31 October 2008

HTML- Read More - Theta

Apparently I have just proven myself capable (finally!) of following simple instructions and therefore my blog posts from here on will appear as a teaser with a clickable link for you to follow if you want to read more. Except in this case there isn't anything else to read. This is just a test.


Halloweeeeeeeeen Links

-Trick or treating is a very serious job, employing methodical planning and strategic execution. Oh, and it's also fun. And the better it's done, the more fun it is. Check out this Trick or Treaters Code, based on the Hobo Code.

-My pumpkins usually look like I performed the operation wearing mittens. These sure don't. 20 awesome carved pumpkins.

-Oh yeah, Mr (or Ms) Big Shot? Think you can do better? Carve your own virtual pumpkin here.

-Actually why don't you make a political pumpkin that can perform double duty? Campaign spooooookily... Yes We Carve.

-While browsing for links, I found my my Halloween tips from last year.


30 October 2008

October 31 & November 4

Like the geographically-detached global citizen I am, I have been for weeks excited about two events that are rapidly approaching - though not necessarily in Belgium.

The first is Hallowe'en, which is no Belgian holiday. In fact it is vehemently resisted in some quarters, as if being pro-hallowe'en means you're anti-Belgium.

I, on the other hand, cannot resist it's charms. Every year, sitting in the pumpkin patch, memories of trick or treating, or in later years, getting drunk and lighting firecrackers, and apologizing for my last-minute costumes, come flooding back. I get excited.

While plans aren't really coming together for this Hallowe'en to be epic (Amy Winehouse isn't coming back to go costume shopping with me, for example).

However, it will involve, if nothing else - scary movies and ghoulish facepaint. I might even bob for an apple in the sink.

The second non-Belgic event - for which I'm even more excited - is American Election Day. November 4th. I have a deep and abiding interest in politics, but I still can't adequately account for my slavish obsessive devotion to this election.

And you know what? The root or implications of my obsession don't matter. The only important thing is that The Big O and Joe the Senator beat the Maverick and Bible Spice to the White House. A tiny margin will do, though honestly I'm hoping for a Ruddslide.

Y'see I like Americans, and I want to believe they can be honest, progressive and fess up, "Yeah, we elected Bush twice. (Fuuuuuuuuuck, I know). Anyway, now we're going for the smart guy."

For those of us who don't vote in this election: let's keep buying those Obama masks. It's the only way to be sure to have a happy Hallowe'en and a progressive, thoughtful, ideology-free 2009-2012.

Fuck the candy, I want some change for Hallowe'en.


27 October 2008

Strindberg + Helium- Autumn

Apparently the bone-dry hilarity that is Strindberg and helium has been online forever. So I guess you already know about it.

If you don't, or are anyways feeling in the mood for some funny and depressing animated poetry check it out. Watch "the super-dour Swedish playwright August Strindberg." wax gloomy about autumn. Along with, of course, his irrepressibly bubbly helium balloon.
Thanks VSL

Here's a fun idea: write your own melancholy seasonal verse and leave it in the comments!

Here's mine:

Winter comes like the ripper.
All shrivel at his advance.
Seasonal suicide, to risk not his icy hand.
Even the bear, sleeps deep.


26 October 2008

Woodhands - I wasn't made for fighting

Super-fantastic video for the Canadian band Woodhands. I used to really like this song, now I love it. Directed by Asif Mian.

Watch it. That's all. Go Woodhhands.


22 October 2008

Forza Roma? Please.

Tonight my football team, AS Roma, who have been beset by injury, confidence, and ability crises, will head to Stamford Bridge to take on the all-stars known as Chelsea.

Let's rally, shall we?

It can happen..

I (and they) appreciate your proxy tifosism. Forza!

*For more and actual information go here.


21 October 2008

BXL Improv Workshop Mark II - Booked!

There's a new improv workshop coming up in January. Brussels will see another version of the very successful Impromptu! workshop held last January. You may recall that they were awesome.

Though it's almost 3 months away, it's already sold out. I should be doing more of these in order to meet demand.

Venues? Producers? Please step forward.


Business in London

Hotel room. Meetings. Massive, expertly-crafted, breakfast buffet each and every morning, street bitters with old friends, Westminster.

Just a few of the headlines from the trip to London.

Business travel is kinda fun. Though the novelty of going about once a year makes it difficult for me to grow tired of it. (The massive, delicious, and diverse spread of every conceivable breakfast foodstuff in the hotel restaurant each morning sure didn't hurt).

The meetings were fun. Partially because I got to be in charge - which means I get to be the centre of attention and everyone does what I say. I like it like that. Fortunately I wasn't alone in that assessment.

Of course, the highlight of the meetings were the actual 'meetings' of colleagues from around Europe. However, these social interactions were easily out-highlighted by the time spent with London-dwelling friends.

Enjoying street bitters and smokes with DFS and G. Ramba was a definite highlight. I haven't seen former flatmate Girish in many years, but you wouldn't have known it.

And of course being joined by my wife for the weekend was awesome. She loves London, it makes her happy. That makes me happy. And London reaps the benefits of our happiness. Piled on Saturday evening spread of friends and food. Rejoicing.

Lots of thanks go to all Londonites who helped us out: breakfast chefs, meeting participants, guest spot friends and our hosts JB and DFS who showed us a proper Norf London good time. Well done to all.*

*The exceptions being Fulham, who only eked out a 0-0 draw against Sunderland on Saturday afternoon, and of course AS Roma, who were embarrassed 0-4, at home, by Inter. Uggh.
Better luck Wednesday, boys. Magari. Forza!


14 October 2008

Elections & Boners

A couple of websites you should be following if you're into the aforementioned topics:

1. Perspctv.com A clearinghouse of maps, charts and graphs, plus articles, twitters, blogs, and dugg items - all about the US Presidential election. At once visually simple and surprisingly in-depth. Bookmark it.

2. Boner party. A celebration of all things boner-worthy (their words). Light-hearted, zingy and tasteful: from Winnie Cooper, to hipsters, dudes got their heads on straight. Perusably enjoyable. Bookmark it.


13 October 2008

Canadian Thanksgiving

Hey America - you slowpokes. we're already getting drunk on wine and turkey today; as always, we're celebrating Thanksgiving 6 weeks in advance of you guys.

This is because our Pilgrims arrived well in advance of the pointy-headed American ones.* How's second place, suckers?


More Canadian facts:
(courtesy of Chris Bucholz at Cracked)

Canada became a country in 1867 when we filled in the proper forms with the British government.

Our national animal is the beaver. It was chosen as a symbol of our country’s glory for its ability to soar majestically over the landscape on its wide tail.


Just some food for thought while you're eating your turkey, tofurkey, or turducken.


10 October 2008

Overboard Mark 2: hot, hot, hip hop

You might know that I like the hip hop music. You might even know that I have a hip hop career, even. I present:


When I worked at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, I co-developed and presented a mind-bending lesson about metamorphosis. It included: a rip in the space-time continuum, the ability to listen to the thoughts of a tadpole, and a tadpole who is repeatedly suprised by his development into a frog, and not a fish.

It culminated with Jason Nodder in frog suit and myself (in scientician outfit) rocking an accapella rap track complete with a call-and-response for children and parents.

Sample line: "I thought I was a fish, but that was a mistake/ I've always been a frog, I just had to wait."

It was wicked hot, and if I do say so myself, took educational programming at that venerable institution light years into the future. Or at least the present.


This was followed up with a successful hip-hop history lesson at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I spent my summer rocking a track I worte about the socio-economic causes of the rise of Nazism in Germany post-WWI. This factual was kicked inside the gallery space during an exhibition on art from that period. Huge shouts to the amazing DJ Splice, who made the fresh, fresh beat.

Sample line: "The Weimar Republic was Germany's first democracy/ a noble attempt but it wasn't done properly."

The seeming disjunction of rap music in staid art institution actually went over quite well. Lots of positive feedback.


I recorded an extremely rare and fresh rap album with brilliant improvisers Dave Morris and Ryan Beil as hiphop supergroup See Spot Rhyme. The album was called Ready, Set, Rap. We rocked quite a few live shows as well.

An imperfect, but enjoyable piece of awesomeness.


I'm on my way to Amsterdam this weekend to lay down some rhymes with Shortcut Kid and Ginger Fury. We are Overboard, your next favorite rap group. We will be joined in the studio by awesome person/former member of the legendary KAT Krew J. Trigga.

We hope to have some tracks 'in the can' in the very near future.


09 October 2008

Vote for Environment (Canada)

The execution of the following video gets a C+, but the idea - voting strategically for environmentally aware/active candidates, and preventing that donkey Stephen Harper from becoming PM again - gets an A+.

Learn more at Voteforenvironment.ca

Thanks Dan, for putting me onto this. Vote smart, people.


08 October 2008

Police State Holidays

My wife and I are going back to Canada for Christmas. After a 2.5 year hiatus we will hit my favorite town in the world - Vancouver. There will be lots of eggnog and laughter and sushi with family and friends; we're both super-excited.

As a pro/con bonus we have to fly in and out of Seattle (so much cheaper than YVR).

This is a 'positive bonus' because we plan to spend a couple of nights there, enjoying Seattley things.

This is a 'negative bonus' because when booking our tickets we had to provide all kinds of information to Air France to ensure every piece of data mined by the internet, public agencies, informants, and the all-seeing eye, can be easily accessed by American Security Agencies. And merely by passing through the US of A, we will no doubt endure all kinds of stink-eyed scepticism and bureaucracy.

While not a problem per se, it is unnerving knowing that there is so much scrutiny and data being accumulated - not just on myself or my wife, but on anybody who crosses the border.

I guess when so many people hate all of your freedom, you can't be too careful.

This is all by way of introduction for the following piece of genius.

Not just for America, but designed for them, artist Evan Roth has a new art project - T.S.A. Communications, that lets you tell airport security what's on your mind. Awesome!
Link (via wooster)


07 October 2008

Man up with man skills

Via kottke.
If you're like me you're a weak, latte-fed, sweater-wearing ponce.

Seriously, what's wrong with you, you pussy?

Don't be intimidated. Manliness, like man, has evolved. It is no longer strictly the ability to kill other men or animals with barehands.

Now, you can be nice to women and animals, have interesting taste in music and even wear sweaters - and still be manly! The new man is flexible. But, above all, he is competent. Check out "100 skills every man should know" and start learning. If you're like me, you've got a fair ways to go.

'Capable' is the new 'bloodthirsty machismo'. Get on it.

PS: Dames can do a lot of these things too.


03 October 2008

Instant Grant Program

The Federation of Students and Nominally or Unemployed Artists (FSNUA) spent some time in Union Square Park in Manhattan, giving away grants to people to pursue their artistic projects: from printing supplies, studio time, accordion repair, whatever.

"The FSNUA aims to re-inspire creative thinking and action in everyday people by removing a small barrier and providing encouragement. We give small, unsecured grants in the form of $10-$60 for creative projects thought up on the spot by everyday people."

This is an amazing, multi-layered, positive artistic intervention. The short-term effects are: hub-bub and excitement and strangers sharing laughter and applause. The long-term effects are at least one repaired accordion, and I'm sure so much more. Divide $1000 by $10-$60 and multiply that by inspired people and you get ripples.

Instant Grant Program from Steve Lambert on Vimeo.

Via Urban Prankster



02 October 2008

5ive years and counting

Marriage-wise it's more like four months, but who's counting?