Tuesday, August 31, 2004 at 10:09 AM | 0 comments
Thanks to all of you who sent messages or called about Rooter. It means more to me than you know to have friends that care and understand so much. I'm still having a bit of trouble, but hopefully the most painful of the grief is behind me. I still worry about Truffle who is showing a sign or two of stress and being sad, but we play with her every day for at least half an hour out of the cage.

These days I'm doing my best to keep busy. I had the huge comic convention here in Toronto to go to which was a great chance to catch up with old friends and maintain those all-too important contacts. My friend Nick and I covered it quite nicely, but the benefits of which will go to the new comic-bent site we're creating called The 7th Parallel. Designed to be a closer, more in-depth look at the industry and things surrounding it (ala Star Trek, Star Wars, etc) the site aims not to be the leading news site, but the leading features site, interviews site, and commentary. This is an honest-to-god start up Canadian publication so as long as we survive year 1 we'll be eligible for a bit of funding in year two.

We have a nice assortment of interviews done for it as well. Michael Dorn and LeVar Burton from Star Trek: The Next Generation, George Takei from Star Trek, Julie Benz from Angel, Mercedes McNab from Buffy, Robia LaMorte from Buffy, John Kassir from Tales from the Crypt, Peter Mayhew from Star Wars, George Romero from Dawn of the Dead, Anthony Montgomery from Star Trek: Enterprise, Joe Quesada the Marvel EIC, Frank Tieri from Weapon X and a whole bunch more.

Not a bad start.

We've also been told that we're the official magazine of the World Hockey Association. What that means at this point is beyond me in terms of a dollar value, but it gets us much-needed experience on the playing field. The league is small at this point, but we're looking at creating at least 3 issues which will hopefully catch on. It can't hurt, at any rate.

All of this must sound marvelous, but I'm still broke (or close to it). Send money. Seriously, though, the job hunt continues with my frustration increasing daily. Catherine's too, because she has to listen to me complain.

Overall, I suppose I'm doing okay though I still feel a little lost within myself after Rooter passed. Part of me wants to move on, be successful and live happily, the other half wants me to crawl into a deep, dark hole.

I'm working on it. Promise.
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, August 26, 2004 at 12:22 PM |
As a few of you figured out, my long absence from this blog or even from the internet comes as a result of a broken heart. Last Sunday night, my beloved little one, Rooter, passed away.

Aaron wrote me yesterday saying that he understood the kind of pain that I'm in and I know that he does. Rooter was far too young to have passed away. The vet called it a heart defect common in small animals, but I call it a cruel twist of fate. You see, Rooter wasn't even three years old. Some may think that's ages old for a small animal, but degus typically live anywhere between 5 and 9 years old. By any reasonable count, Catherine and I were cheated out of a couple of years.

The main part of my time lately has been trying not to think of it that way, but rather look at the fact that we had three incredible years to spend time with an extraoridinary little girl. She was the brave one of the two, always taking off and exploring things first before her timid sister would follow. She also had boundless energy as she rearranged things in the cage to knock them over or move them around. It could become frustrating at times when you wanted a bit of quiet, but now that near silence is deaffening.

Rooter was very much loved by Catherine and I. Though it's been a few days, I'm still nowhere near over the pain that this has caused us. Catherine has the distraction of work, but I'm at home all the time and unable to find anything to do that will carry my mind too far away.

Truffle is the one I worry about at the moment. Though she still has a bit of energy she's obviously quite saddened by the loss of her sister. She's lost her perk and zest. The stress is quite obvious as she hasn't been pooping properly since the ordeal. I'm doing my best to give her space, but my zeal as her Dad makes me want to rush in and care for her.

We gave her a little stuffed moose to sleep with. At first we were worried that she would chew it up, but the first thing she did was snuggle down with it. The whole thing was so cute it made me want to cry again.

The hardest part of grieving comes when you start to get over it. That's not something you really want to do or are prepared to let go of, yet each day it becomes a little easier. I talk to Rooter now as much as I talk to my dog, Jack, who passed away some years ago. I picture the two of them and Catherine's dog Barney together waiting for us. It offers me some comfort.

The important thing I try to remember is that Rooter was very much loved and her family was with her every step of her short life. She's gone much too soon but her mom, sister and I will do our best to make her proud and to never stop loving her or remembering her incredible life.

Rooter, I miss you. I wish you were here.
Posted by Parallel
Friday, August 20, 2004 at 12:58 PM | 0 comments

A Prayer for My Little One... Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
My little girl, Rooter is quite sick and I feel helpless. I noticed she wasn't looking well yesterday so Catherine and I rushed her off to the vet. I have a lot of fear and paranoia over visiting the vet, but I convinced myself it was nothing more than diarhea as that's what all the symptoms seemed to include.

The vet dashed that, though, by saying that she had a bit of lung congestion and a possible heart defect. For those of you who have known the pain of grief or even death, then you'll understand the sensation of having everything stop for one horrible moment. Rooter wasn't even gone and I felt as though she had just died in my arms.

So, Catherine and I made a tough choice both financially and emotionally to let Rooter stay overnight in the hospital to get the hands-on care she needed to help clear up her lungs and make her little heart stronger. She looked so tired and weak, though when she really wants to she can get going.

The vet called me this morning seconds before I was about to dial the number. I had decided last night that no matter what I was going to bring her home. If these are her last few hours then she'll spend them with her sister, Truffle, and with Catherine and I, her parents.

I did the best I could to give her the medication they gave me. I'm not sure how well the first went down, an antibiotic, but she took most of the second which is for her heart. I offered her a sunflower seed (their favorite treat) and she nibbled on it a little, keeping the rest in her mouth. I'll keep offering them to her over the day to try and make sure she eats a little to help get her strength up.

Right now I have them both in their cage in the bedroom where the air conditioner is. They're near the door so they should have a nice draft of cool air to help her breathe easier and keep her cooled off.

I don't really have to say how scared I am. I'm constantly on the verge of tears. We've had these little girls in our lives for three years and they're supposed to live so much longer. The vet said the next 12 to 24 hours were key and that if she pulls through these and keeps going then she's likely on the mend. I'm certainly not giving up on her and though I'm not religious in the least I'll be doing a lot of praying. For those of you out there with a like mind I wouldn't mind the same.

I understand that she's just a pet to those reading this post, but to me she has literally been like a daughter to me. I watched her grow up, fed her, cleaned her and played with her. This is a very tough time for Catherine and I, but hopefully she'll get better and better... especially now that she's home in a place she knows and is comfortable.

Truffle is a little freaked out by all of this and doesn't seem to know what to make of it all. So far she's giving Rooter a ton of room which is good, though she did give her a kiss when she first came home. I think Truffle understands more than I do what's going on with her sister. All that I can do now is give her time, space, and hope for the best.

I love her so much. I love them both so much.
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, August 19, 2004 at 12:33 AM | 0 comments

The Death of Gwen Stacy... Spider-Man fights Carnage, the horrible clone of himself, in a vain attempt to avenge the death of Gwen Stacy. Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
With all comic book deaths, whether in the main Marvel comics universe or the new 'Ultimate' universe, there's a certain element of tragedy and sadness that comes with such a loss. I know it sounds ridiculous, but somehow we become attached to these characters much in the same way people devotedly follow soap operas day in and day out.

I was almost in tears the day that Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man died. It was one of my first comic deaths and I thought that death was the end. Then I realized, some time later, that comics are the one medium in which death is never the end. Alas, for a character like Gwen Stacy this is unfortunately not the case.

Recently the victim of Carnage in Ultimate Spider-Man, Gwen was basically killed as Carnage sucked the life out of her leaving nothing but a mummified corpse. This was gross and disturbing on many levels.

But the weight loss was great. Where can I get in touch with this guy?

Seriously, it's day 3 of the weight loss challenge (quick change in subject, I know, but hold on) and I'm left always feeling hungry and as though I'm about to tear into a pizza. This is compounded by the fact that I'm broke and not only can't afford to buy the diet book I was going on about, but the food ingredients that the book teases me with.

It's a terrible circle to be in. Much like Gwen (see, I told you I was coming back) who had most of her former life wiped away in short order only to be met with a gruesome death, I'm worried not so much that I can't manage to make the diet stick, but that financially and realistically I won't be able to. Keeping the karate up three days a week is easy, but the food part... especially feeling hungry all the time... has really got to change.

What to do, what to do...
Posted by Parallel
Monday, August 16, 2004 at 4:57 PM | 0 comments

"From Beneath You, It Devours..." Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
As I move rapidly through the 7th and final season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer I must admit to being more than a little sad. Then again, seeing as how I was able to watch every season this summer at least I didn't have to wait seven years to see the whole thing unfold. If you've seen it all, then please don't spoil the end. I've still got my fingers crossed that Xander and Anya wind up getting back together.

The result of Angel, Firefly and Buffy gorging is that I'm now a devote fan and follower of Joss Whedon. In less than two weeks time, I have a slew of interviews set up with several Buffy and Angel stars including Anya, Harmony and Darla. Not to mention various Star Trek and Star Wars alumns like Peter Mayhew, George Takei and hopefully Patrick Stewart.

This means that I'm a busy boy.

Eye has said that they'd take an article featuring as many stars as possible but that I'd have to come up with an interesting question or angle for the stars to answer. Eye isn't terribly interested in the fanboyish aspect of the whole thing, and I don't really know what other kind of angle I can take to pique the interest of an editor. All I know is that I have a unique opportunity to talk with some pretty decent profile cult stars and I don't want to waste it.

So, if you have any ideas, throw them in the chatterbox on the side or else drop me a line. Let's work together, folks. Let's make this a night to remember.

Or something.

Worse comes to worse, I'm going to use all of this info as original content on a new webzine that I want to start called, aptly enough, The 7th Parallel. If anyone is interested in being an editor/writer for this site, let me know.
Posted by Parallel
Sunday, August 15, 2004 at 7:32 PM | 0 comments
The Ancient Greeks took their competition seriously. Dead seriously. In 564 B.C., Arrachion of Phigalia became an Olympic champion and died in the process. His downfall was the pankration event, a mix of boxing and wrestling where virtually anything was permitted. After a very tough fight, his opponent conceded the bout as Arrachion lay on the ground. Unbeknownst to his rival, Arrachion had expired from the duel, becoming the only dead person ever to win an Olympic event.


- Bathroom Reader Page-A-Day Calendar
Posted by Parallel
Saturday, August 14, 2004 at 11:52 PM | 0 comments
Who would have thunk it, but one of us has finally spawned. I mean, sure, I've known many a person to get pregnant and reproduce but my close friend pool has so far been unable to spawn.

That's finally changed.

Brody Campbell, one of my best friends, now has a baby girl. Little Rory Marie Campbell was born on July 7, 2004 to Brody and his girlfriend, Lisa.

There's so much I could write about this. About the next huge step that most of us will take in our lives and the fact that Brody is now someone's Dad. I mean, if you think about it, that's huge. It's incredible. It's awe inspiring.

To be honest, I can't think of any one of my friends better suited to the task at the moment. I'm sure Brody will give Rory everything she needs to make it in this world with plenty of smiles to boot.

Good for you, man. We're all here if you need us.
Posted by Parallel
Friday, August 13, 2004 at 6:39 PM | 0 comments

"Whoever wins, the audience loses. Big time." Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
The best that can be said for Alien Vs. Predator is that the tagline for the movie didn't lie. Josh and I went to see the film earlier today and after laughing through parts of the movie and complaining bitterly about it afterwards, I was suddenly struck by the ingenious marketing campaign that the film used.

After that, I couldn't complain anymore. They flat out told us what to expect.

"Oh," said Josh. "That makes it okay then. I like the movie much better now."

Indeed. The immortal tagline "Whoever wins, we lose." was simply stated and undeniably true. The audience lost. Big time.

At least we only paid $4.25 each.

I knew the movie was going to suck after reading a non-review of it earlier today. It seems that Fox decided NOT to allow press screenings of the movie. Ouch. The only movies the article lists with such bold moves in the past included The Avengers with Sean Connery and Get Carter. You know you're bailing on your movie when...

The second indicator that it was going to blow was that it was only rated PG. Even the fricking Matrix was rated R for reasons unknown. Every previous Predator and Alien movie was restricted, but THIS thing was only rated PG.

The third and final blow was the director, Paul W.S. Anderson who was responsible for other stink-fests such as Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat (though at the time it came out, I liked MK a little. I saw it again recently... good LORD what was I thinking?).

All things considered, this movie is a renter if it's even worth THAT much money. The baddies don't even show up for nearly 45 minutes and the rest of the flick is filled with so many holes in continuity and cheesey moments that it made me want to gag on my root beer.

Still, not bad. Lots of Alien blood and guts. Off screen, of course.

Man, did we lose...
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 at 8:56 PM | 0 comments

Can yours truly weigh less than your average bear? The challenge is on! Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
Lordy lord how I hate the extra pounds that have attached themselves to my frame. It's been an ongoing battle for about five years now, ever since I began working at Biva's Esso in Guelph long ago. See, the problem was that a bevy of snack foods were available and I had no self-discipline.

So the weight began to add on. With stresses from school, lots of life changes and a few other things I found myself gaining pound after pound. At this point, I'm about 30 pounds over what my target weight is.

Yikes.

I've been doing a lot to try and curb my weight this past year but it's mostly been ineffective or not as effective as I would have liked. I was working out three times a week and I currently go to karate three times a week for an hour and a half a pop. I work hard, sweat much, yet the weight remains or disappears too slowly.

I've come to the unescapable conclusion that it's my diet which is to blame. I've heard books like the South Beach Diet are quite good at getting you on the right path and the sleeve assures its readers that while they suffer for the first two weeks, at least 8 to 13 pounds will magically disappear from their bodies. Hell, that's close to half what I need in one push and when you add on the exercise...

Book here I come. My physical efforts have been strong, lets see how the mental ones do.

Why do I want pizza already?
Posted by Parallel
Monday, August 09, 2004 at 2:59 PM | 0 comments

Ah... the gang's all here. From left to right: Paul, Nic, Jamie, me, Josh, Jer, Doug, Laura and Victoria. Good times had by all. I'm assuming. Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
There's a job opening for a reporter on Manitoulin Island according to Jeff Gaulin's website...

Alas, without the gang there it just wouldn't be the same. But what a brutally tempting offer to make! If you have the means to go, I highly recommend it. It is so choice...

(ID this quote for a no-prize).
Posted by Parallel
Well, Jer's cottage to be more specific.

For three glorious days I managed to escape this city and the swirling pool of negative crap that a good portion of my life had become. Catherine was the life preserver, but slowly everything else was pulling me down.

Jer's cottage is way up North on Manitoulin Island. Not a bad place at all to have a cottage. Two days of nearly cloudless skies, warm water and a ton of laughter that left my sides and stomach frequently in pain.

It was so good to see everyone again. To just be a part of the group, away from distraction and stress. Yet as I sit here now, the morning after, I'm once again filled with knots and dread about the coming weeks and months. That can't be healthy. I'm doing all I can to remember the cool breeze, the warm sun and the huge amount of burgers, drinks and cookies that filled that wonderful oasis.

It's doing wonders. I've stopped answering the phone today (as I know who it is and they want to pull me right away into some form of work or another) and instead I'm doing my best to avoid stressful parts of the internet to concentrate on job searching and finding a little bit of peace of mind.

Now that I've finally been to Jer's cottage after being invited just about every year since I've known him but was unable to go because of work, I must say that it has to be a priority getaway every year from now on. There's just no question. As we all get older and move apart for life and jobs it's so hard for us all to get together. I think managing one weekend a year at the least should become of paramount importance.

So thanks to Nic, Jamie, Laura, Jer, Victoria, Paul, Josh and Doug for a great time, great games, and a so-so car ride. Hopefully I'll see you all sooner than 2005.
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, August 05, 2004 at 9:12 AM | 0 comments
Ah, that's better. This blog has been needing both an update on the text side and on the graphics side for quite some time. That, and it was keeping me from doing some work on a potential new magazine I've grudgingly agreed to become a part of.

At least it will keep me busy.

And that's been the key these past two weeks to maintaining some sort of sanity. As Catherine rides into the sunset of her new job I'm often left feeling a little left out, not to mention increasingly poor. Well, sometimes there's just nothing that can be done about that but at least the past couple of days I've tried to do something by keeping insanely busy.

Have you ever noticed that having so-called 'free time' is often busier than when you don't? There's always something to be done. Frankly, I wish I could just be lazy. But then that's what got me down in the first place.

Keep busy... redesign a blog... head west... run for Prime Minister. Whatever keeps you busy keeps you sane. If that isn't an old saying, well, it should be.
Posted by Parallel
Monday, August 02, 2004 at 4:03 PM | 0 comments
Q: What is the difference between ignorance, apathy, and ambivalence?

A: I don’t know and I don’t care one way or the other
Posted by Parallel
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