Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Worst Ruler of All Time

I should probably precede this post by explaining myself a little. I am not talking like, King Henry type of ruler, here. I mean a regular, unassuming, boring ruler. Like, the kind you make lines with.

Why is a ruler, which is probably the most boring thing in the world, deserving of a blog post? Because I haven't posted anything for months and I feel obligated? Well, yes, but also because of this:

It is without a doubt, the worst ruler ever. EVER. Of all time.

I bought this tool the other day after being late for a Cloudscape meeting and realizing that I'd either left my good ruler on the bus, lost it in my 480 square foot apartment, or it had been stolen by rabid coyotes. In any case, it was gone, presumably never to be seen again.

So I stopped at a dollar store. I think it was named something along the lines of 'Happy Money Tree' but I can't remember exactly. I bought it for a dollar, without really even looking at it.

And that's when the hell begins.

1 - It is ugly as all heck.

I'm not trying to be materialistic or anything here, but it's made of cheap blue and red plastic. It sort of looks like Barney, if Barney were blue and also an aborted fetus. There is no love for this thing's appearance. Think Lonely Island's 'dream girl' in ruler form. It is hard to imagine, isn't it? Yes, that is how ugly it is.

2 - Not straight.

Well, it's kinda straight. It follows a line, I mean. But it's got some weird serrated edge so if you don't kinda hover your pencil over the side, you get TOTALLY SWEET bumpy lines all up your page. There are no straight lines in nature, sure. There are even fewer lines that look like alligator teeth.

Even the ends of the ruler aren't straight. They are curved. This means you cannot line the ruler up to make consise lines. This means 'winging it'. The ruler completely fails at it's primary function. If it were a boat, someone would sink it for it's uselessness.

3- I can't throw it away.

I don't know if I can recycle this thing. It is made of weird rubber-plastic. I'm assuming again, some sort of Barney fetus origin, but I could be wrong (and I promise I'll stop making fetus cracks now).

But I hate the idea of wasting things, or throwing things out unreasonably. Or wasting money. Which means this ruler is something I despise but cannot let go of. And I have a feeling rabid coyotes won't want it, either.

So what should I do with this useless article? This office tool that no office would want. The ruler so ugly it would make children weep and scream with terror?

I do not know. I do not think I can be saved from it.

- Christine

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Slacking off has given me great life skills

I am not what you would call a person with a fantastic attention span. My mind is a constant whirl of ponies, bright colours, and 'I wonder if that tastes good on toast'. I do not think I'm a stupid person, but my attention span does wander to a great many subjects, and this means I'm constantly doing more than one thing at a time.

If I am watching television, I am often also reading or writing. Or drawing pictures.

If am eating breakfast, I am on the internet.

If I am drawing, sometimes I watch riveting programs like 'Friends' or anime.

I am easily distracted, I suppose. And while this trait isn't something to be proud of, and it annoys most of the people I know well, it has also given me some excellent life skills.

1- Video Games

I am not going to pass off some b.s. about how playing video games has given me great hand-eye co-ordination, because everyone who knows me has seen me perform at sports. I cannot throw a ball. Sometimes when I play soccer, I just miss the damned thing and fall down. Even games that require hand-eye co-ordination like the Wii are too difficult for me. This is not my point.

I am from a generation of roleplaying games. Games like Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy Seven, and the Legend of Dragoon. These games were excellent (obviously) but they also came with these short videos in between gameplay called 'cutscenes'.

A cutscene, for most people, is time to go make a sandwich, work on laundry or finally do your taxes. But I am patient. I can watch the whole damned thing. I just sit there and listen. I can listen to things I don't care about for hours and retain information. This has passed into my real life as well. I can listen to lectures about stuff that is completely uninteresting. I can feign interest in powerpoint presentations. I can do so much pretending. I know you are jealous.

2. Drawing

When I was 12, I started drawing seriously. (By seriously, I mean pictures of pokemon and Sailor Moon characters, but I thought it was pretty hardcore.) My mother's response to this was to try to convince me to find new hobbies, since drawing did not make anyone money and I probably should knock that off.

I did not knock that off. Not at all. I continue to doodle in the margins and draw strange pictures. I probably will forever. And it has paid off (just not literally).

By wasting my time drawing, I:

- got a mentorship position teaching comic book creation at Vancouver School board.

- have been in two art shows this year in Vancouver!

- finished a comic book

And I am typically just happier because it is hard to be unhappy when you are drawing silly things.

3 - Writing stupid RPGS

Around the same time that Sailor Moon was important to me, I started writing digimon and pokemon rpgs. My writing was horrible. Every character was overemotional, completely boring, and ridiculous looking.

I continue to write these silly RPGs, but only with one person, and I'd like to think our writing has improved quite a bit.

- Last year, I wrote a children's novel. I'm still editing it, but I think it's pretty good!

- I just got my first writing contract with the Canadian Science Fiction Review. They will be publishing my short story, 'Birdcage', in their next issue. And I will be paid for it, which is awesome.

- My typing speed is 90 words per minute. I write constantly. This has been really useful in job searches.

Being creative isn't really 'slacking off', but it is hard for others to see that, especially when you're just starting off. It's also hard to look at your own work and think it is valid enough to try to publish it.

I am pretty happy that I did all these things, anyway. I will continue to draw in the margins in my math homework, and write rpgs as well as short stories. Maybe I don't have very good math or social skills, but I do try damnit. I just have more fun writing stories about unicorns.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A drawing of Faith

The comic is back up. I'll write a blog post soonish. I'm working on some entries for a micro-fiction contest, and the ones I don't use will go up here.

- Chris

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I wish Canadian sterotypes were true.

When I was around ten or eleven years old, I was living with my mother in Ontario. I don't remember where exactly. It was probably Kingston or Ottawa. It might have even been Gananoque. We moved a lot, and it's not that important.

In any case, my Dad was living right across the border in Quebec. Or on the border. I don't know. I always thought Hull was in Quebec, and I remember lots of license plates on cars that read Je me souviens so I know we were in Quebec, anyway.

It was all over the news at the time that Quebec was talking about separating from Canada. I didn't completely understand what this meant. To my small, confused mind I took it to mean quite literally what I'd heard; that Quebec would literally be removed from Canada.

This concept terrified me. You might wonder why. Well, I've made a diagram to illustrate why this is a problem, and I think if you look at it yourself you'll understand:

For those of you who are not from Canada, I drew a frowny face where Quebec is supposed to be.

Now, let's examine the issue here. I'm sure it's clear now why Quebec being shoved into the middle of the ocean or wherever the grown-ups wanted to put it seems completely unreasonable to everyone else too. What would happen to PEI, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia? They would probably float away, or sink or something. And what if Quebec was relocated to some other place? What if they put it up near England or something? My Dad would need to fly a plane to work every day just to go to work in Ottawa. That is ridiculous.

And most importantly, I wouldn't be able to take the train to see him anymore, which would suck massively since the train is awesome.

Anyway, this misconceived understanding of my country's politics is what led me to my actual topic for this thing. (Hopefully nobody's just closed the window at this point because they've finally realized how vapid I am and how much time you're wasting. Thanks for staying here. There are cookies and pie at the end of this post, I promise.) It led me to thinking of other peoples' misunderstandings of our country, or even just stereotypes that people find funny. I wish most of them were true, because I think my life would be so much better.

For one thing, I would love to be a lumberjack and 'just not care'. That would be awesome. Think of how lax that job would be? We could just hang out with the beavers in the woods and cut trees sometimes. Not too much, though. Because we are relaxed.

For another, I wish I lived in an igloo. I also wish I had a polar bear. I would name him Frosting and he would be my best pal. We would frolic through the wilderness (which would constantly be covered in snow because Canada is freezing all the time and never stops being freezing) and I would keep him fed on a steady diet of timbits and ketchup chips.

He'd look something like this:

I also wish that we all sounded like Americans seem to think we do. I've only heard the word 'aboot' from a few people in my life, and it's always someone insisting that I sound like that or from someone who isn't Canadian pretending to be one. I wish we were all overly polite like the media says we were. That'd be so cool. But we are not.

I actually think the American stereotype for how Canadians sound sounds a lot like Sarah Palin.

On second thought, I don't want to sound like that. :( Let's just move on.

I wish maple syrup came on everything. I freakin love maple syrup. That would be so sweet. We could have maple syrup candies, and everything, but instead of selling them just to tourists who think all we eat is maple we could actually have them ourselves! It would be so awesome. As it stands I usually just use 'Aunt Jemimah's' when we have pancakes because maple syrup is like twenty dollars a bottle or something. I think it should be free. Just because we're Canadians. All Canadians should have free maple syrup.

It would also be awesome if we just spent all day skating around playing hockey (when we weren't frolicking with polar bears, of course). After a two hour shift of lumberjacking (kinda) we would all go down to the rink and drink the best beer ever and just play hockey. Whenever someone got angry, the disputes could always be solved by just saying sorry, because Canadians are unable to refuse an apology.

This is the Canada the rest of the world thinks we live in. Why don't we?

EDIT: There totally are no pie or cookies. I tricked you. I know, life is full of disappointments.

...I'm sorry.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bad Grammar Offends me.

I know I'm not the only person who would say this, and I'm not certain what I hope to accomplish with this blog entry. I suppose I don't really mean to accomplish anything.

So, how about another list of things that I don't like? I know how excited you are. (You do not need to be here, you know. There are other websites. If you go back to Facebook, I will forgive you.)

1) Unnecessary Quotes.

Unnecessary quotes make me think that the world is against me. They make me think that people dislike me, are mocking me, or are perhaps just misleading me about the situation at hand. Let's look at some examples!

Please put all "recyclable" goods in the bins.

weet. So, does this mean that the goods that are recyclable are up to my discretion? Can I just decide that cookies are "recyclable"? I mean, in a way, cookies are recyclable if I feed them to my dog. Is this a suggestion? Maybe I can toss anything in there. This bin just became so versatile. I am going to throw anything I want in there.

The school is closed today due to snow. "Thank you" for your understanding.

Wait, what?

Are you-are you mocking me, School? What is this? Yeah, sure guys. "You're welcome." So there!

Please remove all "boots" or "shoes" at the door.

Are you saying they could be anything else? What, am I not really wearing boots? Did someone replace my boots with alien creatures that resemble boots? Or are you mocking me again?

To clarify, quotes are used to establish a few things. They are used to establish that someone is talking, or that you are being sarcastic. If you put 'Thank You' in quotes, you are being a jerk. Maybe not purposely, but you are.

Stop that.

2) Apostrophes are used to show ownership. Not plurals.

I know that nobody cares. I am aware that the English language is changing with time and that people assume this means using apostrophes whenever the heck they want is totally fine. These people are wrong. Here are some specific examples.

Applause Video's

What is upsetting about this is that this is actually a name of a business. This place actually exists. These people actually printed a sign for their business and didn't even know that they were saying something so stupid.

So what I wanna know is this: Who is Applause Video? What does he own? What are you trying to say? Does he own the store? What?

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe Applause is actually a reasonable individual who just happens to have opened a video store. But I doubt it.

I cannot shop at this video rental store based entirely on the premise that they cannot spell their name right. It makes me very, very sad.

I really like cat's.

Again, who is Cat? Cat's what? Do you not realize what you've done? Now I am going to stay awake trying to understand who this is. I'm very unhappy with you.

The Oatmeal has a great article that talks about apostrophe use. If you are confused, I would suggest you check it out.

3) The last thing I'm going to mention are talking in Caps.


What is wrong with this? All the coolest teenagers update all their livejournals like this, after all (do people still use livejournal? Am I still 'with it'? Maybe not.).

I once worked with someone who thought that writing entirely in capital letters was a good way to bring attention to a particular passage. I had a very hard time with this. This is not a good way to bring attention to something. Especially if it is an entire email written this way. Take this passage, for example:

'It is extremely important to get these reports on my desk by Thursday. Failure to do so will result in death by fire.'

Now, to me, this seems pretty severe already. I mean, I don't want to be lit on fire. That's scary. I am definitely going to write that report!

Now, what if we write it all in caps?:


See? This is harsh even without the extra promise of shouting.

When you type in caps you look stupid. Not cool.


"Thank you" for reading MY BLOG. YOU ARE MY BEST "FRIEND'S" EVER.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

National Novel Writing Month

Hi everyone!

So this month is 'National Novel Writing month.' The goal of the month is to write a Novel of 50,000 words (which is about 1,667 words per day). It is also stipulated that you shouldn't spend too much time concerning yourself over what you're going to write - the idea is just to go, write whatever is on your mind and see how it rolls.

So, I've taken the opportunity to jump on this. I'm trying to write a Children's Fantasy novel. I have about 5000 words so far (hey, I've only been going three days, I don't think it's that bad), and I'm posting the chapters on my deviantart here.

My National Novel Writing Page is here.

I'm assuming there's no prize or anything for doing this. I just want to know if I can do this. It would be really good for me to actually put my writing forward as something instead of just erasing all the stories I write.

That said, there probably won't be many blog posts while I'm working on this, this month. I really want to complete this project!

So, if you're bored, come by and read my stuff. I'd really like that.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Bottle Caps

So, when I was around ten years old, my mother, brother and I moved to Lansdowne, Ontario.

This town was alright, but it was small. I remember participating in such activities as trying to pull glued loonies off the sidewalk (I had great neighbors) and eating dog cookies with Jennifer Rose (I am not proud of this last one, but it only happened once. Jennifer, you tricked me. You said they were good. [Note: They were not.])

I also got up to all the things every kid did; climbing trees, fighting with my brother, and only asking my mother questions after she'd become engaged on the phone. But these activities were dull after a while.

It was in the middle of the summer, and my mother had kicked my brother and I out of the house. We'd woken up earlier than we should have and made too much noise playing our Nintendo. There was some argument that I can't really remember that resulted from one of us knocking over the paper cup one too many times trying to pour coffee while playing 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego'. Regardless, it ended with us sitting at the park complaining about how unfair it was to be outside on a sunny August morning instead of at home in the dark playing a video game we'd been fighting over ten minutes prior.

My brother Rob and I decided to start a collection. Well, I decided to start a collection. Rob said it was stupid and told me I was a loser(in retrospect, this was a fair response). Undaunted, I started to pick up bottle caps in the sand at the park. For some reason, by some miracle, the park was always full of these things. It was as if some sort of bottle cap fairy was frequenting the park, every Friday night, and scattering these wonderful relics for me to find! It was wonderful.

I don't know why I thought this was a good idea. The caps were usually dirty, and they smelled bad. Most of them were Molson or Coors caps. They were not even good beer. They didn't even look cool. But I was too young to really get what I was collecting. I was interested in the beavers and the colours of the caps. I told myself I would use them for art projects even though every other time I'd collected things it never amounted to that. (I did the same thing with starburst wrappers in high school. I coated my locker door with them. The smell was.. interesting.)

Regardless, I pressed on. I collected so many bottle caps. I was the queen of bottle caps. I collected caps from the park, from the sidewalk, from Mom's house, and from our friends' homes. It is actually not really that hard to collect a lot of bottle caps over the summer when you live in a small town, to be totally honest.
By the end of the summer I had a ziplock freezer bag full of them. I had more bottle caps than anyone.

This is when things got problematic for my poor mother.

It was not enough to collect the bottle caps. I needed to share this spectacular collection with my mother.

And her friends.
And potential dates.
And teachers who visited.

Unbeknown to myself, I'd painted my mother as some kind of alcoholic. She was mortified. And every time she tried to take them from me, I hassled her about freedom and 'stifling my creativity.'

I think she threw them in the garbage when I went back to school.

That was a good call, Mom.