Wednesday, September 29

Enemies, Episode 4

Tomorrow night we stage episode 4 of the improvisational soap opera Enemies. at the arts guild, at 8pm. Episodes 5 & 6 will occur on the next two following Thursdays.

This is the third season for Enemies. I was involved last year and enjoyed it enough to come back this year for another set of episodes. This year, most of the scenarios take place in Las Vegas.

Tonight's dress rehearsal went better than I expected. I am not one of those who believe a good dress rehearsal means a bad opening night. I think a good dress rehearsal means a good dress rehearsal.

Anyway, if you're looking for something to do, drop by and see the show.

Tuesday, September 28

I'll Have A Seven and Seven

Seven and seven. Is that the name of a drink? 7-Up and some brand of gin, perhaps?

Anyway, I went 7-7 last weekend in my football picks. Yay, I made it to 50%! I made to "Guessing Quality" picking!

I'll have to re-tune my picking strategy further. Last week I picked opposite to what I'd normally pick, even though on some games I was almost 100% certain I'd be wrong (and I was). By picking opposite, I did quite well on the games where I was unsure of the outcome.

So, this week, I'm going to go with my gut on those games that I think are certain of their outcome. And I'll stick with the Opposite Pick strategy on those games where the outcome is closer to a guess.

I'm on my way to a perfect pick week, I tell yas!

Sunday, September 26

Formula Lost

Jacques Villeneuve is my favourite race car driver.

Ever since, about a year ago, Jacques Villeneuve left Formula One racing, I've been checking TSN's Formula One racing page, hoping to someday see the headline that "Jacks is Back". Well, I was pleased to see that headline about a week or two ago, annoucing he's signed with Sauber-Petronas for the next two year. I wasn't so pleased that it was Sauber, a middling team at best, that he signed with. I was hoping it would be Renault. That displeasure was somewhat lessened though, when, the next day, it was announced that Jacques would finish out this year (3 more races) with Renault, starting with this weekend's race in China. (does that mean he was this >< close to signing a longer deal with Renault? If so, then boo hoo.) Still, be happy he'll be back, and enjoy the Renault racing this year.

So, despite that practically all interest and excitement in the season was long ago sucked up by Ferrari's dominance, I was looking forward to this race. Mostly just to see how JV would do. Trouble is, the time difference. I wasn't going to stay up until 3am to watch a race (last time I did that was when JV was challenging for World Driving Champion in '97). No problem, though. In the TV Guide, TSN was shown as repeating the broadcast at 9am Sunday morning (the usual time for Formula One racing on TSN). While it'd be nice to sleep in, I sacrificed that for the opportunity to watch the re-broadcast.

I got up at 8:30, made some coffee, surfed the internet for a bit (making sure not to visit any site where I thought the race's outcome would be shown). At 9, I turned on TSN, and there it was: Champ Car Series racing from Las Vegas, re-broadcast from last night. No Formula One. Bummer.

So, I go on the internet, contemplate searching for a bittorrent link to the race, decide that's just foolish, and ended up searching for the race results. By the sound of it, I didn't miss much of a race. And JV finished 11th. Ho hum.

Friday, September 24

NFL Picks - Opposite Day

This week, I attemp to better my (sad) 2-week-in-a-row 7-9 record by picking the exact opposite of who I pick as winners in the games this week. This week there are only 14 games scheduled, so I am aiming at going 8-6.

My Picks This Week will be ALL IN CAPITALS

NEW ORLEANS at St. Louis - I expect the Rams to win, so I will say the Saints will take this game.

PITTSBURGH at Miami - This is a tricky one. I always have to bet on the Dolphins, because they are my team. However, I expect the Steelers to win. However, I would have picked Dolphins. So, I have to pick Steelers to win.

CHICAGO at Minnesota - I am so sure that the Vikings will win this game that I expect Opposite Day to fail me on this pick.

Cleveland at NY GIANTS - This one could go either way. Normally, I'd pick the Browns because I'd kinda like them to be successful. Therefore, I pick the Giants.

Arizona at ATLANTA - First I all-capitalized Arizona, thinking that Atlanta would win this game. Then I thought for a moment: I bet this is a game where the Cardinals surprise and win. Therefore, I pick the Falcons.

Baltimore at CINCINATTI - There is no way that the Bengals will win this game. My pick: Bengals.

Philadelphia at DETROIT - In the past twenty years, have the Lioins ever started a season 3-0? Not in the last ten, and certainly not this year. Therefore, I pick them to win this game and go 3-0.

JACKSONVILLE at Tennessee - Quite simply, the Titans will win, so I'll pick the Jags.

HOUSTON at Kansas City - I gave the Texans two weeks to disappoint me. Each week I picked them to win, and each time they lost. This week, I cannot pick Houston to win, so, Houston wins.

SAN DIEGO at Denver - I couldn't possibly bet against the Broncos in this game: Chargers win.

GREEN BAY at Indianapolis - I am still proclaiming the Colts to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl this year. To that end, they will defeat a not-so-potent Packer team. My pick: Packers.

SAN FRANSISCO at Seattle - I cannot pick the 49ers again until they show me something, anything that gives me reason to pick them. They'll lose this game, so I'll pick them to win.

TAMPA BAY at Oakland - okay, I find it very hard to pick the Raiders, just because I don't like the team. However, I don't think the Bucs can beat them at home. I pick the Bucs to beat them.

DALLAS at Washington - I had a hard time picking who I thought would win this game. I decided on the Redskins and that's why I'm going with the Cowboys this week.

So, there they are. The picks that are opposite to what I would normally pick. 8 and 6, here I come. It's guaranteed. Maybe even 9 and 5. That's right, I'm THAT bad at picking, normally.

Thursday, September 23

Do This, Then Do That

For the past couple of months, I've been daily driving by the site where Sears is being built. I've been seeing all the workers, some in their machines, some on the road, others in other places. Mostly they seem busy.

Lately I've been wondering how it is they remain busy. Are they each told, each day, what they are expected to accomplish? When the bulldozer guy, for instance, goes to work in the morning, does he have a good idea of what he's going to be doing that day, or does he wait to find out from a foreman what his job is? Is the bulldozer guy in fact a "bulldozer guy"? Or does he somedays work the bulldozer, and other days pour concrete?

Who is it that decides these things, and how early in the process are they decided?What if bulldozer guy calls in sick?

What if foreman calls in sick?

Is it stressful work, or just tedious hard work, or both?

Will I be able to sleep tonight?

What A Great Ass!!

Today, I was wondering how the world would be different if, through whatever means necessary for it to be possible, some of our thoughts were randomly broadcast out loud to those around us. Kind of like a bull-horn type affair.

Because it'd be random, one would never know when or what thoughts would be amplified. Would people have learned to adapt, to keep those dangerous or embarrassing thoughts tamped down in their brains in some way? Or would the world be more accepting of these random audible bursts of thought? Would we become more thick-skinned or thin-skinned people?

Having given practically no thought to this, I think people would have learned to keep thoughts like "boy is that guy ever ugly" from happening, for fear of that thought being a random burst. I also think we'd be a more sexually liberated society, because we'd be hearing people's thoughts like "Great ass!". I think we'd be a more honest society. Whether that'd be good or bad, I don't really know.

Would we have more friends or less friends?

Tuesday, September 21

I Am Seven of Nine

Well, really, seven of sixteen. Yes, once again I manage to get 7 correct picks out of a potential 16. Yes, that is a statistic that is less than random guessing would have garnered.

But I'm not gonna give up. In fact, I'm gonna take the opportunity each week (until I get bored with the whole affair - kinda like my Word of the Day posts) to test out different approaches and theories in regards to picking winning football teams.

So, this week and last, I tried to pick who would win each game. Each time I got 7 out of 16 correct. For the upcoming weekend, I am going to pick who I think will win each game, and then present the opposite team as the winner. This should net me a third week record of 9-16.

Let the experimental picking begin.

Sunday, September 19

...And Many More!!!

Lordy, lordy, look who's 39.

Yes, today is my 39th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Thirty-nine sounds like an 'old' age to be. I don't have the "oh my god, what have I done/will I do with my life, I need to leave my mark" panic that some people do around this point in their lives. The only regret or sadness I have is that my body has aged more than my mind. In my brain, I still feel like a twenty-seven year old (the pinnacle age to be, I suppose), but my body tells me otherwise. I'm the anti-Dorian Gray. Sometimes, I walk by a mirror and I think "who the hell is that old geezer?". And I think the regret is there because I still believe that I could reverse the trend. There's still time to get healthier.

So, it's not the "time's running out, when will I write that great novel" neuroses that occupies my mind. It's more a sighing of "I couldn't play a competitive set of tennis now".

The "write a novel, quick!" panic will likely strike next year when I turn four-oh-my-god. By that time, of course, I'll have completely given up the belief that I can still improve my body and physical health, and all I'll have left are frettings over more intellectual pursuits.

Saturday, September 18

That's A Sump-a Pump-a!

It's been so long since I posted a plumbing related post.

Lately, I've been noticing/ignoring the fact that when it rains, our sump pump seems to stay on for an inordinately long period of time before it finally shuts itself off. Last week, or longer ago, whenever we had our last substantial rain, I noticed that the sump pump wasn't shutting itself off.

Down into the belly of the beast's basement I go, and fiddle around with sump pump. By "fiddle around" I mean "push on some things and pull on others". Still, the sump pump's engine purred right along. "Hmm, prolly a blockage of some sort", I think, as I note that the water-level doesn't seem to be lowering for all the pump's work.

So, I unplug the power, unhook the connector so that I can remove the pump from the sump hole. Removing the connector results in a large and lovely spray of dirty, stinky sump-water onto my pants. No big deal, that's part of home-ownership. I take the sump pump out onto the back deck and take some of it apart. "Hmm, no noticible blockage", I think. I put the thing back together and re-install it in the sump hole.

Since the water level wasn't rising, I left it and forgot about.

Well, today, the sky's opened up and a deluge of water causes our sump-hole to fill up. At around 7pm, my wife asks "is the sump pump s'posed to stay on that long?" "How long?" I ask. "Ten minutes." Oh shit.

Down to the basement I run, and sure enough, the sump pump's a-purrin' away, and there's water evacuating itself from the hole, onto our basement floor.

Time for quick action. I call for my wife and son to start bailing water into receptacles, and I head out to Canadian Tire (remember when CT wasn't open on Saturday evenings? When it'd be impossible to buy a new sump pump on a Saturday night) and pick up a new sump pump.

Come home, wife and son still bailing (and barely losing the battle), quickly (but not really quickly enough) hook up the new pump. Situate it properly in the hole (you should situate your pump into a plastic container, so that it's not on the actual floor of the hole. This keeps sludge and dirt from causing blockages), and turn the thing on.

I tell ya, it sucked up the water in that hole like it was a Danish hooker: Fast and absolutely worth the 70 bucks.

A little bit of start/stop-level adjustment on the pump's ball, and we're in business.

Friday, September 17

A Second Week of Self-Flagellation

Despite a first week score of 7-9 (a .438 percentage), and the vow to never pick again, I feel compelled to attempt to vindicate myself. Therefore, here are my NFL picks for week two. WINNER in all caps.

St. Louis at ATLANTA - Both teams are now undefeated. The one thing I can guarantee is that neither will be undefeated for long. In fact, the once-might Rams will only have a few more hours to enjoy their perfects-so-far season. The Falcons will have about 7 more days before the '72 Dolphins can stop worrying about Atlanta threatening their Perfect Season.

WASHINGTON at N.Y. Giants - It's still early, but I may have to re-evaluate my stance on the Redskins' potential this year. Perhaps Portis was their missing ingredient. While I still expect them to fall apart before season's end, they'll take it to the Giants this weekend.

SAN FRANCISCO at New Orleans - Here's the question regarding this game. This week, was Hurricane Ivan more a distraction to the Saints than not having a quarterback was to the 49'ers. I'm saying San Fran wins only because the Saints were more concerned with the blowing Ivan this week than they were the sucking 49'ers.

Carolina at KANSAS CITY - Are people expecting the Panthers to do good this year? I think people are thinking that. I don't know 'bout that, but I do know it's tough to win in KC. The Chiefs should have won last week. They'll do so this week.

DENVER at Jacksonville - I don't know why, but I find it hard to bet on the Jags to win. I'm not a big fan of Denver, but I suspect they'll do okay.

Chicago at GREEN BAY - I am so confident that the Packers will beat the Bears that I fully expect the Bears to prevail. Not really, but maybe. Still, I'm picking Packers.

HOUSTON at Detroit - I am giving the Texans one more week - this one - before I bail on them as the surprise team of the season. If they don't beat the Lions, they simply don't deserve that recognition.

INDIANAPOLIS at Tennessee - I'm still thinking the Colts will be in the SuperBowl this year (yes, I expect the Patriots to finally fail. Damn I hate their skillful flukiness.), and they should handle the Titans this weekend. In fact, I really wouldn't want to be the Titans this weekend. I expect big numbers from the Colts offense.

PITTSBURGH at Baltimore - How many losses will the Ravens get before people stop calling them a SuperBowl contending team. After this weekend, they'll be 0-2. Will that be enough for people to start jumping off the bandwagon. Yep, it will.

SEATTLE at Tampa Bay - The "we scored!" pirate cannon won't be going off very often for the Buccaneers this weekend. Seattle should win this one.

NEW ENGLAND at Arizona - The only time I want to capitalize the Patriots name is when I write I HATE THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS. Still, only a fool (or someone who performs worse than .438 in the first week) would bet against that Pats in this game. (watch out for the Cardinals victory!)

Cleveland at DALLAS - They lost last week, but I still think they're gonna be a contending team this year. Cowboys over Browns at home. Sounds good to me.

NY JETS at San Diego - I was so close to going the other way on this one. Mostly, though, because I 'want' the Jets to fail more than I 'expect' them too. The Chargers surprised me last week. Maybe their decade of funk is coming to an end. I'll be so happy to be wrong about this pick.

BUFFALO at Oakland - I'm a sucker when it comes to the Raiders. I so want them to lose that I'll even pick against them in games where I really think they'll win, like this one. Okay, the Bills may win, but not likely. Still, I'm picking Bills because the football gods may read this blog and my pick may end up being a factor in the outcome.

MIAMI at Cincinatti - Straight up, I'll tell you that I pick the Dolphins when I shouldn't because they're my team (and because of that football gods thing from above). Still, if there's any hope to having a respectable season, they're gonna have to win a game like this one. I honestly expect the Dolphins to win this weekend.

Minnesota at PHILADELPHIA - When games like this are imagined, people expect a high-scoring, fun and wild game. The result is usually a low-scoring sombre affair. Not this time. Both teams are gonna light it up this week, and this'll be the game of the week. Eagles win because of home field advantage.

My goal for this weekend it to get my average above .500. Note, above .500, not at .500. Therefore I need to go 10-6 in my picks to get me to 17-15 for the season.

Piece of cake.

It Didn't Work, My Nemesis

Yes, I got in the car this morning and drove to work, my nemesis.

Yes, I pulled out onto the busy Route 2 into Charlottetown, my nemesis.

Yes, my brakes failed, my nemesis.

No, I didn't die, my nemesis.

Your attempt to have me killed by cutting my brake lines failed.


A couple of days ago, the brake warning light came on, on the car's dashboard. Took it to our mechanic (it's kind of nice to have a mechanic who knows you by name. Not so nice when he has your contact phone number practically memorized), and he topped up the brake fluid. Said "if the light comes on again, you'll probably have to get it repaired'.

Last night, the brakes were working perfectly. This morning... no brakes. Or, barely any brakes. Interestingly, though, the brake warning light did not come on this time. It's rather discomforting to come up to the intersection of Route 2 and the Ch'town Bypass, and your brakes can only muster to coast you to an eventual stop. Discomforting, indeed.

By the way, I don't think I have any nemesis (or nemesii?). Unless you can call 'debt' a nemesis. If so, then that nemesis is killing me slowly.

Wednesday, September 15

It's Been An Amazing Race

I don't know if anybody who reads this has been watching the best reality show on television this season, but Amazing Race 5 has had some great moments so far this year. Whatever show would have a commonplace sceneario like this: start the episode in New Zealand, where a contestant has to climb (for safety, tethered to a rope themselves) a 70 foot rope ladder hanging under a bridge across a river. Once done, traverse across a couple of steel girders under same bridge, then throw themselves off the bridge to the boat waiting below. Then scurry off to Manila where you have to decorate a specialized vehicle, then take that vehicle to a farm where you must use an ox and plow to search for a clue tied to a rope. Finally, race to the 'pit stop' where you may or may not be eliminated.

And it's like that every episode. Fantastic.

Early on in the season, L'il Churna and Smirnoff, the midget and motormouth, were the team you loves to hate. So happy to see them go, so sorry to not have them around anymore to hate (fortunately, someone took their place on the hate plate). There are not many opportunities on television for "little people" to be represented as something other than circus performers or oddities (Kramer's friend on Seinfeld was the only other example I could think of), so it was nice to see Smurna (don't remember her name) being so "normal". Too bad she was saddled with such a bitchy-bitch. Spurna the Taller was an awful person and the little one was seen as awful mostly by association. Get her on a team with a more civilised person and she'd be loved by all, I'm sure. I loved when the cripple-creek brothers yelled "Bitch" in one episode as the devil and her minion drove by. Cut to their car: "Did someone just call me a bitch?!" Priceless.

Now there are four teams remaining as the 2 hour finale looms next week. Last night's episode had me hooting and hollering for joy at the television as perhaps the most ignorant, mean, selfish, petulant reality show player ever finally got a bit of comeuppance. "Oh my god...I hate you" exhaled Colin, defeated, to an ox and/or his mentally abused (and rather useless) girlfriend. To see him trudging through the mud, screaming and lost and desperate and psychotic...that was a wonderful few moments of television. The episode where he almost got arrested because he (wrongly) (arrogantly) refuesed to pay a cabbie the moeny he agreed was classic. I hope they don't win. He is a Total Asshole.

As awful as Colin is, humanity's redemption is shown in the presence of Chip. He's gotta be the perfect reality show contestant. He's a good player of the game, but his (wonderful) personality keeps getting in the way of his success. Kind and generous to a fault, smart, fun, entertaining, empathetic, it's obvious he fully understands what is important in his life, and he won't (can't) let the game ruin his outlook. More than any other contestant, he is taking full advantage of the wonderful opportunities this game provides him. He is respectful of his surroundings and is genuinely thrilled to be wherever he is. His wife Kim seems to have a nice outlook as well, but she's a useless tit as far as her participation in the team effort. I hope they win.

The Bowling Moms, as they're called, are inexplicably still in contention. They are, without question, the most boring team going. I still have no idea who or what they are. They are Fly-Under-The-Radar people, I guess. They're the "oh, are you still here" people at a party. They are vacant of personality, unless you define personality as shrieks and whines and bemoaning of their poor lot in the game. To get to the final four, they haven't so much succeeded as they've not failed as much as the teams that have lost before them. I hope they don't win. If they do, it will most likely be by default, rather than by anything special they do.

The Christian models are a puzzle. They seem genuinely nice, but their faith in the lord really bugs me. I don't understand the logic of someone who claims they'll succeed because God has given them the tools to succeed. Are they saying God gave you the tools, but not Chip and Kim? Why did He refuse those tools to Chip and Kim, or to the Moms? I also got angry at their vanity a couple of weeks ago when they refused (even though it meant they'd likely lose the game) to get their hair cut off. Are you kidding? Still, they're likable enough and if Chip and Kim don't win, I hope they do. Let's pray that they do, shall we?.

I expect Colin and Christie (Miss Christie, you make good victim) will win. But I so don't want them to.

What a great show.


I've been a fan of Mark Ramsey's movie review site MovieJuice for a while.

He's a sharp writer and packs a lot of funny lines and smart sarcasm into his reviews. Even with movies he likes, he enjoys taking pot shots at the stars and movie business in general.

If you like snarky, funny writing, and if you like movies, I'd be surprised if you didn't like MovieJuice. Check it out.

Here's a sample of his style from his review of "Skycaptain..."

"Aleht the amphibious squadron!" says Angelina Jolie. Never has an actress uttered more silly British commands than Jolie, who captains the all-female amphibians like synchronized swimmers with guns. "Ready assholt teams!" she yells. "Ahm clusteh tohpedoes and stick clewse to unit fohmation!" she commands. "Retuhn my Oscah to the Academy with my profoundest apohlogies!" she shouts. With her little military cap and her black uniform, Angie looks like she should be handling Jude Law's luggage.

Tuesday, September 14

Picked Off

Well, I got 7 picks right out of a possible 16.

With much shame, I vow to give up publicly prognosticating football games for good. Or at least for the season.

Monday, September 13

Is It That Simple?

Last night's Six Feet Under was, for the most part, amazing.

A couple of plot points that were a bit too soap-opera in their melodramatic unbelievability. But such great melodramatic unbelievability.

Some absolutely incredible scenes. The scene where Rico apologizes was perfect. The scene where Late Nate and David talk, fantastic. Yes, David, it is that simple "You can do anything, you lucky bastard, you're alive." The scene where Nate comes home, wonderful.

Overall, the season was miss and hit. It started out pretty rough (compared to its previous seasons' standards) but by mid-season was finding its stride again.

I didn't really like the whole Claire arc this season. She turned into an art-school asshole.

It will be far too long until next season begins.

You Don't Belong Here!

My first day of school. Grade One. Very nervous. I believe we may have been a few minutes late. My mother takes me into the school, asks somebody where I go. Somebody points to a room. My mother leads me to the room. I go in. Door closes. I stand by the door. The teacher stops talking to the class. Everyone stares at me.

"Who are you?", she asks.

"Robert MacDonald" I say.

She looks at her book.

"You don't belong here!" she demands.


I begin to cry. "I know" I think to myself. "I belong at home, watching Sesame Street and Mr. Dressup." I cried some more.

She shoos me out the door. In the hallway, I see my mother. She and another woman are laughing and drinking martinis, pointing at me. I get directed to another room and enter.

A wonderful piece of fuzz, softly and gently floating at the head of the class, asks me my name. I tell her. Her fluffiness embraces me and makes me feel welcome.

Thank you Mrs. McDonald for accepting me when I needed a place to belong.

Okay, so the martinis and the piece of fluff thing were made up, but they do illustrate my emotional state at the time.

Saturday, September 11

Are You Ready For Some Football!!

It's time for me to start my season of guessing who's gonna win each NFL football game. My goal is to be at 60 percent correct at the end of the year. I'll be guessing, I mean, calculating my picks on win or lose, not against the spread.

The first game of the season was Thursday night. I picked the Colts to beat the Patriots. So, I'm 0 and 1 so far.

Here are my picks for the rest of this week, with comments when I have something to add:

Indianapolis @ New England - Colts to win (I was wrong. I'm scared that the Pats may be better than they were last year.

Tennessee @ Miami - Miami wins. (Miami is expected to be pitiful this year. I expect them to surprise. I'll say they get to the playoffs. How? I have no idea at the moment.)

San Diego @ Houston - Houston wins. (The Chargers will continue to suck. The Texans will continue to surprise)

Baltimore @ Cleveland - Ravens win.

Detroit @ Chicago - Chicago wins. (only because one of these two schmucks has to win)

Jacksonville @ Buffalo - Buffalo wins. (I don't know how the Jags stack up this year, but I expect them to fail. The Bills have got to be better than they were last year. They're on their way to healing)

Tampa Bay @ Washington - The Buccanneers will win. (The Redskins will once again this year prove that money doesn't necessarily equal success)

Arizona @ St. Louis - The Rams win. (they better enjoy it. Wins will be scarce for St. Louis this year)

Oakland @ Pittsburgh - The Steelers will win (I hate the Raiders. They are the Heavy Metal Music of football)

Cincinatti @ NY Jets - Jets win. (Hate to say it, but the Jets will be a good team this year)

Seattle @ New Orleans - Seahawks win

Atlanta @ San Francisco - The Falcons win. (SF will continue to plummet from the quality team they were a couple of years ago)

NY Giants @ Philadelphia - Eagles win

Dallas @ Minnesota - Dallas wins (I expect Dallas to be as good as they surprisingly were last year)

Kansas City @ Denver - The Broncos will win, because it's their home game. (should be a good game)

Green Bay @ Carolina - Panthers win (the Brett Favre era will be shown to be over this year.)

Tears On A Pillow

Of all the musical performances I've heard and/or seen, without question Bruce Springsteen's performance of My City Of Ruin on the televised Tribute to Heroes broadcast had the biggest impact on me.

I couldn't comprehend how he could sing that song without breaking down and crying, a mere week after the attacks. I was in awe of his professionalism. And, moreso, I was in awe of the song. At the time, I hadn't realised that it was a song on his upcoming album, and I thought he had written it specifically for the broadcast. Under that belief, I was amazed at how he could have written such a beautifully poetic and powerful song, so close to the event (I thought) it described.

Even knowing that it was written before the attacks, I am no less amazed at how beautiful and poetic it is. It was perfect. It opened the show, and it was a perfect performance. I cried when I heard it on that broadcast, and I still get teary-eyed practically every time I listen to it. No other song even comes close to eliciting that kind of reaction from me.

I know it's corny and ultimately worthless, but:

On this anniversary, my heart goes out to the friends and families of those who lost their lives as a result of those attacks.

It also goes out to the friends and families of those innocent Iraqis, and of the 1000+ soldiers, who've lost their lives as a result of the mis-guided retaliation of those attacks. And to those innocent Iraqis whose lives have been saved as a result of that mis-guided retaliation.

Friday, September 10

The Libary

Confession time.

It's been years since I've stepped foot in a libary.

As the computer has gradually taken up more and more of my spare time, and since I spend all day reading and writing, I find it more and more difficult to set aside time to read. And any reading I do is reading of a book or magazine I've purchased. My reasons, then, to enter a libary have dwindled to, well, none.

This is my great shame, I suppose.

The last time I entered a libary, I was looking for a book for my son, who was probably 4 or 5 at the time. So, that's like 6 years ago.

At that time, I was looking for some material for him to read, or (probably, since he probably wasn't quite able to read yet) for me to read to him. One of my favourite early-school year reads was the Noddy series of books, by Enid Blyton, so I thought I'd look for some at my local libary.

The libary didn't have them. Or maybe they were signed out.

Anyway, I left the libary with my Noddy. And I haven't been back since.

There. There's my libary story. And, yes, I know how to spell it. I choose not to.


Just so stuntmen and key grips can keep their jobs, my family went to see Hero last night at the gigantic movie complex where one's snacks end up costing as much as a Swiss Chalet meal.

The movie is gorgeous, both visually and poetically, and I appreciated the morality and philosohy it contained. I recommend it to everyone.

My only criticism is that, during the wonderfully balletic battles between adversaries, the danger of death/dying seemed to be largely absent. I enjoyed watching them as pieces of art and movement, but they lacked the notion of consequence. As such, it made it difficult to invest my emotions in the outcome of each battle.

But that's a minor quibble. A wonderful movie, in my opinion.

Tuesday, September 7

Enemies - Season 3

Had my first rehearsal for Enemies, an improvised soap opera, last night. It will run for three consecutive Thursdays at the ARTS Guild, beginning Sep.30. This year, most of the action takes place in Las Vegas, so we're hoping it's a big, bright, glittery production.

I was involved, last summer, in the second season of the show, and it was a fun, interesting, challenging experience. This year should be likewise.

Basically, what happens is we are given a pretty detailed (6-7 pages each) synopsis of the three episodes (written by Sean McQuaid). We then spend the rehearsal process familiarizing ourselves with the necessary plot points, improvising as we go along. The goal is to have a quasi-improvised performance of each episode. The challenge is to familiarize ourselves enough with the plot so that we all know where we are headed in the scene/episode, yet not so much that we lock ourselves into any scripted dialogue. We want to know where we're going, but we don't want to really know how we get there.

I'll be directing, and acting in this season's episodes. Also performing will be Graham Putnam, Carly Martin, Joey Weale (all returning with me from season two), and (returning from season one) Patty Larsen.

Mmmm, Cheeseburger...

Just gotta say...without question, the best cheeseburgers in Charlottetown are found at Cedar's Eatery.

Without question. Go ahead, prove me wrong.

Sunday, September 5

Musical Moment #4

I remeber it perfectly.

It was a Friday night and I was sitting on the couch at my friend Wade's house. His parents weren't home and we were listening to CBC on the radio. The Piano Has Been Drinking came on and I remember it was like a wonderful slap in the face. Huh? He's not playing the piano very well, missing a lot of notes, and his singing is like someone who's chewed a hundred razor blades. What the hell kind of music is this? I loved it.

That was my introduction to Tom Waits. I immediately (well, the next day, let's say) went and bought his The Asylum Years compilation double-album and was hooked, utterly and completely. I remember Colin (the guy who introduced me to The Clash, and whom I subsequently introduced to Hank Williams) saying that I was out of my mind for liking this guy. In fact, he was ashamed that would even suggest that he listen to John Waite. No, it's Tom Waits and you'll love it. And he did. We were two Parkdale PEI boys discovering a shared love of music, and spent the next year or so bringing new (to us) music to each other's attention. Wade's impression of Tom Waits: Meh.

Over the years, there've been a handful of artists whose records I'd buy irregardless. Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, R.E.M.... I gave up on REM first I think. I hung on to Elvis Costello longer than I should have, but eventually stopped getting his stuff automatically too.

Tom Waits, though. Album comes out. Rob buys it. I think he's the only artist now I trust to do that.

Friday, September 3

Musical Moment #3

Ramblin' Man - Hank Williams

So, I had my Beatles obsession. I was working through all that punk. Naturally, from there, I turned 180 degrees around and became instantly enamoured with Hank Williams when I heard this song. I was wallpapering a bedroom with my father, and there was a Hank Williams album playing. I wasn't really paying much attention to it, though, because as a punk, country was not cool, guv'nah. This song, though, made me re-evaluate what I was going to choose to listen to. I credit this song, Hank Williams in general (and later, George Jones) for turning the light on in my brain that said "listen to whatever the hell you like. If you like it, listen to it."


Show's over.

Last night was the first Thursday night in the past 9 weeks where a roomful of people wasn't laughing at me. Instead of singing "I'm Glad She's Dead" as Moe Gorman, at 9:40 last night, I was watching Canadian Idol whomever-singing-whatever. Of course, I should have been at rehearsals for "Enemies", but I was too sick to go.

I much prefer Moe's rendition of "Phillip Arsenault's A Real Arsehole" to Josh (or was it Jason?) Greeley's rendition of whatever-it-was-that-song-that-he-sang-was.