The Ramble

December 6, 2003

Hello to my home and native land as well as my international reader(s). It has been a very long time since I have Rambled as I have been busy re-working my latest novel and taking up new past times. Tonight's Ramble shall not be light of heart and will delve into that realm I generally do not wish to tread on this page: politics. Two months ago I joined the Progressive Conservative Party with the sole purpose of voting on the merger between the Canadian Alliance and the PCs. I make it not secret among anyone who will listen that I am very right wing and have always voted as far right as possible in provincial and federal elections (Living in Mississauga, municipal elections are much simpler: Vote Hazel).

Last week at the delegate selection meeting, I was fortunate enough to be the only member present under the age of 25 and therefore the only member eligible to attend today's Special Meeting of Members to vote on the merger of Canada's two right wing parties. The members at the delegate selection meeting voted me into the Youth Delegate slot with a 23 to 1 decision. Hazel McCallion, one of the most successful and popular mayors in history, almost never gets such decisive landslides. Thus was my fledgling political career born.

As anyone who has paid attention will know by now, the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives both voted over 90% in favour of the merger. I had the distinct privilege of attending and casting my vote amongst the other 2500 or so voting delegates nationwide who represented a party over 60 000 strong. It was an honour to be a part of history today as I voted Yes to the merger.

While waiting to get my coat from the coatcheck afterwards, I was approached by a senior delegate from my riding. When he asked what I thought of the meeting I simply said "It was moving." And it was. There were roughly 600 members in the John Bassett Theatre in downtown Toronto today. 35 voted No, 0 abstained. When the rest of us raised our voting card to vote Yes, a calm and approving hush fell over the crowd as we looked around with pride on history unfolding before us. Then, off to my left, a faint but steady voice rose above the hush as a woman began to sing our national anthem. Within seconds I was lending my own voice to the collected assembly as O Canada was sung with great dignity and emotion. Never before has our anthem moved me so deeply.

Today was a day that I will carry with me forever. I am no politician, but I will continue to remain active in the newly reborn Conservative Party of Canada. We still must get through a Leadership Convention, afterall. With my riding's approval, I hope to be a part of that as well.

But there are those who voted No and others who are not members of the Conservative Party that expressed the opinion that this is nothing less than a take-over by the Alliance. I'd like to address each argument made by the No side at this time and explain why I still voted Yes.

To begin with, this is NOT a hostile takeover. Canada's first political party is NOT being destroyed or replaced. The Conservative Party has a history of merging with Western parties (such as the Alliance). Diefenbaker's Tories did it and they were still the Tories (That's the merger that brought about the name Progressive Conservative), Sir John A. MacDonald's Tories did it and they were the original Canadian Tories. At the end of this day when we have merged with the Canadian Alliance, we will still be the same Conservative Party. If anything we've simply returned from whence we came.

The argument that this was a hostile takeover by the Alliance is simply silly and false (and no, Jere, I am not a "fucking idiot" for believing so). The Alliance is made up of people who were members of the PC party back in the 80s but grew disillusioned with the left-leaning ideals the PC leadership began to embrace in a pathetic attempt to emulate the Liberals. In short, the Alliance members are Conservatives. Everyone was united under one banner back before the Reform Party split in '86, now everyone is united under one banner once more. Canada now has one right-wing party; one right-wing voice.

Not only do we now have one voice, but it was on the PC's terms, not the Alliance's. Of the 22 points that make up the manifesto, 19 are the exact same points verbatim that governed the PCs. How can one call that a takeover?

"We will lose votes to the Liberals," is what many No supporters said today. I agree. But, people who believe in the leftist propaganda should be voting left-wing anyways. If you want a left-leaning government, why the hell were you voting for(or for that matter a member of) the Consevative Party to begin with? There was further worry that so many people didn't want to vote Alliance that the NDP were far ahead in the poles. The Toronto No spokesman claimed that should we vote Yes, we will face an NDP Official Opposition. A cat-caller in the audience promply replied with "Yeah, and we'll be the government!" Needless to say, much cheering ensued.

What's done is done. After over a decade of rule by the Liberals in a 1 party system, the two right wing parties have once agained patched up their difference and are taking steps to move forward. I personally am tired of seeing an arrogant ruling party that repeatedly wins by default. That is not democracy, that is not Canadian. While I believe the Liberals will still probably form the federal government in 2004, at least Paul Martin will have to earn it. That's all I have to say about that.


July 20, 2003

I think I Ramble, so what am I so afraid of? I'm afraid that I'm not sure of the Ramble there's no cure for. Man, what a couple of weeks I've had. Vacationing on the East Coast with the Fam... and not the Friends Fam, the Fam Fam. It was kind of funky seeing most of my relatives and all, but a lot of time was sitting in a car waiting for people to haul their asses out of craft shops... or antique shops... or something equally innane. Man, I'm glad to be home.

So, let's take a walk through my two weeks. The first day started off as much as can be expected for people driving across countries. We headed down out of M-Town and cut across New York and a few other states (against my better judgment) to spend the first night in Salem Massachussetts. Had we done it my way, we'da fucked da states and headed out across that other foreign country, Quebec. We arrived in Amherst the next day after getting hassled at the Canadian border because they asked us how much we'd spent in the states and we told them... how dare we cooperate. So once the cavity searches were done with, we flipped off the customs agents and headed for the home of my only surviving grandparent, Nan.

Now, most of her grandchildren call her Nanny for reasons I never bothered to fathom and a lot of people assume that when I say Nan, it's short for Nanny. But actually, I'm using it as short for Nancy, her name, since I generally don't care much for the whole Nanny thing. Sure, it's more disrespectful but everyone thinks that... ah, nevermind. If this is the interesting stuff I can come up with to share about my trip, it should give some indication about how much fun it was.

So on our settling-in day I think we headed on over to Sackville, town of my birth, to see my dad's best bud from back in the day. Had some rum, nothing spectacular happened. The day after that we headed out to meet up with a couple of my dad's sisters who happened to be in the area and spent some time with them and my cousin and his family. Headed on up to the cemetary to check out the monument to my paternal grandparents.

It was about at that point that I realized there was nothing but death out there. Everytime I saw Nan and had to listen to her and the Maternal One talk they be talking about people who had died in the past couple years. Every anecdote and query seemed to revolve around the deceased. It seemed everyone my mother wished to talk about had passed on since she had last been back. Nothing but death... (we even spent our last night out in my aunt's funeral home......)

So, what else happened you ask? Not a lot. This day-by-day crap is getting tedious, so I'll run down the list of crap I managed to get done. I saw some of the highest tides in the world down at the Bay of Fundy, headed on over to Prince Edward Island to scope out the funky red dirt and pick up a couple cigars for Mr. Ming and I, then headed on down to Dartmouth (near Halifax) to be abandoned in some downtown Tim Hortons.

I say abandoned, but it wasn't that bad. I just had no idea where my cousin kept disappearing to and why I was left with her boyfriend and all his crazy secretive vampire buddies. They never actually came out and said they were down with the Masquerade, but they kept talking about "the game" and referring to me as "outsider" and whenever a new person came by started to strike up a conversation about characters and why they're not playing because of the rain someone would cut them off, tell them to shut up, then cast a suspicious glance in my direction. Crazy live-action role-players... But, aside from that I noticed that everyone was very nice and very friendly.

Then, I spent a week in a bar. You see, there's not a whole helluvalot to do out there except drink. So, if you're ever in Amherst you'd better head on over to the Elmtree Tavern. Now, the ladies in there are beyond hideous (except the afternoon bartender, she's not hideous), and the beer is, well beer. I guess there's really nothing great about it, but it's better than the other places. I head on over to see the site of the ol' Esther Cox building (a famous poltergeist haunting). I guess I saw it last time I was there, too, but this time I hung around after dark and almost killed a dog.

But eventually we realized that Amherst was a pretty crappy place to be and head on over to Minto. We only spent a night in Minto since the Hoggs (our mom's sisters with their mom) had to deal with a funeral or something. See, they run this funeral home, which was kinda funky. They let me play with the organ in the chapel so I got some nice, mello Inna Gadda Devita going on. After the Paternal One and I had a couple beers with Mista Hogg the Undertaker, my cousin and I headed on into Fredericton for some Friday night craziness. It wasn't all that crazy. We hit this club where some goofy drunk guy tried to pick her up, which was kinda funny, then we headed on over to some bar and made it just in time for last call. $4.25 for a Budweiser. I was rather annoyed with that; last time I was in a bar with beer that expensive there was naked women dancing around poles. This bar did not have that (which is just as well since I generally loathe strip joints).

After that we went back to the club where I waited around for the former Miss Minto to figure out that clubbing sucks. It didn't take her too long. On our way out we succeeded in turning the wrong way down a one-way street right in front of a couple of police officers. Luckily a friendly passer-by kindly informed us by screaming as he drove by. After avoiding a couple head-ons and eluding the police, we managed to find our way safely back to the funeral home.

Then came the much anticipated drive home. This time, we did take the route through Quebec. We stopped for subs and discovered that no one working there spoke decent english. The kid at the cashier took a couple seconds to figure out how to say our total in God's Language (english) then slowly said "$19.73", smiling at me proudly as if she had just translated the Dead Sea Scrolls. Averaging about 135 kph through Quebec, I decided to do a study of the French-Canadian culture. I will soon have completed my report on their apparent lack of vehicular indicators contrasted with their blatant misuse on cars that actually have them installed.

But, I'm home now and quite releived. I'm told a whole lot of nothing happened in my absence. As Mr. Jere says, it's like I'm returning home to the Shire. So, I think I'll go see if I can find me some of the finest weed in the South Farthing then unpack.


July 2, 2003

I... want to rock and roll all night... and Ramble ev-er-y day! But, of course, I don't Ramble every day because I'm a lazy ass who puts his efforts into more pressing (and hopefully more profitable) ventures. But, that's neither here nor there. What was here was the bestest best Canada Day Barbecue yesterday. There was some funk and it's the first time a 24 got polished off at one of my annual bbq's. Everyone was in a drinking, relaxing mood and had a good time. We played some pool volleyball, pool, drank, chess (I can't believe Jo beat me! There are now two people in the world who can beat me...) and some other funky stuff.

One of the less funky things, something I've been rather annoyed about for years now, is the constant fighting and competing and "throwing shit at each other" that seems to encroach on every single swimming event involving all "the peeps". Now, I've probably made it out to be worse than it sounds. It's really just people starting out with splashing each other, then throwing the splash balls (which hurt like biatch in the eye) at each other, pushing each other in the pool, the fearsome pool noodle battles (which thankfully did not happen yesterday) and resulting ultimately in a show-down in the shallow end in which Mr. Jere gets blamed for battery.

Sound like good ol' homestyle fun? Well, yeah, I guess it is. But, I personally hate it. I've got nothing against people who want to beat on each other beating on each other, but I really want to be left out of it. Take Ms. Erica (Ms. Jo's younger sister): Her and I used to try to kill each other every chance we got until a year or two back I finally had to put the ol' ki-bosh (yeah, I spell colloquialism wrong!) on it. "The reason I'm always trying to kill you is because you're always trying to kill me... so back the fuck off and no one needs bleed!"

But, that's all beside the point. The point I'm trying to make is that no matter what precautions I take, I still get swept up in it. Yesterday Ms. Jess (not the one profiled, this one's Mr. Andrew's elder sister) and Mr. Pep went to war with the Fraternal One. So that was fine, they were laughing, having fun, whatever. Then Mr. Pep winds up to deliver a powerful, devastating attack with a splash ball on the Fraternal One. Unfortunately, my eye is NOT THE FRATERNAL ONE! My brother is, in fact, the Fraternal One. Was I angry? Yes. Did I overreact? A little, I think. But, Pep apologized, we cleared it all up, had a beer and settled it like men. Everything's cool now.

But, what this Ramble is about is the comment Mr. Jere made; something about friendly fire. Now, I see where Mr. Jere's coming from and I'll take this time to point out that this Ramble is in no way targetted against him or Mr. Pep or anyone... except the person who coined the term "friendly fire". What the hell is friendly fire, exactly?

I recall a 40k competition a while back where we had to answer the question: "War, what is it good for?" My answer was long winded and something about subjugation, Mr. Dan answered something about little else to do once hockey season ended, Mr. Jere I think sent in something about monkeys with wooden legs kicking the seeds out of dill pickles... Retrospectivley, I should have just said "absolutely nothing", but hindsight is always 20/20 (even sharper after being lased!) It was Mr. Ming who said words to the effect that where else can you shoot your friend in the back for being a jackass and call it friendly fire?

And that is where my problem comes in. It's wrong. The term is wrong. THE WHOLE DAMN SYSTEM IS WRONG! Well, the term is wrong, anyhow. Here's the thing about friendly fire: IT AIN'T FRIENDLY!!! Shooting someone in the back is NOT a friendly move! Accident or not, there's nothing friendly about it! Jerky fire, that's what it should be called. If you shoot your friend in the back, you're being a jerk, not a friend. Therefore it's wrong to call it friendly fire.

So, in the future if you hit me accidentally (or not...), don't call it friendly fire. If you call it friendly fire, you're a big jerk. If you call it jerk fire, then you're an honest jerk. But, the bottom line is: if you hit me, you're being a jerk.


June 24, 2003

And the sign said "Long-haired freaky Ramblers need not apply", so I tucked up my hair up under my hat and I went into ask him why. He said "You look like a fine, up-standing non-Rambler, I think you'll do!" So I took off my hat and said "Imagine that! Ha! Me Ramblin' for you!" That song never brings a tear to my eye, but it's got the funk anyhow. Speaking of funk, I managed to stumble across the most awesome of awesome deals.

All right, check this out: They're paying me to drink beer. Seriously, this place called me up and asked me a bunch of beer questions then said "Yeah, you want to come in drink some beer then we'll give you some money." So I was all "What's the catch?" And the lady said "Well, you gotta hang out here in this nice, air-conditioned building for about an hour an a half." So I said "Yeah, all right." Then I got there found out that we got to watch some movie (Air Force One, I think) while we hang out. Now, getting paid to hang out and watch movies is nothing to new to me since BioSci pays me to do that all the time. The key differences here is that ACCE (the place that's paying me for all this) doesn't make me show up early in the morning and is also paying me to drink a few beers. But here's the sweet spot: I get all the damn sandwiches I want. So me and the rest of the guys (apparently guys in their 20s are the target market for beer companies) sit around, drink some beer, watch some movie and eat all the sandwiches we feel like eating. And when the sandwiches start to run out they bring in another whole damn plateful.

Ever since I was a kid, I had some kind of idea as to what exactly heaven would be like (I say "would" instead of "will" since I no longer have any intentions of getting into heaven). For a while, I thought it would be all puffy clouds with all my dead ralatives and pets hanging out. I was really looking forward to seeing Champaign again. He was a funky cat. Then high school came around and I took up metal music. I started seeing heaven as a 24/7 jam session where everything rocked hard. Perhaps Mr. Aaron would even have a proper sense of time in heaven... Then I fell in love a couple times and figured I'd already found heaven... before I got my heart broken and figured I may have found hell. But, life goes on and my view of heaven has evolved to a new form: A place where you get to hang out, drink beer, eat sandiwches and get paid for it!

So, once again, I believe I have stumbled across heaven. Sadly, these studies don't last forever, but I intend to enjoy it as much as I can while it's here. Kind of a bland Ramble today, but I figured I hadn't Rambled in a while and I wanted to share this awesome experience with everyone. Maybe I'll try and figure out something funky to Ramble about next time. Get myself worked up and yell about the stupid stuff in the world. A classic Ramble. Would be funky.


April 23, 2003

Ask not what your Ramble can do for you, but what you can do for your Ramble! Funky words. I think JFK said something like that once. Good ol' Mr. Kennedy. Forty years later and I'm still glad someone capped his ass. Not politically correct you say? Well, he can take his imperialistic manifesting destiny and burn in Hell. No, I don't feel strongly about it... But, to lighten up the opening Ramble paragraph: I found out that I've repeated an opening Ramble gimick (you know, saying lyrics or quotes and throwing in the word Ramble). See if you can figure out which two. Or not. It doesn't really matter.

But what to properly Ramble about today. First, I thought I'd talk about sleeping. I realized this morning that I tend to do a lot of thinking while I'm asleep. Most people call that dreaming. I do too, usually, except this time I really was thinking. They weren't good thoughts, though. Not so much bad thoughts as just dumb ideas. Apparently I was philosiphising (take your dictionary and join JFK in Hell) about new bits of Wisdom to add to the Wisdom section. I understand that most of my contributions to the Wisdom tends to be rather stupid and most people don't quite "get it", but I like to keep trying and maybe one day not be seen as the Dunce of the Wisdom. Even though I might not be now.

Well, for anyone who thinks what I've added so far is stupid (and by what I added, I mean quotes I put up that I myself said), then maybe you should be informed about what I come up with that doesn't make the cut. See, this morning, while I was sleeping, an awesome pearl of Wisdom came to me. I was so convinced it was ingenious and brilliant, I made a mental note to get online and add it to the site today. Then I woke up and realized how stupid it sounds. Well, here it is: "Whoever said 'white men can't jump' obviously never played Mario Bros." What the fuck is that? That's easily the stupidest thing I've ever heard. It sounded grand when I was sleeping. I thought I was a revolutionary philosoph or some shit. Turns out, my brain just gets stupider when its trying to sleep. I mean, that doesn't even help anyone, let alone make any sense.

Now that I think about it, I saw an episode of Seinfeld like this. He woke up in the middle of the night laughing, then jotted down his idea so he'd be able to use it as material. When he woke up the next morning, he couldn't figure out what the hell was so funny about what he had written. It's sad, really. Sadder yet, I know exactly what I was thinking when I came up with my little gem. I was thinking "Hey, those two italian dudes are white and they jump a lot. Hold down B and run and they jump further than anyone." Then I went on to wonder about Super Mario 3 and how they jump the worst when they're in the frog suit. Shouldn't they jump the highest and furthest then? Ah well, that's not important.

What's important is censoring ourselves (much like I do not do here). The human brain is capable of producing some of the most creative and beautiful art and poetry the world has ever seen. I suppose poetry could be seen as art, though; I just don't have a lot of respect for it is all. But, as creative and profound as some of human thoughts and expression may be, a lot of it is just plain crap. This comes mainly from the fact that some idiots think stream of consciousness is art and speaks of the human condition and a whole bunch of other pretentious, snotty crud. The fact is, it's crap. The Mario Bros. analogy: crap. Living alone and whining poetically about how no one understands you: crap (if no one understands you, then they're not going to give a fuck! Stop wasting your damn time!) Getting wasted and composing an epic rock ballad consisting of two or three power chords and even fewer words in the lyrics: crap. Painting one red line down the middle of a canvas and calling it a masterpiece: crap. Come to think of it, all of modern art is crap. I'm no artist, nor am I a respected art critic. But I know crap when I see it.

I believe it's like Red Green (Steve Smith, graduated from the same high school as me and most people in the Profiles section) once said: "If I can do it, it ain't art." I think he went on to make a bunch of duct tape sculptures; I'm not sure. Anyways, the point is that just because you thought it up while you were sleeping, or drinking, or high doesn't mean it's good. We'd be lucky if even 0.000000001% of all human thoughts and ideas were good and artworthy. But the fact is, they're not. Odds are, we, as individuals, will only have two or three really good ideas in our lifetime. Unfortunately, in this slough of terrible ideas, they'll most like be harder to detect. That's why it's time to wake up and accept the fact that most of our ideas are awful. That way, when the really awesome ideas do come along, we'll be able to recognize and truly appreciate them.

Or we can just go back to climbing trees and flinging feces at each other. I'm sure some weirdo out there would find that to be a form of art.


April 8, 2003

Hey little Ramble what have you done? Hey little Ramble who's your only one? Hey little Ramble who's your Superman? Hey little Ramble who's the one you want? Hey little Ramble SHOTGUN! It's a nice day to start again! It's a nice day for a white Ramble. It's a nice day to start again!

All right, that was a long and pointless intro. Well, today was a first. This was the first time I deleted a Ramble. I don't know, my heart just wasn't in it. Well, it was, but I felt it wasn't edgy enough. Basically, I was just comparing The Tick with The Powerpuff Girls (my four favourite super heroes). It wasn't Ramble worthy. No, I need something that teaches people something worthwhile about life. Well, maybe not worthwhile, but something different that they may not have thought of regarding possibly relevant or personal issues. As much as it pains me to admit it, Blossom, Bubbles, Buttercup, and The Tick don't quite fit that category.

So what to talk about? Christmas. Sure, it's sort of late in the year to bring up Christmas, but I'm currently in the middle of blizzard, so it kinda feels like Christmas time. It's also very close to easter, which is what got me thinking about Christmas. I don't know how most people celebrate easter officially, such as how they do easter egg hunts and whether or not presents are exchanged. Well, my family still does the present thing on easter. It started off when we were young with the little dinkie cars, then the big construction trucks and other such manly toys (my dad got worried one christmas when I wanted a doll and carriage). The giving hasn't stopped despite the fact that my brother and I are in our twenties now. Last year I believe my gift was a dreadnaut for 40k, and this year my gift came early. My parents fronted a portion of the cost of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (any writer who's purchased this book should be familiar with its expense).

Getting gifts early generally sucks. This is the basic point I'm trying to make with this Ramble. I suppose if I were to write this correctly, you'd be able to figure that out without me having to point it out. But, to hell with writing crap correctly! That's what novels and revisions or for; this is the Ramble, damn it! Anyhow, getting gifts early is no new thing for me. I received my birthday present from the parental ones early last year. Actually, I'm not complaining on that one, really, since it gave me extra time to put the Necrons together... But the point is that when my birthday (or easter or Christmas) rolls around, it's a day when I'm supposed to feel like I'm going to get something and... I don't! See, I already got it early, so there's nothing left to get on the special day (except Christmas, when there's plenty of socks and underwear to rub in the disappointment...) In my opinion, it detracts from the specialness of the day.

So, in an effort to preserve said day's specialness (I know it's not a real word, shut the hell up!) Most people wait until the day to give their presents. Their hearts are in the right place and many believe that it's the right way of doing things (often in very aggravating self-righteousness). But, once the day comes, I generally find myself disappointed with the gift anyhow. Why, you may ask? Because it never lives up to the hype of having to wait for it. My family generally demands a lengthy Christmas list delivered multiple months in advance of Santa's big day. Unfortunately, what I want in late August isn't the same as what I'm going to want in late December. So what I'm really looking forward to getting in late August wanes into indifference and something new comes along that I absolutely must have, but didn't want it when The List was submitted, so have no chance of getting it for Christmas. Being materialistic can really suck sometimes.

So, how does a spoiled, suburbanite such as myself deal with this? I stop caring. That tends to be my solution to everything these days. You see, I acknowledge that I am very materialistic. I don't think there's much I can do about it at this point. I'm a consumer, I need to consume, damn it! Fortunately, I have found a bit of a solution to this problem. It's quite apparent that I cannot stop consuming. It's just the way she be. So, I'm directing my consumer-driven needs into more constructive areas. Books. Instead of throwing my money away on 40k (I'm also trying to cut back on the Magic), I'm now trying to invest my coinage in reading material. The classics, mainly, but also some other more contemporary pieces. I'm in the middle John Gardner's Grendel at the moment and I intend to start on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby once I'm done with Grendel.

A consumer must consume much as a fish must swim and a rock must... uh... lie there... I don't really know what this has to do with Christmas and easter and birthdays anymore. Ah well, I Rambled... this one should do.


April 4, 2003

Finished with my Ramble 'cuz it couldn't help me with my mind! Well, that's not really true. I'm not finished and I think this actually might help me with my mind. So, there it is. But I'll tell you what is finished, and that's that bantam or junior or whatever hockey league of Mr. Andrew's that I've been watching. They had a grand, grand season and should be very proud of themselves. Yes, the Cooksville Navajo (that's their team) went into the semi finals to play in the 2nd place team vs the 3rd place team (I think the Navajo were 2nd). The 3rd place team, the something Spitfires (Erindale, I think, but I could be wrong), smote the Navajo in their first game, then went on to tie up the next game. Now these were four point series with 2 points for a win and either team gaining 1 point for a tie. First team to 4 points wins the series, playing overtime if the tie would bring both teams to 4 points. Confused yet? Good.

The next game, Navajo was in a must win situation, as a loss or tie would cost them the playoffs. Navajo managed to turn the tide and raped the Spitfires. I forget what the actual score of that game was, but it was a decisive Navajo victory. After that game, one of the Spitfire fathers was talking shit to his team as they trudged off the ice, telling them that they played like shit and had no one to blame but themselves (his exact words). I felt like bitch-slapping that dick. The kids were there to play, enjoy themselves, build character and all that and here he is being an asshole like they've commited some kind of blasphemy. Fortunately the other Spitfire parents started yelling at him, saving me the trouble of starting something unpleasant.

So, the series was tied at 3 points apiece with one last game to play. At the beginning of the 4th game the Spitfire parents were heard to discuss when their next was to be once their sons beat Navajo. It was incredible game, easily the best hockey game I ever watched. I forget the exact order of the goals, but it was 2-1 for Navajo by the end of the first period. In the second, the Spitfires answered back with two goals of their own, bringing it up to 3-2 for the Spitfires. I had heard a parent say in a previous game "What a shitty goal" expressing his distaste for a goal that he felt should have been stopped. I immediately related how I felt that there was no such thing as a shitty goal since all goals are worth the same in the end and that any goal is good enough (it doesn't have to look pretty). Well, after that third Spitfire goal, I was completely turned around on the matter. It was a terrible goal that was a result of the Navajo defense screening their goalie. But, before long Navajo had answer back with a pair of goals of their own, bringing the score up to 4-3 for the Navajo. The Spitfires were to then score again, tying it up at 4-4. With under two minutes remaining in the third, the Navajo scored their fifth and winning goal, advancing them to the finals and dismissing the Spitfires to their bronze medals. "Our kids' next game is this Satruday," said the Spitfire parents. OH HELLZ NO IT AIN'T!

But wait, that was just the semi-finals. The Cooksville Navajo (aka The Good Guys) won through their bitter Spitfire rivals to play the first place team, the hated Clarkson... uh... just Clarkson (I dunno what their name is). My father has said that he has two favourite teams: The Navajo and whoever's playing Clarkson. We just plain don't like Clarkson (we have our reasons...) Unfortunately, I was of the belief that Clarkson's team was significantly better than the Navajo. After the first game, Clarkson smote Navajo with a 4-2 victory. I felt certain that the next game would be another Clarkson victory, earning them another 2 points to win their 4 point series. I would have loved to watch that game, but Wrestlemania was on that night and... you know... It turns out that I am very sorry indeed that I missed that game, for Navajo pillaged Clarkson with a 5-3 victory. I'm told they were up 5-1 at one point, then Clarkson got violent.

So, the series was tied at two points apiece, but with only one day left on the league's insurance policy the next game had to be the last. No ties allowed. We settled into the stands amid Mr. Andrew's family and many Navajo fans, though we took our standard position at centre ice so we were also adjacent to the Clarkson fans in what was to be the longest 30 minute game yet. Again, I forget who scored the first goal, but by the 3rd period it was 3-1 for Navajo. We felt for sure that if our boys could just hold on for a little over a minute, they'd have the gold. Clarkson pulled their goalie at 60 seconds left on the clock with a face-off in Navajo's end. 57 seconds on the clock they score. 3-2 still for Navajo. 40-odd seconds left, Clarkson scores again. 3-3 (for Navajo!!......) by the end of the third. Clarkson had the momentum with their true brilliant goals. It was odd, really, since both teams had scored the same amount of goals in 30 minutes of playing (though with all the stopping and extended trouble with the clock, it was closer to 40-45), yet the Clarkson fans were elated while us Navajo fans were nervous. Period 4 came and went with not a goal being scored. It was rather late now, the game scheduled for 8:55pm didn't start until 9:10pm. By now, it was around 10:30 and they called the teams off the ice to give it another flood with the zamboni (as if the game was taking enough time as it was). Period 5 came, the Paternal One surprised that the scoreboard went that high. Twice did Clarkson mistakenly believe that they had scored, once when the puck was kicked in, another time when they were just plain wrong since our goalie (our amazing, stupendous goalie) had in fact caught the puck. Twice did I think that our boys had lost, twice was I relived. Then it happened. Around halfway through period five, Mr. Andrew brought the puck into Clarkson's end, skirted the Clarkson defense with a beautiful pass to Mr. Niko. Mr. Niko, in a moment of the truest glory, fired the puck passed Clarkson's brick wall of a goalie and ended the longest and most tense game of the season. Mighty Navajo had won the championship.

Those were some great games and I am glad to have been a part of them (cheering in the stands is being a part of something). I would like to congradulate both the Spitfires and Clarkson for playing great series. Both teams should be proud of themselves for they played well and there's no shame in being beaten by the best. I would also like to thank Mr. Andrew and the Cooksville Navajo for one hell of a season. We, the fans, couldn't have asked for better playing and sportsmanship and would have been equally proud had they not won the gold. But, they did, so that's all the better. Let's go, Navajo!


March 19, 2003

Over the Ramble! Take me across the Sky! Wow, it's been almost a month since I've Rambled. I can't believe it's been that long since I've had something to say. Nevertheless, here it be. Today, I believe I shall discuss something that's actually been nagging me a bit for a couple years. It's superhero alter-egoes. You know, their secret identities. Who the hell are they really fooling? Well, the apparent answer is almost everyone they meet, which means they only hang around with idiots or something. Ok, maybe I'm moving a bit fast here, allow me to start from the beginning.

I was sitting eating my dinner in front of the television set, as I'm apt to do. It was 5:30 and hardly anything interesting was on (even with satelite), so I turned it over to watch some Sailor Moon. I used to watch Sailor moon back when I was 14 or 15 and it was an episode from that first seasons since it had Nephlyte in it (my favourite Sailor Moon villain). This being the case, I decided to watch a bit of it. Eventually, the girls got around to turning into the Sailor Scouts which made me think of how their real identities (as Serena, Ray, and Amy) are supposed to be kept secret. But what do they do to hide their identities that makes their superhero personae look so damn much different? In real life, they all hang around in those sailor school girl outfits, then when they change into the Sailor Scouts... they're still wearing the same damn sailor school girl outfits, just a different colour!

But, that's no big deal really, all the girls seem to wear the same sailor suit thing, so that shouldn't really make them stand out from who they really are. But, with everyone wearing the same outfits in the city, you'd think people would pay more attention to faces. That would, afterall, be one of the distinguishing features of people. So, how do the Sailor Scouts counteract this? A tiara.

A tiara!!

What kind of ghetto stupid way is that to hide your identity? I mean, do suspicious people walking by think to themselves "Hey, is that Serena? I can't really tell since I can't see her forehead.." What the hell is that? The creators of Sailor Moon must really have a low opinion of the collective intelligence of the people of Tokyo if they think they won't be able to tell a person's identity just by covering up their forehead while leaving their eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth, chin, and, well, FACE revealed. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon, y'know!

That's really the worst example, though. There's the obvious difference between Superman and Clark Kent as well. The argument has been done to death, but I'll bring it up anyhow. The glasses. Can glasses really make a person look that much different? Well, I don't think so, but you can be the judge for yourself.

There are, of course alter-egoes that do tend to get covered up well. I must applaud Batman and Spiderman on their own intelligence, as well as the respect they have for the intelligence of the people around them and those who read their comic books, in realizing that in order to keep your identity secret, you really need to cover up your damn face. I think I've said all I need to say about this... I'll finish up with pointing out the moral: If you're going to bother being a superhero, don't be half-assed about it. If you don't want people to know who you are, then put in a little effort to make sure they don't. The second you trust to people's inherent stupidity is the second they wise up.


February 24, 2003

Ramble to the left of them! Ramble to the right of them! Ramble in front of them! Rambled and thundered! See, I'm putting some class in the Ramble now. Well, that's enough of that. Today I'm going to discuss the Seven Deadly Sins. Now, I'm going to be using the arguments presented by Reverend Anton Szandor LaVey. You know, the Black Pope, Father of Modern Satanism, the guy who wrote the Satanic Bible. Now, to set the record straight, I am NOT a satanist. Sure, I was a satanist at one time, but I'm not now. Nor am I Christian. Yes, I was a christian at one time, but I am not now. See how that works? For those of you who may be wondering just what my religious beliefs at this point are, don't bother asking. I stopped caring about what happens to me after I die a long time ago and have decided to live life by whatever feels right to me, not some old scripture or new scripture for that matter. Though I find that the new scripture does tend to make a bit more sense.

Which brings me to the point of this Ramble. You see, the good Reverend (LaVey, for those who envy the goldfish's power of memory) makes the good point that most religions tend to taboo the natural impulses of humans. Religion then makes one feel guilty about something they are going to do either way and then make the poor sinner give the priests money so that they can get god or the higher power or whatever to forgive them. Pretty cushy idea when you think about it.

Now, I don't want to get into a whole denouncing of religious thing here because most of my friends are rather religious. That's in fact part of the reason I left satanism behind. You see, the satanic bible kept saying to be proud to be a satanist, which I wasn't ashamed of, but it also said to be "in your face" about it and spite people who are not satanists and other such nonsense. Maybe I missed the point of it, but eventually it came down to the fact that I felt everyone has a right to believe whatever the hell they want and I really don't have the inclination to try and convert anyone or smite them for believing something that works for them. But, I'm digressing once more.

The Seven Deadly Sins! What's so deadly about them? Not much, really since anything can be deadly in excess. So what makes these seven vices so bad? Well, they're the seven things mankind WILL do. No matter who you are, you are going to do at least one of these things. Most likely more. The more you do the more sins you have to give the priest money for. Quite a racket, eh? I suppose it's possible for someone to not be inclined to do any of these sins, but I do not believe I have met such a person.

"What are the seven deadly sins?" you may be asking. I know I would be, they are kind of hard to keep straight after a while. Well, let's see: There's sloth (my personal favourite). That basically equates over to laziness and most people, by their very nature, are inclined to just not bother. There's also gluttony. Eating is good and what's so bad about eating a bit more than is needed to stay that extra bit healthy? Sure, there's being morbidly obese, but anything is dangerous when taken to excess. Greed. Greed's a bit like gluttony, only it applies to non-food stuffs. Everybody likes stuff and there's nothing wrong with wanting a bit more stuff. It gives you something to do. Lust. How can you argue with lust? Human beings are the only animal on the planet whose male does not have a bone in their pee-pee. This means we need arousal to procreate. Without lust, human beings simply would not be. Is existing a sin? If so, blame whomever made us, damn it! Envy. Envy goes back to greed and simply wanting stuff. If you had stuff, you wouldn't be envious, and it's natural to just want stuff. Stuff is good, damn it! If other people have stuff that you want, it encourages you to get stuff (preferable just a duplicate of the stuff they got). And then there's pride. There's nothing wrong with being pleased with oneself. I believe lack of pride is a bigger problem, leading hatred and self-loathing and then turning tricks in the street for crack. See, pride stops you from sinking that low.

Now at this point, the priests of old probably thought they were doing pretty good. The six deadly sins of the things people are going to do just because it's in their nature. Really, people are always going to want stuff (envy and greed) and live and exist (gluttony and lust), not to mention just plain have fun (lust again). And just about everyone would rather just have someone else do something for them rather then do it themselves if it requires a lot of effort (sloth). And of course, those who are better at stuff have a right to know it and have others know it (pride). Yes, the priests were probably doing just fine with only six deadly sins. But I bet one of them realized (possibly from the first reaction of the flock) that not being able to do the stuff you want to do is going to really piss people off. I wonder how many priests were slain in anger after telling their followers that they can't shag and eat all they want anymore before they realized that they should make wrath the seventh deadly sin. A lot, I hope.

Like I said, there's not really anything more deadly about the seven deadly "sins" than anything else. It's all about not taking things to excess. Genghis "I Kill You" Kahn understood that anything in excess is bad. He also understood that people can't be stopped from following their natures. He knew there was something destructive about alcohol and that there's nothing more useless than a drunken soldier. He also knew his men were going to drink whether he outlawed it or not, so in his code he forbade them from drinking any more than once a month. Which is fine. Too much video games are bad if you start neglecting the rest of your life for them, but just a bit of video games being played for entertainment is fine. It's all about not taking things to excess and envy, greed, gluttony, lust, pride, sloth, and even wrath are alright so long as they're not taken too far, just like drinking and video games and just about everything else humans do (even working out and keeping fit... too much of it can be bad and no, I'm not kidding). Everything in moderation, people. It's all good so long as we don't go too far with any one thing (or more).


February 17, 2003

I fear no enemy, for the Ramble is my strength. I fear not death, for my strength is eternal. You hear that? I'm going to Ramble forever! Muahaha! Ok, probably not, but I think it sounded funky. About a week or so ago, I attended another hockey game of the young Mr. Andrew (that guy who I went to watch before). He wound up playing the same team that he was playing the first time I went to watch one of his games, which was odd. It was cool, though, because Mr. Andrew's team is in third place and this other team is in second. The first place team is, apparently, a lot better than the second place team, so the best match to watch would be Mr. Andrew's team against this second place team.

And it was indeed a grand match. Mr. Andrew's team pillaged (yes, PILLAGED!) the bad guys. It started off normal and all with people skating about trying to score. Then BAM! One of the good guys scored early on. Before we knew it, it was 3-0 for the good guys and all the opposing parents (whom we always wind up sitting near since we generally take a seat at the red line) started yelling and getting all pissed off because that's the mature thing to do. The bad guy team, which is comprised of a lot of big guys, kept tossing around the good guys (on the shouted suggestion from their parents, no less).

One bad guy got ejected from the game, even, for checking a good guy from behind into the boards. He got all pissed off and threw his stick down and stormed off the ice. Then the refs started handing out a bunch of penalties for stuff and the bad guys' parents were getting all pissed off and yelling obscenities at the officials. I found this to be rather childish and amusing, especially since at the time they only had one of their kids going to the penalty box while the good guys had two being penalized with no good guy parents bitching and whining. I guess when you're winning, there's not a lot to complain about.

In the end, it was a 4-1 victory for the good guys and I'm looking forward to them going into the play-offs this week. It's funny, sports. Professional sports holds very little interest for me (except professional wrestling, but it's hard to consider anything choreographed to be a true sport), but I do enjoy watching the non-professional sports. Whether it's my dad's 30+ softball (aka beerball) league, Mr. Ming's university baseball, or Mr. Andrew's whatever league hockey, I find it interesting to watch. Perhaps it's because I have a distinct side to root for, or maybe it's because the players are not getting paid and play with more heart in the game. It's sort of weird like that.

Oh yeah, I meant to talk about the end of the game we saw while waiting for Mr. Andrew's game to begin. It was the ten-year-old kids league so they weren't nearly as impressive on the ice as Mr. Andrew and his young teenage brethren. What struck me as weird, though, was some crazy eastern european old dude screaming and shouting in the stands. I'm guessing it was one of his kids playing on the ice and he was yelling his head off at the guy standing next to him, something about not doing something when you're right in front of the net. We muscled some short guy out of his standing room only section spot and the old dude (who was now a ways away) continued to drown everyone out with his zealous shouting.

The distressing part, however, was after the game. One kid jumped another and a brawl ensued. What the hell was that?!? The kids are just ten friggin' years old and they're brawling on the ice? Not only that, crazy old eastern european guy shouted something like "That's right, beat the shit out of him! Make him think twice next time!". What?? "Make him think twice next time"? What the hell's the matter with that shithead? These are kids, goddammit! Don't encourage them to fight! I'm as interested in violence as the next guy, but I saw something very sick and twisted about a bunch of parents hanging around in the stands encouraging their little kids to tear each other apart. It seems a little akin to the Roman colliseum of old, gladiators fighting each other to the death for the amusement of the crowd. Sure, we have boxing and the UFC stuff, but those are trained professional adults. Encouraging the kids to fight on the ice is just plain wrong.

Mr. Andrew's league, to their credit, handle themselves a bit better in face of a game's frustration. The guy who got ejected from the game got very pissed off and threw his stick to the ice before storming out didn't jump someone and start laying into them. Whenever anyone got a penalty, they slam the door to the penlaty box and punch the boards in irritation, but they didn't take it to violence against an opposing player, for which I applaud them. Yes, the parents of the bad guy team (the team with bigger players) were encouraging them to check the good guys more. Which makes sense, they have a size advantage and the smaller, more agile team was smiting their ass. Using their size advantage seemed like the more strategic thing to do (it's funny watching the smaller guys try to check the big guys, incidentally, because the small guys bounce off and the bigger guys just keep skating with the puck like nothing happened). But, no one was shouting for blood in that game, so that's a good thing.

I suppose I've Rambled enough for one day. The stomach informs me that it would like breakfast now, so I'd best go placate it. Remember, it's all fun and games until someone loses and eye. Then it's a sport.


February 10, 2003

So a whole shwack load of peoples are making these online test things... again. Which is fine with me, it's a fun little band-wagon to be jumping on. For anyone not aware, the online tests are basically just a little way to let Mr. Ming show us that he's better at taking online tests about people than the rest of us are. People make tests, then email them to other people so they can come and see how many they get right and then put you up on the scoreboard. So since they have that funky, fun option, here's my online quiz:

Take my Quiz on!

Isn't it grand? My own father didn't even know the colour of my drumset... what's up with that? Well, it's rather early in the morning (11:30) and I'm too lethargic to think of anything worthwhile to Ramble about, so maybe next time.


February 9, 2003

And then The Dumbass said "Let there be sight!" and he allowed his newly lased eyes focus on the cute nurse who had come to escort him to the comfy recliner to rest for a few minutes. The procedure went well. All things are still progressing more or less ideally, which surprises me. It is unlike things to go my way to this degree. On my Day One visit with the good Dr. Hum, I was to learn that my vision is within a couple letters of 20/20 at this time. It's been a long, ghetto road.

My day of the surgery started off like few others in recent memory. I was up and about by 7:30 am, which generally falls in the exact middle of my eight hours. No alarm, either. I'm good like that. Within half an hour, the Paternal One and I were on the road rolling for the grand city of Toronto. We arrived at the centre to enjoy a nice thirty to forty minute wait. There was a television playing movies in the waiting room and after a while they put Lord of the Rings on. I promptly switched chairs to get a good view of my favourite part (Sauron smiting the elves and humans) after which (like two seconds after... I'm tellin' ya, ideal!) the nurse came out to round up myself and the four ladies in my group who were also to get their eyes lased at that time.

We hung out in this narrow hall type place with videos on the surgery room. The nurse person told us all about what we're supposed to do and all that ghetto crap, then the surgeon guy called us in one by one to tell us stuff. He told me I was an ideal candidate, blah blah blah. Next, I was back in recliner land to await sedation. Sadly, the sedatives weren't all that powerful and didn't take much of the edge off. I was in the middle of the five people in my "batch" of patients. Due to the drops they put in my eyes and the confiscation of my glasses, I was unable to make anything out of the blur that was the television monitor. This prevented me from actually seeing the precedure done in real time for the two ladies in ahead of me. I count this as a good thing.

It was my turn before I was prepared. I took my place lying down on the bed/table/thing and they offered me a stress ball, which I accepted. I actually asked for a second one to have one for either hand, but apparently some guy had actually managed to break their second stress ball. Not something I really wanted to hear when I was moments away from eye surgery. Before I knew it, they were taping my eyelashes back, then propping my eyelids open. As I tried to take all this in, they threw the suction ring over my right eye. Knowing the incision was next, I prepared to take a deep breath to ready myself. Just as I was about to draw said breath, Dr. Smith (the surgeon guy) told me the flap was made. What the hell? I guess since I didn't see anything except that black thing block out the red light and didn't feel anything, that was ok. He warned me about the laser though and that Zelda girl didn't lie. It really does smell like burning hair.

Yes, the laser was completely painless (thanks to the numbing drops), but it felt friggin' weird. There's really no other way to describe it since it was unlike anything else I had ever felt. The laser finished and he spent a while smoothing out the air bubbles from the flap, which my father compared to putting up wallpaper. Then it was my left eye's turn. My left eye was so lucky in numbness department. I felt the damn clamps (or whatever) propping my eyelids open against my eye. Dr. Smith assured me that I should feel pressure on my cheek and forehead, but the numbing drops should not allow me to feel the metal. Well, I know the difference between my eye and my damn cheek and forehead, I even had the experience with my right eye to compare it to. Of course, I was more polite informing the surgeon of this, and I promptly recieved extra numbing drops.

The rest is really history as I had an exemplory Day One check-up and spent the past four days dumping three types of eyedrops into my eyes (as opposed to using eyedrops other places...) Last night was also my final night to use the goofy-looking sleeping eye patches. So, from here on out it's just Bion Tears (since I'm too manly to cry on my own) and regular check-ups with Dr. Hum... assuming I don't need a touch-up treatment or anything goes wrong... God forbid. My corneal flap is still vulnerable, apparently and there's a chance I can displace it for the next few weeks or months.

But hey, I can see! Let the streets flow with the blood of the wicked! ...don't ask me how that's related to any of this.


February 3, 2003

The time draws near. Very near. This shall most likely be my final Ramble entry before the procedure. I spent much of today cleaning the house. Immediately following the surgery dust will be my enemy and I fought long and hard to subdue its foul taint today. Sadly, the dust situation in my house is rather difficult to contend with and I'm concerned my efforts may not have been enough. I suppose time will tell.

I was rather nervous near the beginning of last week, right after the pre-op appointment. After a couple days being worried and nervous just became too much of a hassle and I've drifted into a lulled state of apparent indifference. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for them to slice open my eyes and fire a friggin' laser into them. I just don't have the energy to be bothered to worry about it anymore.

I am a little anxious about just how effective the outcome will be, though. My corrective prescription is rather strong so they couldn't really guarentee 20/20 vision for me (they don't guarentee that for anyone, though). There's also a chance that I may still require glasses or contacts to do a lot of stuff, such as driving or reading. The goal of the procedure, officially, is not to give me perfect vision, but to cut down my dependency on corrective lenses. That's great, officially, but I'm hoping to do away with these frames and contacts for good. They just piss me off too much. There's still a chance that this may be the case.

The thing that's bothering me the most right now is how I am going to cope with the first week following the procedure. The first day, naturally, will be the toughest. Fortunately, they're probably going to sedate me so I'll sleep through most of the first day of recover. Unfortunately, I can't sleep all the time and will have to be awake sometimes. During my period of being awake, I get to enjoy any activity I like... so long as it doesn't involve reading, watching television, or staring at a computer screen. I'm also forbidden to work out, swim, or do anything in a dusty environment. Don't I feel free. Yes, music comes to mind since you generally don't need to use your eyes for that. Being a musician, this should be fine for me. But what's this? My drums are in the basement (no room anywhere else) and it's dusty as hell down there. But, I could still listen. Yeah, that's pretty much all I'll be able to do for the first little while. Unfortunately, I generally like to be doing something besides just sitting around while I listen to music. This made me try and find something worth listening to that I could just sit there and listen to it and allow it to soak up all of my attention. The solution: Eddie Izzard. For those of you who are unaware, Eddie Izzard is, in my humblest of opinions (which I still value more than anyone else's, despite how humble it is), the greatest comedian the world has yet known. He's one hilarious British transvestite and he'll basically be keeping me company on the long, dull road to recovery. Thanks Eddie, you da man... sort of.

So, in light of my inability to sit before a computer screen for the next little while, I most like will not be around until I come later in the week to Ramble and let you all know how I'm doing. That's assuming I can still see (knock on wood). If you never hear from me again, it's because something went terribly wrong and robbed me of my sight. I suppose in that case, I'll really need to rethink my writing career. Oh well, I'll bust that skull when I come to it. Have a nice day!


January 26, 2003

No interesting introduction to the Ramble this night. I apologize for anyone seeking to read this for entertainment and humour purposes, but today was very important day for me and I feel I should share the big life decision I am currently dealing with. It's nothing huge or earth-shattering. Nothing to get weepy-eyed and sympathetic over. It's simple lasik eye surgery. I hope to hell this Dr. Smith lives up to his qualified reputation. He should, one would think, since this TLC. Yes, the good people at TLC have helped many people improve their vision. But not just any people; important people, like celebrities. Tiger Woods himself had vision over twice as bad as mine and TLC fixed him up with 20/20 vision.

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. First off, I hate my glasses. I mean, I downright despise them. So, early this month the Paternal One and I embarked on a crusade to find the "best" lasik eye centre we could, hoping they could fix my eyes. After a false start with a place that rather disappointed us, we discovered TLC. It turns out that my regular optemtrist, the good Dr. Hum, is associated with them or something, so it was a promising start.

And so, three or four weeks after we began our search, I finally had my official consultation today. It's been a long few weeks leading up to today, though. I've been rather anxious not knowing for sure whether or not I would even be a good candidate for this surgery. This uncertainty made me rather loathe to discuss it openly, but the uncertainty is indeed over.

They took a whole bunch of photographs of my eye at the pre-op. That was fine, just looking at lights and shapes and stuff for a bit. Then I got to see the doctor lady who put these numbing drops in my eye and starting poking my eye. It was at this point that I realized they lied through their teeth when they said the procedure will be painless and without any discomfort at all. The drops sting when they're first put in, then they numb up. At that point the pain's gone, but your eyes feel friggin' heavy and weird. VERY uncomfortable. After that, the good doctor lady started to launch into some speech about what they had to check or something and about stuff they don't know until a patient comes in. I expected her to then deliver me my bad news (and told her as much), but apparently I'm a perfect candidate for the procedure, save for large pupils which means I have to use the fancy machine which will decrease my chance of nightglare problems down to one or two percent.

We then went in to talk with some patient relations type person to discuss finances and the like. We solidified the deal to book me for Wednesday, February 5th. So, one week from this Wednesday, I shall be journeying back so that they might slice open my eye, then shine a loud, buzzing laser thing at it while I focus on some red light. I'll enjoy the pleasant aroma of burning hair throughout the process. Then, they sort of put the flap back and hope the natural suction of my eye holds it in place while I go home to sleep and not do anything for 24 hours. Yes, Ms. Zelda (the person we were talking with) layed out all the disturbing info for me.

But, that wasn't all. The doctor lady had to pour drops in my eyes to make my pupils freakishly huge so she could check the back of my eye for infection. So, we had to wait twenty minutes or so for the drops to take effect. I busied myself with reading about September 11 one year later or something, when all of a sudden everything went blurry. It's like my pupils had fought off everything and then blared open suddenly. I glanced outside at the snow lining the streets and was virtually blinded - snowblinded, if you will. My infection check went perfectly and I'm still cleared to go. Unfortunately, my pupils were SUPPOSED to return to normal in a couple hours. Nighttime rolled around and they were still freakishly big (I had my eyes closed for most of the ride home in the car on the highway). On the plus side, I could see better than usual in the dark (with my glasses on, of course). The downside was that all the white tiles of my house kept messing with my mind. Fortunately, they eventually started to shrink back to normal, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this right now.

So, that is the status of the fantastic eye journey thus far. I shall make use of the Ramble to keep all my friends and fans up-to-date on my condition as we proceed.


January 26, 2003

We will, we will Ramble! (pause for the standard "bass-bass-snare-rest" pattern) We will, we will Ramble! Well, more like I will Ramble. And don't think I won't! I feel like I've regressed a bit lately. Some of you may be aware of the Magic: The Gathering trading card game. I've been playing a lot of that lately. In fact, last night the good Mr. Ming and the good Mr. Jon dropped by for some magic gaming. For the first little while the three of us played some decent games with the Fraternal One, Mr. Matthew. After five games, my brother decided he'd had enough and went to watch television with two wins for himself, two wins for me, Mr. Ming with one win and Mr. Jon having won the rest. After a quick three-way, Mr. Ming walked away with his second win using his hated (OH SO HATED!!!) Armageddon deck. Then the Paternal One showed up and I can't remember if we played some four-player or not before Mr. Matthew returned for the big five-player showdown. It was a grand last game with everyone attacking all over the place (my favourite part being Mr. Ming getting royally screwed over with his Armageddon deck... TAKE THAT, YOU BITCH DECK!!) It came down to me being in a good position to win between myself and the Paternal One's Goblin deck and then blowing it with a stupid, stupid move. Thumbs up for lack of planning!

Magic is such a silly, silly game. Worst of all, my associates and I couldn't have asked for a worse time to have entered and left the gaming scene. You see, when Magic first came out, there were grand, crazy cards from awesome sets such as Beta, Arabian Nights, Unlimited, and some others I can't really remember. By the time most of my friends got into it, they only had Revised or some junk, having cleaned out most of the "unbalanced" cards that were deemed too powerful. By the time I came into it, myself, Revised was out of print and it was all about Fourth Edition, Fallen Empires, Homelands, and Ice Age. They also had Chronicles, which brought back some of the more useless out of print cards. As we progressed and these mediocre sets went out of print, Wizards of the Coast (the makers of Magic: The Gathering) brought out even shittier sets and stupid new rules. Since most of the new sets coming out were generally worthless and we were all growing up anyhow, we decided to basically just stop with the magic for a while.

Over the years, we've pulled our decks out (yes, I said DECK, you sick freak) now and again for some nostalgic gaming. A couple years back, however, Mr. Jere (who had thrown all his cards out for some reason) decided he wanted back in too, so went to procure himself some of the new cards. After spending a modest amount of money, he had brand spanking new decks with ultra-powerful cards that made all the original cards deemed too unfair for the game seem rather wimpy. Apparently, after we all had decided Magic wasn't worth spending money and effort on, Wizards of the Coast brought out their best stuff. To steal a phrase from Fight Club: "We're the middle children of history". We came out after the first surge of super-powers and left before the second surge of even more powerful super-powers. But, since none of us are probably ever going to play anyone outside the group (I myself no longer play with Mr. Jere and all his fancy new cards), we can all play with our special Olympics line of cards and revel in the all-powerful 4/4 Sengir Vampires and Serra Angels.

But enough Magic talk. I was watching something on television today, Ghostbusters 2, I think, and saw a couple commercials that made me realize the differences in male and female values. You see, there's these two shows: Joe Millionaire and the Bachelorette. Both are basically about one individual trying to get woed by a legion of people of the opposite gender. At least, I think that's the take. I haven't actually watched any of them or know any of the specific details, so I'll base this on what I know (or think I know). As far as I can tell (without having done any reasearch), The Bachelorette is about your average lady who is getting courted by a bunch of guys and she has to eliminate them one by one with roses or something to eventually wind up with the one guy she wants to be with. Aww, isn't that romantic? It's a regular relationship shmorgasboard.

Joe Millionaire? It's basically the same thing. Just some guy with a whole bunch of ladies trying to seduce him. Every week (or however the hell often the show airs) he has to eliminate one or more ladies (possibly using roses, I dunno) in the effort to find that one woman he feels he's deeply in love with and can satisfy him in all the right and wonderful womanly ways and be soul mates forever. Yes, Joe, your average guy, would be set for life (romantically speaking) at that point. But, they told all the women participants that Joe's loaded and we're not talking drunk here neither.

What does all this tell us about the differences in male and female values? Well, it would appear that men value women as objects since a whole bunch of them have gotten together in an effort to compete for the one woman. Get a group of guys together, let their competitive and sexual instincts take over and they'll start doing their damnedest to try and get the girl so that they can prove to all the other guys that they indeed do have the largest phallus. Women, on the other hand, are not shallow enough to get together and compete over just some guy like he was a piece of meat. No, no guy is worth sacrificing the noble bonds of Sisterhood over. Women just have too much class and decency to throw all their morality and humanity for a guy; any guy. They would, however, sell their souls for money. That's why they told all the women that this Joe guy was filthy rich. If they hadn't, the ladies wouldn't have bothered competing with each other over just some average, non-rich Joe guy. They'd just go find their own damn Joe and not bother trying to prove that they can do better than thier sisters.

Not guys, though. The competitive nature of men tends to force them (I'll concede I'm a man, but I consciously override my competitive instincts) to indeed throw down and slug it out with the competition so that they can prove their superiority at whatever contest it was and when all but one guy loses, they can have that sportsmanlike (note: sports-MAN-like) attitude of "the better man won". No shame in losing to the better man, better luck next time. It's all about being better and the best. With the right attitudes, we're all winners.

Well, where's the fun in that?

Women, when they do feel the need to compete, become far more agressive, ruthless, and downright dirty than the average man could ever dream of being. That's right, the word is sportsMANlike, not sportsWOMANlike. It's not so bad when a woman is competing against a man. Both generally take a casual attitude to competition with each other and one gender can often be found letting the other win (a woman not wanting to show up her man because she cares about his ego, a man letting his woman win because it's gentlemanly or some shit). Women competing with women, though... well, let's just say there's a reason they call it a cat fight. First of all, it helps if you're aware of exactly how a cat fights. Cats are all about inflicting as much damage and terror as possible on their adversaries in as little time they can. A flurry of claws, teeth, howls (yes, howls), snarls, hissing, flying fur (or hair) in the hopes that one will back down before the terrible onslaught. Yes, it's a savage, savage game and it makes me glad I was not born a woman. I was not even of woman born!

Figure that one out, MacBeth...


January 24, 2003

Hey little Ramble, what have you done? Hey little Ramble, who's your only one? Yeah, everbody likes Billy Ramble, I mean Billy Idol... except those who don't. I got a couple things on my mind today, and I feels like Ramblin'! First off, it's my computer. I hate it. Now, I'm about as tech savvy as a caveman named Ugh or Grunt or Dumbass or something equally creative (Not that there's anything wrong with the name Grunt...), and I know next to nothing about computers. In fact, there's only one real thing I know about this crazy computer world in which we live. And that's that I hate my computer.

You see, my computer's a piece of garbage. Not literally at the moment, but perhaps one day it could be. Well, probably will be. But I digress a bit. This ghetto hunk o' junk, which I happen to be typing on right now, seems to be incapable of running smoothly. Games I love that it should be able to easily support such as Starcraft and Diablo II cannot run comfortably any more. Even moderately unrecent games, such as Black and White, have an extreme degree of difficulty in running even playably. Not to mention Age of Mythology (even though I now have). Yes, the fact that I can no longer play any of these games has thoroughly, thoroughly annoyed me.

So, since my computer has turned on me when it comes to the mindless forms of entertainment that are video games, I turned to my older console video gaming systems. Yes, I played two games of tetris (since it was in my NES when I arrived at my console TV), then decided to switch over to finally get around to playing either Dragon Warrior or Link, which I had procurred from MicroPlay back when the good Mr. Jon was managing the establishment. But alas, my nintendo is now broken and refuses to run any game. The $2.00 I had spent on either of those games shall haunt me for all time, now. I know Link was a fairly good game, though I only bought Dragon Warrior on advisement from Mr. Aaron. But, Mr. Aaron doesn't like the Final Fantasy series, so the game might not be all that spectacular.

So, annoyed, mainly because the original Final Fantasy for NES is my most favourite of games of all time and now my NES no longer works, I searched the interweb looking for an emulator to play Final Fantasy. I did find such an emulator and I did procure Final Fantasy for it. Here's the kicker: My ghetto ass piece of shit computer can't even run that smoothly. It's just a friggin' 8-bit game, goddammit! I'm very, very disappointed with my computer right now.

In other news (literally, in fact), my old band made the newspaper today. Good ol' Eden Ants. Apparently they're releasing their first album now, or something. I dunno, they sort of got rid of me and the bassist at the time and apparenty replaced us. Which is fine, I'm not exactly into the whole techno/euro whatever the hell electronica stuff they want to call it. I'm glad they're doing well, though. There was a photo of them and everything in the Mississauga News. "Oh, it's just the Mississauga News, it's no big deal" you might be saying. Well, shut your dirty mouth! Mississauga happens to be the sixth largest city in Canada. That's right, we're bigger than Winnipeg, Quebec City, Halifax, Regina (big deal), St. John, Victoria, and every other city that's not in the top five. Oh yeah, we're something of note... we're bigger than Ottawa, too. So, that's right, Eden Ants DID make the Mississauga News. Stick that in your corncob pipe, 'cuz these guys are going straight to the top and I'm proud of them. When they get super huge and people are all going on about Adymm Ender and the Eden Ants, I'll be all "Ha, I knew Adymm before he started calling himself Ender". No, I won't tell you what his real last name is... though it sort of sounds like some kind of feminine product, now that I think about it. Hmm, no wonder he changed his name.


January 23, 2003

When it's time to Ramble I will Ramble hard! Ok, maybe Andrew W.K. is a bit too obscure to make a one-line ramble spoof out of. You'll get over it. Anyhow, there's not a whole lot I feel like rambling about right now, so I thought I'd share this sweet James Bond joke that the lovely Ms. Jess sent to I. It's rather quite humourous.

A very confident James Bond walks into a bar and takes a seat next to a very attractive woman. He gives her a quick glance, then casually looks at his watch for a moment.
The women notices this and asks, "Is your date running late?"
"No," he replies, "Q has just given me this state-of-the-art watch. I was just testing it."
The intrigued woman says, "A state-of-the-art watch? What's so special about it?"
Bond explains, "It uses alpha waves to talk to me telepathically."
The lady asks, "What's it telling you now?"
"Well, it says you're not wearing any panties...."
The woman giggles and replies, "Well it must be broken because I am wearing panties!"
Bond smirks, taps his watch and says, "Bloody thing's an hour fast."

Yeah, you like that. It's funny. You may laugh now.


January 22, 2003

I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a long ways from home and if you don't like me, well let me alone. I'll eat when I'm hungry and I'll drink when I'm dry. And if moonshine don't kill me, I'll live 'til I die. Alright, so I'm not a long ways from home, and I ain't drinking moonshine. But I am dry, so I'm having a beer despite how early in the day it is... it's been said canadian beer's like moonshine, anyhow. I'm also not much of a gambler, but, as is quite clear, I am a rambler. Thought I don't always eat when I'm hungry... sometimes I starve for a bit. It's rather dumb, really.

So, what was the point of that obscure irish diddy I began with? To indicate that I am indeed drinking early in the day, but that's not to mean that something is amiss. No, in fact I'm drinking to celebrate. You see, I've finally finished cleaning my room (I shall now pause for the awed hush... thank you). That's right, my room is so cleaned. I have a hell of a lot more floor than I thought I did, too. I actually managed to complete a project I set out to do. Though, now that I think about it, I often do complete semi-long-term projects I set out to do... so long as they're not writing projects.

For some reason, I have never ever completed a long term writing project. The longest finished piece I have is only twelve or thirteen pages or so. It's on the site, actually. Prophecies Unfolding it is. I have damn-ass long (comparativle speaking) unfinished pieces, though. 102 pages of that vampire novel I'm probably never going to finish and 333 pages of my fantasy novel that I resolved to finish this year. New Year's resolution and all. It shall be most grand.

Why won't he finish my vampire novel? you're probably not asking. Well, I'll tell you anyhow. The story itself kind of sucks. It was just something that fascinated me and I wanted to tell some kind of tale, ANY kind of tale about the vampire characters involved. Unfortunately, the characters aren't really that well developed as it was really my first attempt (in recent years) at a novel. The plot was also painfully slow and VERY vague. I might be able to fix it up sometime in the future, but I dunno. I've also made two attempts before this when I was very young at writing this other fantasy novel. It had a more definative plot and all, but focused too much on the dieties of the world and not enough on the heroes. Good mortal conflict is what it's all about, people! Alright, I don't really know what I'm supposed to be rambling about anymore, so I'm just gonna go. Damn, this is good beer.


January 21, 2003

Welcome to da Ramble, we've got fun and games. But no games you can play... you're not good enough! No, don't go! You can play, I'm just messing with ya. Now, the game we're gonna play tonight is called How Many Fingers Can I Chop Off in Under One Minute? You can use whatever you like to help with the chopping, but the maker of this site assumes no responsibility for lost digits in any case. The blame in such a situation lies in either the stupidity of the cutter who cut off of their own fingers, or the the stupidity and/or malice of the cutter who cuts off someone else's fingers. So, now that I'm absolved of all responsibility... GO! Cut away! Email how many you chopped off (using a pen or stick in your mouth if necessary for typing) and I'll be sure to try and figure out why you were dumb enough to play this game.

I watched a hockey game tonight, it was almost grand. I'm actually sort of connected through the kid (he's 13 or 14 I think) in two ways. First, Ms. Jo's old friend is his older sister. Second, my mother is very good friends with his mother. I've noticed a lot of these double connections and loops starting to become more noticable as time passes and everyone is getting a chance to meet everyone else. It boggles the mind.

Anyhow, it was a pretty nice game. Andrew (the kid we came to watch) is apparently the assistant captain for his team and managed to score a beautiful opening goal a little over a minute into the game. That was the grandest part of the evening. The bad guys (ie the other team) answered quickly back to tie it up 1-1. Then for the next twenty to twenty five minutes (ten minute periods) a whole lot of nothing happened. Midway through the third period, the good guys scored again, number 88 I think. Unfortunately, the bad guys answered back quickly and tied up the game. The tie lasted briefly when the bad guys got a very impressive break-away and nailed it past the goalie. At this point, the good guys' coach thought it'd be a good idea to pull the goalie to give his side a one man advantage on the ice. When the bad guys managed to score from center ice, the coach realized why pulling your goalie is often a bad idea. So the bad guys won it 4-2, but it was a sweet, fast-paced game anyhow.

Of course, there's more to a hockey game than just the game itself. You see, this being some kind of junior league (I dunno the exact term for their age bracket), there were plenty of parental and family types hanging around. And of course by hanging, I mean shouting and yelling. It seems they think that the ref should be made completely aware of their opinion of him. Naturally, no one ever shouts and yells at the ref to tell him he's doing a good job. The parental types are bad enough with their complaining and yelling. The younger siblings of the players, though; they can be annoying. Children are rather immitative, so when they mommies and daddies start bitching at the ref, the kids decide that it's right for them to do so, too. The grown-ups generally let up in their bitching, though, so that they might yell instructions to their players. The children have no such reason to stop, though. So, the two little girls screaming in my ear about the ref all through the third period made me somewhat more agitated when the good guys started to lose. I'll get over it, though... just as soon as this ringing in my ear goes away.


January 10, 2003

I ain't rambled in four damn days! And, since I've been busting my ass all day cleaning my room and updating the site with four new stories (well, not really new since they was written a few years back...) I ain't prolly gonna ramble much here. Well, maybe I am... I dunno.

Maybe I'll just share with you all the funny thing Ms. Jo sent me today via email. Well, she sent it to a lot of people, but it's damn funny. It's for anyone who's ever been sent a virus warning... which now that I mention it, I only get virus warnings from Jo... Anyhow, here it be:

If you receive an email entitled "Bedtimes", delete it IMMEDIATELY. Do not open it!
Apparently this one is pretty nasty. It will not only erase everything on your hard drive, but it will also delete anything on disks within 20 feet of your computer. It demagnetizes the strips on ALL of your credit cards. It reprograms your ATM access code, screws up the tracking on your VCR and uses subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD's you attempt to play. It will program your phone auto dial to call only 900 numbers. This virus will mix antifreeze into your fish tank. IT WILL CAUSE YOUR TOILET TO FLUSH WHILE YOU ARE SHOWERING. It will drink ALL your beer. FOR GOD'S SAKE, ARE YOU LISTENING?? It will leave dirty underwear on the coffee table when you are expecting company. It will replace your shampoo with Nair and your Nair with ROGAINE. If the "Bedtimes" message opened in a Windows 95/98 environment, it will leave the toilet seat up and leave your hair dryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub. It will not only remove the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, it will also refill your skim milk with whole milk. WARN AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN. ******* And if you don't send this to 5000 people in 20 seconds, you'll fart so hard that your right leg will spasm and shoot straight out in front of you, sending sparks that will ignite the person nearest you. Send to everyone. P.S: If you are a blonde, this is a joke.


January 6, 2003

Hello St. Louis! Actually, I don't know if anyone in St. Louis is reading this. My guess would be not since I don't really know anyone in St. Louis and as far as I can tell my audience for The Ramble only reaches people I know at this point. Of course if I don't know someone, I can't very well verify whether or not they've actually The Ramble, so it's quite possible that there is someone in St. Louis who's read this. Trippy...

Right, so tonight I'm thinking I'm going to answer the question oh so many of us wish we had to seriously consider: "What would I do if I had a million dollars?" Or a billion or a zillion or a... uh...googolplex (thank you, dollars. Ok, maybe not a googolplex. I'm not even talking Bill Gates rich either. What would I do if I was really damn rich? What would I buy? Well, anyone who really knows me ought to have figured out my first move by now.

If I had a million dollars... I'd buy a sandwich. We're not talking peanut butter and jelly here, neither! We're talking sliced, smoked turkey breast with tomatoes, lettuce, havarti, salt, pepper, mayo, mushrooms (haven't decided if they're the magical variety or not), cuccumber, pickles all on a boringass white bread foot long bun...wait, I'm rich! Better make that two feet. Yeah, I'd be able to afford to eat more. That sandwich would be so sweet! I wish I was eating it right now. But what else would I do if I had a billion dollars?

If I had a billion dollars... I'd retire. That's right, I'd give up this rat race of the workforce... well, I would if I had a steady job. But yeah, I'd retire and write full time. Come to think of it... that's sort of what I'm doing right now with trying to get my novel finished and not working and all. And now that I think of it, I could probably get that funky sandwich at Mr. Sub or Subway or something. Holy flack, I'm living as sweet as millionaires and billionaires! Damn it feels good to be a gangsta! (sorry, just watched Office Space recently and that slipped out...) But, there must be more things I could do if I was ghetto spanking rich!

If I had a zillion dollars... I'd buy a sports franchise/team/whatever from a few of the major sports leagues and orchestrate a plan/campaign/whatever to get qualified female athletes on my team for the express purpose of beating the snot out of the male opponents. So, I guess I should go with football and hockey then. I know, I'll get a franchise for the NHL and CFL here in M-Town. I'll call the CFL team the Mississauga Roughriders (no one has the Roughriders yet, right?) and I'll call the NHL team the... uh... Mississauga Bust Yo' Skulls! So named for they would indeed be trying to bust everyone's skulls. I'm sure the Bust Yo' Skulls would be decades away from the Stanley Cup, but I think the Roughriders would have a shot at the Grey Cup. Go Bust Yo' Skulls, Go! Alright, so a zillion dollars would be pretty sweet but I think it's time to ask myself what I'd do if I had enough money to make Bill Gates weep with shame.

If I had a googolplex dollars... I'd buy a sandwich. Hey, what can I say, my imagination sort of ran out and I'm really friggin' hungry right now. But since we're talking a googolplex here and not a million... we'd better make that sandwich three feet long. Well, I'd like to ramble on more, but Mr. Aaron is asking me about medieval military stuffs now and what I did for my novel so I'd best be off to help him.


January 5, 2003

"Another Ramble so soon?" you ask. You know you were asking. Well, obviously it's another ramble so soon! It almost makes me want to do a parody on some Kenny Rogers song and call it The Rambler. "On a cold winter's evening/ On a train to... uh... somewhere.../ I met up with a Rambler/ We were both too tired to speak..." Wait, that doesn't make any sense. Ok, forget the whole lame idea. Or base it off of that Wanderer song. "They call me the Rambler/ Yeah, I'm the Rambler!/ I Ramble on and on and on and on..." and so forth. Alright, another bad idea; I'll stop now.

So, seeing as how this is the second paragraph and all I guess it's about time for me to choose a proper topic to ramble about tonight. I have a few topics in mind, actually. At first I was thinking about ranting about that Sorry! game and how ghetto it is. But then I thought "nah". Then I thought I'd tell everyone about that celestial discovery I made with this meteor the size of Australia hurtling on an intercept course with Earth... but who wants to hear about that anyways? So, what to ramble about then? Well, at the risk of sounding sexist, I'm gonna yell about women's sports for a bit.

So, here's the deal: We got regular professional sports leagues like the NHL, NBA, CFL/NFL and so forth. Then we got their womens' counterparts, often with the W in front. Now, as far as I'm concerned (and probably the whole of society, I'm assuming) this division is good. Women really do need their own sports. Does this mean women should be barred from the male leagues? In my opinion, no. Let's face it, those professional leagues are there to pay the big money for the best of the best to compete and if a woman proves that she can compete on the same level as a professional hockey or football or whatever player then she damn well should be welcomed with open arms. Sounds fair, right? Of course it does. But, what of the jealous, downtrodden, semi-sexist sissy ranks of men who think the double standard of women playing in the men's league is fine but men playing in the womens' league is not fine? A double standard, right?

Well, you're damn right it's a double standard. But, I believe it's a necessary double standard. (Here's where I start sounding really sexist.) The fact of the matter is, most athletic men surpass women in raw strength (which tends to be a required trait for most popular sports). With guys being naturally more physical on average, it would be completely unfair to open the doors and allow men into the women leagues because very soon they'd be overrun with second string glory seekers from the mens' leagues looking to prove themselves on the field/rink/court/whatever and just play. That leaves all the women who love their sport on the bench and that just plain ain't right.

There's also the matter of what self-respecting guy would even want to compete against women. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but can any guy honestly be proud that he dominated a womens' league? Such a guy would be subjected to such harassment and ridicule from other guys that he'd never show his ass in public again... probably his face, too. There's also the risk of actually getting your ass beat by a woman. It's not something a big, strapping buck would like to have to deal with. However, I believe there would be no shame in a woman entering the mens' league and handing their asses to them at whatever sport they play. If she's good, she's good. If she's one of the best, she damn well should be competing with the rest of hte best. So, leave the women to their own leagues and don't even think about intruding, guys, 'cuz that's just plain rude. And let whatever women with skillz play in the big time if they can hold their own, otherwise you're depriving all the players of the best competition possible and the fans of generally superior gameplay.

Now, I haven't done much research on this, but I believe that this tends to already be the popular opinion on the matter for most sports. Fact is most women aren't as cut out for all positions in football, but as Miss Canada proved they're as capable of kicking field goals as any guy. Hell, I'm actually looking forward to the day we see some professional defensive lineswoman. Hockey has allowed at least one female goalie, though since I don't follow sports that much, this news is about a decade old and they could have made more advances since then. But physically speaking, a woman should be able to skate and stickhandle as well as any superstar. We'll probably not see too many women enforcers, but if we do that'd be funky. Basketball... Women don't tend to get as tall, but there are tall women so there's not really any good reason women should not be playing basketball. Since it's not even (supposed to be) a contact sport, we should really be seeing a lot more qualified women in this field.

As I said, most sports are slowly dragging their proverbial knuckles forward and I guess that's good enough. Hell, for all I know there just might not be that many women truly qualified to compete. Sound harsh, I know, but it could be the case. I don't believe, however, that this is the case with golf. Golf pisses me off more than any other sport. Some big wig, snob-ass course won't even let women on the course. What the hell is that? If there was any sport where women could compete on as level a field as possible, it's golf. But, a lot of high-up decision makers in the golf world believe that golf is a "gentleman's game" and not for women. That's a load of horse shit and golf just plain pisses me off.


January 4, 2003

Happy New... uh... day? Sure, we'll go with that. I'll start tonight's ramble with an official apology to Mr. Ming. Apparently my good buddy thought he was depicted in a negative light in the last ramble and believes he was presented as one who does not fit in anywhere. I would like to state, just for the record, that Mr. Ming does indeed fit in a lot of places, that's why he was welcomed openly into so many different cliques. As much as I'd like to continue in this vein, I babbled endlessly (figuratively speaking, of course) about this in the last ramble so I'll leave it there for now.

"What's tonight's ramble about?" you might be asking yourself. Well, asking yourself was your first mistake because the mere fact that you have to ask means you don't know and if you don't know then why the hell ask yourself in the first place? Yeah, that's right smartass... I went there... wherever there is. Okay, it's about time I set a topic before I drift off into incoherency so I think tonight I'll ramble about January, arguably the worst month of the year. I say arguably, but there's not really anyone here to argue with me, so this should be nice and one-sided (yay me!)

"Why is it the worst month?" you might be asking the computer screen (Good, you're showing progress in your ability to learn.) Well, I shall enlighten thee (because I'm a nice guy like that). First off, it's damn cold. Now, being a Canadian guy, I'm not normally inclined to complain about the cold (indeed, I was rather comfortable in last night's blizzard). But, not everyone in Canada is a guy... in fact, we're a minority at about 48% I think (been a while since I checked the annual census for an update on that figure). So while us guys couldn't give two rats' asses about how cold it is, there's a whole bunch of ladies who find this weather rather unpleasant.

"Well, who gives a shite about that?" you may be asking the person next to you who is doing something else and has no idea what you're talking about. To begin with, the ladies do. Now you're thinking "Well obviously, but how does that relate to me?" (If you're a guy. If you're a lady, I have no idea what the hell you're thinking so I won't even bother hazarding a guess.) I'll tell you how this relates to us, guys, if you haven't figured out yet. Women tend to enjoy letting us know how they feel, yet only when they're not feeling as good as they'd like. So, when it's bitterly, bitingly cold in January we get a whole month long of womanly complaining of just how friggin' cold it is.

Now, a simple complaint of a woman about the weather is not so bad in theory. Most ladies are aware that the weather is not our fault (though some aren't and those crazies should be avoided). However, what annoys me is the constant questions such as "Aren't you cold?", "Where's your coat?", "You're not going out like that are you?", and my personal favourite: "Why aren't you wearing any pants?" Because it's only -15 C, woman!! I'll put my damn pants on when it turns into an innie, goddammit! Until then, you and Mr. Policeman can take your indecent exposure ticket and blow it out your thermostat (whatever the fred that means).

Of course there's more to January than just having to deal with the complaints of the cold and the various infringes on law and decency. There's also the phenomenon of the "Post Holiday Blues" or some such somethingorother. You see, December is generally spent psyching yourself up for the Holidays (unless you don't for whatever reason... which I don't care to go into right now). So, you're sitting there waiting for Christmas or Chanuka or Kwanzaa or whatever to come so you can score some sweet merchandise, spend time with loved ones (which may or may not be family), and then party your ass off at the end of the month with a New Year's Eve bash. Yes, December was quite an exciting month and what a wonderful time was had by all.

But then! (dramatic pause) It all ends and you realize, much to your horror, that your one/two/three week(s) of holidays is over and now you must return to the skulldudgery of work or school. Ain't that a bitch? Sure, you could look forward to the next holiday, whenever the hell that comes. There's St. Valentine's day next month, we could try looking forward to that! Oh wait, if you're single it'll just remind you that you're all alone and lonely with no one who loves. That should make things less depressing. Or if you are fortunate enough to have someone in your life to love you get the joy of forgetting all about it until the last second and getting her something dorky and pathetic (if you're a guy). It's worse if you're a lady, I suppose, since you get your hoped up looking forward to that sweet romantic dinner and whatever the hell else you know your man knows you like. But what's this? The big dumb ass (dumbass if you will) forgot about the whole damn thing and got you a whoopee cushion and the two remaining cans of beer from the six pack he was drinking. Aww... Cupid must hate you. And he does. He told me himself.

And yet, there's still one more reason why January, according to experts on the subject, sucks ass. It's rather scientific and psychological. You see, it's all related to sunlight and your brain. The more sun the average, normal, healthy person gets, the less depressed that person is likely to get. Sunlight and fresh air does wonders for curing depression. Unfortunately, it's January so the days are damn short, the skies are perpetually overcast, and the only time most of us go outside for any reason is to go to work (yay!) or shovel the driveway (yayer!...) Oh yeah, that's bound to keep us in good spirits. Januaray licks donkey balls and there ain't a damn bit of nuthin' I can do about it.


January 2, 2003

Happy New Year! At least I suppose I could call it happy. In my opinion, a year doesn't really have feelings anyways, so how can we call it happy? It just doesn't make sense, does it? Don't feel you need to answer that. Odds are I can't hear you. So, here I am with yet a second installment of The Ramble, that whacky semi-stream-of-consciousness type thing I do to illustrate that I'm not really all that good at organizing my thoughts when I don't put any effort into such organization. So what to ramble about... hmm...

I ran into the Student Body Prime Minister of my old highschool today. Well, technically I didn't run into her, she was sort of serving the table in the restaurant I was at. I was actually surprised she even remembered my name after all that effort I put into trying to be forgotten. High school such a crazy ghetto place. All the different cliques and groups and so forths. Take this woman I ran into, for example. An old associate of mine often cited her as being the center of all teenage social activity of our time. He often wished he could throw a party that everyone would know about and want to come to and if he could get her on his side, it would be possible. Naturally, such a party never happened. At least if it did, I wasn't invited. And if I wasn't invited that was rightfully so, because let's face it: I was not one of the true high school "cool kids". Well, we hated being called kids back then, so let's say "cool people". Or the "in crowd". Damned if I know what they called themselves and I didn't really have a label for them at the time, though Mr. Jon's dubbing of the "Cliquish Bastards" sounded appropriate. Though I think he was referring to a different clique. A well, either way. The bottom line is some people, such as Mr. Ming, failed to fit into any particular clique and often "went between the tribes" (to steal a line from SLC Punk).

Most of us, such as Mr. Aaron, Mr. Jon, myself, and several others comprised a clique of our own. We were a rather ragtag band of misfits, not really fitting in anywhere else and all looking as if we belonged to existing prominent cliques. Mr. Jon would have been at home among the "brainy" types (I hesitate to call them nerds at this point since I have no wish to insult Mr. Jon here... despite the fact that he tends to go out of his way to insult the rest of us.) Mr. Aaron ran with a mostly rocker crowd until we formed our odd association. I myself was frequently mistaken for a goth. Apparently just because one's wardrobe is completely black and one decides to grow his hair long he must be frequently mistaken for a goth. Well, I ain't no goth! Anyhow, there were others in our group who I won't name here but added much diversity in style and personality to the association. And such was our clique, an apparent assembly of disillusioned individuals who found much fault with the proper cliques they may have been meant to associate with. All the rockers tended to be dickheads, bringing us Mr. Aaron (since he didn't care for hanging around dickheads). All the nerds were... well, nerds which made Mr. Jon seek more pleasant company. As for me... goths are just plain fucked up and I was never a goth anyhow.

What kept the group together? Mr. Aaron claimed it was music, but that's bull kaka... Mr. Jon never really appreciated our music. It could have been our nerdly past times such as Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons. I suppose that would be the most accurate guess. Was our clique popular? Hell no. But popularity was something none of us gave two shits about. Well, I think one guy did, but the group concensus was one of indifference to outright resentment of the notion of popularity. The thing is, though, most groups tended to despise at least one other group. Factions formed and went into cold wars with one another. Of course, this is suburban Mississauga here, so the weapons of choice were rumours and name calling. There was the occassional drive-by shouting which I am proud to have been a party to now and then.

All in all, we were the middle of the road, in my view. The most popular clique, I suppose, would be the one that managed to get their representative onto the student council, or even running it. Our clique never bothered sending a representative because we never saw the point... or it never occurred to us. Apathy was the name of the game for us! But, sad as it is, there is always the groups that one looks down on. I say one but I mean almost everybody. I remember a rather small association of individuals, mostly guys with one of the homeliest girls I ever saw, who could only be classified as nerds. They were very heavy into the nerdly arts, including my cliques own nerdish vices of magic and dnd as well as the stereotypical videogame/computer thing (we're talking vidiots and "I'm cool 'cuz I hack" here, not the healthy interest in videogames that many of us share). I almost pity them in retrospect... if Scary Ugly Chinese Guy hadn't stolen some stuff from a couple of our associates (Mr. Ming being one of the victims). That earned them eternal emnity. Oh how their leader, some fat guy named Dan, begged Mr. Jon and I one day in computer class to join us in our Dungeons and Dragons games. But no. No, I was having none of that. This guy was a prime suspect in an unspeakable act of theft and leader of the most degenerate group of nerds our school had to offer. The ridicule he suffered still echoes to this day.

All this talk of days gone by is starting to get me reminiscing of peoples I have not seen in quite some time. I often wonder how Mr. Gane is doing. Sure, almost everyone found him very creepy (not one woman hasn't to my knowledge) but he was a good guy and a great roadie (ah, the highschool rock band days). And Mr. Luke... He opted out of the Dungeons and Dragons circuit after deciding that drugs and partying were more fun. I'm still undecided on that one. Mr. Moustafa, my old domino opponent. I wonder how he's doing now. I suppose that's it for the list of people I haven't seen since high school that I'd like to see again. Please keep in mind that these are ONLY people I have not seen since highschool. There's many people I have seen since high school that I'd like to see again, too, but I'm just not listing them here since this is a high school thing (that should spare some feelings).

Well, it's getting late and I've succeeded in not making this ramble very funny at all. I suppose I'll try and work some more humour into these as I go along.


December 31, 2002

The inaugural installment of The Ramble. Dunno what to ramble about though, since I already complained about New Years in the News section. I guess I could talk about writer's block, or The Black Dog, as it has been called. I think it has anyways. Maybe The Black Dog is just something else completely and I'm a moron at interpretting metaphors. Maybe I should pick some kind of issue to talk about. That could work. Let's talk about abortion. Anyone who doesn't know what abortion is is probably far too young or ignorant to be here in the first place. If you think you'll be offended by this ramble... Tough!

To begin with, I'll just say that I'm pro-choice. That's right, the fact of the matter is that people (particularly women, I guess) should really decide whether or not they're capable of raising a friggin' kid to begin with. "All life is precious!"... my ass it is. Do people have any idea just how much most of us despise our lives? Now, I've had a pretty easy life as far as these kind of things go, but I'm still one pissed off and bitter individual. Now, what if I didn't have two parents who loved (despite their failings), who were incapable of providing me with all the stuff I needed to grow up such as sufficient food, shelter, clothes, and most of all....LOVE! If I didn't have all that kind of stuff, I'd probably have turned out hating my life far more than I already do. So, a life of misery, self-loathing, pain, suffering and all around badness is precious? Bullshit.

That's my personal take on it. Let's look at it objectively, though. For one thing, which I've already touched on, not everyone is cut out to be a parent when expecting a baby. They could be too young, not ready because of their career(s), or just plain hate children. Whatever the cause, not everyone should be a parent and if they're mature and intelligent enough to realize that then the only logical move is abortion. It's really only fair to the child.

The ultimate question a would-be mother should ask herself is "Can I give this child a good life?" I know this implies that it's the mother's sole responsibility, but the fact is she's the one carrying the child. The father, ideally, should be involved. The prospective mother should have some idea as to whether or not the father will be of any help to her or the child emotionally as well as financially and make her decision based on that. If the Daddy wants an abortion, but the Mommy says no and wants to raise her kid, that's her business and her choice. If Mommy wants the abortion and Daddy says "no" and wants her to have the kid... well, that's too friggin' bad, Dad. The woman's the one who has to carry the kid for those nine months (more or less) so it's ultimately her choice. Not the daddy's (I'm sorry to say), not the church's, not any other religious zealots', not pro-life dickheads who should be minding their own business.

Let's face it, people, the world is overcrowded with plenty of mouths to feed and plenty of unloved children already. Do we really need to bring more suffering to this world? Only have a child if you can love it and ensure that he or she will have a good life. Give him or her your best and all your love, otherwise stay the fuck out of the gene pool.