Is the Development Still Arrested After all These Years?

It's been how many years now since Arrested Development went off the air? Oh jeez, I've lost count. I do know it started about eight or nine years ago, and that's when I started watching. I've also lost track of how many people I've introduced it to, of course then needing to watch it along with them. This … Continue reading Is the Development Still Arrested After all These Years?

Why you Probably Shouldn’t Blog With a Kidney Infection

For the last two weeks or so (or is it three? I've honestly lost count. Maybe it's even four. Anyway, feels like forever), I've been rendered helpless and lame with a kidney infection. It sucks. It really, really sucks. After a round of antibiotics, it was getting better but I was still so tired that … Continue reading Why you Probably Shouldn’t Blog With a Kidney Infection

Six Signs I have Moved Past that Weird ‘Extended Youth’ Phase into the Realm of ‘Real Adult’

1. My home has entered levels of cleanliness never before imagined or aspired to. I am well and truly becoming my mother (who, but a mere twenty-five years ago, became her mother.) 2. When I get an injury or illness there is very palpable fear that it will never truly go away. Just one little … Continue reading Six Signs I have Moved Past that Weird ‘Extended Youth’ Phase into the Realm of ‘Real Adult’

Am I really writing about space pirates again?

After some downtime in the first half of this year (during which I moved house, settled down, watched a lot of Community, basked in the glow of a new relationship, and forgot about life for a while), I haven't really written much. It's strange how quickly six months can pass. Am I finally experiencing that horrid … Continue reading Am I really writing about space pirates again?

Conversations in my Office Kitchen: a Depressing Vignette

Tis but ten o'clock in the morning. A big meeting has just let out. The table in the kitchen is littered with snacks leftover by people with far more prestigious jobs than I. (The apple pie looks nice, but I daren't be so presumptuous as to take a slice under the careful eye of all these … Continue reading Conversations in my Office Kitchen: a Depressing Vignette

Am I the only one who doesn’t like Downton Abbey?

For such a critically acclaimed show, Downton Abbey is pretty crap. What are the problems with it? Those frequently cited include: contrived, formulaic, elitist, and cloying. But others? I think the fact that it is so highly rated is what makes this almost unbearable. Were this show just considered so-so, I'd be fine with it. … Continue reading Am I the only one who doesn’t like Downton Abbey?

Shows Dr. Roommate and I have watched together: an attempt to understand just why the hell we keep watching Downton Abbey

Shannon and I are still watching Downton Abbey. I tried to think of why, but fell short of a way to explain myself. We started watching the show because it was so damned critically acclaimed, but then we discovered that it, well, kind of sucks. So why were we still watching it? For reasons I've … Continue reading Shows Dr. Roommate and I have watched together: an attempt to understand just why the hell we keep watching Downton Abbey

I don’t even have the where-with-all to think of a good title (meeting the family, perhaps?)

This past Saturday night, BoyRoommateFriend met the family. (Why, that's a premise you could shape a Ben Stiller movie around!) My family has a remarkable way of dealing with new significant others. Mum, in particular, has a knack for staging these so-called Events. When she can't lure you into the trap of an alleged birthday … Continue reading I don’t even have the where-with-all to think of a good title (meeting the family, perhaps?)

Only eleven more months until Christmas is over again

"Douglas," our chipper wee friend of a Christmas tree, sits discarded in the backyard. Having completely missed the free tree chipping the second weekend in January, we have no idea what to do with it. I only remembered the tree at all when the snow thawed last Friday. "Oh yeah," I remarked to BoyRoommatefriend, "The … Continue reading Only eleven more months until Christmas is over again

Frustration towards an inability to find a suitable writing environment

I think I need an intervention. This post is ridiculous. Sometimes I can't even form a coherent sentence. But badly wish to.* Following a rather messy attempt to write on my lunch-hour, I found this in my notebook. Word-for-word, without editing, this is what my (literally out to lunch) brain ranted about: Lost in mess of abstract … Continue reading Frustration towards an inability to find a suitable writing environment

For Christmas one year I got a Jem doll and middle-class guilt

This is the story of How I Learned to Start Worrying and Hate Class Differences. I'm pretty sure most of why I grew up to appreciate Marx is encapsulated in this tiny little nugget of childhood. This is the second time I've had to write this post (as I've already grumbled about). Whenever such a … Continue reading For Christmas one year I got a Jem doll and middle-class guilt

An Explanation for the Increased Activity

So I've finished another novel. It's not about Pirates in Space. In fact, it's probably the exact opposite. It's about two step-siblings who start an affair after the death of their younger brother (who narrates the story). Very strange turn to take, I know. Anyway, the first draft of the manuscript is done. I'm now … Continue reading An Explanation for the Increased Activity

Way to out-hipster the hipsters, Fox News

Much has already been discussed about Fox News calling The Muppets Communists, and that sound you may have heard was a billion people's jaws dropping to the floor with a resounding "Whaaa....aaaaat?" The headline "Are Liberals trying to brainwash your children against capitalism?" might seem like too much, but then when they proclaim that the … Continue reading Way to out-hipster the hipsters, Fox News

Why this December Might Just be Awesome

For some reason I'm actually excited about Christmas this year. Not quite wear-a-tacky-sweater excited, but actually-going-to-decorate-a-tree-and-drink-lots-of-mulled-wine excited. Not entirely sure why this is, but it might have something to do with the fact that I don't really have anything to be depressed about this year. As someone who deals with month-long mood swings and varying … Continue reading Why this December Might Just be Awesome

Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

As I'm sure anyone who knows me is well-aware, I was a Batkid. Now firmly established in the realm of adulthood, I feel some vindication in knowing that the world has reached a general global consensus in acknowledging the truth: Batman is the Coolest Superhero. Sure, he might not be your favourite (for whatever godforsaken … Continue reading Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

A Hatred of Clubbing that Transcends Generations

[liberally adapted from reality] The house was silent save for the flickering of some distant infomercial blasting through the two am airwaves: a direct transmission of nothingness from the autocorrected perfection of the studio right into Dad's vacant, tired eyes. He heard me stagger in, heels clicking away across the linoleum. Each clacking step came … Continue reading A Hatred of Clubbing that Transcends Generations

Archie… Out of Context and into the fire

So, The Commune is full of Archie comics. The explanation is thus: When Dr. Roommate, Ex-Roommate, and myself all moved in together, Dr. Roommate found a couple of Archie comics in a box of random shit she had. Naturally, we indulged in some gleeful nostalgia and read them cover to cover. One day my thirteen-year-old … Continue reading Archie… Out of Context and into the fire

re:moved

I've recently had the chance to join an interesting project by Allison Lasorda. The Re:moved Project is "an interactive visual narrative project that features individuals’ experiences with home. by examining unique perspectives on homes that have been “lost” (whether through relocation, demolition, or (re)construction) this project aims to remove the stigma associated with nostalgia and, … Continue reading re:moved

Are television shows the new novel?

I once heard someone describe Mad Men as the television equivalent of the "Great American Novel." The "Great American Novel," as a descriptor, carries with it sense of formality and scope. By definition, it is... well, defining. What does it mean, then, when something like Mad Men has a far more expansive impact on the cultural landscape … Continue reading Are television shows the new novel?

Behavioural Tendencies of Lower Commune Residents with Focus on Frequency of Alcohol Consumption

There's an interesting pattern of behaviour that has established itself amongst Lower Commune residents. It seems to start like this: Subject A arrives home following a bad day at work. A bad mood is inevitable. Occasionally this bad mood is compounded by a) Mondays, b) other monthly occurrences, c) personal baggage, d) nasty surprises, or … Continue reading Behavioural Tendencies of Lower Commune Residents with Focus on Frequency of Alcohol Consumption

How Apple Products Will Bring About a Dystopian Future

My cellular telephone is currently broken following an unfortunate canoeing accident. This means that I am not longer enjoying the benefits of an iPhone*, but rather struggling to navigate the murky controls of Dr. Roommate's old Blackberry. There are so many little icons and I have to roll a little ball around just to find … Continue reading How Apple Products Will Bring About a Dystopian Future

My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two

(Originally published at Press Plus 1) (SPOILER-FREE, BUT YOU WILL PROBABLY HATE ME ANYWAY) I've lamented before, often at great length, about the inherent difficulties that lie in attempting to review something so beloved as Harry Potter. That difficulty is only compounded when taking into account the fact that this is indeed the last film … Continue reading My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two

The Duende’s in the Details

 duende  The duende is a demonic earth spirit who helps the artist see the limitations of intelligence, reminding him that "ants could eat him or that a great arsenic lobster could fall suddenly on his head"; who brings the artist face-to-face with death, and who helps him create and communicate memorable, spine-chilling art.  I spent my … Continue reading The Duende’s in the Details

Things I like and things I dislike… at work

So the great Joe Verde gave me one of the most awesome presents ever yesterday, courtesy of Think Geek. It seems I have a reputation with self-inking stamps. Let's not allow the fact that I once specially ordered a "superseded" stamp online just to use on all my old drafts cloud the reality here... Stamps … Continue reading Things I like and things I dislike… at work

Editing with a Cutlass… in Space

So I've finished the first draft of the yet-to-be-titled novel about pirates in space. Now the editing begins. As difficult as the writing itself can be, editing is its own little beast. It is the shellacking together of various materials; the severing of arteries; the repackaging; the re-pasting; the smoothing over of cracks; the varnishing; the … Continue reading Editing with a Cutlass… in Space

Conversations I have had at work

I actually had this conversation once: Co-worker: I have a question. Me: Shoot. Co-worker: *some inane question about something I wouldn't even have remembered even if it happened five minutes ago, let alone a year and a half ago* Me: *simple answer* Co-worker: Well, that's not in the instruction manual. Me: But that's the answer. … Continue reading Conversations I have had at work

Anno Domini Gallery’s 2011 Art of Zines in San Jose

The 2011 ART OF ZINES exhibition will run for four weeks at the Anno Domini gallery in the SoFA District of San Jose, California. Quoth Anno Domini: "Zines are one of the last frontiers for freedom of speech and creative self expression and we need it now more than ever." This year's zine exhibition will … Continue reading Anno Domini Gallery’s 2011 Art of Zines in San Jose

This has Always Bothered Me About Beauty and the Beast

These following are snippets of a conversation yesterday with Dr. Roommate, regarding the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast: Me: I'd be like, "Yay, I don't have to serve you anymore! You know why? Because I'm a f*****g candlestick because of you, you stupid d*****bag!" Then I'd waddle into town and haunt people. Dr. Roommate: We … Continue reading This has Always Bothered Me About Beauty and the Beast

The Five-Pound Chocolate Bar, or, Why I Can’t Save Chocolate

Is it just me or are they stuffing fewer and fewer chocolate-covered almonds into those door-to-door peddled boxes these days? Perhaps I am just siphoning nostalgia back from the days when we sold actual chocolate bars. I was at my parents' house the other day when I heard a rapping, rapping at the chamber door. … Continue reading The Five-Pound Chocolate Bar, or, Why I Can’t Save Chocolate

Texts that may indicate an increasing level of douchebaggery.

Sometimes I think that I am a douchebag but completely unaware of it... and now I am slowly realizing that I am a douche. Or perhaps I am just becoming more of a douche as I age. Either way, it's disconcerting. These are texts that I've sent this week that I think indicate my increasing … Continue reading Texts that may indicate an increasing level of douchebaggery.

This Week in Triage

  Triage [tree-ahzh] the principle or practice of sorting emergency patients and/or casualties in battle or disaster into categories of priority for treatment* I drive (or perhaps... drove) a 2002 Cavalier. I say he is lovingly monikered Ernie because of my desire not to ascribe to gendered naming conventions, but really it's because his first license … Continue reading This Week in Triage

Quantifying my Attempts at Responsibility

Following the abrasively shocking revelations of last Sunday's hair dye debacle, Dr. Roommate and I endeavoured to act like real grown-ups this weekend. As Sunday night closed in, the adventure was deemed "successful," as though we might be able to tick off a small box on a to-do list. "Grow-up." Check.* We both had work ahead … Continue reading Quantifying my Attempts at Responsibility

The Traumatizing Reason Why I Hate Playing Monopoly

To quote my mother: "Monopoly tears families apart." This is fact. Yet still, Sunday night witnessed a rebirth of the Rajala Family Game Night. We used to do this often as kids, perch ourselves around the kitchen table and play a good old family game. The fun was renowned, the fights... more so. What could … Continue reading The Traumatizing Reason Why I Hate Playing Monopoly

Why I own a pair of High School Musical socks

Because occasionally something seems like a good idea at the time... In 2008, my sister, Bri, and I were backpacking around Europe. We were in the town of Maastricht when, like most stinky travellers, we found that our backpacks were nothing more than cesspools of filthy clothing desperately in need of a good detergent-ridden throw-down. … Continue reading Why I own a pair of High School Musical socks

My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

Originally published at Press Plus 1 WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS It’s difficult to offer a review of a Harry Potter movie without first providing a preface stating one’s biases. Are you a Harry Potter fan? If you aren't, why are you going to bother seeing (the first part of) the last instalment now? Why are … Continue reading My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

You can’t go home again… and other facets of denial.

Moving out of my childhood home was a gradual process. I'm a gradual process person. Not cold turkey; a "weaner", if you will. When things happen suddenly, I forget Douglas Adams's best advice.... (Read: I panic.) I get stuck in an odd state of shock only calculable as a sick ratio beyond my mathematical skills … Continue reading You can’t go home again… and other facets of denial.

First Against the Wall when the Revolution Comes

The machines are rebelling and I am first against the wall. At work today, I took a break from pushing paper around and started pushing pixels, via Excel. I love Excel. There is something perverse in the ease with which one can organise by simply copying and pasting. Need to add things up? JUST. ONE. … Continue reading First Against the Wall when the Revolution Comes

My Top Ten Background Movies

It's nice. It really helps me balance my day. It's a distraction from whatever tedium you're trying to work through. You can tell yourself: "I'm going to plug in Braveheart and work/study/clean throughout the whole thing." Bam. Two VHS cassette tapes later and you've spent a good three hours getting shit done. So what characterizes a good background film?

The Olympics are an extravagant wedding you think will end in divorce

I've been experiencing a severe amount of cognitive dissonance regarding the Olympics. As a Vancouverite, for the last seven years I've dealt with the 2010 Winter Olympics by simply ignoring the situation, but then last Friday, it arrived on my doorstep like a an e-Bay purchase you forgot you made. Since then, I've just let … Continue reading The Olympics are an extravagant wedding you think will end in divorce

The Decade in Film: Crime, Crimefighters, Crime, and More Crimefighters

The Bourne Effect The spy for the 21st century was not James Bond, but Jason Bourne. The grittiness, global perspective, and moral quandaries of the Bourne triology (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum) instantly rendered James Bond moot. In following with the general post-9/11 trends, the Bourne films did not present … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Crime, Crimefighters, Crime, and More Crimefighters

The Decade in Film: True Stories and Those Based on Them

The Biopic as Classic Narrative The biopic has always been a Hollywood staple, and has traditionally been treated as a sweeping epic: one whole life’s story. Over the years, what was once a glorification, or even blatant excuse for hero-worship, produced warts-and-all critiques. As the last decade began, we were still watching our most beloved … Continue reading The Decade in Film: True Stories and Those Based on Them

The Decade in Film: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Art has always lit the way for the great march forward. Hollywood, purveyor of popular art and entertainment, has always had to tread a careful line between progressive art and conservative entertainment. You need to push enough boundaries to stay relevant but be familiar enough not to alienate your audience. It is not surprising then, … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

The Decade in Film: The Epic and Science Fiction

Death of the Epic The arrival of The Lord of the Rings arguably killed the epic. Virtually every traditional fantasy film – pumped out at a consistent rate in an attempt to duplicate The Lord of the Rings success – since has flopped. Think merely of other (mostly children’s) book adaptations, such as Eragon, Beowulf … Continue reading The Decade in Film: The Epic and Science Fiction

The Decade in Film: Introduction

Throughout the great interwebs are a million articles on the best films and best television shows of the decade. As arbitrary and meaningless as it is to divide human history into ten year periods, each decade’s zeitgeist doesn’t magically change over night as December 31st becomes January 1st. Attitudes and values evolve over time, and … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Introduction

Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny – effing – Kaye

So tomorrow, I'm taking the day off work. Huzzah. It was originally intended to be a day to get through all those pesky starting-at-a-new-school things out of the way, like getting a student card, and all that, but once that was taken care of, it's degenerated into a shopping trip downtown with my sister. I'm … Continue reading Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny – effing – Kaye

Excerpts from an Interview with Myself

Okay, exciting, I know. Transcript/rip-off of my interview with Whohub.com (from sometime last spring). I was discussing my writing process with someone today, and it made me want to blog about it (naturally). Then I remembered this interview, so I thought I would share this instead. I wrote all the answers, so I feel no … Continue reading Excerpts from an Interview with Myself

Out of 25,000 readers, only 71 will leave comments, and 2/3 of them will be jerks.

IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, does a list (a "Hit List") every day of several different articles appearing around the Interwebs. I usually submit my different articles (the more interesting ones) that I write at Celluloid Heroes, mostly because the odd person reads through the thread of suggested links. However, today (which I, as a … Continue reading Out of 25,000 readers, only 71 will leave comments, and 2/3 of them will be jerks.

My Top Ten Antiheroes

Ever since Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost, there's always been a certain je ne sais quoi about a well-wrought antihero. Whether cheeky rogue or bloodthirsty tyrant, an antihero is a welcome deviation from the white-hatted norm. At once both appalling and subversive, a good bad guy / bad good guy always proves a more interesting character than the morally unambiguous square-jawed hero. Here we count down the top ten!

My Top Ten Animated Films

I watched The Triplets of Belleville for the first time a week or so ago, and, as expected, I was blown away. "That makes the top ten," I instantly thought, which led me to consider what my top ten animated films actually would be. This list is skewed towards animated films as best enjoyed by the grown-up audience, that me, a twenty-something, can enjoy without needed to pry out that Freudian inner child. With that said, maybe I am rather childlike to begin with, as I love a good poop joke.

It’s so dreamy… oh fantasy free me…

On Halloween, I managed to avoid the usual cliche of a dreary, drunken party and handed out candy with my family, and took my little cousin, Noah, out for his first trick-or-treat. Cute, mildly entertaining, not wild. Then, however, Roommate Shannon and I went out to a Midnight Movie: The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I … Continue reading It’s so dreamy… oh fantasy free me…

Film Fonts Dos and Don’ts

If you're going through the pain and torture of creating a film, it's not that much more difficult to dedicate a little extra effort to the credits. Simply inserting whatever font in Final Cut works is really just half-assing it. Let's be honest. So, yes, I can be a bit of a typography geek, but there really are some basic typographical rules that one should adhere to. Typography is an art, but one of those subtle arts that has been dragged kicking and screaming into the contemporary, post-modern era where it has a chance to sink or swim. While even an eight-year-old could pick Arial out of a line-up, there's enough evidence to suggest that apparently there really is a knack to using typography effectively. Take note. Learn it, love it. And never use Comic Sans. Ever.