You know those moments in films - where random guts and/or water hit the camera lens - they are there to shock you. They shake you out of your seat! They add to the realism of the film! They highlight the tragedy and/or humanity of a life lost by an explosive device and/or hand-made prison shank! They bring the experience of exploding death right into your living room! They can break the fourth wall.
My excitement to see this movie borders on cliche: like a kid watching the clock tick down the last seconds until summer vacation, or trying to fall asleep on Christmas Eve, or approaching the gates of Disneyland. All readily accurate cliches. Due to a weekend of various birthday celebrations, I won't get to see it … Continue reading Let the Wild Rumpus Begin
Filmtoberfest was this past Saturday, so that explains my: a) lack of blog posts, b) lack of sleep, c) lack of a balanced diet, d) lack of a social life, e) any other number of reason why I've been general weird(er). The night went off with minimal hitches, and they were all technical, so - … Continue reading On to the next project that will encompass my entire waking life for the next several weeks.
Shannon and I have decided that we're sick of being fat bastards and have implemented a fitness regime into our already pretty groggy lives. Shannon's going to be a doctor one day, so I understand her desire for general health. Me, however, sometimes I feel like I'm a write-off, but sometimes I fantasize about being … Continue reading Q: What has two thumbs and is the leading candidate for first victim of the zombie apocalypse? A: This chick.
my latest cinematic exploits In my never-ending quest to work for free, I caught two press screenings for Press+1: Whiteout and The Informant! One was fantastic and the other was terrible. I'll leave you to guess which is which. It's been nice. Seeing films. I haven't seen anything else since, rented, theatrical or library-loan or … Continue reading The Good, the Bad, and Daniel Day-Lewis
So I've been hectically planning for Filmtoberfest, which lands in approximately three weeks. I'm on schedule, but I can't help but be stressed to the hilt. Even as I write this, with full intention not to recapitulate the minutia of details about what exactly I need to do, I can't help but feel as though … Continue reading Too busy to overthink trivial things so I thus must underthink the extremely important.
What comes first, the writing or the apathy? Last Sunday I was interviewed on the Storytelling Show on Vancouver Co-Op Radio (CFRO 102.7 FM) by Taryn Hubbard, my partner in crime for the epically infamous artlit zine, Hacksaw. I managed to escape the hour-long interview without sounding like anything you'd buy at Home Hardware (read: "a … Continue reading We Want the Airwaves, Baby
This month has been quite the maelstrom of epicness. Well, not in regards to my life, but in regards to those around me. Of the people I know, more have come out of this month married than divorced, so that's always nice. In addition to the newly crowned Darcie Adkins, nee Vaillant, Caitlyn LePard, one of my dearest … Continue reading Uber-epic-osity: John Hughes-style plans for a comedy-rich hypothetical wedding
(Shameless plug alert) We, the lil' indie folks at QLP, are getting ready for Vancouver's inaugural Filmtoberfest and we need your films! Yes, your short films. Or films about shorts. Either is good. However, anything over fifteen minutes is probably too long. So are capris. Anyway, Quarter-Life Productions, in association with 591 Productions, are currently … Continue reading Filmtoberfest – seeking your (preferably non-porn) short films
There is a theory of evolution that argues that, rather than evolutionary change happening at a constant rate over a long time, changes happen quickly - remoulding the population at a relatively quick pace - then followed by a long period of stasis. Visualize the path from single-cell organism to human being as a set … Continue reading Peaks and Troughs and Tweaks and Prods
I think my tea has arrived. I got home yesterday at approximately seven-thirty-eight post meridian, to find a "sorry, asshole, you weren't home" slip from the postie. "My tea!" I exclaimed, the blood rushing to parts of my body it has previously ignored. I ran up to the post office, only to find it closed. … Continue reading All day I dream about… tea.
So we visited my grandma yesterday, as I said we would. It was not as bad as I thought. From our last visit (my first since she was in the new place), I was worried she wouldn't remember moving in there and that this explaining things to her would be a permanent loop; Groundhog Day … Continue reading Grandma
This is a rather sombre post on my part. I think it's something that I desperately wish I could write about, but I'm just not there yet. All that I really think I can manage is those brief little snippets that somehow cut to the heart of the issue. Bri and I are going to visit … Continue reading Alzheimer’s…
FADE INTO: EXT. RAJALA FAMILY HOME - TEN AM, SATURDAY. ASHLEIGH has woken up at her sister's place. BRIANNE having already left for work, she is sleeping off a late night spent watching random Michael Cera movies. That theme was accidental, not planned, total coincidence (but Nick and Norah is still ASHLEIGH'S favourite, even though … Continue reading Obsessive compulsive sunburns and other hazards of writing outdoors in July.
So I just spent twenty minutes talking on the phone with my sister. I love having a sister, and having Bri as my sister is especially nice. We can talk about any, any, ANY sort of shit. My mind is very 'in the moment' right now, which is to say the closest I come to … Continue reading Tea with my sister: fangirls over fanboys, twilight, and something about a half-assed prince?
Review below originally published at A'n'E Vibe I spent about a week procrastinating and finding a million others things to do than write this review. (When I finally did it just now, it only took ten minutes.) I was supposed to have it done awhile ago. The album was out June 23. God damn it. … Continue reading ‘Dirty King’? Yeah, it’s kinda like that.
So I got this facebook message from a friend who purged their facebook friends list of all people they no longer wished to have any contact with. Those douchebags from high school, random people you talked to one night but never again, and other such useless acquaintances who clog up your friends feed with their stupid comments … Continue reading Stalinist Purges of Personal Possessions and Facebook Friends
Early manuscripts of Oscar Wilde's, available to read on British Literary Manuscripts Online. Being natural is simply a pose, and one of the most irritating poses I know. There is a fatality about good resolutions. They are invariably made too soon. One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing. That is … Continue reading Liberation of the individual or death of the individual?
So I got a message today from Lulu, the self-publishing megaliths that currently have my book, The Savannah Stories. Normally, to put your book on Amazon.com it costs money. Either you sign your life over to Lulu, who act as your agent, and thus lose some of your property rights (which I wasn't that stoked … Continue reading Scary monsters lurk in jungles like the amazon.com
Originally Published at A'n'E Vibe With their latest album, Dear Science, having been hailed as the best album of 2008 by a plethora of music giants (Rolling Stone, Spin, and MTV among them), the Brooklyn-based TV on the Radio brought their genre-defying act to Vancouver on Monday night. The eclectic, high-energy performance proved perfectly set … Continue reading TV on the Radio in the Park
So, without even pretending to mask this blatant display of self-promotion, the second issue of Hacksaw is available! This issue is, dare I say, better than the first. This is good news, as people generally prefer the quality of something to increase. At least, this is what our rigorous marketing studies have shown. Just kidding. … Continue reading Hacksaw in all its Issue Two Glory
It's Rodeo Week at work (can I get a tepid "woo hoo"?), so I get to wear jeans all week. I actually dug out a pair of blue jeans that I haven't worn in maybe a year. On Tuesday, I stuck my hand in the pocket and found an old fortune cookie fortune. The baked … Continue reading Wildly appropriate cookie fortunes are better than chocolate (which makes them twice as good as sex).
I've been thinking about what I would name publishing company if I had one. "Black Cat Books" has always stuck in my mind. (I know that there is, or was, a Black Cat Distro that sold zines and such, so that might be out.) I've had this name in my head ever since the last … Continue reading “Vivos larga gatos negros” – Chat Guevara
I was reading an interesting article at broken pencil, called Zines Are Dead: the Six Deadly Sins That Killed Zinery, by Chris Yorke. While the article summarized and divided the great cultural change of the late-nineties into six easy-to-read words, each a harbinger of death for zine culture, I think the death of zines can … Continue reading The Great Beyond of Postmodernity
So by Saturday I was feeling marginally better. I was able to do something other than watch all of season four of Battlestar Galactica, and since that was all I had done the previous two days, I was also feeling undeniably creative. I don't know. The impulse to create overtook me. I wanted to write, I … Continue reading What I Did on Saturday Afternoon: the Zine
First of all, I don't have swine flu. At least, I don't think. This isn't really the subject of this ramble, but as far as titles go, it never hurts to go with something topical. I actually forced myself into work this morning. As I was driving, I knew it was a bad idea. My … Continue reading My next hangover will be called the ‘wine flu.’
I should really be at home and in bed right now, but I simply can't afford to take off sick time. (Also, I had nearly a week off sick like two months ago, and I still feel guilty, like maybe I wasn't sick enough. I also feel like a playground weakling for getting sick twice … Continue reading I keep popping Dayquil but nothing is happening.
Okay, so I guess I'm narcissistic enough to fall for the latest Facebook meme, the "My Life According to [insert favourite band here]." I am convinced that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the only reason at least 75% of internet content exists (this blog included, no matter how I try to rationalize it). Needless to say, … Continue reading My life according to the latest Facebook meme.
So, that Vancouver Canucks have swept their first series in recent memory. Four games to zero over the St. Louis Blues. Alex Burrows scored two goals, one being the overtime winner (none for Kesler). As a widely advertised Burrows fan, I feel vindicated. Without degenerating to mere fangirlishness or boring statistics, when I talk about … Continue reading Sweep it like a Curling Rock
Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan are currently starring in Waiting for Godot in London right now. When I found this out back in January, Jason and I actually looked up plane tickets to London. However, Stewart has found himself in a bit of controversy: Actor Patrick Stewart apparently lost his rag with an autograph hunter … Continue reading There’s a special circle of hell reserved for child molesters and people who talk in the theatre.
Originally published at A'n'E Vibe Sunday night’s Glasvegas show at the Commodore Ballroom is best likened to a first date with that person you’ve noticed several times on the bus and finally got the courage up to talk to. They were polite and sincere; just as grateful to be in your presence as you in … Continue reading Glasvegas at the Commodore Ballroom
I had to supply my bio on all voices. This is what I got: Ashleigh Rajala is a writer/filmmaker/magazine editor/miscreant who uses backslashes far too often to be healthy. She enjoys non sequitors almost as much as spelling inconsistencies and philosophical questions. What colour would "color" be if it were a tangible object? Suggestions?
Last night I caught a press screening of Observe and Report, the latest in an increasingly unfunny stream of Seth Rogen movies. I cracked a smile here and there, mostly at Anna Faris, who I think is actually ridiculously funny (see Just Friends). I do applaud films where solid, funny roles are created for women, except … Continue reading Nothing to Observe nor Report Here
this epic week, part four I also got a letter from Langara college, saying they've received my application for the Film Arts program, but that they are still waiting for my university transcripts. I called SFU to ask, "Quoi le fuck?" and was politely told that they had been mailed. With any sort of equus … Continue reading Will Blog for Food
this epic week, part three Thursday was by far the most epic. I love it when life builds to a climax. My bosses found out about the RCMP job that I have been offered, but am currently waiting for the completion of my security clearance before I start. I've since had meetings with three of … Continue reading Fear and Loathing in Employment
this epic week, part two By Wednesday, I had already watched my favourite movie of the week twice. No, it's not 8 1/2, but rather A Night at the Opera, the 1935 Marx brothers classic. Groucho has some of the best one-liners I've ever heard in my life. I'd marry him if it weren't for … Continue reading Sure I’m a Marxist, of the Groucho School
this epic week, part one So this week has been quite lively. I started on Monday like the normal drone I tend to be. (If we really are plugged into the Matrix, I suffer from a severe lack of imagination.) In fact, Monday was so boring, so typical, I don't even remember it. I did … Continue reading If I were your King, we would ALL have tea
Taryn had tickets last night for the Arts Club's Homechild, so she selected me to accompany her! All in all, the play was pretty good, with an amazing set. The perfomances, on the whole, were decent enough, slightly verging on sketch comedy personifications at times, with an overdrawn Scottish accent drifting in and out. Duncan … Continue reading Homechild at the Stanley
Okay, so I joined, read a few other people's profiles, and yes, I am a complete dork. I must simplify. Right now, it looks like I am that 'weird' one, you know, there was one in every lecture hall. The one who wears clothes six years out of date (exactly six years), glasses, and takes … Continue reading Would you see a movie with this person: amendment.
I just joined a Meetups group for movie buffs in my area. This was how I filled out my New Member survey: Have you ever seen a movie that's changed your life in some way? Every movie I see changes me somehow, some just more than others! I think the most profound/most recent was The … Continue reading Would you see a movie with this person?
I did. I caved. After however many years of just saying no, I finally started watching Battlestar Galactica. (like with Lost, I also blame Jason for this twelve step-worthy practice.) I am currently still in the middle of the first episode/mini-series, even after two false starts. So far, decent enough. (I am told that it gets … Continue reading Oh dear, have I really started watching BSG?
When I get bored at work, I try to give myself something of a postmodern education (duplicity intended), as in I browse Wikipedia making some notes in my journal. I started on Derrida, in an attempt to understand him (see this) and wound up on marxist critic Fredric Jameson (see: Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic … Continue reading A Trip Through Postmodernity, Final Stop Alienation
It's just been one of those days so far. Stared at the screen, pushed some paper. Read a few preliminary reviews of The Watchmen. I finally caved around 11 am and got a chocolate bar. On a whim I chose a Crunchie. I have no idea why. As I sat at my desk, slowly savouring … Continue reading chocolately nostalgic goodness
So today is the Anti-Bullying Day where everyone is supposed to wear pink. This is a good thing. In theory. I think bullies are a sad lot, and nothing is finer to watch some poor little David triumph gloriously over the schoolyard Goliath. However, I only have one pink shirt and it is covered in … Continue reading A Pummelling from the Thick Fist of Irony
*GOOOOOOONG* has been the proclamation of my week. It has been equal parts crazy and comforting. Monday was a write-off. No need to recapture that inane ineptitude. Tuesday saw me leave work early, which was refreshing. To walk past all the toiling employees, with your coat on and empty lunch pack in hand, knowing that … Continue reading Playing Hooky Well into Adulthood
So, as the previous post so wildly declares (as if it were a doe-eyed innocent swinging madly around a streetlamp), I love London. It seems London does not love me. How is this so? No, it did not dump me via txt msg. I was in Jysk the other day looking for junk baskets (long story), … Continue reading Bitterly Rejected by Interior Design
So, I was bored at work today. Nothing else is new. In my ever-widening net of random (G-rated) website to scroll through while trying to maintain consciousness, I decided to browse Craigslist. No idea why. I ended up scrolling through people searching flatmates in London. Then jobs in London. Then rideshares. Someone even wants someone … Continue reading I *heart* London
I've come to the conclusion that we are all a little nuts and that mental sanity is just something used to sell self-help books (see previous post). Maybe I'm crazy in saying that, but I've realized that once you embrace the crazy, life becomes a lot easier. At this point, I'm about to launch into … Continue reading Embrace the Crazy (Blame this Rant on a Papercut)
my weekend in an adequately-sized organic vessel After an intriguing afternoon of gallavanting all over Vancouver, including a far too long walk down East Hastings (FYI, Spartacus Books has moved even further east down Hastings), Taryn and I found a vendor for Hacksaw! *cue rejoicing peasants* You can now get Hacksaw Literary Arts Magazine at … Continue reading From Magazine Vendors to Muddy Boots
So last night's episode of Lost was pretty good. It prominently featured Desmond, so that's an automatic win. What I didn't like was the scene where a couple of red shirts get blown up and random guts and/or water hit the camera lens. UUUUGGGH. I actually said outloud, despite the fact that I was alone: … Continue reading “I hate metaferences that break the verisimilitude of a film” or, “What I didn’t like about last night’s episode of Lost.”
Ugh, I feel like a Scrooge. Except my Scrooge won't exist in some winterland nightmare; my Scrooge is relaxing either a) poolside anywhere, b) at a backyard barbeque wearing the most stylish pair of tartan shorts known to humankind, or c) anywhere but in Surrey circa January/February (aka, peak suicide time). I hate the snow. … Continue reading Ugh, Snow Again
—So what’s your slant? (He’ll start and end with this question.) The bus winds slowly up a hill... slowly back down. —like sardines, he jabs. The cynicism rolls off his shoulders and lands with a sickening thud. I’ll appreciate it less every day. We—the hundred collective—cling to something like prison bars to keep afoot. — … Continue reading commuter school
This year, I will: NOT make some idiotic proclamation that I will do anything productive for my intellectual self, like, say read the complete works of Charles Dickens or plan to go out to a play at least twice a month or anything, as I am barely finding enough time to catch up on LOST, … Continue reading New Years Anti-Resolution(s)
Why is it when you meet someone they always seem to perfectly match some stock character on a crappy television program? This comparison sticks in your head for a while... allowing you to the guileless pleasure of believing your life to be so hilarious it could be a Fox (at best) sitcom. However, then you … Continue reading Challenge Hipsters: they know how to sell themselves, that’s it (or is it?)
Ah, finally some free time, for the first time this week. This week has been amazing. I don´t have a lot of time to really write, so this will be short. Pueblo Ingles has been a blast, and I whole-heartedly recommend it to everyone. Spending the entire day talking to people from all over the … Continue reading Pueblo Ingles
So I've been in Madrid for three nights now, but it's flown by. The first night I flew in, but hadn't had my hostel booked, so there was one that I looked up on the internet, that looked like it had free beds. After I got off my flight and got into town on the … Continue reading Espagne, so far…
I'm leaving Paris today, and am off to Spain. I knows it's been a week, but I feel like I've been in Paris forever. I don't know if it's in a good way or not... hm. Anyway, I did like Paris, but it's PARIS. You expect so much, you know? It was really cool, and … Continue reading Off to Spain
I'm on my last full day in Paris right now, and suffering through a bit of a red wine hangover. For that last few nights we had an awesome group in my hostel room, two Californian college guys, Ben and Michael, two Australian radiographers, one of whom lives in London, Lou and Claire, and another … Continue reading The Final Countdown, Paris-style
Well today was interesting. I wandered around for a while, feeling exactly like a tourist. I know I stuck out like a gangrenous extremity. I made my way over to Notre Dame, which looked exactly like a postcard. I think the fact that it is surrounded by city on either side and seems sort of … Continue reading Still Not Over Jet Lag
Sorry I wasn't able to come up with a more original blog title, but I've been up for well over 24 hours and still haven't crashed yet (but surely it's to come). Anyway, despite my flight being delayed for over three hours, and my bank issues with my line of credit (I will not recapitulate … Continue reading The Eagle has Landed
So here I type. First entry. Cigar between teeth gonzo style. This, however, is not gonzo journalism. This is simply me trying to organise my thoughts, which in and of itself is a proverbial strange trip. Let’s see; I can easily breakdown the thoughts that continue to run through my head into five basic groups: … Continue reading Oh my god, I’m blogging again
YAY! I feel so happy! I just got back my marks for English 387 - Children's Lit, and I got an A! Hurrah! I feel such a sense of accomplishment because I also got back my marks for my term paper for that class- the one on Harry Potter- and I got and A+, baby! … Continue reading Me get A in English? That’s Unpossible!
Come one, come all! All of us at Quarter-Life Productions are hosting a party to celebrate our venture into pre-production for our short film, tentatively titled, "Things I Hate"! This launch party will provide an opportunity for everyone to come by and see what we're all about! If you're interested in auditioning for an acting … Continue reading Quarter-Life Productions Launch Party
I had a strange dream last night that basically confirmed all the things are on my mind right now. I dreamt that Darcie arrived at the QLP meeting (more on that later) with our business cards, and said that she decided to "redo" the logo. (our logo is basically a Q). The card was every … Continue reading You know you’ve been reading too much Derrida when…
So... I'm sitting in the computer lab waiting for my first class to start. Sometimes I'm amazed by what I accomplish when I'm trying to kill time. My first class is Children's Lit. I'm REALLY looking forward to this one. We get to read Roald Dahl, The Secret World of Og, Ella Enchanted, and so … Continue reading First Day of School (awwww….)