Jughead has always been somewhat of a role model. Who wouldn’t want the mutant power of infinite consumption?

I waste too much time on the internet not doing anything. Well don’t get me wrong, I’m only playing an hour or two of Cookie Clicker per day. More realistically, I’m lurking Reddit threads on r/magictcg and r/whowouldwin. It’s not productive and I forget 90% of what I’ve read ten minutes after I’ve read-dit (ged-dit?). Perhaps I’m just unused to having spare time, given the production schedule of the Air Bud Pawdcast last year. For the very limited time being, however, I’ve got time to kill. It’s time to sink some hours into entertainment across the board.

After years of hearing recommendations to do so, I grabbed a copy of the first Dresden Files book. I was expecting something pulpy, a kind of dumb, quippy, popcorn novel. In the first 20 or so pages, I got exactly what I expected. I’ve heard the series gets better as it goes on. That the world gets built out and is ultimately a bunch of fun. One of my old flatmates said the first book was a little shite, but Dresden Files was ultimately enjoyable despite the writer falling too in love with his central character.

So far it’s suffering from heavy-handed exposition [“Is this sign on the door for real? Frank Dresden, Magician for hire?” yeah that’s me, Frank Dresden, like he says, I’m a magician for hire] and that kind of shit. Also, I dunno, *male* writing. Seriously, it’s like the guy is drawing character outlines with his semi as the pencil. The first time we meet some hard nosed female detective (and likely love interest) its all [She was wearing a pantsuit, but she probably had shapely legs built up through years of cheerleading. Blonde haired, blue eyed, she’d be better looking if she smiled more] kind of shit. Tons of clunky ways of tossing in world-building and backstory. At the same time, it comes with enough endorsements that I’m going into it with zero expectations happy to at the very least be mildly entertained. At worst it has me reading again. Throwaway enjoyment, which is perfect for my use as a way to ignore the bane of my existence: The morning commute.

The other thing that’s caught my eye is this new Riverdale show. Growing up I read a metric shitton of Archie comics. I had a close friend and the double digests littered his house. In every room there’d be four or five of the things, they had hundreds. It was harmless fun, with short storylines based on simple characters who rarely strayed from their core definition. Riverdale on the other hand, sounds like it builds on those same characters to not only subvert its own tropes, but the wider tropes of teen entertainment. Ironically it’s on CW of all places. Billed as teen drama/Twin Peaks, this usually wouldn’t be anywhere in the same neighbourhood as my alley.

On the other hand, Archie comics have been known to do weird, subversive, progressive shit for years. Over the years they’ve adopted positive representations of LGBT/differently abled characters without tokenism, blending them straight into the fabric of Riverdale. They’ve also not strayed from the utterly bizarre. Anyone remember the frenzy of 90s team up comics? What about Archie Meets the Punisher or Archie vs. Predator? Whatabout that storyline where Sabrina the Teenage Witch marries H.P. Lovecraft’s #1 ancient one, Cthulhu? Internalised prejudice against CW aside, I’ve got enough goodwill built up through those stacks of double digests to watch a couple of episodes and test the waters. It could end up being as much of a surprise breakout as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (also CW, now that I think of it).

Anyway, I’ve got more cookies to click. See you in Riverdale!

Let me guess, I’ve done one of these already?

It gets challenging at times to write every day. Not because sitting down in front of a keyboard is inherently difficult, but because I don’t like the concept of repeating myself. Oh, I’m sure it’s happened countless times. It’s hard enough to forget which stories you’ve told specific friends, let alone keep track of the content of 1350 odd entries written over >3 years. Having written every day, I’ve long since figured out that some notion of direction makes the whole process easier. Having an idea is not synonymous with “planning”, it just means that I’ve extended thoughts as far as general content.

I don’t have any of that today. As I’m sure you can tell from the multitudinous aimless entries, it’s a common occurrence. There’s a non-insignificant level of guilt saddled along with pointless entries. I wonder what I could be doing with the time, whether I’m getting any more out of putting words to paper than I would merely reading books. I often fear that my vocabulary is stagnating, that diving into the prose of accomplished writers could be the salve I need. I’ve at least been reading lately, for the first time in a while. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay. Historical fiction is far from my wheelhouse, but maybe that’s the shot in the arm that I need. Obviously though, that’s not all that I need.

It’s easy to discount the necessity of fresh experiences in revitalising your outlook. Routine is so seductively easy, especially at a time of the year when staying outside too long could literally result in death. What’s the simplest solution for lacking topic ideas? Write about what’s happened to you. If nothing’s happened, however, where do you take that? Do an itemised run down of your schedule? Catalogue everything your body has touched since you awoke (actually, that’s kind of interesting. Earmarking that for another day)? Recount dreams? Meals? Media consumption habits? That’s all backup fodder for small talk, let alone devoting time to words on a page. Having novel experiences is a break from the norm, Suddenly there are things to talk about, reflections to share. Keep moving or go stagnant.

The other option, which I take too rarely, is to use this space as a lab. Throwing ideas at a page to see if they have legs. I can write anything, so why don’t I? I tried a week of writing dialogue with mixed results. Still, how else does one improve? I used to write comedy here, some time back. I’m always writing about myself. How about a week where I write about others? Profiles? Interviews? What about retakes on past entries? How about news stories based on fictional narratives, to work on the inherent conventions? Updates and reworking? Real editing? What if I tried planning in advance? Working out the beats of a short story, then taking a week of entries to put it together? A serialised piece of maybe 3000 words total? Am I afraid of not hitting a certain word count? Or afraid that if I put effort into something and it doesn’t pan out, that I have no excuse to fall back on?

This is not a heartfelt commitment to change. I mean, it’s not like I knew I was gonna write this 30 minutes ago. It’s an expression of a desire to try new things, to keep from going stale. To make the challenge I’ve set for myself worth it. Hell, this is only three years down the line. How will I feel in another five?

The lowdown on the down low.

So I did a fair amount of kerfuffling about Fancy Party, but how did it go?

In short, we owned it.

At length, there was more to it than that. I spent most of yesterday futzing about trying to get all the necessary pieces in place. I had my shoes, suit, glasses and coloured contacts. I washed, shaved, primped and prepped. Went over to a friend’s house for a little pre-party while she had her hair did. We made a few gin cocktails and shot the shit. I freaked out putting contacts in for the first time, which would’ve been a smarter idea before having downed three drinks. Foresight means nothing once the moment’s passed. I also fumbled with a tie for twice that time until my other friend just tied it on himself and handed it over. Anyway, we looked and felt ready to mingle the fuck out of this party.

Hush Hush was the Toronto Public Library fundraiser. Swanky charity event with a superhero theme. The idea was not so much to wear superhero costumes, but to accentuate your dress with little highlights. I had red contacts and glasses, going for a Cyclops (x-men) thing. Some did better costumes than others. Attendees garb spanned from really lavish to some people just wearing superhero shirts. I’d assumed everyone was gonna dress to the nines, but more than a few dressed to a two. Our group looked pretty damn fine though. Held in the Bloor/Gladstone public library, the venue was almost as dressed up as we were. Ambient lighting, candles (as someone pointed out, open flame at a library was a curious choice) and food/drink stations everywhere. There was an open bar with wine/beer and two main cocktails. A vodka/soda variant and some sweet orange/guava concoction. The latter was dangerously smooth. It was just like the ocean under the moon. I was already a little giddy and made the mistake of not eating a ton, which was a pity. The food looked great. They had lobster sliders, fancy cheeses, adorably tiny bean tacos (probably the same size as your thumb). There were cupcakes and other assorted desserts. Servers came around repeatedly and it was never more than ten minutes between food on offer.

There were activities scattered across the library. A photo booth was set up to take multiple photos in a row, which it would later email you as a gif. A sketch artist had small cards on which he’d draw your portrait. They had temporary tattoos on offer, all superhero themed. There were rooms set up with VR headsets. I played a bomb disarming game, which was super fun and pretty engrossing. There were basic controls on the side of the headset, but the most surprising thing was being able to look around 360° in full animation. There was a jetpack game on offer, which I avoided given the amount I’d consumed already. Hurtling through the sky hurling chunks IRL seemed a good way to get kicked out.

Either attendees were really friendly or I was just blissfully drunk. I didn’t notice one ounce of douchebaggery, people were just stoked to be there. There were also paid actors dressed as sultry librarians. The funny part was, they didn’t interact. They just stood around looking perturbed or sassy, casting disapproving looks about. It’s a living, I guess. The DJ was fucking great. She played an assortment of hip wedding playlist style stuff and her own personal mash ups. I can no longer say I’ve never spent the night dancing and drinking between the aisles of a library. Ticked off a bucket list item I didn’t know I had. At the end of the night we were sent away with little swag bags. Reuseable bags with the Penguin Publishing logo, they had a magazine, comic, a bottle of water, some cosmetics and best of all, a small moleskine notebook. Now I can do my gig reviews without holding a dorky sized book in my hands.

Thanks Toronto Public Libraries. You’re the coolest.

Then again, I did once wake him up by dropping trou and farting in his face. I think we’re even.

I was the most gullible child. It makes sense, I was an innocent, trusting child who assumed everyone knew a lot more about the world at large than I did. Fantasy was my domain. I’d watch cartoon and play video games. I’d dream of what I wished existence to be, but neglect the reality of what it was. Frankly, childhood was stimulation overload. Everything was so big, bright and new. Cynicism wasn’t a word in my vocabulary until at least age 10 and it would’ve been at least another year or two before I actively exhibited signs of it. I believed most things that people would tell me. I took things at face value because what was the alternative? Accepting that others would deliberately mislead or deceive me? What kind of life would that be?

I believed in ghosts, aliens and monsters for long enough, not least because of some intentional self-fulfilling prophecy. If my conviction was strong enough, maybe this stuff would flicker to life. Awesome, right? I still never got on the Santa Claus sleigh, perhaps because of the whole Judaism thing. Religion didn’t make sense to me as a kid, considering a bunch of my friends followed different theologies. The idea that they were all wrong but our family was right seemed strange. The notion that one religion being true invalidated the others smelled a bit fishy to me. See, I was never an idiot, just trusting. Still, all of this talk belies the dumbest thing I ever believed.

Firstly you need to understand the kind of people I had around me. I had big brothers feeding me bollocks time and time again. A bunch of my friends were older and had a bit more nouse knocking around in their noggins. A gullible kid is the most fun to tease or joke with, because it extends the value and life of the joke. My best friend, in particular, has always been quick witted. He’s a joker by nature and improvisational by trade. He’d lead and I’d willingly follow. For years I followed in his shadow, with time eventually being an equaliser. We’ve gone on to live different lives, but time and space has been no barrier to that rapport. It’s not something we need to upkeep, because it’s only ever a Skype away. Anyway, you get the point. Best buds fo lyfe, yo. So naturally as a kid when he told me something, I’d listen and believe. The dumbest thing he told me?

You know that “Egyptian walk”? The one I assume The Bangles sung about? Arms at right angles, one pointing in front, the other behind. This one. He told me that everyone in Egypt walked that way. Not only did they walk that way, but walking that way was mandated by law. It was illegal to walk as most do, arms by sides or in pockets. Who was I to judge? I’d never been to Egypt. I’d never met anyone from Egypt. I hadn’t read books on Egypt.

As soon as he told me, I accepted and absorbed it. I don’t know why I didn’t think to ask an adult or teacher. I have some shady recollection of bringing it up in the middle of class, stating it matter of factly. I’m sure the teacher’s response was vaguely along the lines of “that’s simply not true”. I’m sure teasing followed. Whatever, I was a kid, that kind of thing rolled off my back. You know what? I still haven’t been to Egypt. I can neither confirm nor deny.

Though I think I just got an idea for my Autumn vacation.

I may as well exploit the fact that I have a 12 year old’s emotional sensibilities.

This entry is more symptomatic of a lack of creativity than anything else. So, spurred by a glass of whiskey & coke, I grabbed one of those circa 1998 chain letter things. With 50 questions, it’s gonna be tough to fill out in 30 minutes with any depth. Let’s learn some stuff about me.

1. FIRST NAME? Leon

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? A lion. Not a particular lion, just lions in general.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Within the last week.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I think sanskrit looks neat, so yes.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Glazed ham.

6. KIDS? One day. Until then it’s just the MGMT song.

7. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I wouldn’t stop there…

8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Does this count?

9. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? I used to, but I got bored and sincerity felt better.

10. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Long gone. I ate heaps of ice blocks and watched Disney cartoons. Life peaked early.

11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I have. Seriously, such an underwhelming experience. I’d still like to skydive at some point but bungee jumping just felt so safe.

12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Mounds and mounds of muesli with sliced banana, blueberries, brazil/walnuts and a little protein powder. I’m not saying it’s sustainable.

13. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Yep.

14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Proportionally, yep. I’m not out bench pressing cars or anything though.

15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM ? Mint chocolate chip.

16. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Eyes. I look at people’s eyes a ton and I always wonder if it creeps them out. In conversation I hold a shit ton of eye contact. It just helps me get a better read on the conversation.

17. RED OR PINK? Are we talking salmon? Because in that case definitely red. The colour of prosperity indeed.

18. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? That I pronounced the word ominous “omnious” for years.

19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Harris Wittels.

20. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I dare you.

21. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES YOU ARE WEARING? Neither.

22. THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Pork roast with carrots and kale.

23. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? FKA Twigs – M3LL155X

24. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Maple.

25. FAVORITE SMELL? Teriyaki sauce.

26. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? The automated prank calling line that hung up on me.

27. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? ❤ U Google.

28. FAVORITE DRINK? Whiskey/coke.

29. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? Ninja Warrior.

30. HAIR COLOR? Dark dark brown.

31. EYE COLOR? Hazel (green/brown depending on what clothes I wear).

32. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Nope.

34. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? Do you really expect me to overlook that innuendo?

35. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? The One I Love.

36. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING RIGHT NOW? I’m not.

37. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer in New Zealand.

38. HUGS OR KISSES? Both.

39. FAVORITE DESSERT? Key lime pie.

40. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Uhh, this really doesn’t work here.

41. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Everyone.

42. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? The Book Thief. Slowly.

43 WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? My mouse?

44. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST ON TV? The X-Files.

45. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Record crackle, Toyota Hiace doors, vocal percussion.

46. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles.

47. THE FURTHEST YOU BEEN FROM HOME? Toronto. Which is now home, so uhhh.

48. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Puns.

49. WHEN WERE YOU BORN? January 17th, 1987.

50. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Takapuna Hospital.
Note: If you don’t pass this on your crush will hate you, make croissants out of your body fat, grind your bones into a spreadable paste and serve the dish to your favourite Backstreet Boy.

It’s a guy smoking a pipe. In what world does that necessitate 4000+ videos?

I’ve seen a huge spike in readership over the past few days. It’s massive. Exponentially more views than I usually get, all coming from one US source. Okay, so I’m assuming it’s from one source, because I don’t think I’ve tapped into the zeitgeist enough with my ramblings on sportsing and old ladies falling down. Who are you, mysterious US denizen. What’s your story? How did you find this page (was it from Bing? Say it ain’t so)? What did you search to find it? Did you end up on that marshmallow porn entry like most others? What kind of fiasco befell you that you took to reading this site with such fervour? I mean, parsing the stats it looks like you’ve read 60-80 entries in the past few days. Despite the quantity of entries, they surely lack the depth for you to be that interested. We’re talking hours worth of reading. Think of all the things you could’ve done in the meantime:

  • Gone to the park, swung on the swings, practised cartwheels, done the monkey bars twice and have seen saws.
  • Strolled out to get a quality latte, the morning paper and a bagel, then hit the local grocer for some eggs, fresh fruit and veges. You could’ve then egged someone’s house on the way home.
  • Watched City of God. I know I’ve been meaning to.
  • Listened to the entire Yeezer mashup album at least 4 times.
  • Done your Thanksgiving shopping. Have you started thawing your turkey yet?
  • Recorded a podcast about all the things you could’ve done instead of reading 70-80 pages of I Have My Doubts, but instead you chose to record a podcast.
  • Separated a large bag of M&Ms or skittles into separate bowls for each colour.
  • Created a small figure of what you think I look like out of FIMO clay, then baked it in the oven so it’d last.
  • Tried to teach yourself how to skateboard in a straight line, resulting in no skill level ups, but many scrapes and bruises.
  • Made a large LEGO spaceship complete with gun turrets and a crew consisting of a pirate, ghost, cowboy, dragon and Batman.
  • Formed a small dent in the back catalogue of Adolfo Mateo videos. Try scrolling, they just keep going. Why so many? How do some have 800+ views? WHO IS YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC?
  • Lay curled in a ball trying to understand the madness that is Adolfo Mateo.
  • Picked flowers from neighbourhood gardens, made a pretty bouquet, cooked some French toast and surprised your significant other with breakfast in bed.
  • Taxidermy.
  • Gone for a run then relaxed with yoga.
  • Called your parents. Do you realise what they went through just to raise you?
  • Protested something.
  • Started and gave up on Finnegans Wake at least 10 times.
  • Drawn a picture of a squid with bananas for tentacles.
  • Vacuumed your house.
  • Done P90x and had a shower.
  • Written a thinkpiece about something.

But instead you read this. I hope your happy with your decision. I am, it gave me something to write about that wasn’t sports.

Humour is a funny thing.

JFL42 is almost upon us. When I day almost, I’m staring at a night that starts in T minus 90 minutes. 3 comics tonight, then a continual barrage of 3 comics per average each night. Being me, still a kid at heart and excitable brain meats, I failed hard at sleeping well last night. The two alcoholic slushies I had didn’t exactly keep me restful either. I’m running on some other level right now. My heart is beating an extra few times per minute and life seems filtered through a luminescent haze. That could also have a bit to do with the dress your own donut bar plus free cake today at work. OR MAYBE I’M JUST HAPPY, OK? LET ME HAVE THIS ONE.

Ahem. Self-care should be a concern right now, but to be honest I’m operating a little more self-careless. So much to do, so much to think, so what’s wrong with casually tossing out Smashmouth references like it ain’t no thang? Joe Mande, Rachael Feinstein and Brian Posehn tonight. I’ve a right to kick it up a couple of notches.

There was a stack of books left on the lawn outside my house this morning. Having seen the open home signs by the basement apartment to our right, I can only assume the former occupants moved out and the landlords dumped their sundry on the lawn. Books, some French, some English. Physics books, graphic novels and a few on dictatorship. An Ayn Rand novel and a copy of Mein Kamph gave me pause. Was I living next to secret monsters for longer than I realised? I guess the signs were there, those weird arm bands they kept leaving on my porch, that strange silly walk they had, the fact that they used to dress up as ghosts even when it wasn’t Halloween. I guess they were a little weird, but never connected the dots. Dumb. Of course this wasn’t true. Of course my neighbours weren’t secret Nazis. Mentioning the copy of Maus I picked up makes it pretty evident they were just sociology or politics students. Less exciting for sure.

Have we gotten to a point where we can regularly make jokes and roll with referential humour about Nazis yet? I’m asking this seriously, no levity involved. If we’re not laughing at the victims, but at the absurdity of the Nazi mentality? Surely it’s just a known quantity in society that the kind of anti-Semitic vitriol is abhorrent and anyone who would genuinely follow that rhetoric is not a qualified human being? Do we get to forever tarnish their legacy by using the absurdity of their world view as punch up? Isn’t that righteous in itself? Shitting on how ludicrous they were to even think such low thoughts? Their regime no more than the ravings of a madman made real? I dunno man. Being Jewish doesn’t mean I can speak for the rest of them. I’m just one person far removed from the suffering. Does my opinion even matter in this case?

Did it just get unkumphtable in here?