THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE LANCE, THE UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR STUDENT NEWSPAPER:
NEWS, REVIEWS AND COMMENTARY, COURTESY OF THE PAPER TRAIL

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Hangover



















Turn my back for a minute and Blogger's gone and upgraded. Never one to be behind the curve, Paper Trails has now been switched to the new version. My feelings on this transition are summarized in the above photo.

Just now shaking the last sugarplum vision out of my head, Windsor. To say it's been a busy week would be putting it mildly. Now, with another week to go, I still feel like I have no time to get anything accomplished.

Yet I've managed to see a good portion of the people I wanted to, and will try to fit the rest in over the New Year's celebrations before I head to Toronto for a few days to visit with my band [remember them? Yeah, we're still around]. And then it's back to K-town, and who knows how long I'll be gone for?

As for the New Year itself, the Lady and I have had a couple of offers floated my way, but we'll likely just visit at a friend of hers' house before stopping by the Loop to ring it in. It will likely be the only chance I have to hit the old watering hole this entire visit, so I suppose I have to go on principle.

Given that my online access is somewhat shoddy this time of year, I don't know when you might get a full on, all out pantsbursting linkfest, but I do know that come January 20 or so, the EiC of the Lance is probably going to be parading this little experiment to everyone he can find at the national CUP conference, so I'll have to make sure the place is tip top.

That just might not happen til next weekend, is all I'm saying.

If I see you tomorrow, buy me a drink. Actually, if I see you at all, buy me a drink. Milkshakes are considered drinks, too.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Home for the Holdiays















From Atlantic to Pacific...Gee, the traffic is terrific...

A scant six hours on the 401 [seriously, it was eerie how dead it was] and The Trail finds himself back home for his whirlwind tour of the holiday season. Upon arrival it was a tad surreal to think that I was back, now after waking up in my former room [which no longer looks like my former room] it's a tad surreal to think I ever left. The weirdest thing is the fact the Lady Trail is staying with her parents, and I with mine. It's a pain in the arse, but I really don't know how we could be comfortable doing it any other way.

Today will be spent doing the usual Christmas Eve activities ie: running to the mall with the Lady to take care of last minute items, wrapping presents, drinking nog and watching A Christmas Story [the marathon starts on TBS tonight at 8.00 p.m. and runs until 8.00 p.m. Christmas Day]. DId you know Lady Trail has never seen A Christmas Story? How does one go their whole lives without ever seeing that movie? The mind boggles.

Maybe, just maybe, The Trail will share a stoopside conversation with his hetero lifemate Hollywood out front of the Trail family homestead and talk about what our next video project will be.

So enjoy it, Windsor! You got the rest of the year to worry and be stressed and pissed off. Try enjoying your fellow man for the next 36 hours or so. You might like it.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Trail Hits the....uh, Trail

So it begins. I say farewell to my adopted town of Kingston for two weeks as I make my triumphant return to the Rose City I love.

Details are short: I'm in Windsor/Amherstburg from Dec. 23 - Jan. 6. If you knew my cell number before, it has not changed, so if you'd like to get together, call and book an appointment.

As well, as I will not have regular internet access, posting could become a little...sporadic. Yes, more than it has been lately. Lady Trail has assured me I will have access to her laptop at multiple junctions over the holidays, and the Trail family home is networked for wireless, so I should be able to toss you a few updates over the holidays.

In conclusion: Scarlett Johansson performing with the Pussycat Dolls [the burlesque troupe, not the shitey pop group].

Merry Christmas.

EDIT: Classic 70's youth gone wild movie The Warriors is now on Google video. Watch it when you get bored between Christmas and New Year's. And remember: the Lizzies are packing.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Six days

















And how will you greet me, Windsor? When I re-enter your cancerous atmosphere, will you welcome me back with open arms as though I never left? Or will you skeptically size me up, one more prodigal come crawling back to you from the outer regions of the horizon?

You do loathe us though, don't you? Any of us who left your acidic embrace. And that's your right, because you always win. Whether we spend our lives running from or wishing we could run back to you, we can never rid ourselves of you, whether we want to or not, and you know it. So you raise your eyebrow at our return, never feigning politeness, enduring our visits with the most forced of courtesies, until we make our exits and you can continue your affairs away from our prying eyes.

You are hard and unforgiving, diseased and bloated. And I can't wait to see you again, my friend.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Start the week with a smile

I post these for absolutely no reason other than that they make me and the Lady laugh, and as proof that Saturday Night Live has not gone completely to shite this season.

Al Pacino checks his bank balance.



A special Christmas box [uncensored version on bottom left of this page].



That one will probably be taken down by Wednesday if not sooner, so enjoy it now.

And I will talk to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Reflection Eternal












Pictured above are the newly revealed 3" Dunny Azteca series, featuring designs by the brightest up and coming Mexican artists. A fine idea, I think, and there's more than a few in there that need to be in my collection. So we'll be grabbing a case of that one, methinks. And hey, I'll already be in Vancouver when they drop, so I may as well swing by Voltage and say hi to those good folks in person before giving them my money. I enjoy the little bandito, what do you want from me?

As predicted, Erik won tonight's live Biggest Loser finale, dropping over 200 lbs, half of which he did on his home after leaving the tapings. He is truly an inspiration, and I am surprised at how much that show affected me. Call me a sap.

First and foremost, since I might not have time tomorrow, it is worth noting that Lady Trail will be celebrating her 23rd birthday on Thursday the 14. Which means I have to remember to tell people she's 24, since I round up when I tell people how old she is. At any rate, she is the greatest blessing I have received in a long, long time, and I love her dearly. She knows that, but I think you should all know it, too.

Spare time lately has been divided up between replaying Final Fantasy X [to make up for the lack of Final Fantasy XII in my life] and starting to compile in my head my year-end lists for 2006. Though I don't know how topical they'll be, since it's been re-established in earlier posts that I really wasn't all that into 2006. I felt much more comfortable hanging out with 2002.

Holiday viral video treat o'the Day: Charlie Brown, redubbed in the style of Scrubs.

Sex.com seems like a no brainer, doesn't it? Turns out the most obvious URL in the history of teh interwebs has a long and complicated history.

Boingboing posited the following mindbender on their site the other day and the web almost imploded: will a plane on a treadmill be able to take off? Give it some thought before clicking the link, since the answer's in the first sentence of the article.

And, to go conclude with a return to the subject of year-end-best-ofs, Regret the Error has the best media corrections and errors of 2006. Though that one might be only funny to me.

Busy day of honouring the Lasy tomorrow, Windsor, but I'm sure I can fit you in. Kisses.

And Lucas, I'm punching you in the genitals when I get back to the Burg.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Don't Sweat the Technique

Clearly, I need to take more photos.

I love the fact that I moved six hours northeast of Windsor, and it has been consistently warmer and more without snow that the ol' hometown. Now try and tell me global warming is a myth.

Get those iTunes gift credits now, because online music sales are collapsing.

The NYTimes has a nice..uh, thorough roundup of the Conan O'Brien 'Horny Manatee' wed domain kerfuffle. Complete the experience here. Not that The Trail condones that sort of thing.

Watch out for those hot barely legals online; could be your mom.

Typing 'barely legal' on this entry has ensured the hitcount's going through the roof tonight.

For absolutely no reason, Slate has a picture gallery of people screaming. Could make a nice avatar or MSN pic.

Lady Trail was surprised I hadn't mentioned the Velvet Underground record bought for 75 cents at a flea market, sold for $155,401 on eBay. As it turns out, that bid was bogus, but it's still gonna make the seller a tidy profit.

And lastly, if the holiday spirit just isn't chasing those winter doldrums away, 10 Zen Monkeys has a selection of classic holiday cartoons redubbed with all the profanity you need, and Youtubed for your pleasure.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Modal Soul

















They don't call it the most wonderful time of the year for nothing, Windsor. A time of lighted streets, chaos in retail centres and socially awkward holiday parties. Everyone loves the employee Christmas party, and the Trails are no exception, pictured above at the Holy Cross Secondary staff shindig at the Four Points Sheraton in downtown Kingston. She thinks I look upset and she looks in pain. I think she looks naked. Could be the same thing.

All in all a good time, Windsor. Tasty food, we learned Agostinos are the same no matter where you go, and that The Trail is incapable of resisting his lady's urging to slow dance to Al Green.

Oh, and Van City is all firmed up, in case you were wondering about that particular cliffhanger.

The love has engulfed me again. Exploring the other works of the producers involved in the anime Samurai Champloo has given me truckloads of cool music to work and walk the streets to, and has reaffirmed my belief that I should hijack the Queen's radio station to produce my new hit show, 'Kingston Needs Hip-Hop.' Cause maaan, does it ever. Anyway, look for samples of some tracks when the playlist gets updated over the holidays.

Speaking of holidays, for those of you looking to snag some last minute stocking stuffers could do worse than perusing the Archie McPhee catalog. Gifts as low as $10, sure to delight and astound. I enjoy the Nihilist Chewing Gum, which is obviously without flavour, because a nihilist would not believe in flavour.

HOLD EVERYTHING: Scarlett Johansson admits she's ready to peel in a movie. Carry on.

The makers if undisputed classic 'Shaun of the Dead' bring you: Hot Fuzz.

And...Blender gives you the 50 Worst Musical Artists in Music History. I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that Insane Clown Posse tops the list. That was a brainbuster, wasn't it.

And now, I wanna go watch Rudolph. Til tomorrow, Windsor.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Quick thoughts

Do you think when it snows really heavily, the inmates of Kingston's numerous penitentiaries still have to go outside to the rec yard?

Do they make snowmen?

Is there a quicker way to get shanked than by making a snowmen in the prison rec yard?

Anonymous commenters: You want to be anonymous, that's fine, I can't make you leave a name. But don't be calling me out by mine. If you knew me at all, you'd know calling me 'Fergie' is not the thing to do. This is the anti-Fergalicious zone.

Speaking of Fergalicious, it's pretty common knowledge that the Black Eyed Peas rip off *cough, ahem* sample heavily, and I knew that song was ripping off JJ Fad's 'Supersonic,' but couldn't figure out where the bridge was getting ripped off from.
Then I heard James Brown's 'Night Train' in a clothing store last night. So there ya go.

Talked to my best friend last night and we both concluded we know nothing about music and we're perfectly okay with that. Keep Joanna Newsom, he's fine with Wintersleep, and I'm fine with Nujabes.

If Eric doesn't win this year's Biggest Loser, the Trail household will be very annoyed. Did you see the glimpse they gave of him in the promo for next week's finale? Amazing. Honestly, that show is probably the only reality show worth a damn. It's not about backstabbing, it's not about forming alliances, it's about getting healthy. Even the people who don't win end up losing a boatload of weight. Props to that. And if producer JD Roth is the same guy who hosted kids game show Fun House in the 80's, that's even cooler.

No links, no nothing today, Windsor. I got some shopping to do, some of it for people who read this blog, and the Trails have a Christmas party tonight, so we'll be looking forward to getting pretty and strutting it. It's the simple things, babies.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The small decisions



















To go, or not to go. See, Windsor, every year the crew of The Lance heads off to the National Conference of Canadian University Press, and this year will be no exception. Last year's jaunt to Toronto was one of the highlights of my year [six for six!] but this year will be in Vancouver.

Van-City, that mythical land that every granola girl you've ever met took off for with nothing but a bong and a dream. Also the home of Canada's largest Japanese population, and what has got to be the freshest sushi I could ever taste in my life.

Pressure has been high to get me to go. The invite is there. This should be a no-brainer. And it's not a matter of not wanting to go [though I'm not thrilled at the idea of traveling alone and being away from the Lady for that long, I don't care what you say so piss on you all]. The main issue if money. Specifically, will I still be able to make any if I go.

See, tomorrow I have to inform my second job that I will be going home for Christmas. This is not unexpected, my supervisor has already commented on how I will be getting there, so he knows I'm going. But he doesn't know how long I'm going for: two weeks. That is a long time, to be certain. But it's not like I wouldn't work, the fact of the matter is that I'll be 600 km away. But Dec 23/Jan 6 are the days I can commute for free, hitching a ride with Ms. Christina, instead of shelling out 300 bucks for a train ticket.

I'm optimistic work will agree with me on that front, so it shouldn't be a problem. But telling them I'll be gone for a week again, only 9 days after I start back....that could be pushing it. And if the job search up until getting hired there hadn't been so rough, I'd have no problem saying 'Eff it, I'm going to Vancouver.' But I got bills, now, people. Grown up bills, the likes that tear through cash fast, so there's no way in hellI can risk my job for this trip.

So all I can do is talk to them, which I'll be doing tomorrow. And if the Vancouver option doesn't make a good impression with the CTC, I'll have to regretfully decline. Which will suck, but I know thay'll have a good time.

And that's what's waiting for me tomorrow. Wish me luck.

PS: I have no explanation for the above photo. I have no idea what it means. It just found it hysterical when I saw it this morning. Censoring by me.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Show Me What Ya Got

















Another day, another beautiful random building from the Queen's campus. That's their registrar's office. Depressing!

Before anything, a happy 37th birthday to one Shawn Carter, you can call him Jay-Z. Kingdom Come is uneven, but we will always love you for The Black Album. So what else is shaking out there?

Congrats to the Lancer cheerleading team, who won their division at the Open and University National Cheerleading Championships, in their first year competing. Hard to beat that.

INTERLUDE: After watching Gwen Stefani perform at tonight's Billboard Music Awards, my mind suffered a vision of the future, where Stefani's newborn son becomes a giant death metal fan and reacts to the song "Wind Up" with a relaxed, "Whatever, mom."

As an epilogue to the yesterday's nerdly entry, some of you might like to know that Rogue's Gallery Comics on Chatham will be having a screening of the new Richard Donner cut of Superman II tomorrow night at about 9.30ish, in the upstairs viewing room. Email shawn@rgcomics.com for more info. And really, if you're a nerd and you've never been to Rogue's what the hell is your problem?! I scooped a big chunk of Animal Man and Giffen/DeMatteis-ers JLA's there for like two bucks an issue, so my love is eternal.

The glass ceiling cracked? The NYTimes reports both Reuters and Yahoo News will now accept photos and videos submitted by the public on their phones. The footage and photos will then will be placed throughout the sites, with Reuters saying it wants to distribute submissions to print and broadcast outlets.

This should get you into a tizzy because Reuters is one of the largest news syndication services in the world, and for them to embrace this sort of technology and practice is huge.

Yet, whenever a story like this breaks the inevitable question never changes: But will you own it? And the answer is: probably not. And don't expect to see a dime, either.

Apparently I have to take a road trip now, as a Japanese-style 'maid cafe' has just opened in Toronto. For those not in the know, it's exactly what is sounds like: a cafe where the waitstaff all dress in maid outfits happily attend to your every casual dining need. I'll probably have to reserve now for a table in March.

I know at least four girlfriends who can make use of this in time for Christmas: ladies, get them portraits of themselves as zombies. They will freaking love it.

When I was a teenager I met a girl who had non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a type of cancer. I'll save you all the treacly sentiment that goes with meeting your first cancer patient, will say that she had a box set of CDs of Jack Kerouac reading from his work while Steve Allen accompanied on the piano. This video link reminds me of her, and of that time in my life, and how cool the Internet really is.

So I know what you're all wondering. You want to know what happens here now that the Lance has stopped publishing for the semester. Well, the short answer is...short. I'll still be here, clickity clacking away like I've always been. Paid or not, the gig's just too fun to ignore. I'm in the habit, so how could I stop now?

I can't make any guarantees for the Christmas period, since my online access might be a little shifty, but up until the 23 at least, I can guarantee you at least something everyday to help you procrastinate from studying for finals for a few minutes at least.

So study hard, my babies. I'll be here if you need me, so feel free to drop me a line and let me know I'm not just dropping these into the ether. Be well, kids. Do good.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Weekend Nerdery

















This'll get a little nerdly, Windsor, and it won't be for everyone. You'll just have to deal.

After spending the early part of Saturday evening recoiling in horror from the predicted conclusion of the Liberal leadership convention [I always love the 'anything but' voting strategy], the Lady and I went with Ms. Christina [our only consistent friend in K-Town] to catch some high school theatre [Lady Trail's students were doing A Midsummer Night's Dream. Grade: B+] and stopped by the Blockbuster in an attempt to find a movie to round out the evening.

Now, I don't know what your Blockbuster experience tends to be like Windsor, but mine tends to go like this:
  1. Walk around store for at least 1/2 hour.
  2. Agree upon nothing.
  3. Leave with nothing, or crappy movie no one really wanted to see in the first place.
And that's pretty much how Saturday played out. But during step one we discovered some startling facts about Kingston.
See, the downtown Kingston Blockbuster video had its one copy of the South Park movie in stock. Yet both copies of Pootie Tang were out.

Kingston, Ontario likes Pootie Tang more than South Park. Boggling.

Anyway, we ultimately opted to go pick something from the home collection, or maybe just chill out til Saturday Night Live started. That too failed miserably when Christina passed out on the couch at 11.00 p.m. and Lady Trail and I played Sonic the Hedgehog.

Can you stand the excitement. Nothing like a new city to really reinvent yourself. Oh wait, that's what I would have been doing back home.

I tell you that story to tell you this one: The Sega Genesis Collection. I've mentioned it before Windsor, but it's finally home, for the staggering price of $24. That's less than a buck a game.

You need to understand, the Genesis was my coming-of-age system. Yeah, I had a Nintendo when I was in grade school, but the Genesis was my Holy Grail, Sonic the Hedgehog my saviour. Perusing this collection is plopping down on the old recliner in the Trail family basement, with the headphones plugged in [the headphone jack was one of the Genesis' many innovations] and blistering my thumbs until my eyes hurt. Sonic 1 and 2, Golden Axe 1-3, Vectorman 1-2, Shadow Dancer and Shinobi III, Columns, Ristar, Phantasy Star II-IV [PSII was the first RPG I ever played]. As much as I would love to get my hands on FF12, I can have just as good a time killing a couple hours playing Shinobi or Phantasy Star.

It's not all magic, though. I find it hard to believe there's anyone who would have chosen Bonanza Bros or Gain Ground over Streets of Rage 2 and 3 or Toejam and Earl, but for about 20 bucks, it's really not worth complaining about for the number of content you get. Each game comes with a museum containing development history, tips and box art; and there's an extensive extras section with everything from interviews with game designers to Sega arcade games [ZAXXON!] to trailers for upcoming games.

I just wish there were more hours in the day. But don't we all. Hope your weekend was good, Windsor. Now someone get me a picture of those posters designed to save Teeuwen's reputation. Or jot down his number off of the poster, give him a call and ask him to get me a picture. Sometimes things just get too good down there.