november 2002

click here for permalink November 25, 2002

Uhhgggh... have I mentioned how much I hate living at this latitude (49°n16) in the winter? From November through January we might not see a single flake of snow and it's dark by 5 in the afternoon...

I'm swear if it wasn't for the clean air, crime-free streets and affordable, beachfront living, Vancouver would be unbearable. Heh... and it really sucks if you happen to sort of make your own schedule most of the time and you've gotten in the habit of doing things at a leisurely pace...

You wake up, make some coffee, eat a bowl of Honeycomb while watching The View, check your email, check your horoscope (get a second opinion if need be), shower, watch V.I.P., email some more... and as you're sitting there, looking out the window and thinking about what a beautiful day it is, plotting your move out into the world... suddenly, you realize that the Sun is going down in half an hour!

Yeah, well. That's my excuse for never leaving the house and I'm sticking to it.

Hey, check it out... Do It Yourself Virtual Fireworks! Or how about... pictures of fireworks as seen from my balcony last summer...

On that note, I think I exhausted my last good brain cell writing the latest article for (new issue is live today — hint, hint!) because I can't think of anything else to talk about... naaa, it's probably just malnutrition from my recent diet of cheese, crackers and cereal bars.

click here for permalink November 23, 2002

"Journals," the book compiled from a collection of Kurt Cobain's prolific personal writings, is now available in bookstores everywhere and Newsweek's cover story this week includes a handful of excerpts...

One excerpt in particular has already sparked controversy among fans; a brief, bitter, condemnation of the media's repeated attempts to steal pages of the very same journals from his hotel and hospital rooms. It's hard to read the passage without feeling a twinge of guilt but then, it's hard to read the other passages without feeling something similar... something I'm not sure I can describe.

For many fans, "Journals" represents an unpardonable invasion of privacy — in Kurt's words, "the rape of my personal thoughts" — and an insult to the memory of a man who suffered greatly — and sought to escape — from the endless intrusions of the public into his troubled life.

For others, the unexpected emergence of Cobain's writings in an unaltered, unedited state, offers far more than a voyeuristic thrill. It's no coincidence that his last words, in the form of a handwritten suicide note, were addressed not only his wife and daughter but to his fans.

In his last moments, he sought to explain the reasons behind his suicide to his fans — so they would understand why — and to thank them for their devotion, which he appreciated but no longer believed he deserved. In the note, he expressed regret and guilt at his inability to go on suffering the side effects of fame for his fans, but he felt that lying to them was worse.

It was a plea for forgiveness but, more than that, it was an attempt to communicate. Tired, in pain and beyond the point of "turning back," Kurt stopped to make contact with the world that would go on living without him. He offered all that he had in the way of explanations... and assurances of his undying gratitude and love.

So, I think "Journals" is another gift from beyond the grave... a glimpse into something utterly unprecedented and incomparably honest, in a time when nothing — from boy bands to reality shows to our government — feels remotely honest or unscripted.

Kurt Cobain endured physical and emotional pain for years but what he eventually found unbearable — what he chose death to escape from — was feeling nothing. Even Erlandson, the man who saved all of the notebooks from which "Journals" was compiled, said of its publication, "I just pray that the benefits received by the world outweigh the negativity caused." And that's what I think Kurt ultimately would have wanted.

click here for permalink November 18, 2002

"Behind Enemy Lines" was on TV last night and, predictable as tic-tac-toe plot aside, it's a passable entry into the "flag-waving action" genre. It stars Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson but you know big (even respectable) names are no guarantee of quality...

It seems to have been rushed through post-production just so they could release it one month before Ridley Scott's thematically similar, but in all other ways far superior, war epic "Black Hawk Down." It's a common tactic of mediocre action movies — remember how "Leviathan" and "Deep Star Six," two abysmal "Abyss" knock-offs, were prematurely yanked out of the editing room to beat the long-awaited release of James Cameron's underwater epic into theaters?

Well, "Behind Enemy Lines" was way better than "Leviathan" or "Deep Star Six," but I'm off on a tangent. Heh... anyway. So, I'm half-watching the movie and half-tending to some sewing project (my latest obsession) and I notice something about the soundtrack — or the sound effects... or something — it comes and goes before I can identify it and I can't chase after every little cinematic triviality that trips my "homage" radar...

But then, after the movie, I'm checking out the IMDB entry for trivia — you know, to see if there are any mentions of "Black Hawk Down" — and I come across this...

"When the crew of the carrier are linking a satellite to view Burnett, as the Thermal image appears on the screen, the sound effect is the same as in Predator (1987) when the screen shows the Predator's Thermal view."

Yes! I say to myself, That was it!! And the whole point of this story is that I am such a geek! And, since I have no one with whom to share this sort of pointless geek triumph — no one who knows W.T.F. I'm talking about, anyway — well, here we are.

click here for permalink November 17, 2002

There's nothing quite like the screeching feedback of a sound-check right outside one's bedroom window to jolt one out of the would-be tranquillity of sleeping in on a Sunday morning.

You see, right outside my bedroom (and adjacent living room) window lies a stretch of beach-park (25% sand/65% grass/10% paved bike trail) which doubles as the year-round site of many an organized, but badly amplified, political rally.

Today's little assembly is out there protesting the war with Iraq which, to me, begs the question... who in Vancouver do they think they're trying to convince?

Goddess, hold me back... Now they're actually chanting "1, 2, 3, 4, we don't want — " whatever the hell they're saying...

All summer, I found myself shutting my windows and the sliding glass doors in the living room (which means, I should add, sealing off the balcony, a fabulous view of English Bay and my only source of fresh air) just to hear myself think over the cacophony of loud-speakered speeches, cheers of solidarity and the ubiquitous tribal drumming (the latter of which will not be drowned out by anything, short of cranking up Rage Against the Machine and transforming the apartment into our own little two-room Rock the Vote).

Oh well... as far as Reasons to Be a Shut-In go, it beats hot tar roofing.

click here for permalink November 01, 2002

Hey, it's November... I'm doing another tiny first-of-the-month update and this time it's not just so I don't have to look at last month's entry here and feel guilty. Nope, this time I'm updating to tell everyone to go check out Emory's new site which, coincidentally, features a column by yours truly called Right Here Right Now.

I'm going to be ranting about something new each week and you're invited to participate by sending me wildly intelligent and insightful comments to include in future issues... so check it out!

That's it for today... oh yeah, I hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween! We skipped it this year — no reason in particular — except, well... Except that maybe the thought of Monica and Johnny celebrating in New York made going out here seem unappealing by comparison... Yeah, that was it... damn you crazy kids!