Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Impact of Pink Floyd

Dies Irae - The Trip (1971)

This is very Floydian. Apparently from Germany, I'd like to thank Gavin for sending this too me. Despite its obvious lack of orginality, I like it quite a bit. Okay, the song not the promo video. Hmmm, I should see if they have any Goblin posted online...

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Shining Path...

CD in Play: Wilco, Being There

... Now With Even Less Internet Access!

Work has cut off the Internet due to flagrant abuses by contract staff. My usage was apparently not a problem, it was the people who spent most of their shift on Messenger or on game sites. *sigh* So blogging will be carried out when possible. I can still use the computers in the Library after my shift, however.

Ze Weekend

So my friends Geosomin and Jay were in town this weekend from Saskatoon. They were unbelievably happy with the warmth and general lack of snow - tickled that going outside didn't carry the risk of freezing to death within 2 minutes. It was a great weekend of good food, good drink and exceptional company.
One of the places we hit was Salt - - where the three of us had a great gastronomic experience. Jay learned that brie cheese and honey go well together. Geo learned that apple and ash-ripened Camembert are a thing of beauty when combined. and I learned that wine-soaked figs and P'tit Basque (mild French cheese) are exquisite when combined.
I am sorry they are gone and the Internet is hardly a substitute.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


CD in Play: Isis, Celestial.

Vomit Day

“To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee” - Ahab to Moby Dick. (Moby Dick by Herman Melville)

It's that time of year again. I hate Valentine's Day. I was the kid who seldom received Valentines, except when someone's parents forced them to give one to every kid in the class. I was never very thrilled to recieve a Valentine from one of the boys.
I have had my heart stomped on, kicked around, slashed, hacked, immolated, impaled and handed back to me on a tarnished silver platter. There was a subheader in the Vancouver Sun this weekend that stated, "Just because you don't go ga-ga for Valentines, doesn't mean you have a black heart." Well, I do. Black as pitch, but it'll start getting redder as the day passes away for another year.


I just saw Breach, based on the biggest security breach in US history, with Peter Chattaway. I liked the film a lot. I won't give anything away, but I found it to be a compelling espionage film - the sort of espionage flick that I have been wanting to see. One of the trailers I've seen makes the film seem a bit more action orientated than it is, but is still very engaging. Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillipe and Laura Linney all give solid performances. Chris Cooper continues to impress. I'll be interested to see what the pundits make of the film's political position.

Saskatoon Invades

So my friend Geosomin and her husband (whom I a have met once before and hope to make a friend of while he is here) will be visiting as of tomorrow, the 15th. Hanging with Geo was always a good time - one of the most genuine, honest and warmest people I have ever known.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Excuse Me Meme

CD in Play: Mastadon, Blood Mountain

Current clothes: Jeans, black t-shirt, cheap black socks that are turning navy blue.

Current Mood: Tired. I just switched to day shifts and am still trying to adapt to going to bed by 10 pm and getting up at 5:30 am.

Current music: Um... Mastadon's Blood Mountain. Beware the birch men...

Current annoyance: My land lady's neurotic tendencies are really beginning to grate on me. When I get a better paying job it really will be time again to move.

Current Thing: "It's clobberin' time!"

Current desktop picture: Sketches of the TARDIS off the CBC website.

Current song in head: "Speed Trials" by Elliott Smith. The disc is in the truck.

Current book: Blood Hunt by Ian Rankin. A non-Rebus book. Not bad. Bit formulaic, probably hoping for a film deal. Still, Rankin's character's do tend to grab on to you. One of the causes of my SAS dream.

Current DVD in player: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Current refreshment: None. I am parched and hungry.

Current worry: Will Translink hire me on before summer starts?

Current thought: I really wish I had a time machine.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Skallagrimsson's Dreams

CD in Play: Big Star, #1 Record

I have had some pretty vivid dreams lately. I have had some really odd dreams lately. There was a while where I wasn't having any dreams at all, least none that I can recall at all. Anyhow, here are two of the dreams.

World of Warcraft Meets The Holocaust Meets the Marvel Universe

I have rejoined the Legion of Nerds - I own a copy of the World of Warcraft. I can't play it because my system is too antiquated, but I plan to buy a new system soon. WoW is the sort of game I think many people in my generation dreamed of playing, so it is like fulfilling a childhood fantasy.
I had a dream where I finally installed the game along with a patch for the latest system fixes. In the character creation area I was given the choice of playing either a Jewish child or a German opposed to the Nazi regime. The dream wavers back and forth from both perspectives. I live through Kristallnacht and escape while the Nazis place my family in the Lodz Ghetto. The terror is all there, hiding from the soldiers and party members trying to find sympathetic places to hide. Eventually the child grows older and after the war he confronts a former neighbour, who has many of his family's personal effects. (including his father's watch)
The role of sympathizer puts you in a sort of resistance cell, hiding Jews and running an underground railroad to get them out. You collect intelligence and counter-intelligence and commit acts of sabotage. At one point in the dream the tutorial mode kicks in and explains how to hide in the game, how to use stealth, heal up, (I was shot at one point by a German with an FG 42) and kill.
One objective was to go steal a radio and transmitter that the SS had stashed in the basement of a house. I proceed up the alleyway and open the door. Standing just behind the door is one of Spider-Man's old villains, Electro. His knees are slightly bent, his back turned slightly from the door and he's eating a sandwich. He turns towards me with a near panicked look and says, "You aren't gonna fuckin' hit me, are you?" So I do and knock Electro's lights out. I find the radio, which looks like an old fashioned telephone and I am confronted by a Siamese twin version of Mr. Sin. (a character from an old Doctor Who serial) At this point I woke up.

SAS Fat Camp

I am far too overweight and need to loose weight. To that end I have been trying to walk more, stretch, lift weights, increase my intake of fruits and vegetables and decrease the meat, and so on. It is slow going. I was also reading up on British Special Forces units like the SBS, SRR and SAS. I am reading Ian Rankin's Blood Hunt, a non-John Rebus story, whose main character is ex-SAS. The character of John Rebus, as it happens, is also ex-SAS and the first novel in the series ties in with his past in the Special Forces. I have also considered moving to the UK when I get my teaching certificate, as there is a shortage of high school teachers over there. (as there is here)
The night of the dream my feet were very cold and the rest of me was overly hot, some sort of fever I suppose. (but no sweating) In fact I felt sick all day and barely made it through work. In the dream I was inducted by the SAS into their weight loss for Britain programme - part of Her Royal Majesty's Initiative for a Fitter Britain. I was told that in order to be deemed fit to teach British youth, I would have to become fit in all aspects.
In the dream, I pretty much went through what I read about SAS training. Made to run about Wales with an 80 lb backpack strapped to my back. Combat training with live ammo in the jungle, (the accountant lost a hand) though in the dream the jungle sometimes became the Scottish Highlands and then became Seymour Mountain. Me and the other inductees are then set loose and hunted down. We had to stay hidden and undiscovered - otherwise we were beaten.
Finally through we were all caught, thrown naked in a dark damp pit, deprived of food, sleep and comfort occasionally let out to be interrogated, humiliated and tortured. Eventually we were all given a cot with clean sheets, pillows and cellphone to act as our alarm clock. (which was exactly like my Nokia) We were to set our alarms for 0447 hours (that's 4:47 am for those who can't figure out the 24hr clock) and get up immediately and be alert. I woke up at 0444, shut off the alarm, got up and began stretching. the doors opened and I was let out. They congratulated me on passing, for beating my alarm. At this point I woke up at 4:44 am feeling anything but alert. I felt like someone had beaten me up. Still, I do find myself wishing I could have joined Special Forces...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I Gotta Ding-a-Ding-Dang...

CD in Play: Isis, In the Absence of Truth

"Nobody with a good car needs to be justified." - from the John Houston film adaptation of Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood.
As readers of this blog are aware, I retested for my driver's license and passed with ease. I am still waiting for the picture ID to arrive, but it is interesting the difference it has made on the way I carry myself. Not having my license really contributed to my feeling like an all out failure. It seems bizarre but having a license makes me feel like a full citizen - like a man again. Not that it does the environment any good to have yet another polluter out on the road, spewing toxins, driving resource depletion and thinning the ozone layer.
"What are you talking about? Where you came from is gone, where you thought you were going weren't never there, and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it." - Wise Blood.
I felt trapped and strangely isolated from the rest of the Lower Mainland, having to depend solely on Public Transit. Transit just doesn't reach the places I need to get to to get away from the city and regain some measure of my sanity. As work, finances and my love life took deep plunges into hitherto unknown dark to darkest regions I was overwhelmed by a sense of being trapped. Depending on the charity and schedule of others to get you away from the city and the suburban sprawl is frustrating at best. So having a license now means that I at least have one means to end that isolation at some point.
My Dad and his wife are on holiday in Cuba and I am looking after their place. One of the fringe benefits is that I get to use my Dad's Ford Explorer. It is interesting the feeling I had Sunday after driving my Dad's truck for the afternoon. Even though it isn't my vehicle, I really did feel like a man sitting behind that wheel. Stupid, isn't it?
When I rolled up to my place in North Delta to pick up extra clothing and some perishables to bring back to Vancouver, it felt like the place was beneath me. It didn't feel that way when I got my license. But rolling up in my Dad's vehicle, I felt bigger somehow and more confident. My basement suite seemed like the domicile of a lost and struggling man only a few steps ahead of the troubles that had been dogging him for nearly a decade. Hopping into the Explorer and cranking up Isis I felt like I should never return: ditch the place and move forward.
It's odd how being back on the road makes me feel like I am back in the saddle. I'm not really, just riding in someone else's periodically for a short time and then I am back to Public Transit full time. (I still take Transit to work - less frustrations and cheaper) Still, it feels good.

The Wise Blood quotes were sampled in a song by Ministry, "Jesus Built My Hot Rod" (Redline/Whiteline version)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

True Perversion

CD in Play: Mojo presents Psych Out!

So I am still getting over my bought of food poisoning from Sunday. Much better on many levels, a bit less blood in the eyes, my voice isn't fading out, my colour is returning to normal and I can eat solids once again. One thing thoug is that my taste buds are a bit dodgy. I seem to only really be able to taste and appreciate sugar and salt.
Perhaps I am still deficient in these things? Overall, the taste in my mouth is bland and I have been sucking on Ricola to get some flavour back into my mouth. Things have just tatsed off since Sunday. Although, someone just came by with some watermelon and I seem to actually taste that as watermelon, so maybe things are improving as I write.
Some overt food smells still make me a bit queasy. A case in point would be the mini-quiche they were serving as a part of a conference at work today. The smell just made me a bit unsteady. Someone walked by with a sub from Subway and the smell also had me wrinkling my nose. Nothing too unusual about that. What is really perverse is that the thought of salad makes me very queasy.
In addition to the vegetarian dumplings that made me ill, I also had a salad I brought from home. I have a box of salad in my fridge that is just sitting there (and is no approaching the inedible state) because I can't stomach the site of it. Not a good thing for a man trying to alter his diet and loose weight. Fortunately, the sight of the brocoli and - oddly - the head of white cabbage in my fridge don't bother me.
The first time I experienced major food poisoning was when I was six eating at the Red Dragon in Port Coquitlam. Typical Canadian-Chinese crap. My parents ordered egg-foo-yeung and it made me very sick. I couldn't eat Chinese food again until 1980. By then Chinese food in restaurants had started to become more authentic. Later in 1976 we were travelling down to San Francisco and stopped off at a Taco Bell. I puked up right on the front door as we were leaving - I have never thought about eating at a Taco Bell since. Hopefully, this won't be the case with salad.