500 Words Per Day

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Saturday Afternoon

I had nothing going this Saturday afternoon so I dithered part of it away by revisiting some of my old Blogger blogs. This one is probably my favourite.

It's been 10 years since I created 500 Words Per Day. That is astonishing. Reading over my old ramblings I was struck by a couple of things. Yes, there was the sheer, breathless stupidity of my topics, ranging from the trivial to the absolutely asinine. The regular sidetracks into piggish, male chauvinistic territory surprised me as well. (Was I really that much of a pervert?) But I did hold myself to a standard of conduct from the get-go, did I not? No filters, just write! Spew!

 I also became sad. No, it wasn't the realization that 28-year old me was an idiot because I was already acutely aware of this fact even then. No, reading this and a few of my other blogs reminded me of how shamelessly I discarded the one creative activity I most loved doing.

Yes, writing.

I started this blog in my late-twenties as a way of putting a stake in the ground. I knew that I loved to write. I also knew that I had a long way to go before actually becoming competent at my passion. Skill would only come through raw, consistent and uncompromising practice. I would have to ply my trade tirelessly in order to succeed, yes? So I wrote in this blog for a while. Eventually I wrote for other blogs.

But then I stopped writing. I went chasing another passion of mine - which was completely necessary for me to do at the time - and I followed through with that commitment. But the important lesson here is that I stopped writing. The years fell away and I abandoned this wonderful activity for a myriad reasons. You can take your pick of the excuses out of this hat that is chock-full of them.

 So I read through this blog and I had a good laugh or two. But it's got me thinking again...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I'm back? I routinely punish myself with the realization - learned through experience and maybe more than a little self-flagellation - that I am a quitter. This is perhaps not the sad-sack style of quitting that prevents someone from functioning at nominal levels. It's more the flavour of quitting one's passions or quitting when things really look down. So of all I things that I quit doing in my short life, I managed to throw into the lot the one thing that I had any interest or competency for when I was growing up: writing. When I started this blog, it was to spur myself to write often and to write regularly. I wanted to be a writer. I wrote a bit in my spare time, turned in a handful of game reviews and published some minor features on Rice Paper but then it all stopped. The blogging stopped, the writing stopped and it just felt like I happily went along being a semi-responsible adult, pursuing other things that would garner me a career that paid regularly. So I fired up the blog tonight with some fire in the belly but with really nothing to say, I think. I just wanted to write something, anything. This is sort of a ploy to get my muse going again, yes, but I think it's also a ploy to just get my mind working again, period. I've been sluggish and complacent. Oh so very complacent. I'll be back tomorrow. Maybe.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Girl, Looking Good this Summer ain't Rocket Science

Not to throw anyone off by writing two posts within the span of a few minutes, but I needed to get some more things off my chest before I abandon this area for another three to six months.

Summer. It's here and I won't say it's "finally" come because it was actually prematurely ejaculating hot glorious rays of sunshine at us back as early as April. Yes, it was late April when we got a good five days of a hot spell, followed by nearly two weeks of the summer sizzles during May. So this whole official start to summer, back on June 20th, was pure rubbish. It was just more ironic tomfoolery. It rained for half the weekend, granted only during the night or early in the morning when no one should care, but it rained all the same. And the clouds came and gave us a bit of a scare. And a BBQ or two were cancelled because of it. Damned summer and those dirty forecasters with their inaccuracies. I'd love a job like that. To be paid to say something. I just have to say something, make a prediction and back it up with a graphic and some numbers. Whether I'm wrong or right, I still get paid. Get me into this racket right now.

But, the topic is summer. And women. Girls! I prefer the term girls for the purpose of this article. "Women" is too staid. It's too dignified perhaps. Because now I am going to objectify a little bit. Okay, a lot. I am going to point out the obvious and that is to say, the girls look fantastic in the summer. And the reason is simple enough. A German DJ once laid out the formula as clear as day: "Hotties minus clothing is Happy Excess".

Oh man, you so right.

Unfortunately, I haven't spent much time at the beach yet so I haven't been treated to the bikini barrage or as some lucky ducks might see, an off-duty stripper/escort/dancer/professional hot girl doff the top and sun bathe au naturale. All the while painfully aware that yes they are hot and yes, they just exposed their mammaries long enough for an undisclosed number of male eyes to drink in and store in their memory banks for future reference. No, thus far I've only limited my random ogling to the streets. It's still a feast of visual treats for your average guy. Oh, how I wonder at how some men resist the urge to glance over when an attractive woman walks by or sits down on the bus. Oh, I'm watching them to see if they glance over. Then I get bored of waiting and go back to my covert operation of sidelong peeks, innocent head turns and other subterfuge to drink in more of the pretty sights.

Full disclosure: I am single with girlfriend and very happy with my relationship. My eyes never stop, however, and I don't ever see an end to it. Who stops looking? You're a liar if you say so. The engine never stops, it keeps purring and the view out the window is oh so good this season.

What's surprised me so far is not that there are a bevy of hot girls who seemingly come out of the woodwork when the temperature cracks a certain limit. Nor is the fact they are exposing more skin than ever before. No, the real reckoning for me, your-attached-but-always-looking pervert, is how few elements it takes for a girl to really put it all together. The checklist, if you please:

1.) Small shorts
2.) Tank or sport top
3.) Flip flops
4.) Legs (and good hips)

I once bowed at the statue carved of the man who invented the high heels. How a simple design has defined the look of women and has endured all these ages. I can't quite place the inventors of the thong sandals up atop the same pedestal but they deserve at least an honorary mention. Flip flops are the summer equivalent of a sexy pair of heels. Instead of the auditory warning of the click-clack, you get more of a scuff-scuff. Yes, flip flops on the right pair of feet attached to the right pair of bronzed, burnished legs can be quite the thing to behold.

I have a slight toe/foot fetish. Can you tell?

The rest of the list is self-explanatory, no? Tank tops to expose more skin and for the fact I've manage to fetishize a nice, lean pair of arms along with feet, toes and other ramdom appendages. And you can't have a nice legs without having firm, healthy hips to go along with them, can you? Is it in the realm of physical possibility? If you're rail thin, those short shorts will never be short shorts unless you're wearing something bought from Baby Gap. You're too thin, you're a waif, you'll blow away in the wind.

Give me a healthy west coast girl. Someone who's raised on a good Candian diet of beef, corn and Chinese take out. Someone who runs around outside or sweats it out on a machine once in a while. Those girls get the shorts and flip flops look to a T. A tan would be nice too but now I'm getting picky. You're all beautiful! I love you all.

Friday, Get your Face On

Hi, it's me. Where did I go? It doesn't matter. I just wanted to say how out of place I feel when I'm working on a Friday and out on the streets before sundown. No, I'm still working but I've gone out to buy some cheap sushi and to see if the magazine shop has bothered to stock anything worth reading or remotely current. Everyone has got their weekend faces on, the patios are buzzing with laughter, cars are on high intensity as they hurry back home. And the sun: the sun is alive and throbbing and refusing to quit. The weekend is here! The weekend is glorious and it is here, now. Right now.

Meanwhile I haven't got my game face on. Hell, I haven't even shaved. I'm walking back to office, squinting against the low sun. My hair still needs to be cut. It is in Q-tip mode and not especially sexy. And I'm just walking past the patios, the weekenders, the free ones, the liberated. Yes, I suppose I'm not alone. Those leggy hostesses and servers at Earl's aren't doing it out of the kindness of the hearts. The clerks at Timmy's probably have a number of things they'd rather be doing tonight than sling donuts. I know this. Things could be worse for me. Me, the guys working nights this week, the guy who's walking back to the office with his cheap sushi and a quiet evening with the monitors and the web surfing and the blogging.

Things could be a lot worse this Friday night.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Waking Up From a Year of Fitful Sleep

The subject title is to be taken figuratively of course. I found myself having a sustained moment of clarity today. The first signs of a true spring surely acted as the catalyst to wipe my mind clear of a year-long accumulation of apathy. The sun was out and I could finally shed my wool-lined jacket. I felt focused and I felt good about being alive.

I often come back to blogging after waking up from long periods of slumming, for lack of a better word. I feel as if I've woken up from a most slummy slumber, like a crotchety troll finally emerging from his cave into the sunlight, blinded, stunned and exhilerated all at once. As the troll, a number of realizations dawned on me. I had slept away the past year being perpetually angry and agitated, petty and increasingly careless with my own life. And by that, I mean I didn't care about my life. Beyond the basics of holding down a job, entertaining myself and maintaing contact with a very small group of people, I just could not be bothered to care how my life would unfold beyond the next couple of weeks.

My body had dissolved into a slovenly load of fat. I was constantly getting sick. I had not been able to finish reading any books, no matter how low brow the material. Friendships were left to wither. Bills were left unpaid. Chores and other responsibilites were shirked or dithered. Constantly tired.

It's been quite regressive in an ironic sort of way, seeing as I turn 32 this summer and was probably severaly magnitudes more mindful about my well-being when I was 22 than I am now. What hit me hard today was realizing in full clarity how badly I was walking around as a shell of a man. I really wanted to avoid using cliches, but that's really my perception of my life of late.

I'm pretty sure I do not suffer from S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) but the positive affect the sun had on me today was undeniable. I suddenly felt grateful for the things I had in life. Well, for the most part. I still didn't think very highly of my job but the prospect of going there didn't grate on me like it sometimes did. I felt a new level of warm fuzzies about my girlfriend (and no, her making breakfast for me this morning had nothing to do with it). Most alarming, I actually felt like I had the worth in me to go do something scary and different.

What kind of scary and different? While it had been percolating in my mind for some weeks now, it now seemed like an even more attainable and exciting. Well, here it is: I want go get back into the creative business. Not the web development that I've put myself through for half a dozen years. And while my friends keep egging me to pursue my love of writing, I took notice enough to see that my motivations to write still hold to a very casual level. I keep flirting with the idea of being a journo but have never felt compelled to follow current affairs or politics all that closely. Other, more specialized topics, yes, but in terms of the broad mainstream vein of journalism, I've felt little interest in it. More on this later.

No, when I say creative, what I really mean is going back to what really got me exciting about multimedia and web design in the first place. Using technlogy. Creating experiences. Making cool shit. If I've had a passion for anything these last couple of year, it's been with video games. Playing them for the most part, but also writing about them, reading about them, championing them, listening to podcasts and consuming every last scrap of news there is to be found about them.

Earlier this year I was brought on to write for a Canadian-based gaming blog and had the opportunity to cover my first video games event as press. It was the 3rd annual Vancouver Film School Game Design Expo. I mingled, interviewed a number of the industry professionals in attendance and wrote a short series of stories afterwards. It didn't cross my mind at the time, but I think I really envied all the industry vets that gave speeches, as well as all of the students, mostly youngsters, currently enrolled in the VFS game design program. A couple of the veterans inspired me because they were people who had done a 180 degree career shift, getting into game development later in their life after doing something completely unrelated. Could I make a similar shift? At the time, I banished such thoughts as insane.

Maybe. Now I've my day of clarity and it feels a lot more than just a few crazy hours of sun-addled delirium. There's a quiet, burgeoning scene out there, a scene where small independent developers ply their trade creating smaller games out of the mainstream retail chain. I want to get in there. It's an exciting place to be right now and especially for someone like me who has a rather slim chance of being hired by a company, it's a great place to learn and hone your craft.

Someone pinch me if they think I've finally lost it. I know there are several hundred steps ahead of me, but I know what the first few are. It's as clear as day to me now.

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Somewhere, someone is asking about that post I was going to write about my various experiences and observations during my time in eastern and southern Australia.

I think I hear my father reminding me to send him the link to my photo album. It's been almost three months since my return and had only just cleared out my carry-on last week prior to embarking on my weekend bro-fest in Whistler.

I still have yet to meet my travel agent for lunch and share all of my rapidly fading vacation memories with her. I've stood her up once already. I think maybe I'm taking my sweet time because I do find her attractive. It's a paradoxical attraction. She's attainable, or "in my league" yet we're both attached so any real possibility of a relationship beyond the professional may as well stay in the realm of complete fantasy.

What is wrong with me? I was talking about my vacation. Or rather, talking about my inability to talking about my vacation that has long passed.

I need blog therapy again.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Day Number... I've Lost Count Now

I watched the sky dump snow onto our hapless west coast metropolis for the better part of my 11-hour shift today. Listless, with hardly a thing to do but monitor agent statuses and line availability, I would trudge over to the reception area that overlooked the side street where I had parked my Camry.

Splotchy patches on concrete were replaced with muddy white accents until the entire street was covered in picture-perfect white snow. My car soon developed a soft ice cream coating and a low, fluffy fortress wall was later erected to apparently make my escape from work a trickier proposition.

I spied a few deckhands at the adjacent Acura dealership clearing out the driveway and became inspired to do something productive while doing nothing at work. After making another unnecessary sojourn to Starbucks, I waded through the white fields of tire treads and politely asked to borrow a shovel to pre-emptively extricate my car from captivity. With business non-existent, there was only the petite receptionist milling about the showroom floor. The branch manager was relegated to his watchful supervision of the service team, three men strong, as they industriously cleared the parking lot of every last shred of snow and ice.

I flashed my winning smile, gave a slight, knowing nod to the manager, and shovel was mine for the borrowing. Ten minutes and a slightly sore back later, I was back within the sauna-like ecosystem of my office. And still it continued to snow. I would tentatively peer out again from the reception desk, eyeing up the snow and wondering if I should have waited until the very last moments to borrow the Acura dealership shovel. I still had a solid three hours to kill and snowfall stops for no-one.

As it happened, my misgivings were unfounded. The upstairs office shut down a half hour before schedule, freeing me up to get a few precious extra minutes to remove a giant slab of snow and ice from atop my car. The journey back home was largely uneventful. The most notable observation I had was how sensibly everyone was driving. Even the entitled 4WD yuppy-mobile ahead of me was driving a lot slower than I myself was comfortable keeping pace with. Things got a bit dicier on the final approach to my apartment. A steep incline stretching for about 10 blocks, I built up exactly zero momentum coming off a plodding right-turn on a yellow light.

My tires were slipping all over my place, giving off the distinct sensation that my vehicle was not self-propelled but rather yanked along by a loose piece of string. As I triumphantly pulled to the curb outside my place, I realized that I was committed to the spot now. Another 5 centimeters would drop through out the evening with an another hefty dump forecasted for Christmas Day.

It was a rather small victory getting my car back home in one piece. My stubborn resistance to waiting and riding on an sopping wet, overcrowded and smelly bus challenged me to meet Mother Nature head on and emerge the champion. In your face, momma! Our east coast counterparts may scoff at our snowy conditions even now. To temperate Vancouverites like myself, the snow this year has been manly enough. I can't help feel just a little rugged for sliding and jiving my all-season equipped beater back home and no pedestrians or driver-side mirrors were killed in the process.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Posted Price is the Real Price. Imagine That.

I had got off the bus the other night and I was walking back to my front door when my world turned upside down. I live directly beside a Shell gas station so I'm privy to by-the-minute pump price fluctuations.

The 78.9 cents per litre sign enticed me into rolling up my car to top off the tank. Imagine my surprise when I saw laminated sign taped to all the pumps, boldy declaring that the post price of gas is the actual price at the pump.

Stunned. Speechless. Befuddled?

Finally, after all these years, the gas stations have done away with the charade of selling gas for 3 cents below the posted price. Someone high up must have finally come to their senses. Or perhaps this is just phase two of some diabolical plan designed to coddle us into a false sense of security.