• “When you have blown your nose, you should not open your handkerchief and inspect it, as though pearls or rubies had dropped out of your skull. Such behavior is nauseating and is more likely to lose us the affection of those who love us than to win us the favor of others.”

• “It is bad manners, when you see something to nauseate you by the roadside, to turn to your companions and point it out to them. Still less should you offer any evil-smelling object for others to sniff, insisting upon holding it up to their noses and asking them to smell how horrible it is.”
Posted by Parallel
It was pointed out to me by a friend who is still in High school. Despite being a really smart, capable and creative person, he feels he needs the fifth year to help get better marks and to ensure he gets to the places he wants to be.

Good for him.

I never really went in for this downsizing of High school to just four years. It's already a lot of pressure to get through without cramming things in. When I went to University after five years of secondary school, I admit that the last semester was a bit of a waste as it all became redundant, but I needed that time to grow rather than to learn out of a textbook.

There is no better education than growing up. Why are we in such a rush? Take the time to develop yourself as University, College, or life in general is no picnic. Yes, the probable debts you'll incur suck, but these are the years in which you figure out who you want to be. If you're so busy with your nose stuck in a book, stressing out or competing with hundreds of others for something you don't really want but feel forced into doing, then you aren't benefitting yourself.

The only thing I feel bad about is all the kids who want that extra little bit of time to grow and are going to be looked at as a failure. This is as far from the truth as possible. People just don't get this is a new system with problems to still work out. If you feel you need or even just WANT the extra time then take it.

You won't get another chance like this. It all goes by much faster than you'd like it to.

Also, it makes things easier for when you go to university or college as you can go out and drink as a freshman and meet all the easy girls.
Posted by Parallel
Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 6:11 p.m. | 0 comments
It's a rare thing, but when it comes along I like to hold on to it for everything it's worth. So often you look at your work week and when you have a day off you tend to want to fill it with lots of other stuff.

Today I sat around, watched some of season 2 of Buffy (and pray for me, I rented the whole season which gives me a week to watch 22 episodes... I'm three in so far), went to get my comics and generally just scratched myself.

Catherine is off tonight for some schmoozing to get a Hockey mag off the ground which leaves me by my lonesome.

I'm okay with that. Having a break every now and then is not a bad thing. It's just too bad that Aaron, Jer, Pushee, Brody or an assortment of other friends aren't around. I'd even take a night of Paul telling me I'm an idiot.

Still, the stove is calling me to make mini pizzas and read the second issue of Secret War. I think I'll shall oblige it and then gorge my eyes on Buffy episodes.

It's like a vacation.
Posted by Parallel
Dinos (early 1990s): After the success of Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles, Post tried naming a cereal after the Flintstones’ pet dinosaur. “The question that came up constantly,” recalls a Post art director, “was ‘What flavor is Dino?’ . . . It sounds like something Fred would be getting off his lawn, not something you’d want to eat.”

Punch Crunch (1975): A spinoff of Cap’n Crunch. The screaming-pink box featured Harry S., an exuberant hippo in a sailor suit, making goo-goo eyes at Cap’n Crunch. Many chain stores perceived the hippo as gay and refused to carry the cereal.
Posted by Parallel
That's right fans and, well, non-fans. Joss Whedon's first issue of Astonishing X-Men has officially hit the stands and it is nothing short of perfect. I wrote a review which you can find on ComiX-Fan and sent the link over to Marvel. The editor and EIC promptly sent it out to Joss and John Cassaday making me look ever-so-cool. John even wrote me a quick little thank you though I don't think he remembers that we already know each other.

I'm working on getting an interview with Joss set up. Mike Marts, the senior editor, is doing his best to pull one together but it may be tight now that the Firefly movie is getting set to roll before cameras next week. If I luck out, I'll be sure to share the joy with you all here.

Or maybe not.

Anyway, at Eye today I got a little drunk. They had the interns taste test 12 odd and unknown beers which would normally be fine, but I had the odious task of being sent to review Soul Plane, Snoop Dogg's latest opus, a short time later.

It's now 11, I'm slightly hung over and it's not from the beer. I think the reels of film are dipped in weed.

I must cleanse myself now.
Posted by Parallel
Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 1:40 p.m. | 0 comments
You can't go wrong with a theatre that charges you less to see a new-ish movie than it costs to rent a flick from Blockbuster.

Heck, I'm even inspired to go see movies I normally wouldn't care about at all. This afternoon I'm going to go see Scooby-Doo 2. The first one was all right and I don't have much else to do.

Actually, that's not true. I'm supposed to be working on a story for work involving the creative ways in which people beg for money. Short, 200 word profiles of about four people. It's not really a lot of work to do, I'm just unmotivated to get on it. I guess I figure I have enough to do already both at work and in my private life. It's funny, I really like it there and I want to do well, but I just don't want to do any writing at the moment.

A little mental break, if you will. Still, it's something for me to do and I'm pitching other ideas. You'd figure after going out and harassing people for the Sun on the street would have been enough, but now I have to go and try and convince a homeless guy to talk to me.

From now on... only stories where I can essentially phone it in. That's much easier.
Posted by Parallel
Dog Yummies

“SPRING VALLEY, CALIF.—Thieves broke into a commercial meat freezer in Spring Valley, but are not being pursued as a high priority. The freezer is located equidistant between two buildings. The thieves undoubtedly thought the freezer belonged to a restaurant and that they were stealing frozen steaks for resale; in reality, it belongs to the restaurant’s next-door neighbor, the Paradise Valley Road Pet Hospital, which reported nine euthanized dogs missing.”

—News of the Weird
Posted by Parallel
Friday, May 21, 2004 at 10:35 p.m. | 0 comments
• “Sure I’ve got one. It’s a perfect 20-20.”
—Dallas Cowboy Duane Thomas, on his IQ

• “Even Napoleon had his Watergate.”
—baseball manager Danny Ozark

• “I’m a four-wheel-drive-pickup type of guy, and so is my wife.”
—outfielder Mike Greenwell, describing his personality

• “He’ll take your head off at the blink of a hat.”
—Joe Theismann, on an NFL draft pick
Posted by Parallel
Okay, so maybe my boss wasn't out to get me. He took the bastard intern (the one who IS trying to fuck me over for no other reason than he's an insecure prick) aside at the end of the next day. That's better.

I went out with a couple of others from work for a beer yesterday, including my boss. I had a single pint, then excused myself so I could head home. Stood up, totally fucked.

ONE freakin' drink.

Figures. Have you ever tried walking down Queen St. at rush hour totally blotto? Streetcars, bikes, other drunks... it's an experience I don't relish having twice.

I have today off as Monday and Tuesday are the big production days at work. I know my boss is looking for more interns for the summer big time because a few others he had slated have begged off for whatever reason. He's also looking to bring on females as the intern pool is a little too male at the moment.

So, if you apply NOWISH you stand a decent chance.

Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 10:55 p.m. | 0 comments
But am I a willing slave?

That's really the question these days. I can't seem to figure out if I like the work I'm constantly getting, as well as a bit of praise, or if it's going to drive me over the deep end.

See, every day I come home more and more stressed and it's the kind of stress that doesn't really show itself until you have a meltdown. Nothing at work is pushing me over the edge, it's more like I feel myself walking a tightrope that at any moment could snap. I can stay on the thing, but how secure is my lifeline?

Am I putting all my eggs in one basket? For the time being, I suppose I am. And for having only been on the job a mere week and a half, the amount of drama that I have either dealt with or imagined is already impressive. I hate at least one co-worker, while trying to please the rest by simply being competent.

My boss pulled me aside as I was about to leave today. I had no clue what it was about, but feared that I had messed something up royally or he was going to fire me. Keep in mind, there was absolutely no reason for either of these things to happen, but that's what goes through your head.

"I just wanted to see how things were going," he says with a smile.

Uh oh, I think. What does that mean? Have I been giving off the impression I'm unhappy? OVERCOMPENSATE!!

"Oh, really good. I'm surprised at how much I enjoy it. In fact, I told my girlfriend last Saturday that I wanted to go into work." Now this is technically true, but why am I kissing ass, even in a distant way?

The rest of the conversation revolved around a few story ideas I had and just before we parted, with not one negative word or criticism offered on his part, I asked him if I was doing okay. He said "yes, really well."

And that was that.

I can't handle that. It stresses me out. Why did he need to talk to me alone like that? I'm sure it was for a harmless reason, and Catherine says I freak out way too easily, but it's a week and a half into the thing, I'm trying to stand out based on work rather than personality (some of you will find this funny... Aaron, don't be a dick) and...

Good lord.

Maybe I'm insane.

Tomorrow I head to school to pick up the magazine which is finally back from the printer. I'm heading in early before work to get it, and then working for Bob and the Bank of Montreal building putting in new lights for the evening.

Life is not dull.
Posted by Parallel
Monday, May 17, 2004 at 9:33 a.m. | 0 comments
Here's a Real (No Kidding) Album:

The American Gun: A Celebration in Song. Sold only on late-night TV—not available in stores. Rage International offered this country music classic with a free oiled plastic rifle case. Songs include: “Thank You, Smith & Wesson,” “America Was Born with a Gun in Her Hand,” “Never Mind the Dog, Beware the Owner,” and the ever-popular “Gun-Totin’ Woman.”

Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 6:23 p.m. | 0 comments
In 1983, Martha Coolidge, director of a film called Valley Girl, was angry with the casting director, who kept auditioning “pretty boys” for the lead role. So Coolidge went to the reject pile, pulled the first photo off the top, held it up and said, “Bring me someone like this.” The picture was of Nicolas Cage, and he got the part. It was his first lead role.
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 6:33 p.m. | 0 comments
It's all one big job interview, isn't it? I mean, I have the job at EYE (the internship, unpaid, if you want to be specific) and yet I know there are still evaluations going on. I mean, it doesn't stop at any job no matter how long you've been there. I'm convinced everyone would be lazy if everyone else would agree to behave the same way.

Instead, I'm working hard. Well, I'm not sure about hard, but I'm working consistently. I'm much slower than I'd like to be in terms of fact checking, but unfortunately a large part of the subject matter that EYE deals in often comes by way of flyer rather than Internet posting.

Still, it's a good learning curve. I'm doing my best to sit back and watch other things going on rather than get too involved too soon. The last thing you want to do is rub people the wrong way. So I'm trying to make my fact checking as great as possible with a lot of notes before I start to feel them out for the kinds of pitches and approaches they're looking for.

The other two interns I work with are... interesting. Both guys, but each has something unique about them. The older one (still three years younger than me) may or may not be insane based on his interests and the work he's been pursuing. A nice guy, to be sure, but I need to get to know him better.

The other one is much younger, 18, and has a lot to learn. A good heart, nice smile that reminds me of Julia a lot, but his inexperience is probably not a positive thing... but still, he's here right out of high school working hard, so that says a lot about him right there.

Then there's me. I'm starting to feel more and more like the 'old guy' rather than the reasonably aged and competent individual I'd like to believe myself to be. Hopefully I can translate this into a full time job as the people here seem pretty cool, but with all jobs it's a matter of timing and people leaving.

Who knows what will happen?

But, so far so good. Monday and Tuesday are the tough days and not very tough at that. I liked Monday better though I was a bit more stressed and out of place. My fellow interns are just very quiet, something that was pointed out to me by the managing editor. I'm not a quiet person, but how do I stir them up without getting carried away?

I just don't want boring co-workers. Pushee, where are you when I need you?
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, May 05, 2004 at 5:56 p.m. | 0 comments
Ultimate Spider-Man #58Which apparently I do, as Aaron has pointed out the ad at the top of this blog now refers people towards buying 'adult super hero costumes.'

That's not necessarily a bad thing, is it? Could add a little spice if you ask me...

Anyway, Spider-Man is the topic of this blog, and in particular, Ultimate Spider-Man, one of the best comics out there right now. I just picked up Vol. 8 of the trade series with Vol. 9 collecting the Ultimate Six series coming out soon. Issue #58 just came out as well, and it has one of the best looking covers yet.

It's just too bad the rest of Marvel, and comics in general these days, aren't as consistently good. There are a lot of other books and series that I like, but none give me as much pleasure to dive into each month like Ultimate Spider-Man. Heck, that's why I buy every issue (which I then give away eventually) and then each trade. You can't go wrong.

Jer's no pants party is this Friday and I urge everyone to go. Then again, everyone reading this blog is already likely going so there's really no point in my plugging it. In fact, that could be seen as a detriment. I'll go and torture them all with my tales of new toys, comics and video games. I don't really have much of any of these, except the new Archangel figure which looks amazing and Pushee and I slipped into the magazine, but I'll put up a full list of hidden gems later.

Though a terran marine from StarCraft may have made it into the mag...
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, May 04, 2004 at 1:36 p.m. | 0 comments
I'm going to Guelph this weekend. This is a big mention of that fact. I'll be there Friday, in fact. Just in time for Jer's party.

Posted by Parallel
Monday, May 03, 2004 at 3:44 p.m. | 0 comments
Well, after much talking and chatting, I have the internship. I'm surprised as I felt like a bit of a babbling idiot during the interview, but I guess he was impressed enough.

I start on Monday, full-time, for three months. Unpaid. Yes, that sucks royal ass but he said that over half of the current staff were former interns and that many wind up contributing freelance after they're done I guess I can't complain too much.

The work day is 10ish (his words), at the latest 11, to 5-5:30 Monday to Friday. This seems most reasonable to me as it's both short, close by, and in a very nice, clean, and well-lit environment.

I'm panicking a little about the three month aspect as I'll most likely need money before that, so I'm going to grovel to Bob to try to get some part time work during this time and maybe work full time for him in August so that I'm not completely screwed come September or failing getting full-time work at EYE.

I'm so scared right now. A little excited, too, which is a step up from how I normally get with a new job so I'm optimistic.

The job is largely fact checking and updating listings, but he said some writing could be involved based on how well I do with little things, but he also said some interns have had multiple features per issue and cover stories.

More or less, if I work hard I'm in at the end of three months. I just have to think of it as my work trial period.

I can do that.

Posted by Parallel
Sunday, May 02, 2004 at 7:24 p.m. | 0 comments
• In June 2000, Age Concern, a British organization “devoted to concerns of the elderly,” rejected the job application of 69-year-old Hector McDonald. Why? He was turned down because he was too old.

• In 1999, the Texas Commission for the Blind, which was set up to provide workplace support to the visually impaired, had to pay $55,000 to settle lawsuits filed by two blind employees. The reason? The commission had neglected to make “Braille and large-type employee manuals available to employees.”
Posted by Parallel
That's right, true believers... I'm done at the Sun. Today was my last day of streeters, nonsense stories and brutal, brutal headaches.

Well, at least until I start my next job.

It's been a fun ride, I suppose, but with any job there are good points and bad. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more had I been paid, had my own work space and maybe more time and experience behind me, but at this point I'll take what I can get.

Tomorrow I have an interview at EYE as well as having to head out to Humber for one last little round of checks and balances on the magazine before we send it out. The blues (blue prints, first copy kinda stuff) will be back in my hands later this week for a final check and then we go to print. Hopefully we'll have it all by next week.

It's an amazing piece of work if I say so myself, but that's only because of the great amount of work and friendship that went into it, particularly from myself, Pushee, Manni and Lori. We deserve to get hammered and soon.

Or maybe that day trip to Wonderland. I entered a contest today to get a Season pass for 4. I'd have to give one to Pushee as he's currently the only friend I have with access to a car. Catherine'd get one. The rest of you... let the bidding begin!
Posted by Parallel
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