Saturday, April 09, 2022

Wow. Another month down the drain

 Hey-o folks. Sorry to break another month of blog silence but I must share this very important announcement: Just in... there are two S's in "Easters"

See you next month.


Thursday, March 10, 2022

act /akt/

My acting career culminated in grade seven. Our French class performed a play for the school as part of some larger event which was attended by many parents. It was set in a discothèque. We all had to dance as the play opened. Then we talked. I had one line and I still have it memorized. Ready for this?

"D'accord!"

Which means I agree. I basically just piggybacked on someone else's line. Then we danced again to a cacophony of derisive laughter from the audience as the curtain closed.

I still remember the review I received for my performance: "Hey wasn't that your French class in the play? I'm surprised you weren't in it."

Madame Visser could have at least given me "Je suis d'accord." Maybe that would have got me in the spotlight long enough to be noticed. Oh well.

Totally not us.


Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Article 1201

So I just noticed that my post count is 1200 on the nose. Kind of a milestone. Twelve hundred blog posts in sixteen years. I realize not all have been winners.

Now if you're an obsessive kind of go-getter you could add up my summary figures from a mile down the side-bar there and you'd come up a handful shy of 1200. That's because a few have been taken off the air for various reasons.

Just for fun, I thought, where could I be if I'd driven a kilometer for every post I've published? I could write a blog post about whatever place that is! So I opened google maps on North America and without any tools of any kind, picked a randommy spot to start looking for a 1200-mark, by trial and error.

For my first guess I picked St. Louis, zoomed in and plunked a waypoint down on "East St-Louis."

1151 KM.

Whoa! That's #%$ close! And still plenty of St. Louis ahead! So I moved toward the far end of the official Greater St.Louis Area and spotted the Spirit of St. Louis Airport and plunked again. 1197 KM! Am I a sub-conscious geography wizard or what!

Oh wait. Google says that the address for SOSL Airport is actually Chesterfield Missouri. What?? Say it isn't so! Okay, wait a minute.

Okay, I just wikipediated Chesterfield MO and they say it's a suburb of the City of St. Louis and a member of St. Louis County. So there. I'm gonna say I nailed it. And I'm not doing a post about a lousy airport. I'm a freaking subconscious geography wizard people! A legend! Don't ever question me again!

Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis


Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2022

Those smug old boys in Cleveland are at it again and you too can cast your performer votes; up to one ballot per day until April 29th at vote.rockhall.com!

And this year, if you're a particularly nasty little insectoid maniac you can even vote for - well, I can't bear to say his name but - the creepy caterwauler sometimes known as Slim Shady. Yeah. I was afraid he'd show up this year. On the bright side I've been on the Commodores/Lionel Richie campaign ever since Radiohead ascended, And look who showed up! I suppose I can call it a fair compromise. The White Banshee was inevitable anyway.




Sunday, March 06, 2022

Lakmé 2022

So I discovered I needed to put together a motorcycle compilation and decided to focus on esthetics and aerodynamics, with a hint of death. So I give you: the opera Lakmé adapted to the speedway.

I don't know if it will play here because it's 18+ restricted and the reason is - well, here's the rant I provided in the YouTube "About" panel:

Rather than suffer the exhausting boredom of dealing with YouTube's ever-growing army of censorship monkeys and their deluded efforts to protect their dullest most-superstitious viewers from themselves, I just went ahead and designated this an adult-only video so that only adults and super-smart kids who know how to pretend to be adults will be able to enjoy this uplifting opera: It is Lakmé by Léo Delibes, conducted by Alain Lombard and adapted to the speedway by Alfonse Floofter Gnu Jr. 

Any ads will have been placed on behalf of a lovely but unpronounceable Parisian theatre organization. We never choose to monetize here at Half Ass Films.

Please note that some of this film's participants are dead, disfigured and/or mentally debilitated due to their actions captured herein. If this offends you it is because your strings are being pulled by an aggressive ego who enjoys being offended. Suppressing this footage will not bring these people or their brains back to life, but indeed, promoting it may help dissuade others from making the same dire mistakes. This video is best enjoyed with two or three ounces of Irish whiskey or, in a pinch, Kentucky bourbon.

This video is dedicated to my pal Ivosaar over at The Automan Empire.



Saturday, March 05, 2022

They're called "Spotlight Images"

Yeah, I just found that out. Those initial MS Windows images, usually beautiful landscapes, where you first enter your pin upon starting up a PC session. They call them spotlight images and in case you're even slower than I to stumble upon this information: you can look them up here, when you really dig one and it gets replaced too soon:

windows10spotlight.com/

Oh hey! Look at this. I still have a blog. I really should make more use of the damn thing.

Cheers.


Thursday, February 17, 2022

Working Town

Here's a song I wrote about twelve years ago after finding the courage to give up a lucrative I.T. career and moving back to Scooterville in order to begin a life of mindfulness, creativity, charity and guidance... so I thought. Immediately there was resistance. The song was in reflection of that, an observation; in no way a rant. At least that's how it is in my memory.

I was knocked off course, though, and never really got back on the same track. I've become better at some things and worse at others, and never regained so much focus again.

The theme for poetry club this month is transformation. So I dusted this off and compiled a proper video. Looking at the result, song and video arranged over a decade apart, I can see a difference in attitude. I look back at that time with more love and forgiveness. If I was trying to blame others before, that was unwise, and I'm not anymore.


Saturday, February 05, 2022

a·cros·tic /əˈkrôstik/

When I told the Earnest Chef I was working on a collection of crossword puzzles, he looked at me funny and said, "Why?"

I don't know if crossword puzzle mags have ever come with a dedication page but this one will. I'll dedicate to the Earnest Chef and be sure to note why!

This is the first one I came up with and it's called MOP TOPS. If you give it a go, I'd love to hear if you were able to complete it.



ACROSS

1 spidery sea crawler
5 much
9 1st Taiwanese ML pitcher
13 Parachute Club anthem: ____ Up
14 world's youngest mother
15 Goldie
16 Lennon-McCartney tune: Yes ____
17 drillers club
18 1985 Camaro version
19 1964 album
22 ____! Darling
23 what up, dawg
24 Torry sanctuary (abbr)
25 magic dragon
28 Axl Rose project (abbr)
29 in which Doris gets her ____
33 Serbian tabloid
34 ad ____
35 answer to 39-across
37 surplus
39 Tell me ____
40 Heston's crowd
41 to dress up like a wizard or warrior (abbr)
42 sphere or hazard
43 B side to Paperback Writer
44 urgent care source (abbr)
46 Eagles tune ____' 55
47 Let it ____
48 1963 album
56 malbec capper
57 dregs component
58 some for____ not for better…
59 melted mushroom or cranberry accompanier
60 Red and Dead
61 Coppel and Kennedy
62 oracle
63 trained killers
64 consequence of Lennon's Jesus remark

DOWN

1 house
2 ceremony
3 site of Taj Mahal and the Great Wall
4 greatest hits collection
5 burn soother
6 word-mime
7 Musketeers' chant opener (2 wds)
8 head tilter
9 ____ wants you back again.
10 model Underwood
11 missing from duty (abbr)
12 ____ there was a way to get back homeward
20 southpaw (init)
21 solar god
25 47-across composer
26 elbow bone
27 Fab ____
28 Pan or Yahweh
30 3rd track on 48-across
31 songwriter Amos
32 The Man
34 ____Said, She Said
35 Daltry's crowd
36 ____ & Zel's
38 Ender sequel: ____ of the Dead
39 Mr. Shears Campbell
42 checked out with Valens
43 mends bone
45 percussionist (abbr)
47 sheep utterance
48 toxic coolant banned in 1977 (abbr)
49 legend
50 Ontario feeder
51 hockey's Mr. Tikkanen
52 artsy marketplace
53 six or twelve for instance
54 Thracian tribe
55 ____while

Friday, February 04, 2022

Fried: On the Beach

Perhaps Jane Stewart is too common a name for a Canadian musician trying to make it in the realm of art-pop? For whatever reason, this particular Jane took her maternal aunt's married name and began crushing it as Jane Siberry. 

in 2005 the Canadian Council for the Arts bestowed the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award upon her for "outstanding artistry in her mid-career." She responded by questioning if her career should continue: she changed her identity, both on stage and off, to Issa, a feminized version of Isaiah, and then immediately wrote thirty-three songs in thirty-three days with a process she described as slowed-down: choosing a note and then waiting patiently to discover the next one.

In 2010 she became Siberry again. 

Spotify has somewhere over half of her material available, up to 2017, under both (separate) identities. Her first two albums are missing, the second of which contained the song Mimi on the Beach, the first of her songs I ever heard, still my favourite, and number three on my Spotifried playlist:


Thursday, February 03, 2022

a·crop·o·lis /əˈkräpələs/

The Acropolises were the fortified heights of Greek cities way way back before Yahweh came barging in and did away with all the cool gods who are now reduced to Marvel action movie heroes and such. How degrading, right?

A handful of years back, some plot-building exercise led me to create a fantasy world scenario for fun, where a fortified city of great import (like today's Vatican but relating to the chief Norse gods) faced a dire circumstance. Religious artifacts had been stolen by a great witch from another plane of existence in a plot to expose the city to destruction from its neighboring volcano, from which they were, til then, protected by said Norse gods, but to then concoct a scenario where a new-in-town temple saves the day and purports to expose the historical rulers as corrupt and evil. The new temple was controlled by the witch who presented herself as a god.

But how to make the good guys win? Where do the heroes come from?

I told the late Liberal Theologian about it (my then-housemate) and we agreed at once to recruit a crew and run the thing as a Dungeons and Dragons adventure. The players were an acolyte and kennel master of a good guy temple where the head priest was kidnapped, a young dwarf who's engineer father had disappeared while contracted to head a major renovation to the (ultimately evil) temple of the witch, and a Frost woman who's brother disappeared when caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. In her search for her brother she got herself unfairly pegged as a suspect by the citadel master of the guard and had to be rescued, in effect, by the others.

They won the support of the Gjall; the great leader of the citadel (like a pope) who had been brought visions of the young would-be heroes by the Norns (divine Norse messengers who do such things - kind of like the three ghosts in Dickens' Christmas Carol).

Together they discovered that the Frost brother had been killed unfortunately but they raided the evil temple and rescued the Dwarven father who'd been set aside as eventual monster food because he knew too much, and they found their way through a tower portal network to a gateway world (literally an upside down world - and this was well before Stranger Things!) where they confronted and killed the witch monster without having to go all the way to her own plane. There they also discovered the Frost Brother in living form and there the Gjall, now murdered but returned in Revnant form, was able to help them all understand that he was in a kind of purgatory and could never return to his material plane but would be going to the Nirvana; the paradise, of his own kind and soon. And one day brother and sister (and all their kin) would be reunited there.

In the process they saved the Ruling counsel of the holy citadel by stopping the witch from ascending to the Gjall position in the false form of the successor which she had covertly executed.

The adventure was a great success and I started writing the novel according to our shared blueprint.

In Part Two they would go after the remaining artifacts in a race against time to shut down the volcano. But my housemate had become sick with cancer at this time and it did not feel like any kind of priority to any of us.

The Liberal Theologian then passed away and I stopped writing the book and haven't touched it since. Her D&D character was in essence the central character of the book, and there was a lot of herself in there, and everything feels different now. Maybe one day I'll pick it up again. Who knows.  

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

The eyes of others

I believe I was 14 when I saw Blade Runner at the cinema and was blown away. For the first time in my life I started thinking critically. What does it really mean to be human?

I've since realized the treachery of consciousness; how we are coerced toward seeing our self through the eye of the imaginary other, instead of directly and unvarnished. But sometimes we are the other and we learn about ourselves by seeing what we are not; the foreigner; the alien. I feel that this is a function of the best science fiction. 

I've heard that Kubrick's monolith in 2001 has the same dimension ratio as a movie screen. I can't be sure that's correct, or at least correct in every scene, but the idea deeply resonates. To me, the monolith represents self-awareness. It has also been stated fairly convincingly that it is some kind of alien probe. Similar physical dimensions occur conspicuously in other great sci-fi films.

What does it mean to be human; to be sentient? Just what the hell is consciousness anyway?

Here's my sci-fi compilation tribute.



Monday, January 31, 2022

2913873

2,913,873

Do you know why this number is significant?

Apparently its the number of days my computer can look into the future. It knows that in 2,913,873 days from now it will be Friday December 31, 9999 and we'll all be having soylent green for breakfast.

But anything I enter into Excel that makes it look at the year 10000 or beyond it just goes into a coughing fit and fills the cell with infinite # signs.

Oh well. I thought you should know. Maybe your computer is smarter than mine.