Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Car Wars

Yes. I got a car. It's a silver 2001 Acura 1.7 EL and it drives well, thank you very much. It has power everything and is basically fully loaded. Hooray for cars!! Yay!

So I'm driving to work today and plop!!! Some holier-than-thou (!) bird poops all over the driver's door and windshield. I'll get you bird. I'll get you...


Star Wars was excellent. I very much enjoyed it. Besides painful scenes between Anakin and Padme, the rest of the movie was great. Intense action sequences coupled with tons of Star Wars hints and references for the attentive fan made it a great reward for suffering through Jar-Jar Binks, those 6 years ago. I won't go too much into it (because if I get going, this post will be pages and pages long) but I'll simply say the way things played out was very good, especially the perfect ending.

Some people complain that Anakin's turn to the dark side wasn't very convincing. I think there is truth in that but frankly, after all these years of waiting to see how it happened, nothing could live up to the expectation. The tragedy of Anakin turning wasn't felt so much through Anakin's actual actions but rather through Obi-Wan's reactions and genuine hurt that it caused him.

It was an excellent movie that gives shape to the other prequels and leads into Episode 4 in a very fitting way.

Oh yeah, Obi-Wan is the man.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Rush hour

So I was on the rush hour bus going downtown yesterday. It's always a tense moment when the rush hour bus deviates from its normal route to take the exit to get onto the bridge. I love looking at people's faces as they realize that they are going downtown instead of the Brossard autoparc. It's priceless.

So yesterday specifically, there was this young Nana Mouskouri look-alike (not a good thing) who suddenly realized "hey...we're not going to the autoparc! We're going downtown!". So you could see the panic crawl across her face. Then she looks around to see nobody else is panicking! Then anger sets in on her face. Anger led to fear. Fear to acceptance. Acceptance to...TEARS! She started crying. What appointment could she possibly be missing that's cry-worthy? She hid her face with one hand as she cried under her giant-framed glasses. And this luddite had no cell phone, I suppose, otherwise you'd figure she'd call someone.

Anyway, all this to say: know which friggin bus you're on, you idiots. Sheesh. (Although it did provide some fun for me.)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Freak Me Out

Well, I had a freaky time coming home from class tonight.

I arrived at Bonaventure to catch the 45 when I saw everyone vacating the bus. A few ambulances pulled up and people with stretchers are defibrilators were approaching the bus. However, the paramedics weren't running or anything, so I'm thinking someone died.

So then we're redirected to the opposite side of the terminus to wait for the next 45 over there. While we're waiting, some old brown guy with a hilarious accent starts complaining very loudly to nobody in particular that he's a busy man and he'll be late because of this. I don't get it. Who's he bitchin' to? Someone may very well have died. Hey mister, how about you never get to where you wanna go? I'm sure the paramedics had body bags in your size, too. Idiot.


Then at the Brossard terminus I get on my bus then looked out the window. Right by the phone booths, on the ground, is a bra, underwear, an empty purse, an AC adaptor and a little toy car. Freaky! The terminus security people were looking at these things and trying to figure out what happened.

Anyway, that's it. Freaky stuff, like I said.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Buck Shirts

I went to Old Navy on the weekend to see if they had any cheap clothes I could get. Finding dirt cheap clothing at Old Navy is a really fun outing that I suggest to anyone.

So first thing I do is check if they still have that "Big Black Rooster, Trinidad" cap so I can wear it to taunt Chris. No luck: it's gone. Oh well...then I move on to the shirts. They had some nice light shirts there, of varying prices.

Then I stumbled onto the sales.

I wandered into the $9.97 shirts, marked down from $25. Not bad. I considered them for a moment until I found the $4.97 shirts. Even better! This was sweet. They had nice colours and...hold on! What's this!? 97 cent shirts?! What? I rechecked the tag. $0.97, down from $20. Who the?!?! Suddenly the $5 ones were so expensive. There were plenty of colours and sizes, too. Having only a bit of change in my pocket (and unwilling to bust out the plastic) I grabbed a shirt and approached the counter. It came out to $1.12. I paid with a looney, a dime and 2 pennies. The girl told me about the 3 month return policy and I told her I doubt I'd return a dollar shirt. Then out comes my bill and it seems that I won $7.50 off Old Navy merch. Sweet! I shall return to claim more of these shirts.

Moral of the story: the plastic bag and coat hanger they gave me probably costs more than the shirt I bought. Go to Old Navy.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Thieving Machines

I'm at McConnell Engineering's revamped cafeteria yesterday and plop a buck-fitty into the soda machine. Plop plop plop. I push the button to get my drink...nothing! I push again frantically. NOTHING! The machine ate my money like a starving orphan at a Christmas buffet. So I naively figure, "Well, I'll press the coin return button and the money will happily return to me". Sigh...if only. I press and press and nothing comes. I decide to write down Coke's phone number and complain. They'll probably send me a coupon for free Coke (just like Pepsi did once in a similar situation). I move on.

I go to the other vending machine and notice a bag of nice, crispy plantains. I put my money in and press "C4". It's always a tense moment when those little turnstiles rotate and this instance was no different. The turnstiles rotated...and then the bag got caught on the edge. It did not fall. Right now, I'm thinking that this is my worst vending machine experience ever. I will not let the machines mock me. Images of last week's Simpsons went through my head, where Bart was addicted to vending machines. What do I do?!?

My choices are a) rock the machine in an attempt to loosen the package, b) leave or c) put more money and get two bags of plantains.

At first, I choose 1). I rock the machine a bit, when I see that little sticker they put on the machines of the silhouette guy rocking the vending machine until it topples on him, crushing every tiny silhouetted bone in his detail-less body. I stop and choose option c). I put my money in and press "C4" again. Then I realize that it was the last package of plantains in that row. The space behind is empty.

I retreated to class, spending $4.50 for a single bag of plantains. They were good, though.

Worst...vending machines...ever.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Cage; a small world; Hitchhiker

It was Karthik's birthday so around 20 of us showed up to Cage aux sports to watch the basketball game that night (Detroit/Philly). Upon showing up, we discovered that they were in fact not showing NBA playoffs at all, but rather Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game between Rimouski and...well, who the hell cares?!

We're talking NBA playoffs (featuring noted rapper and sometimes baller, Allen Iverson) compared to non-professional hockey. Yes, yes overhyped phenom Sidney Crosby is playing but still! Even the Cage's own schedule in the restaurant proclaimed they'd show basketball. So Mean Gene calls over the manager and gets into discussion oozing with thinly veiled contempt. The manager claims everyone in the restaurant wants to see hockey. Finally, a settlement is reached and the ball game is on during intermissions. We did manage to catch the end of the game but the situation was pathetic. Instead of seeing some neat plays in the basketball game, we had to watch interviews with the no-name Quebec-hick assistant coaches of the Oceanic...as if anybody gives a damn! Oh yeah, and the food was overpriced and under-flavoured. Blech. Give me Barbie's anytime (at least they have coupons and show whatever sports you want to watch).

I always heard Cage aux sports sucked hard and now I finally understand. I hope to never return.

*************

Speaking of Mean Gene, he came in second at a poker tournament a few weeks back. Well, I was playing poker at my brother's the other night when one of his friends mentioned that he came in first at the same tournament...meaning he beat Jayess. Small world, eh?

*************

I first read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in grade 4 and thought it was amusing. Upon re-reading a few times since, I have realized the full blown genius of the work. The humour comes not from the story (if there is one) but rather from Douglas Adams's absurd satire about life, the universe and everything (basically the nature of existence). So how can they adapt funny observations and prose into a movie? Well, I'm pleased to say that the new movie based on the first of the five Hitchhiker books is pleasant, indeed. It's not always on the mark and I question some of the wholely unnecessary new bits (the introduction of the empathy gun is an obvious and weak deus ex machina).

On the whole, though, the movie is smile-inducing funny (not really laugh out loud) and totally absurd and looney. I don't know how people who are not familiar with the book will be able to follow the film completely but it's enjoyable and very different from any other movie you've seen (the animated Guide entries and various asides are types of things that are simply not done in conventional films). I'm pleased to say that the movie is fairly close to the book and retains the same spirit. Let's hope it does enough business to fuel a sequel that hits the mark a bit more.