Monday, November 16, 2009

To all who wished me a great weekend:

Wasn't going to touch the blog during November Nanowrimo but this is my only form of diary and I must record the following!


Saturday I spent the entire day with another fine cousin: Renaissance Kid, his girlfriend and their buddies. Renaissance Kid shares a house with five other university students, two budgies, six chickens and three quail.


We built a new quail coop. Seems a hungry skunk got in to the last one and cut the home's quail contingent in half. Now the survivors have a pretty significant upgrade. I was on the door committee and sawed the wood for the door and door frame. Also helped out a little with the trench refillage, a little chicken wire stapling and the munching of apple walnut muffins and very leafy mustardy gai choy.


I was served two outragously delicious vegan meals, engaged in several useful discussions with very kind humanitarian and environmentally conscious kids and played a wildy funny game they call telephone pictionary. Can't remember the last time I laughed so hard.


Sunday I met with my excellent Nano friends, pumped out a few thousand words for the Eye of Atchooah piece and had a nice visit from the Illicit Sweetheart. It had been a while. We talked about the future, acknowledged that our paths lie in different directions, and it was all comfortable; all good.


So to all those who on Friday wished me a great weekend... Done!
.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A new friend. New strength.

I spent this past Sunday with my cousin, World Citizen, on the eve of his 30th birthday. I had not seen him in many years; ten perhaps. He was probably between missions to Nepal and Ecuador at the time. This spring he moved to Toronto after a long stint in India, home of an experiential environmental education centre of which he remains "the impetus" and a central stakeholder.

He spoke of challenges, of opposition, of earthquakes and masked gunmen and the difficult internal reconciliation when the offering of love evokes a response of hate.

He spoke of activism and a plan under which every motorist in the world might trade in their cars for investment into the environment and the future.

He mentioned that he too, writes, and like an ass, I never got around to asking him about the nature of his writing, and now I'm dying to know.

He spoke of meditation and how it ceased to be a prison and became the greatest ever experience of self-discovery. Traditional meditation, that is; not simply the solitary ardent contemplation which I have made an indulgent habit of labelling meditation.

He spoke of his humble introduction to international charity when the cutest girl in his high school raised her hand to volunteer and his own hand couldn't help but follow.

He spoke of time management and in an off-hand way, as if saying shave or pick up mail he listed among his daily agenda items: "beneficence."

He spoke of that yearning for pilgrimage common to many of us.

He spoke of seeing that which he was not, so to glimpse of that which he is.

He spoke in a voice quiet and firm; one softened, I perceive, by confidence, integrity and - I dare say - love. Love as a state of being, that is.

As we watched the departing sun turn the trees on the too-close horizon into black lacy silhouettes, he spoke of the city and the omnipresent trade of absurdities between its' peoples and he mourned his separation from those natural landscapes he'd made home, and the logistical barriers that isolate his dreams and goals from one another; a dilemma that I, and many, know well.

And concerning his previous home; a place to which I must decide if I will journey, he gave me solid advice; concise, direct and very insightful - not just in terms of his knowledge but in terms of understanding the root of my inquiries.

I do not state this lightly: I perceived our long conversation as being one of perfect honesty and openness and trust; an experience shatteringly rare.

Without a doubt the specifics of his priorities and mine currently differ, but so far seem entirely compatible. I sense we may each have found a valuable associate. From my perspective, he is easy to trust and put faith in, because in terms of promoting harmony, he has accomplished more than I might ever - and all prior to an age at which I was still a dull idiot, consumed within my own greed, lust and reputation, and a host of petty dramas.

I look forward to making my self of use to his endeavors. I look forward to talking to him again soon. There is still so much to discuss.
.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Interview

This is an interview meme. Suki has asked me these questions:

1. What is the greatest change you see taking place in your life right now?

Change is abundant right now. On the surface it may seem that change of residense and workplace are the most significant, but not so. My perception of residense and my perception of workplace are the greater changes. Where I sleep on a given night and where I contribute rent are meaningless details to me. This planet is my home and all my instincts are nomadic. Where and how I earn some money for bread is another trivial detail. My work is my purpose in life. It is my meditation, writing, research and my vigiliance; in short, the poetic process.


2. Which is your favourite among the comics you've made?

I guess the one about the blackberry because I suspect I'm the only one who finds it funny. I don't know if anyone else even gets it.


3. If you could sum up the philosophy of your life in fifty words, what would they be?
I'm a unique entity in the universe; miraculously fortunate to be alive on an earthly paradise, shielded from a universe of hydrogen and radiation; a creature blessed with "the illusion of consciousness"; to have survived the horror of self realization and found access to unlimited sources of peace, freedom and harmony and with a consolidated joyful purpose to my existence.


4. On a scale of -10(he'll be worse than Bush) to 10(he'll raise America to its zenith), how high are your hopes for Obama as President?

Zero.

That perhaps millions of people who think of themselves as black or as some racial minority and think likewise of Obama and think of American presidency as the ultimate position of power and who may now feel empowered; a sense of legitimacy; a new belief that their skin need not limit their social potential despite the white man's insanity - for them, I am tearfully joyful. My highest expectations were already met.

Other than that, I am entirely uninterested. People seem to assume that one's nationality is a primary factor of their living experience. My observations dictate otherwise. When is the last time I read something in the newspaper; heard something on the radio or from a friend that concerns nations or politics that isn't absurd or illogical or that has any connection to an unvarnished truth?

Never. Not one legitimate word that I can recall. Nations and political systems are built entirely of fictions. I realize that no one will accept what I've just said. But rare perspectives born of rare experiences dictate it so.

I took in Obama's induction speech (if that's the correct term). He seemed to me, genuinely likeable, yet he spoke some things that are dreadfully flawed, indicating he is either duped by particular illusions or else is wilfully propogating them for his own purposes or else is slave to the system or to his political associates. Whichever way, I have no interest in participating in the charade. But given the charade is firmly entrenched in our society - I'm content that he's in and not another Bush.


5. If you had to sing a single line from a song to woo a woman you've never spoken to before, what would it be?

I have no interest in wooing any woman or anyone else for that matter. I'm firmly content in being entirely honest in my feelings and motives but here's a line from a song that I would gladly sing for anyone:

Imagine all the people sharing all the world.

You know which song.
.



Okay, reader! Who would like to be interviewed? Drop your name in the comment section and I will forward you five questions!

Friday, October 09, 2009

What's happening?

I mentioned in my September 14th post, Re-Launch, that "things are happening." In no particular order, here are the reasons I sense I am at a critical crossroads:


1. Biodad announced that he is ready to quit smoking, and proposed that we make a pact. He'll give up the smokes. I'll give up eating like Jabba the Hut (and presumably, start looking less like him). We would rely on each other for inspiration - and in essence - police each other. I agreed in principal. The pact has yet to take effect but I believe it will and soon. Because the cold weather is coming - and there's no smoking allowed in the house, and the only thing biodad hates more than not smoking, is the cold. He's a skinny little runt. Cold is Kryptonite to this Supersmoker.



2. I have met an Imam - a Muslim spiritual leader. And he is keen to get together to speak with me. This is huge. Nothing ever boosted my writing capacity like my participation in a writing group did. The support; the affirmation; the grasping that you are not alone in your circumstance and your dreams. Very powerful.

But there are other ways now in which I am very alone. My perspectives on human life have grown so different from anyone around me that they are almost incommunicable and frankly, not to be believed. My resulting evolution now seems simple, obvious and unremarkable but yet it must seem remarkable because I look around and all the side-effects of my former circumstance - seemingly universal ills - are still being suffered by everyone around me. I see it in nearly every action; hear it in nearly every word. Who among them wants to believe that all their ills are merely the symptoms of mental, societal and instinctual disarray and can be shed as I have done (to perhaps a 99% degree). Who wants to believe I might hold the key? Certainly they don't. In some matters, only strangers might be trusted.

But I have long suspected that there are those who would understand me; priests and the like. Because, like me, they have a powerful source of wisdom/knowledge/testimony - call it what you will - in which they find all their answers, all their solutions; all their comfort - leaving them at peace; joyful; with no other aim but to help the less fortunate; to help them manifest the same freedom they themselves experience. And by a source, I mean, of course, their Bible, Koran, Gita or what not. Regardless the specifics or merits of any religious or philosophical program, we share the same paradigm; a consolidated body of knowledge which guides us unfailingly through any course.

This is what I yearn to talk about - with one who might understand. I've ducked into churches and into Hindu and Buddhist temples but nowhere was a man of the cloth available to me. Funny, it is a Muslim fellow who turns up; the last faith I would have expected to make company with, so widespread is the sad mistrust of their faith among so many voices in my community.


3. For many days I have meditated on the subject of lust, intimate love and specifically, the Illicit Sweetheart. By intimate love, I mean the singular directional kind - in which I've long mistrusted my capabilities and maturity. There are other forms of love in which I would seem vastly evolved but later for that!

In this intimate regard, I am pleased to now perceive that I have defeated the addictive components. I am at ease. Regardless what happens now between us - and how often - is no worry to me. It's rather clear to me now that physical intimacy is almost solely my motive for getting together. I do not mourn this. There is no shame. But I have done as honest an accounting as I can and am now free in this regard. Should further intimacy occur I will continue to enjoy it and if not, I will always cherish these last six years, and remain, as always, open to all forms of relationships, and all forms of loving, with all people, and without the conditions and restrictions of the society-standard marriage relationship. It was never meant for I, nor I for it.


With the lust addiction apparently behind me - and I say apparently because this state is new to me and not thoroughly tested as yet - there leaves one major battlefield at hand; food addiction. I pray I can gather all forces now to that front and defeat it too. To do so would pave the path to health and to the opportunity for vegetarianism or veganism and the harmonic rewards available to those who do not kill to live.




4. My cousin, World Citizen, has moved from India to Toronto and we'll be getting together very soon. I have high hopes for this meeting. India, Hinduism and the philosopher, Aurobindo are all of keen interest to me and my goals. I predict he will have many useful perspectives on these subjects as well as the experience in designing a life around charitable causes.



5. I'm back in the volunteer community. For now I'm working at a primary school to catalogue several hundred new books and get them into the hands of the kids. I've long been passionate about the benefits for kids who love to read. The effects can be profoundly life-altering. Upon that project's completion, I hope to be working on behalf of kids (or adults, for that matter) with, as they say, special needs. This is all very rewarding; a way to manifest harmony in an immediate way, whereas the writing endeavors are speculative; only seeds, in terms of their usefulness in serving harmony and evolution.


6. I seem to have summoned the will to part with my new 'job' with security at the college despite how much I love it. The people are great, the work rewarding, the opportunities to help people in need; to promote harmony. The exercise, the down-time with which to read and conduct my research, the company of students radiant with youthful vitality and possibility. It is a marvelous environment but I have reminded myself the purpose in going into security. I need that night watchman job where I can literally sit and write all night. It is necessary. I must make this happen. As excellent pal Doc Lock says: Onward!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Song: One Lane Bridge

Idling on a one lane bridge
Unmindful of the race
I tripped upon your whisper
Dissolved in your embrace
And then you served me seconds
Though I only begged a taste
Now I wonder where I'd wandered
Had I never seen your face


Idling on a one lane bridge
Too weary for the chase
I contemplate the river
A path to some far place
And the shackles of my own design
That bind me to this base
While I wonder where I'd wandered
Had I never shared your space


And I won't say those words
And you will let me know


Is this structure solid
And does the river flow
Or is it me who's drifting
How can I really know


Idling on a one lane bridge
Just gazing into space
And the shadows on your features
The firelight displaced
This dire infatuation
Is anything but chaste
Still I wonder where I'd wandered
Had I never known your grace


And I won't say those words
And you will let me know


Is this structure solid
And does the river flow
Or is it me who's drifting
How can I really know


(instr.)


Is this structure solid
And does the river flow
Or is it we who're drifting
Who could really know


Idling on a one lane bridge
A crippling lack of haste
Won't serve to span the chasm
Revelation won't erase
Oh to find that golden land
And leave without a trace
To weave the light and darkness
And blanket this disgrace


And I won't fall in love with you
Unless you wish it so
And I won't say those words to you
Until you let me know


(Instr.)


And I won't say those words
And you will let me know

Monday, September 21, 2009

Just down the road

I have not seen my illicit sweetheart for many weeks. Since I Barbecued a fine dinner and we bobbed in an absent host's hot tub before reclining on the deck. I re-dressed of course but hid the other's clothing. I can be devilish that way.

We had planned to get together yesterday, finally. I phoned in the morning as instructed, left a message and endured long anticipation. Perhaps I have not evolved much, in the realm of love, since my first high-school infatuation. Perhaps not much at all.

The call was not returned until close to midnight.

"Hey! I'm just down the road from you! At [the friend's]!"

Drunk.

"Come on over! Bring some drinks. You have something to drink, no?"

So I had been forgotten about. Until the liquor ran dry. And why should that surprise? I'm not young. I'm not fun. I don't dance; not really. I am just the quiet stable one. Earnest and kind; generous; grateful; worshipful. Always there when needed but no party animal.

"No. I have no booze."

"You must have something! Bring it over. Come now. I won't be here long. I must go home soon!"

"Stop here, then, On your way home." I don't want to see you there, in front of others, where I'm forbidden to touch you.

"No. I can't. When I leave I'm going straight home."

"You could stop here for five minutes." Long enough for kisses and hugs. And wandering fingers on that bewitching youthful skin.

"No. I'm going straight home." Just like that.

That same old dark suspicion, rarely dragged into the light. Dare I say it - Am I being used? And then of course the still darker suspicion. Am I the user? What interest would I ever have taken if not for that gorgeous smile and gorgeous... everything else?
Using.

Making use of people. Isn't that the hallmark of society; our strength as a species? Leveraging one another? Cooperation, give and take, mutual parasitism. Such different connotations but might one propose they are different flavours of the same dish?

What might set such perspectives apart? Honesty, perhaps? To give and to take without false motive; without a rosy film; without posturing. Is that what makes it good and not evil? Makes it love and not... usage?

If so then what a hurdle. For honesty is a lovely idea but a phantom. The filters between instinct and consciousness are so hopelessly unnavigable and wickedly invisible and to know this is to ever mistrust myself.

If I'm to be disillusioned in this matter, let it be now! I might be happier to disengage from this infatuation; even more free.

If my love were 'true' perhaps I would have walked over there last night. But I did not go.

Perhaps the process has begun.



Monday, September 14, 2009

Re-launch!

Why the new look?

Because much has changed since January 2006 and I need the licence to reinvent this space's focus; it's priorities, in order to make it vital again.

Because I'm rarely inclined to wear the cynic's hat anymore and I don't have the heart to force it.

Because things are happening and the time has come to promote this space from it's catch-all status; a bottom drawer of a too-tall chest of writing outlets. It shall begin taking on the specific purposes intended for it for some time now.

Because I can not bear another moment of procrastination. There have always been excuses; doors just on the next horizon; but these will always be. To hell with them. No more tough talk without action. I will fight this war on every front and win or fail and account it honestly. And to those who call yourself my friend, be true by judging me harshly. Kind excuses are no help to me in the long run.

Because I am a new day rising and so are you.


Do or do not. There is no try.
- Yoda (film: The Empire Strikes Back)

Don't you see you are the Universe to yourself. You carry your fortunes in your own hand.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Become the man you were born to be.
- Lord Elrond (Lord of the Rings, J R R Tolkien)

Shit or get off the pot.
- Crazy Bernie

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Not the Steve-o

Random quotes, without context, recently spoken (or sang) in my presence:



I always prefer the Bob Dylan performances where he remembers to bring his consonants.

I bet she's got a nice little toaster oven.


I sleep good. I have one-two beers and sleep like monkey.


Oh, I like the usual girl things. Hop scotch, dress-up dolls. Getting my patch pounded every Friday night.


Incense peckermints la la la la. Incense peckermints la la la la.


I like to start my day with the newspaper and a bowl of bran flakes. Then I spend the rest of the day just hoping for a good BM.


Beauty is only skin deep. Ugly goes right to the bone.



Oh no! My moustache is on the floor and it's running away!


What a country eh? Where even the poor can be decadent.


Royal Meats? What kind of place is that? Ah, yes I'll have the Prince Andrew on toast please. But leave out the stringy bits.

.


This article brought to you by the Matt LeBlanc Anti-Virus Society.


Hi, this is Matt Leblanc reminding you to cover and cough. Don't let the godless Russians - I mean - flu virus - destroy the human race.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

More fun things about being a security guard

1. Working with a crew who prefers to use nicknames rather than real names. My co-workers:

Big Bill
Little Bill
Big John
Little John
Striker
No-Ass
Brain
Stan-the-Man
Killer
Frodo
Alphabet
Baloo


2. Conversations with clever teenagers, like this:

"How many did you give out today?"

"How many what?"

"Tickets."

"I don't give out tickets."

"You don't give out parking tickets?"

"Nope."

"But you're security. What are you doing out here, then?"

"I'm making sure everyone is having a safe and happy day."

"Well - I'm not happy!"

"Okay. I'll put that in my report."


3. Attacks by the Phantom Dumper

Squad Leader was eating her salad while we followed the intruder via surveillance camera when the intruder suddenly dropped his pants, squatted on the sidewalk and... did... his... business.
The remaining salad went uneaten.

Please enjoy this totally unrelated complimentary photo of melted chocolate ice cream:


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer is for kids and kids-at-heart.

The ever excellent Fumadiddle has published the following advice: 20 things to do this summer to be a kid again. I support it whole-heartedly but I must add some clarifications:

1. Catch lightning bugs.
Is that the same thing as fireflies?

2. Play hopscotch.
Sounds like a recipe for broken ankles. Can I just draw chalk pictures in public places instead?

3. Chase down the ice cream truck.
Did that once. Turned out to be a knife-sharpener guy instead. Luckily I had a knife on me. I hadn't been planning to pay for the ice cream, you see.

4. Blow soap bubbles.
Saw him the other day. He says Hi.

5. Hula hoop.
Not a chance in hell.

6. Swing.
I've heard about those parties. No thanks.

7. Have friends over to play hide and go seek.
We thought Ollie was a welfare case. Turns out that "Ollie-Ollie income-free" was supposed to be "All ye, all ye in, come free."

8. Cloud watch.
Ah, yes. And try it at night too. Especially if there's snow on the ground and a fullish moon.

9. Camp out in the back yard.
Best done a couple yards away from another batch of campers. Launch crab apples at them all night. Great fun.

10. Jump off a rope swing over a river.
We call that water skiing now.

11. Play in the sprinkler.
That's what Mom always said when declining a request to go swimming, which always infuriated me but in hindsight, it was better than "Go play in traffic" I suppose.

12. Have a mud fight.
Might eating a Mile-High Mud Pie dessert count?

13. Build an indoor fort with chairs and sheets.
Add a couple card tables for a fort-mansion.

14. Eat watermelon on the back porch and spit the seeds.
The goal is to land them in your friend’s hair, of course.

15. Have a water balloon or squirt gun war.
Have you seen the weapons of watery mass destruction they manufacture these days?

16. Climb a tree.
My childhood climbing-tree finally got cut down in the last year. There can never be another.

17. Skip stones.
And hold hands. And get an old gold Chevy and a place of your own.

18. Go wading in a creek.
Does the hot tub count?

19. Create a masterpiece with sidewalk chalk.
I see the end of the list is coming and you haven’t yet said, clip a hockey card to your spokes to make your bike a motorbike. I guess that was strictly a boy thing.

20. Laugh until your sides hurt.
That's why I visit your blog, Flumadiddle.

Star Drek

I'm watching Star Trek, the original motion picture. It's hard to believe I've actually avoided this for a full thirty years.

So far, every male in this movie is wearing a toupee.

And everyone in Star Fleet wears a miniature money belt around their abdomens. The lengths they went to just to disguise Shatner's girdle...

Every external shot has an immobile space-suited guy floating around.

Everyone's over-acting a little bit. It's like every element of wardrobe and direction is designed to mask Shatner's idiosyncrasies.

Kirk: "I need you! Dammit Bones! I need you! Badly!"

Wow! Love the engineering crew uniforms. They're Imperial Storm Trooper suits with giant Reese's peanut butter cup wrappers for collars.

Spock in black cape is looking more Dracula-ish than ever.

McCoy has yet to report to sick bay. He's apparently been promoted to Kirk's personal therapist and follows him everywhere he goes, telling him off.

Spock: "I suspect there is an object at the centre of that cloud." Well, I'm no Vulcan brainiac but I concur, Sherlock. We wouldn't have a movie,otherwise.

Checkov burns his hand and falls down wailing as if his genitals have been cut off. Oddly, McCoy is finally absent.

Well, lo and behold. An object at the centre of the giant cloud.

Uh oh. Intruder on board. A plasma-energy combination according to Spock.

The security guy in helmet and cockpiece does nothing to protect the officers while the plasma guy goes around zapping them. That's right. I said cockpiece.

Spock: "I believe the closed orifice leads to another chamber."

Return of the bald girl; starkers, apparently. Does the carpet match the drapes?

"Within you," says the usurped commander, Decker to bald girl, "Are the memory patterns of a certain carbon unit. I can help you to revive those patterns! Then you could understand our functions better!" Boom chickka wow-wow. Best pick-up line ever.

Okay they've taken the old Spock Dilemma - that absurd simple-minded notion that logic and emotion are somehow two ends of a single scale - and extended it to this omnipotent space-predator VGER and his hunt for the creator. He's Pinocchio and Zardoz rolled into one.

VGER, Decker and bald girl have a space orgy and VGER has his first space-orgasm (talk about shooting stars) which leaves him fulfilled and no longer interested in purging Earth of its carbon units. Mankind lives another day. Hoo Haw.

I have now seen two of the eleven Star Trek movies; the first and last. They're pretty silly but I'm game to continue. Perhaps you'll join me next time for Wrath of Khan.

Live long and prosper,
FWG
.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fun things about being a security guard

So I'm on duty at my employer's national annual general meeting - at a hotel - just basically hanging out in the hallway between the meeting rooms and making sure to look spiffy whenever the big-shot delegates are moving between meeting rooms.

They've contracted a facilitator to organize all the details - both official and extracurricular - of the week-long event. She's busy on her lap top and phone at the long table set up in the wide hallway for herself and her brochures and name tags and lanyards and various goodies and trinket trash. I offer to grab her a snack from the buffet just down the hall. She accepts.

Later, as I'm passing by, she suddenly pushes her dirty dishes and coffee cup toward me and states, "I'm done with these."


There's a prize if you can guess what my response was:


1. Yep, you sure are.

2. Well, it's about time!

3. Good girl! Now you can have some pudding and then it's bed time for you, punkin.

4. Oh, well let me get that for you. So how DID your husband die? Oh, wait. wait. Never mind. I just figured it out.

5. Okay. Shall I summon some loser to take them away for you?

6. Very good. Shall I bring you a dessert menu?

7. So you are. But I only handle other people's dirty dishes at my own initiative or when I'm asked nicely.

8. Are you sure you're done? You couldn't have got that plump skipping seconds.

9. Excellent, and as security guard clearly falls below busboy on the evolutionary scale - it would be my privilege to take them away for you.

10. Oh goodie. May I lick them clean now?

11. That's nice.

12. Very nice. Are you ready to make poopies?

13. Holy shit, you ate it ALL! Oink oink oink oink!

14. Oh no you're not. You didn't eat the invisible pickle.

15. Yeah, I'm done with mine, too. I'll just leave them here with yours.

16. Even the fork? But you're not done sucking the chrome off it.

17. Well, fuck a duck! That's amazing!

18. You don't say?

19. Excellent. Shall I rinse them off for you before you hide them in your purse?

20. (None of the above)
.
.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Movies movies movies

The Wackness ***
(2008) Entertaining performance by Ben Kingsley in a sort-of feel-good movie perfect for the kind of ass holes who appreciate drugs being glorified and ugly-boy/hot-girl sex. If you're an ass hole you'll like it. Others may too. Just try not to fall for all the simple-mided crap that tries to sound like wisdom. It. Aint.

No Country for Old Men ***
(2007) I was so much hoping to like this movie that I've either fooled myself into thinking I liked it or else I actually liked it but just can't figure out why. I would hope that a story that engages for so long would leave some kind of mark; a point, a message; something. What did I miss? Something tells me I should have read the book first.

Gran Torino *
(2008) Sweet Jesus. Sweet sweet suffering Jesus. Clint Eastwood, what horrible trauma befell your brain? What a colossal train wreck of a movie. The experiment to see if Eastwood's mystique can carry a disfunctional movie with nothing else going for it but the most atrocious writing and acting imaginable, yielded a surprising result. Yes. The Eastwood threat-of-revenge mystique is enough to keep viewers from walking out of the theater on a film that in every way amounts to an ABC After-School Special that editors forgot to edit. Has to go on the list of all-time lemons.

Ali Zaoua ****
(2000) Another sad, touching, elbeit unlikely story about poor kids and the mean people who exploit them. I'm always a sucker for these.

Two Soldiers **
(2003) It took about 39 minutes to get through the introductory phase of the movie. At that point, as the lead characters parted ways and one began to cry, I found myself finally settling in and anticipating a good epic war film ahead. Abruptly the credits fell like a brick, as did my jaw - in disbelief. I grabbed the movie jacket. Yup. Forty minutes. It's the movie that almost was.

Star Trek Origins ***
(2009) Nice special effects for those who go out for that sort of thing. So much silliness and hokey plotlines I wasn't sure if it was a comedy or not. Clever casting though, has turned familiar faces into young people again. I'll give the next installment a chance.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine **
(2009) All action. No substance. I'm probably a fool for having hoped for more. Why is Hugh Jackman not the current James Bond? I swear he'd be the best since Connery. I swear it.

The Happening *
(2008) Perhaps M. Night Shamalamadingdong's worst ever. Had the feel of a spontanious weekend project. But Marky Mark Walberg showed up and that's all I ask of him! Hoo Haw!

Righteous Kill **
(2008) Former Heavyweights Al Pacino and The-Guy-Who's-Name-I-Can-Never-Remember are miscast as a couple of unintentional lightweight geeks in a movie written by some joker who doesn't know how to make cop movies with any more resonance than a cereal commercial. God help us all. Oh yeah. Robert DeNiro. Why can I never remember his name?

88 Minutes *
(2007) It's the longest 88 minutes ever. Al Pacino in an another embarassing cop flop, this time with inexplicable giant blue hair. Can we schedule poor Al's funeral already? His career is apparently dead. Cell phones, taxi-cabs, more cell phones and the worst Marg Simpson impression ever.

Off The Map ****
(2003) Was this based on a true story? I think it must have been. It had that feel. Characters genuine but too stark, as if eroded with the passage from old childhood memory. A useful study of human nature. A film, you might say, rather than a movie.

Where The Day Takes You *
(1992) In an enormous cast of millionaire actors, how many are actually talented enough to believably portray wretchedly poor street people? Um. Zero. And why did the make-up people cover every actor with a thin layer of grime but give them flattering hairstyles and no scars or blemishes of any kind? 'Cause they suck at their jobs too, I assume. This is actually negative-one star, not one star. I would have given it a zero if not for the extended scene where Sean Astin is covered in his own vomit. Cheque please.

Where the Eagles Dare **
(1968) Early Bond-style WW2 Nazi castle intrigue/action flick has a young Clint Eastwood playing second-fiddle to Richard Burton in an ensemble cast. Such under-utilization earned you a star-and-a-half penalty, bozos.

Blindness ***
(2008) Was this an artful exploration of the nature of humans and their societies or just more plot-driven hollywood-style muck? I think they were trying for the former but too much of it felt more like the latter and whenever it did; just when the plot needed to move; it didn't. I think this could almost have been a great movie had it not stalled a couple times.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Diehard 2 - featuring Skeeter Willis‏

Welcome back. It’s been quite a while since we’ve met. I’m a few years older, but not necessarily wiser. Mr. FWG has sporadically reminded me that I owe him a follow-up blog to my premier several years ago – and he’s right, I do.

So, here I am, in my sophomore performance.

I’ve recently returned from a short getaway to New York City, aka Manhattan for you early Native Americans, and aka New Amsterdam for you early 1600’s settlers.

My family and I did the traditional touristy things and spent many hours on the top of the bus or in the back of a carriage-drawn bicycle. Money well spent, I suppose. I enjoyed the never-ending name dropping: Mr. Diehard lives here and another Mr. Famous was shot there, etc. Assuming, of course that this big-city trivia is remotely accurate. Who am I to doubt the historical accuracy from a bicycle-riding student from Bulgaria?

I found it odd that hundreds of people sit in lawn chairs in the heart of Times Square – all day long, 7 days a week. It’s quite a sight. The first time I saw it, I assumed that a street performance was about to begin – but no. It’s common place. Locals, tourists – they just sit there and watch the world go by, surrounded by all the never-ending lights of Times Square.
Apparently, all those companies advertising in Times Square are spending $600,000 PER MONTH to advertise there. Isn’t that sick? That’s over $7 million a year for EACH of those companies – and there’s dozens of them. Isn’t our society’s priorities warped? Just think how much further ahead our medical science could be if they re-directed even half of that wasteful spending to research.

I’ll step down from my soap box.

There seems to be quite a concerted effort by the tour guides to distinguish between ‘Old Money’ and ‘New Money’. Mr. Old Money owns these seven blocks and Mrs. New Money lives up there in the tower with her husband, Mr. Sony. All I know is that, old or new, they’ve all spent WAY TOO much money on real estate in New York. Most of them can’t descend their elevator and leave their building without seeing so much as a tree. Mostly concrete and asphalt for as far as the eye can see. Did you know that I have grass outside MY Thorold front door and several trees to look at - complete with their own singing birds. These millionaires would be jealous if they only knew how little I spent compared to them.

The new President is all the rage down there. Only time will tell if this change is the change that they were looking for. All I know is that several street vendors tried to sell me condoms with his likeness on them. Nothing says love like sharing the inner beauty of your significant other with the President’s likeness. I’ve heard of walking in another man’s shoes, but this is going too far.
New York was a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. It’s good to be back to my small town. I was born in a small town, and I can breathe in a small town, probably die in this same small town.

[Insert John Cougar copyright infringement lawsuit here]

Thanks Rich for the invite. See you again in 3 years.

...Skeeter




Sunday, July 05, 2009

Not the Steve-o

Snippets that people have said aloud in my presence. I leave the contexts to your imagination.

The popping days are over.

My parents have money. They just choose to live like trailer trash.

I don't know why seniors get discounts. They're the only ones in this society with any money.

Well, technically, she's a MILF.

They're messing with the eco-system of my head.

Has anyone seen my other end?

I haven't rented any good cheese in a while.

Is that a cigar in your pocket?

Those goddam Arabs got more money than brains.

So, you getting any action since you dumped the dry-humper?

I just can't connect with wood.

The Newfounese have not invented wine yet.

[Editor's note: FWG personally has nothing against Arabs or Newfounese (also known as Newfoundlanders) or any other illusionary tribal category.]

Friday, June 26, 2009

Where were you...

You know, whenever people say to me, "Where were you when you heard Kennedy was killed?", I have to say, "Sorry. I wasn't born yet. I wasn't even germinating in momma's tummy yet. I wasn't even a sparkle in some rapist's eye yet. I may posess the wisdom of a two-hundred year old guru, but I'm actually only forty. Kennedy departed six years before I came along."


[Editor's note: No one has ever asked FWG where he was when Kennedy was shot.]


But if Michael Jackson's death is the Kennedy of my generation -


[Editor's note: Not very likely. Half of FWG's friends are cheering, "The PED is DEAD!"]


- then I will not forget where I was. I was on Facebook chatting with Cap'n Vino. Here lies the transcript, forever immortalized:


FWG [is off duty ‘til Monday night!]

coincidence? obviously not.

Cap'n Vino [Wow, Farrah and MJ on the same day?]
I've never really been into it myself, but who am I to judge?

FWG
been into what?

Cap'n Vino
duty.
ok, I clearly did not get enough sleep.

FWG
I was talkin bout MJ and FF

Cap'n Vino
ok, now your comment makes more sense.
add Ed McMahon to the mix and there's your 3.

FWG
what about the leblanc guy?

Cap'n Vino
Patrick Swayze is wiping his brow, I'm sure.
who?

FWG
whatever

Cap'n Vino
matt leblanc? joey from friends?

FWG
no this guy was 81 and died yesterday and the newspaper ppl thought that was significant
and he was canadian

Cap'n Vino
oh, romeo

FWG
tada

Cap'n Vino
but he wasn't in entertainment, so apparently he doesn't count.

FWG
he probably watched TV
thats entertainment

Cap'n Vino
I don't know...a guy named romeo...he was probably more into reading shakespeare

FWG
u win

Cap'n Vino
excellent. it's all about winning

FWG
THIS JUST IN...
rod has emailed cottage response

Cap'n Vino
und?

FWG
he only has one vacation day left
what a loser

Cap'n Vino
and I guess he's not willing to take a leave of absence for the remaining 6 days?
you told him there'd be booze right?

FWG
friggin guy's back and forth between his office and Dallas office all the time
he should just tell each office he's at the other

Cap'n Vino
that works for me. he could go into town every couple of days and make a call. problem solved.

FWG
presto

Cap'n Vino
I'm growing basil...I could make that
oops...presto. never mind

FWG
I'm lost. what's the word I'm looking for?

Cap'n Vino
map?

FWG
something -esto

Cap'n Vino
manifesto

FWG
pesto?
thtz not it
is it?

Cap'n Vino
basil, olive oil, pine nuts? yep, pesto is it.

FWG
okay. dunno why it became so unfamiliar to me all of a sudden

Cap'n Vino
it's a funny word. I say we call it presto from now on.

FWG
I'm in.
and a one item pizza is called pepperonli

Cap'n Vino
I'm having a hard time saying that one and I'm nearly sober.

FWG
PEPPER... ONLY
CINCH
oops - cappslock stuck

Cap'n Vino
stop yelling at me!!!
I think the I at the end threw me off
if I were to have a one topping pizza, it would probably be mushrooms.
we could call it mushroomi

FWG
not in my house you wouldn't
but you're at the shop

Cap'n Vino
I am so

FWG
you are so

Cap'n Vino
what did you call me?!?

FWG
So.

Cap'n Vino
I see.
I'm sending off a message to my friend jeannine to see if they are available.

FWG
bravo

Cap'n Vino
I crack me up.

FWG
yeah, that word 'available'

Cap'n Vino
What are the chances that you guys have some vacation time available Aug. 29-Sept. 5? We've rented a cottage up north with our friend FWG. Stacey (our wedding photog, and Plonk's gay cousin's ex-wife) was due to come along but just bailed.So FWG and us decided to take turns asking people who would be fun to see if they are available. He got first dibs, but his person only has one day of vacation left. Our turn!You're my number one! (of course, if you guys can't make it, I'll be telling all my other picks that they were number one, but you seriously ARE my first pick.) It is such an awesome place. This is our 3rd year there. It's the only cottage on the lake. VERY PRIVATE. No hydro. Propane appliances and lights.Anyhooo, let me know if you guys are interested.ciao baby.
there...sent

FWG
Nice.
All your previous picks were busy, I guess.

Cap'n Vino
ya, pretty much.
I'm hooked on this damn bouncing balls game!

FWG
sounds painful

Cap'n Vino
it's not a real hook

FWG
ew

Cap'n Vino
I'm getting a hand cramp from playing so much

FWG
i think i've heard enough
did you guys ever meet my friends tim and aaron from Florida?

Cap'n Vino
yes, many years ago

FWG
they've talked about wanting to visit this summer. They may be my next proposal if Jeanine ixnays.

Cap'n Vino
sounds groovy

FWG
did u just say groovy?

Cap'n Vino
no, but I may have typed it

FWG
oh yes - there it is.

Cap'n Vino
yes, I've just browsed the transcripts. I did, in fact, type "groovy"

FWG
would you call the cottage wheel-chair accessible?

Cap'n Vino
well, there's a ramp to get in, but I'm not sure about door sizes and all that.
getting to the beach could be a chore too

FWG
acknowledged.

Cap'n Vino
why? who's in a wheelchair?

FWG
Frank of "Frank and Jeff"
awsone fellas
aw-SUM, I mean
hates me this keyboard

Cap'n Vino
tim & aaron already get the boot?

FWG
No. I'm already planning the next 88 rounds of picks

Cap'n Vino
good plan.

Cap'n Vino
won't you take me to funkytown?

FWG
in your dreams

Cap'n Vino
I love the 80 's lunch

FWG
oh

Cap'n Vino
bastard!

FWG
i wish you'd stop bringing that up

Cap'n Vino
I'll try...how about shithead?

FWG
no thanks. cutting down.

Cap'n Vino
peckerbreath?

FWG
i haven't had oral sex recently, if that's what you’re asking


Cap'n Vino
I wasn't, but thanks for the info

Cap'n Vino
hey

FWG
horses

Cap'n Vino
peter (of doug & peter) just signed a lease for the shop two doors down. He's opening a gluten-free bakery in September.

FWG
wowzers I say

Cap'n Vino
ya, I think doug's got some nervous diarrhea now.

FWG
[pushes lunch away]

Cap'n Vino
Mmm...lunch. I should have mine soon

FWG
please. take mine.
I'm gonna head outside. Enjoy the weather.

Cap'n Vino
I'm going to stay in and enjoy the a/c

FWG
Let me know what Jeanine and whozits has to say, buc

Cap'n Vino
have fun!

FWG
...karoo

Cap'n Vino
will do

FWG
later gator


Did you make it to the end? Sorry for doing that to you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

97 lame questions

Don't you just hate lazy bloggers who steal their Facebook tags and cross-post them to their blog? Oh well. Too bad. Times are tough.


100 Truths (actually 97). After you've filled this out, tag 15 people and have them do the same.


1. Last beverage--- Grape-splashed bottled water. It's half done.

2. Last phone call--- To Caledon - to wish 'happy Fathers Day' to the only man who deserves to be called my father.

3. Last text message--- Couple years ago. Probably said, "luv u"

4. Last song you listened to --- Robert Plant, 29 Palms. Watched the video on YouTube.

5. Last time you cried--- With any intensity? Last winter. Drank too much. Things got heavy.


HAVE YOU EVER:

6. Dated someone twice --- With a break between? Not that I recall.

7. Been cheated on?--- Always.

8. Kissed someone & regretted it?--- Too often.

9. Lost someone special?--- Of course. How can you not?

10. Been depressed?--- Yes but never again.

11. Been drunk and threw up? --- All too recently.


LIST FOUR FAVORITE COLORS:

12. Sky blue
13. See above
14. See above
15. See above


HAVE YOU:

16. Made new friends--- Constantly.

17. Fallen out of love --- My love for all people waxes and wanes perpetually.

18. Laughed until you cried --- Yesterday. The culprit: http://rachelmurie.blogspot.com/2009/06/santa-baby.html

19. Met someone who changed you --- Of course. Everyone.

20. Found out who your true friends were --- An arbitrary label but in essence - I sense who are 'truer' than others.

21. Found out someone was talking about you --- I did. And it was me.

22. Kissed anyone on your friend's list--- A couple dozen. But only three with the tongue and everything.


23. How many people on your friends list do you know in real life --- All but Rick Mercer.

24. How many kids do you want to have--- Some days, one. Usually zero.

25. Do you have any pets --- No but the roommates have koy, a dog and a three-legged cat.

26. Do you want to change your name--- Yes.

27. What did you do for your last birthday--- Had a surprise party inflicted on me five months prior to the actual date. 'Surprise' is an understatement.

28. What time did you wake up today --- 5:30PM. And now I'm on duty and on Facebook!

29. What were you doing at midnight last night--- Watching a John Carpenter movie - 'Assault on Precinct 13' with my co-workers in the Security Office. I kept laughing at it and hoping I wasn't hurting the John Carpenter fan's feelings.

30. Name something you CANNOT wait for --- I can wait.

31. Last time you saw your father--- Early May. He bought me dinner. I shall return the favor next weekend.

32. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life --- I'd like to lose some weight before it kills me.

33. What are you listening to right now --- the fan on the lap top.

34. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom --- Rarely. Generally Toms conspire to avoid me. No idea why.

35. What's getting on your nerves right now? --- My nerves are at peace.

36. Most visited webpage --- Hotmail. And whoever said CNN News -- are you insane!

37. What's your name--- Richard David Landriault

38. Nicknames--- FWG, Blue, Huggybear, New Day Rising.

39. Relationship Status --- No comment.

40. Zodiac sign --- No comment.

41. Male or female or transgendered --- I had a penis the last time I checked.

63. Elementary --- So it is, my dear Watson.

43. Middle School --- No.

44. High school --- Never again.

45. Hair color --- Blonde this time of year.

46. Long or short --- Very short right now. Almost buzz-like.

47. Height --- 5'11".

48. Have a crush on anyone? --- You could say that.

49. What do you like about yourself? --- That I am largely free, joyful, at peace, and compelled by noble purpose.

50. Piercings --- No thanks. I'm fine with the way I was originally assembled.

51. Tattoos --- I don't want to be poked, thanks. By anything.

52. Righty or lefty --- Righty. Wait, do you mean -- Never mind. Righty.

FIRSTS :

53. First surgery --- Appendix. Grade seven. The school priests declined to visit me at the hospital, contrary to usual practice on account of my parents being godless heathens.

54. First piercing --- Aint gonna happen, Sunshine.

55. First best friend--- Robbie Egger. We were gonna be the next Hardy Boys.

56. First sport you joined --- Lacrosse.

57. First pet --- Maggie. A kitten. She disappeared when Mom had a change of heart. Later so did Cocoa, the dog. I was shattered both times and never got to say goodbye.

58. First vacation--- Typical cottage type.

Bold
59. First concert --- Kim Mitchell. Had a great time. Didn't realize yet how awesome he's not.

60. First crush --- Never mind.


RIGHT NOW

61. Eating --- Ka-bobs and potato salad.

62. Drinking --- Grape-splashed bottled water, which I already explained. Next time you repeat a question we're done. This is a boring interview anyway.

63. I'm about to --- Patrol wings E,F,I and G.

64. Listening to --- Like I said, the fan on the lap top. And... We're done.

65. Waiting for ---


YOUR FUTURE :

66. Want kids? ---

67. Want to get married? ---

68. Careers in mind? ---


WHICH IS BETTER WITH THE OPPOSITE SEX?

69. Lips or eyes ---

70. Hugs or kisses --

71. Shorter or taller ---

72. Older or Younger ---

73. Romantic or spontaneous ---

74. Nice stomach or nice arms ---

75. Sensitive or loud ---

76. Hook-up or relationship ---

77. Trouble maker or hesitant ---


HAVE YOU EVER :

78. Kissed a stranger---

79. Drank hard liquor ---

80. Lost glasses/contacts ---

81. Sex on first date ---

82. Broken someone's heart ---

83. Had your own heart broken---

84. Been arrested ---

85. Turned someone down ---

86. Cried when someone died ---

87. Liked a friend that is a girl? ---


DO YOU BELIEVE IN:

88. Yourself ---

89. Miracles ---

90. Heaven ---

91. Hell ---

92. Santa Claus ---

93. Kiss on the first date? ---

94. Angels ---


ANSWER TRUTHFULLY:

95. Is there one person you want to be with right now? ---

96. Had more than one girlfriend at one time? ---

97. Posting this as 100 Truths? ---


Your turn!



You're all invited to participate!


But Remember!
COVER AND COUGH!

Only YOU can save the human race!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Book: A Game of Thrones

George R. R. Martin (1997)

Captivating and brilliant!

For an author to know so many characters so well; to bring them so vividly to life and especially to give them the legitimate voices to exert their genuine will and yet still somehow manage an intricate plot is a major achievement in storytelling.

The other great problem with such a cast of hundreds, of course, is its threat to overwhelm and chase away the reader but Martin uses tricks of nomenclature and innumerable hints and reminders and tames what at first looms a beast.

The dialogue is key to a tale that is largely court intrigue (ah, but so much more interesting than that sounds) and this dialogue is absolute dynamite; unendingly clever and multi-faceted in its uses. It keeps the story charged; intense; well-paced.

The imagery barely suffices at times but that's fine. You can't have everything. The narrative often irks with such a penchant for the simple was/were structure but perhaps this is Martin's idea of epic style as opposed to a flaw in his wordsmithing repertoire. Perhaps not. But there are regular nuggets of subtle genius which bring scenes sparkling to life and some excellent wisdom throughout. Make no mistake. It is fantasy. It is fiction but it is also a reminder of the beasts that we are and the beastliness we have so far overcome.

What else can I say? This guy is a killer storyteller and I shall be almost as sad at this tale's closure some three or four books from now - almost - as I was to finally close Return of the King. And by that I do not mean to pit Martin against Tolkien. To do so is as pointless as pitting Einstein against Freud. They have their separate purposes and we're blessed to have both. May we celebrate!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The mystery deepens

As both Graham and Her Flumadiddliness Bablatrice II have pointed out, the Genitals In Space mystery diagram is clearly an upside down dude. A chef, perhaps, with goatee and very tiny legs.

But this can not be the final explanation. The College most definitely does not teach upside down dudery, nor cooking, for that matter, at its trade campus. And anyway, what self-respecting cooking course has need to diagram a cartoon pecker-nosed chef - even right side up, let alone inverted?

Curiouser and curiouser. No, there has to be a better explanation and I shall leave no stone unturned in this quest to unearth the truth.

My only clue thus far; Roger has noted a slight similarity to some hi-tech doo-dad called a thermo something reactor switch or something. I'll have to re-read his comment.