Saturday, March 31, 2007

Slow down Time! Slow down!

What happened to the last week of March!!?!!

Okay, I blinked and it's like April. Well, almost April at the time of this posting.

Last week was a blur. Reports, meetings, office renos up the wazoo! Writing? What's writing??

This is why I'm not published yet. Too much "writers block" as my good friend, and ex-Wolseley Writing Group partner would say.
Writers Block. Not so much a block of ideas, but a block TO those ideas, as in laundry that has to get done, the dishes, the garden planted, grant reports to pay for my job, and oh yeah! Office Renos!! Which, although a pain in the buttocks, have come along nicely and will make my whole work experience that much more pleasant in the weeks, months and hopefully years to come. New paint, carpet, new furniture. It'll be nice!

Which brings us back to writing. My poor abandoned story that I read out at Aqua Books on March 21 (Aaaahh, the memories...) and promised to post the rest of here, at me wittle blog, on Thursday, March 29.
Well, that never happened.
I'm hoping to finish it off (the last page!) in the next few days and post it next week. It's a small goal to meet, but with last week now behind me, it is totally do-able! Yay!

I did a lot of walking around today and boy I'm bushed. Not used to it anymore. That's what happens when you go from walking 30 minutes to the bus (twice a day), and then slinging heavy freight around a warehouse, to walking 2 minutes to the bus (twice a day mind you), and then slinging my lazy butt in a chair in front of a computer for the last six months. I'm getting all flabby and lazy and my pathetic muscles have left the building!

At least Spring is attempting to come out, and soon I'll be biking to work! Yay!

Oh, speaking of Yay! One month and 4 days till SPIDER-MAN 3!!
I was sorta bad and picked up a bunch of action figures today. Heh-heh. I'm a bit of a "collector" of Spider-man stuff. Those who have seen my office know what I mean.

But, as a professional toy connoisseur, and Spider-Man freak, I must say I have to give the new Spider-Man 3 toys a decent 8 out of possible 10!

They're totally cool! Collectible for the collector (that's me!) and playable for kids! They're smaller than the new breed of 9" figures, coming in at a respectable and easily playable 6", and they're actually figures! Not "action playing figures" as in "Spider-man with water squirting action" or "Spider-man with jumping backpack squirting action" or "Spider-man with purple suit and transforming sword"

Transforming sword!?! What the!?!

These are actually Spider-Man figures which kids can play with! Someone up in Toy Land was listening to my rants to the Universe. Kids don't need stupid accesories which don't belong with the superhero...they just want the superhero to play with! And villains to fight! This new set of toys comes out with no less than 8 different villains, and ToysRUs had lots of them!

Da Deadly Sandman! The New Goblin!

The Scorpion! Doc Ock!

The Rhino! The Green Goblin!

Kraven da Hunter! The Lizard!

Not like the debacle of the Spider-Man 2 toys, where there were a ton of different stupid Spider-Men with stupid accesories, and 1 Doctor Octopus figure per 10 Spidey figures (which the industry likes to call the "chase" figure because, I guess, people like me were chasing them all over the fricken city looking for them!).

The mentality is that collectors like me will buy the case of 10 figures just to get the 1 Doc Ock figure. They figured wrong.
And what about the kids?!? Sure, they could get tons of different Spideys, but no villains to fight!?? What brainiac suit-and-tie thought of this!?

BUT NOW, we have the Spider-Man 3 figures. Much better set these Spider-Man 3 figures. Much better.

Okay, I've talked way too long about Spider-Man 3 action figures.
I'm such a Geek.
Yes, I'm a Man-Child. I admit it. I'm soft. I lead a soft easy life. I've never had to chop wood to survive, or milk a cow, or build my house out of sod. But I can enjoy myself, can't I?

How else can I enjoy writing and reading children's books, I ask you. I've got to keep that child in me alive! Yeah, that's it. That's the ticket. Heh!

Okay, early next week, the complete story of "Full Burn." I promise!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Aqua Books Picture Pages

Good friend and organizer of the Aqua Books reading series, Ariel Gordon, is also an avid photobug and manged to snap a couple of pics of myself, Anita and Martha. Anita's blog has a few nice pictures (check it out! and here's one of meself reading at the pulpit of doooom. (click to enlarge for even more pulpit goodness).

"Hear me, O Great Writing Gods!"

Kelly was a great host for the evening, and I really enjoyed the whole experience!

Just got back from the Melvins residence, after an enjoyable evening of cardgame madnesssss with Brett, Kim, Suzie, Frank and me wittle wife Tanya! Munchkin. It's so good. And Evil. We played Munchkin Possible, the spy version of the card game. Very cool. For more info, check out Steve Jackson's website for all the munchkin evilness.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Post Reading Buzz

The reading tonight at Aqua Books was great. I had forgotten how much fun it was to actually share your work with people! It's been a long time...

Not a large crowd, but that's okay. Like my director Charlene says, it doesn't matter if you are 7 or 700, you are still a gathering. And you've got to remember that those seven are there for the same reason as those mythical 700, so you better give them your 100%!

I really enjoyed hearing Anita and Martha read. And Martha really opened my mom's eyes to the wonderful world of Young Adult literature - so much of it is written so well, that it can be enjoyed (and is!) by youth and adults!

Okay. Time for sleep.
Oh, one thing: I only had time to read about half of my story, and promised in an early entry that I would post the rest of it on Thursday. Would I be evil if I promised it NEXT Thursday? Heh-heh. I need the time to polish the ending off and make it sound good. Plus, I've stupidly busy at work for the rest of the week! EEK!

Sleep now.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Just saying "NO!"

Well. I did it.
And I feel guilty as hell.

I finally said "no" to something. Really. Honest.

For the last five years I've done the advertising for the PrairieCon program (, a Gaming convention of geeks, nerds and whatnots, out in Brandon, who get together for three days (always the first weekend in June) to Game, Game, Game! Boardgames! Cardgames! Miniature Games! RPGs!

It's Nerd Nirvana, let me tell you.

I've made some great friends out in the Brandon area because of that convention, so it's kinda special to me in that way (besides the games). And it's cool being on the events committee to help organize the whole shebang. And hell, I've won the short story contest twice! (Note: independent judges, not friends, read the stories, btw).

But this year, there is just no way, no how, no sir.

With my new job as GM of the WIWF, and two benefits coming up in early May, there's no way I'll have time in April to shop around for ads. No way.
Benefit #1:
Prairie Fire Magazine Spring dinner with David Bergen and Lori Cayer at Fort Gibraltar
Benefit #2:
WIWF Micahel Ondaatje reading at MTYP with big raffle prize

So. There you have it. I'm a heel. Heh-heh.

Funny thing is, that's the core of my little story I'm writing for Wednesday's reading at Aqua Books - all about taking on too much for your little brain to handle. But if you want to hear more of it, you'll have to come to the reading!
Or, wait until Thursday when I post it on my Blog here. But it won't be the same without the voice inflections, hand gestures, and Ariel taunting me from the back row.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Blood, boxes and Cthulhu

Holy!!! It's Friday already!?

Correction. It's almost over. Man, this week went fast. I've spent some lots of time at work packing up boxes for our upcoming (and exciting) reno projects! New paint! Carpets!! New Furniture! Yay!

Not without it's share of headaches, but it'll be all worth it in three weeks when we're settled into our new digs.

Saw the movie "300" last night with Frank. Man. Awesome. If you like Fantasy movies with lots of violence and blood. Yup. I do! It seems the critics are totally torn on this movie: you either love it because it's an art movie, or you hate it because it's an art movie. Weird.
Oh! But it had a new Spider-Man 3 preview!!! Whoo-hoo!!! Venom! Tre-Excellent.

"Prepare for Gory!"

Got to unwind tonight with a little board-gaming action. Love boardgames. And cardgames. And RPG's. Hell, I love games. Played "Arkham Horror" based on H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos books. Very cool. Deadly.

Here's the box cover (click for larger pic)

And here's what some of the board looks like. Very cool. Lots of fiddly bits.

Okay, but now it's the weekend! Yay! A whole weekend of working on writing for my reading at Aqua Book next Wednesday (YIKES!) and studying for my financial course final on Tuesday (YIKS!) and my final financial assignment on Tuesday (YAKS!)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Less Diary More Writery

It's been a few days of no blogging, but that's okay.

I wanted to start getting away from the "Diary" style blog (" then I walked to class, and I found a loonie, and I bought some gum with that loonie, and then I walked some more, and then...") and blog about just the important things that have been happening, and suchwith notforth.

So. Well. Here we are. Less diary. More excitment. Hmmmm.

Okay, well the crux is, nothing toooo exciting happened. Charlene (Director of WIWF) and I managed to put the polish on snazzy looking new sponsor package for (you'd never guess) potential sponsors. I also started in on a new short story. Yay! Plan is to work on that today.

I'm almost finished David Bergen's The Time Inbetween. I figured, you know, if he's going to be our guest at the PrairieFire Magazine Spring Benefit, I better read at least one of his books. Quite good, I must say.

Oh, I ran my pirate-based D&D game on Friday! Yes, I play Dungeons&Dragons. So shoot me. It's sometimes the only way some of my friends and I can get together. And it's creatively fun!
The session was quite hilarious. Brett's character was swallowed by a purple worm. Mwha-ha-ha!! I'm evil. Here's a pic of the miniature. (click the image for a larger, more menacing pic).

For those not in the know, when you play D&D you tend to have a grid mat on the table, where everyone has a miniature representing themselves, and the Dungeon Master (that's me) draws on the mat the map of the dungeon, and places monsters and other encounters as necessary. And then we play out the encounters with dice, and some roleplaying, and a lot of eating of chips and drinking of scotch. Not a bad way to spend a night.

(generic picture of a typical D&D game - not my own)

For more information on Dungeons & Dragons, check out the wiki link:

Okay, back to the reading, writing, and some homework for today. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Children of Coolness

Whew. Two days of financial classes. My poor dumb brain. It's trying to get smart. Silly brain.

Saw the movie "Children of Men" tonight. Wow. Amazing. Nothing like the book (according to Tanya) but still very cool. She really enjoyed it as well. This is a movie critics and movie lovers will study for years to come. Some of the shots and scenes were simply unbelievable. And raw. The action wasn't exciting-fun "Schwarzenegger" action; it was gritty, bite your tongue, dig your nails into your spouse's leg, tense, exciting-shit-scary action. Awe inspiring. And scary. The movie just feels so close to home, like, we're only a few years away from shitting all over the world even worse than we are now. I'd like to think that if (when?) things go to Hell in a handbasket that humans would pull together and help each other. Maybe in some places. But survival of the most desperate is the more likely scenario. Have I lost faith in humanity? Hard to hold onto it when you watch the news sometimes...

I always remember scenes from 28 Days Later, and even the new War of the Worlds, where the human spirit takes a turn for the worst. The scariest scene I've seen in years was in War of the Worlds, when Cruise's character and his kids get stuck on the road, surrounded by the mob. It was scary because there weren't any aliens or heroes around. Just desperate humans.

Crazy man.

Boy. Late night blogging sure is depressing. Heh.

Maybe I'm thinking apocalyptic because I have an audit tomorrow at work. Heh!

Well, let's end on a high note: webswinging high note that is!!
2 months less 2 days till Spider-Man 3!!!!
(click thumbnails for closer coolness)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Weekend come and gone

Saturday was busy with an all day Prairie Fire board of directors seminar. Quite good (if you're into that sort of thing). We had an expert on board governance fly in from Toronto to give us a little Q&A and seminar. Fantastic food - Janine (on of the PF staff) had food ordered from Mondragon, and OMG! Spanakopita, samosa, a multitude of dips for pitas and chips. Yum!!

Tanya's dad and step-mum came in from Snow Lake last night, so we went and met them for drinks and snackies at the Elephant & Castle. Quite nice.

Then today was "HandyMan Day." I had to put a couple of stop-valves on the tub, on account of the taps leaking.
Now you're asking, "But Perry, why didn't you just change the taps?" Easier said than done. We have a quite complicated contraption that dates back to 1926 (the date our house was built), and to replace it would cost several hundred dollars! Which we don't have right now. Soon. So now, we can control the drip with the stop-valves. Quite handy, I must say so myself.
I'll post pictures later.

Thank God for Dylan and Teena's car. We have it for the next week while they're in Scotland (lucky ducks). Going back and forth to Rona for the parts I needed (and then returned when they were the wrong parts, and needed different parts) was VERY handy!
We don't own a car for a variety of reasons, but man, there are times when you just need one.

Like getting tons of groceries (which we did after the minor bathroom reno). Yay! Now we can eat something besides old carrots, dried bread ends, and not-quite-crisp-anymore apples.

Now, it's time to relax and read. This week I've promised myself to delve into my writing; rereading some of my old stories and manuscripts, so I can get to speed on rewriting something (or completely writing something new) for my Aqua Books evening of reading! Yay!

I've also had a couple of board and card game ideas brewing in my head that need clarifying on the computer and then some playtesting...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Arts for Brain = Good

Just returned from MTC's newest production, "Half-Life" starring Eric Peterson, well known for his recent three seasons as bitchy old Brett Butt's dad on Corner Gas.
Not a bad play. Very minimalist. With all the wacky sound effects and dark-outs between the scene changes (i.e. moving chairs around) it reminded me very much of a Fringe Festival play. Not that that's a bad thing. I love Fringe; this must just be MTC's "budget play" of the season (heh!). I kept expecting Eric Peterson to yell out "Jackass!" every now and then.

Yesterday the artsy movie. Today, the artsy play. I'm pooped. My poor brain can't take much more culture.

Been a banner week at the WIWF. Every week I learn a wee bit more, and do a heck of a lot more. It feels great to do something I really want to do. Makes a big difference from dragging my ass to a warehouse to deal with a bitchy supervisor and sling boxes around. Ugh. Don't miss that one bit.

Okay, bed time now. But hey! I've blogged three days in a row. Coolness.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tea Musings

Man, I'm tired.

Well, when you work at the numbers for nearly two full weeks (including the weekend!) with hardly anytime to relax, you do get tired.
Mind you, I could have went to bed earlier last night, so it's not all true. Not a pack of lies, but not complete truth. More like "truthiness." Heh.

But, it's been a good two weeks. Got a Canada Council grant done at work, and Charlene (my director at the WIWF - see earlier blog on that) and I have almost finished up a nifty new sponsorship package. Plus our new fundraiser campaign is humming along, and a bunch of other work related stuff I don't feel like talking about.

But man, I'm fading now. And I still have to go to a movie tonight. My friend Brendon Sawatzky has his new feature film playing tonight for a special showing at the Globe Cinema for the NSI film festival which is on right now. It's called "Who Loves the Sun." For more info check out I promise it's the right link.

And if I want to stay awake to watch it, I need some coffee, or tea. Tea is my beverage of choice (most of the time). And Hazel's Magic Kitchen is the place to buy it.
Hazel's is run by my friend Dennis, and he is literally the "Tea Queen" of Winnipeg. His store has the largest selection of teas (loose and bagged) in the city. No lie.
Of course, try telling that to some of my friends (eh, Ariel?!?).

They're all like "Man, I remember places in Vancouver, where there was like great places for loose tea, in like jars and stuff, where you can smell them and like there's nothing like this here." And I would say "Why, yes there is!" and propose to tell them all about Hazels, and the massive jars of loose tea he has, and how he lets you smell them, and sample them, and all that.

Then, like a week later, they're all like "Man, I remember Korea, where there were vendors with loose tea in jars. No place like that here."
And I would say, "Why, yes there is!" and propose to retell them about Hazels.

Then, like a few days later, they're all like "Man, you just can't find any tea in this city."
And I would say, "Jesus! Aren't you listening?!?!?!" and give them a pamphlet of Hazels which explains all about the tons of teas he has. And then the pamphlet would get lost, and the wonderings about tea places would (and probably still does!) continue.

So, Hazel's Magic Kitchen. Check it out. It's the bomb for tea. Loose and bagged.
And he'll even open the numerous jars for you to sniff.
Really. It ain't no Vancouver or Korea. It's Winnipeg.