Casting + friends in dangerous places

November 28, 2008

» Sometimes when I’m on the subway, I cast fellow travellers in imaginary movies. Like the asian kid who was dressed like Run DMC the other day and standing facing the corner. It makes me want to get cards made up that say Ampersand Studios Film Production to hand out to people. With a fake phone number and email address on them naturally. Just my little way of saying, “Being a character in a fake movie – yer doing it right.” Or maybe just my little way of losing my mind. For the record, I’m not getting these cards made.

» Stephen and Carissa were just in Mumbai. That’s pretty damn scary. If Stephen hadn’t sent out a group email from Goa on the 26th, I’d be freaking out right now.

Smelt, RSS feed(back) + respective

November 26, 2008

» This morning I cooked my espresso maker. I always wondered what would happen if I’d forget to put water in it. Well, it seems the handle and the rubber seal-ring melt and smell really bad. Also the filter falls apart and the body discolours. It’s basically toasted. I guess this is the excuse I need to purchase myself a new espresso maker for x-mas. That’s my subconscious working in my favour.

» The amount of positive feedback I’ve been getting on the G’n’R podcast is beginning to freak me out. Plus I want to know which one of my URL seed plantings is paying off. I’m in danger of taking this project too seriously.

» In a few weeks I’m going to a play called Respectacle. It’s a musical, I believe. Starring middle-school students.


November 25, 2008

Initial Set-up for Cupcakes of Catan
Originally uploaded by QuintanaRoo.

» Apparently I’m the only person on the planet who didn’t know about Settlers of Catan. And by "person" I mean "nerd." I guess all those years being an achingly hip music scenester kept me out of the Catan loop. Mandi remedied this last weekend when her friends demanded she introduce me to them. We ate cupcakes (not the ones pictured) stolen from Mandi’s roommates’ wedding and got down to the business of trying to unload ore, trade sheep, stockpile wheat and build really long roads. Now that I have nerds to play games with, I vaguely regret forcing Kai to take my Civilization game when I moved.

» Guns’n’Roses released a new album. I reviewed it on P-Reviews.

Sister Ray

November 20, 2008

Sister Ray
Originally uploaded by Ampersand Photography.

» Two things: 1) Apparently I look really fat in this picture from two and a bit years ago. 2) Apparently Sister Ray are playing at the Dec. 23rd show at the Cambie. Apparently with borrowed equipment and apparently without practicing or even being in the same room together for over a year. And apparently shit-faced as well. Maybe the shit-faced is supposed to come aprés-set. Regardless, I think "half-cut" will be in order at the very least. I have a new kitteh mask to hide behind for the show. That is something.

Splish, epic book win, subscribe + talking about the Weather

November 19, 2008

» The other morning when I was getting ready I felt a sneeze coming on so I turned away from the mirror as to not splatter it with nasal juice. When I sneezed my glasses flew off my head and right into the toilet.

» Walking home the other day I came across a box of free books. Excitingly, in this box was Ice-T‘s The Ice Opinion. I can’t wait to crack it open. Epic book win.

» You can now subscribe to the Ampersand Publishing Podcasts on iTunes. Or add it to your iGoogle. Why not, hey?

» Today’s featured blogster: Weather Station 1. Weathreye and I don’t always see eye-to-eye but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t have a fine blog.


November 14, 2008

» I’ve been enjoying the Smodcast lately. Which is a little odd since I’m not the biggest Kevin Smith fan. Well, whatever makes me giggle in my cubicle, I guess.


Selling Books (not really)

November 13, 2008


Selling Books
Originally uploaded by Bill Smith1.

Found this picture of Mandi and I at the Toronto Small Press Affair (November 1st) on Flickr. I was trying to find a picture of Christine the goth MILF for my buddy Glenn (you can see the top of her head as she’s hunched over doodling in her sketchbook). I remember sitting still waiting forever for the photographer totake the picture. My friend Shara won a photoshoot with the photographer in the raffle.  

» Here is the accompanying podcast Mandi and I did.

» Oh look, here’s a video of it too. Thankfully the two seconds we’re in the video is near the beginning. Look for me in a green shirt.

Remembering remembrance + to-dids

November 12, 2008

» When I remember the Remembrance Days of my childhood, I remember a distinct pacifist slant to the messaging. That is it was a remembrance of the end of WWI—the war to end all wars—strictly in the hopes that by remembering the hoards of people slaughtered, we’d remember to not take part in bloody territorial and ideological skirmishes. "Lest we forget" and annihilate another generation. It didn’t work, there was a WWII and countless other wars since, but the message on that day was always one of peace. The blood-red plastic poppy stood as a cautionary emblem; a reminder of unnecessary sacrifice. Slowly over the years, the message seems to have evolved. First it became a symbol of thanks for the sacrifice of the fallen (fair enough) and lately it’s taken on the qualities of the yellow ribbon. Now it seems the poppy is a symbol of support for troops fighting in wars that shouldn’t be waged and, by proxy, support of those wars themselves. Lest we forget—we’ve already forgotten.

» On the other hand, I had the day off and I was able to get a few items on my to-do list desktop widget erased.

a) I updated the Pandanoids shop by adding a new item and improving the photos (which has been on the to-do list for about a year)

b) I updated the Ampersand Publishing store by adding the rest of the catalogue and two "coming soon" titles.

c) I created a Podbean site for the P-Reviews Podcast. So now it’s more like a "real" podcast and not a "fake" podcast. That is, it has an RSS and you can add it to your iGoogle page and all those other podcasty things. The page is called Ampersand Publishing Podcasts because I am maybe planning on doing another podcast that isn’t P-Reviews in the future. Because now that I’ve scratched four items off my to-do list, I need to add six more.

d) I bought my plane ticket home for x-mas. I need to investigate who’s going to be around the Island between the 22nd and 27th of December. Is there a 23rd show this year? Who will be available for coffee and/or beers? Who’s going to be bastards and be in frickin’ India instead? Will Jack be able to buy a bunch of records off me? This sounds like a bunch of items added to my to-do list.

I just invoked Godwin’s Law on my own blog

November 6, 2008

» Apparently I’m the only person who wasn’t blown away by Obama’s victory speech. Don’t get me wrong, I am impressed with his use of rhetoric. But his speech was the Michael Bay summer blockbuster equivalent of oratory. It starts off slow, with some establishing shots, sucks you in with some sentimentality about Ann Nixon Cooper and then finishes with explosions and loud noises that don’t really serve any purpose except to titillate and incite a feeling of rapturous patriotism. And the speech was perfectly constructed to this end. But it was one of the most emotionally manipulative (though in a positive way) pieces of clap-trap I’d ever heard from a politician since Hitler. Who was also an amazingly stirring orator. I’m not comparing the two charismatic leaders’ politics, but I mean to draw a comparison between their ability to rouse the disgruntled, disenfranchised and dismayed masses with words, words and more beautiful exciting words and slogans. Hollywood and Madison Avenue are also adept at this. They’re usually selling something with high-concept doggerel that makes it sound inviting and exciting and just what you always needed. Obama is selling something too, his product is Change. That doesn’t mean anything is going to change other than people will actually believe in and expect Change to happen. And maybe he’ll deliver on his promise. But  how is it going to be accomplished? And at whose expense?

He’s called on Americans to expect a period of "sacrifice." This is just one of the many loaded, meaningless/meaningful words his speeches are packed with. It’s such a high-concept word that it lacks any concrete meaning in the context of his speech. "Sacrifice" can be taken many ways. Is he asking Americans to lay down their lives in empire-building wars or just to continue putting up with hard times while things get straightened out? Or does it just sound good? That is, I think, what struck me about the speech. It sounded good. It sounded perfect. It was like a Hollywood writer’s idea of the perfect presidential speech in a movie about the best, most inspiring president ever. But it was, to quote the Bard, sound and fury signifying nothing. There was no indication of what is to come or how he’s going to achieve it. Even Hitler’s speeches contained more meat and potatoes. Or a much better comparison might be FDR and JFK. There was a time when a presidential address wasn’t just full of fuzzy rhetoric, but also contained some substance. More The Times They Are A-Changing, less All You Need Is Love.

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