29 November 2007

writing writing writing

Woke up early this morning to squeeze in a few extra hours on a writing project with a looming deadline. The computer wouldn't turn on. It still won't. My amateur diagnostics tell me: it's broken and needs to be fixed.

Chiara and I are both staring down the barrel of some imminent deadlines and yet we lack the equipment to get it done.

Hopefully I can fill in this excel spreadsheet by hand. Yeah, maybe...

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26 November 2007

The way we party

We had a birthday party for Chiara on Saturday. It was a good time, but only barely qualified as a party. There was, at the peak, eight of us.

Our Hallowe'en party was a similarly hyper-exclusive affair.
We're currently examining some strategies to turn our next event into something that actually qualifies as an event. 'Making some more friends' is a strategy that is high on the list.

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22 November 2007

Writers Strike

In support of the writers strike I will continue to freely write stuff and post it on the internet for free. That way, the internet won't collapse from a lack of content. Or at least all my tens of readers (Hi Dad!) will have something to do during the writers strike. I'm not sure how that supports the striking writers, but let's just assume that it does. Somehow. In principle. I'll also post this video, from the striking writers of the Daily Show.


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20 November 2007

Overwork - short fiction

Tom slumped over in his ergonomic chair, his head coming to rest on the ergonomic keyboard in front of him. The ensuing side-to-side lolling of his sweaty cranium registered a sequence of nonsensical characters in his spreadsheet. His moaning caused one or two of his open-plan office mates to look over, albeit briefly.

If this display was unusual, they didn't show it.

Instead, all four of them chose to react with cool indifference to what appeared to be a juvenile, nay infantile, ploy for attention. Normally, that's exactly how to respond to attention-seeking behaviour: cool as ice.

Unfortunately, Tom had in fact contracted a severe case of workoverload. One that resulted in a severe mind hemorrhage. This unforeseeable yet easily preventable accident severely reduced his productivity, and future capacity for complex reasoning.

In future his workoutput would consist exclusively of a nonsensical string of characters, often entered with a rhythmic rolling of fists on the keyboard, but increasingly often using just his forehead.

It was months before anyone noticed. And even more months before anyone cared. It was even years after that first outburst when Tom accidentally, and finally, outputted one of the greatest works of modern literature.

Unfortunately by then, the craze for freeform poetry had come and gone, and it would be centuries until scholars would unearth his works, collect them in an anthology, and reward him (posthumously) with that really big poetry prize nobody remembers the name of, but comes with a big sum of cash. His descendents would use it to throw a big party. Or make a scholarship. Or buy a spacecar. History always knows best.

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18 November 2007

Sunday

Good birthday house party last night. Happy Birthday, indeed. I got a little drunk, but Chiara's got a headache today. Poetic injustice.

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15 November 2007

Dostoevsky Batman


What if Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote Batman comics?

Some guy named R. Sikoryak re-envisoned 'Crime and Punishment' as a Batman comic. Available in its entirety online at Again with the Comics

Thanks again to Very Short List, for hipping me to cool distractions.

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14 November 2007

Football democracy

I saw that a website bought an English football club in the past days. At first I didn't think it was that interesting. Until I came to understand that the website Myfootballclub is actually going to decide everything by voting. So fans join the website, pay 35£ and then have equal voice in decisions regarding their team Ebbsfield United FC.

That's cool. eDemocracy. The ultimate fantasy league management. Of course the club is actually fourth tier, so who knows how competitive the football is, or will be. Especially if the club is run by a bunch of drunken yobbos.

But the idea is attractive. From a business sense: membership will fill the coffers, and fan/owners and looky-loos should fill the stadium. From a fan standpoint: who wouldn't want a say in decisions.

We'll see how it pans out, but the odds are on it being a harbinger of some changes in professional sports ownership rather than solely a curious anomaly.

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13 November 2007

Brussels (and Paris) Blogs

Neat little article in the guardian online with listings and directions to some Brussels (and Parisian) bloggers.

Not to me, of course, because I write about whatever the fuck I want, Brusselish or not. However, they do namecheck behive, which I do contribute to occasionally.

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12 November 2007

Best beer in the world - Westvleteren


Belgium is known for being small and boring. Even a razor sharp rift along language lines that threatens to permanently shatter this country fails to make international news. Hell, even Belgians have trouble getting interested in it.

However, Belgium does have good things going for it. Mussels, waffles, frites, chocolate, and most importantly: beer. Belgium has, depending on who you talk to, between 300 and 4 trillion different types of beers. They all have their own glasses and history, which can be up to 1,000 years old. And if you've been doing something for 1,000 years, you're bound to learn a couple things.

OK, they're not all good, in fact some I've tried are too bitter, too gasoliney, or too sickly sweet. But for the most part they are fiercely delicious.

One of my favorite places to go in Brussels to quaff some unique Belgian brews is 'Moeder Lambic.' Located behind St. Gilles' city hall, and about fifteen minutes walk from my place they have a menu thicker than any restaurant I've been to. It lists the strange and delightful brews attainable within, arranged by type. The staggering variety of dusty bottles that cram the high shelves testify to the fact. As a truly Belgian perk you can help yourself to a selection of Belgian comics ('strips' to you) in the window bays.

But even the beer-passionate Moeder Lambic can't get ahold of Belgium's best beer.

That honour goes to my fellow Canadian, and Belgian hockey legend Corey Cornish, who was given three bottles of Westvleteren last week.

On the occasion of a visit from the legendary DFS and Mighty Jo Briggs we sampled the beverages. They were good. Really good. My sluggish palate doesn't equip me to describe the experience in flowering, adjective-strewn prose, so I'll just break it down as follows:

Blonde: 5.8% light, bright, and clear

The 8: 8% dark and rich

The 10: 10.2% the grandaddy

Though my tastes are not that refined, I was able to identify each one as delicious as all anything. With the 10 being my favorite. They are all Trappist beers. Because Westvleteren Brewery is in an honest-to-God Abbey, The Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren. And the beer is universally acclaimed to be the best in the world. I could probably qualify that statement, but I won't bother, because God is on my side.

Seriously, unlike some other 'Trappist' beers, which are only brewed according to the methods of the monks of times past, these actual monks brew this world-class beer themselves. And they don't make alot of it, because they got other things to do. Like serve God, to name the most critical example. So even though demand for the beer is intense, they only output 4750 hL a year, an amount they refuse to increase despite commercial demands.

And you can't buy it anywhere but the Abbey, which is nowhere near where I live. Nor is it close to any population or distribution centre. And, even if you do make the trek out there, which you would only do for the express purpose of getting some of their beer, you can only get one crate. If they happen to have any, that is. And then, only if you've preordered. If not: tough luck and may God have mercy on your thirst.

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Acting & Writing

I'm hammering hot rods into a couple different shapes in a couple different flames.

Contrary to what you might have learned about "copying" and "writing" during your times in educational institutions the act of "copywriting" is actually a specialized and specific field and/or skill that involves working words, punctuation and ideas into the perfect form. In order to inform and/or sell. Like rapping, which I also enjoy doing. Wordsmithery.

It's something i'm pretty good at, something I like doing, and something I'm hoping to do more of. Because besides being something I'm good at and enjoy, it pays well. You may know I've been working with Levi's.eu, and now I'm working with a new client as well. One that has me working weekends, but the modern man's gotta hustle. That much more if his bike was stolen and his car is busted down.

The acting front sees me facilitating some improv workshops in January. Did I mention they're going to be awesome?

And as of Sunday I've got the go-ahead for some on-camera Belgian television work. Because of my non-disclosure agreement i can't tell you what it will be. Only to say i'll be playing a doctor, but it's not porn.

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07 November 2007

Canada notices Belgium tension

So at least Canada is noticing the fact that Belgium is deeply divided along language lines. And may split. The parallels between the situations certainly help raise the profile. Who knows what will happen here in Belgium, and what ripple effect it will or won't have? I guess we'll find out if Belgium can ever make up its mind to stay or go.

Don Murray files a nice article on CBC. And Rafe Mair muses on The Tyee.
Have a read.

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Busty and Busy

Things are too busy to drop too much science but let's just say I've tightened up the trucks on my skateboard.

Finished the play I've been writing. Called the 'Power Force' it's a one-act insiders view on the self-help publishing business written by an outsider. It's a comedic juggernaut, one would hope.

Other dawns are on the horizon, though the sun is setting on our little Citroen Saxo, unless you know somebody with an extra pompe directionelle that they'd like to give away. And by 'give away' I mean install.

AS Roma steps up to the Champions League plate tonight looking to belt a shorthanded solo shot through the uprights.

I've been drawing. On the right side of my brain. I can see improvement on the paper, as well as some insights into speculative brain science.

My french is still crappy. I'm busy. If I wasn't so busy procrastinating I would have more free time to pursue my leisure pursuits. Next week...

Belgium has officially painted itself into a deeply dangerous and fucked up position. The longest the country has ever gone without a government. The word 'crisis' is used often. As is the word 'split'.

Like the Chinese curse says 'May you live in interesting times.'

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01 November 2007

Arcade Fire

Going to see Arcade Fire tomorrow night. That's good news. I like live concerts and long weekends.

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