500 Words Per Day

Friday, March 30, 2007

A New Day & a New Chapter

I had a severe case of the "poor me"s two weeks ago, making it impossible to write anything coherent aside from dropping a couple F-bombs and calling it a night.

I've been trying to come up with a trite metaphor about life and roads and directions, knowing that all it would accomplish is to highlight just how uninspired I can be at 12:09AM on a Thursday evening.

Two weeks ago, I received my walking papers from the current job, signaling the end of my dutiful, perfunctory 15 months of service as the company's webmaster. Like all lay-offs, this one came as a bit of a surprise. My boss trundled into my office near day's end, quickly sat down and got down to business. Sales were down and cash flow had tightened and support staff would need to be terminated. It didn't occur to me to ask why our sales board was so awfully white when he had went through the trouble recruiting the boss' old friend (and hotshot salesman) to rake in the new business. No, I was too busy being bemused and rapidly oscillating my emotions between joy, relief, annoyance and perfect calm.

As I left work that day, I was positive of having already come to grips with my termination. This is what I wanted since January, right? When I reactivated my Monster and Workopolis accounts, that was the time I was itching to get a change of scenery. Now my secret wish was fulfilled.

I drove home, slightly happier and with mind braying with ideas and possibilities.

Not two hours later, I was scanning the rain-slicked street outside my apartment, searching for the malcontent who crushed the driver-side mirror off my car with their own poorly driven vehicle. Still fresh from the shock of newfound unemployment and the memory of my unresolved claim from September, I was beside myself. It really was an inhuman feat to not feel victimized at that point.

I did a point check on my karma rating, wondering what foul deeds I have committed recently to deserve this double-whammy. Not that I'm a saint by any stretch, but I couldn't think of any thing.

Today is my final day at the job. Had one of the owners at our satellite office dump a truckload of menial tasks on my lap these last few days, no doubt gettin' that web work while the gettin's good. After that's wrapped up, it's the slow process of backing up my best work, saving all my personal files, clearing out my browser cache and collecting the few personal effects I have on my desk. It's all very anti-climactic. Even the owners are out of town and will miss my send-off.

Oh yes, I will get my farewell lunch. See, who says it doesn't pay to get sacked?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bad Day Vancouver

It's been a bad day. I didn't know I was overdue for a bad day like this. This is a bad day that makes me want to close my eyes and sleep for 20 hours. Fuck this day.

Obviously, details to follow...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hot Bitches in Fiji: The Real Post

You may remember my orgasmic post two weeks ago about Stacy, the hot Korean contestant in the latest iteration of Survivor. I was busy last Thursday nigth and actually went so far as to tape the episode, thinking the show's producers would do me right and find an excuse to trot out Stacy in her skimpy bikini number again. No such luck.

What they did, however, was present Stacy's dark side. Dark side, you ask, of a hottie? Oh yeah, you heard right. It's that nasty, base side of your personality that'll compel you to not show your tribe mates how to use a French press coffeemaker and give witheringly condescending instructions on its use because some people are obvioiusly too stupid to be alive. Wow, that was a shocker. I wasn't expecting Stacy to be an amiable bobblehead like Michelle, but I sure as hell didn't expect her to be so rude to Dreamz, Alex and Cassandra, over a coffeemaker of all things. The official Survivor forums were aflame, I tell ya! Forum posters were crying bigotry and all manner of extreme, Internet forum-y accusations.

It goes without saying that the show's producers edited the shit out of that scene for maximum impact, just like they do with everything else. There is, just like with the most ignorant generalisations, a grain of truth to what is being depicted. You can't fake Stacy's bitchy (yet still sexy) facial expressions and Alex's subsequent bitching about Stacy and her unexplainable bitchiness for not helping out with the French press. God, what a bitch. And how badly I want to poke her all the same.

With any luck, I'll be treated to a couple more lingering bikini-ass shots of Stacy before her inevitable elimination. Too soon to call? Maybe. After 13 seasons, I can safely proclaim that Rule #1 of Survivor (well, it could be Rule #2 or #3... Top 5 for sure) is this: don't piss people off. Simple enough, right? I don't care if your tribe is destroying the other team in the challenges and you're getting fat and lazy. If you're intentionally not teaching your friends how to use a French press, you better have some kind of master game plan going on in your head. Right now, Stacy looks like she's fat and lazy, and by that I mean she is silky and smooth but taking her tribe's success fully for granted.

So once again, a note, or rather, a plea to the show's producers: If she's heading out, get her naked first. Thank you, much appreciated.

/end horndogg rant

300: Not a Review

I was jogging through the mammoth parking lot of the suburban Silvercity multiplex, rapidly getting soaked by the weekend downpour. Heero was waiting for us at the entrance steps and we quickly exchanged my rain-drenched e-mail receipt for our movie tickets. Convenience fees are a joke.

This was my first IMAX experience at a Silvercity theater and I can't say the screen felt a lot bigger. I suppose it was wider and curved in at the edges more than normal. Great. Even 35 minutes prior to screening and the plum seats were already filled. We were lucky to have a band of guys shift over a seat so all three of us could sit together and hold hands. Awww.

The lights dimmed and, surprisingly, we got right down to the show. We were spared the 20 minute ad and trailer preamble! For the first time in a long while, I felt like my $15 ticket was actually worth something.

300 starts out like a pimped out, CG-rendered cinematic intro to a big budget video game. The sumptious visuals are a treat to behold from the opening frames and well into the blood-soaked climax of this 2 hour battle movie. You've probably heard or read about it already: the abs, they be toned and the blood runs very thick... to a point. There are spearings galore (and when someone gets run through with a spear, they get run through) and a sprinkling of beheadings and flying limbs to break up the monotony. Despite all the slaughter, the gore never pushed my squeamish buttons, nor does the movie slow down enough to portray the true horror of ancient close-combat.

Director Zack Snyder is simply happy to frame each scene as it were a painting and choreograph the beautiful action sequences like a slow-motion dance. Critics have mocked the overuse of slo-mo in 300 but I for one am thankful Snyder did not go the Tony Scott route and leave these crucial scenes entirely in the hands of an over-caffeinated editor. And while the movie is essentially one extended fight scene -- the first skirmish is the most harrowing, with diminishing returns as the body count increases -- it at least allows us to appreciate how effective a fighting force the Spartan soldiers really were. Wearing nothing more than undies and superfluous cloaks, they harnessed the full power of their simple shields and spears by facing their enemies in a phalanx. Shields linked and spears out, that's how these Spartans rolled.

I looked over at Bilbo during the first clash between Spartan and Persian and chuckled as he pantomined holding a video game controllor. Make no mistake about it, 300 is Troy for the gamer/fanboy generation. It's also the most visually arresting sword n' sandal epic to come down the pipe since the last Lord of the Rings movie.

The graphics, they be very good.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hot Bitches in Fiji

This is one of those lame posts that merely teases and promises more writing in the near future. The weekend went by very quickly as usual and I managed to catch the sight of many speared asses in 300. I also watched my taping of the most recent episode of Survivor. And.... I did other stuff.

Will post more soon.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Rob Corddry = The Winner?

I had the idiot box on last night while trying to get in touch with customer service. On comes a generic-looking sitcom featuring the unmistakable bald pate of Daily Show alumnus, Rob Corddry. I watched in horror as he mugged his way through the opening scenes of this pitiful program. It was so incredibly sitcom-y, complete with painfully obvious "beats" to the setup/punchline dialogue and what sounded like a permanently glued-down laugh track button.

Titled The Winner, the series follows the exploits of Corddry's man-child character. In his 30's, unemployed, balding and co-habiting with his parents, the guy doesn't much going for him and isn't quite motivated to change things. When his childhood crush - a doctor and single mom - moves into his neighborhood, he's suddenly inspired to turn his life around (and get into the doctor's pants, of course).

Aside from a couple good lines out of Corddry, this show is pretty much rubbish. So is this the fate of one of my favourite Daily Show correspondents? While other noteworthy alumni have graduated to bigger and better things (Colbert to The Colbert Report; Carrelll to The Office and the movies), I hardly see moving on to a sucky Sunday night sitcom as a step up.

In somewhat related news, during my search for a cheesy photo of Rob Corddry, I discovered he will be in the next Harold and Kumar movie that's due for release next year. Have you seen Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle? It's a special movie and I'm very glad a sequel is in the works. I could write a whole post about that movie and I think I will.

Digging Through the Memories

My parents are putting the family house up for sale in April. Dad has been pestering me for months to clear out my old bedroom, so I've finally relented and started picking away at the piles of old stuff gathering dust in there.

Clearing out my room is not unlike an archaeological dig. I realized what packrat I was and still am to this day. I spent part of one afternoon sorting through reams of scribbled notes, receipts for any and every thing, old magazines, school textbooks, spare change in various currencies, more receipts, novels I've never read, electronic pocket games, Artona school photos never framed and did I mention I have shitloads of old receipts??

Excavating my room has been tiring as I attempt to sort out the trash from the gold. There is trash aplenty and the gold has come in the form of old creative writing assignments, some dating back to elementary school. I've also found various projects started up during my days as lonely little boy. There is my attempt at a video game magazine, with my first issue professional drafted on 3-hole lined paper, handwritten in ink of course. I was also pleasantly surprised to find the shooting script to my 2nd-year video production short, along with many cartoons I doodled in highschool which, sadly, I still understand and find amusing.

I went back on Sunday to finish off the dig. There's just so much junk. I was getting impatient with the whole process and picked up the pace, eschewing the separation of recyclables and garbage and just transferring everything straight into the garbage heap, paper-based or not. What did I find today? Income tax assessments, GST receipts, many more store receipts, ATM receipts, binders from highschool and university, loads of books and more fucking receipts. The fact is, in the years leading up to my finally moving away from home, I was probably utilising 10% of my bedroom. The other 90% was used to house all of this crap. It's shocking.

And yet, I found it hard to part with this stuff. Even as I tied up the bags and lowered my junk into its proper home, I couldn't help but grimace. If I hung on to these things, I would never, ever look at them again, let alone think about them.

So why did I want to keep it all?