it’s been awhile since I could hold my head up high [and blog]

September 9, 2011 - Leave a Response

Does anyone still check this thing?
According the the Site Stats, yes!
Weird.
Anyway, I was pretty much phoning it in for that last post down there on April 21, 2010.

Not even a picture. Yeesh.

shrug?

this is largely what google gave me when I searched "shrug"... I had no idea this was a thing.

So, I have a new blog over at thorsmightyblog.blogspot.com! It is concerned with all things comic book-related. So, if that’s what you’re into, head on over there.

So, that’s pretty much it for now… I dunno how often I’m going to be posting on this ol’ thing, so see ya ’round!

In the interest of all things random, here is the result of my “random article” click on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddle_surface

Lord, I love that button.

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So what’s the deal with 4:20?

April 21, 2010 - Leave a Response

I’ve never really understood 4:2o. I mean, sure, it’s a holy day for stoners and Rastafarians, on which they partake in the toking of the sacred ganja… but, really, that’s pretty much an average day for a lot of that demographic.

Today is special only because of the massive gathering that is allowed to take place at the legislature. Now, I don’t mind people doing their own thing as long as they’re not hurting anybody or doing any damage. And this crowd is pretty passive. But they leave a godawful mess all over the nice, pretty grass. And there are way too many young kids hanging around and getting high.

Personally, I blame their parents.

Oh, yeah, and dozens of cops stand around with their thumbs up their butt. I’m sure you could be more useful elsewhere, guys. Either arrest everyone with pot or go arrest someone that needs arresting. Don’t wait around for some kid to steal a hotdog from the vendor, or for some moron to set off a firecracker.

-thor

A Metaphor

April 19, 2010 - Leave a Response

There is a drink machine which holds the best pop drink of all time. This pop drink meets all of your needs. It costs $2. There are, of course, less expensive drinks in this machine, but they just aren’t quite as good.

drank machine!!!!1

one coke, hold the racism please

A man is thirsty. He does not have $2. He has some small change, but he needs more if he wants a can of the best pop the world has to offer. He’s not in any rush, though, and is not too picky, so he takes his time scrounging up nickles and dimes to see what the shrapnel in his hand can afford.

There is a woman who is also thirsty. She has very specific tastes. She requires only the finest of sodas. She’s in luck; her change purse contains two loonies. She can afford the miracle drink. The funny thing is, when she got her change after buying a coffee earlier, the cashier handed her a twoonie, but she specifically asked for two loonies. I guess she has a thing for bronze-plated hendecagons. Oh yeah, and she has a third, older loonie that she likes to keep in her purse.

shiney!!!!1

shiny

Two young and thirsty people in this crazy, mixed up world. One can have her drink, the other might get his…

It’s really all we can hope for in the end: a refreshing and energizing beverage so we can live extremily ever-after.

-thor

Sparklehorse: 1995-2010

March 29, 2010 - One Response

Mark Linkous was a musician known as Sparklehorse. He made good music and now he is dead.

Mark died on March 6, 2010 at 1:20 pm. He sat down in a back alley in Knoxville, Tennessee, and shot himself in the heart with a shotgun. He was 47 years old.

Mark had struggled with drugs in the past. He ODed on a cocktail of booze, valium and antidepressants while on tour with Radiohead in ’96. He passed out and remained unconscious for 14 hours with his legs pinned beneath his body. The lack of circulation for that length of time almost cost him both of his legs, but surgery reduced his time spent in a wheelchair to only six months, versus the rest of his life.

His 1999 album, Good Morning Spider, deals with his feelings after the incident and recovery. Song titles like “Painbirds” bring to mind Mark’s excruciating version of the regular “pins and needles” feeling that we are all familiar with; a swarm of intense, little pricks swooping across his legs. Meanwhile, the music of that track invokes a numb relaxation brought on by painkillers.

During his career as Sparklehorse, Mark released four solo albums: Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot (’95), Good Morning Spider, It’s a Wonderful Life (’01) and Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain (’06). He also collaborated with Danger Mouse and a handful of other musicians, including Iggy Pop, The Flaming Lips and Julian Casablancas, on an album called Dark Night of the Soul, which has not been properly released yet due to retarded record companies.

I really liked a lot of Mark’s work, and it’s a damn shame that he took his own life. His musical style had an overall mellow tone, with the odd spike of grinding rock, like a drug trip that gets momentarily out of hand before returning to “normal”. If I had to describe the sentiment I get from Sparklehorse in one word, it would be “bittersweet”. It seems appropriate to me, as Mark’s life had a certain bittersweetness to it; he was able to create wonderful music and brush elbows with other amazing musicians, but unable to escape his personal demons.

I have thrown together a playlist I compiled from the three solo albums of his that I own (and one track I stumbled upon on youtube) as a sort of “homage”. The following links will take you to the respective song on youtube:

Chaos of the Galaxy/Happy Man
Pig
Painbirds
The Hatchet Song
Applebed
Sunshine
King of Nails
Someday I Will Treat You Good
Maria’s Little Elbows
Sea of Teeth
Dead Opera Star
Don’t Take My Sunshine Away
Hey, Joe
Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain

Rest in peace, Frederick Mark Linkous. There’s a heaven and there’s a star for you.

-thor

WHY ISN’T SCHOOL OPEN 24-7???/

March 24, 2010 - Leave a Response
takin' care of business at 7-11

we can get junk food at all hours, why not education?!

So, last night, I was writing a very compelling post about my current state of affairs and I got booted out of the school at midnight.

Being the wondrous, detailed tale-weaver that I am, the post was not quite finished when the clock struck twelve, so I hastily saved it and hitched a ride home with Kerilee.

Apparently not; upon checking my jumpstick, which I thought it had been saved on, it wasn’t anywhere to be found. Further investigation on the computer on which I had been working proved to be equally fruitless. Even though I distinctly recall seeing the title of the Word document change from “Document1” to “It.doc”, indicating that it had indeed been saved somewhere

It has disappeared into the ether. Much like my patience with RRC.

HEY COLLEGE! WHY AREN’T YOU OPEN ALL THE TIME? IF SECURITY GUARDS ARE ALWAYS AROUND ANYWAY, WHY CAN’T STUDENTS BE AROUND? WHAT EXACTLY ARE THEY GUARDING? WHO ARE THEY GUARDING IT FROM?

I think many a student can agree with me when I say that getting kicked out of the school at midnight all the time has affected my productivity.

I had this conversation with Joel just last night. We agreed that as “night people” we do most of our best work in the wee hours, and it is frustrating to get the boot when you are just getting into the groove on a piece of work.

I find my home, being full of clutter and stoners, can be a difficult environment for getting things done. So school is where I like to be. Alas, I am easily distracted and my school is full of my ever-charming classmates. So I spend a lot of precious time socializing. The presence of classmates dwindles as time goes on, so sometime around midnight, I’m usually one of a small handful of people left, and productivity increases. Then Joe Rent-a-Cop marches in and tells me to clear out.

Bottom line, America: the Red River College Princess Campus should be open 24-7 in order to accommodate the small percentage of students who like to work long and hard into the night. I think I heard somewhere that the U of M never closes, and I have no idea about the U of W. Get with the times, RRC.

Anyway, I’m hungry.

-thor

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!1

February 15, 2010 - 2 Responses

People often ask me, “Thor, what’s the deal with love?” So, I have decided that why not, on V-Day, devote a li’l ol’ post to that crazy little thing called love.

When you love something, you accept it, despite any flaws, because presumably, the good outweighs the bad. If you are loving things where the bad outweighs the good, then there is something wrong with you, my friend. But one man’s bad is another man’s good, you might say.

Anyway, I love the band Weezer. I love them! I can safely declare this, because I know it to be true. I listened to the Blue Album and was drawn in by the endless hooks, the playful vibes, but also the raw emotion that lay beneath this veneer of nerd-rock. How could something sound so sugar-sweet, like candy in my ears, yet still tug at my heartstrings? It was love at first spin (the days of the compact disc, my friend).

Then: Pinkerton. It was everything Blue was not and more. Strip away that candy-coating and you get the exposed nerve-endings of harsh, churning guitars and ragged vocals. This time, it was the nerd-rock that was beneath the layer of raw emotion. And boy, what a thick layer. This does not tug at the heartstrings; it pulls ‘til they snap.

Anyway, this one-two punch of fantastic albums made me a believer. I believed in Weezer. I had invested myself in their work, and I was in for the long haul. Then they released five more albums, none of which lived up to the bar they had set for themselves, perhaps a little too high. But I ate that shit up. I bought/burned the CDs; I defended their artistic integrity to my friends; I held on to the hope of a return to the heights from whence they fell.

It has not come. Each album since 1996 has been a 50/50 of good songs and “meh” (except for 2002’s underrated Maladroit… more of a 75/25… I maintain that one is the closest they have come to their former glory)(and contrary-wise, 2005’s Make Believe, which was the opposite with 25% non-filler… their worst album, hands down). Yet here I remain, an avid member of the Weez-nation, ready to throw up a rockin’ =w= at a moment’s notice.

“Why?” you ask. “Why do you put yourself through this endless process of disappointment?”

I did it for love.

“Why don’t you tell us your point?”

Okay.

Love makes people accept the bull that they shouldn’t have to. You love someone based on their good qualities, and you have to put up with all the other stuff that they bring to the table. This is great, since everyone has baggage. Otherwise, we would be eating alone far more often.

But if we think about it in terms of the Weezer example, it seems absurd. Let’s say Weezer’s discography is a lady. Two sevenths of her are awesome, one seventh is pretty good, one seventh is pretty dismal and the rest is so-so. Not the best personality then, we can assume. There really is no reason for me to love this woman.

Somewhat recently, I have been pondering about how hard it is to recreate a moment. We all try to do this, all the time; that one New Year’s Eve party was so awesome that every subsequent New Year’s is a disappointment. Why? Because you have that memory of that good time and you want it again. But things aren’t going to happen in whatever special way they did on that one night. They’ll happen differently, and maybe it will turn out as good or better. Maybe not. It’s all about circumstance. And circumstance, my friend, is a fickle goddess, indeed.

I think most people are linear thinkers; we use information gleaned from past experiences to figure out new ones. It saves your hard-working brain from having to come up with fresh solutions all the time. So, in your mind you have your “Idiot’s Guide to a Good New Year’s Party” with your checklist of ingredients: Bob, Sally, Joe, Claire, tequila, guitar hero, pizza. But it’s not happening: Bob and Sally have awkward sexual tension, Joe is a dick now, Claire moved away, you can’t drink tequila anymore, etc.

Wow, I’m long-winded. If anyone is still reading this, let’s put it into the Weezer equation again; they made two amazing albums, but they can’t recreate those moments, ever.

Now, let’s think about a relationship; Me and X had some really good times. Fantastically good times. Based on these good times and the wonderful memories they have created, I love X. Every time I am with X, I want those good times again. Alas, circumstances change; X and I are not on the same terms anymore. But I still hold those memories. So, my love for X, time and time again, brings me pain and disappointment. We won’t have those moments again and I should really stop expecting them.

Expectations are terrible things.

Anyway, this is wordy enough. I’m tired. Thanks for stopping in. This was a good session.

-thor

Blarg in the Saddle!

February 10, 2010 - Leave a Response

A new year, a new semester, a new man!

I have resolved (not New Year resolved, mind you – I have not attempted one of those since the incident of 2006, when my “no fatties” resolution ended disastrously) to work out regularly! So far, three days and counting. My arms are slightly sore. I am told this is good. I am also told I should eat more protein. Protein is expensive! If anyone can hook a brother up with some cheap protein, just drop me a line, yo!

School is back in full swing once again, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Well, I could probably be more thrilled. Like if I had my own personal mini golf course. And a lifetime supply of beer. And fireworks. But in all seriousness, work placement at Mars Hill was cool, and I met some pretty sweet folks, but it’s good to be back amongst my friends. The real world can wait a little while longer.

There is much I would like to accomplish this semester. And second on my list: more blogging! Blog blog blarg! I will be a blogging machine! Beep boop blog!

Y’know what this calls for? Some effin’ Queen!

YEAH!
That song always gets me pumped up.
This song also rules:

I told my brother to use it at his wedding reception for the entrance music for him and his new wife. Alas, he went with something else. Beatles, I think. What a loser.

If only I had a wedding.

I guess I’d need a girlfriend for one of those.

I’d better keep working out.

-thor

Year in Review: 2009

December 29, 2009 - 4 Responses

Rookie of the Year: Alex Paradoski

Roomie of the Year: Gordie Paradoski

Party of the Year: Kenyonstock

Organ of the Year:
liver/inner ear

Hernia of the Year: Brian Mehmel

Beard of the Year: Coté/myself

Wedding of the Year: Mike & Kristin

Book of the Year: Handmaid’s Tale

Album of the Year:
Manners by Passion Pit, with runner up It’s Blitz! by Yeah Yeah Yeahs and honourable mention Man on the Moon: The End of Day by Kid Cudi. Oh, and I guess Incredibad. Yeah, their CD kicked butt.

Movie of the Year:
Watchmen (keep in mind that I did not see many movies this year)

Video Game of the Year: Desktop Tower Defense

DVD of the Year:
Flight of the Conchords

Filthy, Unmotivated, Yet Oddly Endearing Staff of the Year:
Giant Tiger

Job of the Year: N/A

Song of the Year: Help I’m Alive by Metric (technically released a week before ’09, but what the hell)

Gang of the Year: The T-Birds

unidentified revelers

Photograph of the Year



Comic of the Year:
Let It Go, Man

Webcomic of the Year: xkcd

Sweater of the Year:
Tommy Hilfiger

Band of the Year:
disco! disco!

Website of the Year: cracked.com

Virus of the Year: H1N1

Birthday of the Year: 23rd

Social of the Year: Mike & Kristin

Concert of the Year: blink 182

Missed Concert of the Year:
The Hold Steady

Pub of the Year: King’s Head

Crush of the Year: spirit

Year of the Year: Ox

Marker of the Year: Dry-Erase

Dead Blondal of the Year: Sheriff Björn Blöndal (b.1787)

Milk of the Year: 1%

High School Football of the Year: San Dimas

Book Review #1

December 15, 2009 - Leave a Response

Here is a book review I did for the good Dr. Petty for his Canadian Literature class!

The book in question was “Reapers Gale” by Steven Erikson, who is quite possibly a member of the Top 5 Best Writers I Have Experienced.

EPIC

if you looked up 'epic' in the dictionary, you would see this book cover...

I scanned the pages in so that Dr. P’s commentary can be shared with all!

I liked this assignment! Can Lit ain’t so bad!

first page

I'm not 'most readers', Dr. P...

page duece

Don't!

page the third

damned unnecessary apostrophe!

what the?

every guy and his dog know who Melanie Rawn is...

wrap it up!

I think he doesn't like the run-on sentence?

I hope Dr. P takes my recommendation and reads this book, because I’m pretty sure he is also nerdy and likes high fantasy!

-thor

Underrated* Albums #1

December 9, 2009 - One Response

Portishead – Third

analbumcover

P is for Portishead and 3 is for third!

The appropriately titled third album of “trip-hop” threesome Portishead was released in 2008, a full 11 years since their last studio album. So, needless to say, people weren’t sure what to expect. Would it be merely tolerable, like a Chinese Democracy? Or would it be super- fantastic, like a Smile?

Well, turns out it’s pretty fantastic! Beth Gibbons and co. may have changed their sound since the 90s, but they remain awesome. Portishead was originally tossed into the trip-hop pile in the years after Massive Attack basically founded the genre with their 1991 album, Blue Lines, but they began to evolve somewhat with their self-titled 1997 album. Less of a hip-hop influence, a little more jazz… and it worked. The dots could still be connected to their first album, Dummy, but it also stood on its own.

So, that brings us to the sound of the new(er) one. It is definitely not trip-hop (not a record scratch as far as the ear can hear!). And it’s not really terribly jazzy either. It is different. And in this case, change is good. Not to say that their older albums are not as good. 1994’s Dummy is considered a seminal work in the trip-hop field and won the Mercury Music Prize. And although Portishead is my least favourite of the three, it is also quite solid.

Third shows new influences of psychedelia, industrial and even folk music, while keeping one foot firmly in the realm of electronic music that has been their foundation since the beginning. The album starts with a man speaking Portuguese (I think?) before the percussion and odd squeals of guitar take over, their time signatures seemingly at odds until they blend into a nice groove. “Odd” is a good word to describe some of the songs on this disc, which upon first spin, may seem like they don’t quite work. “Silence”, the first track, was like that. The first moment of pure, unadulterated enjoyment I got was the third track, “Nylon Smile”. It’s a little on the short side for a Portishead song, but that makes its abrupt ending all the better . “I never had a chance to explain exactly what I meant,” Beth quavers, and she’s right, she doesn’t. The song ends.

“Quaver” is actually a good way to describe Beth Gibbon’s singing sometimes. She possesses one of the most delicate, heart-rending voices I have ever heard. Conversely, she can belt it out like a champ when need be, like on closer “Threads”. (For best belting out results, see “All Mine”, from Portishead.) Surprising, since she seems to smoke a lot.Actually she manages to combine her quavering and belting as her voice fades out under the music. Endless talent, that gal. And good-lookin’ too.

and she's 44! marry me, Beth Gibbons...

“The Rip” begins as good acoustic-ish track but is joined about halfway through by synths and it ascends to greatness. Beth sings about bitterness and disappointment in love lost. Some things about Portishead never change. They are still most appropriate as the soundtrack for “down time”. Radiohead has covered this track and are reportedly huge fans of this album, if that matters (it does!).

I am rambling. I obviously have too much to say about Portishead! To wrap up the other half of the CD; it’s great! The driving “We Carry On”, the light “Deep Water”, the harsh, suitably titled “Machine Gun”, the epic, ironically titled “Small”, the Celtic-tinged “Magic Doors”. Wonderful, all around.

Enough gushing.

Get this CD.

-thor

*By underrated I mean I thought it didn’t get enough recognition, I guess. Third got great reviews across the board, but got shafted at every award show in the universe. Bottom line, America: award shows suck!