October 28, 2003

Alberta has been absolutely lovely today. It resembles the freakin' Apocalypse. Snow! Wind! Rain! Everything but heat! The cloud-crowded skies have redefined the word "gloom."

Why am I living here?

October 27, 2003

One of the things I neglected to mention in my review of The Matrix Reloaded was the music at the end, over the credits. Good God! Could they have found anything more loud and annoying? As I recall, the first film had some great music in it. But in this one ... geez, it borders on being abusive. Who's dumbass choice was that anyway?

October 26, 2003

Well, it's not as if this comes as any surprise: Spam is starting to hurt email. It's from Pew Internet and American Life, a project studying the Internet and its impact on ... well, everyone (it's a U.S. organization).

I can't find anything on the site that shows what "Pew" refers to. Is it someone's name? An acronym? Who knows ...

Here's the discouraging thing about this report: "Some 7% of emailers – more than eight million people – report they have ordered a product or service that was offered in an unsolicited email."

And that's why we get spam. The boneheads rule.

October 23, 2003

What to do? They are planning to release the 1983 Scarface yet again (they just released the two disc anniversary edition).

Who cares? Certainly not me, except ... They are saying the next version (the very expensive version with lots of hoo-hah inside like pictures - yawn) will also have the original 1932 version with Paul Muni! In other words, the only Scarface I want to see, the one directed by Howard Hawks!

So what to do? I have no interest in the 1983 version. And I can't afford the price they're asking, especially for a movie I don't really like (the 1983 version).

How else to get the 1932 film without having to get the 1983 ... hmm. The bastards!

October 21, 2003

''Our goal has always been to sell the Gardens to a buyer that would respect the history and heritage of the building,'' Bob Hunter, senior vice-president and general manager of MLSE, former owners of the historic Maple Leaf Gardens.

In that spirit, they sold it to a grocery store.

October 20, 2003

Having endured a dry summer where half the province went up in flames, B.C. is now drowning. Rains fall like unending elephant piss. The upside, if there is one, it's sort of a different part of the province.

As for those of us in Alberta, well we are getting a small taste of it today. Not sure if it's the same system causing it. But it's damp here and fertile ground for headaches and depression. So don't be fucking with me today. I'm in no mood. None of us are. Grrr.

(And do yourself a favour ... don't be messing with anyone in B.C. today. You never know ...)

October 19, 2003

You know, it seems to me far too much time is wasted at work doing unproductive things. When I think back on an average work day, the amount of actual productivity I have probably amounts to one hour, spread out in unequal bits throughout the day.

And all that pissed away time seems such a waste. I'd rather be reading, writing, watching a movie or otherwise doing something that engages my brain. As oppose to engaging my capacity to endure the tedium of the average "work" day.

October 18, 2003

I have just posted what has to be one of the worst written pieces I've ever thrown together: my take on The Treasure of the Sierre Madre.

Unfortunately, I'm about to rush out but hopefully I'll have this howler fixed sometime soon. In the meantime, you can take a look and see what gets written when I have no idea what to say and I'm rushing to get it said.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
This has been a disagreeable week. And a costly one. A person's ignorance can bite them on the ass at almost anytime, as did mine.

Since September began, my cozy little world of condo living has been deconstructing. Yes, there is the usual housekeeping that has lain unattended for a very long time. Balls of cat fur blow through the rooms like rolling tumbleweeds. The cat goes out on the balcony, eats some discarded and brittle leaves, comes back inside and finds a new place to throw them up. Clothes accummulate in several piles awaiting a wash that never comes.

As well ... the strings of the vertical blinds all seem to have frayed and broken in tandem. The toilet has been running ceasely, unbeknowst to me, but certainly know to the utility company which has charged me a mind-numbing sum. And on the subject of plumbing, apparently there is a humidifer somehow attached to my furnace and it has been leaking. Yes, leaking and destroying the condo below me. There is a bill headed my way soon ...

As the expression goes ... who's cornflakes did I shit in anyway?

October 17, 2003

Finished reading Steve Martin's The Pleasure of My Company and it was very good. I kept expecting certain things. One delight of the book is that they didn't happen; it surprised me by going somewhere else.

Having finished the book, I've now gone back to his earlier novella, Shopgirl. I've barely begun but it seems good as well and I read somewhere they are now making it a movie. It appears it will star Steve Martin (surprise - he also handled the screenplay) and the youthful and attractive Claire Danes.

October 12, 2003

I am in a happy place right now. Yes. Two reasons: reading and writing. Let's start with the latter:

There is not a lot to say. I began writing yesterday and soon found I was writing a story I had wanted to write for some time. Quite often, the business of simply starting to write - anything, whatever pops into my head - is what kickstarts the engine. Soon I find I am no longer rambling; there is a story emerging and things start to snowball.

This is what happened yesterday when I began. The story I had wanted to write crept into the paragraphs. Of course, I don't know what that story is. I know only vague details. The writing process is what reveals the story. So I won't know the complete story until I am finished.

The other interesting thing is how the story keeps changing as I write. What I thought was the story is not the story at all - the details evolve. They transform. And, the story I thought I wanted to write also appears to be an excuse to write a different story. The original story idea is actually a MacGuffin for another.

Anyway ... It's all very interesting to me. Hopefully this story will be completed soon. If it's any good, perhaps I'll put it online. (It may be a novella as opposed to a short story - don't know yet.)

As for the reading ... I picked up a new book by Steve Martin yesterday. It's called The Pleasure of My Company and it's very good. It's funny ... or perhaps I should say wryly humorous, or something like that. It's not something I've been laughing out loud over. I've simply been smiling a lot while reading it.

I really like the main character (the narrator). It reminds me somewhat of the main character in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (a book I highly recommend). They are similar in tone and there are some vague (and few) similarities in characterization. It's a tone and style I really enjoy - I find it quite funny in a dry way - and have used a similar approach in some of my own shabby stories.

The only downside of the book is it's a short - about 160 pages long - so I'll be finished it very soon. You know, it seems sometimes as if the books you really like are incredibly short whereas books that don't do much for you seem as thick as the New York phone book.

But enough of all that ... Have to get back to writing my own stories now. Toodle-oo!