Just a note before bed.

Here I was thinking I could write a paper in three days, since I've been behind due to all the traveling and worrying that's been going on the last couple of months. I asked my prof for an extension and he was kind enough to allow it.

According to my dad's doctor, he's getting weaker, and not eating much.

The streets are smothered in snow and school ends in two days.

Tonight I drank some chocolate stout and ate perogies, then had a snowball fight.

I'm still a little unhappy.


The weather and the water.

Even though the boil water advisory was lifted yesterday, our fair city was bombarded with another challenge: a surprise snowfall, a very rare occurrence in these here parts. Yesterday, the buses weren't running down University Boulevard, the main road into campus, and so I walked the long stretch - large branches had snapped off trees and fell across the road. Power was shut off on campus, and all the buildings were locked, and classes cancelled. The campus resembled a post-apocalyptic landscape, with a few bodies struggling against the snow on a campus rendered quiet and still. I checked out a few buildings, shrugged my shoulders and then promised myself to listen to the news more often.

The city does look pretty, though. Hopefully I can find our trusty camera and take some photos.

One essay to go! Three days to finish it! Wish me luck!


Spending Eternia at Work, or, He-Man is Cooler Than You Think

My first strip, er, strips. Again, this was made with a strip generator courtesy of Zek Advance.

Click on a strip to enlarge.

I <3 winter!

Snow has been falling since yesterday. This morning the ground, the trees and even the people are completely covered now as the flakes keep falling.

Will school be cancelled tomorrow? I doubt it, but it would be nice, yeah?

I really want to go outside and pelt people with snowballs. And maybe even go for a short hike.



I recently finished one paper, and now I'm working on another, and last night I looked at the instructions for my last paper. I haven't looked at it in a while, assuming the paper would be relatively short. I'm looking at 12 to 15 pages. I have to write this in four days.


That only means I'll be drinking more coffee and getting less sleep in my last week of school.

The comic I posted is only a quarter of the story! I have to redo three strips before I delete the previous post and upload the entire strip.


I made a comic.

Zek Advance is an art group from Slovenia, my new home for six months, and they produced a strip generator.

I want to spend more time on projects. I love school, yes, but I need to write. I received an email from someone today asking me how the writing is going. Ha. Full-time studies aren't exactly conducive to writing.


What if . . . ?

. . . Stan Lee and Jack Chick collaborated on a comic?

These aren't complaints, they're Morse Code for OH MY GOD I WANT TO RUN AWAY SCREAMING!!1!

The next month and a half is going to be crazy busy. I've been using the term "crazy busy" for three weeks now because I can't think of a more appropriate description.

First, we need to give our one month notice to move out of our current house. Then, we have to pack our belongings and get rid of furniture, clothes and other miscellaneous stuff. We then have to hunt around for storage options for six months.

Our cat needs a home, too. Andrew, our housemate, has offered to look after our little beast. We plan on giving him some cash for his troubles. The money will go to Andrew, not the cat.

We have one more document to collect to guarantee our student visas. This process has taken almost a month to get all the documentation together.

I still have three papers to write, and five exams next month. Some are take-home exams, which is not ideal. I have to make time to write them while I'm packing.

We're kinda broke at the moment.

And I'm out of coffee. Luckily, I have some espresso grounds floating around. With the turbid water supply in Vancouver, brewing coffee is problematic.

I have to make plans to travel to Victoria for the holidays.

We're attending a wedding on December 31st.

Since our flight is on January 10th, we'll be homeless for ten days. Anyone want to house a couple of soon-to-be expatriates?

Did I mention we're broke?

My dad's prognosis has changed. I don't know the changes, and I don't why it changed. There's talk of sending him to a long-term care home, but, um, that doesn't make sense. The line of communication between the hospital and my family is piss poor. My mom is going nuts.

Send help. And money.


Notes on Reproduction: Benjamin and giallo.

For years I've been interested in the kung fu movie. I really didn't know why, until I thought about it the other day. Although the action in the film can be fun to watch, I was amazed at how many of these films were made. Some were written as police thrillers or as post-apocalyptic dystopias or as supernatural parables. Much like the Saw franchise (as pointed out by Chris), once production companies have a successful formula they will just churn out the films until they reach critical mass.

Now I'm watching giallo films. I'm kind of a newcomer to the genre, which is little embarrassing since most horror fanatics have already encountered these films ages ago. Anyway, I recently watched The Black Belly of the Tarantula, and the other night I watched Twitch of the Death Nerve. Ron Kurz, screenwriter for Friday the 13th Part 2, literally lifted two scenes directly from TofDN, and perhaps the original Friday the 13th was inspired by its Italian predecessor.

TofDN had its moments. The gory murder scenes were vivid enough, but the poor editing made most of them laughable. Don't get me started on the plot - it was so convoluted I had to refer to the film's Wikipeida article to keep up with the confused story.

So, back to my original question: why am I so interested in schlocky B-movies and sequels? I'm thinking about reproduction. If, for instance, an original film is made (by original I mean innovative) and then the film is reproduced as a sequel, as though the filmmaker is trying to imitate the aura produced by the original, how is the aura maintained, or is it? If a sequel is a continuation of the narrative, does the tone or atmosphere also continue? Wouldn't the next chapter or volume in a story move in a decidedly new direction?

I just produced questions here, but that does lead me closer to Benjamin's theory than I originally surmised. Questions? Comments? Any recomendations for future giallo viewings?


I'm in Victoria.

I arrived in Victoria last night. Lisa found a café with free wireless connection this morning, so now I'm working on my Kant versus Burke essay, sipping a mint tea (my favourite) and later, we're going to head out to a noodle shop in Chinatown and later we'll visit my dad. He asked us to pick him up some noodles (they're served in the classic take-out boxes from Chinese restaurants) so I was happy to oblige.

My grandma has been here since Saturday night. It was so great to see her again, and we spent last night catching up and hearing all the news from the family back east. She's such a sweet lady!

Chelsea FC is in second place, only three points behind Man United. Now that Arsenal is quickly catching up after a slow start we'll have to hope Chelsea can keep up their momentum.

Okay, back to the books.


And also . . .

Somehow, I think my dad would approve.

Iron Man may be a NeoCon, but he looks hella awesome in office. Way better than Zod.

Happy Elections, America. We heard about the Democrats. We are pleased.

Because I love comics, and because following Canadian politics is like watching golf, this clever blog-person warmed my thinning, acidic blood with some delightful nerdage.


I have some bad news.

As some of you might know, my dad is currently in hospice. He was diagnosed with prostrate cancer three years ago, and after a long battle he was informed by his specialist that further treatment would be ineffective and possibly life-threatening.

He was admitted to hospice in August. On Friday we were told by my dad's attending doctor he will not live past Christmas.

I don't know how I'm feeling at the moment. Sad? Kind of. Angry? Yes. Exhausted? Definitely. My mom and sister are holding up, but since August we've all been crying and worrying about my dad. I'm out of sadness at the moment. All I can do is keep living.

I've made arrangements with my profs and at work. I'll be spending more time in Victoria, so my posts will be infrequent. The other day, my dad specifically told me to stay in school, and continue studying. I'll be balancing family and school.

I won't let him down.

Mint juleps, America and David Sedaris.

I had quite the tumultuous weekend. First, I went to Jess' birthday party on Friday night, which was fun. I only intended to stay a short while, considering that we were going to the States the next day and I wanted to get some more studying done. So, I bought one bottle of Maudite and tried to nurse my drink. That didn't happen. Somehow rum fell into my hands, and, well, let's just say I continued to have fun. This was the result:

With apologies to Warren Ellis, drunk people win.

I woke up with a wicked hangover. I tried to study but the text would float above the page and reconfigure themselves into eldrich hieroglyphics. We then met up with friends and got a ride to Bellingham, Washington to see Davis Sedaris read and field questions. As usual, crossing the American border always seems difficult until you reach the border guard, and then he / she quickly waves you into their country.

Sedaris was great. His prose is minimal and deliberate, so the underlying humour shines through. He started with a few . . .um . . . I guess you can call them fables, then he moved onto some of his usual work, regaling us with stories like a scandalous cab ride in New York to buying dope in a trailer in South Carolina. I think the story takes place in South Carolina. Afterwards, he had a brief dialogue with the audience as they asked questions - he's very comfortable on stage, and his relaxed candor was very charming, as though we're all hanging out in his living room sipping mint juleps. I don't know, I just image mint juleps in that scenario.

Later we went for dinner at a restaurant with the words beer and burgers in its name. I actually liked the place. The decor was odd, like a cross between a family restaurant and a frat house, as commented by one of my companions. The burgers were huge, and I was able to order a Squirt, which is hard to find in Canada. Needless to say, squirt became a favourite word around the table. After a speedy crossing back to Canada, we got home at around 1 in the morning.


SQUEEEEEE . . . oh, nevermind.

Courtesy of Mike Wieringo, cartoonist and animal lover.