Personal Crap

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Meaford, ON, Canada
A big lover of all types of media, from Movies to Video Games, Books to Music, Television to Stage.



Okay, here's the deal: Blogger has been having problems with their counters as of late, specifically with those blogs marked as having adult content. Now, this particular blog was marked as adult content since it is written as a train of thought, including all the rotten language that flows through my head constantly :) As a result, I marked it adult for that, not for having pornographic photos all over the place. So, simply put, be aware that there is language on this blogsite, and if you are offended don't bother complaining because I wrote this so that you'd know it before reading, and it is your fault if you don't believe me and decide to possibly get offended anyway. If language of a vulgar nature might make you upset, go read something by Disney.


What Affected Me In 2010

Just thought I'd go over the year's stories and determine what affected me and what didn't.

Not many news stories affected me personally in 2010.  Wikileaks?  Nope.  BP oil spill?  I shake my head, but am not surprised.  The rescue of Chilean miners?  Good for them, but it wasn't anyone I knew down there.  The cost of fuel going up, and how it directly impacts grocery prices affects me, but that's about it.  Nothing really big happened this year as far as trickling down to create much of a ripple in my life.  Celebrity deaths, on the other hand, bothered me a bit.

The death of Leslie Neilsen.  That one was a big one.  Star of many and varied movie and television roles, he will be best remembered by me as "Frank Drebin, Police Squad."  I know he wasn't planning on any more "Naked Gun" movies, but he was still a bright spot on the Canadian comedy landscape.  His passing depressed me, but not as much as John Ritter's did back in 2003.  That one apparently got to a LOT of people.

Speaking of comedians, Greg Giraldo's passing shocked me.  I had just seen him as a judge on the most recent season of "Last Comic Standing," and he had also attended some of the Comedy Central Roasts, some of which are currently airing on the Comedy Network here in Canada.  Odd to see him there on the stage knowing he's passed.

Of course, the biggest celebrity death this year was that of Micheal Jackson.  His death didn't affect me much.  I had, as almost everyone in North America had, but won't admit it, owned "Thriller" back in the day, and had the next two albums as well, "Bad" and "Dangerous."  However, I had moved on musically long before the molestation stories started up, and paid little to no attention to him after my early University years.  What got my attention the most was a news report showing the interior of his mansion after his death.  The 'ghost' seen walking in the room at the end of the hall still freaks me out a little due to it being a live news broadcast that caught it.  I apologize for the lack of spelling displayed by the poster of the video, but it's the only one that I've found that slows it down without leaving the sound on, nor does it have a screaming fright face popping up to stop your heart at the end of it.

On first glance, it looks like someone walking outside the window of the far room and casting a long shadow on the wall with the fireplace.  However, upon closer inspection, specifically when the video shows it frame by frame, the shadow figure also shows down the hall to the intersecting corridor between the camera and the far room, meaning that in order to make that particular image one would have to be in the middle of the corridor actually crossing it, just as the figure seems to do.  I'm not saying it is the ghost of Micheal Jackson, or even necessarily a ghost at all, but it sure is fucking weird.

The Vancouver Olympics were incredible, great television from CTV.  So much better coverage than the CBC had been doing for a number of years (I remember when the CBC did good work televising the Games, but they had fallen apart for the last three or four before they lost the bid to televise them to CTV).  Already looking forward to their coverage of the Summer Olympic Games from London, England in 2012.  You know, as long as the impending end of the world doesn't mess with them or anything.

Topping my list of movies for the year are "Paranormal Activity 2," "Iron Man 2," "The Expendables," and of course "Inception."  I've only listed movies I've seen, in case you are wondering where the hell "Toy Story 3" is.  Well, I have it on Blu-Ray thanks to Scott, but I have yet to watch it as I am depressed enough as it is without viewing a movie loudly being touted as a real tearjerker.  Once I feel up to it, I'll watch it, and if necessary I will come back and edit this blog at that time.  So there.

New television shows that I've enjoyed this year include "No Ordinary Family," "Rookie Blue" (a Canadian cop show filmed in Toronto very obviously), "Blue Bloods," and "Outsourced."  Also liked "Mike & Molly," the new "Hawaii 5-0," and "Raising Hope."  Some others looked really promising, but fell by the wayside in this household.  Titles such as "The Event" and "Running Wilde" were off our list early.  And, as usual, some really good shows were cancelled way too early, like "Undercovers," and "My Generation."  Oh, and I'm ignoring the fact that we also watch "Hellcats,"  me for the hotties in skimpy cheerleading uniforms, Andi for the storylines.  Yeah, right.  I suck.

Musically, not much to say.  I love The Lonely Island, and got their first CD this Christmas (thanks again to Scott), but other than that I really didn't grab on to any new music this year.  See my previous blog post for info on why.

Video game titles are too numerous to mention here, but I do certainly agree with the VGA top honour going to "Red Dead Redemption" as Game Of The Year.  I am one of those people who don't finish games because, well, now it's done, there is no more of that title left to play.  Scott does the same thing.  With RDR, however, I had to finish it just to see where the story ended, and it was worth it.  I'm now starting on what may be considered the best of this year's DLC (that's DownLoadable Content for all you virgins) which is Zombie Apocalypse for RDR, so we'll see how that goes.  Tough as nails so far, or as Scott would like to hear, tough as "Thompson's Teeth - teeth so strong they can chew other teeth!"

So, that's what affected me, personally, in the year 2010.  I am looking forward to a few things for next year, but I guess that'll have to wait until tomorrow's post.  Until then, Happy New year to all, and to all a good afternoon, or morning, or whatever, depending on where you are reading this from.  If in fact anyone IS reading this, as nobody actually read my blog for the last 22 hours.  Whatever, maybe I'm back to writing for myself again already.


Last Non-Holiday Day Of 2010

So, here we are on what is basically the last day of the calendar year which isn't somehow directly or indirectly related to a holiday.  Nobody who is working today is getting off early due to what tomorrow is, nobody who was working yesterday is being given today off as a special prezzie.  Nope, today, just like most days of every year, is just a normal, boring, middle of the week day.  It isn't shiny like Christmas, sorrowful like Easter (if you discount the eggs and bunnies), scary like Halloween or green like St. Patrick's Day.  People aren't declaring their love today, like they do on Valentine's Day; nobody's parent's are getting special treatment like on Mother's or Father's Day.  No, today is just Thursday, and that's just how it is.

Of course, if you are high school age or younger, or attend University or College, it is in fact in the middle of your Christmas break, but that still doesn't give the day any special meaning or anything.  Thursday.  Its just Thursday.  Pathetic little nearly the end of the week Thursday.  It isn't even a special weekday either.  It isn't Hump Day or T.G.I.F. even.  It used to be special, Thursdays did.  Once upon a time, it was Must See T.V. night, but then things changed and Thursdays aren't so important anymore.  Even Survivor left Thursday for Hump Day's greener pastures.

So, what I'm simply stating is that today is no big deal in any way, shape or form whatsoever.  Two days from the end of the year, and you might as well be a Tuesday in July for all the world cares.  Poor, disgusting, shabby little Thursday before New Year's Eve.  I pity you.

But hey, at least you aren't April 28th.  That'd be REALLY depressing.


My Secret (No Longer) Love of Coronation Street

To those of you who know me, you know that I am a huge fan of television.  I certainly watch a lot of it, and I ensure that when I am watching certain programs I ignore phone calls, people at the door, burning embers drifting past my nose, etc..  To me, what makes good viewing is intriguing storylines, humour, interesting locales - and if you can manage to throw in a few hot women, I'm all for it!

When I was younger, like 35 years ago or so, I used to have a hell of a time trying to figure out what to do on Sunday mornings.  I used to be up the same time as I would be for school, about 7am, and there just isn't a whole lot for a five-year-old to do that early on a morning when the parental units are trying to get sleep.  Keep in mind that this is the 70s we're talking about here, which means television channels didn't air overnight, stores weren't open for shopping, and about the only thing to watch was religious shows or farm reports.  There were only two things available to be viewed that were of any interest, and I had to choose one of them.

Those who know me also know I hated my mother.  Loathed her, despised her.  Threatened to do her with a sword if she ever came around my home again.  The last time I spoke to her, two years before she died, I dis-invited her to my wedding, and then told her I wished she had had an abortion so that I would never have had to have her as my mother.  Celebrated with an impromptu pool party when I was informed she was dead.  These things on their own might seem shocking, disturbing, and very hateful - and they certainly are.  I'm not going to go into depth here at this moment, but if anyone ever reading this wants to try and understand how I could be this way to her, send me an e-mail at or comment below asking for more info.  Otherwise, for those I haven't alienated, let's keep going.  I'm bringing this up to explain that I wasn't always like this with her.  When I was a kid and didn't see her for the spiteful, vicious, abusive person she was, she made huge impressions upon me which I am still feeling the repercussions of to this day.  I can honestly say that, even without a psychiatrist, I am aware that 95% of the person I am today is as a direct result of my mother's influences, and how I either embraced them or fought against them.

As a little aside, I'll explain that more fully.  My mother, and again I'm not getting into specifics, demanded high marks from me in school - so, I purposefully barely passed, skipped classes voraciously, and under-achieved like a fiend.  Someone noticed this and I still got into U of T regardless, don't know how, but there it is.  My mother hated electric guitar - so, I fell in love big time with heavy metal music.  My mother hated my posture - I still slouch.  She wanted me involved in sports - I'm 340lbs, a hundred pounds overweight based on my height and frame, and it is contributing negatively to my heart condition (though not the cause of it).  My mother hoarded crap and made it a rule that I could never have friends over to the house - I keep things as tidy as I can when living with two people who often don't give a shit, and wish I had friends to come over daily, or at all.  There are things that she did when I was younger and more impressionable that stuck with me as well, and some of those are in fact good things.  She created my love of music in general.  She was an avid television watcher (both a good and bad thing, it can be argued).  She for a very long time didn't like the majority of our family, hence I only have interactions with my cousin - and she alienated the family against me by lying about certain events and flaunting her ongoing extramarital affair by bring the douche to every family event she could.  She was an avid reader, and I can't keep enough books in the house.

However, the one thing that she did when I was very young that is related specifically to this entry is this:  she HATED Coronation Street. With a passion.  No idea why.  So much so, in fact, that the second the theme would start playing on CBC on those early Sunday mornings, she would throw it to any other channel just to avoid hearing it.  She got me to hate it to, so on those mornings when I was awake and alone, I'd end up watching whatever black and white movie was on CityTV that early.  Didn't care for most of them, but that's how I grew up.  Hating Coronation Street into my 30s.  Until one day...

It was again a Sunday morning, I was awake and alone.  I was flipping channels and saw Corrie there on CBC and I thought to myself that with all the things I had been doing for most of my life to spite her, why don't I look and see why she hated this show so very much.  So I did.  I've been watching the show faithfully ever since.  For those readers whom also watch Corrie, I started with the following plot lines:  Molly and Tyrone were getting ready to get married, though Tyrone was trying to make a big production of the ceremony and had no money to do so; Tony Gordon and Carla were together, and Maria was seemingly crazy, accusing him of killing Liam (if only I had tuned in early enough for Liam's murder); David and Tina were together and Gary Windass was trying to win her from him.

Now, I'm a rabid fan of the show.  So is my wife, and we can't even wait until the omnibus on Sunday mornings to watch them - we tune in and/or record each episode at 6:30 every night Monday through Friday.  Not only that, but I also read ahead.  Yeah, it irks me that we're ten months behind the British airing of the shows, and at some point I hope we have the means to watch them 'live' as it were, but that would also mean a lot of recording for 10 months so that we could catch up all at once and be on top of the episodes.  Well, it isn't like I'm doing much else, but we still need a proper station to broadcast the current run to us.  I'm even looking into whether we'll be able to see the shows from Britain when we are in the Dominican Republic.  They get channels from all over the globe down there, so if we can get CBC and ITV down in the Caribbean, then all we need is a DVD recorder and a proper Tivo, and we're off to the races!

For now however, I'll just have to content myself that I know what's about to happen with George's obsession with keeping Simon away from Peter, when Gary will be coming home and the change in him and why, whether Sally will ever find out about Molly and Kevin, whether or not Steve and Becky are going to actually conceive again, or whether Tina will really be staying together with Jason or whether there is someone else in the wings...and of course, waiting until October for the 50th anniversary show, complete with incredible pyrotechnics and all!

The best part of it all?  Simple.  If my mother had ever taken the time to watch the show, even once, she would have loved it.  So, guess that's a point in my favour, hmm?


What BGJ Was All About

Happy Tuesday, one and all.  Today is the first day that I don't have anything to post from the original BGJ website, so it has taken a while to get around to saying something.  I am planning on posting at least once a day, and anybody who is actually reading this faithfully will notice that there are days when I have more to say than others.  This can either translate into multiple posts or very long entries, depending on what's scurrying around inside my head.  Today, I'm going to explain what the BGJ website was and where it came from.

BGJ was what I termed an "anti-fraternity."  In 2003, at Thanksgiving, my father, Scott and I were all in the kitchen of our previous house and were getting ready for a bunch of my friends to come over for the meal.  I, as usual, had been throwing down Smirnoff Ice Vodka Coolers all day, so I was pleasantly happy.  My father was talking about how we were all so much younger than him that it made him feel like he was watching a fraternity circling around him, and the idea took hold.  Given that we had just experienced the movie Jackass for the first time that same week, that was in my mind when I thought of the name for our little group.  Knowing that actual fraternities used Greek letters for their names/logos, I deemed us BetaGammaJackass, and it stuck from that day until my father died in October 2006, a couple of days before Thanksgiving (he was pronounced dead at midnight of the morning of October 6th, and the holiday was that weekend).

The "anti-fraternity" idea struck hard.  I started to try and find people to join us, and kind of opened the house for people to drop by.  This was also at least partially spurred on by my ex-wife having left me in December of the previous year and my wanting to meet new and exciting females and make their toes curl, and also partially by the idea that if we had enough people who wanted to do similar things, we could apply and qualify for Group Discounts on things like theatre tickets and vacations.  I still think the Group Discount idea is valid, no matter what anyone else says.

Anyway, we had a website and all, which I still have in it's entirety her on my computer, and it included the blog, plans for upcoming get-togethers, a menu of what I could whip up for people who dropped by ($2.00 a meal is a better deal than you'll find anywhere, and I wasn't talking about some canned food shit, I'm talking my homemade chili, my Chicken Paprikosh, my spaghetti, and other actual recipes I have been told a restaurant could serve successfully - don't believe it, come by and try them yourselves), photos of all the members, and even a 200 question movie trivia contest that was being played for 2 Santa's Choice Christmas hampers.  The site was over ten pages large, of unique material, and I maintained it pretty comprehensively until the end of the year 2005.  At that point, because we had moved in August of that year to a house further away from people, we had less get-togethers and we started to break apart.  To be fair, our core group was only six people strong anyway, with one being my ex and another being the other "friend" who buggered off the next year.  So, suffice it to say, I stopped with the website and pretty much put the "anti-fraternity" to rest except for one small coda at the end.

When my father died, to commemorate his passing (and because in my grief I really had no fucking clue what else to do) I had a tattoo artist put the skull and cross-crutches logo on my arm with the label betagammajackass underneath it.  As such, the journey came to an end, except to re-post my writings for anyone interested to read them, and hopefully think I had some kind of writing ability after all.

Best picture I have of the tattoo
Not the original, as I don't have rights to it


12th And Final BGJ Entry - Now On With The Blog!

Before It's Up, What Is It? - December 11th, 2005 - 09:26 AM.

It flows, like a river. It waits for no one. It moves quickly, it moves slowly. It stands still. It changes things. It brings age, and with age, wisdom. You can get things done in the nick of it. It's to go; it's to die, Mr. Bond. It heals all wounds. It's to leave, if you're going to be on it. You feel good when you're just in it, but it catches up with all of us. It's relative. I've got some, want to spend some with me? I give it to others. You still have it, you take it, then you waste it. Sometimes it feels like we're all killing it, yet it is unchanging, unwavering, and marches on. It's a magazine.
We measure it, disect it. Compartmentalize it. Count it, keep it. We can't turn it back. It is all one piece, no matter how we minimalize it. Given some of it, almost anything is possible. We never have enough of it, yet it's all we ever have. I have all of it in the world. I have it on my hands, but I still let it pass. It goes by like water under the bridge, yet you can't go back in it.
You can feel it weighing on you. It's for stopping and smelling roses. It's to make a change. It's to try something new. It ends things. It runs out. It's to do some good; it's to take things seriously. Sometimes it's not the right one, or the right place. Everything happens in a measure of it. It's to grow up. It is that which we remember. The good and the bad. The tough. You can serve it, hard. People have done it. It is all one great big piece, and it cares not what we do with ours.
Have you discovered what 'it' is? It's TIME, and mine's up for this post.

Back To The Grind

I guess there are a lot of you back to work today after the break.  Sorry to hear that, but I do envy you quite a bit.  I think back on the days when I worked as a school bus (it was actually a van) driver, and from where I am today I can't even imagine how I did that.  I used to earn actual money, providing an actual service to other people.  Yeah, it was for my mother's company, which I ended up being solely responsible for just before she ran it into the ground, but still - I was making a contribution to society.  Seems like another life, and I guess 11 years kinda is.  Now, I'm just an anchor holding my best friend back financially.  Isn't life wonderful.

Anyway, thought I'd start your Monday off with a bit of fun.  Here's a video for your enjoyment.  It includes exactly one questionable word, and if you are distracted by anything at the time you'd miss it.  Look for Blake Lively looking cute, and Jessica Alba being completely hilarious and adorable.  You'll also spot John McEnroe as well.  Enjoy.


11 BGJ Blog Entry - Only 1 More Left!

Happy Birthday To Me - April 28th, 2005 - 06:07 AM.

Another year passes and not much changes. Here I am, ridiculously early in the morning, trying to write something meaningful about today being some sort of milestone or what have you. I'm 34 as of 20:18 PM tonight, and I believe the emotion I'm experiencing is best described as "big fucking whoop." There is nothing outstanding that separates yesterday from today; there is no feeling of accomplishment or rejoicing at finishing off another year of survival against stupidity, which is what life ultimately boils down to. 34 years of being mediocre have come to an end, and tonight the first few grueling hours of year 35 kick in. Yippee.
So why am I bothering to write about it? Call it a sense of duty. Call it a desire to get my lack of interest regarding the date out of my system and into society in general so I can share the indifference. Think of it as complaining about all the people who go out of their way to 'celebrate' the fact that they have successfully completed a one-year journey closer to their own inexorable demise. Now, if that's not reason to celebrate, I don't know what is.
As most people reading this will know, I'm no big fan of the human race. I feel that the entire population of the planet suffers from a common ailment, stupidity, and that this rampant illness should result in the majority of the people you meet every day being exterminated in order to make life more pleasant for everyone else. Consider it "forced Darwinism," and think about it. There would certainly be an improved quality of life for those left behind.
I could be waxing poetic on the world events my eyes have seen; shuttles exploded, buildings collapsed. Better saved for a deathbed account, wouldn't you say? More dramatic then, yes?
Instead, I choose to look people right in the eye and tell them that today is no big deal. It's just a Thursday. Television is good tonight; the air outside could be warmer. There doesn't seem to be much in the newspaper this morning, aside from the usual government scandals, a few more dead people (yay Darwin), and false advertisements for computers and hair growth formulas. Pollution, extinction, global warming - these things haven't changed overnight. Why should anything else?
Admittedly, turning an important age, like 19, that means something. Couldn't fumble around in the back seat of a car without it being called rape, now I can. Couldn't smoke or vote, now I can. I can now legally get drunk, climb into a one-ton vehicle, and kill another human being. There's a milestone! I can write my own note to get out of class, rent a vehicle with my student credit card, drive to some god forsaken backwoods location that exists on no maps, get myself killed a la 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre,' and have no one wonder where I am for two days. Cool! Yeah, turning 19 has it's precious moments.
What do you say when you turn 34?
Congratulations, you may already have a good idea about what organs in your body are most likely to fail first, providing you with an insider's glimpse as to what you'll most likely die from! Let's party!
Anyway, happy birthday to me, and maybe I'll lose my pessimistic outlook as the day rolls on. I guess it all depends on how many gifts I get. Get to work, Gentle Reader, the day is a-wastin'!

How Depression Really Gets Going

Well, I did something stupid this morning, and I'm paying for it now.

I have an ex-wife who, after our divorce, got involved with a guy who attempted to put a cigarette out in her face.  Due to his being a hardcore stalker type, she ended up moving to the States to get fully away from anywhere he could attempt to find her (after numerous threats, etc..).  She got married again, mainly to stay down there I personally thought, but for a very long time she could not find a job.

Now, I don't know if the people who know me would consider me vindictive.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  You would be the better judge of that.  Either way, I took a bit of pleasure that since she abandoned me to my illness she had been doing fairly rotten herself.  So, for some reason I still can't seem to fathom, I was sitting here this morning wondering how her cousin was doing.  Her cousin was my 'one that got away' and in my searches I found her name with another last name tagged on.  I figure either she's married or there's another of her, and her name is common enough that it could go either way.  In order to determine which it was, I reinstated my soon to be deleted Facebook account (January 9th, 2011, unless for some reason people ask me to reinstate it) in order to look through my ex-wife's friends list because I knew she had been there and if she changed her name as a result of marriage I'm sure it would appear there.

Instead, I found that my ex-wife had a baby on December 5th., and it has sunk me into a really deep fit of depression.

For the last ten years, I have had this stupid heart condition which has basically restricted my ability to do a lot of stuff, and more recently confined me to my house like I am under house arrest.  Except for a couple of car rentals in the last year and a half (thanks to Andi and Scott) I haven't even been to the corner store since May 2009.  This has made me feel completely isolated from the world at large.  I can't visit friends (don't have any really, not anymore), family (really only my cousin and HER family count nowadays), or even get my mind off of things by seeing a movie or going for a drive.  I have to rely on other people for everything, down to grabbing a drink at the store.

Now, it isn't like it is ALL bad.  I have my only real friend living here in the house (that would be Scott, since people may have been wondering who I've been referencing), and when my father died in 2006 and we searched for a roommate to help with the mortgage we found Andi, who has since become my girlfriend/common-law wife and who plans to marry me before we leave Canada for the Dominican Republic.  The thing is though, I can't help but see the negative in all of this.

Scott is a VERY responsible guy, so responsible that even when quite sick he will still attend work as long as he isn't infectious to those around him.  Except for dire family emergencies, I have yet to see Scott take a voluntary day off of work in his life, and I'm not exaggerating.  In fact, last year I had to coerce him into the habit of taking his annual vacation time before he burned himself out completely; he has recognized the signs since, and doesn't have to be pushed anymore, but if he didn't get to that extreme his work ethic would keep him there year-round.  I can't help but feel that it is this same work ethic mentality that keeps him living in this house with me.  He is single-handedly paying the mortgage, something that was foisted on him as a result of my father dying as he was living with us when it happened, and I am a tremendous burden to him as a result.

Then, there is Andi.  I am her first relationship, and as everyone knows, you almost always fall hard for your first relationship.  I wasn't interested at first, but when she declared herself I started thinking along those lines myself.  In fact, when she declared herself, I was making in-roads with someone else, that's how oblivious I was.  The point is, I wasn't trying to seduce the young woman living with us.  In fact, I was just being myself as far as things went.  It is true that when she quit her job right after moving in to pay rent to us to help us cover the bills, I didn't throw her out, opting instead to let her look for work with a roof over her head.  That is just in my nature, and was not a ploy in any way.  In fact, she was so flaky when she first moved in, it was a complete turn off.  Now, however, I love her to pieces, but still I can see (in my mind anyway) the time coming when she has that realization that people in their first relationships do, that the person they are with really isn't the ideal, and that the happiness of finally being with someone has faded enough to show all the problems underneath.  I think it's only a matter of time, and fairly believe that if/when it happens, I can't rightfully stop her from leaving.  My arguments, in fact, would probably only be for the sake of letting her know how much I care for her, but I don't think I could bring myself to stop her as it truly is her first relationship, and that simply wouldn't be fair to her.  Besides, I'm used to being left behind.  My first girlfriend did it (kept me hanging on all Summer while she vacationed in Greece, all the while knowing BEFORE SHE LEFT that she was going to end it the minute she got back), my ex-wife did it (upon hearing from the doctors at the hospital that I might need a heart transplant when I was first diagnosed with my condition, immediately went out and found someone to have sex with - left me days before Christmas less than three months later), and a so-called friend of mine did it (last time she visited, before my father passed, she brought her new baby along for us to coo and ahh over - when neither of us expressed any interest in her or her child, mainly because we couldn't believe the guy she had the kid with and neither of us likes kids in the first place, she took off, never attended my father's wake, and then called me to tell me she didn't want anything more to do with me the following Spring).

This year, I'm looking down the barrel at my fortieth birthday, and this is how I see myself:  For 1/4 of my life, I've had a heart condition that I have been trying to survive through (my doctor is still shocked, as of a week ago, that I am even still alive - I wasn't expected to survive the night I was diagnosed, I was told a year later) and in that decade I have done nothing of worth.  In my life, total, I have failed at a marriage, failed at a business, had myself booted from a university twice (once for having the nerve to stand up to a professor, the second time due to economic woes cause by an unfair Ontario Student Assistance Program calculation which gave my ex-wife three times what they gave me for a year of university when she was living at home paying no bills and I was renting an apartment paying for everything), only worked for others in actual jobs for about a total of three years all told, and all I have to show for it is a heart condition and a huge pile of debt that I can't even pay off with help.  I've become a huge burden to the few people who have stayed by me, I hate and loath myself utterly from the ground up, and I do virtually nothing other than play video games, watch movies and television, and pet my cats.

Now, you have all the tools to see why finding out my ex-wife has a baby has kicked me down again.  My last ten years has provided me with debt, dependency, and guilt.  Hers has given her a new life, a new job, and a new family complete with what I failed to give her.  Oh, and no luck finding her cousin on her Facebook page - either they've had a falling out, or she has also removed herself from the site.  Which means, if you are following along correctly, I did this completely to myself for absolutely no benefit whatsoever.

There you have it, a glimpse into the real me.  Not that anyone other than people who actually know me are genuinely reading this blog.  I'm not stupid, page-hits do not translate into readers, and the reason my biggest day of page-hits was the 21st of December is because the words 'North' and 'South' and 'Korea' were all together in their usual places in that entry.  Google searches that lead people to a blog site that they see immediately isn't what they were looking for does not translate into a devoted readership.  So for those few of you actually taking the time to read all this crap, thanks for letting me vent.  I'll probably be all better in a day or two, and back to my usual normal-depressed self.

Hope some of you watched the video I posted earlier...I'm going to go and post the next BGJ blog now, so I can be done with this if I want to be for today.

Music Videos

Was just wondering, if anyone out there is interested in my musical tastes (I mean you, Marigold), I was thinking of regularly posting stuff that I enjoy here on the blog.  If you have a yay or nay vote in regards to this, send me a comment.  If you could give two shits, don't bother, and I'll just continue to post what I want.

To that end, I'm going to post a video below.  Just for information's sake, if there is a need to censor for language, I'll include that information in the post for the videos.  Additionally, if I can find them, there may be some that are more NSFW, and I will post the warnings for them too.  In other words, I'll police my own site.  Too bad most parents aren't as careful with their children, hmm?  Then again, would Grand Theft Auto sell as many copies of its sequels without parents blaming them for their kids behaviour?  Just saying...

Boxing Day

In North America, at least, today is Boxing Day, which is widely regarded as the biggest sale day in the retail year (possibly second to Black Friday, but this has been around a lot longer).  People line up in the wee hours of the morning to grab amazing deals on electronics and appliances, mainly due to the fact that their relatives don't know them at all and gave them shitty Christmas gifts.  Jesus must be very proud of you.

Back later with the second-to-last BGJ blog entry.  Pretty soon, you'll have to read stuff I thought up totally on my own recently, instead of five year old recycled brain fodder.  Lucky readers!


10th BGJ Blog Entry

The TTC And You: Surviving Threats Of Strikes - April 11th, 2005 - 06:23 AM.
People have been complaining that I haven't posted a blog in a while, so I thought about what current Toronto topic I could bitch and moan about this morning, and found that the easiest fodder available to tear apart would be the TTC and their lovely habit of grabbing the city by the short and curlys and yanking until the commuters yell "UNCLE, YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!!!"
By now, everyone has an opinion on whether the transit service in this city should be considered an essential service. (Funny thing, Rob Ford's counsel is currently discussing this exact topic, five years after I originally wrote this)  I remember when the TTC went on strike in 1991 (a lifetime ago) when I was attending Scarborough Campus U Of T (University of Toronto, for those outside Canada.  See, I really am kinda edumicated), and the result was about a week of free transit. See, at that point the notion of really fucking over the company for a deal was a great one: cost the company money while not pissing off the customers of the service. It worked wonderfully, if I remember correctly, and not one angry commuter was in the bunch.
Flash forward to now. I read, in the Toronto Star, that the idea of doing the exact same thing was considered this year. Once. I read it once. Heard it on TV? No. Read it once. In all the articles, discussions, factoids, sound bites, and interviews regarding the possibility of common folk having to offer blowjobs to get to work this morning I heard that idea floated about in exactly one instance. And I know why the idea didn't get any street cred this time around. It's the city.
See, Toronto was a big city in 1991, but in comparison to the growth since then and the growth occuring right now, it was a baby back in the 90s. Add to that the knowledge that commuters on the whole are more apt than ever to bend at the waist and patiently wait to be fucked up the ass with fare increases without so much as a whimper, and you can see where the notion of free rides is passe. The cost of servicing the city (heh, heh) without a fare for even a couple of days could literally run the TTC out of business, and since the consumers are ready to bend over as usual, let's just inconvenience them like we always do. That'll work - no harm, no foul.
But wait - did you hear that? They're, why, they're complaining! The commuters are complaining! What ever for? Don't we provide dirty stations available to get mugged in for most hours of the day? Haven't we always strove for the best in broken down information banners? Do we not leave garbage on the floors of the platforms for people to enjoy and comment on?  What, we ensure that our vehicles are never on time, so what are they complaining about?  We even go out of our way to hire rude bus drivers and station attendants, so that people have stories to tell when at work or at home! Don't we do enough for this city? Don't they appreciate us at all?
No. And we won't until squabbles like this are privatized. Until then, you better make sure I'm not on the bus the next time you decide to stop for a coffee break for 15 minutes, or I'll finish the damn route myself.
(As I stated above, the Toronto city counsel is having this discussion in chambers during the current session.  Don't know what the result will be, but I do know what I'd like to see happen, even if I am moving out of country within a few years.  Oh, and for the record, as far as I am concerned Rob Ford is the best mayor the city has seen in my lifetime, bar none.)

X-Mas Morning

Guess this post renders the last post moot, but no surprise there.

Yes, once again I'm awake before the big ball of gases rises over the horizon, and for no apparently good reason.  Sure, I'm not feeling well for the umpteenth time this year, and of course I have no idea why...but if I wasn't feeling like crap and upset at what my life has become, I just wouldn't be me, now would I?

In four months and three days, I turn 40.  Kill me now, and to all a good night!


In Case Things Get Away From Me Tomorrow

Just in case I, for some unusual reason, get some sleep tonight, or have a good day tomorrow, for those of you who celebrate it, Merry Christmas.  I know you probably won't be reading this on or near Christmas Day, but knowing my life, I'll probably have tons of time to post, so things will more than likely proceed as scheduled.

On a more personal note, did you know that Swiss Chalet was closed tonight?  Something about some damn holiday...

9th BGJ Blog Entry

Fashion, From A Penis' Point Of View - March 29th, 2005 - 07:49 AM.

So. I'm male. While some of you might question the validity of that statement, it's true. Why is it then that I have such a keen eye for what women should wear in normal day-to-day life?
Ask our mascot. (The original BGJ website was for a pseudo-fraternity, and we had a mascot.)  She'll tell you. Just last Wednesday, or maybe Thursday, she came by the Frathouse and asked if I'd like to go shopping with her. You know, to get out of the house a bit and get some fresh air and such. Then, just before we're leaving, she drops the bomb regarding where we're actually going. Oh, we're going shopping alright - at a Fairweather clearance store! Yahoo, lots for me to do there! I can spend some real quality time in the electronics department...what am I talking about, there IS no electronics department! There is nothing there but women's clothing! There aren't even any shoes...
So, I ask myself, why am I here, because if there is to be any interest for me in this, well wubba-wubba-wubba-where the fuck is it? Those of you who know who I'm imitating, you know why I'm shaking my head at this point, and why my fingers are madly bouncing in opposite directions. You also probably know how my mind pronounced the words 'shoes.' Those of you uncertain of this should become immediately familiar with Lewis Black. A lot about me will become clear if you watch an hour of Lewis Black on DVD. But that's for another time...
The reason, as it turns out, that I'm in a women's discount fashion mecca, is that, as the mascot puts it, I have an incredible 'queer eye.' Thank you, oh innovation of the 1950s, for allowing me to be saddled with a description based on a show which airs on you that is the product of a table of executives at one of the major networks discussing how they could cash in on the sudden popularity of being a semi-invisible minority in the modern world, and make the public eat it up like lobster. But that's also for another time...
The thing is that, even without any fashion expertise, a member of the male species is quite able to help a woman pick out clothing that accentuates her assets. It's just that we don't like being forced to do so, because a month down the road when we're being asked if that skirt with the butterscotch flower print makes her look fat, well, we're fucked. And women know that we're fucked, and they like the fact that we're fucked, and they want to keep us in that position as long as humanly possible.
After an agonizingly painful hour-and-a-half, our mascot came away with some incredible new outfits, mostly thanks to yours truly, and while I had trouble walking afterwards, I am glaad I could be of some service. That isn't a typo; it is, rather, a humourous jibe at my new nickname, Queer fucking Eye! That's what she won't stop calling me! We go down to Blue Jays Way to grab lunch at the wonderful Leone's (related to Toronto landmarks), and she's calling me Queer Eye at the fucking table! I give up!
In the end, men, just follow these basic rules when stuck in a bargain house of sleeveless blouses and summery skirts: Don't let her buy anything black (there isn't a woman I know who doesn't have too much black in her wardrobe), keep light colours upward and dark colours downward, and make sure that at least one really bright piece of apparel goes through at the check-out counter. It isn't nuclear physics, it's just common fashion sense, and any man who can keep his mind off his Percy long enough to notice the world around him should be able to notice that these truths are valid.
Damnit, I am a fashion fag...
Oh...fuck it. Go put a flower print on, you're bothering me. And pull up your pants.

X-Mas Eve

Why X-Mas?  Well, the 'X' is derived from the Greek, where it is a short-hand representation of the name Christos, which is the Greek form of the name Christ.  Isn't that just terribly interesting?  No, I didn't really think so either, but if I wasn't dropping knowledge on you, people would think they were reading some blog from a cast member of Jersey Shore, and I'd like to think I can elevate my writing to a higher standard than that.

Then again, maybe I'm using it because the suggestion has been put forth by certain US Senators that X-mas is the pagan version of Christmas.  Would make sense, since it is widely known that the church chose to make a Pagan High Holy Day into the date of the birth of Jesus so that they could state that pagans were in fact Christians, celebrating on Jesus' birth rather than the Winter Solstice, even though the Bible itself offers proof that Jesus was in actuality born in a non-Winter month.

Of course, being Wiccan, I just might be biased about the whole thing, so I digress.

Either way, X-Mas also leaves out all other faiths, so to be fair I shall instead simply wish everyone Happy Holidays.  Oh, and a Happy New Year in advance!  You know, since everyone celebrates the new year at the same time.  Except the Chinese.  And Bengali.  And Rosh Hashanah isn't on January 1st either.  Hell, the Wiccan New Year is November 1st, so I don't even celebrate the new year at this time...

Screw it.  Joyous end of freaking December, can we at least agree on that?  What a stupid blog post, I'm going back to bed.  You try and say something nice to people...


8th BGJ Blog Entry

How Would You Like To Live To Be A Thousand Years Old? - March 21st, 2005 - 10:14 AM.

You read the title correctly. This is something that has been worked on for a few years already by certain people, who I will name and provide solid information for, and who no longer believe this to be a flight of fancy. This is real, this is happening, and we are more than probably going to reap the benefits within the next ten years. (Not quite, but possibly very close to that) I'm not full of shit; you can find this stuff out for yourself.  (In fact, the CTV News At Noon had a piece about this particular topic during the last few weeks, and I'll expound on that later)
Here we go:
Aubrey de Grey. Most articles or writings of this nature take a long damn time to give you the name, or to reference who did the original writing, and that is done generally to ensure that anyone bored after the first couple of sentences won't pursue it further. This isn't those articles. Aubrey de Grey is your man. And he's an educated man. This isn't a science fiction novel dreamed up by some jackass sitting in a pool of his own filth (though it could probably be argued that this blog is; not science fiction, but everything else could be said to be accurate...). No, this guy is a computer scientist, has written piles of articles in peer-reviewed scientific literature, and been featured in Fortune and last month's Technology Review, published by MIT (Original blog had a link here, but it's no longer active.  It was found at the Technology Review website.  Hunt out his name on Google or Bing, you'll find him). He has his own foundation. He has a New York public relations agency. He is also the instigator of the M Prize (M for Methuselah - see Marigold, I do know my Bible) (Marigold is a code name for my cousin - Hi cousin!) which will give a cheque for $1 million US to the first researcher who can make a pair of mice live for five years - three times their normal life span.
So, simply put, this guy has a head on his shoulders and the following to back him up. I'm not inventing this guy, nor, again, am I making this shit up. Keep reading.
Now, the question is how? How is this possible? Well, there is the common folk description, and there's the "Holy shit, there is no fucking possible way I'll ever understand all this" description. For the former, keep reading; for the latter I'll provide a link (Sorry, again, this link too has been removed due to it dead-ending on a missing webpage.  If it's any consolation, the link went to a page on the University of Cambridge's Department of Genetics website.). Also note that this link will provide you with an e-mail link directly to the man himself, so for the final time I'll say this, I'm not full of shit. If you do think I'm full of shit, fuck off and ask him yourself. This entry will still be here when you get back, and I'll still smile on you beautifically regardless of you doubting me. You little prick. Anyway...
The process will progress in stages. As the future unfolds, the stages will improve technologically, and the procedure (don't freak, we'll get to that) will become less and less of an ordeal (I said don't freak). The first stage is expected to extend the lifetime of your average human being anywhere from 30 to 40 years. I'll write that again, in longform: thirty to forty years. Even if started by someone at the age of sixty. Now, during that time, the second stage will be introduced to increase the lifespan even more, and the first stage will be improved.
The first step is this: Gene therapy has to be combined with stem-cell research.  (I think, but am not certain, that this is being done in Canada, leading to the aforementioned CTV News segment)
Controversy, more controversy, even more controversy, holy shit enough with the controversy, more controversy, controversy. Yes, we're in the same uncomfotable arena as cloning. Yes, we are dillying about with what some perceive as the natural order of the world. Certainly, we are at the very least futzing about in the playground of God. But should we? It is not could we - in all the years of scientific advancement and technological discovery, the question has never, ever, been 'could we?' Should we? Personally, I say yes, and not even for this purpose! Parkinson's disease. Alzheimer's. Multiple Sclerosis (I bet you people didn't think I could even spell that). Cancer. AIDS. There's five off the top of my head, and don't even get me started about replacement organ growth. The reasons to go this route are innumerable. So, fuck off with your 'cloning is an affront to God;' police these institutions and foundations, and if it will make you comfortable police the 'police' too. Just because an asshole can pick up the atomic bomb and blow the shit out of New York doesn't mean that nuclear energy is a bad thing. Proof? Fine, without World War Two, we'd still be trying to figure out how to get to the moon, and space colonization would still be solely in the realm of science fiction.
Now, the combination of gene therapy and stem-cell research needs to focus on one thing: Telomerase. Telomer-what? Telomerase. Its an enzyme, the enzyme in the body of every living thing, from tree, to orchid, to cute little kitten, to that old bitch down the street whose house is probably haunted by all the baseballs lost in her yard. And what is telomerase, you ask? It is the enzyme responsible for cell division, pure and simple. Eliminate telomerase, cells can't reproduce uncontrollably, and you just cured every old-age-related cancer in the world my friend. But, there's a downside. Get rid of telomerase and the replication of cells which need to divide, such as blood and skin, stops cold. So, the first stage of this treatment? Every decade or so, get a stem-cell injection. That's it. C'est tout. Are you hearing me? It is as simple as that.
Keep in mind, however, that this alone will not slow aging to a crawl. There will be other treatments; in fact there has to be other treatments, and some at the outset could involve hospital stays of up to a month. In theory, this could be reduced to less than a day within ten years, and ultimately be reduced to a simple injection or a pill themselves. The end result, however, would be a life as long as you'd ever want, except for murder and accidental death.
So, the next question is this: Why isn't this happening now? Why isn't the news flooded with this information? Well, a couple of reasons. First, I did in fact start researching this last night as a result of reading a newspaper article (Toronto Star, Sunday, March 20th, 2005, Page D3), so it is getting into the news (which, even with all the bullshit surrounding the U.S. presidency in regards to media manipulation, most people still consider information to not be valid unless it is in print in a reliable media source). Second, there are a lot of morality arguments about this, such as over-population and the problem of children. Obviously, taking this route could mean choosing between having or not having kids. Now I fall heavily on the 'not' side of this argument. Sure, when I was married, I felt that I wanted children, but since that fell apart I have rediscovered all the reasons I think negatively about that decision. (This decision has changed yet again with the introduction of the new wife - much to her and my cousin's relief)  The planet can comfortably support 6 billion people. We passed that mark in the early 1990's, if I'm not mistaken (the year may be wrong, but the number and the timeframe are dead on the money), and are likely to double that by 2012. And yet, we still see a Pope arguing against both birth control AND abortion, Third World nationality families popping out 3 or 4 children each AFTER having moved to a First World country (in other words, the kids aren't dying here in Canada, so the need to have 4 so that one will survive isn't the case anymore), kids are growing up in broken homes (1 in 2 marriages end in divorce), and people are actually using the argument that the birth rate will drop as a reason not to support gay marriage! I mean, what the hell is mankind thinking? Okay, I'm calm, not going to rant...I'm fine. That is a blog for another day.  (Apparently, a day that has not yet arrived, but you never know, 2011 is coming)
Third, there's the ethical God question. Sorry, Mari, but I gotta touch on this one. My argument is simple, and though I loathe myself for admitting it, it is one of the few things my mother ever said that I agree with 100% (and if you ever met the bitch, you'd know just how much this pains me to admit; if you never met her, consider yourself not only lucky, but look upon each day as a gift, and live your life knowing the sun has always shone more brightly on you than many other unfortunates on the planet). My argument is this: God, if you believe in such an entity, created the planet and everything in it; logically, He/She/It also created illness, disease, sickness, death, aging, mosquitos, the gunk that grows between your toes if you spend the day walking in the snow in boots, and Hitler. It also stands to reason that He/She/It also created (or provided the means to create) doctors, hospitals, bedpans, cremation, canes, flyswatters, athlete's foot spray, and the Thompson sub-machine gun. Oh, and don't get me started on the fact that He/She/It also had something to do with my mother, unless you want a really virolent argument involving terms such as "the pus-filled drippings from Satan's prick" bandied about (hey, piss off; language was God's too, so blame Him/Her/It). So, if God created sadness AND happiness, pain AND joy, then that means there should be an opposite to each and every negative thing you can name, and they are all right here on the planet, waiting to be discovered/created/synthesized (see also - Newton's Third Law Of Physics, regarding every action having an equal and opposite reaction). All we have to do is look. So, if God didn't want us to stop the effects of aging, it stands to reason that He/She/It should never have created Oil Of Olay in the first place.
Finally, the fourth and final reason: Some people think that de Grey is just stark-raving mad. I don't think I need to expound on this one...
What it all boils down to is this: People could live for a thousand years. The knowledge of what is needed to be done exists. The ability currently does not. The ability can be invented, and people are doing so right now. The problem as I see it is not ethical, moral, or any other kind of -al. It is this - people need to wake up to the fact that aging can be considered a life-threatening disease, one that needlessly kills 100,000 people a day world-wide, and it can be slowed and nearly stopped in our lifetimes. Show me the argument against trying to accomplish that. Don't argue the above points over again, argue why we shouldn't put our current technology to use in order to give our future generations the ability to choose to use this ability or not. Should we limit the future's right to choose because we find something hard to get our heads around? Think of the knowledge one could accumulate in a thousand years, the wisdom, the life experience. Imagine having enough time to do every last goddamn thing you have always wanted to do. Visit every country in the world. Hell, visit them twice. Have a career in dance, and then another as a teacher, then another as an author, and then another, and another after that. Have the ability to sit and watch the world mature as nations wise up to the horrible devastation being done to one another over misinterpretation of beliefs. Better yet, watch peace and intelligence wash the world anew. I think I'd like to be around to see that. Wouldn't you? At this point, you, reading this, may just have that opportunity.
That's something worth striving for, don't you think?
(Now for the information provided by the CTV News At Noon in the past few weeks:  They are already walking down the path, as we speak.  A segment discussed the fact that there are mice and rats being experimented on [no, I don't personally agree with it, but some things are a necessary evil] which are not only showing signs of not ageing, but actually growing younger.  So, while some readers of the original post chose to argue with me rather than looking into it themselves, I hope that those reading it this time will actually do some research on the subject on their own.)

Just Before Year's End, Saber Rattling Gets Loud

Okay, I promised not to write any blog entries about current events until I had finished posting the older site's entries, but I just read something that really gets under my skin.  So, sorry about breaking my word, because I hate doing that, but I feel I need to say something about this one.

North Korea, as it is being reported this morning as of 9:14am Toronto time, is threatening nuclear war with South Korea.  Now, they have both been guilty recently of threats upon the other, mainly in the form of training exercises to demonstrate military might, but this is going way beyond firing a tank or shooting a gun.  I am going to quote the CTV News article here as my source.  See if you can spot the word that gets me so pissed off.

POCHEON, South Korea — North and South Korea beat the drums of war Thursday, with each threatening the other with immediate retaliation if attacked. 

Seoul has staged days of military drills in a show of force meant to deter North Korea, including live-fire exercises earlier this week on a front-line island shelled by the North last month. Angered by the exercises, North Korea threatened Thursday it would launch a "sacred" nuclear war if Seoul hit it and warned that even the smallest intrusion on its territory would bring a devastating response. 

Have you spotted the word?  It is even in quotes.  That's right, "sacred" is the word we're looking for.  That really gets my nuts in a bunch.  Here it is, once again, religion being used to justify large-scale slaughter (and don't kid yourself, a nuclear explosion would cause EXACTLY that, whether to humans or wildlife).  Haven't we yet, as a race, gotten past the need to excuse our actions by blaming our right to do something on a deity?  Don't even get me started on the religious argument on it's own, just let me keep to this specific facet of it:  Religion has caused more and bloodier wars than any other possible incitement in the history of the planet, and while this war isn't being threatened over a religious dispute, religion is already in the fray as a reasoning for using the largest weapon on the planet.

Defence chief Kim Yong Chun said North Korea is "fully prepared to launch a sacred war" and would use its nuclear capabilities, calling Monday's drills a "grave military provocation" that indicated South Korea and the U.S. are plotting to invade the North. 

See?  Religion is not the reason for the dispute, it's just the convenient way North Korea is going to justify their use of a nuclear weapon to change the global map.

Kim told a national meeting in Pyongyang that the North's military will deal "more devastating physical blows" to its enemies if they cross into the North's territory even slightly. He also threatened to "wipe out" South Korea and the U.S. if they start a war, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch. 

As you can tell by the bits I'm quoting, I don't have to make this stuff up.

China -- North Korea's only major ally -- called again for restraint on Thursday.

And this is the problem.  The US is allies with South Korea, China is allied with North Korea, so what we're REALLY talking about here is a war between China and the Americans.

Now, who's up for a nice peaceful game of RISK?

CTV News article can be found here:


7th BGJ Blog Entry

Lewis Black And Americans In General - March 6, 2005 - 09:08 AM.

Well, Scott and I went and caught Lewis Black doing his routine at Massey Hall last night. I won't get too deeply into the particulars of the Hall itself, except to say never sit in the fucking nosebleeds. It isn't that we couldn't see or hear or anything, but the seats are wooden, and the leg room is missing so much that your average midget would have trouble finding a place to put his fucking legs.
Enough about that, since the front-of-house guy, noticing our plight - okay, we went and told him - changed our seating to 8th row orchestra, without even paying for the upgrade. Classy. Of course, the damage had already been done, but such is life.
Anyway, the show was great. Longer than expected, but great. Thing is, if you haven't seen Lewis perform, you might not be ready for the hatred and anger spewing from the stage, so the rest of this entry might seem a little over the top for you. Feel free to stop by (again, this was originally written for a close group of people.  If, however, I start having my readers from the UK and Russia asking to stop by, you never know - we do have a spare bedroom...) and request the viewing of his 'Black On Broadway' DVD. It is a great hour of his stuff, and makes Denis Leary look positively tame.
Now, he covered a lot of topics last night, but was mainly discussing the election last year (that would be Bush's win over Kerry) and the subject of gay marriage. In fact, I think it is safe to say that about an hour of the 1 1/2 he was performing concentrated on the gay issue, discussing the Bible, the differences between the old and new testaments, and how well his material is received in the Bible Belt of the southern United States. While a lot of it was funny, it was surprising just how much I was hearing my own views being presented on the stage, and the fact that he reiterated at least two times that he is not the only person in America that feels this way. In fact, he said a large amount of the population south of the border feel this way, and the numbers grow daily.
So, here are my opinions, based on my viewing the news, and absorbing any information I can find anywhere online or in hard copy. Keep in mind that anything in the following paragraph is what he agreed with and took a step further with last night. Any places that I can quote him, I will do so, but will not actually use quotes, in case I get the wording wrong. This, in a nutshell, is what he touched upon:
How the hell, after 9/11, can people be giving the tiniest shit about gay marriage? Shouldn't there be more important things to deal with? Terrorists - the only way to fight the Al Queda is to commit an act that is even crazier than what they are doing and scare the hell out of them, not a small feat when you consider that whether they die blowing Americans up or die being killed by Americans, it still results in martyrdom to them. Having Ronald Reagan serve as the U.S.'s first Dead President might've been a good way to go on this one. The Super Bowl Halftime Show is watched by many just hoping something terrible happens, and every year it doesn't is a huge disappointment. :: Remember, this is an American stating this :: We were right in not joining the missle system Bush is promoting, since when Iran gets the nuclear missle to launch properly off of the seven camels' backs, it would be ridiculous to think it would be aimed at us. The seperation of Church and State means that the discussion of gay marriage has no effect on the Constitution of the United States, and if anyone would take the time to actually read the damn thing, there wouldn't be any more discussion about it.
Now, that wasn't all he said, of course. He discussed evolution versus creationism, and had a great finishing line for that bit - and this one I can quote verbatim: "Fossils, fossils, fossils, fossils, fossils, fossils, fossils. Fuck you, I win." Simple as that. I won't get into what followed, but suffice it to say that strict adherers to the Bible reacted, oh, let's say slightly put out by that one.
So, all-in-all, it was surprising to note that a lot of how I view the world by simply being a relatively well-informed individual is the way a lot of people being directly affected by these topics see things: the same way I do. Of course, the man doesn't speak for the entire populous, and nor do I, but it is nice to know that somewhere, deep in the world's currently most distrusted country, there are those that look at their country and say, "Shit! We suck!"
Until next time, Dear Readers, try to stay north of the border.
Can't really say that much has changed since I wrote this, except America has a new president, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has just been repealed, but their government is still a big pile of steaming crap.  If anyone doubts this, consider just one fact:  The United States Senate was holding up a vote on granting 9/11 first responders health benefits that may in fact save some lives because the president wouldn't let the richest 2% of the country continue to receive Bush's tax breaks.  The Senators (Republicans, specifically) are willing to kill people, their OWN people, to help the rich stay rich.  End of line.

Gutrend Returns, Now Less Zombie-like

Morning again, Good Readers.  Went back to bed at around 7:15 this morning, and am back online as of now.  Just enough sleep to get through the day, not nearly enough sleep to feel rested.  However, I shall not let that interfere with my self-prescribed blogging duties, and later today I will in fact post the next in the series of past entries.  For now, however, I gotta try and get focused enough that I don't need to rely on Firefox's spell check ability to get words out onto the blog.

Back in a while.  Make yourselves at home, and feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Late Night, Or Early Morning?

Guess it's all how you see things.  The Einstein theory that time is relative to where you are and all that.  Well, since I haven't been able to get any sleep, I'm experiencing an illness that came on all sudden-like just before heading to bed, and I'm back at the computer to allow the wife to sleep so that at least one of us can be coherent tomorrow, I'm going to call it late night.  Of course, this will all be moot if I'm still sitting here in five hours when the planet revolves far enough to get the sun back overhead a bit.

Of course, those reading this in Asia or Eastern Europe will be doing so at a normal hour, so good morning to you all in that neck of the woods.  Neck?  Right arm?  Whatever, hope you have a good day.

With that, I'm off to pass some hours playing some hidden object games until my eyes go crossed.  Back later with more posts.


Saying Welcome, And Future Topics

I just wanted to drop in quickly and say welcome to the numerous visitors from the UK!  Wow, you've already outstripped my readers from the US!  Awesome!  Also want to give a shout out to my second hit from Russia, and a new one from the Ukraine!  Nice to have international readers, so hope you keep coming back - I'll do my best to keep things interesting for you.

Just to let everyone know, due to my posting of my old website's blog entries, I'm not writing any really weighty entries here until they are done.  There are twelve of them, and as you may have surmised we're halfway through them now.  So, it won't be long before I'm grousing about more current events, such as Wikileaks (maybe), Canada's Worst Driver Season 6 (oh, I'm pissed off about that show), and Coronation Street (and now there are people who know me that are shocked and surprised that I'm a viewer...rabid viewer to be exact) among other subjects.

Again, let me know if there is something particular you want my views on.  Just hit me up at and at the very least you'll get a mention.  Until tomorrow, take it easy Good Readers!

'Twas A Few Days Before Christmas...

And here's a holiday-themed video for everyone to enjoy!  SFW, but minor (very minor) lyric warning.

Oh, and this is also laugh-track free, for all you purists.

Input From The Audience

By the way, to anyone who happens to be reading...feel free to do more than digest my rantings and ravings here in the blog.  Even more than leaving a comment, if you have a topic of conversation you'd like me to address, please send me an email in regards to it, and if I have anything of worth to contribute to it I'll post about it soon after.  You can reach me at and until I start getting so inundated with emails that I actually have to post an entry asking people to stop with the sending of them, I'll be certain to at least mention you in the blog once I've read the letter, regardless of if I'm going to do an entry on that particular subject.

See?  You can seem like a close personal friend of some anonymous dick who thinks that his blog is a good way to reach out to the world and leave his mark for future generations!  Exciting, isn't it?

6th BGJ Blog Entry - This Is A Big One

Japanese Horror In The North American Cinema - February 26, 2005 - 18:31 PM.
So, I'm currently watching 'Freddy Vs. Jason' on TMN, and thinking about the direction horror has taken in recent years. The topic came to me as I was asking my father what it was exactly that made him dislike horror movies generally. He stated that it was a simple matter of not being scared by those types of movies. I attribute his answer as being to one of two things: Either not sucumbing to the 'suspension of belief' that most people need in order to enjoy the films they watch, or not having seen a movie that is really scary. Now, I know it isn't the first, simply because he has enjoyed the 'Harry Potter' movies as well as the 'Star Wars' and 'Lord Of The Rings' flicks. So, I figure it must be the latter, and this is what sent my mind down this track.
When I was growing up (okay, when most of us, Dear Readers, were growing up)(be aware that the original posting was for a smaller group of people, all around the same age), horror movies consisted mainly of a maniac wielding a sharp object of sorts hacking up a bunch of teenage girls. This was after horror having taken many incarnations. The old 'Frankenstein' and 'Wolfman' movies come to mind. And, of course, the famous (or, if you prefer, infamous) shower scene in 'Psycho.' Well, it was safe to say that over the period in between these classics the mainstream horror genre didn't change a whole hell of a lot. Oh, and by mainstream, I'm eliminating the bizarre and unusual - in other words, I'm staying away from the "aliens invade" movies, as well as the 'House Of Wax' types. Anyway, horror was in a groove, and it didn't seem likely to change, even with the introduction of a kid who attacked his babysitter, a kid by the name of Micheal Myers.
But then, in 1980, things changed.
That year, there was this little movie about a kid's camp on Crystal Lake, and a poor child who had drowned due to the inattention of the camp counselors. Very soon, the name Voorhees became a staple of scary nightmares. Of course, our leading man Jason didn't appear until the last 2 minutes of the first film, but with the exception of only one other movie, he became the object of fear for a new generation of people wanting to be frightened at the movies.
The 'Friday The Thirteenth' series of films is far-and-away the most watched horror series ever produced, and the first two in particular spawned a whole new genre of movies: Death By The Rules horror. See, Jason (and his dear Mama) wasn't just killing whoever seemed most vulnerable, he was very purposefully and delibrately putting the knife to teenagers who were exhibiting bad behaviour, specifically anyone engaged in sexual activity, smoking, doing drugs, or generally being a shithead. Not certain I'm right? Watch them again; being mean to someone else was one of the "crimes" punishable by gutting. And, while it is true that 'Halloween' was the first of what we would consider the new movement in horror, 'Friday' took it into a very specific direction. Not that it stopped people from having sex, smoking, shooting up, or pissing other people off. They just made sure not to do it in the woods.
Then, 1984 came, and the genre grew a bit. Now, it wasn't just forests and lakes up north that had people creeped out, it was - that's right - going to sleep! Yes, the 'Nightmare On Elm Street' series began, and Jason was suddenly sharing the spotlight with Freddy Kruger, the man of our dreams. Now, 'Nightmare' is accepted as the second most famous horror series out there, but if you do a comparison of the two series against each other, you'll notice that as the 'Nightmare' series matured, so did the integral plot of the series (except for number 2, 'Freddy's Revenge.' Let's all agree right now to never, ever, talk about that movie again, 'k?). While it was never made 100% clear until recently, Freddy had an agenda to fulfill, and while he also killed By The Rules, he had this higher purpose (something to do with being a fallen angel as a result of his birth story, him being the bastard son of 100 maniacs) to his slaying. Jason, well, he only continued to follow the basic "stupid kids keep coming here, so I'll just wait until they transgress and then butcher them." And, as far as numbers 8 through 10 (or X, for you purists), let's ignore they were ever filmed either.
So, here we are, early 80's, and we have the two granddaddy's of modern horror starting their bloody careers. Obviously, if you follow the numbers following the titles of the later films, they were both popular as hell right out of the gate. No pun intended. I think. I remember, as a lot of you probably do, going house to house on Halloween night while CityTv was airing the first two or three (depending on the year) 'Friday' movies, which you weren't allowed to watch, and so you had to try and peep a glimpse if you were lucky enough to have the door opened by someone watching that channel themselves.
However, eventually (read as mid 90's) the white wore off of Jason's mask, and Freddy's claws got dull. Soon, something would be needed to revitalize a languishing genre. And then there was 'Scream.'
Now 'Scream,' in 1996, changed the formula by first killing off a major star in the first ten minutes, and then threw out the rulebook by mocking the rules themselves and quoting the origin of them. Ballsy, but it worked. So far, the 'Scream' franchise has gotten to 3 films, but a fourth is in the works (Yes, even back then, 'Scream 4' was in development). One of the reasons for it's success is that the cast had more than two people who didn't die at the end of the films, and that entire core group came back for both sequels (and are all on for the next one). Think of it, a horror movie where everyone doesn't buy it! Why, that hasn't been seen in a popular horror movie since, well, before 1980, that's for sure!
And with that, the horror genre began to stretch it's muscles for the first time in about 16 years. Seriously, take a look at the genres' titles from 1980 to 1996. 'Pumpkinhead.' 'Silent Night, Deadly Night.' Fucking 'Sleepaway Camp,' for crying out loud! Pale imitations, yes, but also not deviating from the basic formula that went mainstream with 'Friday.' Oh, and yes, I'm fully aware that the 'Halloween' movies got a few Roman numerals after it's titles too, but again, 'Halloween' just never got the same following, and all you Micheal Myers fans (not Mike, never Mike, Micheal or I'll cut you up!) know it too.
Then, reality hit in 1999. Suddenly, three students who supposedly disappeared outside Burkettsville, Maryland, started getting a whole lot of press when their 'lost' footage was discovered and edited together to make a 'real' film. Enter 'The Blair Witch Project.' Now, love it or hate it, it was at least a new direction for horror, and while the best of this new direction went straight to video ('St. Francisville', anyone?), the face of horror altered again. Not much, but enough to make some great minds think ahead by looking behind...(This was all before 'Paranormal Activity' broke on the scene, remember, and I'll get to that at the end of the original posting.)
Late 1999, a 'classic' horror film was re-imagined, and a company based on the name of the original director was born, specifically to re-create horror movies from the past for a new audience. The company? Dark Castle films, named after the late William Castle, the innovator who gave audiences 'wimp out tickets' so people could get their money back if his movie was so scary they had to leave the theater. The movie? 'House On Haunted Hill,' with Geoffrey Rush seeming almost possessed by the ghost of Vincent Price, who's role Rush was cast in. The film was great, except for the awkward CGI at the end of it (computer generated images, for those of you living under rocks), but it was most notable for two things it brought to the horror genre. First, it let Hollywood know that remakes of old horror movies, as long as they are done to meet modern audiences' current expections, could become huge hits for any studio willing to pony up the cash. This has lead to a few other remakes, such as 'Dawn Of The Dead,' 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (the original, based on a true story, more or less, actually beat the reality-horror trend to the big screen by 25 years when it was released in 1974), and the upcoming release of the modern version of 'The Amityville Horror' (which is not, regardless of the book saying so, a true story), all of which (so far) have vastly exceeded the originals in the "get enough fright for your money" category. The other, more important boost for the genre was the introduction of what we "North Americans" saw as a new technical effect which bothered everyone I've ever talked to about it. If you've seen the film, you know what I mean when I say 'the herky-jerky walk.' Bugs the shit out of me, let me tell you. The funny thing is, it wasn't new, not by a long shot. It had been around for a while, in a little country in Asia...
Japan. Home of the oddest video games known to man, electronics masterminds, and, shockingly, the folks on the cutting edge of horror. Cutting edge of horror? What the fuck? How did that get in there? Very simply, actually. It all began with a little flick called 'Ringu.'
Hideo Nataka. Learn this name. Seriously, commit it to memory, because this is the dude responsible for the current revolution in horror on these shores. 'Ringu' came out in 1998 in Japan, and scared the shit out of the populous. Not because of "cat scares," but because of the refining, and redefining, of what we like to call "psychological horror." This is the stuff that bugs you late at night four days after you saw the film. Before 'Ringu' came abroad, psych horror was solely in the realm of classic Alfred Hitchcock movies, most of which were more "thriller" than "horror." Try watching 'The Birds,' and not paying close attention to the phone lines on your street for the next week or so. Good luck! But 'Ringu' got you on a more personal level, due to the oddness (see 'House Of Wax') of the video the movie is about, the movie within the movie if you will. 'Ringu' came out of left field when Asians saw it over there, and then a decision was made which we have not yet fully felt the effects of: Hideo Nataka decided to allow it to be remade for North American audiences in English, with a "Hollywood" cast. The result? 'The Ring.'
There's nothing I can say to do justice to the differences between 'Ringu' and 'The Ring,' mainly due to the fact that there is only one difference: The movie within the movie. In 'Ringu,' the "killer video" was for the most part disjointed words (admittedly nasty, violent, descriptive words) floating around the screen, interspersed with a scene that had a lot to do with the origin of the tape. 'The Ring?' The director decided to explain that plot point elsewhere (on a different, non-lethal tape), and with suggestions directly from Hideo himself, made what some have called an "esoteric student film," which others have called "some of the most disturbing images ever put to film, psychologically speaking." I won't get into what those images are, since the movie is worth watching for yourself, but you add that bit to a movie which otherwise was virtually identical scene-for-scene to the original, and was disturbing as hell in it's own right, and you have yourself the future of North American horror.  (Again, 'Paranormal Activity' was not even on the horizon at this point...)
People are also somewhat familiar with another remake of a Japanese movie, 'The Grudge.' This movie makes 'The Ring' look like a kid's film in comparison. Again, it is all about a totally different way of scaring the audience, and I don't know if it was Hideo that originated this style of horror in Japan, but thank you so much for making us wet our pants here in North America. Fans of horror will be glad to know that not only did he also okay a North American remake of 'Ringu 2,' but he's actually helming the new version himself. And it won't be long before we're all having the chills all over again, as 'The Ring Two' comes out in April of this year.
So, there you go. 'Freddy Vs. Jason,' the long-awaited melding of the two powerhouses from our youth, reminded me that "slasher" flicks are gone the way of the dodo, proven most convincingly by the fact that this movie itself is more of an action film than anything resembling the origins of either character. Nope, its Japanese cinema which is reinventing horror in North America in the early years of this new millenium. First they get us with Walkmen, then it's game systems, and now we're getting scared by their movies and having horrible dreams as a result. Wonder if Freddy is taking note? Until next time, Dear Readers, sleep tight...
When this post was originally written, it did indeed seem that the input Japanese horror was having on the North American movie scene was firmly changing the way studios were planning on scaring money out of their audiences for a long time to come, and I also know that I left out both the 'Saw' series and the 'Hostel' flicks from the original post as well.  There are reasons for those omissions, and the biggest ones are these:  the 'Saw' movies aren't horror genre, they are whodunnits with gore; the 'Hostel' movies are slasher porn, not horror.  Neither of them are scary in the sense of fear, and this blog wasn't about the revulsion factor, therefore I chose not to include those titles.

Today, of course, the biggest horror titles in North America owe more to 'Blair Witch' than they do to 'The Ring', and the 'Paranormal Activity' movies are, to me, the most frightening horror films ever put on a screen.  In the same way 'The Exorcist' scared the shit out of audiences that weren't prepared for what they saw in their time, I feel that the sense of 'this could be happening in YOUR house' that the 'PA' movies gives us is much more disturbing on a psychological level than any other mainstream Hollywood films that have come before them.  How do I feel about that?  Bring on 'PA3', October 21st, 2011!