Friday, January 28, 2005 at 9:38 a.m. | 0 comments
The Washington Post's Style Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

I'd like to begin OUR version of this incredibly simple, yet bizarre game. I invite you all to participate in the chatterbox, and I may even come up with a no-prize for the lucky winner. You just never know. To give some examples, here were this year's winners at the Post:

1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

9. Karmageddon (n): It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And
then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good
for you.

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning
and cannot be cast out.

15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

16. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, January 27, 2005 at 2:22 p.m. | 0 comments

The last and final page of the brochure. Dan posted what he thinks, but I'd love to hear more feedback... Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
I may not have revealed all there was to know about that meeting the other night with the two journalists.

They gave me advice, and in one case, a bit of work. That much is true. What I didn't reveal is that one of them may be slightly off his rocker.

He politely informed me that he would be giving up his job later this year to pursue his true life dream: racing. Seriously. He then went on to tell me how he once sped by a cop doing 170 in an 80, and then opened his bike up to 200 so he could get away. He DID get away, and spent two hours hiding in the forest to make sure the coast was clear.

He would also ask questions like: do you still feel like a man in this world? as well as "does it make you feel less honorable to buy your meat wrapped up at the supermarket than by going out and killing it yourself."

I blinked twice at this.

What do you say to that? Keep in mind, this was after great advice, encouraging comments, and three pints of beer.

Still, I can't complain. At least it was an interesting night.

On an unrelated note, Resident Evil 4 is just about one of the best games I think I have EVER played. That's pretty high praise. It feels as though I'm close to the end, though knowing that I can take a while to explore an area to make sure I've gotten everything, I think I'm only about half way through. 10 hours of intense and amazing gunfights, and I'm only half done.

So I think, anyway. I could be closer. Not having finished the game before, however, means that I could be really, really off. Still, there's a character I spotted in the game's trailer that I haven't even come into contact with, as well as another character whom I've only had two quick chance meetings with.

And I now have a mine-thrower and a rocket launcher.

I'm primed for more carnage. I only wish I didn't have this job so I could go back and play.

This is the game that consumed Aaron for more than four hours last Saturday. He started playing just before midnight, and stopped playing around 4am. He's hooked. I wonder how long until he shows up at my apartment with bloodshot eyes looking for a fix?
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, January 26, 2005 at 9:51 a.m. | 1 comments

Here is page #2 of the brochure... Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
Sometimes that's what life feels like. One large, unending trial. The kind that you face every time you get changed for gym in high school.

Last night I met with a couple of journalists currently working in the industry to get some perspective on my job search, perhaps a couple of contacts, and potentially even some leads towards new jobs. I left with, at the very least, the promise of some minor freelance work.

It's not much, but it's something in the right direction. They kept going on about how freelance is really the key to getting your start in this business. It gets you contacts, clippings, and familiarity. The only problem is that I can't live off the haphazard way that freelance pays a newbie journalist. If I sold three stories in a month, I'd make maybe $500 or $600 dollars. It's just not realistic.

That, and I refuse to believe that I, unlike many of my college peers who got full-time jobs here in Toronto since graduating, have to go through the freelance process in order to break in. It seems like madness. It's an option, and certainly one worth exploring as a part time option, but dammit, I just want my job.

I hate jumping through hoops. To be honest, I'd probably have left the city by now if it weren't for how much I love Catherine. She has an amazing job here, and as such, we can afford to stay here whether I have a job or not. Right now the only discomfort in my life is the lack of a satisfying day job. That's it.

So, the search continues. I'll keep plugging at it and sooner or later something will happen.

I just hope it isn't me going crazy.
Posted by Parallel
Monday, January 24, 2005 at 1:39 p.m. | 0 comments

Here is page #1... Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
It's been a while since I updated this blog with anything extremely relevant, and for the three of you out there who read it I'm sure you're curious about how my project turned out.

Quite well, I must say.

There were a few bumps in the road, but the final product was worth every effort. The video is fun and interesting, and the brochure looks amazing. One page will be put up on this blog a day for the next three days so you can see the finished product.

I dropped off the final results at City last Thursday, and the ache in my stomach and in my head seemed to go away the second it was out of my hands. I had lunch with Toronto 1 anchor Ben Chin today, who suggested I call them later this week to make sure they had received the package and then bug them incessantly after the deadline.

The most surprising after-effect of my work has been the reaction to the brochure/resume. My mother is convinced that I've stumpled across a revolutionary way to self-promote and has even suggested it as a potential business. Given the reaction that it's gotten from a lot of people I can't say that she's wrong. I'm certainly going to start emailing THAT out as my new resume to companies as Quark will allow you to convert your documents to jpgs.

Let me know what you think about the resume. It will be easy to update text and graphics, and really could be the edge that I've been looking for.

Other than that, things are fine and dandy. I'm afloat financially, Catherine's doing great, Truffle is chewing away, and I'm knee deep in Resident Evil 4 and Supreme Power.

Now I just need a job.

It's been a day and a half. Why hasn't SPACE called yet? Then again, I haven't checked my phone messages yet...
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, January 19, 2005 at 11:12 a.m. | 0 comments

Option #2... Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, January 18, 2005 at 3:44 p.m. | 0 comments

This is one of the headshots I'm including. I'll post another one later tonight, and for those of you viewing the blog, keep checking back and then vote on your favorite in the chatterbox. The one with the most votes will grace the front page of my pitch. Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
That's what Bono tends to sign about, anyway. My ambition this week has been to do something unheard of in my circle of friends, and that is to break into the on-air television journalism field.

Sure, Jer and Aaron are doing the Humber thing as we speak, and Catherine is a fellow alumnus, but at the moment I'm the only one not doing anything of particular interest or value. I happen to think I stand a decent chance of getting this job (or else I wouldn't be going to all the effort) so I'm putting my best foot forward.

The brochure/resume is nearly done. A few small edits and a couple more pics and I'll be there. I'm taking the final version to Humber tomorrow to get thumbs up or down from the teachers.

Today I shot video of Erik Ko (Street Fighter), and Chris, who is the comic book manager at the Beguiling. Tomorrow morning it's off to Humber to shoot the stand up and edit the video. As long as all goes well, I'll probably be dropping off the entire package at CityTV tomorrow afternoon.

That's kind of crazy, if you think about it.

Still, I'm thrilled to be doing something with myself and my time that isn't related to depression or watching TV. Creating, writing, and editing again has fuelled a flame that I thought was long extinguished. Hopefully I can get this enthusiasm across on tape, as this literally has to be the best thing I've ever done.

You see how I'm not pressuring myself at all?
Posted by Parallel
Friday, January 14, 2005 at 3:17 p.m. | 0 comments
For those of you who don't know, I'm attempting to land an on-air gig at SPACE here in Toronto. It's a sci-fi specialty channel that has been airing the precious seasons of Buffy and Angel that I've been going on about here since, well, forever.

To this end, I have to put together a video demo of myself. I have a couple of field reports from Humber that I did and I'm trying to put together another brief video spot in the early days of next week (help for which I've been begging people, but only Jer seems able or interested in helping me with). I need assistance to shoot something in Humber's basement and some advice on the script and delivery. The whole video will be no more than a minute in length.

I've also been pumping my sources for reviews about my reviews. I'm a fairly well respected reviewer in the comic book field and I know just about everyone as a result, so I hit up big names for some quotes and so far I've heard back from Mark Millar (The Ultimates, Wanted) who was generous enough to say this:

"Brian Wilkinson has one of the best reps in the online community. He's one of a handful of journalists respected by the pros and the fans alike. So much so, in fact, that when I sold my last property to Universal Pictures I had Brian's quote about the comic-book at the top of the intro-sheet.

He's a very personable guy and liked by all the people who read his site. The entertainment industry is full of crazy people, but Brian is thankfully one of the sane ones.

PS I don't mean any of this ;)"

That really made my day. Now I just need to wait for Bendis, Chris Claremont and Frank Tieri to respond. My intention is to put together a flashy brochure-style resume featuring a story sample, cover letter, resume, and quotes/pics from enough people in the biz to get me noticed. I may not look like a Much Music VJ, but I can rock them with a great presentation.

I'm going to include an article I wrote dealing with Buffy and Angel stars I met this summer, as well as quotes from comic pros and a few pics of myself and other facets. This isn't what they asked for, but presentation and creativity are two core aspects required for this job.

I'm also dumping in a normal resume and a copy of Convergence. I figure I likely don't have a shot at getting this job, but wouldn't it be great if I did? At the very least I hope to have fun trying.

The whole video (shooting and editing) should only take a day. Preparation of the other materials should take me another. I hope to have everything done and handed in by next Wednesday.

If you can help with script advice or by being a sounding board (or filming at Humber next week) that'd be great.

If not, well, you're terrible people.

On a completely unrelated note: I bought Resident Evil 4. It rocks so damn hardcore it's almost indecent.

Another unrelated note: Catherine is still amazing. She just had a performance review that she rocked... so much so they gave her a raise. I'm hoping this means I'll finally be getting an allowance from her.

Not likely, though.
Posted by Parallel
Monday, January 10, 2005 at 1:29 p.m. | 0 comments
I'm done. I just can't take this anymore. What more do I have to do to prove myself before I finally get a chance to start my career?

It's been five and a half months and still nothing of worth.

The only thing I can figure is that it must be as my uncle said: "There must be something wrong with you."

It's times like this I wish I was an alcoholic.
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, January 06, 2005 at 10:39 a.m. | 0 comments

Want to know what your name looks like in chinese? Copy and paste the link... Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
I toyed quite a bit with putting up a letter of reference that my friend, the psychiatrist, accidently left in an envelope of work I have to do today. I'm fairly sure this letter was intended to be mailed or faxed over to an organization which enables me to work for the psychiatrist legally but it wound up in my hands and I, well, read it.

What would you have done?

There's nothing negative in it at all. In many ways, it's quite flattering to have, in print, a list of your virtues (though thankfully none of my many faults). By the end of the letter, I wound up feeling better about myself and my ongoing search than I have in quite some time.

It's amazing what a few kind words can do. It wasn't about "getting the job I was meant for" or even "finding the good in what I have" it was just about the fact that he thinks I'm a good person.

I won't quote the whole thing, but I will include one small part:

"Brian is kind and caring and has a great capacity for emapthy. He relates very well to adults and children and is compassionate to those in distress. He can set limits when needed. He is advanced in his years in terms of maturity but youthful in enthusiasm."

That quote makes me feel like a better person. I hope all of it is true, but the only way I can prove it is to try every day to be the man that he's talking about.
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, January 04, 2005 at 11:07 p.m. | 0 comments
Why is it that every time I blink, several days have gone by? I come to this blog daily to search (fruitlessly) for comments from visitors and yet it never seems to strike me that it's been a long time since I last posted.

I remember when I first started this thing I had the rather lofty goal of writing at least an entry a day. I think I told Catherine it would "keep my writing sharp" or some other such nonsense.

It is a good outlet, but not quite good enough. To that end, I've decided to add a half hour "workout" every day where I do nothing but creative writing. Today I'm three pages into a potential novel, and tomorrow I'll continue working on a back-up story for X-Men Unlimited featuring the Beast. Whether any of these projects are worth a damn is up in the air, but Catherine seems to like them.

Just because she's dating me, doesn't mean she's going to be too nice, does it?

To ensure full feedback potential, I'll offer to head up a pseudo-reading/writing group. All you have to do is contribute five pages minimum a month to be able to read any and all pieces of writing that are created. We'll bounce them back and forth... whether they're ideas, concepts, or full stories. And I figure we'll come up with a list of publishers and contacts to try and get the ball rolling.

So far I've only vaguely discussed this as a possibility with Aaron, but I have a feeling that others like Jer and Josh will get on board this idea quickly. If you're interested, drop me a line either through email or as a comment at the end of this post or in the chatterbox.

On an unrelated note, I watched the first episode of Medium tonight. I had my doubts about a show starring Patricia Arquette, but I have to say that the first episode has enough meat on the bone to keep me interested. I'll come back next week to see how it progresses.

Otherwise, I'll have to content myself with Lost, which starts up again with a new episode tomorrow night.
Posted by Parallel
Saturday, January 01, 2005 at 1:09 a.m. | 0 comments
It's just a few minutes after twelve... and Catherine, Truffle and I have had another brilliant year together. Well, there may have been a few pitfalls along the way, but we're happy, healthy, and together. And that has to count for something.

A few people I have to thank for last year being so great:

Catherine, the love of my life. Without her, all struggles are meaningless.
My mom... who puts up with me, loves me, and is always proud of me.
My dad... for being a lovable grump. Without his support, I'd be in a world of hurt.
My brother... for being a dork. Seriously. Well, maybe I love him, too.

And all my friends and family. Aaron, Jer, Paul, Brody (and his lovely new daughter, Rory Marie), Chris, Pushee, Nick, Ron, Eric, Victoria, Jamie, Julian, Al, Eric, Patti, David, Peter, Rhonda, Jake, Frank, Lindsey, Dzuiba, Josh, Jamie and Nic...

The list goes on and on, doesn't it?

Most of all, this past year will always remind me the most of Rooter, the little degu that was taken from us far too soon. Those of you who have had pets know how attached you can get and the line that separates pet and familiy member becomes non-existent. That was one of the hardest times I've had yto go through in recent memory, but I do my best each and every day to honour her memory... sometimes by talking to her, but mostly through doing everything I can to make sure her sister, Truffle, enjoys her life to the absolute fullest.

Nobody ever said life was easy and there's a reason: it is the hardest thing any of us have to survive. It is also one of the most rewarding. Every day there are checks and balances to what is good and what is bad, but it all adds up. It all has meaning.

This was the year of the Buffy and Angel (which I now own all four seasons of), of Firefly, Astonishing X-Men, the final Lord of the Rings dvd, of school ending, of Catherine getting her job, of my endless frustrations in finding work. Of my publishing Convergence, a magazine I helped to create from scratch, and of Aaron and Jer, moving to Toronto to follow a similar path that I firmly believe will lead to greater heights. Of the trip to New York City which Catherine and I absolutely loved.

It was the year of Survivor: All Stars, 24, Felicity, Shaun of the Dead, Spider-Man 2, nearly a dozen trips to the zoo, of new friends Victoria and Jamie, and the beginning of the loan payments. It was also the year of change for Catherine's family... for my mom to have little Jake come into her life. For my 16-year-old niece to finally get a chance to live with my brother, for my dad to keep on being one of the best people I know.

This was a year of change, and while much more, and arguably greater, changes are to come, I know I'll never forget what I learned this year. This year, more than any other, I think I grew up.

For most of that, I have Catherine, Rooter, and Truffle to thank. They are my world, and have been for years. Though it's not always easy, we work hard to make things work well, to love each other more each day, and to do our best to make our future always brighter than our past.

I'm so grateful to have them in my life.

I wish all of you the same kind of success.

Before I get too sentimental, and before I head to bed to snuggle with my lovely girlfriend, I'll part as I'm likely to do... with a few lyrics from U2.

"I've conquered my past...
The future is here at last...
I stand at the entrance
To a new world I can see."

Hugs and kisses, 2004. Let's see if 2005 can raise the bar.
Posted by Parallel
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