In pokemon it’s pronounced “Kakuna Rattata”

Before any ranting starts, I want to run a valid disclaimer. None of what I’m about to say actually matters. My opinion is not important, and should not deter anyone from any desired activity they choose to pursue. We’re all adults here (I can’t earnestly advise any children to read anything I write. I think it would be ill-advised at best, and actively harmful at worst), and we can choose how we want to spend our lives. I, for instance, climb atop dumb moral high horses and canter around. It serves nobody, least of all myself. The one saving grace is that my errant venting tuckers me out, and likely prevents me from spilling any additional unnecessary vitrtiol, which can only be a positive thing. I don’t have to possess an opinion here, and the notion of people being allowed to like the thing they like as long as they’re not actively harmful to others stands true as ever. With that said.

Fuck this Lion King film.

I say that as someone who grew up with this film. I say that as someone who saw the film in theatres. I say that as someone who made an ardent effort to collect every little bit of promotional material companies would churn out in an effort to get kids goading their parents into visiting their establishment. BP Lion King sticker collection? Check. I probably had little toys, or soft toys or something. I say this as someone who loved the Sega Genesis game. I say this as someone who used to “play house”, but as Simba and Nala with my childhood crush (and how did I not turn out to be a furry?). I say this as someone whose parents’ friends lent them the NTSC VHS of The Lion King (and the cover had a blue, not orange sky), so I had to switch my VCR from PAL, and I watched it no less than 30 times in those few weeks, sometimes multiple times per day. I say this as someone who went along with friends to the theatre 2011 re-release they did with printed sheets of all the song lyrics, bringing every intention of singing along. I say this as someone who, at age 31, excitedly got same day tickets to the broadway musical in London.

Fuck this Lion King film. Disney is wasting our time and doing a disservice to one of their most venerated/beloved movies in their catalogue. It looks fucking terrible, the reviews are not favourable, and it’s going to make a TERRIFYING amount of money.

THIS IS A KIDS’ FILM. The original Lion King delighted audiences with its balance of pathos and magical realism. It was a cartoon, with a wonderfully diverse colour palette and wacky sequences. Timon and Pumbaa were fourth wall breaking loons. There were broadway throwbacks, that whole hula thing. It was silly, and a joyous celebration of imagination. The new film has decided to take a super grounded take, complete with animals devoid of human style features. How are we supposed to connect to these characters when they’re basically CGI Mr Ed? I’m not throwing shade at the animators. It looks gorgeous, no doubt. It’s very much cutting edge stuff, but the decision to cut back on the more fanciful aspects of the film are every part a disappointment.

LOOK AT THIS SHIT. It’s a fucking Aaron Sorkin style walk and talk. Then look at THIS marvellous sumbitch. They use the animation to its fullest. There are spotlights, visual metaphors, even those bugs look goddamn delicious.

The cast is AMAZING. It is. Beyonce’s new song is awesome. But the whole experience is cheapened by the notion that Disney is supposed to be redoing its classics in live action. This film, entirely CGI, shits on that idea. It’s so fucking cynical and crude it makes me want to puke. There’s no point to this film beyond just making oceans of currency (curren-sea?). They’re not looking to push the envelope and create something visionary, they’re looking to create moolah.

Look. I’m very very happy with the idea of giving a new generation of kids something to be excited about and cherish for years. I don’t like to shit on things just because they weren’t from my childhood. I strongly believe that kids deserve good quality entertainment (’cause I adored pop-culture as a child and I only want everyone else to have the best too). Thing is, the originals still fulfill all of this, and I’m not sure that this new film will really be thought about in 20 years’ time. Except in jest, maybe.

At some point I may get to a “no worries” place on this. Hakuna Matata, however, is a long way off. I mean, for the rest of my days? That’s a while away.

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That tunnel ain’t so secret no more

Greetings comrades, who’s ready to maintain the status quo?

I don’t think I’ve run out of things I like (though to be fair, it’s an evergreen topic) so let’s get back in that saddle:

  • Evergreen trees.
  • The colour green.
  • Referring to people being “saddled” with things, when implying a burden. It makes me feel like a cowboy.
  • The fantasy of watching Deadwood someday, despite knowing how unlikely it is that I’ll get around to it.
  • HBO’s twitter presence.
  • Sarcastically using the radio advertising trope of “it’s our birthday, but you get the presents”.
  • Working remotely.
  • The board game Dixit.
  • Becoming instant best friends with strangers I know I’m never gonna see again.
  • Saying “keep the change” when it’s silver coinage.
  • Not taking pamphlets from people, and telling them I’ll check it out online instead.
  • Saying “I’m not here to kink shame” when people talk about their hobbies.
  • Homes that feel lived in, rather than overly showy.
  • Petrichor.
  • Finding out that I share a birthday with someone.
  • Hanging out in kitchens or hallways at parties.
  • Pretending to have an American accent and showing people how good I am at doing a New Zealand accent.
  • Billy T. James’ laugh.
  • When I’m wearing costume glasses, pushing them up the bridge of my nose and feeling like I’m smart.
  • Earned physical exhaustion.
  • Being so tired in bed that I can’t even pronounce words correctly.
  • Getting goofy with intimate partners.
  • Saying “did I stutter?” mock aggressively in a wholly unimportant conversational.
  • Inflatable floaties in pools.
  • Having permission to break things.
  • Eating too much with friends, then lounging around watching a movie. Sometimes naps are involved.
  • Walking very fast, and weaving in between slow movers.
  • Retaining coordination while drunk dancing, but with ALL OF THE ENTHUSIASM.
  • Coordinating caffeine and alcohol to get the perfect buzz on a Friday/Saturday night.
  • Remembering on the Sunday that it’s a long weekend and there’s no work the next day.
  • Finding an old joke I wrote and losing myself to guffaws.
  • Slapping my knee out of laughter.
  • Meeting up with old friends and instantly feeling like no time has passed.
  • When I’ve done a shitty job tying a tie, and someone fixes it for me.
  • The sound of a kereru whomping its wings, then landing on a creaky branch with a thud.
  • Seeing shitty people get what’s coming to them.
  • When four legged animals rear up on their hind legs.
  • Effortless conversations that flow naturally, without people speaking over one another.
  • Shouting “HEEEEEEY YOOOOOU GUUUUUUUUUYS” like Sloth from The Goonies.
  • Scratching the “L” off signs that say “Public _________”.
  • This sign that my dad and I would drive past all the time. It used to say “We’re not fast, we’re old” but someone scratched off letters to make it say “We r  ot fast, we’re old.”
  • Sarcastically using condescending words like “pedestrian” or “banal”.
  • The word “myopic”.
  • Having my low expectations be utterly bowled over.
  • The knowledge that my Neopets aren’t truly dead.
  • Having someone understand a really “clutch” reference of mine.
  • The bit in The Wedding Singer when the guy says “THEY WERE COOOOOONES.”
  • Cosying up and rewatching Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • The “Secret Tunnel” song from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Finishing up my writing so I can listen to the “Secret Tunnel” song a bunch more times.

Adios.

Going on a road trip with Morgan Freeman would be on it for sure

I’m on that bullet point life today. Here are some things I’ve never done:

  • Ridden in a hot air balloon.
  • Wrestled a squid.
  • High fived someone while hanging upside down.
  • Surprised a co-worker by jumping out of a box.
  • Cooked a soufflé.
  • Visited Belgium.
  • Transformed into a fire truck.
  • Owned a polaroid camera.
  • Done 1000 skips in a row.
  • Thrown a boomerang and had it come back.
  • Eaten sushi off a naked person.
  • Broken into a school after dark.
  • Said earnestly “this isn’t what it looks like” when a girlfriend has walked in on me in a compromising position with another woman.
  • Rap battle against Mike Tyson.
  • Spent a day without talking.
  • Survived on an island with only my wits to guide me.
  • Raided a boat on the high seas.
  • Stolen a cursed artifact from a museum.
  • That sexy laser beam thing that Catherine Zeta Jones did in Entrapment.
  • Hacked the mainframe.
  • Tripped someone up like Luke does to the AT-ATs on Hoth.
  • Ordered drip coffee from Starbucks.
  • Eaten Taco Bell.
  • Ridden a unicycle.
  • Flown a plane.
  • Gotten into a bar room brawl.
  • Run for political office.
  • Be told “we’re not so different, you and I” by my arch enemy.
  • Stolen that Wu Tang album from Pharmabro with the Wu Tang Clan and/or Bill Murray.
  • Met anyone who went to Fyre Festival.
  • Had a Guinness World Record.
  • Tucked/rolled out of a moving car.
  • Ghost ridden the whip.
  • Dodged a sniper assassination attempt while Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September” played in the background.
  • Put my sweatshirt on my legs, pants on my arms and walked on my hands.
  • Tricked anybody with a fake moustache.
  • Swallowed bark just so I could say “my bark is worse than my bite.”
  • Met Peter Dinklage.
  • Shopped for a wedding/engagement ring, found the perfect one, balked at the price and said “what would 50 bucks and a badge that says “Pobody’s Nerfect” get me?”
  • Tried frozen cherimoya.
  • Woken up on a rooftop with no idea how I got there, then had a series of manic misadventures where I retraced the events of the evening while learning valuable lessons about friendship.
  • Drunk cocktails in bed.
  • Made a romantic speech at the airport.
  • Given forensic analysis at a crime scene.
  • Hosted SNL.
  • Participated in a boxing match while wearing Hulk Hands.
  • Become best friends with a bear and roamed the countryside.
  • Been bifurcated into separate physical forms for my left brain and right brain.
  • Died.

Is it time to make a bucket list?

Ice cream and granola is my ascendance to divinity

Oh, don’t mind me. Just testing the limits of hedonism here.

I’m on vacation, and apparently that means I’m inhabiting my trashbag persona to the max. I’ve been downing Maple Bacon Moonshine Caesars and Jaegar/Mountain Dew all weekend. Coffee has come spiked with Butterscotch Schnapps. Yesterday I lay on my back outside with my eyes closed, listening to the natural soundscape play scenes around me, enjoying a gentle pull of CBD weed from my vape. This morning I had ice cream and granola for breakfast. This weekend is defined by “what do I want?” and “when do I want it?” Without time constraints, I’ve been able to drift as I desire, doing what I want and enjoying the inherent freedom. My vacation, apparently, is from any stress. Who knew that I had any?

By our second morning here, the place has found a sense of equilibrium. None of us are 20 years old, we generally clean up after ourselves. At intervals throughout the night, people go around and pick up empty cans. We’re running the dishwasher once or twice a day, making sure we have enough plates and cutlery. Or, more realistically, cups. There’s a loose notion of “tidy as you go”, or “last up cleans up”, that means we’re not stewing in our own filth. I’m a trashbag, but a responsible one. It’s kinda nice to be at this point of life, where we can all party without instantly creating a hovel.

It’s been awesome to have such a mix of personalities, and flowing between activities. There’s usually someone hanging outside by the stream, or having a smoke. The gaming room has a big ol’ comfy couch, where people hang out. The kitchen lounge has a table with people clacking away at their keyboards, taking care of errant work with a drink by their side. Someone is usually preparing a shareable snack of some variety. There’s often leftover food that people offer up to others. There’s abundance everywhere, and it’s amazing to be able to offer and share. Oh, and the hens lay fresh eggs we’re able to take and eat. All needs being met at all times.

Speaking of which, it’s about time I started with an afternoon drink. Hedonism demands that I finish up and sit back.

Sorry, them’s the rules.

Goat see, goat do

Oh hi there. I’m currently in vacation mode, which is basically my Fun Dad setting. Won’t you come and join me?

The first thing you’ll notice upon arriving at the property is that yes, this very much is a Saddle Club. You’re in horse country now, buddy. Passing through the lengthy driveway you’ll see that you’re flanked by large fields. Large horse fields, to be more precise. Horse fields with real, bona fide horses roaming around, eating hay mostly. At the top of the driveway sits a large barn, smaller barn, little red cottage and enormous house. There are fields stretching on as far as the eye can see. More pens with an assortment of animals. Goats, a pig, two sheep and three alpacas. Chickens, rabbits and ducks, oh my. There’s a small pond with a few geese loaming closeby. The property backs onto a tiny trickling stream complete with rock features. It’s eerily idyllic. The stage set for a horror film. Act 1 begins.

Entering the house, you’ll notice that when they said it was horse country, they weren’t fucking around. There’s a photogenic horse on the front door, horse wallpaper, paintings of horses, a horse towel holder. The children’s bedroom on the ground floor has no less than four horse toys. They committed hard to the theme. It’s hard to really fathom just how huge this house is. Lofty ceilings grace every room on the ground floor. It seems they had too much space, and made any number of lounges with variations on a theme. There’s the smoking room up the front, with leather chairs of a rich mahogany, fireplace along the wall. Another fireplace sits at the centre of the kitchen lounge, which not only has a couch and chairs, but a little table complete with pew style seating. This will not be the last table you see, ’cause there’s also a dining room (with additional lounge) and gaming room. Air Hockey, Croconole, PS3, dartboard, karaoke machine and Beer Pong table. The listing specifically said this was not a party house.

Look, it’s a fucking mansion. It’s ridiculous. The rooms all have 2-3 beds, and they’re spacious. Ammenities plus, a fridge with all the extra settings. There’s a Google Home (which paranoid ol’ me just instantly disconnected), all the kitchen gadgets, central heating, large clawfoot bath. We can actually go right up to the animals and hang out. There are staff on the wider property during the day If they’re around, we can go into the animals’ pens and pat them. Do you know how goddamn fluffy an alpaca is? I do, because I went right up and pet one. It quickly retaliated by kicking my leg, but it was worth it. I spent a long time hanging out with the horses, and they’re all super friendly. I got to feel a goat’s goatee, and look directly into the weird sauron’s eye that is a goat asshole. I cradled a bunny in my arms. This place is magic incarnate and everything I needed.

I hope the takeaway here isn’t that I needed to peer into a goat’s asshole.

An alternative to a Hive Vis Vest

Today is not an ordinary day.

That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily extraordinary, just different. Today I’ve had precious little work to do, which has been a welcome reprieve to a busy week. Then, out of nowhere, it was announced that there were drinks and refreshments in the lobby. A simple equation. I had more drinks/refreshments than work to do. I also got to go for a jog (before the drinks and refreshments, of course). If this isn’t extraordinary, it’s at the very least quite nice.

I think it’s weird that we don’t see more bee pattened bikinis. Not least because it’s a very cute pattern. Moreso because I want to be able to say “beekini” a bunch more. Sure, it sounds the same, but it’s straight up more fun. Horizontal stripes are great, and yellow has chutzpah that white lacks. Everyone (aside from Nic Cage in Wicker Man and Macaulay Culkin in My Girl) loves bees. They’re endangered, which is a goddamn tragedy. I don’t know if we’re gonna develop self-pollination after we inevitably ruin the environment for them, but otherwise we lose a ton of fruit. The least we can do is spread awareness and popularise their plumage. Maybe then people will finally pay attention. Aaaaand I’ll be able to say “beekini”, of course.

In a tonal shift, this essay I read was absurdly resonant.

Truth be told, I’ve been sitting on the link for several days now. I’ve revisited it several times, and it hasn’t stopped resonating. I’ve wavered on whether or not I’ve felt okay about posting it. Thing is, I’ve very rarely talked about this with friends, and it’s usually because I don’t want people to worry, make assumptions, etc. Buried somewhere in that is a shame that these thoughts are aberrant, and that there’s something wrong with me. At the same time, this piece made me feel understood and validated on an innate level. I don’t want others to miss out on that. I’m sure that for many of us this is normal, and stigmatising it only seeks to push us away from talking about it.

Frankly, it’s weird that talk of losing a desire to live is so swept under the rug in society. I feel like half the reason so many take their lives is that simply, they feel like they can’t really talk to people about it. That they’re strange for feeling that way, and that loneliness exacerbates those feelings. It’s something that’s been with me for most of my life. I’ve held it in, and those thoughts have ebbed and flowed. A lot of the time it doesn’t even cross my mind. Then I have periods where it’s pervasive. It’s tricky, because my most hated thing to do ever is ask for help. I have this absurd innate belief that if I haven’t earned something, I don’t deserve it. Now, I know that it’s bullshit. But understanding that on a base level is something different. Who knows where it comes from? In any case, while it’s a great help to light a fire towards getting shit done, it kind of leaves little recourse when the floor falls out beneath me.

I think it’s incredibly important to talk about this stuff. Most of the reason that I’m so open about it is knowing so many others who are. Meeting the people who’ve become foundational here in Toronto has emboldened me to respond in kind, and hopefully become a beacon for others who don’t have access to this mentality. We’re all fucked, and the only way we’re surviving any of this nonsense is together.

As always, a life less ordinary is always welcomed. ‘Cause what the fuck do I know about a normal day anyway?

Wait, I *do* drink an obscene amount of water and go for a brisk walk every seven or so minutes…

Oh hey, it’s the week that won’t quit, and it’s only Wednesday.

First, something great to salve the inevitable ranting to follow. If you’re in Canada, congrats! You can use CBC’s streaming service Gem for free, with no need to sign up for a thing. It’s quite good, the shows are all accessible and in good quality. I can’t speak for every show, but CBC does have some good quality shows (content, that is. Not just picture quality). One show I’ve been meaning to check out for a little while is Cavendish. Look, I’m thrilled any time I can catch Canadian Comedy’s Best Boy Mark Little in anything. He’s talented, clever, and his abundant love for story and film are evident in most everything he does. He co-stars in this new show with fellow Picnicface alum Andy Bush. If you don’t know Picnicface, they made Powerthirst, amongst a ton of other great stuff. If you don’t know Powerthirst, then you obviously didn’t go on The Internet in 2007 and you’re probably too young/old to be reading this site.

Cavendish, in short, is the story of two brothers returning to their childhood town. It’s more than that though, they’re reuniting with their (intentionally) estranged father, who runs a Museum of the Strange and Fantastic. The whole place has this creepy, almost Lovecraftian vibe, but the locals are disarmingly chipper. There are some really fun characters, but the dialogue is where the heart of it lies. It’s stuffed with fast paced, witty lines and neat bits. Best of all, they really give the lines and scenes time to breathe instead of cramming too much in. I’ve watched two episodes so far, and the fact that life’s getting in the way of more than that is a big sticking point for me. Curse you, life. Why can’t I be done with you already? There are six more episodes of this show to watch. I need time.

Oh, here’s the show by the way. The season just finished, so you can happily binge without remorse.

You know, I can’t even be bothered with anger tonight. Work’s been hectic. I’ve got other stuff in the pipeline I’ve been chugging along with, and it feels like I’ve had very little “me” time over the past few days. Concurrently, I just haven’t had the brain space to be depressed. It’s weird, almost like the lack of mental stimulation just brought into focus the void that I inhabit. But now that I need all my synapses just to complete all these tasks, I can’t spare any for circuitous negative self talk. Maybe that’s the secret, I just need to be permanently so run off my feet that I don’t notice the ground caving beneath them.

I have very little in common with a shark (aside from having claspers in lieu of a human penis. Why do you think I just ordered so many condoms?), but perhaps like some of them, I also die if I stop. Is that even true? Or just one of those urban myths? A quick google says that most sharks have a system of “buccal pumping” that keeps water flowing in and out of their mouths/gills. Apparently the swim or die thing has to do with sharks known as “obliate ram ventilators”, who perform a similar function by swimming. They don’t have to stay in constant motion, but it’s easier for them than the alternative. Wow. Who thought I’d learn something from a flippant comment?

If only I also had several rows of teeth. Then maybe I’d never bite off more than I could chew.