Monday, November 19, 2007

Fun things I do that aren't on this site

I wrote a newish post on The Offline Production blog about our double-film shoot last week. Check it out here. Perhaps a sign of my priorities, about two paragraphs are dedicated to the actual filming (one per video), and the rest is about the McDonald's breakfast I had.

And while I'm linking to things, here is a recent play review I wrote for the Windsor University paper, The Lance. Despite the fact that I got really drunk halfway through writing it, it's still fairly boring because the Arts Editor did a pretty thorough job editing out my drunken ramblings. For example, what now reads, "the insights gained from attending the discussion certainly enhanced the enjoyment of the performance," used to be, "I was a good person. I gave and I gave but it wasn't enough for her. I need to take a piss. I'm hungry." Give it read if you want, but you probably don't.

And, naturally, check out The Offline if you haven't been recently. There's a new Rewind Podcast, and the "about us" section has been updated. This blog is technically supposed to be somewhat of a supplement to that site, but odds are you wouldn't know that right now, since at the moment the site links to my Mad Blogs site instead.

What the hell, while I'm throwing out links, go do a Mad Blog.


Update (20/11): I just listened to the new Rewind Podcast, and on top of it being pretty fucking funny, they mention my Offline Production Post in like the last minute of the show. Check it out, if only for that.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Growing up, I was always told by my parents that the worst thing to do, out of all the bad things a kid could do, the worst thing by far was to lie. If you did something wrong, it was one thing, but if you then lied about it, then you were officially a Bad Person who was undeserving of love.

Of course, there were obviously worse things than lying, such as murder, treason, and rape, but with me at the age of 8, lying was a bigger concern for my parents. After all, I must have lied 50 times for every one time I committed treason.

I was a compulsive liar. I’d lie about doing my homework, obviously, or whether or not I had done my chores. Those were pretty straightforward lies. But it didn’t stop there. I was also that kid in your class who just made stuff up all the time. As far as my classmates knew, I was a soccer goalie, distant cousins with Sporty Spice, had diabetes, and had killed a man. Come to think of it, I’m surprised I wasn’t the most popular kid in school.

I like to think I’m an honest enough person, that my days of compulsive lying are behind me. And for the most part, I think that’s true. But I don’t think it’s necessarily because I’ve stopped lying. It’s just, lying becomes a lot more socially acceptable when you grow up. I mean, we lie all the time now, only we don’t call it lying. We call it “pretending” or “acting like.” If someone wants to get out of work, they “pretend” they’re sick. If a guy cheats on his girlfriend, he “acts” like nothing happened. No one “lies” anymore.

And what about me? Am I guilty of “pretending” or “acting like?” Well, here’s a fun story that happened to me a few months ago. I’ll let you be the judge…


Early last year, I was at Shopper’s Drug Mart, waiting in line at the checkout. I had been waiting in line for quite some time, which was only a problem because I was pretty sure my meter had run out. I think it was the cashier’s first day. Either that or he was mentally handicapped, and I decided that either way, it wasn’t really his fault, so I shouldn’t let it bother me. I was minding my own business, reading the covers of the latest Betty and Veronica Digests from the magazine rack, when I heard a voice from behind me.


It was a female voice. As soon as I heard it, everything else in the room became blurry. I no longer cared about the long line-up. I no longer cared what Jughead thought of Betty’s latest casserole. I no longer cared about who I was, what I was doing with my life, or whether I had gotten a parking ticket (I found out later that I had). All I cared about was that voice. A voice like Audrey Hepburn’s, if she had smoked a bit more and wasn’t European. And then there was the voice’s owner.


She had been responsible for the best 10 months of my life, followed by the worst 2 years of my life. I can pretty much divide my time on earth into two eras. Before-Chelsea, in which I believed there was good in the world and that a man might find happiness through his virtues. I trusted things like the media, my friends, the wisdom of my elders, and mathematical equations. And then there was the After-Chelsea era, in which the world had been peeled back like the flesh of a corpse in an autopsy room. I realized that not only was life a joke, it was a racist joke told in a room full of black people. My diet in this era consisted solely of alcohol and peach yogurt; my weekends consisted of lying face-up in the deep end of an empty pool (this is not a metaphor). And now here I was, the year 2 AC, standing in front of her. I slowly turned around.

“Oh hey,” I said. “Almost didn’t recognize you there.” Chelsea. My Chelsea.

She looked me up and down. “How have you been?”

“Good. Really great.” I am Post Traumatic Stress Disorder incarnate. How are you? “Yourself?”

“Ups and downs, right?”

“Ha ha.”

“Man, how long has it been?”

“Huh, I have no idea. A year maybe?” 2 years, a month, 7 days, and 2 hours.

“Really? Feels like forever,” she said. She glanced down at my inventory. “What’re you getting?”

“Oh, this and that.”

“Let’s see… some yogurt and… an issue of Cosmo?” She looked back up at me, amused. “What are you reading Cosmo for?”

“Oh, you know, it’s for my girlfriend.” Masturbation.

“Girlfriend, huh?” She smiled. “What’s her name?”

“Jennifer.” Loneliness.

“How long have you been dating?”

“Um, about 6 months I think. Almost six months.” 2 years, a month, 7 days, and 2 hours.

“Half a year. Nice.”

“I do what I can. The trick is we listen to one another.” The thought of touching another woman after you makes me sob uncontrollably. There was a pause in the conversation as the cashier mercifully started ringing me through. Chelsea’s face became serious.

“Hey, I know this might sound random, but do you remember that time we went to Niagra Falls? In the House of Dracula?”

“Was that with you? Yeah, but it’s a bit blurry.” I dream of that weekend all the time. Those are the only nights when I don’t wake up screaming.

“Oh, okay. How about… what about the time we went to Mark's party? That was the first time we…”

“Vaguely.” Those are the nights when I do wake up screaming. “Why do you ask?”

“I just…” She shrugged as I grabbed the bag full of my purchases. “It wasn’t all bad, was it?”

“Honestly?” I said as I headed towards the sliding doors. “I don’t really think about it.” I managed to make it halfway to my house before I had to pull over. I fiercely hit the steering wheel with my fists as tears and mucous flowed down my face. I continued doing this for a few minutes, until I finally passed out.


So there you have it. In retrospect, I did kind of fib a bit. Guess I’m still that same kid I always was!

I’m so cold…


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tales From My Inbox

Earlier last month, for what reason I'll never know, I decided to sift through my junk e-mail. There was the usual crap: sweepstake offers, penis enlargement offers, messages from my mother, not to mention unsettling combinations of the three. One item, however, was titled "Love vs. Sex," and caught my eye. Now, I have a great fondness for the former and a, well, nodding acquaintance with the latter, so I'll admit I was intrigued by the title, not least of all by the use of a "vs."

"Love will win," I predicted as I clicked on the title, expecting to witness the battle to end all battles. What I got, however, was so much more. So. Much. More.

A teenage girl about 17, the e-mail began, had gone to visit some friends one evening and time passed quickly as each shared their various experiences of the past year. She ended up staying longer than planned, and had to walk home alone.

“Oh no!” I yelled aloud when I finished the first paragraph. “No good can come of this!” I was hooked. I had to read on. Sure enough, my concerns were not misplaced. On her walk home, the protagonist, who I soon discovered to be named Diane, decided to take a shortcut through an alleyway…

However, halfway down the alley she noticed a man standing at the end as though he were waiting for her.

“Bad news bears!” I exclaimed. What was she going to do, I wondered. Would she simply turn back, like a rational being? Would she take out her cell phone and call a friend? Would she start audibly complaining about her “damn herpes?” Nay…

She became uneasy and began to pray, asking for God's protection.

While this was not the most obvious choice, it seemed to have worked, as she was able to pass right by him and make it to her house safely. All’s well that ends well, it seems.

BUT WAIT! There’s more! Apparently the next day, Diane was reading the news, and discovered that a young girl had been raped in the very same alleyway just twenty minutes after Diane had been there. I’m a bit confused as to how a story of a local raping that occurred fairly late in the night could appear in the newspaper the very next morning, but that’s so not the point.

So Diane, the e-mail says, started weeping at this tragedy, but also made sure to thank the Lord for her own safety, because she’s awesome. Anyways, she then decided to go to the police station. It seems the rape victim, in addition to being a heathen, was also suffering from a short attention span, because the rapist still had to be identified. Which Diane did, forcing the rapist to confess.

Now here’s the kicker:

The officer thanked Diane for her bravery and asked if there was anything they could do for her.

She asked if they would ask the man one question.

Diane was curious as to why he had not attacked her.

When the policeman asked him, he answered, "Because she wasn't alone. She had two tall men walking on either side of her."

, the e-mail concluded, whether you believe or not, you're never alone. Did you know that 98% of teenagers will not stand up for God?

Repost this as Love vs. Sex if you truly believe in God.

"Ah," I thought, reading the last sentence, "so that explains the misleading title." Was I angered, however, by the deception? Hardly. On the contrary, I was thankful. Thankful that I had been (mis)led to read this frankly enlightening piece.

Now I knew: if I ever faced a dark stranger in an alley, all I had to do was pray for God's protection. Does it work? I've been praying for God's protection for the past month, and I can happily report that I'm rape-free. Thank you, random classmate who I never normally talk to! Your chain-mail saved my life!

But now that I had been enlightened, what was I going to do about it?

I printed off about 50 copies, and started to distribute them around. Only I didn't use the title "Love vs. Sex." I didn't feel the title did the piece justice. My revised title called it out for what it was: "Avoiding Rape." I even sent a few copies to the local rape ward (or "Unbelievers Central," as I now call it), with a note attached at the end:

Kinda obvious, when you think about it, eh? I know it's "too late" etc. etc., but thought I'd send it anyways. After all, "Fool me Twice" and all that.


What's more, I can safely say that after having read that e-mail, I'm now part of the 2 percent of people who stand up for God. The next time I see bullies kicking sand in God's face, I'll take them aside and say "Hey. Stop that. How'd you like it if someone kicked sand in YOUR face?"

And they won't be able to respond, because they'd know that they wouldn't like it at all.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Imagine That! excerpt

The following is from a children’s show pilot I wrote last year, entitled “Professor Barnacle’s Funtime Field Trips.”

The premise of the cartoon was simple: Professor Barnacle was a scientist /schoolteacher with pirate-like mannerisms, who would always take his students on “out-of-the-ordinary” field trips. The purpose of the show was to both educate and delight, as I feel good children’s shows should do.

Professor Barnacle’s students were of unspecified age/grade, but it was meant to appeal to children ages 10-14. There were eight principle students: SUSIE, the bookworm, MORRIS, the wimpy nerd, DAREN and JANICE, the twins, BRIDGET, the priss, JEROME, the athlete, XIN QUANG, the Asian one, and FARLEY, the wheelchair one. Professor Barnacle was also joined by TERRENCE, the class pet, a talking hamster with a Rastafarian accent.

I have yet to hear back from either TVO or Treehouse, but at this point I’m not holding my breath.

Here is an excerpt from episode one: “IMAGINE THAT!”


Children are all at their desks, chatting before class begins.

DAREN: I wonder where Professor Barnacle is going to take us this week!

JANICE: Maybe we’ll get to explore the moons of Jupiter!

FARLEY: Yeah, or maybe we’ll visit an Egyptian pyramid!

BRIDGET: Or an African rainforest!

XIN QUANG: Maybe he take us see bottom of ocean!

MORRIS: Well, I hope it’s just a regular field trip…


JEROME: Morris, shut the fuck up.

BRIDGET: Yeah, you’re such a fucking fag.

All the children laugh. Suddenly, PROFESSOR BARNACLE bursts into the class wearing a high-tech looking suit. TERRENCE is on his shoulder.

BARNACLE: Yo ho ho, students!

ALL STUDENTS: Professor Barnacle! Hurray!

DAREN: Where are we going today?

JEROME: Are we going to visit dinosaurs?

BARNACLE: Oh ho ho! Settle down, children! This week, we’re visiting a place much more close by.

BRIDGET: Huh? Where?

BARNACLE: Why, our own imaginations, that’s where!

MORRIS: Imagination?

JANICE: What’s that?

BARNACLE: The imagination’s the part in all of our minds that’s responsible for conjuring up all those mental images and dreams and the like.


FARLEY: And how’re we gonna visit the imagination?

BARNACLE: Why, with my latest invention! The IMAGINA-SUIT 3000!

He pulls out 8 miniature versions of his suit and hands them to the students, who put them on (Farley with the help of the other students).

BARNACLE: Ready children? Whose imagination shall we be visitin’ first?

JANICE: How about mine?

BARNACLE: Alright! Let’s go!

He presses a button on his suit. They find themselves in a land full of chocolate and candy.

JEROME: Wow, look at all the candy!

XIN QUANG: It make mouth water!

The children eat some of the candy.

BARNACLE: Where to next? How about Bridget’s imagination?


He presses a button on his suit. There is a flash, and suddenly the children find themselves in a meadow. There is a rainbow, and pink unicorns are prancing around.

SUSIE: Wow, it’s so pretty!


FARLEY: Ewwww, so girly!

BARNACLE: Oh, whoops! I accidentally sent us to Morris’ imagination!


JEROME: Morris, you fag.

Everyone laughs. Barnacle presses another button. They are now in a house of mirrors. The children go up to them, but instead of seeing themselves they just see reflections of Bridget. However, she is covered in blood.

BRIDGET’S REFLECTION: Mother was evil, and so she shall be punished. One and two and three in one.

Bridget’s reflection then puts a finger to her lips and screams.

DAREN: Wow, Bridget! Who’s that?

SUSIE: Yeah, and what’s she saying? Does that mean anything to you?

BRIDGET: I… don’t… remember…

BARNACLE: Um, I think we should move on. Daren, how about your imagination?

DAREN: I’d rather… not.

JEROME: Oh, come on!

Barnacle presses another button. Now they find themselves on a large stage. Surrounding them, women in fat suits are doing handstands.

BARNACLE: Okay, kids. Nevermind. Let’s move on.

-And so on and so forth. By the end of the show, the children learn a valuable lesson about the subconscious and repressed memories. My personal favourite part of this episode is when they find themselves in Farley’s mind and are chased by a gnome with the words “Cerebral Palsy” on his chest.