Vistek

As I’ve said before, I work for a private day school. Recently we had some budget to purchase a couple of SLR cameras, and the school has a relationship with a Toronto store called Vistek. I called the owner, who didn’t answer his phone, instead a secretary told me they’d get the details we want, and have a sales rep write me a quote. The owner would then modify pricing.

I was cool with that. I used to work for Carbon Computing, and everyone who called and asked for Ron usually wouldn’t get to Ron, it seemed I was always the guy who was told to quote on those products.

I gave one of their sales reps my information, and the package we wanted to buy. We’ll call this sales rep “Brian.” Brian then sends me a quote on December 16. I say it’s great, and tell him I’ll be there to pick it up Monday morning if that works for him. I confirm with him that a purchase order is okay. It is, I send him one.

I didn’t want the school to pay for shipping, I live in Playter Estates, and Riverdale isn’t too far from me. It was Winter break that following week, sure I could show up a bit late if I was out picking up products for the school, right?

Monday morning, 8:30 am, they open, I walk in at 8:35. The sales floor is dead, I ask for Brian, he’s not there, I get directed to Michael. That’s fine. He’ll do. I tell him who I am and what I’m there to pick up. He goes to get the product. They’re not put aside.

Fine, Michael goes and gathers the products. He begins ringing it up. I ask him why some things are missing. He tells me that they’re out of stock of the bag and tripod. I give him a funny look, walk over to the wall of bags, and grab the bag. He says they’re out of stock of the tripod. Fine.

He then needs a copy of the PO. He should have a copy, but fine, I go to one of the demo computers, and email it to him. He needs it again, I go back and email it to him. Then he needs a copy of the quote. I email that to him. Then he needs a supervisor to unlock something. Then he spends 20 minutes trying to make the order go, then he needs a supervisor to unlock something. This happens over and over again. I spend 90 minutes on the sales floor, wonderful what the hell is going on.

Finally it’s all done, I go back to work. Camera works great. Woot!

I notice that he threw in a little case to hold spare batteries and memory cards. It’s an SLR with a rechargable battery. Why would I want a pouch designed to hold AA batteries? Whatever, who cares.

Weeks go by and I realize that I haven’t heard from Vistek about that tripod I’m waiting for.

January 5, I send Brian the following email:

Brian,
Any word on the tripod?
Adam

Silence.

January 8:

Brian,
I’m still waiting to hear about the tripod.
Adam

Silence.

A few days later, I call, I get Brian’s voicemail. I press zero and get directed to Michael. Sounds familiar. I tell Michael what’s happening. He check… oh, it’s due to arrive in March. I give him the death-stare over the phone. “March? Why would I wait until March for this tripod? It’s just a tripod, you must have something comparable.” He tells me that they can definitely do that, he’ll get Brian to call me. I tell him, that I doubt that Brian will call back. Michael assures me that Brian will get back to me and they’ll get this all straightened out. I reluctantly agree.

Yesterday it was January 19th, and I hadn’t heard from Brian. I had forgotten about it, until I was in class last night for a photo course I’m taking and among the discussions was some bashing of Vistek. That reminded me.

Today, I called Vistek, asked for a manager. “Our manager’s not in today.” I ask for a supervisor. He transfers me to “Ryan’s” voicemail. I call back and again get Ryan’s voicemail. I’m tired of this. Wait a couple hours. I call and AGAIN get Ryan’s voicemail. Press zero ask for some kind of manager. I got routed to a gentleman who we’ll call “Paul,” he’s the “customer experience manager” or something like that. Paul listened to my story, and was extremely apologetic. Told me he’d call back in ten minutes with a solution for me.

He did, and they’re shipping out the tripod tomorrow. Here’s hoping it shows up tomorrow.

Rock a meme

Kate posted this meme and tagged me on The Facebook. I figured, I’d post it to my blog, as that’ll just aggregate to Facebook any way. Downside, no tagging, upside, the entire world sees how awesome my taste in music is.

Shuffle your songs + share

Once you’ve been tagged…
(1) Turn on your MP3 player (no, seriously)
(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.
(3) Write down the first 15 songs that come up–song title and artist–NO editing/cheating, please.
(4) Choose 25 (or so) people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you. Tag them first.

If I tagged you, it’s because I’m betting that your musical selection is entertaining, or at least amusing.

(To do this, go to “NOTES” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, enter your 15 Shuffle Songs, Click ‘Preview’ below to tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click Publish, the little blue box at the bottom of your screen).

1) “Look For Me (I’ll Be Around)” by Neko Case from the album Blacklisted
2) “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield from their album Buffalo Springfield
3) “Oh My Love” by John Lennon from his album Imagine
4) “Cupid’s Trick” by Elliott Smith from his album Either/Or (man, this list is fuckin’ awesome!)

Lit me up! It’s my lie!

5)  “Scare Easy” by Mudcrutch from their only album, the self-titled one.
6) “Astral Plane” by The Modern Lovers from their self-titled debut
7) “I’m Not Angry” by Elvis Costello from his album My Aim Is True
8) “Andy Warhol” by David Bowie from his best album Hunky Dory
9) “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by The Beatles from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
10) “I Know What I Know” by Paul Simon from Graceland
11) “Sitting By The Riverside” by The Kinks from The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
12) “Warm In The Shadows” by Music Go Music from Expressions
13) “At Madam Plum’s” by Stephin Merritt from his opera Peach Blossom Fan
14) “Thrice All American” by Neko Case & Her Boyfriends from their album Neko Case & Her Boyfriends
15) “Down In Flames” by The Super Friendz from their album Mock Up-Scale Down

Golden Globes

The Golden Globes are tonight? I didn’t even know that nominees were announced.

I find this, and the results that are followed really odd, because I thought I saw a lot of films this year.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
Avatar
Lightstorm Entertainment; Twentieth Century Fox
The Hurt Locker
Voltage Pictures; Summit Entertainment
Inglourious Basterds
The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures/A Band Apart/Zehnte Babelsberg GmbH Production; The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures
Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
A Lee Daniels Entertainment / Smokewood Entertainment Group Production; Lionsgate
Up In The Air
Paramount Pictures; Paramount Pictures

I’ve only seen Up In The Air, and it wasn’t very good.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Emily Blunt – The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Helen Mirren – The Last Station
Carey Mulligan – An Education
Gabourey Sidibe – Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire

Haven’t seen any of these films, I don’t care who wins.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart
George Clooney – Up In The Air
Colin Firth – A Single Man
Morgan Freeman – Invictus
Tobey Maguire – Brothers

The Millers, Emily and I are seeing Crazy Heart in three hours, so I can’t speak of that film yet, but I’ve seen two of the films, and of those films, George Clooney’s performance was nothing to write home about (why he’s nominated, I don’t know) but Colin Firth was wonderful. I pick him!

Best Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
(500) Days Of Summer
Watermark Pictures; Fox Searchlight Pictures
The Hangover
Warner Bros. Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures
It’s Complicated
Relativity Media, Scott Rudin Productions; Universal Pictures
Julie & Julia
Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing
Nine
The Weinstein Company/Relativity Media/Lucamar Productions/Marc Platt Productions; The Weinstein Company

I’ve seen all of these except for Nine. They’re all good, but the only one I think is worthy of an award is (500) Days of Summer, which was good, but cliché. We’ve seen these characters many times before, it’s the standard characters who are focused at the twenty-something pseudo-hipster audience (ie. me).

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
Sandra Bullock – The Proposal
Marion Cotillard – Nine
Julia Roberts – Duplicity
Meryl Streep – It’s Complicated
Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia

Only seen the two Meryl Streep films, and I pick her role in Julie & Julia.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
Matt Damon – The Informant!
Daniel Day-Lewis – Nine
Robert Downey Jr. – Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – (500) Days Of Summer
Michael Stuhlbarg – A Serious Man

I’ve only seen one of these films, how can I judge… actually I’ve seen two. I’ll go with Michael Stuhlbarg.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Penélope Cruz – Nine
Vera Farmiga – Up In The Air
Anna Kendrick – Up In The Air
Mo’nique – Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Julianne Moore – A Single Man

Really?!?! Who liked Up In The Air THIS much? It was an okay film. It wasn’t anything spectacular. It was also just a giant ad for American Airlines.

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Matt Damon – Invictus
Woody Harrelson – The Messenger
Christopher Plummer – The Last Station
Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds

I wanna see Invictus, who’s in?

Best Animated Feature Film
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation; Sony Pictures Releasing
Coraline
Laika, Inc.; Focus Features
Fantastic Mr. Fox
American Empirical Picture; Twentieth Century Fox
The Princess And The Frog
Walt Disney Pictures/Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Up
Walt Disney Pictures/PIXAR Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

OMG! This is near impossible. Cloudy was like watching a 90 minute version of Clone High and had me giddy. Fantastic Mr. Fox was really good, and a decent addition to the Wes Anderson canon. Coraline was breathtaking! But, Up, Up, fuck, Up! The emotional weight of Up is incredible and fantastic and beyond compare.

Best Foreign Language Film
Baaria (Italy)
The Country of Italy
Medusa Film; Summit Entertainment
Broken Embraces (Spain)
The Country of Spain
El Deseo SA; Sony Pictures Classics
The Maid (La Nana) (Chile)
The Country of Chile
Forastero; Elephant Eye Films
A Prophet (Un Prophete) (France)
The Country of France
Chic Films/Page 114/Why Not Productions; Sony Pictures Classics
The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band – Eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte) (Germany)
The Country of Germany
X Filme Creative Pool/Les Films Du Losange/Lucky Red/Wega Film; Sony Pictures Classics

Not seen a single film.

Best Director – Motion Picture
Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
James Cameron – Avatar
Clint Eastwood – Invictus
Jason Reitman – Up In The Air
Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds

Really? Best director nomination for Jason Reitman? I think James is gonna win this one, and I haven’t seen the film.

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell – District 9
Mark Boal – The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds
Nancy Meyers – It’s Complicated
Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner – Up In The Air

The only film in the list which I’ve seen who’s screenplay is anything award worthy is District 9. It’s good science fiction where the meat of the story take precedence over action and special effects. Though often heavy-handed, it does what sci-fi is supposed to do, present modern-day issues and place them in a foreign atmosphere.

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Michael Giacchino – Up
Marvin Hamlisch – The Informant!
James Horner – Avatar
Abel Korzeniowski – A Single Man
Karen O and Carter Burwell – Where The Wild Things Are

Fuck yeah! Karen O for the win! The music was a perfect fit for the film, which is beautiful.

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Cinema Italiano” – Nine
Music & Lyrics By: Maury Yeston
“I See You” – Avatar
Music By: James Horner and Simon Franglen
Lyrics By: James Horner, Simon Franglen and Kuk Harrell
“I Want To Come Home” – Everybody’s Fine
Music & Lyrics By: Paul McCartney
“The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart)” – Crazy Heart
Music & Lyrics By: Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
“Winter” – Brothers
Music By: U2
Lyrics By: Bono

What the hell is Everybody’s Fine and when the hell did Paul McCartney release a new song and not tell me? I thought you loved me, Sir Paul!

Best Television Series – Drama
Big Love (HBO)
Anima Sola Productions and Playtone in association with HBO Entertainment
Dexter (SHOWTIME)
Showtime Presents, John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company, Clyde Phillips Productions
House (FOX)
Universal Media Studios in association with Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions
Mad Men (AMC)
Lionsgate
True Blood (HBO)
Your Face Goes Here Productions in association with HBO Entertainment

Really? This is your list of best Drama TV Series? WTF? I choose Mad Men, Dollhouse, Ashes to Ashes, Hustle and Stargate: Universe.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama
Glenn Close – Damages (FX NETWORK)
January Jones – Mad Men (AMC)
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife (CBS)
Anna Paquin – True Blood (HBO)
Kyra Sedgwick – The Closer (TNT)

I don’t really care, I watched two shows, one sucks (True Blood), the other is good, but I don’t know who January Jones is.

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama
Simon Baker – The Mentalist (CBS)
Michael C. Hall – Dexter (SHOWTIME)
Jon Hamm – Mad Men (AMC)
Hugh Laurie – House (FOX)
Bill Paxton – Big Love (HBO)

Which one is Jon Hamm?

Best Television Series – Comedy Or Musical
30 Rock (NBC)
Universal Media Studios in association with Broadway Video and Little Stranger Inc.
Entourage (HBO)
Leverage and Closest to the Hole Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Glee (FOX)
Twentieth Century Fox Television
Modern Family (ABC)
Twentieth Century Fox Television
The Office (NBC)
Universal Television Studios, Deedle Dee Productions, Reveille LLC

30 Rock should win, but they’ll be dumb and pick Glee. *PUKE* Is this getting slightly snarky?

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Comedy Or Musical
Toni Collette – United States Of Tara (SHOWTIME)
Courteney Cox – Cougar Town (ABC)
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie (SHOWTIME)
Tina Fey – 30 Rock (NBC)
Lea Michele – Glee (FOX)

I’ve never heard of the first three shows? Are they any good? I pick Allegra.

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Comedy Or Musical
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock (NBC)
Steve Carell – The Office (NBC)
David Duchovny – Californication (SHOWTIME)
Thomas Jane – Hung (HBO)
Matthew Morrison – Glee (FOX)

Alec for the win!

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Georgia O’Keeffe (LIFETIME)
Sony Pictures Television
Grey Gardens (HBO)
Specialty Films and Locomotive in association with HBO Films
Into The Storm (HBO)
Scott Free and Rainmark Films Production in association with the BBC and HBO Films
Little Dorrit (PBS)
Masterpiece/BBC Co-production
Taking Chance (HBO)
Motion Picture Corporation of America and Civil Dawn Pictures in association with HBO Films

Haven’t seen one of these.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Joan Allen – Georgia O’Keeffe (LIFETIME)
Drew Barrymore – Grey Gardens (HBO)
Jessica Lange – Grey Gardens (HBO)
Anna Paquin – The Courageous Heart Of Irena (CBS)
Sigourney Weaver – Prayers For Bobby (LIFETIME)

No thanks.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kevin Bacon – Taking Chance (HBO)
Kenneth Branagh – Wallander: One Step Behind (PBS)
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Endgame (PBS)
Brendan Gleeson – Into The Storm (HBO)
Jeremy Irons – Georgia O’Keeffe (LIFETIME)

Endgame is not Beckett, I’m sad now.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jane Adams – Hung (HBO)
Rose Byrne – Damages (FX NETWORK)
Jane Lynch – Glee (FOX)
Janet McTeer – Into The Storm (HBO)
Chloë Sevigny – Big Love (HBO)

Glee will win.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Michael Emerson – Lost (ABC)
Neil Patrick Harris – How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
William Hurt – Damages (FX NETWORK)
John Lithgow – Dexter (SHOWTIME)
Jeremy Piven – Entourage (HBO)

My vote is for Barney Stinson!

Lyrics volume 1

So, I thought I’d start an ongoing journey into why I like lyrics, and lyricists.

We’re going to start with a gentleman named Stephin Merritt who fronts the band The Magnetic Fields. If you’ve known me for more than 15 minutes, you’ve surely heard me espouse the merits of Stephin Merritt. (har!) The Magnetic Fields are pretty fantastic, their music is smart, and funny. They gained much notoriety in 1999 when they released their triple album 69 Love Songs, which lives up perfectly to the name. Since then they’ve released i, an album in which every song starts with the letter ‘i’ and Distortion, a record covered from head to toe in… distortion. The lyric is simple, from the song “I Don’t Believe You” from their album i.

So you’re brilliant, gorgeous, and ampersand after ampersand

I have before been given funny looks when I’ve claimed that this lyric alone proves Merritt’s poetic ability, so I’ll go further into it. In those eight simple words we have so much context to the story. The venom drips off the words (figuratively), there’s so much spite and hatred in those lyrics, and the You who is being sung to is a pompous, self-righteous, vein douche.


We all remember Sloan, they were pretty great. They released an absolutely brilliant album called Between The Bridges in 1999, which is among my favourite records of all time. They also released a record called  Smeared, back in the day when they thought they were a grunge band. That didn’t work out for them, or their record label, but that’s another story for another day.

They’ve been a mainstay for Canadian music for 15+ years now, and introduced the rest of Canada to a shitload of brilliant music, including Thrush Hermit, The Super Friendz, Local Rabbits and many more.

Smeared featured a song called “Median Strip,” it’s not a great song, but it has one of their best lyrics ever.

Point came for you to be Glenn Close to me

There’s really not much to say about this lyric, other than, YES! Perhaps also, “remember when Glenn Close came onto the board? Good times.”


Coming up in volume 2, more music.

The Life of a Working Girl

I hate report cards. For those not in the know, I work in a school. I’m the IT Manager. I’m a professional geek, in other words.

We’re now onto the first full report. Today is the day that reports are due to be printed, for self-review (so they can be passed onto the administration for proofing on Monday). Obviously the entire faculty has been entering marks and writing comment this week, and this week alone. My phone has not stopped ringing, my email has not stopped chiming, the school uses Google Apps for its email service, and with a IM widget right in the sidebar (unlike FirstClass’ IM function, no one knew about), they all take advantage of that immediate connection. Shoot me.

I knew this was coming, I always know this is coming, but it’s a lot of work, a lot of stressful work. What I can never handle is the reason I hate teachers. Sorry Mom, nothing personal, and I don”t even really hate teachers, but it’s easy to say I do. What I hate is a sense of entitlement, and being talked down to. There seems to be a feeling amongst some staff that IT is their whipping boy (which might be fun, but not in a school). What bothers me is when I receive emails that state for a fact that I am going to do something over and beyond what is expected, because they can’t read, made assumptions and/or didn’t ask. I most likely will do it, but I’ll do it a lot quicker and nicer, if you’re polite about it. IT works in a different way than most departments of any business. Rather than “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” it should be “the squeaky wheel gets told ‘we’ll be with you shortly’ as they attend to someone who was polite.”

This is something that I think was very well illustrated by the school interim Director last year. His laptop died, it needed a part replaced, I can’t remember what it was, but the computer was under warranty, and so Toshiba wouldn’t let me just buy the part and install it. I went to a service centre I had never used before, I was told by the Director to tell him that my job was on the line and he needed it by the end of the day. He did make it clear my job wasn’t on the line. I said “sure,” while thinking to myself, “self-righteous Americans” (sorry Cari). Instead, I went into the shop, said very nicely, “This is kind of an important job to us, I was wondering if you could put this at the front of the queue, we need it in the next three hours.” He said, “I can’t promise anything, but I’ll try.” I thanked him, left, gave him a call two hours later, and he told me that it would be ready in fifteen minutes. I brought him coffee and thanked him. Being nice is better.

Generally, I love my job, I love the respect that I get there, the autonomy, the people, but when it comes to reports, manners seem to fly out the window.

In conclusion, love your IT staff, buy them treats.

Names

I’ve determined that the best way to judge romantic compatibility is how ridiculous a name combination can be.

Just look at my best friends, the Misbies. They’re perfect for each other and the hilarious combination of Miller and Crosby works so well.

Then there’s my ex, we had an ~8 year relationship, and when you combined Hood and Anklewicz, you got Hoodlewicz. You cannot deny that amazing power of such a ridiculous name combination. Obviously only powerful enough to last eight years, but that’s much better than my usual 30 minutes.

It also works with other couples, I can look at my coworker and her husband to be, and we get… Dalby + Flotner = Flotby | WIN!

There’s Neuman and Mendez which can equal either Meuman or Neudez, and either WIN!

I’ve gone and continued this trend to figure out where possible relationships might take me within my group of friends, and it’s surprisingly very simple:

Note: I’m leaving first names out, as this is not just published to Facebook (where 99% of the readers read it) but it’s also on my blog.

Also note: If you’re included in this list, please feel free to take this to mean that I’m madly in love with you. This may or may not be true, but you can assume.

Shepherd & Anklewicz = Shephewicz | FAIL
Muchmaker & Anklewicz = Anklemaker | FAIL
Licht & Anklewicz = Lichtewicz | Sounds like the name of a city in Germany
Vail & Anklewicz = Anklevail | FAIL
Emme & Anklewicz = Adam Emme Anklewicz | That could work, too bad she’s married.
McDowell & Anklewicz = McAnklewicz | Though it was funny for a week, nope.
Polk & Anklewicz = Polkewicz | Sounds like polka!
Hamill & Anklewicz = Hamillwicz (this can work for either B or K… sadly, I don’t know B’s maiden name… I’ll assume it’s Awesomepants, because that would be the most apt description of her)
Awesomepants & Anklewicz = Anklepants | Damn near perfect.
Langer & Anklewicz = Anklang | Nope.
Miller & Anklewicz = Ankler | Maybe that’s why we’ve always been such good friends.

So, I take this to the logical conclusion (much like The Boosh took retro to its logical conclusion)  and I’m forced to resign myself that the perfect woman for me is Neko Case.

Case & Anklewicz = Anklecase. Yes, the greatest thing ever!

So, Neko, this is a public proposal, sure, you’ve never met me, but should that matter? Remember when you were recording Fox Confessor here in Toronto? You were borrowing/renting a lot of equipment from a computer shop. I was one of the geeky guys who worked there. We never talked. It was the other Adam you talked to… but that made sense, he’s an audio guy. I’m not. We know a lot of the same people. I once interviewed Mike Belitsky, he’s a really nice guy. I know a couple of the former Local Rabbits, and they were once your Boyfriends; Peter always seems to be nice to me. I’ve shared many a nice chat with Ron Sexsmith, who again, was once among your Boyfriends, and though he probably doesn’t remember (he always seems to be drunk), I can tell you he was always cordial and polite, so obviously I never overly offended him.

Also, while we’re on the topic of the Boosh… clicky.

After Elizabeth II

Heather mentioned CBC’s DocZone on her blog, and today, I decided to watch “After Elizabeth II” a documentary on the Monarchy. For some strange reason, most of this is taken from the British point of view. They compare a possible King Charles being asked to step down by a British Prime Minister and Cabinet, but really, in this modern world, when the Sovereign of the UK is a shared Sovereign of numerous other countries, can the British government ask him to step down? I think not. Sure this happened to King Edward, but this was before the separation of the Empire, more importantly, before World War II, when Canada came into its own.

Aside from that, there’s the point that it’s nearly impossible for Canada to separate itself from the crown. To do so would require the consent of 100% of the Canadian provinces, and we all remember every single time Canada tried to meddle with the constitution, it was a nightmare (Meech Lake, Charlottetown, Chretien giving vetoes to regions, Trudeau trying to pass the Constitution through British Parliament, All previous prime ministers trying to create the constitution…).

The UK will become a Republic more easily than Canada.

Ugh

So it seems everyone wants to undo Harper’s move to prorogue parliament, and the answer… Join a Facebook group.

I have two problems with this.

1) Are we really “Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament?” I’m not (that’s actually why I didn’t join the group). Prorogation has a specific use in Canadian democracy, but this isn’t it. Harper is using this little used bit of Canadian law to get his way.

Brief intermission to apologize for the following language. Sorry.

2) What the fuck is this going to do? What the fuck will a demonstration do? What the fuck will writing to the PMO do? What the fuck will writing to your MP do?

No, seriously, those are all questions that I want to know the answers to. Please tell me.

But boys and girls, there’s a stronger question that’s begging to be asked here. What can we do? I want to know, and I want to do it.

  • I want to prevent this douchewad from returning to 24 Sussex.
  • I want to find a way to ensure that someone else forms government.
  • I want the Liberal Party of Canada to find a new, electable leader for the party.
  • I want the New Democratic Party to find a new electable leader.
  • I want Canadians to see that an economist might make sense as a Prime Minister on paper, but when the reality is the largest deficit in Canadian history, we have to do something about it.
  • I want Canadians to shout that KNOWINGLY handing prisoners over to a government who commit abuse is wrong.
  • I want Canada to return to a place of respect in the world.
  • I want Canadians to know their Government has treated their own appointed accountability with contempt.

So, please, tell me what we can do. I want to do it.

Really?

Your result for The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test…

Joe Normal

35 % Nerd, 9% Geek, 35% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored less than half in all three, earning you the title of: Joe Normal.

This is not to say that you don’t have some Nerd, Geek or Dork inside of you–we all do, and you can see the percentages you have right above. This is just to say that none of those qualities stand out so much as to define you. Sure, you enjoy an episode of Star Trek now and again, and yeah, you kinda enjoyed a few classes back in the day. And, once in a while, you stumble while walking down the street even though there was nothing there to cause you to trip. But, for the most part, you look and act fairly typically, and aren’t much of an outcast.

I’d say there’s a fair chance someone asked you to take this test. In any event, fairly normal.

Congratulations!

The Doctor Is Out

The Doctor & Rose

“Happy New Year,” says a smiling young girl to a drunken stranger. “And you,” the stranger replies before asking “what year is this?” “2005, January the first” she says. “I bet you’re going to have a really great year,” says the Doctor to his long-time friend and companion.

In 2005 a legend returned to the screen. A Time Lord, from the planet Gallifrey, entered his TARDIS and travelled about Space and Time. Russell T. Davies was responsible for “regenerating” this long-dead mythos for television. After cancellation in 1989 and a failed attempt in 1996, it was long thought in the fan community that Doctor Who would never rise again.

The first story of this new Doctor’s journeys was titled “Rose” and followed a girl of only eighteen years, working and living a dead-end life waiting, hoping. Chance seemed to bless her as she found an alien in a jumper and leather jacket. He found comfort in this companion, and love, something he thought near-impossible, since the genocide of his species, at his own hand.

The Doctor has rarely been alone. Starting from his escape from Gallifrey (“An Unearthly Child” 1963), he took along his Granddaughter, Susan. Now he had with him a young woman who, though simplistic, was able to challenge him in many ways. His companions during Eccelston’s and Tennant’s tenures were always there for a singular role, to keep him in check, to make sure that The Doctor understood humanity and didn’t let his extreme power dictate his actions.

The Doctor and Martha

Over time these companions have left him, alone and lost. Rose was trapped, out of touch and out of reach; Martha couldn’t stand the emotional chaos of loving someone who couldn’t stand to love; Captain Jack was abandoned, only to spend hundreds of years searching for The Doctor; Sarah Jane’s reconnection to The Doctor, finally, found her accepting that the past was the past; and Donna, well, Donna was his equal, but could never live to her potential again. So The Doctor wandered, alone, and lived a solitary life only to have his future death foreseen, maybe he just picked up any newspaper in the UK. 

“The End of Time” is David Tennant’s final adventure, after a solid goodbye having aired over a year ago. “Journey’s End” saw all of David Tennant’s companions teaming up to save humanity, and save The Doctor. It seems that Russell T. Davies shot his load a tad bit too early. His death was a certainty, and the audience was treated to three final stories which only seemed to serve the purpose of showing the world that Michelle Ryan is hot and has a nice bum… oh, you knew I would put a still in here!

“The End of Time” is a perfect example of what’s good and bad about Russell T. Davies-era Who. The absurd plots, there’s very little resolution, and his frequent use of the reset-switch all make the franchise less and less enticing. What purpose was the Time Lords’ return? What purpose did it serve to have the Ood? Seriously? The Master making all of Earth’s population carbon copies of himself? All of it disappearing within a fraction of a second, and a silly cover story to explain another planet nearly crashing into Earth… again? Why didn’t Donna’s brain explode? 

Wilf says goodbye

How this story succeeds is in the interpersonal relationships that have been fostered since 2005. Particularly the relationship between Wilf (Donna’s Grandfather) and The Doctor. As they sit in a café and discuss The Doctor’s impending death, the performances of the two actors is absolutely wonderful, and they reprise it again in part two… twice, both when The Doctor sacrifices himself for Wilf, and when they meet a final time. This is the crux of the episode, from his relationship with Wilf, to his confrontation with Verity Newman (named after creator Sydney Newman and original producer Verity Lambert), to his final goodbye to Rose, this is The Doctor’s last hoorah, this is The Doctor’s swansong, and he must say goodbye (once again) to those who were part of the life of the Tenth Doctor.

And so, in the final minutes of “The End of Time,” The Doctor regenerates one more time, defiantly proclaiming, “I don’t want to go” as his body fails him, and a new life is born. We, the audience, see a new energy, an energy that seems to have been lost from Doctor Who over the past year or so, as we waited for the farewell, we finally have a Doctor with life. Matt Smith’s initial minute as the post-regenerative Doctor tells us nothing but gives us hope.

Why so hopeful? Well, have you seen any of the stories that Steven Moffat wrote? “Blink,” “The Girl in the Fireplace,” “Silence in the Library” or even his sitcom Coupling? You’d know that Moffat has written the best episodes of Doctor Who, perhaps of all time. He’s not so interested in the absurd storylines, instead his focus is on good horror, good comedy, good tear-jerking stories.

Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor

It’s time for new life as Matt Smith and Karen Gillan take the adventures of the Doctor and his companions into this new decade.

Goodbye Tennant, Hello Smith. Farewell Davies, Welcome Moffat.