Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Darken my Door

It's been a chilly couple of days here in Newfoundland.

There has been a near hint of frost in the mornings. Or perhaps it's whitish dew. At any rate, I wouldn't want to be out there with no pants on. The chilly air and brown leaves scraping off the cold sidewalk are pointing to the fact our short summer is now over.

I've had a couple of unexpected visitors at the house during my work days this week. Nothing so dramatic as the cops or starving clowns, but visitors nonetheless. The oddest visitor was a guy selling fish door to door. Now I know you all are picturing this fellow with a cod flung over one shoulder and perhaps a trout stuffed under his armpit. If fact he had the fish in a cooler in the trunk of his car. His careful concern about keeping the sea life cool was touching, yet not enough to inspire me to purchase something from the trunk of a stranger's car.

Sorry, got off topic there. My visitor yesterday was the Liberal candidate in our riding running in the provincial election to be held in about two weeks. We exchanged pleasantries and I assured her that I was firmly undecided on how I'm going to vote. I may not know until I'm standing behind the partition of doom looking at the list of names that inspire confidence. This woman will have an uphill battle as the current premier of our province is the Progressive Conservative representative in this riding. May the force be with you, Liberal lady.

photo from KSL. com
Today I had a visit from two smiling young men with back packs. You know the guys...they represent a certain religious group and wanted to come in and discuss Jesus Christ with me (and the dog who's collar I had a death-grip on). I informed them that it wasn't necessary for them to come in and educate me on JC. "May I ask why not?" he inquired. I assured them that if I was feeling like learning more about theirs, or any other religion, I was only a short walk from a number of churches, a mosque, a synagogue and even a Buddhist temple.

What seems odd is that these young men always describe themselves as missionaries for their church. I had never thought that we up on "The Rock" were considered 'Third World' (is that PC to use that term these days?) and in need of help from missionaries. Yes, perhaps a few years ago...but not now because we have been declared a 'Have' province and are rolling in wealth from the oil industry. Then again...the new wealth for some causes a growing gap between the rich and the poor. And perhaps that leads to more crime. Maybe a little salvation isn't a bad idea after all. I'll drop by that Buddhist temple tomorrow. Or maybe the mosque. or maybe...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Patrick Boivin, new kid on the block

In the summer of 2010, I posted  a blog about one of my 'Bad Movie' nights with the guys. That term is a bit misleading because not all of the short or feature films we watch are necessarily 'Bad.' Some, in fact, do amazing things on a small budget. One of the short films that evening was a dark comedy called 'Le Queloune' (The Clown). I have learned more about the film's director over the past year and have taken in a few of his short films.

Patrick Boivin is a French Canadian film maker out of Montreal. He has amassed quite a following in the YouTube world over the past few years for his short stop-motion animation videos (some of which have over a million hits). I will link to some of his work below but you can see more by clicking on his name.

Mr. Boivin has now ventured into feature length films with his first movie 'Enfin l'Automne' (Fall, Finally). The movie looks at the friendship between two men and a relationship that developes between one of these men and a woman that they both like. It spans about a year time span and is beautifully shot and very professional looking considering it's $45,00 budget. It's about 68 minutes long and well worth a viewing. It has english subtitles but at times no dialogue is necessary as the actors do a great job of conveying thought and emotion through their gestures and facial expression.

The film, in a way, makes Canadian film history as it's the first Candian feature film to debut on YouTube. I think that we'll be seeing a lot more of this man's work on the Canadian film making scene.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fez in the Wind

I’m wearing my matching sou'wester hat and thong this evening to protect from the residuals of tropical storm Maria that is spiralling in our direction. Past experience has proven that the water-proof fez won’t cut it in the high winds during the storms that occasionally hit The Rock. In fact, it's been almost exactly a year since hurricane Igor dropped in for a kitchen party.

Back to the topic of headgear, I find myself wearing the fez a lot less—often going about town with no chapeau at all. In fact, I’m really quite a lightweight in the 'fezular' realm when you look at it in a global context. There are many others who don the exotic fez with far more flair than myself.

courtesy of
  The always-popular Dr. Who wears the fez rakishly with a bit of hair poking out from the front in a care-free manner. The bow tie sets off the look perfectly (note to self...get a PhD in physics and look into purchasing better cravats.)

courtesy of
  Todd exudes a certain unkempt charm with his slightly unshaven face and bogus porn star moustache. He delivers pizzas week nights, but on the weekends he's an exotic dancer with the stage name 'Howard Johnson'. You should see him gyrate his tassel.

courtesy of
  I don't know what her name is or anything about her. However her emerald dress and platinum hair really bring out the colour of her hat. The Masons were wise to let her into the club. I'd loan her my fez any day.

courtesy of

Bruno LeDrew took too many head shots in his lengthy boxing career. He wears his fez to hide his pet squirrel Bonkers. Bruno scores points with me for that cool necklace. He obviously likes it a lot. He is one step away from getting a room with his necklace. And his little friend Bonkers.

courtesy of
  I've heard that Monica dresses like this when she goes to the opening night of the Harry Potter movies. Her friends are too embarrassed to tell her that the costume doesn't work. I think it works just fine. Her wrap nearly matches the hue of her eggplant fez. Very nice, indeed. But please stop staring at're making me nervous.

courtesy of (makers of fine hats)

I saved Mr. Cairo for last because he captures the look that I can only dream of attaining (on account of my grey hair). His fez is centered perfectly on his head and the black jacket and tie are perfect with his dark side burns and goatee. Mr. Cairo has perfectly captured that "Svengali meets Dos Equis guy" look. Well done, sir. Well done.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Head in the Sand

Yep, that photo pretty much sums me up lately...head in the sand. Except, like, I'd have more of a gut. And pants on (except on Friday). The picture also reminds me of a tasteless joke from my misguided youth.

Why do the people in ________ (insert country of your choice) bury their dead with their butts sticking out of the ground? .... So they can be used as bicycle stands...

Moving head has been in the proverbial sand recently because I've been immersed in a book. The past couple of weeks, every moment that hasn't been either work or family time has been spent reading Under the Dome by Stephen King. I've been reading his horror stories since I was about 20 or so. However in recent years I lost interest in his stories. But he has won me back with this novel. It's been many years since a story has grabbed my interest like that. If I may so bold to use the cliche...."a real page turner."

This massive tome is over 1000 pages and could be used to inflict serious harm on another human being. I strained muscles trying to hold it up to read for days. I found the first 100 pages or so a little slow as the first day developed, introducing all of the characters in the town after the 'dome' came down. You know that your novel has a lot of characters when there is a three page section listing them and what they do. I think that the book's main message is about the corruption and the abuse of power. There is also a strong environmental message here and a fine display of people thrust into an extraordinary situation rallying together.

FYI, I looked this up on IMDB and at Wikipedia and see that it's under development as a TV miniseries to be aired on Showcase some time in the distant future. I bet that today's special effects could make this visually stunning. Cool...