EH... THAT WAS PROBABLY A BAD IDEA...
The you-know-what about you-know-who got a little more mainstream attention than I was seeking, so I took it down. I thought the writing was so attrocious that it seemed like a clever idea at the time to perform it as blog filler, but, now, maybe not so much. And that's all I'll say about that.NO, WAIT, I'LL SAY THIS AS WELL:
Now is precisely the time for the evil fucker that did it to receive all of the Internet mockery he so richly deserves because I believe that the only way to prevent him from becoming another tragic antihero on the level of Charles Whitman to wrong-minded people is by making him a source of ridicule instead of the symbol of fear and terror that wall-to-wall 24-hour news coverage has already turned him into. However, my own attempt at doing so was poorly-conceived and executed and I am sorry if anyone misconstrued it as anything other than an attempt at de-glorification of a horrible human being and his twisted way of thinking.
ME... AT WORK (PLUS KAMICHU MINI-REVIEW).
Yes, I wear a safety vest as I push shopping carts around a parking lot somewhere in suburban Ottawa.
I was aiming for an "in the cart" view of the guy pushing it, but you can't see much of the cart apart from a tiny bit of the handle, and I took this when I was on the clock, so I'm not exactly going to stand around trying to get the picture exactly as I imagined as I know they aren't paying me to do that.
It's a great job for me as I really need the exercise and experience, but it's a bad job for blogging because not much of general interest happens. I know that, usually, lack of general interest doesn't always stop me from talking about things in my life, but I can't think of a way to make talking about pushing around shopping carts interesting even to myself. The only "action" I saw today was a guy dropping a case or two of Diet Coke. Oh, and I found someone's bank card on a rug just inside the entrance to the store and handed it over to management. The woman came back to the store, she had the bank cancel the card but was still happy to see it again for her own piece of mind.
A week that started out with a moderate amount of snow falling on Ottawa ended with early summer-like temperatures in the mid-twenties on the ºC side of things, or the mid-seventies for much of the rest of the world. And the t-shirts hadn't come in yet, so I had to wear the fleece sweater since it's the uniform. My throat got fairly dry, but, I wasn't all that bothered by the heat. I paced myself and had a root beer during the break and, though I was still tired by the end of my four-hour shift, I wasn't exhausted like I was on Wednesday. Plus, don't guys lose weight a bit faster if they wear a sweatshirt while they exercise, or is that just a myth? Have Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman
busted that myth yet?
After work, I waited around for my mother, who had conveniently decided to do some grocery shopping at the store. Normally, I help her with groceries, but I was still wearing my employee sweater, and, as I don't want to answer questions from random customers about the layout of a store that I haven't quite learned myself yet, I opted to just wait in the car.
Even though I haven't technically gotten paid yet, I stopped by the Anime Stop store on the way home and picked up a "getting started at work" present for myself, the first volume of Kamichu!
, the anime series about a junior high school girl who somehow comes to know that she is a literal god, though not an Almighty God but rather a god of the Shinto variety with rather limited abilities. She has to juggle her normal teenage life with the responsibilities of Godhood and the lack of anonymity that comes with her sudden, somewhat unwanted, idol status, both literally and figuratively as she inadvertently displays her initially unpredictable powers to the entire nation of Japan in the very first episode, though she has an entire community of thousands of Shinto gods as well as the members of a family that runs a local temple to help her out. I watched the entire series at the University of Ottawa anime club over the last semester, and it's one of the better shows that I've seen over the past year. It's a series that could easily have collapsed under the weight of its own high premise, but it stays remarkably low key throughout (save for one aberration of an episode involving a Martian), always presenting Yurie as a normal girl with one aspect of her life being extraordinary but the other aspects of her life being rather ordinary. In that regards, it reminds me in a very good way of Kiki's Delivery Service
, only involving a otherwise normal girl with some special abilities who is called a "God" instead of a "Witch", and, unlike Kiki's Delivery Service
, the ending doesn't strike a false note, patching in unnecessary action for the sake of an exciting conclusion. Kamichu
just ends anticlimactically with the main characters being about ready to move on to the next stage in their lives. And I like how Yurie's sudden divinity is never really explained, it just "is" and that's all you really need to know. And the animation is top-knotch for an anime TV series, with the menagerie of weird Shinto gods (and they have a god for nearly everything, even for various video disk formats) on those occasions wherein Yurie visits the land of the Gods looking for all the world like they had just stepped off the set of Spirited Away
. This is easily a series from a creator (manga artist Besame Mucho) on roughly the same wavelength as Hayao Miyazaki, but it's a series I'm glad Miyazaki hasn't touched because the Hayao Miyazaki of recent years would probably try and add extraneous and scattershot levels of "meaning" to make the series seem like it has more to say than it actually does. If you ever decide to give this series a chance, just sit back and enjoy a very enchanting ride and don't try and decode meanings that aren't actually there.
Labels: anime, job, Kamichu
A PLACE THAT I HAVEN'T BEEN LATELY...
The line-up to see a movie at the cinema.
My big-screen-movie-watching drought has lasted five months. The last movie I watched at the theatre was actually Happy Feet
, on opening weekend in November. Since then, I've been tempted to see some movies, such as Casino Royale
, A Night at the Museum
(mainly because my brother worked on it in some small capacity), and Ghost Rider
, but not enough to gain enough inertia to not just wait to rent the DVD (and I still haven't even gotten around to renting Casino Royale
I was ready to break my movie drought last weekend for one of three movies.
Unfortunately, the powers that be decided that Ottawa isn't a big enough market in which to release either the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theatres
, even though the cartoon is a mainstay on Teletoon's Detour schedule in Canada, or Redline
, which I know is almost certainly total crap as a narrative but, as "car porn", it's the first such film in quite a while to feature exotics (re: Ferrari) instead of just import Japanese "tuners".
(And, yes, I'm aware that Eddie Griffin totaled a Ferrari Enzo
, perhaps intentionally, perhaps by accident, as part of a charity event-slash-publicity event for Redline
, and that sucked, though, since it's only the front of a rear-engined
car that was damaged, I doubt it's a total write-off. Most of the damage seemed to be the front panels, which can easily be replaced. He didn't split it in half
as did Stefan Eriksson, that shady executive of the failed Gizmondo handheld game system
. And Ferrari offered to repair that one, even though its parts were scattered all over a California highway, so I don't see why they wouldn't repair an Enzo where the damage is mainly cosmetic.)
Meanwhile, one movie that is playing in Ottawa is Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino's "double feature", Grindhouse
. I can take or leave Robert Rodruiguez as a filmmaker... From Dusk to Dawn
was a lot of fun, but the most recent movie of his that I've seen, Once Upon a Time in Mexico
, I found to be just numbing, soulless violence despite the presence of Johnny Depp. But I'd pay to see it just for Quentin's half, Death Proof
, which some people liked a lot less than Rodriguez's zombie and machine-gun-legged woman half, Planet Terror
because there was too much talking and not enough gore in Death Proof
to truly be called Grindhouse
, but if it's more tongue-in-cheek than it is over-the-top violence, all the better for me as far as I'm concerned. And Kurt Russell is always cool, no matter what film he's in. Unfortunately, I haven't quite gotten around to seeing it yet because it's so long that the total theatre turnover time between showings, taking into account the amount of time it takes to clean the theatres and show trailers, is a whopping four hours, and all of the showings in Ottawa are either a bit too early (4 p.m.) or too late (8 p.m.) for me. 8 p.m. doesn't sound that late, but, since I'm reliant on the bus for transportation and there's no night bus to my part of Nepean, it's much too risky. A 6:30 to 7 p.m. starting time would be ideal, but no Ottawa theatre has such a time scheduled.
This upcoming weekend, my movie drought is going to end, as the first movie of 2007 that I've honest-to-good been anticipating for a long time, Hot Fuzz
, from the creators of Shaun of the Dead
, is opening in North America. I know it's probably not going to be quite on the same level as Shaun of the Dead
, simply the best horror-comedy I've ever seen, as slapstick cop comedies are a much more trodden sub-genre than are zombie-comedies so there's less they can do that hasn't been seen before already, but I have faith in Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright that the film won't be disappointing.
FIRST DAY OF WORK...
...and I'm fricking exhausted.
I'm not going to say too much, but I don't think I'm putting my position in jeopardy if I give you the gist of what I do. I'm just a cart lackey, pushing shopping carts from the "corrals" (where you're supposed to leave the carts) or gathering them up from the parking lot where people leave them willy-nilly (what you're not supposed to do) and pushing them back to the main shopping cart area, between the outer and inner supermarket doors. Simple work, but repetitive and energy-depleting. But I'm not complaining; for a shy guy like me, it's one of the better positions as dealing with customers isn't really part of my job (the customers put the bags in the trunk themselves, though if I see someone having difficulty with that task, I'll probably offer assistance), and, for a chubby guy like me, every working day is like a four or five-hour workout, with bench-pressing, lifting (to control the carts), and some pulling.
The people at the store seem nice enough. The only real negative today was that one of the other minor tasks the cart lackeys have to do is take out the garbage from the various bins around the store. For the indoor ones, it's a simple task of taking one bag out and putting the other one in, but the outdoor ones frequently have the garbage bag slip out of position, so a lot of the garbage ends up at the bottom of the bin and it gets soaked by rain and gets totally slimy and goopy, but we're wearing disposable plastic gloves so it's not that bad. But one of the bins had this disgusting stuff in it that the chief cart lackey said was wet sand, but I thought it seemed like kitty litter myself, and I was digging it out and the middle finger of my right hand caught on something very sharp, which I very much hope was glass and not a used syringe, and blood started dripping and they had to administer first aid, wrapping my finger with paper towels and holding it under cold water for a few minutes and then putting Band-Aids on it. And the manager had to fill out work injury paperwork, which I thought was a little embarrassing for just a small cut.
But I get to work outside, and I get to see a lot of cars, so I can honestly say that there's much worse work than what I'm doing.
The next time I work is from noon to four p.m. on Friday... I know, really tough schedule, eh? Well, I've never had a proper job before (because I made bad choices and excuses and didn't try hard enough to find work in the past), so I have to ease into work.
Anyway, I feel like posting a couple of photos, though not of my workplace.
A cheery cherry red Volkswagen New Beetle showing support for the Ottawa Senators. I find one big difference between the Montreal and Ottawa hockey cultures is that, while Montreal hockey fans are generally more fanatical about the Canadiens than Ottawa hockey fans are about the Senators, Ottawa hockey fans tend to love flying flags from their cars. I don't remember seeing nearly the numbers of cars in Montreal flying Canadiens flags, though it could be that the NHL introduced the car flags the winter I moved to Ottawa two years ago.
For anyone who knows Merivale Mall, please note that the store I work at now is not Farm Boy, so this photo isn't an indirect way of showing you where I work without explicitly spelling it out for you.
A Toronto-bound Via Rail train with a General Electric P42 locomotive just out of Ottawa Station, crossing over Riverside Drive as it builds up speed.
A pretty good motion blur of a Porsche 928 on Elgin Street. My manual tracking isn't perfect, but the car itself is mostly in focus with a very blurred background.
This composite photo is kind of a glitch in Autostitch... I stitched together three previously-Autostitch'd segments of a 360º panorama of downtown Ottawa taken from Mackenzie King Bridge, but Autostitch wasn't sure how the images related to one another, so I got this weird lake reflection effect that I kind of like. (Here's the picture as it was supposed to look.
A rabbit in my backyard.
The rare April Nor'easter that dumped a lot of very late season snow on New England, upstate New York, Quebec, and the Maritimes also brought snow to Ottawa
... nothing Ottawans aren't used to, but it was a good five to seven centimetres (around 2 inches), easily enough to re-whiten the ground without too many blades of grass sticking through.
And also enough to make the sidewalks in Nepean kind of icky (especially along Merivale Road).
On one hand, I don't mind getting snow in mid-April, since I always feel more comfortable in cool weather, so I fully approve of winter overstaying its welcome.
But, on the other hand, starting Wednesday, I will be working in a supermarket parking lot and wet, heavy snow and supermarket trolley wheels are not too happy a combination, seizing up the wheels and making pushing around one shopping cart almost like pushing around a Smart Car
with the parking brakes on. And I'll have to push whole trains of carts around, so I kind of hope that we don't get a repeat performance this spring, at least not on the nights before I work.
Speaking of the job, I went to the Mark's Work Wearhouse (L'Equipeur) store on Merivale at Hunt Club Road with my mother to get a few pairs of black jeans, a belt, and some plain t-shirts... we split the expenditure between us, so I spent over $100 on two pairs of pants, and they weren't even Levi's 501, just Denver Hayes, the Mark's Work Wearhouse store brand. But they were "Made in Canada", so I'm really hoping that they stay a dark shade of black at least as long as the $25 Mexican-made Wrangler "comfort fit" jeans I usually buy at Wal-Mart. And it's an investment... I'll make back what I spent in less than a week.
And now that I'm working and am making a small
amount of money the respectable way, I'm am thinking a lot more seriously about taking that weekend trip in June to Mont Tremblant, Quebec to see the Ferrari F430 Challenge race
, as I mentioned that I wanted to do back in February
. Even though I am bringing in a income now, I'm not Daddy Warbucks, Scrooge McDuck, Richie Rich, or any of the male members of the Ouran High School Host Club
and won't be walking around with my pockets bulging with huge stacks of pink-and-red Canadian fifties or used-toilet-paper-brown Canadian one hundreds, and I have to be very mindful of costs, and would only be staying the Saturday night, if I go. I can get to Mont Tremblant by Greyhound/Voyageur bus, with a shortish layover in Montreal both ways. The Saturday trip is reasonable... I'd leave Ottawa at 2 p.m., spend an hour in Montreal in the late afternoon (probably killing time at the main Archambault book/music/video store on Berri, since it's only a block away from the central Montreal bus station), and get to Mont Tremblant a little past 8 p.m., which is great for me as I prefer eating supper after 9 p.m. anyway. The trip back is a little more problematic... since the whole point of the trip is for me to photograph as many Ferraris as I can, both on the track and on display, I wouldn't want to leave Mont Tremblant at 4 p.m., but the only option after that is at 9 p.m., getting back to the Ottawa bus station past 2 a.m., meaning I'd have to get a cab from the bus station to Nepean as there's no night bus that covers the Meadowlands/Merivale area of Nepean which is well-serviced by the 86 and 111 buses in the daytime, and it's at least a two mile walk to where I live from the OC Transpo Baseline Transitway stop.
The more painful part is the hotel rates... I want the most no-frills-other-than-normal-television-and-an-in-room-bathroom-and-shower accommodations available, and even the Comfort Inn starts at $79 a night
, and I somehow doubt that's the rate for a Saturday night in June. And the Hostel International Mont Tremblant hostel
isn't that much more reasonable... $67.50 for a private room. I could spend just spend $27.75 for a dormitory bed, but I don't know if that's such a great option if I don't want both of my cameras and my tripod to mysteriously vanish during the night. I'm not stupid enough to bring anything else electronic, but the cameras are kind of necessary for photography.
Let me say, my prior offer to split the gas and the hotel costs
to anyone with a car in the Ottawa or Gatineau area who also wishes to attend the Ferrari Challenge race, plus draw a Ferrari picture based on any photo I take that weekend, still very much stands.
And, I must say, like everyone else, I'm horrified and saddened by the murderous rampage at Virginia Tech on Monday morning
, but I don't have much else to say and to write a paragraph about it that's longer than this one merely for the sake of registering an opinion would just be trite.