PEOPLE BORN ON OCTOBER 2nd KICK ASS!
I already covered two other people who share my exact birthday, Sam Roberts
, earlier this week, and Coronation Street
's Simon Gregson
, who I mentioned in passing last year, so let's look at some other vaguely famous people who were born on October 2nd
, 1974, shall we?
Tomorrow, Paul Teutul Jr.
, the son of the father and son Paul Teutul team on the Discovery Channel motorcycle customization show American Chopper
, will turn 31.
I wouldn't say that I'm a regular viewer of American Chopper
, but, sometimes, I'm watching Mythbusters
on the Canadian version of the Discovery Channel while I'm on the Internet and then I neglect to change the channel when it's over, and I half pay attention to Monster Garage
, and, if I still haven't decided that I'd rather be watching something else, I'll devote 10% of my attention span to watching some motorcycle guys who are not Keiichi Morisato
and who aren't even animated go do some motorcycle putting-together types of activities and whatnot. Damned if that doesn't make me enough of a "fan" to include him in my annual bold-faced birthday self-promotion feature.
Tomorrow, Hollywood bit-part actress Michelle Krusiec
is also turning 31.
According to her Internet Movie Database entry
, she's had recurring roles on such television programmes as Titus
, Without a Trace
, and E.R.
, and she recently had her first starring role in a major motion picture, opposite Joan Chen in the Asian-American drama-comedy Saving Face
. However, I know her best as being the actress who played the young adult version of Molly O'Brien in the sixth-season Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
episode, "Time's Orphan"
. That episode always made me wonder: why do Miles and Keiko O'Brien get so concerned about their daughter falling in a time portal and aging 10 years, when they never seemed the least bit concerned that Molly was born in one season, yet, the next season, somehow, she was already at least 5 or 6 years old! Some time anomalies are worse than others, evidently.
(By the way, speaking of Deep Space Nine
cast members, you might remember, the first time I did a birthday countdown, I said that there was a bit of controversy over the birthday of Avery Brooks
, who, of course, played Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko (and "Hawk" in Spencer: For Hire
). While Wikipedia is hardly 100% reliable (due to anyone being able to edit), in their entry for Avery Brooks
, they also list his birthday as being October 2nd
, 1948, so, until I see any proof to the contrary about his birthdate, I'll still think that he's the celebrity member of the October 2nd
club who kicks the most amount of ass.)
Finally, apparently, Simon Gregson isn't the only Coronation Street
alumni to be turning 31 tomorrow. Amazingly enough, Scott Wright
, who played the stripper character Stan Kingston (a.k.a. "Python") from 2000 to 2002, was also born on October 2nd
, 1974. Montreal radio talk show host Tommy Schnurmacher would be very impressed by my birthday, since he loves watching "Corrie" so much.
Scott Wright's also been a cast member on the British soap Crossroad
, and he's now on something called The Royal
I would also like to say "happy birthday" to another member of the October 2nd
club, Montreal blogger Paul Jané
, but he only turns 28 (meaning he was born the same day as my sister). He hasn't updated his blog since June, for unspecified reasons.
PEOPLE BORN ON OCTOBER 2nd KICK ASS!
I saw the movie for which the following actor is best known before my last birthday, but I only found out that he was a fellow member of the October 2nd
club at some point over the summer.
In two days, Napoleon Dynamite
's Efren Ramirez
, who played Napoleon's friend Pedro Sanchez, will turn 22.
Let us revisit some of Pedro's greatest lines from the film.
Napoleon Dynamite: So, we're pretty much friends by now, right?
Napoleon Dynamite: So, you got my back and everything, right?
Napoleon Dynamite: My old girlfriend from Oklahoma was gonna fly out for the dance but she couldn't cause she's doing some modeling right now.
Pedro: Is she hot?
Napoleon Dynamite: See for yourself.
[hands him Deb's glamor shot sample]
Napoleon Dynamite: Yeah, I took her to the mall to get some glamor shots for her birthday one year.
Pedro: I like her bangs.
Napoleon Dynamite: Me too.
Napoleon Dynamite: What kind of bike do you have?
Pedro: It's a sledgehammer.
Napoleon Dynamite: Dang! You got shocks, pegs... lucky! You ever take it off any sweet jumps?
Napoleon Dynamite: [Cut to Pedro jumping] You got like three feet of air that time.
Napoleon Dynamite: [referring to the dance] Who are you gonna ask?
Pedro: That girl over there.
Napoleon Dynamite: Summer Wheatly? How the heck are you gonna do that?
Pedro: Build her a cake or something.
Pedro: Do you think people will vote for me?
Napoleon Dynamite: Heck yes! I'd vote for you.
Pedro: Like what are my skills?
Napoleon Dynamite: Well, you have a sweet bike. And you're really good at hooking up with chicks. Plus you're like the only guy at school who has a mustache.
Napoleon Dynamite: How long did it take you to grow that moustache?
Pedro: A couple of days.
Deb: Are they still letting you run for president?
Pedro: Yes. I don't understand... they say you're not allowed to have pinatas that look like real people, but in Mexico, we do it all the time.
Napoleon Dynamite: [Napoleon sits down with Pedro at lunch] Where have you been?
Pedro: I was *seek*.
Napoleon Dynamite: Has Summer said anything to you yet?
Pedro: No, not yet.
Napoleon Dynamite: Well, she said no.
Pedro: She did?
[Pedro thinks a second]
Pedro: Well, what about that other girl?
Napoleon Dynamite: What other girl?
Pedro: The one that left all that crap on your porch.
Napoleon Dynamite: You mean Deb?
Pedro: Yes her.
Napoleon Dynamite: What about her?
Pedro: Well, I asked her out too.
Napoleon Dynamite: What?
And, last, but not least.
Pedro: Vote for me, and all your wildest dreams will come true.
Efren Ramirez is also, apparently, a D.J. who is the CEO of the rave and dance-party promotions company, Nocturnal Rampage
, and you can see a normal picture of him without the wig and mustache here
So, in the election of the best day of the year that is not Christmas, vote for October 2nd
, and all of your wildest dreams will come true.
"MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE"
(Hayao Miyazaki, eat your heart out!)
Though Google Video never exactly bothered to tell me that they put it up and I only found out that it's online after I began to get hits coming to this blog from the page it's on, my "amazing" animated debut as "director", "More Than Meets the Eye", a Transformers
homage, is finally online for all to see
. (It used to be that you needed the Google Video plugin, which I tried downloading once but it just screwed up my computer, to watch it, but now it doesn't seem necessary.)
Here's the text description, which I apparently wrote in a hurry:
"A short Transformers homage I did at a computer animation college in 2002 before I ran out of money. It's very amateurish, you can probably see why I didn't get far, and it's the only one I ever completed, so please don't ask me to put anything else I have like this online as there is nothing else to put. :) Also, there is no sound. You can catch a lot of different references I put in. The room is based on an apartment I lived in in Montreal part-time when I was attending the school. The design of the Sony Trinitron television is loosely based on the one I had (and still have) at home. The commercial on the screen is the classic Colgate Pump commercial with the tune (which you can't hear as there is no sound) based on Madness's "Baggy Trousers". The TV Guide has a fake cover about a live-action Sailor Moon series; this was done a little over a year before such a thing actually did appear in Japan. If you look very carefully, in a couple of frames, you can see a Royal Tenenbaums wallpaper on the computer."
(That should probably have read "the computer animation school which I was at in 2002 before I ran out of money".)
Marvel at the slowness of the thing (when he's hanging in the air for several seconds, it's an intentional Matrix
homage... yeah, that's the ticket)! Be enthralled at the ham-fisted comic timing (thirty seconds of slow-paced set-up for one lame punchline)! A veritable plethora of visual splendor awaits you (a crude character design that makes the movers from Dire Strait's "Money for Nothing" video look like The Incredibles
in comparison, plus there are a couple of shots where, if you look hard enough, you can see the Softimage XSI "test pattern" from where there's a texture missing).
Yes, I predicted live-action Sailor Moon
over a year before it actually happened (in Japan), but the thing I find the most amusing about that is that the picture I used, and I'm not 100% certain of this, appears to be of the famous/infamous Sailor Moon
cosplayer known online as "Usagi Kou", known in several circles for her
. If she reads this, yes, I'm a frequent poster at Fuckin' Otaku
, but I really don't care either way and I don't think I've personally ever given an opinion about you or the "drama" anywhere (at least I haven't as far as I can remember), and, in any event, the animation was done two years before I knew about either you or FnO. I was just looking for a picture of a decent-looking girl in a decent-looking Sailor Moon costume and found what I believe, in retrospect, was you, that's all.
I did a few other projects at the animation college, but none of them were ever fully "completed", and they're nothing I ever bothered making AVI files out of. They're way worse than this one, if you can believe it. Back in April, when I initially uploaded the file to Google Video
(only to wait and wait and wait for months for them to put it up), I did storyboard a sequel to "More Than Meets the Eye", which I may still do at some point, but I got sidelined by working on my summer project of drawing those pictures of London
I've pretty much decided that, if I ever studied animation again, I'd honestly rather do 2D "Flash" animation than 3D, because 2D animation in North America is far from dead and computers have facilitated the process to the point that a couple of animators with a scanner and a laptop can produce animation at least comparable to crappy "budget" Saturday morning cartoons from the 1970s and 1980s that took hoardes of in-betweeners and cel painters in overseas sweatshops to animate.
PEOPLE BORN ON OCTOBER 2nd KICK ASS!
Hmm, I've found out about several more semi-famous celebrities who share my birthday. If you recall last year, the only celebrity with a same-date birthday I felt like devoting an entire entry to was Japanese pop singer Ayumi Hamasaki
(though I added a paragraph at the end with other famous people I already knew about but didn't get around to doing entries for in 2003).
In three days, Canadian singer/songwriter Sam Roberts
will turn 31.
I swear, I'm beginning to feel like this Sam Roberts guy is my evil doppelganger. I'm not particularly familiar with him, not that I have anything against him or his music, it's just that I don't really follow new popular music anymore. Yet, somehow, this is the third time I've talked about him in my blog. Previously, I talked about him being one of many Canadian celebrities
who signed a political statement at the now-defunct StopHarper.org encouraging us not to vote for Stephen Harper's Conservatives (though I went ahead and voted for the Conservatives anyway, bwahahahahaha!). I still find what I wrote about not knowing who he was amusing:
I almost said that he was the guy from the first Jurassic Park, but I checked my Jurassic Park LaserDisc (yes, LaserDisc) and it was "Sam Neill". I'm breaking my undeclared rule and looking him up... oh, he's just some guy who badly needs a shave.
Then, this past Canada Day
, he was the guy performing on stage on Parliament Hill just prior to the fireworks. When I said that, and I quote, "I had to sit through several songs by Sam Roberts", it wasn't really a slight against his music. I wasn't paying attention, to be honest. I was waiting for the fireworks to start and my feet were really aching to the point where I had to sit down for a while on the hard concrete of Metcalfe street in the middle of a suffocating sea of people.
One thing I did know about the guy is that we both grew up in suburban Montreal, only about 10 miles apart, I in Pincourt and he in Pointe-Claire. I went to Macdonald High School and he went to Lindsay Place High School, a smaller high school three high schools over to the east from Macdonald High in the now-defunct Lakeshore School Board. But, until this evening, checking October 2nd birthdays at the Internet Movie Database
, I had no idea that Sam Roberts was born the exact same day I was, October 2nd
, 1974. That's just weird, man.
So, that's yet another musician born on the most musical birthday of all, one he shares with Sting (Gordon Sumner), Don McLean, Mike Rutherford, Aqua singer Lene Nystrøm, Slipknot guitarist James Root, 80s teen pop sensation Tiffany Darwisch, and the aforementioned Ayumi Hamasaki.
WHAT? NO ALF?
Perhaps in anticipation of this Friday's release of Serenity
, the movie based on Joss Whedon's Firefly
TV show, the Boston Globe
has composed a list of their choices for the all-time 50 top sci-fi TV shows
. Since they did the list in a cumbersome "one page per list item" format, here's the complete list without their comments.
- Star Trek (Original)
- Battlestar Galactica (New)
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- The X-Files
- Babylon 5
- Stargate SG-1
- The Twilight Zone
- Dr. Who
- Mystery Science Theater 3000
- Xena: Warrior Princess
- The Outer Limits (1950s original)
- Star Trek Voyager
- Logan's Run
- Flash Gordon
- Dark Angel
- The Hitchhiker
- Quantum Leap
- Tales from the Crypt
- Wonder Woman
- The Jetsons
- Stargate Atlantis
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Adventures of Superman (1950s live-action)
- The Six Million Dollar Man
- Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
- Alien Nation
- My Favorite Martian
- Lost In Space
- The Avengers
- Battlestar Galactica (1978)
- The Bionic Woman
- Space 1999
- Batman (1960s live-action)
- The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
- The Thunderbirds
- Science Fiction Theatre
- Nowhere Man
- Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (ahem)
- The Greatest American Hero
- That Was Then
- Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
- 3rd Rock From The Sun
- The Wild Wild West
- Earth - Final Conflict
Interesting list that isn't an exact carbon copy of most other similar lists I've ever seen. It's nice to see one from professional journalists that isn't completely bottom heavy with shows which are at least thirty-five years old and which gives equal prominence to shows from the past fifteen years. I find the lack of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
a bit puzzling, but I don't have any problem with Star Trek: Voyager
being in the top 20. Voyager
was very uneven before Seven of Nine came along, but the two-thirds of the series after she appeared is grossly underrated, with great "event" double-episodes like "Year of Hell"
, and nice, often witty, character study episodes like "Message in a Bottle"
(the one with Andy Dick as the newer version of the Emergency Medical Hologram straight from the Alpha Quadrant) and "Timeless"
and The X-Files
were both great when they were filmed in Vancouver, but went downhill after moving production to L.A. and then losing their original cast.
I'm surprised to see Stargate SG-1
in the top 10, though it is growing on me. Did Late Night with Conan O'Brien's graphic designer Pierre Bernard
, of "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage" fame, have anything to do with making this list?
Probably not, because, if Pierre had written it, there would be at least a few anime shows mentioned. Though I'm not particularly upset that no anime shows made the list. Unless the commitee behind the list has at least one anime fan on it, it's better to have no anime than have one token anime mentioned really low down on the list, token treatment, as in "We don't really know what we're talking about when it comes to anime, but we'll put Evangelion
at #47 to make this list appear more hip to geeks." It would be great if anime made the list, but only if it's there because the composers of the list thinks the shows merit being included and weren't including it just for the sake of appeasing fanboys. And I know that, if anime had been included, it would likely have been only one of the following three shows: Evangelion
, Cowboy Bebop
, or, maybe, Mobile Suit Gundam
. But, if My Favorite Martian
and Third Rock from the Sun
can appear on the list, surely there must be room for Urusei Yatsura
. And, if the extremely short-lived ABC "high concept" comedy-drama series, That Was Then
can get a mention, why not Kimagure Orange Road
? Tenchi Muyo
was reasonably popular on Cartoon Network's Toonami back in the day, and, much more recently, the cybernetic action show Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
, which I enjoy much more than the slow-paced and overly-ponderous movies, has a fairly large audience, by anime standards, on CN's Adult Swim. Planetes
would be a wonderful addition to the list, being realistic "hard" sci-fi that stays within the solar system at speeds far below warp, though the show is much too recent (and too not-shown-on-American-television) to have made much of any ripples outside the core anime fanbase. If I ever did a top 50 sci-fi TV series list, the shows I just mentioned would probably be the full extent of the anime.
I'd probably also add at least Red Dwarf
and the 1981 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
TV series. And there's a reasonably good chance that Sea Quest DSV
would scratch the bottom of the list. Knight Rider
seems like a glaring ommission, especially for the episodes wherein KITT squares off against KARR or Goliath. Clone Wars
, while not technically the first Star Wars
cartoon, certainly is the first half-way successful attempt to bring the franchise to television on a regular basis. And, in the "cartoons I could never quite understand but would include anyway" department, I'd add the Canadian Delta State
and, just for my friend Chris in Massachusetts (who hasn't AIM'd me or called me in quite a while), Aeon Flux
Oh, and ALF
. It's certainly more deserving than Third Rock
By the way, since they mentioned Lost
, I must say, the opening episode this season was proof positive that whether or not you know the spoilers shouldn't detract from the overall enjoyment if a show is well-written. I knew that what was in the hatch was "Desmond" living in the "apartment" (that seems to be the living quarters of a much larger facility, something to do with keeping the rest of the island under "quarantine"), but reading that spoiler in the newsgroups didn't spoil me for all the subtleties, like the set itself, straight out of a cheesy 1970s sci-fi flick with the lava lamps and the leather furniture and the Apple II-era computer and the geodesic dome. And a turntable playing Mama Cass's "Make Your Own Kind of Music"
on LP record (remember those)? The decor and dated technology suggests that that the facility was built sometime in the 1970s, but Desmond could only have been there a couple of years at most... so... what's going on? And where does he get his food and detergent?4 8 15 16 23 42
Meanwhile, freaky kid Walt appeared as some sort of mental projection to Sharon, dripping wet, and appearing to say something along the lines of "Don't press the button (the button is bad)"? Does this refer to the "Execute" button on Desmond's computer? Or are the "Others", who took Walt, all under the command of the fiendish mastermind, "Waldo the Magnificent"
? (Because I'm sure you all remember the really screwy Today's Special
, wherein Waldo invented the wishing machine, and they travelled to that totally fucked-up place with the castle and meet Clump, the ruler of the Kingdom of Clay. They should have a scene with the entire cast, on the beach, singing "Don't Touch that Button"
HERE'S A SURE SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE...
...for those of you who dreaded the Loonatics
, the futurized version of the Looney Tunes
, back when it was first announced last February
, it's actually doing pretty well in the kidvid ratings
"The television premiere of the brand new Kids' WB! animated television series Loonatics Unleashed took to the smalls screen last week. Although many animation fans were skeptical of how the program would initially go over with most demographics, after finding the ratings of the premiere episode on Saturday Unleashed, Kids' WB!s Saturday morning programming block, some believe it is safe to say that Loonatics Unleashed has a decent future on television. The series follows descendents of classic Looney Tunes characters in a futuristic environment as they fight crime, save the world, and deliver laughs. Loonatics Unleashed is presently the number one program for its key demographic:
Loonatics Unleashed, the highly anticipated new Looney Tunes-inspired series from Warner Bros. Animation, debuted on the #1 kids' broadcaster, Kids' WB!, on Saturday, September 17, with soaring ratings as the #1 ranked Saturday morning broadcast series in the U.S. among the key demographic of Kids 2-11 (2.7/11).
The high-action adventure series also captured the #1 broadcast spot among Girls 2-11 (2.6/10) and the #2 post in Boys 2-11 (2.9/11), Kids 6-11 (3.3/13), Boys 6-11 (4.1/16), Girls 6-11 (2.6/10), leading the network to a powerhouse launch into the 2005-2006 broadcast season.
Loonatics Unleashed takes viewers seven hundred years into the future, the year 2772, to meet the ensemble cast of six heroes who are descendants of the Looney Tunes. Living in the perpetual twilight of Acmetropolis, where supernatural phenomena are the norm, our team becomes imbued with super powers after a massive meteor knocks Earth off its axis.
Sharing the same irreverent, sharp-edged wit as their forefathers, and banding together to become the Loonatics, we've got: Ace Bunny (descendant of Bugs Bunny), Lexi Bunny (descendant of Lola Bunny), Danger Duck (descendant of Daffy Duck), Slam Tasmanian (descendant of Tasmanian Devil), Rev Runner (descendant of Road Runner) and Tech E. Coyote (descendant of Wile E. Coyote), who are joined by Zadavia, the mysterious organizer of the Loonatics who sends the team out on their missions. Together they are unstoppable, boasting special skills, unique abilities and a firm sense of justice."
I'm personally neutral when it comes to Loonatics
(renamed Loonatics Unleashed
, with "softer" character designs and the name of the character originally called "Buzz Bunny" was changed to "Ace Bunny" after it was discovered by many people, including myself
, that the name "Buzz Bunny" was both the name of a previously copyrighted character and the name of a "clitoral stimulator" vibrator). Since it's on neither YTV nor Teletoon, actually having an opinion about it would involve me being awake on Saturday mornings and trying to find the WB Network, which I'm not even sure is on my cable.
R.I.P. DON ADAMS...
(He check... checked himself out from this mortal coil.)Don Adams
, the actor best known as Cobb's Supermarket manager Howard Bannister, at least to us sarcastic "fans" of the shitty 1980s Canadian sit-com, Check it Out
, which is fun to "like" in an ironic way, has passed away from a lung infection at the age of 82
"Don Adams, the wry-voiced comedian who starred as the fumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart in the 1960s TV spoof of James Bond movies, "Get Smart," has died. He was 82.
Adams died of a lung infection late Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, his friend and former agent Bruce Tufeld said Monday, adding that the actor broke his hip a year ago and had been in ill health since.
As the inept Agent 86 of the super-secret federal agency CONTROL, Adams captured TV viewers with his antics in combatting the evil agents of KAOS. When his explanations failed to convince the villains or his boss, he tried another tack:
"Would you believe ... ?"
It became a national catchphrase.
Smart was also prone to spilling things on the desk or person of his boss -- the Chief (actor Edward Platt). Smart's apologetic "Sorry about that, chief" also entered the American lexicon.
The spy gadgets, which aped those of the Bond movies, were a popular feature, especially the pre-cell-phone telephone in a shoe.
Smart's beautiful partner, Agent 99, played by Barbara Feldon, was as brainy as he was dense, and a plot romance led to marriage and the birth of twins later in the series.
Adams, who had been under contract to NBC, was lukewarm about doing a spy spoof. When he learned that Mel Brooks and Buck Henry had written the pilot script, he accepted immediately."
Yeahm I was just semi-kidding about Howard Bannister being his best-known role, but, for better or for worse, Howard Bannister is what I remember watching him as the most, as, growing up, Get Smart
was one of those "classic" TV shows that I was aware of from references to it in pop-culture, but I don't remember ever seeing it in reruns on any channel I could watch on television in Montreal as a kid in the 1980s. I think it did air, along with Family Ties
, for a while on YTV's The Zone
at some point in the late P.J. Fresh Phil Guerrero and Snit era in the late 1990s, back when YTV was experimenting with live-action sitcom reruns in the programming block. (See, kids, back in the 1980s, we didn't have whole cable channels solely dedicated to reruns like there are today, so I saw some shows, like Three's Company
and Gilligan's Island
in reruns, but I don't recall ever catching things Get Smart
or Brady Bunch
in reruns until there were a lot more cable channels available in Canada.)
Don Adams was also the voice of Inspector Gadget in the DiC cartoon of the same name, though that's something else I don't remember any of the border stations in Plattsburgh NY or Burlington VT ever picking up "back in tha dayz".
Anyway, it's always sad seeing a television icon die, because it makes you feel that much older. Especially when it comes the same month as the death of Bob Denver (Gilligan).
EVER TRY FAKE SHOPLIFTING?
Yesterday (well, Saturday, since I date these things a couple of hours ahead), I went downtown to watch Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride
over at the Famous Players Rideau Centre cinema. It was pretty decent, like a solid ***½/*****, but I don't feel particularly compelled to write a review. I definitely agree with those critics who think that, if you're already familiar with Tim Burton's schtick, you already know pretty much what to expect. It's almost like a perfect cross between the Tim Burton-written-and-produced Henry Selick feature, The Nightmare Before Christmas
, and Betelgeuse
(the 1988 movie, not the Nelvana cartoon), though the songs aren't as good as The Nightmare Before Christmas
. It was worth at least the $6.50 Canadian I spent watching it.
Anyway, after the movie, I decided to go to the Rideau street Chapters to check if they had the tenth and final volume of Mihona Fujii's Gals!
manga, so I can see what happens to Ran Kotobuki after high school since there are no good Gals!
manga spoiler pages on the Internet. It was the first time that I had been downtown in nearly a month, and I was thinking that there was a pretty good chance that it would have made it to Canada by now. (Except I was wrong; I just checked Amazon.fr and it only got released in France on September 21st
, so it won't be in Canadian stores for another two or three weeks.) I bought the ninth volume of Gals!
in early August from the same Chapters, but I still haven't quite finished reading it because I find it's perfect bus reading material and I haven't taken the bus that much lately because my hayfever has made it so that I don't feel like going out much. But, obviously, since I don't drive, I took the bus downtown, so that meant that I had volume 9 with me, and it was sticking quite prominently out of the CD pocket of the CD player carrying bag thingy I carry around with me when I don't feel like carrying around a bigger bag. Yes, it's almost like a male purse, but, since it has the primary function of carrying the CD player and a few CDs, I don't feel gay wearing it, especially since it only has a handle and not a strap.
It didn't occur to me until after I was well in the store that... hold on a minute, I'm in a bookstore and I have a newish-looking book that I have no intention of paying for (since I paid for it already at the beginning of August) suspiciously and conspicuously half-sticking out of my bag. Still, I decided to go check if they had volume 10 anyway, and they hadn't, but, after checking, I still had to take one of the longest walks in the store, walking maybe 25 yards from the French manga section to the escalator, and then another 50 yards from the escalator, right past all of the cashes and the video section with the double security and the Starbucks, with a book sticking out of my bag. And the only visible indication that I had that the book already belonged to me was that I used one of the flaps from the dustcover as a bookmark, but the French manga section at Chapters (unlike at Renaud-Bray) doesn't wrap the books in plastic, so many manga fans just read them in the store and some of the ones still on the shelf have pretty scruffy dustcovers. I suppose, if I did get caught, I could ask them to check the security camera videotape to see that the book was already in my bag as I walked in, but I'd have to pray that the picture was sharp enough for them to see that. Or, I could ask them to check the inventory, hoping that no one misplaced any other copies of the same volume.
But I made the long walk to the doors and left the store, and zilch happened. No one gave me any odd looks. Maybe Chapters just doesn't have much in the way of store detectives working on Saturday nights. Potential real shoplifters please disregard the previous sentence.
CHOCOLATE BARS FOR PATRIOTIC CANADIANS...
On Friday, my mother and I travelled to Orleans, a suburb in eastern Ottawa, to attend a job fair, where I submitted applications to... ooh... Payless ShoeSource
, Value Village
, and Winners
(a Canadian chain which sells discounted name-brand fashions from previous "seasons" that were "remaindered" from larger stores). Not exactly the sorts of places the girls in 6Teen
would be caught dead shopping at, but I'd go home with a cheque, and, more importantly for someone who still doesn't drive (yes, I turn 31 next Sunday and I still
don't have my driver's license), there are locations of all three chains within easy walking distance on Merivale. Not to say that I wouldn't rather work at the HMV on Merivale, since HMV is a store with the Ran Kotobuki
seal of approval, but I put in an application there in August and never heard back from them.
On the way home, we wanted to avoid rush hour traffic through central Ottawa on the Queensway, so we took the southern route alone Walkley, where, somewhere near Bank, I spotted a Loeb supermarket
, and, since we were going to go to a Loeb anyway, I suggested we go to that one, because going to different supermarkets is fun... well, it's relative
fun if you have extremely little excitement in your life. I gotta tell you, going to this particular Loeb supermarket was an amazing experience... I saw several edible items, "several" meaning "two", that I had not seen in stores for a couple of years: the Chef Boyardee Overstuffed
Ravioli, which has a completely different-tasting tomato sauce from regular Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli, Chef Boyardee Mini Ravioli, or the Chef Boyardee Four Cheese Ravioli (the tiny cheese ravioli with the meatballs), and I saw the cheeseburger-filled Schneider's Hot Stuffs (they're kind of like Pizza Pockets, but not pizza). The Cheeseburger Hot Stuffs were one of my primary sources of "fuel" when I was still at the animation college and living in an apartment in Montreal part-time.
When we were almost finished, we came across a display of limited edition varieties of the former-Rowntree-brands-now-owned-by-Nestlé chocolate bars, surprisingly placed in the "impulse purchases" section of the store near the checkouts, so I decided to buy a couple because, you know, it suddenly seemed like a good idea at the time, for some mysterious reason unknown to me but well-known to supermarket layout arrangers who study consumer psychology. Well, one reason I bought them was that they'd be the perfect purchases to fulfil my mandate of finding slightly amusing items that would make quick n' easy blog content that I don't have to think about too much.
Now, I consider this to be primarily an educational blog, and one of the most important subjects I've ever expounded upon in the past three years was to increase awareness of the Great North American Smarties Cultural Divide
, Canadian Smarties being candy-coated round chocolate "buttons" made by Nestlé that are like larger, flatter M&M's, whilst American Smarties being those little pill-like candies manufactured by the Ce De Candy Company which you get in rolls at Hallowe'en (marketed in Canada under the brand name "Rockets"). However, for over half a century, Canadians have harboured a secret inferiority complex, seeing as how "our" Smarties are, in fact, really a British import, originally from Britain's Rowntree chocolate company, which was acquired by Nestlé in the late 1980s. But Canadians can finally feel proud because now we have Smarties that we can truly call our own, "Smarties Eh?"
, the Smarties that are so defiantly Canadian that they didn't even feel the need to punctuate properly where there should, quite clearly, be a comma. They aren't flavoured like Orange Smarties or Sundae Smarties, but they're available in boxes with patriotic red, white, and... uh... red, and some of the white ones are festooned with maple leaves. Okay, they're obviously leftover chocolate that was supposed to be sold by Canada Day; I'll admit that I was probably a little late for the party on this one. It's the first I've seen them because I never go to convenience stores anymore since Ontario convenience stores don't sell beer. Anyway, since Smarties Eh? are still in stores, snatch them up now for a goofy novelty gift for Christmas to send to your American friends to rub it in that "Nyah! Nyah! We have real Smarties in Canada and you can't buy them!"
Meanwhile, how do you make the most Canadian of all chocolate bars, Coffee Crisp, even more "Canadian"?
Add maple syrup, of course. I haven't opened it yet, since I had one of the aforementioned Cheeseburger Hot Pockets earlier and don't need another mega calorie blast today, but, I presume that it's like the Caramel Coffee Crisp
I tried last year in that there's a layer of (fake) hardened maple syrup between the wafer and the chocolate. And, you know, the maple leaf is the symbol of Canada? Well, I guess that's a pretty weak followup to the Smarties Eh? paragraph, but it's something neat that those American Coffee Crisp afficionados
should be on the lookout for.