I never expected to write a sequel to my previous bear-themed post. Then again, I never expected this.
Today I bought a new bike (since my other one was stolen two months ago ). It’s a good bike that will get me back and forth to school and work so I don’t have to drive all the time! Anyway. That isn’t the story. The story begins when I biked home from the bike shop. I came down my street, but when I got to the block on which I live, there were police cars parked at the corner and neighbours standing on the sidewalk watching something.
A baby black bear had climbed up a tree on the corner! And I have pictures. I also got some video, which I posted on YouTube. It’s long and not that exciting—they just tranquilize the bear and then put him in the MNR bear trap. But it’s mildly odd, considering that we live in a fairly urban part of the city.
Ironic, eh? We get bears near the gallery all the time—in fact, the MNR set up a trap outside the gallery on Sunday—but I never actually saw one. Then today I see one, in a tree, near my house. The universe is indeed quite weird and wonderful.
Working full-time has finally taken its toll on me. On Friday, my co-worker Danielle and I agreed that we’ve finally snapped. It started with bears….
We get the occasional bear wandering around the campus on which the gallery’s located. Somehow we got on the subject of bears, and Danielle suggested that we trap a bear using stale doughnuts from Robin’s Donuts and then train him to work at the front desk. We‘d dress him in a hat, shades, a vest with tassels, and Lycra pants. h34r: Then we’d sic him on people who touched the artwork. If someone touches the artwork, we would press the button to drop the bear, who would proceed to rampage around the gallery. Sure, all of the art would be destroyed, but that person would never touch the art again! (Probably because they’ve been teared limb from limb…).
Oh, and we‘re going to name him Kingsley Shacklebolt.
And if the above hasn’t yet convinced you I’ve snapped, listen to this: on Sunday I sold a man $100 worth of rocks. Yes indeedy. A dude from Toronto, his wife, and his teenage daughter came to see the gallery. Then he selected a $70 rock and a $30 rock from the gift shop. They weren’t plain, ordinary rocks, of course. They had animals painted on the surface—an owl and a wolf, respectively. However, the punchline goes something like this:
Man: (Looking at $8.95 catalogue his wife wants to get) Mmm … I don’t know if we should get something we’ll look at once and then never open again. It’s not even for an exhibit….
Dude, you’re buying $100 worth of rocks and you’re going to begrudge your wife a $8.95 catalogue?! I wanted to slap him in the face with his own irony. Don’t get me wrong; he was a very nice guy. He certainly had different priorities than most, though.
Anyway, soon school starts. I have conquered Google Calendar and fed it a Sunbird-generated iCal file of my classes. Wednesdays look pretty crowded, but I’m liking Tuesday—one class in the morning and then I‘m done! Friday looks nice too, especially because I don’t work Fridays either.
I’ve been quite excited for Stardust ever since I learned about it, and tonight I went to see it. If I had one word to describe it, I‘d simply say beautiful.
I’m no critic. I like a lot of movies, movies that many people might dismiss as a waste of their time for one reason or another. Oh well. However, even most of my favourite movies don’t fall into the category of “beautiful”. Hot Fuzz was a raucous action adventure with a great plot, but it wasn’t “beautiful”. Serenity was an outstanding conclusion to Joss Whedon’s Firefly series, but it wasn’t “beautiful”. What was beautiful? I can name a few: Children of Dune, Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, Stranger Than Fiction. Why? Dunno. Like I said, I‘m not a critic. But I like them.
They changed the story quite a bit from the book, but unlike many movies, this does not detract from it. The core of the story remains, wrapped around the nugget goodness of the central theme. In fact, I enjoyed most of the adjustments better than the book! Particularly the ending, which suited this story of love and magic far more than the book’s ending. Neil Gaiman is a remarkable writer, though. You should pick up Stardust and read it. While you‘re at it, get American Gods, Anansi Boys, and oh, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter. That last one will get you acquainted with crazy Terry Pratchett, if you don’t know him already, which will oblige you to read Discworld.
Yet I digress. Stardust. A tale of romance and adventure with the undercurrents of humour that should be present in such a movie. I love British film, especially humorous bits. There were sword fights, magical duels, and things that were in between. And if you want to see Robert De Niro in a dress, then you picked the right film. (Alternatively, if you don’t want to see Robert De Niro in a dress, don’t worry. Go see it anyway; he isn’t in a dress for long.) The special effects are adequate, a bit bright, but not presumptuous. I didn’t like Claire Danes‘ acting at first, but she grew on me, and I like how she portrayed the star by the end. Her little monologue to Tristran when he was a mouse was the most beautiful piece in the entire movie.
I can’t wait until this comes out on DVD. And I want that song at the beginning of the credits (“Rule the World” by Take That).
Hot Fuzz came out on DVD Tuesday. I didn’t see it in theatres, but I enjoyed Shaun of the Dead a lot, so I bought it. Like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz parodies a genre of movies—in this case, cop-themed action movies. It is nonstop hilarious in the way that it’s virtually impossible to discuss specific parts of the movie—it’s all funny. Yet the humour isn’t cheap. There is a compelling plot buried beneath the parody too. Overall, I‘d readily rank it one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.
Last night Laura came online and started bragging about this awesome purchase she made at Zellers. When she revealed it was the complete Dilbert television series, I nearly went ballistic. Dilbert!! I used to watch it all the time when Teletoon aired it, but then they stopped, and that was sad. So I went to Zellers today and snagged a copy—$20 for the entire series. Can’t go wrong at that price.
Last night at work I got an odd phone call. There was an old lady who said she was calling from Vancouver. Apparently she had worked here in Thunder Bay as a kindergarten teacher between 1940 and 1975. She made sketches of the children’s heads. And now she was calling here to talk about “art”. It was at this point that I made a “help me” gesture to Danielle. I kept on trying to steer the conversation to see if she had a particular reason, but nope, that was it. I think she was just lonely—at one point she said, “Well, I‘m over 90 now, and I don’t know how much longer I have left … I just want to make a connection.” Nice lady, I‘m sure. I hope that if I live to be 90 I can be that eccentric. But it was the strangest phone call I’ve ever gotten to date (and we get some weird calls.)