Sunday, January 30, 2005

"And I know there'll be no more tears in hea-- HEY! Get that camera out of my face!"

Only the second time I've played guitar for a crowd, I somehow still managed to suffer from performance anxiety and completely bungle the lyrics to "Be My Yoko Ono" by the Barenaked Ladies and "Fell In Love With a Girl" by the White Stripes. But, at least "Tears in Heaven" came out quite well (even got people waving cigarette lighters too). Although I must hand it to people who are performers. My mestre was getting extreme close-ups with his camera and I was starting to lose focus.

The night was a see-you-later party held for a member of my Capoeira class, Hiro (or, as he's known in the studio, Borracha), who's taking off to Japan. To commemorate the event, there was a talent show. The acts ranged from entertaining to hilariously bizarre.

Last time I played guitar for my Capoeira group, it was at a Christmas party. I completely bungled up the chords to "What Child Is This," immediately followed by a punk rock rendition of "White Christmas" (not that you could hear what I was singing). Any glory gotten from the act was completely wrecked when my classmate Fala Mansa borrowed my guitar and promptly played a note-perfect rendition of "What Child is This." Oh well, my fault for not practicing enough.

So, yeah, I had a good time, and luckily, I did practice a little more, so I didn't completely look bad in front of everyone. Well, at least I'm hoping.

Come back to us soon, Borracha.

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Friday, January 28, 2005

This really stinks of urban legend to me, but it's an amusing anecdote nonetheless.

News headline: Man peed way out of avalanche

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Monday, January 24, 2005

As I write this, BCGEU has resumed their rotating job action at local BC Campuses. I'm 100% sure that BCIT is under lockdown right now, but I'm not sure about the rest of the campuses because there hasn't been any notice about it on the BCGEU website, a news blurb in The Vancouver Sun indicated that ALL BCGEU-staffed campuses would be on strike, and the Douglas College website hasn't been updated yet.

However, if the person that maintains the labour news is actually on strike too, well, that'd explain a lot.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Hey, everybody. My first article for Fangoria Magazine has finally been published! The article, "Alone Time," is a report from the set of the Vancouver-shot video game-to-film adaptation, Alone in the Dark, directed by Uwe Boll, starring Christian Slater, Tara Reid, and Stephen Dorff. The magazine is on the racks now. Be sure to purchase your own copy before they all sell out!

Also, to mark the occasion, I have also launched an additional blog, "The Work of a Person Who Writes Things," as someone pointed out the fact that "Person That Writes Things" is not completely grammatically correct. That blog will be used mostly to promote my writing projects as they are released.

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Sunday, January 16, 2005

Last night was an interesting experience for me, having been invited to perform at an event called Brrrrrlesque at The Lick, an alternative club. Ya-Wen (aka Bala), a student of Capoeira Ache Brasil, invited me to help out with her act, "Testosterone for the Mind." Her act was a parody of self-help dating guides, using Capoeira as a metaphor for dating and relationships.

Of course, there was a stern lecture about ensuring the safety of the patrons (and threats towards turning me into a "punching booth" for $5 a shot if I accidentally hurt anyone), necessary given the fact that the roda that was set up was about 2/3rds the size of a standard Capoeira roda, which meant that I couldn't do the crazy moves (backflips, etc.).

The crowd was impressed, despite the fact I'm nowhere near the level of some of other students in the class. The moral of the story? It doesn't matter if you have no clue what you're long as it's something that the crowd doesn't know how to do and you have fun while doing it, the crowd will be pretty amused.

The other acts were ranged from titilating to downright bizarre. The highlight of the evening: two burlesque dancers clad in lingerie, one also wearing an American flag, the other distributing peace signs, getting into a fight to the tune of David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans."

Photos of the evening to come!

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

As I write this, I really should be in school right now, but there is rotating job action among the unionized support staff of various Lower Mainland campuses. Among the affected institutions: Douglas College, Kwantlen College, BCIT, and North West College. There is a strong possibility that this will result in next week Tuesday's classes being cancelled as well.

I cringe as the radio news reports that 10 cm of snow just fell on Seymour while my snowboard sits unused in the coner as I have a 10:00 meeting for a school project. I could go now, but I then realize that I still have homework assignments to do.

Mental note: save it until reading week in February.

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Friday, January 07, 2005

Walkin' 'round a winter wonderland.

Or NOT! As I write this, I have about an hour to get to Richmond for work, which typically takes about 30-something minutes. I am seriously contemplating taking in a snow day and heading up to Mount Seymour, as my snowboard sits in the corner, unused, idle, neglected, unloved.

And then I realize that my MasterCard bill is coming in the mail. Shower, shave, shampoo, dress, drive, depart, work, whine, whimper.

An extended middle finger to those who took in a snow day today and yesterday. Yesterday, I started my volunteer stint at Adbusters magazine and finished at 1:00PM, thinking I had sufficient time to get to my classes. Not realizing that buses move at a snail's pace, I end up being five minutes late.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

It has begun.

After spending the better part of a weekend of cleaning up my area to make it more presentable for guests during Christmas and New Year's, it has all been shoved aside as now it is time to buckle down and concentrate on school. As it is, I decided that last semester was not nearly stressful enough, juggling regular school assignments with a part time job and attempting to maintain some level of a personal life (which hasn't gone as well as I've been hoping).

So, this semester, I'm taking an additional 3 credit course (total number of credits: 16, vs. 13 last semester), plus my editors out of New York assigned me two films to cover, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Underworld 2. That, and I decided that I had too much spare time, so I'm now volunteering three hours a week for Adbusters magazine. My part-time job starts again this weekend.

Now what the hell am I doing blogging? I got an assignment due tomorrow!

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Saturday, January 01, 2005

Ache Brasil on stage

Okay, still hopped up on that can of Red Bull (R), so here's another photo from Ache Brasil's New Year's party while I got something else on my mind.

New Year's resolutions are something that are done up by many people. Or, at least as many people as those that actually make a point of NOT doing New Year's resolutions for the sake of avoiding disappointment (those people disappoint me). I can speculate on a lot of reasons, the main being that attempts at self-improvement are usually met with failure.

While others tend to give up on them because they are unrealistic, I tend to give up on mine because they're too broad and general. But, here's what I got in mind.

My brother-in-law and I had a discussion about action plans, the long-term goals I should be concentrating on and the steps I need to do in order to make them happen. Plus, I'm committing this to a semi-permanent medium that everyone will see, so I kinda have to follow these through.

1: Improve myself socially. Action plan: be more aware of the way I am perceived by others and work to change that; stand up for myself more often; take a lot less crap from people; learn to choose my battles much more carefully.

2: Improve myself culturally/intellectually. Action plan: set aside 15 minutes a day to read a book not related to school; indulge in less cultural junk food (video games, comic books, action movies); do something culturally/intellectually stimulating at least once a month (eg: go to museum, see a foreign film or a documentary).

3: Improve myself physically. Action plan: continue to exercise regularly and eat properly; bring along journal to keep track of progress of any gains; adjust exercise program at least once a month to avoid stagnation.

4: Improve myself professionally. Action plan: complete education; get out of the house and meet more people and network more often; practice and improve time management skills.

The main difference between these and traditional New Year's resolutions is that I at least know what I have to do in order to get these things done.

Okay, that can of Red Bull just wore off. G'night and Happy New Year, everybody.

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All too cool for the room and off-duty
L-R: Stephen Nace, Brad Dent, and Yours Truly.

As I write this, I am still hopped up on a can of Red Bull (R) that I quickly slammed down in order to survive the drive home from Ache Brasil's New Year's Party. I don't know if I'm gonna get any amount of sleep. That stuff don't mess around!

Having suffered through a series of very unfulfilling New Year's Eve parties (not that I don't appreciate the time spent with friends, it's just that spending year after year watching DVDs gets old after a while), I decided I was actually going to WORK at a New Year's Party. Kinda have to, considering how much money I ended up spending this month (there's a good chance that my credit card company actually upped my limit so I wouldn't max out my card this month).

I barely managed to tear myself away from the coat check booth long enough to get upstairs where the party was so I could be there for the actual countdown. But all in all, I had fun. Sure, it was work (I took photos of the other people I was working with...I won't bore you with those), but it was an excuse to get out of the house on New Year's for a change.

The worst New Year's Eve I've ever had...making the dumb-ass mistake of driving my friends around to find a bar so we could be there at the stroke of midnight. Before I know it, drinks are being piled in front of them, but obviously I can't join in (designated). I go up to the bartender and give him the universal "designated driver" gesture. The best he can come up with is a glass of water. Way to support the "designated driver" program!

As I'm driving them back to the house, one of them attempts to hug me from the back seat. I almost cause a car accident.

Best wishes for the New Year to all my friends, family, and readers.

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