Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Curb your enthusiasm...for spending.

I spend too much money. People marvel at the amount of cds and dvds that i possess. How do i manage this? I work a lot of hours, dating back to while i was still taking 4 university classes and playing football, and I spend almost all of my money on these possessions.

Well it's gotten ridiculous. With blockbuster job ending on the 11th of July, and my library job finishing on the 16th of that month, I'll be left with no other income. That is unless I go back to the Pat, which i sure as hell don't want to do. Bouncing untill 3 am was ok while it lasted, but it ran its course.

So i'm taking this lack of income as a blessing in disguise and using it to help curb my spending. I have so many things to entertain myself with, that I have no need to buy new things. I'm talking about my big impulse buys, where i'll just go buy several cds out of pure interest. This was fun while the money lasted...kind of like cocaine.

Today I went to A & B sound and refrained from buying anything. I can count the number of times I've done that on 1 hand. So i'm taking that as a little victory to get me started on my road to fiscal responsibility. I have some money to spend this week, but with a couple shows at the jazz festival this weekend, i'll want the cash for some drinks and maybe a cd from one of the shows. I need to have more money available for purchases like these: the odd lunch, going out for dinner, money when it's needed. The other big one, is my savings. I really need to build up my savings again. I need to put money away for school, and it doesn't hurt to have money stashed away just in case.

Caitlin and I also talked about taking a trip in the future. So far I have nothing saved for it. I feel very pathetic about this. But I'm feeling positive about my turning over a new leaf. I've picked up extra shifts at the library (big moola) and I'm trying to budget my expenses more carefully.

I feel this is a very important thing for me to develop. This little problem is almost like compulsive gambling. As a boy on the verge of adulthood, I need to be able to handle my finances. And i'm not talking on an investing level or anything. I'm talking about simply not spending all my money.

Ok...i think i'm going to be good on this.



One more thing- Anton and I finished Nixon. It's compelling, but not up to the standard of JFK. Hopkins is remarkable in the title role.

"There is one more thing. It's been emotional" - Big Chris

I feel pretty...

Saw Caitlin's musical tonight. She was in West Side Story. It was well done overall. It's a tough one to do, and all the dancing was very well done, which is the most important aspect of this particular show. Caitlin was, as always, near flawless. She only had a small part, but she's always good. She's very at home on the stage, and it makes me proud to watch her up there.

Got the computer upstairs' internet working thanks to Ryan and a little help from some East Indian guy on the phone. Thank you East Indian friend.

I paid for my football workout sessions today. I couldn't go for the whole time, due to my going to caity's play, but i'll be going on thursday. It's going to be tough, all that running outside and all. I'm really hoping that once i get into the swing of things, I'll have renewed my interest in football.

This morning Tammie worked with us at the library, and Carlyn wasn't there! Joy! Plus, Melanie's getting back to her old, less bitchy, self. And, i may be working some afternoons in the future, which means working with Tammie and this guy Clint, who I get along exceptionally well with. All 3 of us were grinning at the possibility today.

I'm looking forward to Friday this week. It means Fahrenheit 9/11 and the Bad Plus. It also means working the whole day at the library and blockbuster, but the evening is so sweet, it'll be worth it. Big ups to Conrad for switching my fri night shift with me like that. He's a quality cat.

And it seems that Michael has injured his foot, actually broken it, whilst jumping down off of Geo's roof. So i'm going to stop in and visit in the coming days, hopefully tomorrow. Get well soon Master Scoles! I'll bring you a Scientific American.



Oh yeah...today was election day. Seems the Liberals have won a minority government. It's not great, but it's better than the Conservatives winning. In case you're interested, I voted NDP. I don't feel like getting political right now, so i'm not getting into it. I guess i'm just tired.


"Better still, be my winding wheel" - Ryan Adams

Monday, June 28, 2004

You came in with the breeze...on Sunday Morning

So i'm trying to get this wireless router to work on the computer upstairs. This is all to have internet access up there. So far, i'm fucking frustrated. Like most of my computer endeavours, it takes hours of torturous trial and error. I'm leaving it for now.
Watched "You Can Count on Me" today with Michael. I remarked today about how I always rent a wide variety of movies, but always seem to watch the character dramas. This was another fine character drama. I had heard plenty about Laura Linney's performance in it, which is good, but the movie really belongs to Mark Ruffalo. He's a guy I first liked in "the Last Castle". He apparently was supposed to be in "Signs". Here's hoping he gets to work with Shyamalan in the future.
Caity and I watched "Cold Mountain". I do enjoy the movie, and by watching it a second time in only 4 days, I've quelled my desire to buy it on tuesday. I'm going to try to wait untill it is previously viewed at Blockbuster.
And that brings me to my next point. I dropped off my letter of resignation at Blockbuster tonight. I'll be all done in 2 weeks time. There are fleeting moments where I think about giving up the free rentals, but all I need to think of is surrendering friday and saturday nights to try and sell whiny customers "rewards memberships" and "pop and chips combos". I'm not going to miss the job, but I will miss the movies. More importantly, I'll miss the guys that work there. Ryan and Anton, whom i was friends with prior to the job, Anders, Magnus, Conrad, Mitch, Dan, Nicole, all are great folks. I'll probably still be stopping in, as Ryan is one of my 2 best friends, and Anton is my main partner in movie crime.

Fuck, i didn't mean to make it sound like i was getting all misty about Blockbuster. Must be this sentimental Ryan Adams playing in the background...

"love is hell" - Ryan Adams

Sunday night at this time sucks...

...cause you got another week of work right away.

So I haven't posted in a while, so here's the rundown of the weekend.

Friday
Ryan and I drank like motherfuckers. Smashed bottles at the bar. I told my buddy's girlfriend to fuck off. We met up with Sam. Generally stumbled around like drunk morons. I also kept telling Nana (an African friend of ours) that he had a 15 inch penis.

Saturday
Woke up with a massive hangover. I remember looking at my clock as it struck noon and thought "man, Sam's been at work for an hour already. Poor guy". Went computer shopping. We got a comp for upstairs. My bro needs better access to one, and my Mum's going to be home on sabattical soon, so she needs access too. It's a slick new one, with an LCD screen.
We went to McNally for lunch with Caitlin (my family and me that is) and I gotta say, I love their pizza.
Worked at Blockbuster untill close then busted down to Lydia's to see Blue Quarter. They're a funky trio that have an electronic sound mixed with an accoustic style and sensibility...if that makes sense. They're really cool, and we chatted with their drummer after the show. Lydia's, i'm embarassed to say, is a venue i'd never been to before. I can now say I'm done with the Skuzz, pat, and the like. Lydia's is great, with darts, pool, 3 levels, patio, live music. Plus there's a great atmosphere. There's no bouncers really. It just feels relaxed, no tanned muscleheads being idiots.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Cold Mountain.

Good movie. Compared to other recent historical epics, I rank it above "the Last Samurai" and just below "Master and Commander". The acting of the ensemble is good, just too many brits in it. For fuck's sake, if they made a movie about London and it was staring Tom Cruise or whoever, it'd be considered outrageous. Otherwise, it's a cool movie. Good action, adventure, the romance is done well and isn't overindulged (like the English Patient, which is by the same director).

This stupid girl at work (blockbuster) got really upset when I asked her if she wanted a medal for doing some crappy task she was bragging about completing. She's an absolute fuckwit, and Lori and Nicole were mad that I made her upset. Fuck, I need to get out of Blockbuster soonish. The women in that place are fucked in the head.

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to seeing Fahrenheit 9/11 and checking out Blue Quarter. We're going to try to make a stop in at Deanna's birthday, but it's at the Skuzz, so if the lineup is massive, we may not have time.

Ewan out.

"I'm Mike D with a story to tell, and when i rock the crowd, the crowd they all yell" - Mike D


Thursday, June 24, 2004

Theologians don't know much...

started by quoting Wilco, just can't get them out of my head.

Saw dodgeball today. It's not a great movie, misses on alot of jokes, but it made me laugh alot. I reccomend it for Rip Torn alone. He's a great old actor who's really at home in Comedy.

Work at the library is all fuct still. I'm staying out of the mess as best i can.

I picked up Soul Decision's "nobody does it better". Yes, that soul decision. THey're so bad, they're good. It was only 5 bucks anyway. I also got the deluxe edition of Rick James' "Street Songs" for only 14 bucks! about a 25 dollar discount, and it's a sweet album.

I'm going to order a Barry Zito jersey in the coming days. He's my favourite baseball player for both his skill and demeanour. He's a free spirit as well as a fierce competitor- a combination i try to embody myself.

One last thing: go by the Beastie's "to the 5 Buroughs". So good.

"If you can dodge traffic, you can dodge a ball" - Rip Torn

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Tired.

Done working at Blockbuster. Fairly dead tonight.
I was up late last night with Ryan and Aiden and had to work at 8:30 this morning. Now it's time to repeat the cycle.

Today at the library things kept escalating. Carlyn is still grumpy but even more disconcerting is it seems that Melanie has started to share some of the same traits. She has been grumpy and rude to me which is a complete turn around for her pleasant manner of the past month or so. Today she decided to confront our boss about a comment she took the wronge way. Carlyn and her boyfriend egged her on to do so. I strongly disagreed with their course of action, but kept silent. It was so peverse to see these usually rational people acting so vile. I can't describe why, it just was.

Picked up the new Wilco along with the O'Rourke album. I also got the remastered "Highway 61 revisited". It was only 10 bucks so i thought i'd pick it up as well. So far I've only been able to listen to Wilco's "Ghost is Born". It's similar to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (their previous album). A good mix of avant garde and catchyness.

Anton and I can't seem to make it through Nixon. Today we were impeded by Perfect Dark. "I was obsessed with Perfect Dark...".
We do want to finish the movie, and hopefully we will this week.

Haven't talked to Caitlin since Friday, but what else is new. We have such a long term relationship, I'm worried.

Ewan Out.

"I'm a wheel!" - Wilco

Monday, June 21, 2004

Quest for Boobs.

Just got back from lunch and meanderings with Ryan and Aiden. The topic of the day seemed to be Aiden's insatiable quest for boobs. Even looked around at McNally Robinson. He was finally satisfied by the former Book Nook, where they now have old skin magazines.

Work was shite this morning. More dealings with the intolerable Carlyn. I managed to spend a fair amount of time away from her, thank god.

Right now I'm digging Jim O'Rourke's "Memory Lame". I'm going to pick up the album it's on tomorrow as well as the new release from Wilco. I'm trying to pace my spending so that I have more money available for things I strongly desire and less is spent on impulse buys. The 2 cds i'm buying tomorrow are rationalized by my listening to O'Rourke downloads and being a Wilco fan.

I also sometime want to pick up "the Fog of War". It's a series of interviews with former US secretary of defence Robert McNamara. He's a lively old fella who divulges some of the processes that went into various historic events he was involved in: firebombing of Tokyo in WW2, Cuban Missle Crisis, Vietnam. It's very interesting and I have a fascination with McNamara.


Tonight is Magnus' birthday, one of the Blockbuster faithful. He's a jovial bear-like character who many of us have grown to like very much. He's 19 today so we're going to celebrate in our usual drunken way.

"We literally looked down the barrel at Nuclear War" - Robert McNamara

End of the day.

I'm going to bed. I feel like typing a little something more.
Watched first half of Nixon. It's amusing to see the Welsh Anthony Hopkins do Dick.

Ratings of Movies i saw this past little while (ratings out of 4 stars):
the Terminal **1/2 (dissapointing, well made, just boring)
A Clockwork Orange **** (great as always)
Bad Santa ***1/2 (this one's a great one, could be another Big Lebowski)
Secret Window *** (good movie, ruined by attempt at tricky ending)
L.I.E. *** (good performances by all involved)
Tombstone *** (surprisingly good, kilmer and russell who i both usually dislike are good)

I've listened to the new Beasties album about 10 times now, maybe more. It's that good.

"I'm on my fucking lunch break!" - Billy Bob Thornton to young boy in 'Bad Santa'.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

"John Lennon and the FBI Files", the review

***
"John Lennon and the FBI Files" suggests that Lennon's assassin was not a deranged fan, but a programmed killer. Despite being this being the main objective of the book, it only occupies the latter third of the book's content. The majority of the book outlines the history of the CIA and FBI organizations and the various theories about mind control and programmed killers as pertaining to the Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations.
By comparing Lennon's murder to the murder's of JFK and MLK it only exposes the lack of tangible evidence. While there's much evidence to help fuel the conspiracy theories of those assassinations, there's not a great deal of evidence in the Lennon shooting. The authors make a rather thin case in this book for a conspiracy. It's an interesting idea, but the most interesting portion of this book is dealing with the history of the CIA, which is better discussed in other books.

"Winning Days" review.

*****
Winning days has a great variety of songs, ranging from fast to slow, and aggressive to calm. It's very much rooted in straight-forward riff rock, which works very much in their favor on tracks like 'Ride' and 'Animal Machine'. But they also have ways of colouring songs with a surreal aura, like 'Autumn Shade II', where Craig Nichols sings with dreamy harmonies. It is these touches on many of the album's songs that raise them to a higher level.
I'm not sure why so many critics dislike this album. It's incredibly strong track to track. The craftsmanship is similar to Highly Evolved, and I think they've managed to improve their songwriting without sacrificing the aggressive fury that was ever present on that album.
I heartily reccomend Winning Days. Also worth noting is the fantastic 'TV Pro', which begs to be played at maximum volume and is definitely one of the best rock songs in a long time.

9 footballs out of 10

Review of "Fly or Die".

*****
I bought Fly or Die without really knowing much N.E.R.D. I rationalized that at least I was buying the disc of some creative guys who make interesting music. This was a gamble that paid off huge.
Fly or Die is genre spanning disc that taps a whole manner of styles. The component that sets it apart from other bands, who do similar things, is that N.E.R.D. are able to combine the cocky attitude of the hip hop mainstream acts they produce (as the Neptunes) with a genuine understanding of music. It's not rap or rap rock. It's funky pop-rock (if i can reduce it to a label like that). They mix guitar riffs equally with synths, and coat the tracks with Pharrell's double tracked vocals. Pharrell is a fantastic front man with his excellent falsetto.
Listening to this album it's easy to hear the influences that the reviewers point out- Steely Dan, Burt Bacharach, etc. It's the unlikely combination of these influences with the hip hop and rock n roll attitudes that make this disc worth your time.
Strongly recommended, even if you don't become a big fan of the album, it's still more energetic and creative than any number of 2004's releases.

9 and a half footballs out of 10.

Review of "To the 5 Buroughs"

*****
To the 5 Boroughs is the most compact Beastie's album since their debut. However, their attitudes have matured greatly since 1986. That means less rhymes about drinking and more political themes. Despite this shift, none of the fun is lost.
The rhymes are the quintessential old school Beastie style. They're filled with goofy allusions and delivered in their classic styles. Adrock is still shrill, Mike D does his goofy voices and MCA is raspy as ever. Every song has varied instrumentation, backed with solid beats and the odd scratch courtesy of Mix Master Mike.
Where 'To the 5 Buroughs' is lacking in the instrumentals that made albums like 'Check Your Head' so cool, it makes up ground by virtue of the fact that all 15 tracks are all very good. The experimentation isn't at the level that it once was, but it's easy to see past this when their rhyming is as good as it is on this album.
9 footballs out of 10
Swelling going down, just watched "a clockwork orange" again. Fantastic show as always. Thinking about watching "Bad Santa" again too. It reminds me a fair amount of the Big Lebowski.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Wisdom teeth gone but i still got wisdom

Wisdom teeth out. On the doc's reccomendation i had the IV implemented at the last minute. During the procedure i thought someone was saying something and I tried to join the conversation, only to be restrained by someone's arm.
Woke up at 2:30 after 2 hours of sleep in big pain. Jaw was numb. Teeth Hurt. Bleeding like crazy. Time for pain killers. They worked well. Once the bleeding stopped I was on easy street. I'm gonna start eating solids as soon as tomorrow afternoon. For now i'm enjoying doing no work, exercise, etc. Just watching movies and listening to music - JOY!
So i'm listening to the new Beastie Boys disc, 'to the 5 Buroughs'. What a pleasure it is to anticipate an album this much and really be pleased when it finally comes out. This stuff is HOT!
It'll rival N.E.R.D.'s 'Fly or Die' and Nu Mark's 'Hands On' for 2004's best album.
Watched 'Igby goes down under' tonight with Michael 'eyes' Scoles. Good movie, not great, but it looks like one of those ones that grows on you over time.

Plans for the next few days: listen to '5 Buroughs a bunch more
-see Caitlin some time, maybe watch 'Bridget Jones' Diary'
-try and get out of work at Blockbuster on Sat night

"we gonna rock this motherfucka like 3 the hard way" - sample from '3 the hard way' by the Beasties Boys