BOTTOM LINE AMERICA, I NEED A DVR OR SOMETHING...
Tonight was the first "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage" segment on Late Night with Conan O'Brien
since I got my 26" Toshiba HDTV (26HL37) in late April (it's only 720p, but nothing in that size at the Merivale Road Future Shop was full 1080i/1080p HD). Since I got it, I haven't been able to hook my ancient Panasonic VCR into my television properly, or, technically, I can, but the cable connection refuses to hook up to the VCR anymore, so I have to hook it directly into the TV. As a result, I wasn't able to tape the "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage" bit (something about a white, ball-shaped mushroom Pierre found on his lawn), and I'll have to wait until I can find a clip of it online to write a transcript.
If I'm writing a new blog entry anyway, you might as well look at some of my recent drawings (click on them to get to the Flickr page where you can see the full-size version).
A Ferrari Testarossa drawn in oil pastels:
The Camaro Concept car that played Bumblebee in the Michael Bay Transformers
movie at the Woodward Dream Cruise drawn in oil pastels.
A Ferrari F430 Berlinetta drawn in oil pastels.
Incidentally, I spotted the exact same F430 the other day, and I love the car, but it was rather badly parked across two parking spots.
And, finally, a Ferrari 360 Modena Spider drawn in Prismacolor coloured pencils.
I'm hoping that I can get some art-related job (maybe even study to be a graphic designer just like Pierre Bernard), or, even better, sell my own artwork for cash. I'm looking into ways that I can do that, but I have to be wary of scam art selling sites. I actually have a DeviantArt page
where you could buy prints (not that I've made a cent off that yet), but I don't think it's a serious venue to sell the originals.
DRAWING DAY, 2008.
I was going to work on a couple of oil pastel drawings that I've been working on for a while on Saturday, but then I found out that someone had declared the first Saturday in June to be Drawing Day
, so I decided to create an original drawing from scratch to mark the occasion.
This is a drawing of the GT Club #13 Ferrari F430 Challenge Stradale race car based on a photo that I took at a Ferrari Challenge race in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, in June of last year.
It's not as detailed as I usually like to draw, though that's partially because I'm drawing on a much smaller sheet of paper (12"x9" sketchbook paper) than the poster board on which I usually draw, and there's one error that I find glaring in that I neglected to draw the shadow for the side mirror, but I am pleased with myself in that I was able to draw a drawing that looks semi-photorealistic when viewed from a distance from scratch in just one afternoon and evening, when most of the pictures I draw take me weeks, if not months. Because I gave myself a mental deadline of midnight, I was just somehow able to focus more on getting the job done, even taking a couple of breaks to attempt to beat that goddamned difficult final mission of Grand Theft Auto IV
. (I'm fine with the shootout in the abandoned casino, because I use the rocket-powered grenades on the cars that the goons are hiding behind, and I know to take out most of the shooters hiding inside the casino by shooting through holes in the roof before I enter, it's chasing the boat on the motorcycle where I fail.)
It was also nice working with Prismacolor coloured pencils again, after doing several drawings in crayons and oil pastels. Maybe this will inspire me to finally finish that drawing of a Ferrari 550 Maranello on Preston Street during last year's Ottawa Ferrari Festival that I started working on last July but keep on getting frustrated at tiny background details (though I've done a lot more work on the drawing compared to the way it looked in the following photo from the end of July).
PIERRE BERNARD'S RECLINER OF RAGE.
Graphic Designer Pierre Bernard Jr. has actually made several appearances on NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien
since the Writer's Guild of America strike ended in February, but it was all for side stuff, like about the phone message to the NBC caterer that he left about something sharp in the meat pasta, or the time he was one of the Late Night
staff members featured in the wet short sketches.
Tonight, we finally got the first official "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage" segment of 2008, so here's my usual transcript.
La Bamba: PIERRE BERNARD'S RECLINER OF RAGE!
Conan O'Brien: Hey there, Pierre, are you comfortable and angry?
Pierre Bernard: Comfortable and furious, Conan.
Conan O'Brien: Then go ahead, Pierre, and speak for America.
Pierre Bernard: Okay, here goes.
Every week in the mail, I receive coupon fliers from local stores telling me what's on sale in my hometown of Mercer County, New Jersey. The only problem is the only fliers I receive are supermarkets like Family Dollar and ShopRite. What I would prefer are fliers for stores like Best Buy or Michaels Art Supplies, since I'm alway buying electronic gadgets, sci-fi DVDs, and multicolored pencils.
Recently, Best Buy had a special-priced 2-disk DVD of the film, I Am Legend, but, by the time I found out about it, it was regular-priced and it had no bonus disk. The residents of neighboring towns knew about that sale in advance from their Best Buy fliers, while I was left in the dark like a fool.
I called a 800 number for the distributor in my area, Red Plum Publishing, to complain, but nothing has changed.
Don't get me wrong, I do sometimes use the supermarket fliers, like when ShopRite had a sale on Hot Pockets and Arm and Hammer Sensitive Skin detergent, or when Acme had a sale on Pop Tarts, the variety pack, 10 boxes for 10 dollars, making them a dollar a box, which was such a good deal I bought 30 boxes.
Bottom line, America.
Red Plum should distribute a wider variety of fliers in my weekly neighborhood supplement, so I could save as much on I Am Legend as I do on Pop Tarts.
Conan O'Brien: Alright, well, thank you, uh. Thank you, Pierre. I'm sure there's at least one or two other people in the world who know exactly how you feel.
Pierre Bernard: Stay strong, my brothers.
La Bamba: PIERRE BERNARD'S RECLINER OF RAGE!
Conan O'Brien: Alright, we'll take a break. When we come back, Oliver Hudson is here. Stick around, everybody.
Kind of a middling effort, at least on the obscurity-meter, but I still appreciate seeing Pierre sit down in his armchair again.
Pierre, I'd still love it if you did complain sometime about Mattel no longer making the 100% Hot Wheels 1/43 scale Ferrari models in the plastic display case anymore, forcing me to buy more expensive Ixo models instead, and how Mattel no longer seems to ship the 1/18 scale Ferrari models to Toys R' Us or Wal-Mart anymore, just speciality model stores where everything is usually at least twice as expensive as what you'd pay at Wal-Mart.
Or about how McDonald's just got rid of the Deli Sandwich selections (at least in Canada), so I can no longer order the Southwest Chicken, the only kind of spicy chicken sandwich they've had since the Cajun Chicken burger around 1999.
I did some more art, went to the 2008 Ottawa-Gatineau Autoshow, and visited Montreal last weekend, but I'll wait until I have more pictures uploaded to Flickr
before I write anything here, if I get around to writing anything here.
I am pleased to see that Pincourt Blockbuster is still there, despite the dramatic drop in business they must have endured after I moved to Ontario.
I also walked all of the way to Sainte Anne de Bellevue just to get a few shots of the suspension span of the Galipeault Bridge before it gets torn down and replaced with a boring highway bridge later this year.
THE GREAT CRAYON EXPERIMENT (UPDATE)...
In December and January, I was working on a couple of drawings for The Great Crayon Experiment art show
that was held at the Blankspace Gallery
in Seattle on February 7th
Here were my two submissions:
"A crayon drawing of an RCMP Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor on Rideau Street in downtown Ottawa."
"A crayon drawing of a Ferrari Enzo at the Woodward Dream Cruise." (or "Ferrari Enzo Ferrari F60", if you want to be super-picky about the full name of the car).
The Ferrari one took me ages to finish, so I didn't get to send the two drawings off until February 1st
, and I spent $52 Canadian shipping it via Purolator Courier just to ensure that it would reach Seattle in time for the show.
came and went, and I hadn't received any word as to whether they had received my submissions. I knew I wasn't going to get them back, as all drawings were to be sold off to benefit something called 826 Seattle
, some kind of non-profit writing centre that helps kids develop their creative writing skills, but, still, I was damn well hoping that they had received my drawings and put them on display, otherwise the hours upon hours I had spent drawing both of them and the $52 I had spent sending them there (not to mention the at least $30 I spent on various Crayola products) would have been all for naught.
I was slightly disappointed that the art show had received no mainstream media coverage that I could find using Google News, and the only blog reaction I could find was this one from a Blogger nicknamed "Poppy"
that didn't include any pictures or mention any specific pieces on display.
Finally, on Saturday, "King Leroy" posted some pictures of the Great Crayon Experiment art show
in the Blankspace Flickr photostream
, and I could finally see my work on display somewhere other than my basement (or... erm... YTV's The Zone
, for those of you that remember my "sending 'PJ Fresh Phil' Guerrero and 'Snit' Sailor Moon
fanart using my real name despite already being 21-years old at the time" stint back at the end of 1995 and early 1996).
Anyway, I probably shouldn't post Blankspace's pictures of the show here without permission, but I'll link to a few of them.I don't think they had gotten quite the full coverage of the walls and ceiling that they had hoped for, but they still got a strong outpouring of submissions. More than I had expected, to be honest.The one piece on the ceiling was a Crayola'd take on Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.Here 's an interesting assemblage of a few half-melted Crayola crayons "floating" in the middle of the gallery.Note the donation box shaped like a giant crayon.They had these bench things that kids could draw on.Oh, what's the guy with the backpack looking at?
(I presume the guy with the crown is this "King Leroy" fellow.)Yup, it's my RCMP police car drawing.
What I find interesting about its placement is that it's directly over a couple of penguin drawings; one of the Linux mascot penguin, and the other one looks like one of the missile penguins from Tim Burton's Batman Returns
(which is still my favourite Batman
film, and, yes, I have seen Batman Begins
, which is a pretty good film but I prefer the spectacle of the Burton films over the relative realism of Christopher Nolan's take on the character, even if I'm fully aware that the Nolan films are probably closer to the serious comics the hardcore Batfans generally prefer).
This one's not at the gallery, but here's my fat cat, Ember, also showing her appreciation of the drawing.
But what about the Ferrari drawing?Yup, it was there too.
You can also see the payment scale: "Good Art: $1-5, Super Art: $5-12, Awesome Art: $13-[Infinity sign]". I don't want to sound too narcissistic, but, if anyone paid less than $13 for either of mine, I'm reporting them to the FBI Art Theft program
And, finally, two Hawties posing in front of my Ferrari pic.
Would they be so happy to be pictured with it if they knew the horrible truth about the artist
Want a weird twist? Apparently, "Poppy", the Blogger I mentioned earlier
, bought the Ferrari picture to hang in her kids' bedroom. She (yes, "Poppy" is a she, I presume it's "Poppy" as in the flower) left a reply in my previous post telling me as much
. It's not quite where I imagined it ending up, but, as long as it's on the wall of someone who appreciates it, it was worth the effort.
THE WORKS GOURMET BURGER BISTRO...
Since my youngest brother is in town from Vancouver, my sister and her husband took my parents, my brother, and I to dinner at The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro
, a local Ottawa gourmet hamburger chain.
The exact The Works location at which I ate was the one located in the strip mall at the corner of Stonehaven Drive and Steeplechase Drive, in the Bridlewood neighbourhood of Kanata.
The Works has a public utilities theme, with an exposed ceiling, valves and pipes on the walls, a toilet painted construction site yellow for some reason, and salt and pepper shakers shaped like light bulbs... well, real
incandescent light bulbs, not those fluorescent spiral things. In a couple of years, kids born in this decade probably wouldn't even recognize the salt shakers as fake light bulbs. With this decor, I would have called the restaurant chain "The Electric Company"
were it not for fears that Children's Television Workshop lawyers might come a-knockin' with cease-and-desist letters in their hands. The whole visual motif is so industrial that James Cameron could film the climax for a Terminator
sequel in there, perhaps with one of the T-800's getting impaled on the long spindles they use for the towers of onion rings.
The Works has around 50 or so different burgers on the menu
, and most of them have colourful names, named after local places and icons, with the contents of the burger not so obvious, so you pretty much have to read them all to determine which burger you want. It's a somewhat amusing read, but not too utilitarian if you want to make a quick choice, but they do give you a good ten minutes to go over the menu.
I wanted a spicy chicken burger so I ordered the Rockcliffe Grinder, which is a chicken burger which is both marinated in Cajun hot pepper sauce, like the sorely-missed KFC Zinger, and which also comes with a little cup of spicy mayo, as used on the pretty-damn-good-but-not-as-great-as-the-Zinger KFC Spicy Big Crunch, and served with a plate of fries in a baking pan. I opted to put the mayo on to the whole chicken breast patty, and, holy Trogdor!
Adding the spicy mayo makes it easily a four-out-of-five on the five-alarm scale, meaning I could eat it all without abandoning it halfway through but I have a fairly high tolerance for spicy food. I'll put it this way: the Rockliffe Grinder with the spicy mayo is easily an alarm-and-a-half above even the improved Wendy's Spicy Chicken Filet Sandwich.
I would have doused my throat in Coke after eating it, but the thing about The Works is that they had the clever idea of serving all of their soft drinks in Fire-King measuring cups rather than in normal glasses, and the disadvantage of using measuring cups is that you can see exactly how much you're drinking, which, if you're somewhat watching your weight like I am but can't stand the nastiness of diet cola, is quite a psychological disincentive against ordering refills, and I had already had drunk a whole litre of Coca-Cola by the time I had finished eating the Rockliffe Grinder, so the only option left was to suck on the ice cubes from the empty Fire-King measuring cup.
It didn't give me heartburn after, so I suppose I can call the Rockliffe Grinder a successful eat.
Speaking of successes, on the way home, I decided to test out a recent buy, a cheap-ass $79 Venturer Portable DVD player from Wal-Mart, with a foldable 8" LCD screen. I mainly got it so I could watch anime in my bedroom (or hotel room) without even having to leave my bed, but this particular model (model #PVS3388) also has a laptop-style two-hour rechargeable internal battery. I watched an entire episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
, specifically chronological episode 11, "Live Alive" (a.k.a. the "God Knows"
episode), and the audio only skipped once, and only for a split second, the entire car ride home. It actually performs much better in shaky conditions than the Sony portable CD Walkman I bought from Zellers last year, even if the DVD laser is supposed to be much more delicate than the CD laser. I have half a mind to bring this DVD player with me to work, to watch anime during breaks, at least on days where I work at least six hour shifts.
Labels: Canada, electronics review, Ontario, Ottawa, restaurant review
YUP, AN ELECTION IS COMING IN CANADA...
The federal environment minister, who is also our local MP (Minister of Parliament) for the Ottawa West-Nepean riding, John Baird and his wife were handing out re-usable cloth shopping bags at the Merivale Road Food Basics supermarket this afternoon.
Since I doubt John Baird likes to waste his Saturday afternoons being a free bag dispensing guy at the local discount supermarket any more than I like to work a rather grueling and very busy six-hour shift pushing shopping carts on Saturdays (and I don't usually work Saturdays, but I think most of the cart pushers that they hired in the autumn quit), and since the bags he was handing out were emblazoned with his name and some vaguely campaign-ish slogan about his green credentials, I take this as a sure sign that the Conservative Party machine is revving its engine for an early spring election, which will presumably be triggered when the Liberals, NDP, and the Bloc Québecois vote against the federal budget.
Even though I did vote for Baird in 2006, and will vote for him again barring the sudden emergence of a viable libertarian alternative to the Conservatives, I was too shy to really talk to him or ask him if I could take a photo of him (and I didn't get a good opportunity to get a candid shot of him "pressing the flesh" with the customers).
This blog isn't dead, but it's been hibernating as I've been busy.
My current project is drawing serious Crayola crayon drawings of automobiles which I shall submit to an art show called The Great Crayon Experiment
at the Blank Space Gallery
Here's the first drawing in this batch, of an RCMP Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor on Rideau Street in downtown Ottawa.
It's based on this photo that I took in early December.
I drew that drawing on the floor, like a little kid. Fortunately, for Christmas, I got a tilting drawing table that's large enough to hold the large sheets of poster board I draw on.
So now I draw my crayon drawings the grown-up
The drawing on the table, which is based on this photo of a Ferrari Enzo that I spotted on Woodward Avenue in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham during the Woodward Dream Cruise last August
still isn't finished, but I've added a lot to it since I took the photo of the table a couple of weeks ago.
I'm at the most frustrating part of the drawing process, where most of the "big" parts of the picture have already been drawn, and I'm now drawing in those annoying tiny details that are especially hard to draw in crayon compared to coloured pencils.
I wanted to draw at least five car drawings for the art show, but, since it's at the beginning of February, I doubt I'll get more than three done in time (though I'll draw more to add to my overall portfolio).
A BIRD IN THE HAND
I was pushing carts into the Food Basics store on Merivale in Nepean where I work when one customer informed me that someone outside the doors was trying to speak to me. I went outside, and he pointed out this bird on the ground. He called it a woodpecker, but I was pretty sure it was a chickadee. It was sitting there, unable to fly away for some reason, and he was afraid someone would step on it, or that a car would run over it, and he was concerned for all of "God's Little Creatures". I told him that caring for an injured bird was a little beyond my area of expertise, but he said that it's beyond his area of expertise too. I told him that I'd take it to the little wooded vacant lot behind Colonnade Pizza, but that's all I could do for it. He didn't seem quite satisfied with that answer, but our store doesn't have a birdcage, and if the bird is so weak that it doesn't resist me picking it up, it's not likely to survive much longer, regardless of whether or not I somehow perform emergency avian surgery.
He was wondering if the store had some kind of policy for injured birds, but I said I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Then he saw Arif (a cashier and assistant manager) walking towards the store and asked him if he could do anything, but Arif told him that he doesn't know what to do either.
After that, the man went away, and I arrived at the vacant lot. I wasn't too sure where to put the bird, so I held my finger near low-hanging branches of various trees to see if it wanted to climb on. Surprisingly, it seemed content to rest on my hand, so I finally got to one of the wooden posts that separates the vacant lot from the end of Eleanor Drive and nudged it off.
I then headed straight towards the customer washroom to thoroughly clean my right hand, since it pooped a tiny bit on my pinky finger (the streak visible in the photo) and I didn't want to get Chinese bird flu.
I checked the post again half an hour later, and the bird was gone, so I guess it regained enough strength to fly off. Either that, or a hawk got it.
Uploaded by Steve Brandon
on 7 Sep 07, 11.00AM EDT.