Monday, January 31

A City In Transition?

Please, Charlottetown, if you have any life left in you, you will provide your citizens with a viable, working public transit system.

Here is a link that takes you to a Charlottetown transit survey.  Please fill it out in support of public transit.

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Saturday, January 29

Singizzle in the Rizzle

Singing in the Rain meets Hip Hop meets computer wizardry.
Check out this quicktime video.  The coolest thing I've seen so far today.
I must say, I was disappointed at the end when I discovered it was an automobile advertisement.

The Office - American Style

I saw an early copy of the pilot episode of upcoming NBC sitcom The Office.  This is, of course, based on the BBC original, which many, including myself, believe to be the best comedy program ever shown on television.
When I heard that "America" was going to be re-envisioning the series, I immediately thought "well, that'll suck".  Turns out I was right.
The pilot was pretty bad.  It looks good, and the script is good (basically the same as the first episode of the BBC version, but Americanized), but the acting and direction (barely) miss the mark.  Even though they barely miss, it's enough to derail the whole thing.
The direction:  It's supposed to be shot as if it's a documentary on the goings-on at an paper-supply office.  I noticed that there seemed to be too many cuts and edits between characters in many scenes.  Close up on Character A as he talks, cut to close up on Character B as she responds, cut to a different angle on Character A again.  I began to wonder where all these "documentary cameras' were.  It really lessens the belief that this is supposed to be documenting the day. 
The BBC version got it right: two camera angles at most for any scene, and cutting between characters was employed sparingly.  The pacing of the show was, not surprisingly, too rushed.  One of the successes of the British original was their willingness to linger on scenes, at both their beginning and end of scenes.  This version cuts to the chase too much.  And even the main content of many of the scenes seems like it's being rushed through. 
The script for the pilot episode was pretty good, but it ultimately fails because it doesn't make the boss character (I forget the character's name in this version, but the David Brent character) vulgar and desperate enough.  Too, he is portrayed more as a simpleton buffoon, whereas the BBC character was a buffoon, but not a simpleton.  I think what makes David Brent such a compelling asshole is that you get a sense that, deep down he knows exactly how pathetic he is.  I didn't get that feeling at all with this version.  Steve Carrell (formerly of The Daily Show) plays him a bit too much (not much, but a bit too not much) like his simpleton character from Anchorman.  He is completely oblivious to how much an asshole he is (and, actually, the script doesn't allow him to be enough of an asshole).
The acting:  The acting is so close to being good.  But they just can't quite seem convincing enough that they are the characters they're portraying and not in fact, actors playing these characters.  There is very little suggestion of history between the characters, not much chemistry.

It's not fair to compare the two series, especially when the BBC version got it perfect, but it can't be helped.  Still, there are all kinds of North Americans who haven't seen the original and who will come to this version with fresh eyes.  What will they think of it?
Well, there's no laugh track, so that will confuse America, and there are no joke-jokes, really, so America won't know what to laugh at, specifically.  An essential element of the show seems to be missing - that being the need to allow the uncomfortableness in scenes to breathe.

This show will not be allowed to last.

Thursday, January 27

Is This Job For You?

On the off-chance that someone who reads this might be suited for and enjoy this job, here's some info on a new position opening up at Magic 93, 630 CFCY & 720 CHTN radio in Charlottetown.

Promotions Director
It’s a full time, year round entry level position.
Articulate, energetic, enthusiastic, creative, outgoing, and ambitious with a positive attitude.  Loves people and the limelight.  Thinks driving the van in a parade or emceeing a talent show would be a blast and can “go professional” and help an organization develop a promotion to meet their marketing needs.
The successful candidate will possess above average time management, customer service, organizational, communications and writing skills.  A university degree or college diploma in marketing would be a definite asset.

Duties to include:

Promotion co-ordination and support:  including logistics and POS design and layout
      (posters, ballots, display)

Research and develop successful promotions and events

Liaison between sales and other departments in regards to sales and promotional activity

Supervise summer community cruiser/ambassador program

Attend events and file on air reports

Attend occasional client meetings to assist in promotion preparation

Position requires proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Power Point, Corel Draw, Microsoft Publisher.

Resumes should be submitted by January 31st to:

Heather Tedford

General Sales Manager

CFCY, CHTN, Magic 93

5 Prince Street

Charlottetown, PEI

C1A 4P4

Or emailed to:

Human Being 0.4 beta

We’ve been living in our home for almost 15 years, and in all that time, I’ve never been up into our attic/crawlspace.  I’ve peeked a few times, but I’ve not gone up into that space.

Until yesterday.  And boy am I glad I did.

When I got up there, I saw an old crate.  Old old.  Curious, I opened it and I’m amazed at what I saw.  Notes, written on what I’m guessing is papyrus, now barely legible.  They are written in a language that looks unfamiliar to me.

They are written by God. Yeah huh.

After a sleepless night of entering the strange characters into the online babelfish translator, I’ve finally finished the transcription.  The notes appear to be God’s notations on how to improve the piece he was working on at the time:  Human Being.  Apparently, the Human Beings we are today are only an early beta version, and it seems like God had bigger and better plans for us.  Yet, for whatever reasons, these suggested improvements never were implemented.

Still, I thought some of you might be interested at what God had in mind to improve Human Being from beta to Final Version.  I won’t bother with all of them, because frankly, many of the notes are merely chemical equations or too far advanced for human comprehension.

Here, then, are some of the more interesting of God’s notes:

Arms – make them retractable?  Would be good for sleeping, as I notice that the arms can sometimes get in the way of sleep-comfort. How would that affect the ability to keep string-strap camisoles up though? Make shoulders more pointy?  Acceptable retraction speed?  0.1 seconds should be fast enough. Need to be that fast so when HB falls out of bed, arms will spring back out quick enough to cushion fall.

Fingers – Five too many?  Thumb definitely stays, but how about just three fingers, for a total of four?  I can’t envision any need for the pinky, other than the pinky ring and maybe for drinking elegantly from tea cups.  But, with just four, the current ring finger becomes the pinky ring finger.  But only four fingers would make My soon to be patented Penticimal Mathematics System ™ more difficult to figure out.  Hmm?

Head – Pretty good as is.  Thinking about adding third eye, on the back of head, to see behind oneself.  How would that affect hairdos though?  Put third eye on back of neck?  Would that eliminate collared shirts?  Would that be so bad? 
Nose- for maximum smell-efficiency, need to extrude from face as is currently, however it really ruins, in My opinion, the smooth lines of a profile.  Maybe I should just go with my original plan and put the nose down by the feet.  Then one’s nose would really smell.  LOL.  Trouble is, if one's nose is down by one's feet, the nose would likely run more.  LOL.
Mouth- good shape, good size.  If total-liquid-waste idea (see below) goes into effect, might only need to be the size of a straw-hole opening.  Curious that it takes so many more muscles to smile than to frown. 
Ears- Two is good for hearing left or right, but what about hearing in front or behind oneself?  I think there should be four or even 5.1 for a total surround sound system.   Should I give HB the ability to hear like dogs?  If so, then what would HB have to be jealous of regarding dogs?  Genital licking?  Why not just make HB able to lick own genitals?  I don’t believe the old wives’ tale that if so, HB would never leave home.  Why not just put an extra tongue down there, anyway?  You know, just for because.  Would cost be that much more prohibitive?

Waste – Not at all happy with current system.  Waste is an unfortunate, necessary byproduct of HB (the old adage does apply: If sustenance goes in, it’s gotta come out somehow).  Ideally, all waste should be able to be broken down into liquid-form and easily discharged as pee (still not sure whether both male and female should get their own penis. Female HB urination can currently get messy.  Especially when camping).  Forget all that inner-workings of anus stuff.  Far too messy.  (however, might be worthwhile to keep anus around, as the whole back-package is rather pleasing, aesthetically.  Wonder, though, is anus too close to the impregnate-hole?  Might be a cause of reproduction-confusion, in the dark.  Probably nothing to concern Myself with.  Can’t imagine it being an issue.)

Genitalia – Make the penis, generally, bigger, longer, wider.  Especially if all waste ends up coming out there.  Reproduction process looks pleasant enough, but will it end up being too much work?  Be a shame for HB to extinct itself due to laziness.  Alternative reproduction methods?  Orally? Everyone’s got a mouth, right.  Maybe I should just drop the whole Male Impregnates Female system and go with something more simple.  What if semen is found naturally, in food?  Ugh.  Maybe I should put more thought into the Stork System of Child Delivery.  For now, it’ll remain as is:  penis into anus vagina.  (that’s it, I’m moving the anus farther away.  But where?  Back of knee? Armpit?  Where the bellybutton currently is seems like a logical place, why haven’t I thought of that before?  Shitting out of the stomach seems like the perfect solution, but what trouble-points am I missing? What’s the purpose of the bellybutton anyway?… man, there’s a lot of work still to be done before this goes Final Version)

Tuesday, January 25

Try To Be Nice To Everyone

A Beautiful video for Grandaddy's "Nature Anthem".

It made me feel good.

Guilt Free Blow Job

Having been raised by parents who choose a hard-day's work over paying someone else to do it, I always have a tinge of guilt whenever I contract out some of the household chores we are faced with. I hate mowing the lawn and in the past have paid a neighbourhood kid to do it, even though I feel like it should be me. Now that my son is of lawn-mowing age, the job now passes to him, and I don't mind paying him to mow.

My father is a very handy man, always was, and continues to be so even at his advancing age. Because he always did home repairs himself, I have a hard time calling a plumber or carpenter to do a job that I feel I should probably attempt myself. (Un)Fortunately, I realise that I don't have the skills or knowledge of a handyman and often, when I do attempt some pretty basic stuff, it usually ends badly, and so that makes the phone calls to fixit people a bit easier.

Trouble is, once one begins to call repair people, it becomes a bit of a habit and one begins to rely on their services to accomplish more and more. If I'm not careful, I'll soon be calling a contractor to come and replace the roll of toilet paper in our bathroom everytime it runs out.

With the hard-work ethics of my ancestors in my head, a good-enough back, sturdy legs and a general-enough knowledge of how things should be repaired (but not the ability to carry repairs out) I should not rely so much on others (not that I do anyway, but I should do so even less).

And so, this year, as winter began to show its full force, I vowed to do my own driveway shovelling this year, even though it's so easy (and not that expensive) to get a 'professional' to clear it.

Yesterday, though, the decision was easy. A 9 foot high, 15 foot long drift behind our car, combined with a 7 foot high, 10 foot long drift at the end of our driveway is just insanity. So, a 5pm call to our neighbourhood snowblower, and by 9:30 last night, the driveway was cleared.

Wonderful. And guilt free.

But not to worry. I'll be shovelling, as promised, until another major storm hits the neighbourhood.

Friday, January 21

It Was A Scream

Last night, during the storm, four of the island-dwelling Sketch 22 members performed a half-hour gig at UPEI. It may have been the only event not cancelled.

We performed at The Wave for an alumni fundraiser. The Wave is not a good place to perform sketch comedy when the only means of voice amplification is one's own vocal chords. It is basically a big empty concrete and steel room with acoustics that are dead. That means when one speaks, the sound waves, immediately upon leaving one's mouth, dissipate into nothingness. To combat this, one must scream. Unless you're Sam Kinison, screaming lines of comedy is not the ideal method.

Fortunately, it was only a half hour of screaming our lines, and even then the crowd seemed to enjoy us more than I thought they would. The crowd was an odd mix of old fuddy-duddy wallets and around-my-age keeners. We were introduced as improv performers, and I'm sure many of the people had no idea who or what we were, but there were plenty of laughs.

We performed

-Wessie Doucette and The Tyne Valley Motivational Experience

-Moe Gorman (Moe wrote a new song just for the event)

-The Right Eloquent Island

-Road Crew (the musical)

Tomorrow night, we perform at the Confederation Centre for Madly Off in All Directions. Looking forward to it.

While we've been looking forward to these performances, I believe we are moreso looking forward to having them done and in the can (so to speak), so we can get down to the business of writing for next summer's show.

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Thursday, January 20

The Thinking Is The Doing

The difference (at least "A" difference) between me and successful people (I know, I AM successful in certain ways, and every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings - attaboy, Clarence!) is my inability to finish something once I've initially thought about it. To me, the thinking is the doing.

I'm talkin' artistic ideas. Tons of great ideas have bounced around in this brain, but they don't get any further than the thinking of them. I'm too lazy to flesh them out, I guess. And if I do manage to push an idea past the thinking stage, to the actual working on it, I must ensure that I keep tight-lipped about it. The second the idea gets voiced to another person, it's like a pin bursting a balloon, and the idea gets immediately relegated to the 'forget about it' pile. The thinking is the doing, and the telling is the producing.

So, I need someone to come up with a computer program, some device I can plug into my brain that will automatically make hard copies of all those brilliant theatrical and cinematic thoughts that never get done. Then I need a device that can take those hard copy ideas and silently work them up into full-fledged written text.

Once that's accomplished, I'll be one prolific writer. A prolific writer that has tons of shitty computer-generated plays and screenplays stuffed into the drawers of the desks in my home.

Wednesday, January 19

Friday Night Lights

I watched the movie Friday Night Lights the other night. It took me a while to get into it, and despite a bit of problematic story-telling, I was quite glad I watched it. For those who don't know, the movie follows a Texas high school football team as they attempt to win the annual State Championship. Billy Bob Thornton plays the coach.

In the movie's small-town Texas, high school football is king. The team is expected to go all the way, and nothing less will be accepted. The movie does a good job in conveying the pressures that such expectations have on the team. It focuses on a couple of the players (one in particular, the quarterback), and through their stories we get a good sense of how much pressure these kids are under.

The problem I have is that the story of the quarterback starts off, gets us interested in him, but then kind of gets lost as we montage through the game of the season, as they march towards the inevitable big showdown. I wanted the movie to remain focused a bit more on this character and felt a bit cheated that it didn't. But this is a relatively small gripe, and one shouldn't really criticize a movie for not being what one wants it to be.

Billy Bob, while having star billing, really doesn't have a lot to do (although he does that well). There is a great speech at the end that he gives to the players. I really appreciated the message of that speech.

Kind of a quick, scattered review. A pretty good football movie. A pretty good sports movie. A pretty good movie.

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Sunny Day School Closure

Yesterday was a beautiful day. Cold, but beautiful. And school was cancelled for the Eastern School District.

Some parents were upset that school was closed on such a picture-perfect day. I, howeve, completely understand the reasons and agree entirely. In Charlottetown, many roads were narrowed to one lane only; sidewalks were not cleared and walking to school would have been a desperate and dangerous adventure. Has anyone tried walking in Charlottetown when one is forced onto the roads? It's truly a life-endangering adventure, as many drivers seem to have the opinion that the road is no place for a pedestrian. Normally

I can't speak for the validity of closing country schools that rely almost entirely on bussing, but I can only imagine that many side and secondary roads were likewise difficult to travel down.

Yeah, it's a bitch to have to scramble to find a sitter, but better scrambling for a sitter than for a casket for your killed-by-traffic child.

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Friday, January 14

London's Borning of Punk

For me, watching this (it's a 10meg .avi download) was akin to what Billy Graham might feel like if he saw a video of the sermon on the mount.

It's The Clash performing London's Burning in 1977. This has made my weekend. If I had a time-machine, I'd go back to that exact moment so I could see the rest of the show.

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The Icon-stein Monster

Don't know if it's showing up on your browser as the favicon for this site, but it's showing up on mine.  The lovely DaveM sent me a tiny little pixellated Annekenstein Monster.  I made a couple of small changes to it, basically to make the braids bigger and make the colors contrast a bit more, but I like it much better than the blocky red face thing I had.

Thanks Dave!

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Tag, I'm It!

This is a link to a Technorati Tags Bookmarklet that allows one to add tags to their blog posts.

This is a post to see what it does.


A Licking Pussy

Dirty monitor screen?  Get this bit of flash.

As for the title... Good Gods of Google Search, what have I just done?

Heil Harry??

Prince Harry wears a Nazi outfit to a costume party and is up shit creek for it.

Somewhere, presumably in a post-death holding tank, Bob Crane and Werner Klemperer are high-fiving each other, thankful for the attrocities they got away with.

I wonder, will there ever be a time when wearing a Nazi outfit to a costume party is not seen as an evil act, or morally reprehensible?  The world is so serious.

Shoot The Effing Ball!!!

5 to 2. 
If it was the score of a hockey game you watched, you'd probably feel you had witnessed a typical game.  If is was baseball, you'd probably think the pitchers did a pretty good job.

But a score of 5-2 in basketball?  That's crazy.

The winning basket in this Vermont high-school b'ball game came off a three-pointer in the second quarter.

I played some rec basketball at university (and damaged a knee doing it), but basketball never really grabbed me in any way. I was a pretty big Celtics fan for the last half of Larry Bird's career, and I'll watch the annual NCAA March Madness games, but that's about it.  I find the first 80 points each NBA team scores to be pretty boring, and the game only gets interesting in the final five minutes or so, assuming both teams still have a chance to win. 
I cannot imagine watching this 5-2 test of fan endurance.  I wonder if, at some point, the audience (if there were any who remained) began to hope and expect the two teams to not score.
The low-point of my basketball career came in grade 7 during gym class.  We were learning to play the game and would play quick games.  I was never really into it too much, and one time I was lolly-gagging around half-court, as the action was taking place under our net, when a team-mate passed me the ball.  I was all alone with the ball, so I began to dribble down towards the opponent's net.  I dribblied, in fact, to right uner their net, stopped and looked up at the net directly above me.  I had maneuvered myself into the one place on the court where I couldn't really get a good shot at the net.  So I looked around at the rest of the players, running down the court towards me.  I knew I couldn't dribble again because I'd be called for a double-dribble.  I knew I couldn't get a good shot, standing absolutely directly under the net.  So, I did the next best thing.  I passed to a team-mate who was in a better position to shoot.
As soon as I passed the ball, the teacher blew the whistle.  I heard, in the high-sharp tweet of the whistle, the contempt and disbelief that the teacher was about thrust upon me.  He stopped the game and bawled me out for being so stupid as to not take the shot, all by myself with no opposition players near me.  I knew that explaining my position, or rather my poor position, would be futile, so I just sucked it up, let the teacher yell at me and call me a moron and have the rest of the class laugh at my folly.
A 5-2 basketball game.  I could've been one of the Three Stars of that game.

Wednesday, January 12

Globi Dorati, Globes d'Or, 金地球, Gouden Bollen

See, it's Foreign Press, so the title needs to be Foreign Languages.  I'd hug my cleverness, but I can't get my arms around it, it's so huge!

So, here are my predictions for the Golden Globes. And remember, this is the only place on this blog where you can get such a quality of prognostication.

Red Carpet:
Pam Dawber is in a stunning red dress, and...
...onto the awarding:


Best Motion Picture –

The Aviator
Finding Neverland
Hotel Rwanda
Million Dollar Baby
     Winner: Million Dollar

Best Actrass in Motion
Picture – Drama

Scarlett Johansson – A
Love Song For Bobby Long
Nicole Kidman – Birth
Imelda Staunton – Vera
Hilary Swank – Million
Dollar Baby
Uma Thurman – Kill Bill
     Winner: Imelda Staunton

Best Actor in Motion
Picture – Drama

Javier Bardem – The Sea
Don Cheadle – Hotel Rwanda
Johnny Depp – Finding
Leonardo DiCaprio – The
Liam Neeson – Kinsey
     Winner: Don Cheadle

Best Motion Picture –
Musical or Comedy

Eternal Sunshine of the
Spotless Mind
The Incredibles
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The
Phantom of the Opera
     Winner: The

Best Actress in Musical or

Annette Bening – Being
Ashley Judd – De-Lovely
Emmy Rossum – Andrew Lloyd
Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera
Kate Winslet – Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Renee Zellweger – Bridget
Jones: The Shittier of the Two
    Winner: Annette Bening

Best Actor in Musical or

Jim Carrey – Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Jamie Foxx – Ray
Paul Giamatti – Sideways
Kevin Kline – De-Lovely
Kevin Spacey – Beyond the
     Winner: Paul Giamatti

Best Foreign Language Film
The Chorus (Les Choristes)
House of Flying Daggers
The Motorcycle Diaries
The Sea Inside
A Very Long Engagement
     Winner: A Very Long

 Best Supporting Actress in
Motion Picture

Cate Blanchett – The
Laura Linney – Kinsey
Virginia Madsen – Sideways
Natalie Portman – Closer
Meryl Streep – The
Manchurian Candidate
     Winner: Natalie

Best Supporting Actor in
Motion Picture

David Carradine – Kill
Bill Vol.2
Thomas Hayden Church –
Jamie Foxx – Collateral
Morgan Freeman – Million
Dollar Baby
Clive Owen – Closer
     Winner: Jamie Foxx

Best Director – Motion

Clint Eastwood – Million
Dollar Baby
Marc Forster – Finding
Mike Nichols – Closer
Alexander Payne – Sideways
Martin Scorsese – The
     Winner: Clint Eastwood

Best Screenplay – Motion

Charlie Kaufman – Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
John Logan – The Aviator
David Magee – Finding
Patrick Marber – Closer
Alexander Payne & Jim
Taylor – Sideways
    Winner: Charlie

Best Original Score –
Motion Picture

Clint Eastwood – Million
Dollar Baby
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek –
Finding Neverland
Rolfe Kent – Sideways
Howard Shore – The Aviator
Hans Zimmer – Spanglish
     Winner: Howard Shore

Best Original Song –
Motion Picture

“Accidentally In Love” – Shrek 2
“Believe” – The Polar Express
“Learn To Be Lonely” – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
“Million Voices” – Hotel Rwanda
“Old Habits Die Hard” – Alfie
     Winner: Million Voices

Best Television Series –

The Sopranos
    Winner: (toughest call)… The Sopranos

Best Actress – TV Series –

Edie Falco – The Sopranos
Jennifer Garner – Alias
Mariska Hargitay – Law
& Order: Special Victims Unit
Christine Lahti – Jack
& Bobby
Joely Richardson –
    Winner: Edie Falco

Best Actor – TV Series –

Michael Chiklis – The
Denis Leary – Rescue Me
Julian McMahon – Nip/Tuck
Ian McShane – Deadwood
James Spader – Boston
    Winner: Ian McShane

Best TV Series – Musical
or Comedy

Arrested Development
Desperate Housewives
Sex and the City
Will & Grace
    Winner: Arrested

Best Actress – TV series –
Musical or Comedy

Marcia Cross – Desperate
Teri Hatcher – Desperate Housewives
Felicity Huffman –
Desperate Housewives
Debra Messing – Will &
Sarah Jessica Parker – Sex
and the City
    Winner: Felicity

 Best Actor – TV series –
Musical or Comedy

Jason Bateman – Arrested
Zach Braff – Scrubs
Larry David – Curb Your
Matt Leblanc – Joey
Tony Shalhoub – Monk
Charlie Sheen – Two and a
Half Men
    Winner: Jason Bateman

Best Mini-series or Motion
Picture for TV

American Family – Journey
of Dreams
Iron Jawed Angels
The Life and Death of
Peter Sellers
The Lion In Winter
Something The Lord Made
    Winner: The Lion In

Best Actress – TV
Mini-series or Motion Picture

Glenn Close – The Liion In
Blythe Danner – Back When
We Were Grown-ups
Julianna Margulies – The
Miranda Richardson – The
Lost Prince
Hilary Swank – Iron Jawed
    Winner: Glenn Close

Best Actor – TV
Mini-series or Motion Picture

Mos Def – Something The
Lord Made
Jamie Foxx – Redemption
William H. Macy – The Wool
Geoffrey Rush – The Life
and Death of Peter Sellers
Patrick Stewart – The Lion
In Winter
    Winner: Geoffrey Rush

Best Supporting Actress –
TV Series, Mini-series or Motion Picture

Drea De Matteo – The
Anjelica Huston – Iron
Jawed Angels
Nicollette Sheridan –
Desperate Housewives
Charlize Theron – The Life
and Death of Peter Sellers
Emily Watson – The Life
and Death of Peter Sellers
    Winner: Drea De Matteo

Best Supporting Actor – TV
Series, Mini-series or Motion Picture

Sean Hayes – Will &
Michael Imperioli – The
Jeremy Piven – Entourage
Oliver Platt – Huff
William Shatner – Boston

    Winner:  Michael Imperioli

The Important Business of Running The City

This link tells of the City of Charlottetown's City Council voting in the demand that the NHL owners and players resolve their differences and get on with the business of playing hockey.
It was an almost unanimous vote on the motion brought in by Councillor Mitch Tweel.  Kim Devine was the lone dissenter, expressing her enjoyment at being able to watch the CBC News at its regular Saturday night timeslot.

Two things: 
1) As a citizen of Charlottetown, I'm embarrassed by this motion, even if it was meant in a light-hearted way.
2) Will this single stance cost Kim Devine votes next election?  Being anti-hockey in this town is akin to being a liberal in the USA, or being a theatre critic on PEI.

A Favicon For Me

Ugly and Simple

My favicon.ico is rather lame:  cheap, ugly, amateurish and simple.  (before anyone makes the joke "favicons should represent the personality of its 'owner', and that describes you perfectly", I'll make it first).  You will not be surprised that it was created in a minute or two using Microsoft's simple Paint program.

How does one (who has very limited skill in such things) go about creating a better one?   Are they difficult to design?  If a software download is needed, I'll probably not bother.

Is there someone out there who reads this blog who would be willing to create one for me?  For free?


That it's a flash system is good for those who ride on motorbikes across bumps, iGuess.
That it's only $99(US) is good, iGuess.
Half a gig of space is more than enough if you're gonna be regularly updating the playlist, iGuess.

But don't get sucked into the marketing that it's so fun to not know what song is coming up next.
If you already own an iPod, here's a quick and easy way to turn it into an iPod Shuffle.

Tuesday, January 11

George's Take-Out

Lately I've been really missing the greasy delicious food at George's Take-Out.  I didn't really enjoy visiting there, as I'd leave feeling covered in a greasy film, but boy oh boy did I like the food.  The burgers were fantastic, chicken fingers mmm-mmm good, and remember when they'd have a few different types of fries you could order?

George was a peach.  And Ed... well, I better stop this post before I get all verklempt.

I haven't found a substitute place yet.  And because it was killing me every time I went there to eat, I'm not sure if I want to find a substitute.

A Hunnert Things, guv'nah...

Here's a link to a BBC article called A Hundred Things We Didn't Know This Time Last Year.

Kinda interesting, in a waste-a-few-minutes kinda way.

Monday, January 10

Happily On Madly Off

Just found out that Sketch 22 will be performing as part of the Madly Off In All Directions performance, Jan.22 in Charlottetown.
Should be a fun, fast fifteen minutes of material. 

I did a Madly Off a couple of years ago as a member of 4Play improv, and we had lots of fun.

Thursday, January 6


Who Would Jesus Drown?

(from Eschaton)

This (Tuesday) morning at 9am, C-SPAN had a live telecast of
the 109th Congressional Prayer Service from a church on Capitol Hill. There
were some sentiments shared about the recently-passed Bob Matsui and Shirley Chisholm,
and, amidst the scripture readings, reminders from a few Congressmen about the
Christian foundation of our government. Others spoke of the Asian tsunami

Then Tom
gets up to the pulpit, and -- striking a beautiful note in light of
the 150,000 dead from the floods referenced by his colleagues -- lets loose
with some Matthew
, beginning at verse 21.

(Many thanks to ben for the heads up on the exact wording, and to DemWatch for directing us to this transcription
of the reading and MP3.)

Saith DeLay:

"A reading of the Gospel, in
Matthew 7:21 through 27.

Not every one who says to me,
"Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven; but only the one who
does the will of my Father in heaven.

Many will say to me on that day,
"Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons
in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?

"Then I will declare to them
solemnly, 'I never knew you: depart from me, you evil doers.'"

Everyone who listens to
these words of mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man, who built his
house on a rock:

The rain fell, the floods
came, and the winds blew, and buffeted the house, but it did not collapse; it
has been set solidly on rock.

And everyone who listens
to these words of mine, but does not act on them, will be like a fool who built
his house on sand:

The rain fell, the floods
came, and the winds blew, and buffeted the house, and it collapsed and was
completely ruined."

He finishes reading, says nothing more, and sits back

Wednesday, January 5

The People Gwynne Our Neighbourhood

Here's a link to an interesting wrap-up of last year's global political scene, authored by Gwynne Dyer.

Sports, Sports, Race

Last night, I was faced with the dilemna of 3 programs on television at the same time:  the World Junior Hockey Championship (9p - 12), the American Collegiate Football championship game (9p - 1), and The Amazing Race (10p - 11).
My plan of attack was this:  From 9 to 10, I'd watch primarily the hockey game, flipping occasionally to the football game.  From 10 to 11, it'd be TAR with commercial-break flipping to both hockey and football.  From 11 onward, I'd focus between hockey and football, whichever seemed to be the most exciting at any given moment.

Well,  the hockey game was basically over before 10 o'clock.  Even with 2 periods left, it was obvious the Canadians were going to win.  I've never witnessed such dominance of one team over all the others in a tournament.  Too bad such a talented team makes for boring hockey.
The Amazing Race is a little frustrating this year.  I've never seen such a collection of teams who don't seem to like each other.  Seriously, apart from Kris and Jon (who seem like a genuinely nice couple), there is no other remaining team (now that the father/daugther team got the boot) worth rooting for.  None of them seem capable of offering positive support, and when they do, it's only momentarily and self-serving.  And whether or not Johnathan is putting on some of his The Most Obnoxious Asshole Ever character, he is stil the most reprehensible person I've ever had the displeasure to view.  I'm fearful that The Amazing Race is losing some of the appeal that had made it the best 'reality' show on television.  It's still the best by far, but it is slipping a bit.
My commercial-break flipping focused more on the football game, and at first it looked like it'd be a great matchup.  OU scored first, SoCal came back and scored right back.  "This is gonna be good", I thought, flipping back to TAR.  Next time I check in it's 21-7 for USC and they're about to go up even more, this even before the half.
So, two games I've been looking forward to for a while turned out to be no-contest affairs.  Too bad.
The half-time of the football game was noticable only because it featured singers singing live, one of them the infamous Ashlee Simpson.  Yes, the sound was hit and miss, but I so much prefer watching a performance where the artist is actually performing.  Ashlee doesn't have a great voice and she wasn't able to carry the bigness of the venue, but I'd rather hear her sing and miss than to watch her sing along as we hear mostly a pre-recorded vocal track.

Tuesday, January 4

Horton Hears A Hutu

I watched Hotel Rwanda over the weekend, and for those who don't know the story, here's a synopsis (as best as I could follow it):

Rwanda is a country in Africa.  Africa is someplace that must be very hard for Americans to get to.  Apparently, back in the early 1990's, there were some rebels who may have been followers of Tootsie, the rollerskating girl from Facts of Life.  They were very angry at another group of rebels, who were followers of Dr. Suess, I'm guessing.  They were called the Who-To's (I assume a shortened nickname of Suess's Horton Hears A Who-To).  Whatever their problem was, it caused a lot of people to be killed.  The thing at the end of the movie said about a million were killed (good thing this is just a movie!)
Anyways, there's this guy, played by Don Cheadle (the British guy from Ocean's 11, but here he doesn't use his regular British voice but rather puts on some sort of accent, presumably African), who is the hotel manager at the hotel in Rwanda.  He decides to use the hotel as sort of a getaway for the poor people of the country, so he invites all the poor people to come and be guests.  I don't know if he offers reduced rates or not, but alot of people come to stay.  In the end a bunch of them take a bus to somewhere else.  Maybe America?  Oh, and the guy from that Eddie Murphy movie (the one where he sings Roxanne in the prison) was in it too.  I didn't no he was Canadian!
Anyways, the movie was pretty good.  Not really alot of shooting and stuff, but still it was okay (don't you hate it when movies show alot of people with guns but not alot of them shoot them?  I mean, what's the point?)
(Look for more movie reviews from American Grade 12 High School student Rob MacD in future postings)

But seriously folks...
I did watch Hotel Rwanda.  It's being hailed as this year's Saving Private Ryan (a comparison I don't quite understand, apart from 'both are serious movies about mass death) and/or Schindler's List (one whose 'save them from genocide' plot I can understand).  I don't think it lives up to those comparisons, and perhaps my viewing of it was diminshed because those comparisons were in my mind.  I was expecting more scenes of uber-realistic fighting (Saving Private Ryan), and it didn't deliver.  I don't blame the movie for that.  I blame my own expectations based on the comparisons the movie has been given.  I also expected it to have the emotional impact of Schindler's List, but again was disappointed when it failed to live up to that comparison.
Good performances and all (Cheadle was very good) but I found the movie lacking enough gravitas.  I wanted it to slap me in the face more with its depiction of the horrors and atrocities of the slaughter, and really it only gave me snapshots. I never really felt connected to the characters and always felt like I was merely a spectator (Ryan and Schindler's List somehow pulled me right into the action and heart of their films, making me feel like a participant). 
Perhaps it's that it lacked a specific villain to root against, someone to personify the hatred and horrors, or that it lacked a specific task to accomplish.  Whatever it was that kept me from "entering" the film (and it could have been my own mood at the time or my ever-growing descensitization to violence), that failing kept this movie from being a great film. 
It's a good film, one I'd easily recommend, but I don't (as others do) see it as a great film.

I kind of feel cheated, and a bit guilty because I wasn't as moved by it as so many others claim to have been.
This movie would have been a fantastic HBO movie.  Isn't it strange how expectations can alter one's impression?