Tragedy is when I cut my finger (Megan Fowler)

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Updated: 11 years 8 weeks ago

Notes for 11/22/2006

November 22, 2006 - 2:10am

Alright.  SO 2 more weeks till my class is done.  And my paper is now done, so I'm actually able to breathe now.  WOO!

Here we go....

  • The Conservative government is going to revisit the issue of same-sex marriage.  I have an idea for them:  GET OVER IT.  It's not affecting you, so leave it alone.  And besides, the more married couples there are in Canada, the more people you can tax in a higher bracket.
  • Today is my graduation again.  Yes, that's right.  Again.  I'm a hero
  • I wrote 3700 words in the span of 4 hours.  I'm again a hero.
  • Borat on Saturday?  Yes, I think so...
  • As Mack has already commented, we will needs passports to enter the US by air as of January 23rd.  I understand their concern, but really...do they think I'm going to blow them up with Timbits or something??  I think not.
  • The former “mighty” Ducks are in town next week.  Along with the douchebag defenseman.  Let's make it a night he'll never forget. 
  • Go see Half Nelson.  I reviewed it here
  • Go check out my Twitter page.
  • I'm the best haiku poet ever.
       The Brits were flummoxed
       The Boers had better guns
       Empire starts decline

That's it that's all.  I'm out; time to get to work.  I think. 

Review: Half Nelson

November 17, 2006 - 7:13am

I went to see Half Nelson last night with Cyd (from the pool). Oh. My. God.  Such a fantastic movie; I can't wait until it comes out on DVD.  I've decided already that I'm definitely going to be teaching it when (if) I ever get my own classroom.  The film stars Ryan Gosling as junior high school teacher and crack addict Dan Dunne, Shareeka Epps as Dan's student and unlikely friend Drey and Anthony Mackie, as Frank, Dan's dealer and Drey's 'protector'.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

When I first heard about the film, I was pretty excited, mostly because Gosling is in it, but I'm so glad that I went.  It's one of those films that you can't necessarily process right away, but it gives you lots to think about.  Though it was shot with handheld cameras, I never got the feeling that the cinematography was unsteady or that it was distracting.  Instead, it helped me to really get into the characters, and not be a passive observer, but a more active participant in the film.  The film could have fallen off the rails in a big way, in that it COULD have focused solely on Dunne's spiral into addiction, but instead gave us a cast of characters that helped us realize why Dan's addiction was so potent, and how Drey took on the role of the authority figure in the relationship and helped Dan try to overcome his battle.

SPOILERS BELOW - SKIP THIS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE FILM

Set in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Brooklyn, the film opens with a series of shots showing Dan getting ready for a day at school, including his requisite eye check (to make sure they're not red after his long night of drinking and getting high).  As a history teacher, Dan bends the curriculum to fit his own views of the past, encouraging his students to think in terms of dialectics (opposites, to put it simply); the notion that change is a spiral motion rather than a linear motion is one of the central themes of the film. Dan's students are engaged in a discussion of the Civil Rights Movement in the US, and their short, direct-to-camera/audience monologues give us the impression that Dan's really trying to get a handle on his problem.

Drey catches Dan in the girls locker room after a basketball game, higher than a kite, and unable to lift himself off the ground.  With all of the poise and maturity of someone much older, Drey wipes the sweat off Dan's forehead and begins to care for him in a way that he cannot begin to care for himself.  Like most 13 year old girls with a male teacher and coach, Drey has a crush on Dan, and part of her development is coming to terms with the fact that she’ll never be more than his student or his friend.  Their relationship progresses to the point where they each consider the other a friend, and Drey's continuing presence in Dan's life at times seems to be the only anchor in his existence.  As Dan's life spirals out of control, we see Drey try to reach him, but he pushes himself further away from her so that he can spiral downward on his own.  Dan's darkest point comes jsut before the end of the film, when Drey delivers a supply to his hotel room.  He gives her the money and looks at her with a look that says “I'm sorry.  Please help me.” 

Dan isn't the only father figure in Drey's typical 'single working mom' life.  Drey's brother is in prison, but his friend Frank tries to push his way into Drey's life to take care of her, until she begins running drugs for him and collecting payment from his clients.  We can't even begin to understand what it means for Drey that she's relegated to running drugs for a 'friend', and Epps doesn't let us see the revulsion until the end. 

SPOILERS ABOVE

The relationship between Dan and Drey in the film was decidedly non-sexual, which was a good decision, because that sort of thing would have taken away from the surreal quality found in the film itself.  Epps was remarkable in this role, and showed her mettle, standing up to one of the finest actors in the industry at the moment (in my humble, and COMPLETELY objective opinion). 

I'm a pretty big fan of Ryan Gosling, and have been since he was on Breaker High (yes I watched it.  Deal with it).  I was more or less blown away by him in The United States of Leland, and also enjoyed him in The Notebook.  What got me in this movie was the way he played such a convincing crackhead.  Cyd commented to me that he did the druggie thing well, and she's absolutely right.  I think that it definitely takes a certain talent to act the role of something or someone you've never been and probably never will be, but he pulls it off well.

I would strongly recommend this film to anyone and everyone.  Though there are some obvious shots of Dan getting high, the bad language is minimal, and the violence is almost non-existent.  Instead of relying on a lot of dialogue, the film moves through its scenes because of the wonderful connection between Gosling and Epps, and the simplicity of setting.  Although it’s not clear how long the idyll in the end will last, there’s a real sense of hope for both Dan and Drey, that they’ll come out of their situations as better, stronger people. 

Macbeth

November 17, 2006 - 6:35am

Is anyone interested in watching a performance of Macbeth on Friday (Nov 24) in the afternoon at McNally?  Tickets are $5.  My mom's even going to come!

Let me know.

Notes for 11/13/2006

November 13, 2006 - 5:12am

Wow.  So I've been pretty much non-existent around here lately.  Maybe it's because most days I don't even have time to think never mind blog.  So, here we go...

  • Remembrance Day was this past Saturday, and I do not feel the same way that Mack and Darren do.  I think that the fact that the ceremony has become stale is a good thing, because we haven't had any global conflicts on the scale of Word War II since, well, World War II.  For me, Remembrance Day is one of those days that really resonates with me, because of my Grandpa's service in WWII, and because of my affinity for the military.  Yes, I get a little emotional , which is why I don't go to the public ceremonies, but watch in the comfort of my own home.  It's unfortunate that there are so many people who fail to recognize the relevance of the day, and understand that your freedom of expression and freedom of the press and freedom of religion was defended by those who have served, and continue to serve their country. 
  • Jane and 's birthday dinner/board game playing was on Saturday.  We had good times, and I really enjoyed myself.  It was fun to be with everyone again, because we don't get the chance often enough.  Board games at Jane's house were fun too.  Clearly we need to get together more often. 
  • The downside of the evening was the horrid service at The Mongolie Grill.  I realize that you pick the food yourself, and then take it to be cooked, and then they bring it out to you.  But seriously, why in hell did it take 45 minutes for the girl to bring my drink refill?  Or a half hour for my bill?  Come on.  Not only this, they also added a 15% gratuity to my bill because I was part of a big group.  I don't think that asking a 15% gratuity is rasonable at a restaurant where I create my own meal and only ask for a Coke and some soup.  But maybe that's just me. 
  • I had my first Eggnog Latte of the year yesterday.  Heck yeah, I'm excited about that drink being back.
  • I'm not, however, excited about the insane amounts of people in the stores this Christmas shopping season.  I'm planning on doing all of my shopping on Thursday afternoons and evenings.  Or after work at the pool, but NEVER on weekends. 
  • Oilers.  They need to stop losing.  'Nuff said.
  • Work is good, but man I'm busy.  Kids are good, for the most part, but I am gobsmacked by the insane amount of ignorance that I encounter on a daily basis.  I'll make a different blog to write about that, where no one will find it, and vent about it.  Kind of like Tucker Max's friend who teaches slow learners.  (I'd link to it, but TuckerMax.com is blocked by EPSB IT, and I don't know the link off the top of my head.)
  • Going to see Half Nelson on Thursday with Cyd (from the pool).  Absolutely cannot wait for that one.  If you're interested, it's at The Princess at 7pm.  Join us if you want. 

That's it for now.  I'll try to be slightly more regular in the future. 

 

AAAAAAAAGH

October 31, 2006 - 7:57am

Dumb class of all boys

I hate them with a passion

I want to drink beer

New Job

October 24, 2006 - 1:35pm
So by now most of you have heard that I have a job. A real job. A teaching job even. Yay me! I'm interning at McNally in the English Department, which is interesting, to say the least. I started last week Tuesday, and my contract is up on January 12. So that'll give me more than enough time to figure out if I REALLY want to teach English (I'm leaning towards no at the moment. I'll get into that some other time.)
So far, things are good, and I'm absolutely amazed at how much goes into planning to teach English. But that is a tale for another time. What I'd like to talk about tonight is how 'entitled' kids seem to think they are. Now, I'm not old, and it wasn't THAT long ago that I was in high school. In fact, it's less than 5 and a half years ago that we all graduated. I'm going to reiterate that in comparison to other teachers, I'm not old. However, I absolutely cannot believe how much crap kids have these days. Absolutely everyone has a cell phone, and I mean EVERYONE. Remember back in high school when Mack had the coolest phone EVER? It's like that, only every third kid has a Razr (not Razor, Razr), or whatever the hell else is a cool phone. My phone (less than 2 years old) is totally ghetto. Also, every damn kid has an iPod. Not a different mp3 player. An iPod. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that iPods are marketed better than anything else, and they come in very cool colours, so they're appealing to kids. And kids seem to all have cars. Maybe not any more than when we were in school, but I find that the cars they own are spectacular. Like one of the kids from the swim team has a 2004 Toyota Highlander. The front tires are worth more than my car. It's odd to me, that's for sure.
Let me tell you a story. I took away a kid's iPod last Monday. The next time I saw him, he had an iPod. It wasn't the one I took away, however. IT WAS A NEW ONE!!!! I was shocked. Here I am all excited when my dad buys me a new set of windshield wipers, and this kid gets a new iPod. And for what? Nothing. Nothing at all. And people wonder why kids are so stinking lazy.....

Breaking News

October 7, 2006 - 11:53pm
Aimee has a shelf. She rests her chin and her Grey Poupon on it. That is all.

Notes for 10/05/2006

October 5, 2006 - 9:05am
Yo what's up? I'm really sorry I haven't been posting lately. I've been a little busy with, well, stuff. I'm not going to say what, because those who know, know. And those who don't will find out soon enough. Without further ado...
  • Big news on the horizon. Can't say much about it yet, but will when it's a for sure. Ok? Ok. (And then we will drink, or celebrate somehow.)
  • Had an interview today in Athabasca for a teaching job. I think it was the best one I've had. I walked in there like I was the biggest deal in the world (which I am) and owned it. We'll see what happens.
  • Greg is again awesome (for an entirely different reason than last time). That is all.
  • Marking papers is going well. Minus the kids who think they can get away with using big words incorrectly to "enhance" their writing. Not so fast, kiddies. I can see through that like never before. And besides, when neither my mom nor I can figure out what the big word means in context, it's probably being used wrong.
  • I hate cars. $1000 to fix it from the debacle in the ditch, and it's now making a worse noise than it was before. On the upside, I saved myself about $100 by not letting them put the new wipers on for me. (What a stinking rip off!!)
  • Corb Lund tonight! AND it's Alexander Keith's 211th birthday! I want more foam antlers!
  • Ticket crisis for The Who is solved. Thanks Mom!
  • I've discovered that in some respects I'm exceptionally brave (at least according to Wendy) but then other times, SUCH A CHICKEN.
  • Welders = lame.
  • Planning a trip to....Van City(!) Don't know when yet, but I have 2 friends out there now, and one is in dire need of a huge bender with yours truly, and Kelsey wants to go to the Cupcakes store and the one that sells only sundaes. And I want to see them both. So soon, I'll be there, I promise.
  • Aimee's in town this weekend. Yay! It's also her birthday next friday. So wish her a very happy birthday!
  • Oilers home opener tonight. Smytty gets the winner, and Joffrey Lupul does something. And looks hot while doing it. (And before you get all up in my face about it, at least he's not dating a 37 year old has-been supermodel, like some other hockey player...
That's about all I've got for today. Hopefully I can start to post more regulary, once I get a settled schedule.

Funny from my Mommy

September 28, 2006 - 9:24am
WHY THE ENGLISH WORE RED COATS!

A long time ago, Britain and France were at war. During one battle, the French captured an English colonel.
They took him to their headquarters, and the French general began to question him.
Finally, as an afterthought, the French general asked, "Why do you English officers all wear red coats?
Don't you know the red material makes you easier targets for us to shoot at?"
In his bland English way, the officer informed the general that the reason English officers wear red coats is so that if they are shot the blood won't show, and the men they are leading won't panic.
And that is why, from that day to this, all French Army officers wear brown pants.

Job Situation

September 26, 2006 - 7:36am
I don't have one. It's frustrating me. If I've been short with you lately, I apologize. But do not ask if I've found a job. I'll hurt you.

Notes for 09/24/2006

September 24, 2006 - 3:19pm
Here they are, in no particular order:
  • I'm marking English papers at McNally. For 20 bucks an hour. It's a sweet deal, and it makes me feel semi-useful.
  • Work is still ok. I start teaching again tomorrow, for the first time in well over a month, so that's kind of exciting.
  • Can't wait for Corb Lund, or The Who. Or the Goo Goo Dolls. Woo!
  • I'm going to McNally on Wednesday to talk about Seamus Heaney with two IB English 30 classes. I'm so excited that I get to go and teach something other than swimming to kids other than 4 year olds. And I'm so pumped about it, that I'm almost getting insomnia from it. (Whatever, call me a loser, but I haven't taught in a classroom for about a year and a half. And we all know how I feel about that.)
  • Might go to Calgary on Friday; be nice to see some of the boys from school for the first time in a long time. Or not. Depends if they pick up the phone when I call.
  • Congrats to Chu and Michelle! Sorry I had to take off so early on Friday, but the Symphony was great!
That is all.

Notes for 9/19/2006

September 19, 2006 - 10:24am
Ok. I'm going to try to post a little more regularly now that I have some time. Since my last little update, I've actually done a lot of stuff; some of it very exciting, and some a little more, well, scary (for lack of a better word).
  • No job yet. I'm confident I'll find something. If not, I'm going to work at Starbucks. At least there I'll be putting my Arts degree to use. Haha.
  • Last week, as you all know, I was in Whitecourt and Grande Cache for 2 separate job interviews. I didn't get either job (see point #1), but let me fill you ALL in on my adventures on the highway between Hinton and Grande Cache. You see, to get to Grande Cache from Whitecourt, there's 2 ways; north through Grande Prairie, or south through Edson and Hinton and then north from Hinton. I chose route number 2 because it seemed silly to drive 3 hours north to GP to then turn around and drive 2 hours back south to Grande Cache.
    I should have picked number 1. See, last week there was an early snowstorm in the foothills, and I was fortunate enough to be driving through that region during the storm. The drive to Hinton was uneventful; I got gas there and carried on towards Grande Cache. It was pretty apparent that the road to GC was not a great road, and being a mountain pass, it's pretty narrow. It also happened to be snowing and so windy that I could feel my car pulling on the road.
    So I'm driving the 147 km between Hinton and Grande Cache, and exactly 46 km from the school where my interview was (and 1hr before my interview) I hit the ditch. Backwards. At 65 km/hr. Luckily I went in the shallow ditch (about 10 feet deep) rather than the deep ditch (50 feet straight down a cliff face). I got driven to Grande Cache by a lovely couple who were traveling to Grande Prairie, and was helped in the search for a tow truck. I did my interview, didn't get my car back until about 630 that night, so I ended up staying overnight in Grande Cache with the principal, his wife and their (super cute) 9 month old baby. I left the house at 915 in the morning (while it was still snowing) and headed back south on Highway 40. Again, I thought I about going through Grande Prairie, but I decided against it.
    I was wrong. About 20km north of Hinton, the traffic slowed to a crawl, I almost got hit by a semi, and I hit the ditch (this time by choice). The only upside to this one was that I got pulled out of the ditch by two SUPER hot guys. We were all stuck on the highway for about 2 hours, because of a lane being closed down the road a bit. I finally got to Hinton around 2pm, had lunch and headed home. I got home at 615 pm. And all but decided that if I ever move up there, I'm buying a truck.
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers concert was un-fricking-believable. I had SO much fun, and knew the words to all the songs except one from the new CD, because I hadn't really listened to it before. It was the first concert I've been to in a long time where I immensely enjoyed myself from beginning to end. What bothers me most is the young punks whose parents obviously paid for their tickets because they enjoyed one song off the new album and are only there because it's the cool concert of the year. Kind of like Green Day and Our Lady Peace. And Velvet Revolver, when I heard someone say "why does that guy (meaning Slash) have such bad 80's hair?" BECAUSE IT'S SLASH! Anyways...
  • There is an interesting prospect on the job front. If it pans out, I'll let everyone know (after I call my mom and tell her, and call James Knull. Don't ask.)
That's about it for now. I promise that soon I'll start reviewing books on here. Because I've read lots lately.

SUCCESS! (no, I didn't get a job.....yet)

September 12, 2006 - 2:56pm
That is all.

Update of sorts

September 12, 2006 - 6:52am
   I took a little hiatus from blogging, and my suspicions were confirmed. No one noticed, and if they did, they didn't tell me they noticed. I was getting a bit frustrated with posting and having no one read what I had to say. I can look and see how many people looked at each post, so don't try and tell me lots of people read my stuff. They didn't. Anyways.
   I'm heading out of town tomorrow for a job interview in Whitecourt (High School English and Social) and then one on Thursday in Grande Cache (Math and Science, jr high Special Ed and CTS). Obviously I'm more suited to the one in Whitecourt. Wish me luck. So about 1000km, 2 job interviews and an overnight stay in less than 36 hours. Great.....
   Red Hot Chili Peppers are in town on Sunday. I'm very excited about the show, and I've been counting down for about 3 weeks now. Woo!
   That's about all I got; this job thing is sort of stressing me out, so once things get settled, I'll let you guys know.

Notes for 08/23/2006

August 23, 2006 - 2:50pm
Long time, blah blah blah. I've been busy not working and not being in school, and just kind of bumming around.

Camping was grand old times, minus the monster rainstorm on Saturday night. I was scared, I'm not going to lie.
Overheard at the campsite: Shit nigga, that _______ is wack! Yeah, that's right. Mack said nigga. It was riotous.
Greg = teh awesome. That is all.
Welder = lame-o. However, the near tornado was enough reason to perhaps not come.

Need to find a job. I'm sort of stressed out about it because I'm mostly broke. However, all will work out in the end, I'm sure, even if I have to work at Starbucks. MMM free coffee.
Wedding on Saturday; glad to say that tensions should be non-existent.
Mack is moving next week; Friday is the housewarming (hopefully). Greg and I planned it, you know what that means? Beer. And lots of it.
More people need to read my stuff because I check the stats and I get disheartened. Maybe I need to become anti-Semitic and people will read what I have to say?

That is all.