Hoople
Where will I get Married?
Spade - Marilyn Manson
What is my best friend's theme song?
Son Of A Famous Man - Little River Band
What is the story of my life?
Don't Look Down - Lindsey Buckingham
What is/was highschool like?
Sympathy For The Devil - Rolling Stones
How can I get ahead in life?
Makin' Whoopie - Frank Sinatra
What is the best thing about me?
Oh! Sweet Nuthin' - The Velvet Underground
How is today going to be?
Keep Gettin It On - Marvin Gaye
What is in store for this weekend?
Trip Through Your Wires - U2
What song describes my parents?
Psychotic Girl - The Black Keys
To describe my grandparents?
Missing - Beck
How is my life going?
I Want You To Want Me - Cheap Trick
What song will they play at my funeral?
Show Some Emotion - Celine Dion
How does the world see me?
Dirt Road Blues - Bob Dylan
Will I have a happy life?
One Rainy Wish - Jimi Hendrix
What do my friends really think of me?
Plastic Fantastic Lover - Fleetwood Mac
Do people secretly lust after me?
Just Say Yeah - Jackson Browne
How can I make myself happy?
I'll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me - Expose
What should I do with my life?
Pilgrim - Enya (lol, definitely)
Will I ever have children?
Three Imaginary Boys - The Cure
What is some good advice for me?
Feel It Again - Honeymoon Suite
How will I be remembered?
Already Gone - The Eagles
What is my signature dancing song?
White Riot - The Clash
What do I think my current theme song is?
Stay Positive - The Hold Steady
What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Wicked Dreams - Elton John
What type of men/women do you like
Furr - Blitzen Trapper (LOLOLOLOLOLOL)
I got into it with Alex when he arrived, told him I wanted him to show up on time from now on and I didn't want to hear anything from him but 'OK Steve' and he asked me how many hours a week I spend playing solitaire in the office. (Answer: very few).
So I sort of went on an impromptu strike. They don't want to listen to me? OK, I'll just stop talking. I took a position on the coldtable station, and started making pizzas. Alex doesn't think I work my ass off? Let him deal with the customers and keep track of where everything goes when it comes out of the oven. I'm just standing over here, makin' the pizzas, thank you very much. Easiest job in the world.
Then there was Shannon the server, who's always really rude to me unless she needs help or wants to talk; then it's "Hey, Steve, buddy!" I'll try saying something to her, and she'll ignore me. So I'll say it louder, she'll still ignore me. So I say it even louder, and she'll say "Why are you yelling?"
I hate feeling like I don't exist, that's why. Here's a sad fact: If I'm walking down the street and I hear someone yell "Hey Steve!" I don't turn around because I assume they're calling to another Steve. And they usually are.
Well, now I'm depressed. So what happy news can I use to counter it?
Well, I went to get some prints developed at Fotofun (I'm getting my mom a framed print of this photo for her birthday), and the manager was giving away a lifesized cardboard display stand of Avril Lavigne. It was part of an advertising campaign for Canon, and it's pretty beautiful. I can't actually display it in my apartment, because Avril unfortunately isn't cool anymore (and I've never really considered posters of one's idols cool anyway) but it's still neat to have. Maybe I'll have a chance to get it signed one day, and can sell it on eBay. Here's hoping her career isn't over yet. I still think she has a lot of potential.
Meanwhile, I used one of my nights off to see the Spike and Mike festival of Sick And Twisted Animation, which I hadn't gone to for several years. In several ways, it felt like they'd made a break from previous shows.
For one thing, it was no longer at the Ridge theater. This year it was at the Rio, which I'd never gone to before and which up until now seemed to only cater to an Indian audience. Nice theater though; small-towny and old fashioned. I like theaters that still have balconies.
They also seem to have discontinued No Neck Joe. I didn't much miss it. I've only seen all of them about a dozen times after all.
The rest of the show was a mixed bag, as usual. Some new films, some repeats from previous shows. Some beautifully made, some not. Some stupid but incredibly funny, some just stupid. And one amazingly elegant and profound little film called The Crab Revolution.
Oh, and then there was The Furious Little Cinnamon Bun. "Grandma! What's all that noise?" "Oh that's nothing, Leland, that's just a little cinnamon bun who got very upset for no discernable reason and then ran into a little shaved-ice baby and killed it, so the other shaved-ices summoned the Great Dick in the Sky to hunt him down, and it injured him pretty good but he managed to run to Mexico where he thought he was safe so he ordered a Cerveza and then it came out of the sky and violently destroyed him. Go back to sleep." Hehehe.