Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Lessons from The Great Ones

So, if you were a teen in the early 90's, you knew about two totally excellent dudes, named Bill S. Preston, Esq., and Ted Theodore Logan. Everyone knew about these guys. For a couple of years, they were everywhere.


No, really Ted, you were. EVERYWHERE.

These guys did wonders for the lexicon of the early 90's. Excellent. Bodacious. Heinous. Non-Heinous. Non-Non-Non-Non-Heinous. And of course, STATION!

Great movies. Wonderful bits and pieces of my youth, wrapped up in the personality of two complete idiots, with hearts of gold.

I saw Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure when I was in Jr. High. For some unknown reason, the faculty thought this would be a good film to show to the entire student body. I still haven't figured that one out. It's like they were encouraging us all to become career slackers.

However, it did spark something in me. Something that I wouldn't begin to realize until I saw the sequel, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, and that I wouldn't fully realize until almost two decades later.

The first little bit to really get my attention, was this inspiring speech by one of our Nation's greatest leaders.

(Editors note: Yes, I know Stevie is Canadian. We don't fault her for that.)


That's a very simple concept. "Be excellent to each other." It seems to me that life would be a whole lot easier all around, if everyone were to listen to the words of The Great Ones, and just try to apply them to their daily lives on even a semi-regular basis.

But it was more than that, here I am, a career slacker. I'm the kinda guy who the teachers wanted to flunk out of school. All sorts of people, from guidance counselors, to teachers, to my parents, have offered all sorts of excuses as to why that was - but the truth is, me and high school just weren't a good fit. I knew this even when I was in the seventh grade. And then, all of the sudden, were these two guys - larger than life - showing me that even slackers can change the world.

See, in their Hollywood penned life, Bill and Ted were the progenitors of a greater society. Their ideals changed the world. They made the future better for everyone. And for the longest time, I tried to work on those principles. If I changed the world for one person, I was doing okay.

Then, I went off the rails.

"Well I've been drinking, but nothing's ever gained." -- "Drinking Again," by Neverland, from the Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey soundtrack.

Yeah, you guessed it. Me and booze, me and drugs, whatever. This isn't an after school special, and you've heard it all before. All I can say for sure, is that watching movies from my youth, which have always had a huge hold on me, helped me get my head out of my ass. Well, that, and a few hard kicks from some close friends of mine, whom I am not sure will ever know how grateful I am to them.

The Bill and Ted movies, (along with Pump Up The Volume - which is another blog post in itself), helped me get myself back on point. They helped me realize what I had made of myself. That I was no longer "being excellent" to anyone. I especially wasn't being excellent to myself. So, I did what I do best. I crawled back into myself, for a serious period of introspection. I made music (yes, you can thank Bill and Ted for that,) and I tried to figure out where I went wrong.

But the truth is, it didn't matter where I went wrong. The only thing that mattered, was how to get myself back on track. To live up to the example that "The Great Ones" set for me. So, what did I do? I picked myself up from the ashes that were the remnant of the fires I lit myself, and started all over again. And I found myself looking at a future that was pretty damned good:


So here I am, working for that future. I'm not there yet, but I'm "writing the song that will save the world," my world. Just like Bill and Ted did. And it will be good.


So yeah, as has been said multiple times in this post: Be excellent to each other.

And..

PARTY ON, DUDE!

Post Script: In closing, it would not be fair at all for me to make this, without offering my eternal thanks, and love, to two of my best friends, Josh and Jeremy. Without you guys, I'd not be here now. Even though we don't talk as much as I want these days, I still think about you.

You'll always be my Wyld Stallyns.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Otowa

So, yesterday I took the little sister driving again, and we wound up at a Japanese restaurant downtown called Otowa. I'd been meaning to visit this place since I lived in Saskatoon in the summer of 2007. What drew my attention to it was the fact that, walking by it one day, I saw a girl come out in a kimono to set out a sign. The servers dress up! How cool is that?


The atmosphere is excellent (if a little dark). Its cozy, nicely decorated (though perhaps in need of an update--particularly in the bathrooms. YES I AM PARANOID ABOUT BATHROOMS). The dishware was quite nice to look at:

We ordered a variety of dishes: Caterpillar sushi, miso soup, salad, and agedashi for starts. Then Jaimie had tempura and more agadashi, and I had beef don.

happy sushi caterpillar!

some of the most amazing miso I've had

Agedashi

Jaimie's tempura

Jaimie om nomming

Unfortunately,  I forgot to get a picture of my beef don. Oh well. For the most part, the food was really good (if a little heavy). I particularly enjoyed the miso, the salad, and the sushi. I think this is definitely a place I will go back to to try a wider variety of their sushi. The beef don was a little on the bland/dry side, I found, however.

Overall this was a good dining experience. The staff is friendly, and didn't even look at Jaimie too oddly when she asked if she could have her plain white rice packed up (. . .). The appetizers were amazing, and while I didn't like my main that much, I would definitely give them another chance.

Reflection on Holidays


I call this a reflection, but really its more of a pet peeve of mine: People who refuse to celebrate holidays because they are "too commercial". If you don't like the holiday, don't believe in what's behind it, that's fine--nothing saying you have to celebrate. But if you agree with the holiday in everything but what popular culture has done with it, you need to stop and look at yourself. What you are angry with is the fact that holidays like Christmas, easter, valentines day, have become more about physical gifts (xboxes, stuffed bunnies, chocolate) than about the religious/social aspects. But refusing to have anything to do with the holiday is not an answer. In fact, it just makes the problem worse. Refusing to celebrate Christmas with your family does not give meaning back to Christmas--rather than spreading love and joy, it spreads resentment and unhappiness.

It is far better to look at the holiday, think about what it represents to you,  and go about sharing that meaning with others in your life, than it is just to sit back, ignore the day and everyone involved in it. If friends are important, bake Christmas cookies and share them over coffee with your best buds. If family is what counts to you, buy your family members little gifts on valentines day just to remind them that you care. If religion is what floats your boat, convince someone to go to church with you on easter. Share. Enjoy. Appreciate. The holidays (any holiday) will be a whole lot less stressful and a whole lot more fun for everyone.

ON THE FARM WITH SOUP

Went out to dad's farm this weekend with jaimie and her bf. Had a great day wandering around outside, and then I went in and made some awesome homemade soup for dad, the kids, and I. I'd give you the soup recipie, but I don't remember what I put in it. I really need to start writing these things down.

So, instead, here's some pichers of springtime in saskatchewan on the farm:
Jaimie, Driving!

Blue, blue skies



Crocuses!








Brother, Niece and Nephew, Me, Sis, and her Bf. . .and the dog.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Screw you, winter!

It snowed. The world outside the window looks bleak, icky grey and muddy. I was late to work because I had to plough through slush.
I'm starting to think that this is the beginning of another ice age.

So, I'm giving up on Earth. You should too. To encourage you,  I would like you to visit http://www.astropix.com/, which contains some truly stunning astronomical photographs.

And a few other cool ones I dug up whilst googling (I make such a productive use of my time!)





^ This is an older image from http://www.mindex.be/astronomy/index.php?cat=15, which contains some interesting history on astrophotography (although I cannot vouch for the sources, the information seems accurate. Interested, but not interested enough to do the research myself, hah).




Van Gogh was ahead of his time!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A brief post on the victimization of women

So, I just read about Toronto's Slut Walk, at http://www.fangirltastic.com/content/slut-walk (Thank you Minerva Li of The Renfield Trading Company!) This event was held in light of some comments made earlier in the year by a Toronto police officer, which amounted to:

"If a woman dresses like a slut, she deserves to be assaulted".

This is a stigma that has been kicking around for a long, long, long time. It is tremendously outdated. It has caused judges to be sympathetic with rapists, and apparently causes our law enforcement to be unsympathetic with victims.

Here's the thing. Unless a woman verbally asks to be advanced upon sexually, or instigates sexual contact, she is not asking to be advanced upon sexually. Period. It doesn't matter what she is wearing. Clothing is its own sort of language, but it can be easily misinterpreted, and so should not hold up as evidence of a woman's sluttishness and intent to seduce in court. Those short shorts she was wearing? MAYBE IT WAS HOT OUT, DIMWAD.

If a man with a chicken fetish were to rape a woman in a chicken suit, would her outfit be held as a valid reason for his actions? I really don't think so. She was just going about her job selling fried chicken, for chrissakes.

In retaliation, I think women should start running around shoving baseball bats up the asses of any good looking men wandering around shirtless, or wearing a nice suit, or with a few too many buttons undone at the bar. We'll see how the courts and the law enforcement like that.

And remember, Toronto cop, women find men in uniform sexy. By your own standards, you could be next.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Kicking Around the Hometown

First, allow me to introduce to you, Sunday Dinner. It took one and a half hours to make this delightful shrimp creole and vegitarian (!) taco salad, and everyone seemed quite pleased with it.


It either looks really good or really barfy, I'm not sure. Either way, colorful food makes me happy ^_^

Jaimie being awesome.

 


Me today, looking kinda westerny or something: boots- thrifted, tights: zellers, dress:walmart, vest: vintage, necklace (its a dreamcatcher!) --I have no idea.

 
Some pictures in the yard





Pretty mural on the local coffee dive

The hellhole where I worked for a couple of months

The hellhole where I went to school for thirteen years. 

My sister in a tree




eerie

And finally: THE SIGN AT THE CEMETARY-- 
"No Additions, Alterations, or Removals Without Prior Permission of Village Office"
(ahh. . .that always makes me laff) 



Monday, 11 April 2011

Niebelungenlied, Chapter 21

Entitled: Twenty-First Adventure - How Kriemhild fared to the Huns:

Verse one:Following is the story of how Kriemhild went to the huns.
Verse two-four: Long tearful goodbyes with her youngest brothers. Lots of kissing.
Verse five:  Everyone was very pretty while they rode to the huns.
Verse six-end: They arrive in the land of the Huns (which is near Vienna)  and party with a bishop and Ruedigar's wife and assorted others, stopping and visiting and distributing gifts many times along the way (no wonder travel in medieval times took so long), and finally arriving at king Etzel.

That's a whole lotta verses to say not very much. I'm wondering when we will run out of ways to say "Kriemhild gave out treasure" and "the men jousted."

If you ever wanted an example of what can happen in an epic when you kill off the main character, this is it. The answer is: not a helluva lot.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Niebelungenlied: Chapter 20

Chapter 20:

Enter King Etzel, recently widowed, of Hunland. (Funny, I didn't know the Huns were out of Vienna. Oh well)

King Etzel's friends: Dude, you should lay Siegfried's wife.

King Etzel: But. . .I'm not Christian.

King Etzel's friends: Pfft. Who cares? Do her anyway. She's hot.

King Etzel: K! Ruediger, if you can go there and win her for me, I'll give you presents ^_^.

Ruediger: Fine.

King Etzel:

“When now wilt thou fare
To seek the lovely lady? / God of thee have care
To keep thee on thy journey / and eke a wife to me.
Therein good fortune help me, / that she to us shall gracious be.”

(notice the reference to God, lol. Heathen my ass.)

Ruediger stops by at his own estate with his men on the way to Worms, to tell his wife and daughter what's going on:

 “My master now hath sent me / to woo him other wife,
Since that by death was ended / the fair [Queen] Helke’s life." <-- really? Her life was ended? By death?

Ruediger's wife dresses all the knights up nice, and then off they got to Gunther's court.

Gunther: Who're they?
Hagen: Huns, sir.
Gunther: What do you want
Ruediger: To get your sister to marry my king, sir.
Gunther: Meh, I'm fine with it. Go ask her.
Hagen: IF SHE MARRIES A KING, SHE'LL RAISE AN ARMY AGAINST US *paranoid twitch*

Hagen's dire warnings aside, Kriemhild's brothers attempt to persuade her to marry King Etzel. She is adamantly against it, although she does agree to speak to Ruediger.

Scene:

Kriemhild, surrounded by her ladies, all in fine dress, is not looking so fine herself. She is dishevelled, wearing poor clothes, and sobbing her eyes out. Ruediger winces, shrugs, and kneels before her

Ruediger: My king Etzel is in love with you. He's been widowed too, you know.
Kriemhild: I've been widowed more! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'VE LOST!
Ruedigar: Yes, well. . .perhaps you could seek solace in one another. . .
Kriemhild: I SHALL NEVER MARRY AGAIN! There is no solace for the loss I have endured!
Ruedigar: But --
Kriemhild: Talk to me tomorrow.

Exit, Ruediger and his men. Enter Kriemhild's mother and youngest (nicest) brother, Giselher.

Kriemhild: Something terrible has happened!
Mother: You broke a nail?
Giselher: You're terminally ill?
Mother: You discovered that the world will end in 28 days?
Kriemhild: Worse. I've been proposed to by King Etzel.
Giselher: You know, that might not be such a bad--
Kriemhild: Weeping loudly I SHALL MOURN FOREVER MY DARLING SIEGFRIED.
Mother: We're all getting tired of seeing you in mourning.
Kriemhild: But. . .he's not as handsome, wealthy, or christian as Siegfried.
Mother/Giselher: Well, no. . .
Kriemhild: curls into the fetal position, weeping. I'll think about it.

The next day, enter Ruediger and his men into Kriemhild's presence.

Ruediger: My dear lady--
Kriemhild: I WONT MARRY HIM
Ruediger: If you'd just listen--
Kriemhild: NO HUSBAND WILL EVER BE AS GOOD
Ruediger: M'lady--
Kriemhild: BEGONE
Ruediger: We can help you get your vengeance for Siegfried's murder.
Kriemhild: Abruptly cheerign up Suddenly interested! But your king is still a heathen.
Ruediger: Meh. So baptize him.

Kriemhild agrees to journey to Hunland with what is left of her treasure to become King Etzel's wife.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

MOAR PICHERS

Some more pictures from the weekend, of Broadway, a little bohemian haven in the middle of temperance colony hell :). 


A bar I've been meaning to go to that was set up in an old fire hall



Calories: home of the best cheesecake in the province
The. . bulk. . .cheese. . .warehouse



In Saskatoon, the punishment for busking is to bronze people alive :D
Lydias: another bar in a gorgeous old building









Kinda a neat display at Birkenstocks--people wrote on cards about where their shoes have been.

The sign of one of my favourite stores on Broadway

. . .which was closed.

But sells alot of random crap!