Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Past Effort Reward

Dear Friend,

I am happy to inform you about my success in getting your winning funds under
the cooperation of a new partner from South Africa. Presently I'm in South
Africa for investment projects with my own share of the total sum. Meanwhile, I
did not forget your past efforts and attempts to get your winnings despite that
failed somehow.

I have made a deposit of $500.000.00 (FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS)in
addition to your lottery winnings of $5.5m now amounting to $6,000,000.00(Six
million United States Dollars) I have authorized the finance house to issue out
to you your international certified bank draft cashable at your bank and any
bank of your choice find below there contact information.


Ask him to send you the total $6,000,000.00 (SIX MILLION US DOLLARS)certified
bank draft Cheque, which I raised in your favour for your compensation for all
the past efforts and attempt in this matter.I really appreciated your efforts at
that time very much.

Secondly,you are hereby advised to stop dealing with some non-officials in the
bank as this is an illegal act and will have to stop if you so wish to receive
your payment immediately.After the board meeting held at our headquarters,we
have resolved in finding a solution to your last uncliamed problem.

So feel free and get in touch with the finance house(Mr.Larry Ben) and give
him your address where to send the draft to you or rather inform him about a-
telegraphic wire transfer if you like. Please do let me know immediately you
receive the Cheque to enable us share the joy after all the sufferness at that
time. In the moment, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects,
which the new partner and me are having at hand,finally,remember that I had
forwarded instruction to MR.LARRY BEN without any delay.

Best regards,
Mr.Jerry Pardi

This one is actually pretty good. "Jerry Pardi" has used constant run-on sentences to cleverly disguise the old "you've won a lottery scam". Of course, most people will realise that since they never purchased a ticket for a South African lottery, they will probably not be fooled. However, there are a few that might be taken in. The email also tells you not to talk to your bank officials, because it might be illegal. I have to say, the amount offered is quite hard to believe. Next time they might want to make it a little lower, say $50,000. I'd be more inclined to believe some random South African investor was going to give me $50K than $6m.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dream, starring Ewan MacGregor, Cate Blanchett, Stanley Tucci and Will Ferrell

What the hell do you want with us, Will Ferrell's hologram?

I am part of a large group of people living in a strange, arcology-like tower, locked up from the outside world. However, looking out of the window of the tower, we can see the city around us crumbling and turning orange, as if the buildings themselves were rotting away.

All I know about the tower is that it is rehab for some kind of addiction or condition, and that I, until recently, suffered from it. This is the reason that myself and the other inhabitants of the tower are kept separate from other people.

In this dream I am played by Ewan MacGregor, using his fake Southern accent from the movies Big Fish and I Love You Philip Morris. I'm not sure why this is. In one dream I had some time ago I was played by John Leguizamo, which is possibly slightly more accurate. Among my compatriots was a slightly debauched woman, played by Cate Blanchett, who was sexually excited by the thought of society disintegrating. And since society was disintegrating, she spent most of her time in a heightened state of arousal. Our other companion was a German athiest cop played by Stanley Tucci.

The overseer of this facility was our psychiatrist, played by Will Ferrell. He was only present in the form of a hologram. In addition to giving one-on-one counselling sessions to the inhabitants of the tower, he also gave daily pep talks in which he told us nice things, such as we were all progressing well, and our reintegration into society would take place soon.

Stanley Tucci and me, and a couple of others would get together and have drinks. Stanley Tucci kept bemoaning "the Christers" who required religion to help them get over their terrible affliction. He liked me because he thought I shared his beliefs. Together we hung out at the tower's rooftop swimming pool. We watched in severe shock as Cate Blanchett, floating on a lilo in the water and looking out at the decomposing landscape, could contain herself no longer and began gratifying herself with escalating fury.

OK, I started to think. Maybe people here are, in fact, crazy.

The next morning, we gathered for another of Will Ferrell's pep talks. We all gathered in the spotless kitchen, where his hologram appeared and began speaking in tones pleasing to our ears. But this morning I could hear something beind his words. I navigated myself into the corner of the room, and it was like I was peering behind his hologram. There was another projection behind it, and it was telling us we were useless, and dirty, and we were never going to get out. Ferrell was messing with our heads. What sort of freakish experiment were we living in? This moment of chilling realisation was when I woke up.

This dream is exceptional for a few reasons:
1) It is the first entirely Hollwood-cast dream I have ever had.
2) There appears to be some pretty significant backstory in it. In that respect it is similar to my vampire dream a few weeks back. Has given me an idea for a short story.
3) Stanley Tucci's performance was rock-solid.
4) Not many people can say they've seen Cate Blanchett vigorously pleasing herself. In a way, I have come closer than most. Let's face it though, if this dream was a real movie, then she would never have signed up in the first place.
5) Will Ferrell was actually quite frightening as the tyrannical shrink. If only he had that sort of depth in real life.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Help make 2012 No Remakes Year

Starship Troopers, now with added Gungans.

Dear Hollywood,

As much as I love Paul Verhoeven's classic Starship Troopers (1997) I have no idea why you feel it needs to be remade. It's perfectly good as it is, the special effects have dated well and the hilarious social commentary scenes are even more incisive than they were when it was first released. But why do you need to use your vast resources to provide we, the moviegoing public with a movie we've already seen? If I want to see Starship Troopers, I will simply pop in a DVD and watch it. I don't need to shell out $15 to see a movie I've already seen. This has been going on for far too long.

It was bad enough throughout the Naughties, but in the Tweens it seems to have got just so much worse. For instance, the Amazing Spider-man (2012). This is a reboot of a film franchise that was begun in 2002. That's just ten years. Is that how long it takes now for you to sell us the same shit that we already have? I loved the three Sam Raimi Spider-man movies. They were awesome. I can see why you might want to make a sequel to these immensely popular and successful pictures. But why, oh why, do you want to start the franchise again? The special effects look basically the same and the plot is virtually identical. The only difference is there are a bunch of new actors. I just don't get it. I don't get you, Hollywood.

I understand, that in some cases a remake is necessary, like for instance next year's Judge Dredd movie. This necessary to fix the horrors that you visited on us with the iredeemable nonsense that was the Stallone/Schneider Dredd back in the 90s. Even Star Trek - people liked the old characters and wanted to bring them back. It's been the 80s since they were all together. I can see why your people, Hollywood, might consider that a good idea from a creative standpoint.

However, my main issue with remakes is this: There is an enormous wealth of material out there that has never been adapted for the screen. William Gibson's Neuromancer still hasn't been made into a movie, although one has been in development for 800 million years and might well star the godawful Hayden Christensen. Why don't you finally film one of the most influential sci-fi works of the last 30 years? Think about it - It would be our generation's Blade Runner. That means you need to take it out of the hands of a music video director and give it to someone who isn't a complete hack. Also, what about that Preacher movie that we've been hearing might happen for god knows how long? Although I think it would be better making an HBO drama out of it, it could quite easily be condensed into a bankable trilogy, provided you don't fuck it up, Hollywood, like you did Constantine. I've always personally thought that Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix would make an excellent movie, although the title would probably have to be changed, lest idiots shamble in expecting yet another Matrix sequel. How about the Difference Engine? That would be an outstanding film? How about a good alternative history film, perhaps adapting a book by Harry Turtledove?

There is, of course, another idea. You could just come up with something original. If you gave me, or most of the other writers with whom I associate the sort of budget you have, we could create something amazing. Of course, you won't, will you, you'll keep selling us the same crap over and over.

Yours in hope

A very bored moviegoer

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Totally inequipped to deal with vampires.

Last night I dreamed that I was a suspended sheriff's deputy in a small town in the Unites States. Kaki, who was still my wife in the dream worked in publishing. I found out that she had been receiving mail from a serial killer in the hope of turning it into an exclusive book and making enough money for us to leave the one-horse small town once and for all. I persuaded her that we had to go to the shitkicking sheriff, and share all our information with him. Unfortunately, it was too late. We'd attracted the attention of the serial killer, and he'd come to town to make our acquaintance. Also, turns out he's a vampire.

People started going crazy and eating one another, but I still didn't quite realise what was going on. Not until the sheriff started screaming and driving his squad car around town, sirens on. I tried to wave him off the road, but he just powered towards me. I dodged him and landed in a pile of snow, and the squadcar plunged into a frozen lake. I dived in to try and save the sheriff, but when I got him out, I looked into his face and saw that he had changed. Suddenly he leapt up and started tearing at my flesh. A bunch of other townspeople joined in and started to devour me. So, I died. Cherry-coloured blood started flowing everywhere.

Apparently, when you die in one of my dreams, you float above your body and look down, while god tells you which of the beliefs that you had in life were misheld. The only thing I can remember god telling me was "William Blake is a liar". And then I woke up.

Several disturbing things about this dream:
1) I haven't had an "everybody is turning into vampires except you" dream since I was around 11 and snuck down to watch Salem's Lot. I attribute this to the fact I recently read Salem's Lot, and also Enter, Night by Michael Rowe, which is in many ways similar.
2) In this dream, the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians is basically my wife's fault.
3) My dream is trope central. From the shitkicker sheriff, the less experienced deputy, the one literary person in town, is basically ripped off from every small-town isolation horror that has ever existed. I bet the snow was playing havoc with cellphone reception in my dream, too. I can't believe my subconscious is so unoriginal. Must do better.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Agriculture

Dear Sir,

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria intends to buy 2000 (Two- Thousand) units of Tractors.With my very good and strong contacts in the ministry, I can introduce your company to the procurement committee of the ministry for the supply. Payment is by 100% Telegraphic Transfer in advance before delivery upon contract sign. Delivery period is 9 months, where partial delivery will be allowed Therefore if you are interested and agree to pay me an agreed commission after you received your contract payment, contact me as soon as possible for further details to recommend you to the Contract Awarding Committee of the ministry to handle the supply.DIRECT RESPONSE FROM THE CEO,OWNER OR PRESIDENT OF THE COMPANY WILL BE TREATED AS SERIOUS

Danladi Mustapha
Salimu Consults
No 67 Danubi Cresent
Maitama, Abuja

Now the problem with this scam is that unless the recipient owns a company that supplies tractors, they will not respond. Does this guy think that everyone in the west owns a tractor company? Was he trying to send the email to John Deere and it got sidetracked? We will never know. To top this off, there are no bold claims or references to Jesus in this one. Must try harder.

Hopelessly flawed: 0/5

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another videogame review

Fallout 3

Yes, I'm aware that while I'm playing this you are all playing Skyrim. Most of you were finished with this game in 2009. But I spent two years in the mid-naughties as a globe-trotting transient and three after that refusing to buy an Xbox because I was only going to move to Canada and leave it. Well, I'm here now, dammit, and I'm catching up. So: Fallout 3. For a start, I love the atmosphere of the game, and the desolate Mad Max-esque environments. I have had a wonderful time building my character - who I tried to make look like me but has ended up looking almost exactly like Gordon Freeman - and going round interacting with the different NPCs, getting information on the game world etc. So far, so RPG.

Fallout 3's best point is that its a fully realised, detailed world that sucks you in. The side quests are interesting, if a little silly sometimes, and just roaming around the world discovering things is very diverting.

Then there are the bad points. The graphics are, even for a game of this vintage, a little bit basic. The models look rather cartoonish, a far cry from the realist models we're used to seeing today. This could be a symptom of "You Just Played LA Noire" syndrome, but I'm not so sure.

The AI in the game is unmistakably rubbish, with most enemies running straight towards you ready to have their heads taken off in the VATS aiming system. It's this system that actually provides most of the combat-based fun.

For instance, my character is a gun freak who specialises in rifles. My two favourite weapons are currently a backwater rifle that I stole from some hillbillies in Point Lookout, and the other is Lincoln's Repeater, which I stole from, well, Abraham Lincoln. It's a long story. The VATS targeting system allows me to deliberately shoot a slaver in the torso to see if I can make him do a backflip. If you must know, I can. The slow motion kicks in and you follow the bullet as it fires home, in a manner reminiscent of old-school Max Payne. Most of the time though, you'll just find yourself shooting people's heads off and watching them fly off with slightly confused expressions. It's great, but it doesn't stop the game feeling slightly old fashioned.

Other bad points about the game include the fact that its buggy as all hell. Frequently weird things will happen, for instance robots will spawn high up in the sky and then drop to their deaths. I have no idea why this happens. NPCs that are meant to be temporary companions will disappear for no apparent reason. And that's not to mention the fact that the game (this game only) seems to overload my TV and make it switch itself off. I have no idea why this happens. Other, more graphically intense games play fine on my system.

I have the game of the year edition, which features a bunch of DLC. I haven't played the Pitt yet, but from what I hear its a hell of a lot better than Mothership Zeta. That was a lot of dungeon crawling, with repetative enemies, for not much reward. Point Lookout, on the other hand, was much better. Interesting missions, different enemies, new weapons, a whole new map to traverse, good times. I would be hacked off if I'd shelled out money for Mothership Zeta though.

I know I'm complaining a lot, but this really is a good game. It's immersive and fun. I just wish I had played it three years ago when it first came out. In three years time, I'm sure I will enjoy Skyrim in the same way.

Monday, September 05, 2011


I'm still alive, god dammit.

Haven't posted in a long time. It's because I've been busy with numerous writing projects, playing xbox and being a tourist.

I'm gainfully employeed by the cabal of magnates and bankers that secretly run the world, have been sampling a lot of local brewers and restaurants, so generally things are good.

Here are some things I've learned since moving to Toronto:
1. Toronto drivers are throughly irate people
2. Key lime pie gelato from Gelato and chocolate amaretto with chips from Marble Slab are the best ice creams in town
3. Street crazies are everywhere - Mr Peru, the Punching Man, Street Jesus, "They Shot Me Bro" and Man Who Thinks The Police Are Poisoning His Food are some of the best
4. Cufflinks are awesome
5. Mopeds are deathtraps
6. The two guys who work at the pet store on Yonge Street will let you bet on chihuaha fights

I also finally got an Xbox, so here are some reviews:

1. LA Noire

I'm enjoying this one. I like the interrogation aspect of the game, and looking for clues, but I feel the game gets bogged down in some of the action scenes, such as the boring chase scenes in which you just grab the controller and press forward to run after a perp. Also, there's nothing worse than accepting a street crime mission and then having to drive the whole way across the map - which must take at least ten minutes - to get there. There are also bits I noticed where the scripting is off - characters will refer to clues that I never found or allude to pieces of information I was never able to worm out of the suspects. Also, I don't really get how an LAPD detective is just allowed to drive around town stealing cars and persecuting the universally criminal denizens of 1940's LA. Maybe it's because Phelps is such a massive jerk. It's true, he is. A total tool. I was pleased that I guessed who the Black Dahlia killer was before the big reveal though.

2. Mortal Kombat

Check out that screenshot from one of the minigames in Mortal Kombat 9, when Scorpion, Subzero, Smoke and Reptile are forced on pain of disembowelment to play sub-par pub-rock for the amusement of Shao Kahn. The graphics are so lifelike. Mortal Kombat is, obviously, about blood and boobs. And you'll get plenty of that. The violence is - and I don't say this very often - almost sickening in places, but if you play it for long enough you get desensitised to it and probably then start disassembling neighbourhood pets in your garden shed before angrily shivving pedestrians with a screwdriver on your way to work. The game is, as expected, excellent in versus mode, and includes lots of challenges, but the story mode is a victim of the easy-easy-easy-hard syndrome. It's like a Nirvana song: quiet-quiet-quiet-loud. Except you sprint through the rounds kicking crap out of useless characters like Sektor and Kitana, but then coming up against - to pick two names out of a ridiculously irritating hat - Shao Kahn or Quan Chi. Especially given that the latter seems always to be equipped with a character in tow to add as henchman, if his unblockable attacks weren't difficult enough as it is. The only thing to do is turn the difficulty down to beginner, just get through it and move on.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Finally finished watching Game of Thrones

Warning, contains very mild spoilers. Not nearly as bad as the one I got from Stuart "Pot" Clark, though. Thanks for that, by the way.

Yes I did. And I enjoyed it very much. The only thing I didn't enjoy about it is that it is in a number of ways very similar to the novel I have been writing since 2007. So, that means I basically have to change it or risk being accused of plagiarism. I mean, if you're writing a political fantasy novel, there's obviously going to be a bit of subject matter overlap, right? No one will nail me to the wall for this, will they? This is worse than the time Graham wrote 1984 and it turned out George Orwell had written it already.

Oh well.

I enjoyed Game of Thrones greatly, and I feel I must give special mention to the actor Peter Dinklage for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister. I'm sure he knows how fortunate he is to have landed what is probably the best role ever for an actor with dwarfism, and he injects it with so much quality, so much sadness, bravado and pithy humour that you can't help but be drawn into his story. Tyrion is by far my favourite of the characters in the series, mainly because he's out for his own interests, and unlike his brother Jaime, who pretends he doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks about him, genuinely doesn't. He is quite simply past that. He is a hugely contradictory character, seeking his father's approval on one hand and hating him on the other, revelling in his own ghastliness but capable of acts of unselfconscious kindness. Best Tyrion bits? Well, when he gives that little ingrate Joffrey a well-deserved clip round the ear for starters. I could watch that all day. His "trial" at the Eyrie, with his complete lack of respect for his captors and his punk rock curtsey as he walks out a free man. When he helps out Bran - "I have a tender spot in my heart for bastards, cripples and broken things". Basically, Tyrion is best on account that he gets the best lines, and in general gets with the hottest ladies on the show. I therefore confer upon him the title of badass. Can't wait for the next series.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Dropping eaves

Overheard snippet of conversation a while back:

"Maybe this time I get a lawyer and SUE Brown Sanjay."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Because you hate news

As Chuck D once told you what time it was, I will tell you what the news is:


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

E-mail to Inside Edition

Hi there,
Just thought you might like to know that in the 'foreign language syndrome' story on tonight's show, you made a glaring error when you showed your map of the United Kingdom or 'Ireland' and 'England' as you described it. The island of Ireland is divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Mainland Britain is divided into Scotland in the north and England in the south, with Wales in the west. Scotland and Wales are not part of England, but are part of the United Kingdom. Please consult an atlas next time you decide to show a map. With television like this it's easy to see why Americans have such a reputation for knowing absolutely nothing about the rest of the world.
David Blackwood.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Mr Peru

Mr Peru plays chess in the street on a giant, homemade board. He is the only chess player I have ever seen with a gimmick. Mr Peru's gimmick is that he is an Inca, which he illustrates thusly: he wears a fedora with 'Inca' written on it, and adorns his neck with gold. I wonder if there are other chess players wandering around with similar gimmicks.

Mr Peru's story is written out in slightly imperfect English on the ground beside him. It says "Chess genius, Mr Peru beated his father when he was four years old." and then in larger writing, it inexplicably says "Mr Peru, Chess Genius, Actor, Dancer, 8-year-old boy." Mr Peru may have been an 8-year-old prodigy, but he's pushing 60 now. When I went by he wasn't playing chess, he was attempting with some difficulty to change the batteries on his CD player. I wonder what music he listens to when he plays? I shall never know, unless I chance to see him again.

I would quite like to see him face off in a street chess match against a voodoo chess witch doctor, or perhaps a man claiming to be an android.

Just remember the old Italian proverb: After the game the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


...Then why not try Crebb’s BRAIN LINIMENT?
Merely massage a generous dollop of CREBB’S BRAIN LINIMENT into the temples thrice daily and within ONE WEEK, we GUARANTEE a PLEASANT return to RELATIVE NORMALITY.
MRS E SNIFDOR, Castle Gait, Amberlon, used to suffer from ANXIOUS TREMORS, TERROR and a shocking LACK OF CONTINENCE.
“I was crippled by ghastly thoughts and sickening paranoia,” she tells us “as well as the physical ailments of BRAIN SICKNESS including rheumatisms, bloodened stools, jawing and rickets. My husband was at his wit’s end with my WHINING and NAGGING! But now I no longer worry about money, my appearance, impending social change or catastrophic world events! Thank you, Dr Crebb!”
Crebb’s BRAIN LINIMENT may look like an ordinary white cream to the untrained eye, but take a look under a MAGICAL MICROSCOPE. The liniment is full of TINY PIXIES who go to work on the cerebellum, killing the EVIL SPIRITS with swords of MYSTICAL STEEL.
Based on a secret ancient Cathenian recipe, Dr Crebb is the only physician in the land able to recreate CREBB’S PATENT BRAIN LINIMENT. Accept no substitutes.
Available from all good apothecaries, herbalists and tinker warlocks.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I give my endorsement to a sign for *my* art exhibit.

Here's a picture, as promised, of the Ontario School of Art and Design. Look at it. Look at it. What on earth was the designer trying to say? It looks like some sort of extra-terrestrial pixellated insect is trying to couple with the normal building next to it. I think the red blocky thing might be its genitals. Since the other building doesn't have any genitals the red blocky thing seems just to be busting through a wall, possibly into an atrium full of astounded students, which it would fill with its outer space sex-goop. Disgusting.

In other news, I also shaved off my beard. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I fear I have made a terrible mistake. It was wiry, curly and uncomfortable, and a Hasidic Jew did give me a nod the other day, but now i just look like any other norm.

Here's how it happened:

The way a beard should be worn.

The Shitkicker: Which crime has he committed? A prize for the winner.

The Cavalier

The Edwardian Gentleman: I am off to the Great War.

Der Fuhrer: The inevitable, tastless Hitler 'tache.

Beard all gone. Weep.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Forget it, Jack. It's Chinatown

Because I forgot Kaki's camera today, I didn't get any amazing pictures of the stuff I saw. Instead here's a screenshot from Capcom VS SNK which I aim to play at the dirt arcade soon. Here yoga-pyromania expert Dhalsim takes on Mai (or Ridiculous Big-Tits as she is known in some circles).

Another fine day. I took the streetcar down to Chinatown and walked around basically looking at stuff. I went into the weird Chinese malls and located an underground arcade full of retro SNK games that will be coming back to at some point with a friend (when I get some friends). Then I did some shopping, picking up some kimchi and miso paste, things I have been without for some time. I also found some nice looking restaurants and noodle bars which I shall have to return to. I further took a walk up Kensington Avenue and located somewhere to bulk-buy Jamaican patties, which pleased me no end. I road tested them, of course, just to make sure they were good.

After that I wandered in the direction of downtown, taking in the weird archi-turd of the Ontario College of Art and Design - big speckled block on multicoloured stilts. Weird. Found some nice looking Indian restaurants, gaped at the CN tower in all of its inexplicably pointy glory, before walking up past the Rogers Centre and the Steam Whistle Brewery (located in an old trainyard, and actually sporting a working steam whistle), before going under the Gardiner Exressway and walking around the waterfront for a while, which is more or less abandoned at this time of year. I'll come back in summer, whenever the hell that starts.

All the time I was filled with a tremendous feeling of wellbeing, like I was actually doing something I should be proud of doing. I feel more stimulated than I have been in a long time. When I was away in Japan, I always used to wonder what people would think if they were able to see through my eyes, and see the places I was and the people I was with, the things I was doing. Maybe I'm just the product of too much television but even in my own brain I somehow expect there to be an audience. I know other people who have the same problem, one way or another, chief amongst them being Mr Graham "Feathro" Neale. I always feel like I'm being watched, by somebody, maybe someone I went to school with or used to work with, not necessarily even someone I know very well or even like. I feel like somewhere, the audience is flicking channels, idley, looking through people's eyes. And while I was in Kirkcaldy, I always felt like when they came to me they would be bored, somehow disappointed. But when I was in Japan, I felt like they would be envious and impressed, and feel like I was somewhere remote from them, living life to the fullest. Maybe that's the crux of it - I just want people who have previously thought themselves better than me to be jealous. To spite those who would judge me by experiencing things that they never will. If that's it then I probably am a very sick man. Well, at least I'm having a good time.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


If you are looking for a thoroughly good and cheap burrito experience, you could do a lot worse than Quesada at Yonge and Eglinton. I got a coupon through my door and we thought "why not?". I was not disappointed. For five dollars I got a big fat chipotle spicy chicken burrito with all of the trimmings. I asked the guy for more jalapenos and he seemed to take this as some sort of disparagement on the spice level of his burritos, so he insisted that I take extra hot salsa and then made me a special hot mayo sauce of his own concoction in some sort of attempt to bring me low for being so bold as to assume straight off the bat that I could handle anything he could offer me. My god that was a fine burrito. I slopped the hot mayo sauce all over it and devoured it hungrily. Two thumbs up.

We also had a first rate Korean barbecue last night downtown. The place was called Korean Grill House and is opposite the Brass Rail Tavern, certainly the most shamelessly constructed strip club I have ever seen (European style "interactive" lap dances from FULLY NUDE strippers!). For the princely sum of 17 bucks each we received more meat than we could conceivably barbecue. I also had a number of Molson Canadians, which aren't considered a premium beer, but I found quite crisp and refreshing. Later on, we went out to a couple of bars and I had Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale from the Flying Monkey Brewery in Barrie, Ontario. It was pretty dark, floral with a hint of grapefruit. Interesting stuff.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Big giant truck

The Dodge Ram 1500. Not actual size.

I'm a basically liberal European who cares about the environment and civil liberties, so why do I want one of these? It's about the most unnecessary and impractical vehicle I have ever seen. It's big and huge and must burn at least one diplodocus every time you take it down to the supermarket. How would you park? Would it even fit in the space? It's surely a car for red state Americans who say the Civil War was about states' rights and pronounce 'Iraq' 'Eye-Rack'. Yet quite a lot of urban Canadians also have them. Strange. Maybe it's the chrome. Delicious chrome.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Economic migrant

Well, I'm here. I arrived yesterday morning after a delayed flight on which I seem to have picked up some form of lurgee. A shame, but some self-medication and I will be good as new. I digress, I had to go through immigration where a few disinterested people asked me rudimentary questions and then sent me to a desk where I was issued with an immigrant bag and a bunch of materials to help me settle in Canada. Pretty useful I suppose. Two magazines 'Canadian Immigrant' and 'Canadian Newcomer', an organiser that reminds me to get a job and a calendar with Canada facts on it. To be honest, I was just surprised that my beard had not singled me out for a stripsearch or anal finger-raping, and gladly disappeared to the baggage reclaim. There I found the axle of my mighty rolly suitcase had been broken in the flight. Perhaps I can get some money back from the airline...

Kaki picked me up, and it was so good to see her after so long. She's looking hot. I think having less of a couch potato lifestyle like we did back in KDY is treating her nicely. She says she's out doing stuff every other night, so that's pretty good. We went back to our "flapartment" (a new word I have coined in the spirit of compromise) for a smoked meat sandwich, which even though it wasn't quite on a par with the mighty Schwartz's it was still warmly appreciated. The flapartment is brilliant, fully great and there's absolutely heaps of space for having people over. The thing I like best is the dining area where I'm sitting now. Good dinner party space. The table is nice and I will require to buy coasters. So, after nipping to our local mall (5 minutes away, and complete with cinema) and picking up the few inevitable items I forgot, we went to pick Bridget up from work and give her the car back. As I have possibly mentioned before, Bridget works in TV, so I got to have a snoop around a TV station as well. Unfortunately, by this point I was more or less crashing, so it was basically time to go home. Tomorrow I get a bank account, arrange insurance, buy exotic cheeses and eat a curry in Little India.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reviews from the B-Movie Death Dungeon

CyberTracker: Absolutely chock-full of explodium

The following was completed with me at least slightly drunk and Blair “Dream Eater” MacDougall under the influence of Orange Concoction.

Project Vampire (1993) – Blair says 2/5, Dave says 1/5
A vampire scientist attempts to cure vampires' aversion to sunlight. Only some goober with the unlikely moniker of 'Victor Hunter' can stop him, with the help of the most stereotypical asian ever and some woman. Not even a reasonably pleasing pair of breasts can salvage this. Note the looped, speeded up car chase footage. Very Mitchellesque.
Blair: "So bad it gave me diabetes."
Dave: "Worst fighting in any film, ever. It makes Shatner look like Bruce Lee."

CyberTracker (1994) – Blair says 5/5, Dave says 5/5
Eric Philips (Don 'The Dragon' Wilson) is a secret service agent who has no friends, gets drunk with his computer and takes a lot of unnecessary showers. He is hired to protect a senator who advocates the use of large, bald cyborgs to apprehend criminals. Unfortunately, he turns out to be a lunatic and when Philips shops him for murder, he ends up with the CyberTrackers on his tail, as well as a weak, Australian version of Steven Seagal. There is literally nothing in this film that doesn't explode.
Dave: "A masterpiece. Don The Dragon’s facial expressions tell all."
Blair: "Cybertracker is a vision of the future where everything spontaneously blows up. That’s a future I can get behind."

Break for munchy boxes courtesy of our sponsor, Seven Spices.

The cover of the DVD case for Plankton. It's important to note that this girl is not in the film.

Octopus (2000) – Blair says 4/5, Dave says 4/5
Radiation creates a giant monster Octopus. It attacks a submarine carrying a rookie FBI agent and a deadly terrorist. Private Frost from Aliens is on board. CGI hell breaks loose. Octopus gets hold of an ocean liner full of passengers and it's Shark Attack III all over again.
Blair: "Having Han Solo playing the character of Captain Shaw was an astute piece of casting. I have a feeling that no-one involved in this film has any idea what an octopus actually is."
Dave: "Also, did you notice that everyone involved in the making of this film had an ‘ov’ at the end of their name? The look-alikes of Keanu Reeves, Rutger Hauer, Viggo Mortensen and Amanda Seyfried all did a commendable job, but Ricco Ross deserves an Oscar."

The Klansman – Blair says 2/5, Dave says 2/5
This was a mistake. From a trailer I saw, I believed it to be an action movie in which Richard Burton takes on the Ku Klux Klan. Actually it's a Faulkneresque psychodrama. There is a little bit of laughable drunken karate from Burton, and OJ Simpson does kill off loads of racists, but I can't say I enjoyed it. Apparently all people do in the south is rape one another and set crosses on fire. It makes me not ever want to go there. Weirdly, the town's Klan-supporting mayor is played by David Huddleston of Santa Claus: The Movie fame.
Blair: "The Klansman is a film. The moral of that film is 'Don’t fuck with the Juice'."
Dave: "It’s no Where Eagles Dare. Burton is still a powerful force, despite his pitiful attempts at a southern accent."

Creatures from the Abyss AKA Plankton (1994)
I have lost the sheet for this one,and Blair had to get the bus halfway through. So this review is incomplete. I for one give it 5/5 for the scene in which a mutant fish has sex with a woman, and then its eyeball falls out and goes down her throat. The plot concerns five teenagers who get washed out to sea in a dingy and climb aboard a deserted yacht, only to find that they have been infected with an evil fish-sex disease which starts turning them into monsters. Crudely dubbed from the original Italian.
Blair: (Mutters something about dubbing before leaving)
Dave: Fishsploitation at its finest. Worth watching for the bizarre moment at the end when the last living teen arrives on the bridge of the yacht and sees his fish-infected former best friend unlocking a glowing panel on the wall before yelling: "OH NO, WHO OPENED THE RADIOACTIVE CORE!" whereupon the yacht explodes. At no point is it explained why the yacht is nuclear.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011



Here I am. You see, I am the media. I have a twitter now. Seek me out, cadres! If I express this incorrectly remember it is because I am basically a bumpkin:

I aim to beat Ashton Kutcher by at least next week. I already have Tyra Banks, Peewee Herman, The Onion, John Cusack and Charlie Sheen, not to mention at least three members of obscure 90s metal act Bugmonkey!. It's like collecting these old Panini sticker albums except, y'know, with people. Which is a lot more sinister than it sounds when you think about it. I already have one follower. I have no idea who the hell she is.

Two more weeks in Scotland from today. People from the old country, get your fill now. Those of you in the new world, get ready. The British are coming!