Saturday, November 28, 2009

Into the Fray I Go

The male of the species via

I've generally managed to reduce my Christmas shopping to one afternoon a year. Not a panic, hair-loss kind of afternoon but generally more of a latte-sipping window browsing casual shopping afternoon. Yet it reveals my male minded hunter approach to shopping (as opposed to the more feminine "gatherer" methodology). I'm more of "hide in the duck blind and wait" type of shopper. I stalk my prey and sniff the ground then when the salesperson has forgotten about me and has gone to the pond for a drink, I pounce. Like the jaguar. Search and destroy, that's my motto. More Gen. Patton than SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker for those not in the know/care). I'm not shopping, I'm hunting. One shot. It's war boys, so gird you loins, put your armour on, nut up or shut up.

I apologize for the drama. The truth is I try to mask my dislike for shopping with a casual indifference. It's been said there are no atheists in a foxhole. Conversely, there are no Christians in a shopping mall. Ye of little faith, go shopping. Go forth and multiply your debt, I say to thee.

I suppose I've abandoned my chiding of retailers who advertise Christmas specials starting on All Saints Day. It's just business. If you made 75% of your revenue in a six to eight week block, you'd want to make the most of it. For businesses it really is war and early advertising is the equivalent of a pre-emptive strike. Yet what to make of my neighbours who took down Halloween decorations and immediately replaced them with Yuletide trimmings? Or were the lights there all year and needed only to be plugged in? The absurdity is distressing not to mention a waste of electricity. We didn't build planet smashing nuclear power plants to make pretty glowing trinkets did we? Have these people been so convinced that Christmas is a two month long celebration of consumption that they've forgotten the point? Clearly they have. Are their lives so bleak and bereft of joy that artificial lights are the only things that will make them happy? Maybe it's not the only thing. Buying disposable crap (insert Grinch-like list of invented products here) also acts as a salve to their open emotional wounds.

I'm sorry to report to you that my afternoon sojourn was a failure. Nothing accomplished. Can't a hunter have a bad day? Patience is not merely a virtue but also a labour. This is something you occasionally have to work at. Thus it is that once more I throw myself on the mercy of the market and pass through the valley of once in a lifetime specials. Pray for me, friend. Pray for us all.

Update: The following day, I left the house determined to do in an hour what I couldn't do in an afternoon. A short drive, 30 minutes later, the task was done. This expedition frees me to point and mock others trapped in their despair.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The most depressing Christmas decorations ever.

Sent from my mobile

Posted via email from peter's preposterous posterous

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Tedium is the Message

I realize I use this blog as a sort of calendar blotter. I mark things I've done in this space then I return to it to see what I was doing. The only trouble is I've replaced it with the sort of micro-notes that have become de rigueur of Web 2.0 (or if not rigorous then at least ubiquitous). I post 140 character arguments and posits on Twitter or briefer still, single digit entries at I'm sure it's all done now. The tedium of the medium is the message.

Now I've even resorted to punnery. So it is that my entries have been infrequent and limited and not so thoughtful. Perhaps it is a bad time to write. I'm just back from hockey, my hands still stink of my gloves, and I've just pounded back a beer to help me sleep and two Advil to help me get up (if that makes sense). All together, it has been a topsy-turvy day. For some reason I was fighting afternoon drowsiness really badly today. Two coffees, a candy bar and cold water splashed on my face achieved nothing. When I did head home, I rode my bike like an old drunk. I almost toppled off at least twice and then one of my pedals came off. I put the old pedal in my pocket like an amputated limb and tried riding without it. That didn't work. Eventually I stopped and jammed the thing back on. I rode home as if in a dream with the cold tearing up my eyes and burning my ears. When I finally did get home, I immediately collapsed on the couch. A nap to offset the sleep deficit. It would seem I'm chronically in debt to my dreams.

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Lab Mixtapes: Episode 23 

The lineage of Black American music is simply too deep and broad to discuss here, yet recently I was struck by similarities heretofore unseen, that now seem obvious. I suppose they were always obvious but humor me. These are the small epiphanies one receives after three hours on a bicycle, while listening to music served randomly and serendipitously by an unbiased iPod. I present to you, Prince, Michael Jackson and the masterful Curtis Mayfield. No explanations required.

Episode 23: The Undeniable Blackness of American Music
plays 18:47 mins — officially the longest running Mixtape thanks to the over 9 minute Mayfield track (which still leaves you wanting more).

links open the iTunes Music Store
1. Black Sweat - Prince
2. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - Michael Jackson
3. Move On Up - Curtis Mayfield

PS. Apologies for the extremely poor down sampling on the Prince track.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Seen in October 

2nd - X-Men Origins: Wolverine
9th - Tyson
11th-12th - Mad Men Season 1
17th - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
24th - Where The Wild Things Are
25th - Mad Men Season 1
30th - Charlie Wilson's War
31st - The Machinist

This month has been mostly about Mad Men Season 1, which has been great and the anticipation around Where the Wild Things Are. WTWTA was a little bewildering more than anything else. I guess anything short of pure adulation would be "disappointing" but like I said I wasn't so much disappointed just kind of bummed because it was a bit of a bummer. If you have a chance to see Tyson, then see it. It will change everything you know about Mike Tyson, though he still doesn't give a good reason for that Maori-themed tattoo.