The Unswung Bat

Friday, December 12, 2003
 
California, Here I Am!

2200 miles, as the crow flies! That's the distance between me and university, now that Andra and I have landed in Berkeley. Well, okay, we landed in San Fransisco International Airport. Then we took the bus. Know how much a student fare costs there? 35 cents. But we didn't count as students there. Damn politics.


This flag was hanging outside of the Berkeley YMCA. Cool.

We spent like fifteen hours walking around. It's like 70 degrees Fahrenheit and people are complaining about how cold it is. We're also in the middle of the Berkeley "Artisan Holiday Open Studios" festival. Which means a whole lot of arts and crafts are for sale, plus some pretty cool 'real' art. There was a guy selling inner-city subsidized birdhouses. And I have to agree, if birds had project tenements, that's what they'd look like. He told us it was a former crackhouse, but in good shape. See now, that's the kind of thing you just wouldn't say to a customer in Toronto. We went to a glassblower's. Check out my picture of him in action.


We weren't allowed past that railing, but I really wanted to help.

In his gallery he had a ton of glass things, many of them featuring Jesus, including one in which the son of man was nailed to the McDonalds Golden arches. Which is some pretty impressive glasswork, not to mention a venomous jab at consumer-based society, or something. The YMCA here is so cool I even took a picture of their parking lot:


They all parked there anyway.

Okay, so maybe that's not that cool. but the fact is, we're in CALIFORNIA right now. Has Toronto got its first foot of snow yet? Remember that winter when they had to call in the army to de-ice the roads in Toronto? Well their isn't enough frost in Berkeley to ice a cake, and that's such a clever wordplay that I'm gonna call attention away from it with this photo.


We can wear tank tops outside here. Betcha you can't, townie.

So, as you can see, the first day in Berkeley has been awesome. We're back at the Y now, Andra's taking a nap since she didn't sleep on the plane and we've been running around all day getting the most out of everything. Since Aunt Marty is paying for the hostel, I figured I could spare the $1.25 for an hour's blog in the computer room. Berkeley is fantistic. I want to go visit our old house, here, the one my family lived at when I was in grade three and we moved here for six months. Our landlord was an old hippie who changed her name to Avanda during the sixties, and it don't get much more awesome than that. It does get a little more awesome than that, though, because of the most awesome man in the world. You may have been wondering about him, who he is. We certainly were. It turns out that the most awesome man in the world lives in Berkeley, and we met him today. Here he is, you may now stop looking.


You know you can't top this.

That's all for now, more when I feel like it. Eat a snowflake for us.

- Andra/é

Thursday, December 11, 2003
 
And So This = Christmas


Christmas!


I got back from a self-imposed long weekend to find my alarm clock had been going off for four days. A bag of chocolate almonds equidistant from the window and the radiator is my thermostat. When they're too soft, I turn down the heat, when they're like rocks, I turn it up. I don't know what I'm gonna do when they're gone. It's gonna be so bad.

--

Well if anyone was looking for an amazing present for me, I got an idea. The Six Easy Pieces Audiobook is out, by one Richard Feynman, modern physics' best teacher. Now normally I don't go in for Audiobooks, since I tend to read with my eyes what other people have written with their hands. This one is different, though, since it consists of actual classroom recordings of Dr. Feynman's lectures. The man, in action, teaching his class. I've read the book and it's a beautiful piece of work, but when I saw this I got a little private smile and turned the book over in my hands a couple times before putting it down.

This was in a little shop near Nathan Phillips Square that I stopped in because I remembered that Luke was always looking for audiobooks for his dad, and this place, Spoken Word Audiobooks, sold nothing but.

I don't know if Luke would've been too impressed with their titles. He seems to buy his dad Highbrau non-fiction, mostly about history and technology. They did have the one book 'Salt, a World History,' that I recognized, and one I thought was kind of cool about the Oxford Dictionary. But if I could choose my christmas present, it would either be the Feynman lectures or seventy bucks to buy them myself.

Hey, speaking of choosing my own christmas presents, I'm making a christmas list this year, which I haven't done since I was like twelve. You should make one too, then send it to me. I'm gonna put 'em on the Xmas List clip. Put stuff you want to give to other people on your list too. And stuff you want people you don't like to get. Or whatever. Seems like a good idea at this time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003
 
Check it out, through the clever use of "stylesheets," and the not very clever "use" of javascript, I made me a little clipbar over there on de left hand side. W0rd. So, I am smart sometimes, though hopefully said smartness is not confined to the realm of blog-tweaking. Time may tell.

I promise not to abuse my newfound clipbar. Don't click on it right now, it don't go nowhere, but I'll tell you when it does.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003
 
Hat, Trick

I say Frencha forgot her hat by the window when she left. We found it on the floor. Someone had stepped on it. Dev was disappointed. It was a nice hat. I said if we clean the dirt off it it would look real fine on her. So fine.

She turn around once in front of me like it supposed to be dramatic, ballet, and she say "dammit, Sadman, I don't know how you expect me to wear a used hat!" I try to say it was still used before someone step on it but she don't like and she cross her arms like a lady. I say we take the hat anyway and she tell me fine. "You can wear it," she say.

I'm not really a sad man. I don't know why everybody don't call me Josh, which I am. But she say Sadman, she tell everyone Sadman, and now it looks like Sadman is how everyone gonna call me. I don't mind much, I just wish right now she stop talking about the hat.

She still talking. "I don't know where you get your ideas. I don't know what hole you gotta be born in to think I'll wear a piece a used garbage like that." In my head I tell her all her clothes garbage, but of course that's a bad idea to say in real life. So I just leave it in my head and I stash the hat in my pocket.

I check to see but Frencha's name not written in it. Too bad, I wanted to know. Guess she just gonna be Frencha. Dev get to decide everyone's name.

First thing I want is to do something with this hat, but Dev wants first thing a muffin. I say what about this hat and she say she can't believe I still talking about that. So I gonna say she crazy if she think we can go get a muffin but then I remember I got a toonie in my pocket. I fish it out and show her and we go down to Tim Horton's.

Round the corner on the way to Tim Horton's there a man in a toque with grey hair, sitting on his sleeping bag. He gotta go to the pool take a shower.

"Can you spare any change?" He shout out when we walk by. Dev wanna ignore him but I take the hat out my pocket just to show it.

"Look what we found!" I know Dev wants to turn around, say look what garbage I picked up, I mean, or some like that. She rather pretend she can't hear though, but the man like the hat. His eyes look at it like he sees a watermelon instead, or maybe a chicken. Maybe money. Some look though, and his mouth uncurl and his face get calm and excited.

"Hey I'll give you two bucks for that," he tell me.

Two bucks? Sold! I pick this hat up off the ground not ten minutes ago now it worth two bucks. Won't Dev go crazy when she see it not garbage after all? So the man go into his pocket and gimme two bucks, I hand him over the hat.

I catch up with Dev and she still acting like she know best. "You just found the only person dumber than you," she say, but she glad like me for the two bucks. She remember she got some money in her jacket and we can get a whole meal. Aren't we happy when we walk into Tim Horton's and buy a soup, a sandwich, and two nice hot chocolates.

The boy there come up to the counter take our orders, then he gotta mop the floor and he forget to get our money. I don't even remember we got to pay till we at the door, and he act embarrased when I tell him.

We got the soup in a paper bowl with a lid, and it feel hot until we get outside, then it nice and warm in my hands, better than mittens. I try to hold it close to my chest.

When we walk back past grey hair man he shout at us "Hey gimme some a that." Well, Dev look right at him this time and tell him what he thinkin'. "You can go get some food of your own," she tell him. He stand up when she say that, and he tall. He wear a sweatshirt too small that the sleeves stop a while before his wrists, and he look like a scarecrow made out of strong wood and no hay. I don't wanna fight him. I don't even think I can run away. So I tell him "what you wanna fight with us for? We just wanna get our dinner. You can go get your own for just two bucks."

What he mean buying a hat from me then asking me for dinner? He look at the soup that got steam coming out of the paper bowl, and the sandwich Dev carry, and the two hot chocolates, like he want them. A whole dinner so cheap and he don't got to fight us for it. "How can you get that for two bucks?" he say, so I tell him.

"Don't you know about the special?" I ask, and he don't know. So I walk him back to Tim Horton's to show him. "Here," I say, and he look at me without trust. "Yeah, two bucks," I tell him like he gotta go in, and I wave the soup around like it my point. "It a special order. This week. You can't just order, you gotta go tell the guy you want the today special."

Now Dev unwrap her sandwich real slow and take a bite, and man decides he wants it. He go inside, and the boy still mopping up. Grey hair man go up to him, and get his attention. He probly grumble that he want a special order, and the boy look up.

The boy say something sorry cause he didn't know man wanted to order, then he go behind counter and ask man what he want.

"Can I have the today special?" is what he ask the boy, and the boy say what? "The today special," he say again. Then the boy make an mmm sound.

"Sorry, we don't have anything like that, d'you want something on the menu?" And I guess he look behind him to show man the menu. Now the man angry and want to come out and grab us. Want to take the soup and then kick me, probably, but we been gone since he went inside. Walked away at first and then ran for it as fast as we could.

I got hot soup spill all over my hands and burn them, and Dev lose a whole cup of hot chocolate when she trip, but we stop in a park and I start licking the soup off. Then Dev takes the bowl to put it down and clean off my other hand and we catch our breath laughing then she sit me down to share the feast.

 
Look at How Much Wil Wheaton Looks Like Will P

Bye

Monday, December 08, 2003
 
Well Shut My Mouth


Try this out. Go, just for fun, and do a Google search for the word "failure," and just see what comes up #1. Is there . . . um . . . anything to say about that?

In lighter news, Byron has a band practice, so there will be no Jesus Christ Superstar. Shucks.

Abortions for all!

- Andre

Sunday, December 07, 2003
 
Space, the Mind Needs Space



Yep, Space is what it needs, and Time is what I got. Being that I finished my exams on the 5th - which means I'm done with school till Jan 2nd, I'm looking for some really cool things to do during my month off.

Looking far and wide.

See, Andra and I have made up our minds.

We're off. Off to see the world. It's true. We don't have that much money, but we're going where the going's cheap. God bless Travelcuts, Travelocity, and, umm . . . Travelomatic. How're we doing it? I've been working for the university all year. It's a pretty good deal. Since it's the university, they're pretty flexible about working around my classes. I do database and filing work, mostly, but the pay's good enough to launch us on our fantastic voyage.

First stop: West Coast. Berkeley, California, the coolest city in Those United States, and possibly one of the cooler cities in the world. Gonna spend the first couple nights in a student hostel - The YMCA, since you asked. I hear it's fun to stay there. It ain't cheap, but the best part is . . . my great Aunt Marty, the greatest great Aunt ever, is paying for our stay. She lives in San Diego, but she's quite a world traveller herself. By the time I'm her age, I hope I've covered at least half as many miles as she as. Also she used to design rocket fuel. So that's pretty cool.

But after that's over, we hit the hills. Since it's warm in California, we're bringing a tent. Camping out, wearing shorts in December. It's gonna be one fine time.

After that . . . we'll just see what's after that.




[edit] - I hope dave isn't mad at me. Not too mad, anyway.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003
 
Big Buildup, Minor Reward


Baron Munchhausen says:
yah
Baron Munchhausen says:
look i gotta go
Sugah Pie says:
quick, what's a good band
Sugah Pie says:
then you can go
Baron Munchhausen says:
it was nice chattin with u, but have to do more calc
Baron Munchhausen says:
good luck with phys and whatever is left
Sugah Pie says:
yeah, I gotta study more too
Sugah Pie says:
but wait a sec..
Baron Munchhausen says:
yah?
Sugah Pie says:
you still didn't tell me what's a good band. Quick! then you can go study and learn and be a doctor
Baron Munchhausen says:
a good band?
Sugah Pie says:
yup
Baron Munchhausen says:
like musical
Sugah Pie says:
k, then a good musical
Sugah Pie says:
o wait, sorry, I understood wrong. yeah, musical
Baron Munchhausen says:
ok
Baron Munchhausen says:
just a sec
Baron Munchhausen says:
i like Sam Roberts
Sugah Pie says:
cool
Baron Munchhausen says:
and some red hot chilly peppers
Baron Munchhausen says:
that sounded funny

 
Space Dash Space Andre

Well, Ian called me on it. I am, at least at the moment, in the grip of winter. But I only said one thing about him. One goddam sentence: "Ian, in touching postmodernism, believes he is playing with fire." And it's true. I'll quote him. Well, no I won't, I'll paraphrase.

  • We (can) rationalize all our decisions.
  • Our rationale is (or can be) conditioned by the same influences that act on our personalities and the actions themselves.
  • And then he started saying crazy things about fire.

So there you go, everything I said, you said already, Ian.

I didn't actually say any of the other things he attributes to me, but still, "the reader, if the writer is writing truly, will have a feeling of those things omitted as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water." Sure, in many ways I feel "philosophically ahead of him" (ya big jerk,) but that's just cause I've lived a little bit more. Doesn't change the fact that right now I'm not especially living. Aye, Ian, it's winter, somebody throw a snowball at me, quick.

Yeah, I've seen the end of the world, and it's hilarious.

My signature is,
- andre

 

Well it's a spade, ain't it?


After the stress part passes, better things will start to happen.

  • good things
  • interesting things
  • things that never happened

Till then . . .

I think I need to relax a little.


 
Internet Full Star Report: Crisis in Wasting Time!
By Many Dan

This week's items: Sucks, Boring-Ass, Not Awesome

Looking for something to do now that I've watched every Weebl and Bob episode ever, I stumbled back across good ol' exploding dog, which I haven't visited in a while. All the pictures are scary good, discouragingly crafty and wise. Makes me feel like Sam was born with something ordinary people don't have. Then I looked in the archives at the early pictures. Phew, what a relief! They just suck! All of them. Suck with a capital SUCK. Nay, a capital capital capital SUCK, 'cause that makes even more sense. As Max would say, suck-diddly-uck.

Good.

Inspired by the word explodingdog, I remembered Brendan and tried to find his blog (since I was sure he'd have a blog. I mean, come on. It's Brendan). Know how I found it? I guessed the url. Out of every possible url in the world I figured the one he'd choose was pretty obvious, and I was right. His blog is pretty cool, take a look. I'ma add it to my linksabar later. Now, onward and onward.

In a last-ditch effort to find something cool before resorting to studying for the English exam (actually, it's Western Tradition, which is mostly Greek. The only English thing we've read so far was Shakespeare, but I call it English, and you don't care, do ya?) . . . anyway, perhaps drunk on my sense of accomplishment from having guessed Brendan's blog's address, I optimistically typed in www.awesome.com, knowing full damn well that someone must own that domain name and hopefully was doing something worthy with it. Know what their website consisted of? A single page. Know what that page looked like? This. Now that my friends is just plain crappy. What does that even mean?

Me being in a hurry, this is a plain and boring entry, but here's cool news. The play is goin'. Inna meantime, all you bloggers out there gotta learn how to use paragraphs. Now I'm off the be traditionally western. Opa!

With chocolate-covered almonds,

- Rick Moranis



PS: Signing the guestbook is cool, sexy, burns calories, and fights terrorism. Crap, now I gotta bring Will groceries. He's in Rome! In conclusion, who in god's middle name is Maureen Gilroy? Whoever she is, by flagrantly abusing the blog signy generator and writing the longest signy ever, she's proven that she is definitely my kinda guestbook-signer. Maureen, wherever you are, the next song goes out to you. Interestingly enough, the next song appears to be Roxanne, by the Police.




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