Saturday, December 30, 2006

Al Gore's Personal Battle to Save the World


"An Inconvenient Truth"

(Alycia, watch this movie if you haven't already)

Last night I watched the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth". The film was more or less footage of Al Gore giving a slide show presentation about the dangers of global warming, interjected with footage of him giving speeches, conducting research and doing field work. I was quite looking forward to this film, hoping that it would present the issue in a very concise, informative, and professional manner. After having seen it though, I felt sold very very short.

I agreed with most all of the points brought up in the film, and believe strongly in the need for the global warming problem to be seriously addressed and dealt with, but honestly, this film probably was detrimental to the cause.

There are two reasons that I think this:

First off, the way in which information was presented was done in an overtly shocking way: scary images of glaciers receding; graphs that showed no numbers, only dramatically bold red lines steadily raising higher and higher, floods, droughts, hurricanes. Just shock images. The amount of information actually presented was minimal. Also, a lot of the information they were giving was based mostly on speculation, and not neccecarily fact. This struck me as the kind of tactic that their opposition would take. Now, I can understand why they'd want to do that. They're trying to reach a very very broad audience, and let them know there is a growing problem. Most people wouldn't look at statistics and absorb it, but when you see a flooded city, it has a more lasting impression. So, I guess this was cleverly strategic.

But the biggest vice I had with this, is the entire film was presented in a very bitter and personal manner from Gore's point of view. Even though it had a ruse of being an environmental exposé, it had overtly political overtones. Now don't get me wrong, I realise this is a very heated political issue, but Gore turned it into a bitter reprieve of the 2000 Presidential Election. He seems to try and imply that had he "fairly" won the election, that global warming would have ceased. That as president, he would have single handedly saved the world. Now I don't doubt that he would have tried to make some changes that Bush obviously isn't doing, but given his present situation, it's very very easy for Gore to talk big, and not have to worry about following through.

The film just wreaked of self righteousness. It made me very dissapointed in Al Gore. He always struck me as so respectable, but now he just seems really bitter and childis. Given, what happened to him was pretty unfair, but the entire film was just an attempt to glorify himself.

Yet, I'm still torn. The issue he's trying to help is very heated, and it's good of him to try, but still, it just doesn't sit well with me. I actually found watching it incredibly discouraging. I seriously doubt there are actually fool proof solutions to fix what we've already done. It makes me more compelled to stop caring, and start engaging in more self destructive behaviour. Oh well. I sleep well thinking that when we're done killing ourselves off with our own behaviour, the plates will turn over, and the only trace of human's will be a thin layer of carbon in some sediment deep below the surface of the earth.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Adventures in house sitting:

So this week I have had the good fortune of being asked to house sit a huge home in a swanky part of College Heights. It's a pretty fun gig. The house is very nice, and there are three small and incredibly energetic lap dogs to keep me company. Also, these two rodents from somewhere in South America that look like hamsters with long, weird tails. Their tails can detatch--much the same way that many reptile's tails can--as a defense mechanism if they're being attacked. SO NEAT.

I don't know why this family chose me as their house sitter. I'm scared when left alone in my own house, let alone, a strange one. This house is very creaky. I keep thinking I hear someone walking around, and then panic, and realise it's just the dogs running around. I should know by now that if ANYONE strange were in the house, the dogs would start freaking out and barking hysterically, like they always do when someone is near the house. But, as is my nature, I just assumed otherwise, and use it as an excuse to stealthily wander around the house holding a large blunt object..... The peruvian rodents often make noises that could be confused as people, and it's very creepy as well.

The last two days I've managed to spend minimal amounts of time alone in the house, either by leaving to run errands, or bringing Josh here to jam and destroy the house's kitchen. Last night, we spent all day grocery shopping for and preparing a ridiculously huge attempt at a Japanese dinner. It involved sushi, salad, tofu, and tempura that tasted exactly like deep friend prawns from Chinese resteraunts. Despite our combined lack of culinary skills, we managed to not burn the house down, and the dinner was pretty good. I have a lot of left over sushi.

The greatest thing about getting to house sit is being able to not have to drive half an hour to do anything in town. Everything is so accessable! AND THERE'S A GARAGE FOR MY CAR! So it doesn't get freezing cold and I don't have to scrape ice off the windsheild and freeze to death for 20 minutes before my heater decides to start expelling heat. It's very convenient. I'm pretty much being spoiled. I'm being paid cold hard cash to stay in a swanky hotel with a some dogs, hamsters with tails, and a few goldfish. All that, minus my crippling parinoia, is a pretty damned good deal, if I do say so myself.

One of the dogs is so incredibly homely that it's sad. She's a sweet dog. Really sweet! She's a puppy, and her name is Lily. Her fur is really soft, and she's a nice color, sort of a light brown-blonde color, with hints of orange, and she's really playful! Always running around, sniffing things, and trying to coax me into playing with her. But she has this horrible underbite, so she always looks incredibly incredibly angry, and when you pet her, her eyes roll back and it looks like she's going into some sort of a seizure. SO SCARY. But she's nice. I guess...I'm sort of afraid of her. I'm actually kind of glad that the owner asked me to make her sleep in a cage...

Anyway, so I've got three more days to go before the family returns. So far I haven't broken anything, or spilled anything that will leave horrible stains on their probably insanely expensive furniture. I'll knock on wood, in the mean time, just to play it safe haha.

This will be such a weird week when it finally ends though. House sitting ends on the 31st, but then I am attending Mike's New Year's shin-dig. So, in total, I will have spent 6 strait days away from my own home. I also think I may have forgotten to mention to my dad that I am house sitting. I don't know how I managed to do this, but I have a feeling he's going to be really pissed off when I come home. I guess we'll see. I could make a quick day trip home I guess, but I'd really prefer to save the fuel....oh well!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Words of Wisdom:

My father is a brilliant, yet misunderstood man. Yesterday afternoon, he decided to sit me down, and have a very important discussion with me.

The topic: Romanians.

"That Josh guy seems like a really nice kid. He looks like a gypsy, it's cool. I like gypsies. You guys seem to have a lot of fun together too, and you probably will for a few years...until one day you'll come home and start trying to hide out in the woodshed because he's trying to stab you to death. Those Romanians all go crazy. Seriously, I would not make this up."

Friday, December 22, 2006

Farewell, Tapedeck! We hardly knew ye....!

Continuing with my recent trend of modernisation, I'm finally upgrading my car's tapedeck to a CD player. This is all thanks to a most generous donation from one Victor Sandu. I'm actually really excited to not have to fumble with tapes while driving anymore, but I do have one regret: I never asked Andrew Kurjata to make me a mixtape. I'm sure it would have been epic, but now I have no convenient medium in which to play ANY mixtapes. How sad. I'll become such a hypocrite too, because I know I'll continue to create and dispense mixtapes to all of my friends, despite my own inability to actually play any tapes conveniently.

I guess I shouldn't count all my chickens yet, I still have to take my tape deck out, and figure out how to install the damned thing. But once that will be glorious. I'll pump out "The Romantic Classics: Vol. 3 + 4" at full volume. With all my windows rolled down. Really shake up the neighbourhood. It'll be great.

I'll probably try and hook that up tomorrow morning, sometime after I go cut down and decorate a Christmas tree. YAY!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Goodbye Blue Sky....

So it's finally happened. My parents got sick of having to guess where I am half the time (though they hardly have to guess, really) and bought me a cell phone. It's small, it flips open, and I'm already loathing its existance. I was so proud of myself for being able to hold out on having one for as long as I have. Oh well.

I should stop complaining though, I'm sure it'll be somewhat handy. Guess we'll see.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I have a lot of things I easily get used to.

For example, I get used to driving a car that is standard. I'm so used to it, that when I drive a car that isn't manual, I'm constantly still pushing for the clutch and reaching for the gear shift. Sometimes I get worried when I can't find it, and convince myself for short periods of time that I'm going to stall and cause an accident. This usually passes when I realise that I am an idiot.

Another example: For the last two and a half years, I've taught the same children in a house in college heights. At the same time, for the same rate. And every week, once their lessons is complete, I stand in the doorway, and chat with the student's charming mother. I got really used to setting my guitar upright, in it's case, and it staying, upright, in its case, while I chat and tie my shoelaces. It balanced, perfectly. My system was flawless. But, being a genius and forgetting to have my guitar with me today, I borrowed one and commenced with my regular teaching routine. First, the youngist, who meddles with the bass and is currently mastering the song "Hysteria" by Muse, then the oldest, who is currently working on getting John Frusciante's timing down on "I Could Have Lied"

And, like always, I stood in the doorway, tying my shoes, talking to my oldest student, and his mom. I rest my borrowed guitar, in it's case, locked up tight and safe, upright, and I expected it to stand, perfectly balanced, like always. Old Faithful, as it seemed. Til I hear a loud crash, and see the guitar, in case, laying flat, face down.

Okay. Shit. I raise an eyebrow, sigh in discontent and reassure myself that this guitar has gone through worse, and that the case is solid. It's well protected.

Til I get to my next students house, whip the guitar out, start playing a G scale, and realise the A is terribly flat. Upon closer inspection, I notice the neck has a huge crack in it. Right around the 3-4 frets. It curved over the back, along the rounded edge of the previously smooth neck.

Okay. Shit. I raise both my eyebrows and stare, in horror, at what I've managed to do to my friend's beautiful guitar.

And that wasn't even the worst of the bad news I had to break to someone today. Can you tell it's a Monday?

The weekend was eventful though. I bought a new camera. By new I mean its from the middle 60's. A Minolta 7s. It so wonderfully old, heavy, and possibly useless. Though I read some reviews on the internet. Also, Grace and I made a gingerbread house, bought nick-nacks in Value Village, and spent the better part of our Sunday afternoon entertained by the endlessly entertaining Gordon Lucas. Good times were had. We learned a lot about cameras, photography, the woman's right's movement, and his theories on how Jew's funded the holocaust. It was quite a day.

Also, one other thing I've gotten used to: getting random sample packages from the Body Shop every year for Christmas from ALL of my guitar students. I have enough creams, salves, body washes, loufa's, and soups to last me for years to come. It's great...!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

For Matilda:

This post won't make much sense.

I thought I should inform all of my readers of something:

Right now, in Sweden and various other Scandinavian counties, they are celebrating St. Lucia day. St. Lucia is an Italian saint. She is so popular that she isn't celebrated with nearly as much zeal in Italy. The Scandanavians apparenty love her though. To commemorate this day, I have written an essay about St. Lucia day with information stolen from Wikipedia.

Dec 13th marks St. Lucia day. It coincides with Advent, which marks the beginning of the Christmas Season. St Lucia day dates back to before the reformation (1540), when Sweden was still a predominantly Catholic country. At that time, many saints' days were celebrated, but St. Lucia was one of the few that continued to be even into modern day. It is said that St. Lucia day falls on the longest night of the year according to the Julian Calendar. This may attest to the celebrations longevity in Nordic countries, where the long nights would be especially noticable.

This date is marked by a ceremony in which the eldest girl in a family walks with a crown of candles ahead of a procession girls dressed in angelic white dresses, holding candles, and parading around with boys who are carrying stars on big sticks. I don't know what the significance is, I think it has to do with St. Lucia surviving not only a famine but A FIRE? Truely Amazing. The women sing non-Christian Christmas songs about St Lucia overcoming darkness or something. (NEAT FACT: the original Italian lyrics were really depictions of beautiful Italian scenery.) Then everyone drinks, and shows up to school tanked.

In Italy, St. Lucia is a bringer of gifts. She provides gifts to good children, and coal to naughty children (sound familliar?) But children aren't allowed to see her bringing them gifts, or she'll blow ashes in their eyes BLINDING THEM SO SHE CAN ESCAPE. In exchange, children are supposed to leave her sandwhiches, and also sugar or flour for her mule, which helps her carry her gifts to the children's homes.

I hope everyone has become well versed in St. Lucia day.

I remember how I spent St. Lucia day last year. It involved eating swedish chocolate and rehersing the Nutcracker with Matilda. Dearest Matilda, how lonely and awkward every symphony rehersal is without you. In fact, pretty much every symphony function I attend is just painfully strange now because I just sit by myself, unless Jordan decides to pester me and then he laughs at how awkward I am and then points my awkwardness out to other people, which in turn just ups the awkward quotient. Not that this doesn't happen in other social situations (pretty much every social situation EVER) but at least with Matilda present, my tension was eased always eased.

I hope you had a Happy St. Lucia Day you Swedish fiend!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Am I doomed...? Survery Says.......

I'm pretty sure I'm going to die a horrible icy death alone on the highway this winter. I've probably mentioned it before, but I'm getting more and more sure of it every day. After having WAY too close a call tonight on my drive home, I'm pretty much on my last straw. One more near accident, and I'm not leaving my basement til spring. Hopefully I'll get visitors, but I would completely understand getting none. It's a risky drive, SPARE YOURSELVES, SERIOUSLY!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I think I can hear alien invaders....

...they're walking on my deck. And I'm not joking haha. I hear the deck creaking and it's got me a little scared. Odds are it's a deer walking on the deck. We've had that happen before. I hate when this happens though, I'm going to be parinoid all night. In a fit of fear, I've jammed a chair under the door handle, and I'm not leaving the basement room until I'm sure it's safe. It doesn't help that I'm the only one in the house who's awake, and I don't want to bother alerting my family over a false alarm caused by my ridiculous parinoia....

That would be pretty embarassing.

So today was very eventful! I made a poster for an upcoming show (attendance is manditory if you are reading this) and I am quite pleased with the results! Then I had an interesting piano lesson. Then my night was topped off by enjoying a great date with my beloved wife, Chantal.

Our evening started by me picking her up from work, from which I bought some "veggie" somosas (they were beef, and I nearly swallowed a huge bite of one, but it tasted sick, and I realised it was wrong, so I spat it out and they gave me new, real vegetable ones). Then we proceeded to the new record shop, Meow Records, downtown. We saw Cal and his parents, and had a nice chat with them. They also had a lot of Sufjan Stevens CD's, and vinyl copies of such great hit records as "The Korean Orphan Choir Tours!" A must have, if I do say so myself.

Then we went to Denny's, and had delicious greasy food, and laughed so much at everything that I'm pretty sure everyone withen a four table radius thought we were high. Plus we were really hungry, and ordered meals that would satisfy even the greatest affliction of the munchies.

So after getting in an arguement with a confused waitress who couldn't do simple subtraction in her head, we went to the mall, where we meandered, talked to Trent, bought a Sufjan Stevens' CD, and tried in vain to find Christmas presents for loved ones. This proved fruitless, so we left to go get coffee and then drove to Candycane Lane to look at pretty lights.

The lights were uneventful, so we decided we'd drive downtown and look at hookers because we were out of fun ideas.

This was a bad idea.

We turned on Ferry, and were headed downtown, and ahead of me, I see nothing other than a road block.

Normally, no big deal. Save for two things:

One, my N wasn't displayed. I figure, no big deal, I mean, they'll maybe fine me.


My licence is not really presentable, for obvious reasons.

So we pull up to the cop, roll down my window, and she starts talking to me, asking if I'd been drinking, to see my licence, the usual.

Naomi: Well...m-m-my wallet got stolen a few days ago, and I lost my lisence in the process...

Run of the mill Traffic Cop: why haven't you replaced it?

Naomi: Not enough hours in the day

RotMTC: It's a $138 fine vs. $75 to replace it, you realise?

Naomi: Yes ma'am.

So she asks for my registration, to check if I have an actual licence, and we pull off to the side, to await my inevitable judgement. After what felt like an eternity, she comes back, hands me my registration, and says: "you get to where ever you're going, put your N up, and then get your damned licence as soon as you can."

Biggest releif of my life. Needless to say, first thing on Monday, I'm getting my licence replaced haha.

So Tel and I drove around more, then proceeded to her house to watch hilarious Film 12 projects, and listen to silly punk bands on myspace. Then I drove home, at chinese food, and am now sitting in the basement, listening to "Greeting from Michigan"

But, I hear things outside. I can't sleep, and I'm afraid. I have two performances tomorrow too! I need sleep tonight, so I can get up early tomorrow and practise music.

I think I'll just sit alone, afraid, and write a song. Maybe my sappy sad music will scare off any potential attackers. I'm counting on it.

On a side note, why aren't simple math skills a requirement to work at Denny's? honestly, 24 - 9 = 15. Simple. (I ordered $9 worth of food, had only a $20, and two toonies, I wanted to get rid of my coins, so gave her my $20 and the two toonies, in the hopes of getting $15 in change, so I would have bills to put in the bank...that makes sense, right?) I think so...Very simple. Not to the waitress, though, who somehow thought it equalled me owing her $5. After me trying to explain it to her, I just gave her a $20, and asked for my change. Needless to say, she recieved a small tip. Mostly because I'm cheap.

Okay, upon rereading that, it is confusing, but my point still stands.

I also need sleep.

But I am still refusing to go upstairs.

This is getting confusing. Wish me luck....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

God Rest Ye Ears Merry Gentleman...

I'm not a big fan of Christmas. I like it, I guess. I can retain some pleasure out of it. I mean, I like wrapping presents, I like gingerbread houses. I always get nostalgic when I smell pine needles, because it makes me think of Christmas Trees, which I've always enjoyed decorating. I don't hate Christmas. In fact, I guess I kind of like Christmas. It doesn't top my list, but it's cool.

But there is one aspect of it that literally could drive me to kill. Kill all my friends even. Coming from a pacifist that loves all her friends dearly, this is quite a big deal. I know what you're thinking "Oh Naomi, your blatant hate on for religion must make you hate it!" No, it's not that. I don't minid getting money from Grandma because they decided Jesus was born in December. And it's not the painfully grotesque consumerism associated with it. Those things annoy me, but don't drive me to the palpable rage I feel.

It's the music.

Christmas music makes me want to euthenise everything. My best friend, the neighbour's cat, the pope, Dweezil Zappa... pretty much everyone ever, except for Tess because I'm fairly certain she'd find it really comical if I killed everyone. Honestly though, if anything can do it, it's Christmas music that will push me over the edge to become a serial killer.

Add on to this that in my disambiguation of Christmas music, I came to another realisation. When you think about it, the music of Christmas serves pretty much two purposes: it's a tool of the consumer geared side of Christmas, and it spreads the word of God. I should have known it would somehow encompass the other two aspects of Christmas that I happen to hate. Though, it is a bit hypocritical of me to say I hate Christmas music because of the religion connatation, when I gladly play and enjoy baroque music. How odd....

BUT! I do love the Nutcracker. It doesn't count. I've decided ti write it off as an amazing romantic ballet, and not shitty Christmas music. And I guess I should say the same for Handel's "Messiah" Though...Technically Messiah is traditionally played during easter, and is thus, NOT stupid Christmas music.

And right about there I confused or lost all of my readers.

Anyway, I am so sick of Christmas music. I've decided this is my last year of associating myself with it. After the next sinfonia performance, and "the Polar Express" with the Symphony, I'm done. I will refuse to do ANY Christmas music, unless it's cool and by Tchaikowsky.

This rant was really pointless. Sorry.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I hate to break any hearts...

...but I have an announcement.

I fell in love again.

Madly, truely in love.

It's hopeless though, I realise this. I'm guess used to it, thesee fruitless crushes that just leave me forlorn. Always leading to nothing. False hopes. The usual sad story, you've all heard from me before.

But this one's different. He's special. Very very special.

His name...


 Sufjan Stevens and I want to marry him and listen to him sing all day for the rest of my life. I don't even care that he's a devout Christian, and has never met me before. IT'S TRUE LOVE, I SWEAR.

I mean, just look at him...

Pretty handsome....

Seriously though, his music is amazing. If you haven't yet, listen to the album "Come on feel the Illionoise" The arrangements are unreal, and his voice is beautiful. He gave me new faith in contemporary music. I'm completely smitten with him....even though I know our marraige plans won't quite pan out.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A place for fiends.

The other night, I was talking to some random person at a random get together. I told him to get a myspace, so he could add me and Josh's band, and thus increase our number of friends by one. He responded by asking me "what's a myspace?"


I was so envious. This person had found a way to remain so out of the loop that they didn't even know what myspace was.

Just imagine...

Never having gone through the process of filling out that long registartion form, answering the e-mail to verify everything, putting lame pictures up, writing a short explanation of yourself, complete with your favourite movies, music, books, television programs, writing and receiving lame comments.

Never having a top 8.

Never seeing pictures of 15 year old scantily clad girls with hair in their face, at awkward angles from holding their webcam above them at arms legnth.

Never getting awkward personal messages from lonely 37 year old men/random people from Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia.

Never having to listen to some horrible post-hardcore band that wants you to add them.

Never having your head explode when horribly obnoxious loud music starts piping out of whoever's profile your browsing while you're wearing headphones and listening to soft, quiet, Sufjan Stevens.

None of that. He'd had none of that. I was so impressed. I mean, I know not EVERYONE has a myspace. But to have never even have heard of it. That suprised me.

Afterward, I felt really guilty. This guy actually went and got a myspace. I haven't talk to him since, but he no doubt has then subjected to a bizarre new world of depravity. Strange people getting kicks from things he'll never know. Excessive amounts of yeliner, whatever the fuck "<3" and "< / 3" means, so many horribly self indulgent blogs with lame poetry (mine hasn't quite crossed that line yet...)

BAH! But who am I to talk? I'm a myspace band whore now. I'm guilty of it, I admit. I tell everyone about our myspace. HERE IT IS!! It's a strange sad addiction. Checking your page every half hour for updates, going on adding binges, leaving comments on random people's pages so they HAVE to comment back, and then I can sign on and see we have new messages and it's just like christmas.... It's a shame, I know, but it's the price I pay for being a musician right now. Myspace is just a really good idea for bands. And people with prepubescent emo fetishes.

Sunday, December 03, 2006



New David Lynch.
This is good news.
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