Tuesday, July 27, 2004 at 5:08 p.m. | 0 comments
"How happy is the blameless Vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot: Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each prayer accepted, and each wish resign'd." - Alexander Pope.

What would you give to have some of your memories erased? Moments, lives, people... all taken away in the blink of an eye. Me, I wouldn't give any of it up. Not even the truly horrible moments that we each have endured in our short time on this earth.

Having just seen the movie has put me in a reflective, and somewhat dour, mood. It makes me appreciate those little moments that we all get to share that much more. Though they may seem trivial, in the end it's all we have.
Posted by Parallel
Monday, July 26, 2004 at 1:04 p.m. | 0 comments
So, is this new Star Wars title for Episode 3 a good omen or a bad one? Well, if you take Penny Arcade's word for it, it's masturbation worthy.

I must admit, I rather like the sounds of it myself. I was an admant hater of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Not the films themselves, but the other-cheesy subtitles that really belittled the subject matter rather than pay homage to it as I'm sure George "Bags o' money to waste on CGI" Lucas believed them to be.

It brings up memories of 1983 and the brief time that Return of the Jedi was to be called Revenge of the Jedi. The title was eventually nixed by Lucas who believed that revenge really wasn't a jedi concept. That's all well and good in theory, but you have to admit Luke did look pretty pissed off for most of the film.

Revenge of the Jedi is still something that exists on collectible t-shirts and other materials created before Lucas changed his mind. So, in a whole full circule coming of age moment the latest and last film in the series gets the old 'Revenge' moniker that seems to go quite well with the whole Sith way of thinking.

There are a lot of interesting bits and pieces of spoilers I've heard about this film but it seems to be caught up in the political drudgery that dragged the first two films down. I think The Simpsons did it best when the family went out to see the latest film only to be bored by two hours of pointless senate debates. The major fight sequence was an AT-AT storming through the wall with lazers blazing, only to sit down and read from a prepared statement moments later.

Classic satire.

But satire, criticism and being shown up by special effects newbie Peter Jackson and his Lord of the Rings movie doesn't appear to have gotten through Lucas' plaid-fevered brain. More sentate debates await, and while the Sith is getting their revenge (all two of them from the sounds of previews against hundreds of jedi), the jedi knights are all killed and Darth Vader comes to power.

In theory.

I just hope there are a lot more Sith, explosions and fun that made the original triology the brilliant piece of escapism that it was. Being bogged down in politics is only good if it enjoyable moves the plot forward but in all honesty, the two films in this new trilogy could have been brought together to make one super-Star Wars movie leaving the next two open for more space-opera goodness.

But, his masterful plaid-shirtness has spoken. The only revenge the Sith will get next year is to make beleaguered fans of Star Wars just a little bit more poor with broken spirits to match.
Posted by Parallel
Well, now what?
Posted by Parallel
Sunday, July 25, 2004 at 11:19 p.m. | 0 comments
I've conquered my past,
The future is here at last
I stand at the entrance
To a new world I can see
The ruins to the right of me
Will soon have lost sight of me...
- U2
Posted by Parallel
Friday, July 23, 2004 at 3:24 p.m. | 0 comments
It's been all right...
It's been all right...
It's been a ride...

And so, like television shows, milk, bread and an assortment of other products in this world my time at eye is nearly at an end. As I look at the clock showing less than an hour before my time of freedom and uncertainty I feel a certain amount of nostalgia.

Coupled with crippling fear.

The internship process has taken its toll on me in many ways. The first one I began was a year and a half ago at Kidscreen magazine. Sequestered in a corner under a flickering light far from the arms of my fellow writers and editors, my two days a week there felt more like solitary confinement than a valuable tool that was allegedly preparing me for a career in the outside world. I'd emerge at the end of the day with a sore back, weak eyes and a desolation matched only for those who are regular viewers of Dr. Phil.

The Toronto Sun wasn't a whole lot better, but at least I never felt like I was wasted. Well, there were a few joke jobs such as the damn streeters, but at least I got to cover city events and have by-lines on a regular basis. Again, the two days a week (this time stealing my weekend) hardly seemed worth it. I was the perpetual outsider relegated to walking the dog stories of the paper. It was only through my friend and editor, Brad Honywill, that I managed to leave that place feeling proud and as though I'd done something worthy.

When Bert Archer, the production editor at eye, gave me a call three months after I'd sent in my resume asking if I was interested in an internship I nearly had a heart attack. This was the place I'd been after since my first year and secretly coveted. Though I'll admit a certain unfamiliarity with a decent portion of its content as I'd only read the sections that interested me, it was far and away one of the few publications that held any allure for me whatsoever.

Then the hammer stroke fell. Unlike the two day a week masturbation sessions that were Kidscreen and The Sun, eye was not only to be full time, but a three-month odyssey.

That's a lot of time to wait when you've already felt as though you've paid your dues. How do you come into a place like this and put your heart and soul into something when you damn well know it isn't going to go anywhere other than on your resume? Well, the chance existed, though slim, of getting hired on at the end of the three months. Given that three interns had been hired within the past year, however, that seemed to make it highly unlikely. A few things have come up since then and it seems as though I may have a job here come the beginning of October in the production department, so I can't and won't say it's been a waste of time.

In all honesty I wish I had been more productive on the writing front. I'm more than capable and, in all honesty, not a bad writer (or even pretty good if I allow myself to really open up). But the approach and stories weren't entirely what I was expecting and as duties and work piled up both at work and at home, the desire to do extra was fading fast.

Still, I produced half a dozen reviews, a couple of decent stories and even a column. It's more than some though less than what I would have liked. Still, I can't complain as the door is still wide open.

The managing editor, Catharine Tunnacliffe, has been the best part of this job. She took me in and gave me more opportunities than the rest combined. Coupled with the fact that she's really nice makes her an amazing person. She's even going to help me out on the job search front in the meantime (if I remind her... she's incredibly busy).

The rest have all been great, especially Kieran Grant whom I worked with the most. A kind, decent person the likes of which are missing from this industry all too often. His partner-in-crime, Stuart Berman likewise gets the nice guy award. Staff writer Joel McConvey isn't too bad either. ;)

Damien Rogers is great, Ed Keenan is the ultimate drinking buddy and Holland Gidney is the most underappreciated proof reader out there. She deserves more credit than she's given.

The interns all suck. Matt, Luke, Sarah, Jules, Paul, Larissa. You're all drunk and crazy. Good for you.

I suppose I've just hit that moment of clarity. That end-of-movie moment when you stop and take a look around at where you've been and realize it meant more to you than you realized. When I walk out that door today it'll never be the same again. I may have a job here later and will likely be back for freelance related issues, but it won't be the same.

It's been the best internship yet and though there is nothing (and I mean nothing) ahead for me at the moment I can't help but want to come back here anyway. It's been a constant and relatively enjoyable experience. I come away with good references, positive memories and feel that now, more than ever, I'm ready for that next step.

God help me.

It's a rare experience and I just wanted to take a moment to appreciate it. Thanks, guys.
Posted by Parallel
It's going to be a good joke for me for the next week or so. People will ask what movie Catherine and I went to see last night, and I'll be able to truthfully say Nothing.

It's the new brainchild of former Cube director and stars about two guys who literally hate away existence. Most of the movie takes place with two actors against a perpetually white background. There's nothing ahead, nothing behind, and as a result, comedy ensues.

The house, the turtle, the tinfoil suit all work together to actually tell a decent 90-minute movie. It's not something that you'd expect to see work for so long, but as the two loser-like friends embrace their utopia away from the world that was more than a little cruel to them and they lose a bit of their marbles in the process, you can't help but be morbidly enthralled.

It's a great quirky film, totally original and 100% Canadian. It's like nothing (pardon the pun) you've ever seen before. I can't guarantee multiple viewings, but it's definitely worth checking out.
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, July 21, 2004 at 8:25 p.m. | 0 comments
A little theory I've picked up (though some of you will likely say it's source is common knowledge) is that in job searching it's as much who you know as it is timing and luck. Though my pool of sources is limited, the people I've known in such a short time over the past couple of years are proving very helpful in making sure I'm able to support myself in the future.

Don't let that mislead you, though as I have absolutely no job prospects at the moment. A nibble or two from the production department at eye, and the managing editor (who has been fantastic during my time there and whom I hope to get work from in the future) mentioned another possibility.

The only drawback to the job search is the amount of time it takes to get a job versus the amount of time you're willing to spend searching. Catherine, for instance, searched quite a lot for about a month before she began to lose steam. A friend of mine from school, Lisa, just sent her resume in to eye today in hopes of an internship. What we're willing to do to pay our dues says a lot about our grit and determination to succeed.

At this point, I'm willing to settle for survival.

My poor and meagre funds will last me a little while yet provided I stop spending money on things like season 2 of Buffy (it was a bargain... I just have to think of it as an investment) and the only thing slowing me down is how much time and effort I'm willing to put in.

Given that Sarah, a very loud but kind intern was fired yesterday (you couldn't help but see it coming) leaving eye with two interns, I'm kind of surprised that I haven't been asked to stay on until a replacement can be found. Heck, even if they offered me something like $200 for the week I'd probably take it. They've been good to me and I don't want to leave them in a lurch.

Ball's in their court, I suppose. As with everything else, time will sort it all out. As the great sage and eminent junkie put it: "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans."

Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, July 20, 2004 at 10:38 p.m. | 0 comments
One of the great things about staying in a hotel, such as the one I was in during my visit to New York, is that they are like a small nexus. They all have the same basic content and all that changes is the view out the window.

Sometimes I wish I was a hotel room.

Not a place for people to stay and to mess up their sheets or use their phone, but rather an extension of that changing window. This is a funny thing for me to say, especially for those of you who know how much I hate change. Yet I always felt as though I should have a different piece of road under my feet each day and a sword strapped to my back.

I suppose that's part of the allure of movies and comic books. They provide a nice dose of escapism into a world of possibilities. Don't get me wrong, I love my life here with Catherine and provided I actually get a job, I'm quite content to stick with Toronto for a few years.

I suppose I just feel the travel bug slowly starting to call and opportunity fading away. I suppose that unless I go in the next couple of years, I'm not going to go. Sounds kind of fatalistic but at the same time we all know that life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.

I've stayed in hotels all over the world and I know there are more than a few in the future ahead of me. Hopefully once both Catherine and I have our nice jobs we can make this more of a reality. In the meantime, there's always the Amazing Race.

Why won't they make it so Canadians can compete? Man, that would be incredible.

Posted by Parallel
Monday, July 19, 2004 at 8:42 p.m. | 0 comments
Just when I think I'm a full grown, responsible adult who can take care of himself, Catherine goes away and suddenly I find myself without direction or purpose.
Is she a stabilizing influence I wonder, or am I just unusually clueless? Without someone else here to help guide my day, to talk to, to listen to and to love you get an odd disorientation towards everything. Last night I was up until 2am (though I was working) and today I came home to an empty apartment.
I'm just not used to it.
She hasn't left me or anything (yet), she's just at home visiting her family and helping to look after her mother who is a little sick this week though it's nothing serious. Catherine'll be back on Wednesday, but what on Earth am I going to do stuck as I am all by my lonesome?
Do I pull a Jamie and fill the apartment up with balloons? Pull a Doug and disappear to Florida for months on end? Actually, I"ll likely just wind up watching Buffy and terrible reality TV shows while consuming what's left of Patti's ice cream.
All in all, not a bad way to pass the time. Maybe I"ll even paint.
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, July 15, 2004 at 3:42 p.m. | 0 comments
It's a fun game and it's also a bitch. Take today for example. Things today have reshaped many paradigms that I thought were certain in the coming months.

The first was Eye. Immediately in the morning I was asked to get a story ready for the next day based on a story I pitched the day before. I had long sinced given up trying to be a useful member of this society and yet today I was out and about researching and writing a story I actually liked. Go figure.

The story is done and awaiting editorial mangling.

Then, Catherine, the girl who never knows as well as I do what's in store for her got her dream job. She's been employed by Career Cruising for a ridiculous sum of money and starts on July 26. She sounds very calm as do I, but I think that's the shock speaking. More than a job, this is security, peace of mind, comfort and a career direction she's always wanted to explore. I can't express how happy I am for her and yet at the same time feeling the gnaw of jealousy as I doubt I'll be getting offers from Marvel in the near future.

The last was an odd quiz.

Head to www.colorquiz.com. Answer honestly and get in return a surprisingly accurate reading of who you are. Most of these are complete bunk, but for some reason this one rang true. Check it out.

I still can't believe she got the job. Yet I knew in my heart the whole time that it would be her, the fact that they were a few days later in letting her know than they said they would be upped the tension factor. I even joked yesterday that they were holding out just to tick us off.

I'm so proud. Now I have to try and get a job. The competitive part of me wants to try and best her somehow. Not very charitable, but at least I'm honest in a "hey, you're a jerk" sort of way.


Good job, Boo.
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, July 13, 2004 at 11:41 a.m. | 0 comments
In devouring as I have been seasons 1-3 of Angel recently I find myself attracted to characteristics of David Boreanaz's character, Angel.

We have a man who struggles with his very real inner demon, a world that doesn't understand how he can be both good and evil at the same time, and yet he manages to have friends, a family and a warm home to return to.

Really, Angel (or Angelus) is no different than anyone else. Maybe that's what makes him an interesting character. It's the choices that define us, not our baser feelings or motives. Is that the overall theme of the story? Maybe, but it seems like a message to me. Wesley (Alexis Denisoff) has got to be my favorite character on that show. I still can't believe he had his throat cut like that in Season 3. That's some good TV eating...

I'm very frustrated with this series as season 4 hasn't even come out on DVD yet. For those of you who've watched the series, season 3 ends on a brutal cliffhanger that, while I know things will work out, still leaves many unanswered questions.

Thanks to Jamie, Jer and others I know what happens in broad strokes on both of these series. VERY broad strokes but it's in finding out the details of how and why that I've become enthralled with Joss Whedon and his writing process. I still think he outdid himself with Firefly, but Angel comes a close second.

I'll have to wait to give a final verdict on Buffy as Season 5 is supposed to be in at the video store for me to rent at any time...

Posted by Parallel
Thursday, July 08, 2004 at 8:17 p.m. | 0 comments
Lord, why am I cursed with such geekdom?

On the way home from work today I had to stop by the Silver Snail to check once again (fruitlessly I expected) for the new series of Marvel Legends figures.

To my shock and wallet's horror, they were in. Series 6 had touched down.

What makes this remarkable is that we're ahead of the States. For the most part, the toys go coast to coast for our neighbours to the south and we get the sloppy seconds about a month later. This time we're ahead and I'm loving it.

I picked up Juggernaut, Cable and Deadpool (also Doop who came with 'Pool). Juggernaut is huge... by far the biggest figure put out by ToyBiz yet. Deadpool wins for articulation and coolness (not to mention an uber-creepy second head) while Cable's arm is just a thing of sculpting beauty.

I didn't get Wolverine, which while more articulated than previous versions, is more or less just another repaint and I don't need to buy him. Punisher (movie version) would be redundant as well as I have the comic version figure which I prefer anyway. The last is Phoenix... while girl figures have traditionally been horrible to view there was something appealing about this one. Rather than the old hip joints that make all the figures look like wanton sluts when they're placed in sitting position thanks to their legs flaring out to the sides (and how many people gleefully adjusted my shelves of figures to porn positions over the years??) but now ToyBiz has finally given girls the same hip joints as the men. My Rogue figure is a slut, but Jean is prim and perfect.

Lordy lord, I love my toys.

They're very cool. I expect you all to oooh and aaahh over them when you next appear.
Posted by Parallel
Part of my job here at intern hell (which I must tell you, faithful readers, ends next Friday. Aaron will be down to celebrate, and hopefully Pushee too. Perhaps an impromptu trip to Wonderland should be arranged) is to fact check dozens of useless articles that fill the rags pages.

Don't get me wrong, there are several aspects of this paper that I like. One or two of the staff have been nothing but friendly and kind and part of me will miss the consistency of coming into work every day with a list of things to do.

Another part of me could give less than a shit.

It becomes quickly apparent when you fit into a place and when you don't. I'm forever on the fringe of things... bobbing and weaving, sticking and jabbing, to a result I don't even know is clear. I'm sure I'll get strong references, but the need for coin and a home is driving me away sooner than I'd really like.

There are other things to do. I'm planning on taking over the world, starting my own publication, and writing several stories in addition to the massive task of job hunting. No worries, I'll still have time to be lazy and depressed I'm sure.

If I can, I'll make treks around to visit friends and family. My mom quite correctly pointed out today that we hadn't seen as much of each other as possible. The only consolation I can offer is that it's far more frequent for me to talk to her and see her than any of my other relations. After all, I'd only gotten back to Guelph to see my Dad back in May after a five-month hiatus.

There's much room for improvement. Part of it was just the huge amount of time school and internships were taking, not to mention the quick pace at which life in Toronto seems to move. I feel as though I barely have time for myself much less anyone else and this includes Catherine.

Maybe I'm just getting old.

Certainly I'm getting odd.
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, July 07, 2004 at 9:51 a.m. | 0 comments
The first medium used to spread news and information is believed to be the Acta Diurna (“Daily Acts”), founded by Roman emperor Julius Caesar in 59 B.C. The daily paper, posted in prominent areas and gathering places all over Rome, contained news items as well as birth, death, and marriage announcements, updates on criminal trials and executions . . . and even news of sporting and theatrical events.

Posted by Parallel
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