We's in California

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

new blog.

Is here. Worst. Blog. Name. In a while.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

That John Denver was full of sh...

I am currently nested in my very own house in Winnipeg, Manitoba; it is a very snowy February night. We made it back to Winnipeg without making any wrong turns that took us halfway across the country in the wrong direction. We then went to Germany and Austria for 3 weeks to visit family.

This is what happened.

We've moved back to Winnipeg into the house we bought, are fixing it up, and I started working in downtown Winnipeg. I was REALLY close to moving back to LA (Irvine) to work for a video game company that currently makes the world's most popular MMORPG. I ended up getting flown down there for an interview and was offered a job. It would have been an absolute dream for me but I ultimately decided against it, many of the reasons why are found in what I've written in this weblog. It was the hardest decision I've had to make and I learned a lot about myself.

I have some thoughts about our trip which I will discuss on a yet to be named
weblog I'll be starting in a few weeks: I will post it. The focus of the weblog will be about the role of women in Italian society between 1520 and 1525. Actually I don't think it will have a specific theme but will be about topics that require more thought and discussion in the public realm and will more than likely contain posts with slightly offensive titles such as:

March 5 - "We Love To Hate Winnipegers Who Move To Alberta And Although I Realize We Love To Hate Them I Still Do"
March 14 - "Asians Love Basketball"
March 22 - "I'd Be Fine With Stephen Harper Being The World's Supreme World Commander of the World"

... and so on and so forth. Any and all animals will be painted.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

You're dialed in to "THE BUZZARD!!!!!"

We are somewhere in Kansas right now, but I'm not exactly sure where. As I've been driving two 12+ hour days it's been a bit of a blur but I do know:

1) The worlds largest meteor crater is somewhere in Arizona but costs $15 to see. Doesn't the worlds largest meteor crater sounds like something that should be in the public domain? It is in fact one of the many "World's Largest" that we've seen along the way, many of which are probably the "The World's Only Example of a Larger than Normal X", X being dreamcatcher, ball of yarn, etc.

2) Somebody has re-recorded Tom Cochran's 1991 hit "Life is a Highway" and it is quite popular on the AM dial in northern Texas. When my best friend in grade 5 finds out he's gonna be pissed.

3) 93.9 "The Buzzard" in Kansas plays exactly the kind of music you would expect it to.

4) Most of the hotels on the I-56 in Kansas are in fact motels that look like soon after you check in you'll discover that you share birthdays with all of the guests in the motel and soon your night decends into a dillusional dream of murder and intrigue only to awaken to reality in the morning.

5) When it snows in New Mexico the state shuts down.

6) Most small farm towns in Arizona, New Mexico, northern Texas, and Kansas are hanging by a thread as corporate farms continue to do that funny thing they do.

7) Seeing high density feedlots leak their poison into the American heartland reminds me why I call myself a vegetarian but still eat meat once a week or when nobody I know is present.

Got to go: COPS is on.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Like I said...

My hands were cold.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

We's in California for 2 more weeks.

We came, we saw, I lost my keys a few times. LA was a great experience but there aren't many reasons we can think of to stay here. As negative as I've generally been about the city, we really have met some great people here and are sorry to leave for that reason. We are driving back to Winnipeg and will hopefully arrive by Christmas Eve. Instead of going through the Rockies, we'll drive to Texas then hang a left. I'm not sure if I'll be continuing to write the weblog when we're in Winnipeg.

I'm going to be on Leno tommorrow playing the violin. My hands were cold.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Van Nuys at Night

Since we already broke rule #1. Don't Live in Van Nuys, I thought I may as well break rule #2. Don't Be Outside in Van Nuys Past Dusk Wearing All Black (Even Your Hat) Carrying a Camera with No Lights on Your Bike.
The whole San Fernando valley is surprisingly dark at night, considering the sizeable population. Major streets run in perfect symmetry, cutting the valley into a perfect grid and are well lit, but the moment you turn off onto a street with houses, it turns pitch black. This is a typical street in
Van Nuys at night. Look at that picture of nothing, amazing I know.

This is an intersection I cross regularly on my bike. Every morning it makes my day to see 37 shopping carts strewn about the grass by the bus stop. Apparently this issue has been brought to the attention of the civic gods of Van Nuys, and there's a hot
line floating out there somewhere that you can call to get shopping carts picked up within 24 hours. I'm thinking of calling it and reporting these particular offending carts, recording my voice during the conversation, then buying an auto-dialer, then programming it to dial in at 6 am every morning so that when I ride by on my bike at 8 I quit blacking out and falling off from flashbacks of pushing carts for K-Mart in Brandon when I was 15. The people who do this need to be held responsible. But I digress. Often.

Around the corner we emerge upon another great Van Nuys institution: The Spearmint Rhino. If you've had a rough day at the office and consider yourself a gentlemen of higher social and moral standing, you will not stoop to the level of the other 17 strip clubs in Van Nuys, you will head straight to the Rhino. The parking lot looks suspiciously like the one in front of a Calabasas strip mall. That's weird. This must be the type place where hot babes are just dancing to pay their way through college. Since 1993. Must be med students.

If Winnipeg taught my anything, it's that businesses in any i
ndustry with the word "adult" in it is situated in a predominantly industrial part of town, and here it is no different. With auto mechanics, warehouses, and the like stretching out from the epicenter that is our second floor apartment, you never knows what you will stumble across in your wanderings through the industrial wasteland. Behold a graveyard of K-Mart K's.

With that, as if ordained by the stars, we return to the subject of K-Mart for the second time in one post: surely a sign of profound writing. And speaking of the profound, Here in Van Nuys has been added to my (horribly outdated and untended) blogroll because he keeps me in the know, Van Nuys style. I stole an orange from his tree when he wasn't looking. Thanks Andrew.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Nobody here knows what a tuque is.

They've never heard of it. A Canadian from Ontario says they all called it a "sock hat".

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Cults: Good or Bad?

Until we moved out here I never realized how many famous cults came from and continue to come from California. I guess a lot of them arose from the "let's do weird stuff" vibe of the 60's, and I hear the 60's were pretty big here. Off the top of my head I can think of several: Charles Manson, Heaven's Gate, Prius owners, and Jim Jones. And I'm not event into cults! In order to learn more about cults and to educate myself to perhaps one day prevent myself from joining a cult unawares, we went to see Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple at the Nuart, a movie house in Santa Monica.
Intermittently you can tell that the film industry is still active in LA, as the director of the documentary, the editor, a former member of the People's Church, and someone who's aunt died in Jonestown were present at the screening and interacted with the audience after the movie. Films about Jonestown have been made before, but apparently this is the first one to fairly portray those involved. Many others basically followed the formula: Man starts cult, man tricks stupid people, people commit mass suicide and murder. This film seemed to make the point that nobody just up and joins a cult, and I think they have a point there. You join a movement, or a student group, or in this case a church that became very very paranoid about the CIA, FBI, and the US government. I'm certain that many of the seemingly extreme bizarre cults that come and go seem very normal at the start but eventually you get in over your head and it becomes harder and harder to leave until it's too late. I know from experience, I used to belong the Winnipeg Microsoft .NET users group. Computer joke, just trust me, it's hilarious.

For my generation Jonestown is a vague story as it happened 3 or 4 years before we were born and I can't ever recall ever talking about it with someone my age. I'm sure that for most of us all we really have as a frame of reference are those terrible pictures of hundreds of dead people lying around in bright colored clothing. I never knew the details of what happened and watching them slowly come out in this film is quite an affecting experience, which culminates in the playing of a horrifying audiotape of that final day. Next time you're thinking of watching Miami Ink because there's nothing else on: watch this movie. Unless it's a new episode then, you know, weigh your options. Now that I think about it watch Miami Ink, you can always rent the movie.