Friday, December 30, 2005

Hey, Nostradamus!

I received this book for Christmas (thanks Jen) and flew through it's 240-ish pages...Coupland is my favorite author and this is one of the few of his books I hadn't read. I was suprised by its premise (a Columbine-esque school shooting and the aftermath). The story is told from four perspectives in four different times: Cheryl, at the time of the shooting, Jason, 11 years after the shooting, Heather, trying to help Jason pick up the pieces, and Reg (Jason's dad), when it seems he is left all alone.

If you have seen (meaning tolerated) Gus Van Sant's film Elephant you may draw some parallels, but Coupland's novel tells us about what I think is most interesting about tragedies like Columbine, what happens to people after the fact.

The reader of Hey, Nostradamus gets the displeasure of looking over the shoulder of one of the tragedy's survivors and heroes and seeing how life can never be the same. Plus it has all the shine and polish of Coupland's best fiction.

A great read...

Not all Catholics are bad...

I saw this movie earlier this week after waiting 5 months for its release to DVD. My initial attraction was the Canadian connection (there just aren't too many good movies to come out of Canada...well not since Strange Brew anyway).

Saint Ralph is a great coming of age movie set in 50's era Hamilton, Ontario. It runs the predictable plot arc of a typical underdog sports movie, but it has an unmistakable heart that drives this story. JoAnna is probably the best barometer of how emotional a movie is; she doesn't cry during many movies (can't remember the last one) but something about this movie struck a chord with her (maybe it's the pregnancy talking).

But more than's funny. Adam Butcher (who plays Ralph) nails the role of outcast trying to be rebellious while still being exceptionally naive (a la Max Fischer).

If you haven't seen this movie, it should definitely be on the list of "movies I haven't seen yet."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Christmas come and gone.

Well, our first Christmas in Hawaii has come and gone. It was a little wierd sweating while opening presents (not kidding) and spending Christmas afternoon playing tennis and playing on the playground, but it was still Christmas...

Merry Christmas

Mele Kalikimaka!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Two most innovative albums of the year.

A special note is necessary to talk about two albums which shirk the convention of the music industry as it stands.

MF Doom and DJ Danger Mouse (two of the biggest names in underground hip-hop, DangerMouse is responsible for the grey album, a mash-up of The Beatles "White Album" and Jay-Z's "The Black Album") combine their talents to create Danger Doom and their first album "The Mouse and the Mask."

The biggest thing that makes this album innovative is that it is inspired by Cartoon Network's Adult Swim which is home to the funniest cartoons on TV. The album contains character voices and skits from Adult Swim's most popular original shows, including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021 and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

The second innovative album is from Mark Kozelek (from Red House Painters, he also played the bass player in Almost Famous, a great Cameron Crowe flick). Kozelek's newest project, Sun Kil Moon, attempts an entire album of Modest Mouse covers. I use the word "attempt" because it's not entirely successful. Modest Mouse songs are quirky, off-kilter, and a little rambunctious (thanks spell check), Kozelek's music tends to be subdued, melodic, often sleep-inducing. Maybe it's the inherent opposition that makes this project so compelling to a fan of both...even if it isn't that GOOD.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Top 5 in 2005

In keeping with a tradition established Daniel Szombathy circa 2000(right?)…this blog will be THE place to post your lists.

Top 5 Groundrules:

1. Post only 5 entries in each category. Entries must be numbered 1-5 (one being the best). Take liberties with honorable mentions.

2. Music must have a release date within 2005. Movies must have a theatrical release date within 2005.

3. When listing Books, use 2005 as the “my first read” year, not necessary to have been published in that year.

4. Before posting your lists, you must comment on another’s list.

5. Feel free to make a top 5 in 2005 for anything.

Here are my lists:


  1. Idlewild – Warnings/Promises
  2. My Morning Jacket – Z
  3. Razorlight – Up All Night
  4. The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan
  5. The Mars Volta – Frances the Mute

Honorable Mention: Interpol – Antics, Headphones – S/T, Beck – Guero, Gorillaz – Demon Days, Kanye West – Late Registration, The Evens – S/T.

DisHonorable Mention – Weezer – Make Believe (boooring), Coldplay – X&Y (anyone else hate Chris Martin?), Franz Ferdinand – You could have it so much better…(really bad sophomore slump).


  1. Batman Begins
  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
  3. Kung Fu Hustle
  4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  5. Crash (though it was better when it was entitled “Magnolia”)

Let me just say that this list is sad to look at…these are some good movies…none of them great. This shows how far behind I am at the theatres. Some of the most anticipated movies I have yet to see (for example, Walk the Line)…somebody better have a better list than this…

DisHonorable Mention – Million Dollar Baby (Eastwood just plain bores me), The Pacifier (c’mon!!!), March of the Penguins (280 miles of shuffling), Doom.


  1. You Shall Know Our Velocity – Dave Eggers (far and away the best read of ‘05)
  2. Canadian History for Dummies – Will Ferguson
  3. Souvenir of Canada – Douglas Coupland (got homesick this year)
  4. On the Road – Jack Kerouac (finally finished)
  5. Choke – Chuck Palahniuk (the least frustrating of his books)

Your turn…

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Two triple crown competitors chatting it up before tackling the 8-12' swell.

At the O'Neil World Cup of Surfing today 11/27...I hate these pictures, because the waves look person the waves are scar-y.

White Plains...small surf today.

Maybe this will add some perspective...the surfer on the left rear...

Momma and baby behind the roped off section...Don't disturb the sleeping seal...

Monk Seal at White Plains

Peacefully soaking up some rays

This is who said good morning to me at White Plains today.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Neglected to mention...

Part of the "Military Culture Course" that I am taking as part of my quest for a raise from the State of Hawaii was a trip to the Arizona Memorial. I guess it's sort of a shame that we haven't visited before...but that made this "required" visit all the more interesting.

Our tour was a private and special tour kicked off by a welcome from the Admiral of PACCOM (Pacific Command, pronounced pay-com and not pac-com for some reason) seemed like he was pretty important.

We took a pretty comfortable barge (with two navy officers as tour guides) around Ford Island (the man-made island in the center of Pearl Harbor) and saw the Utah Memorial (which is more impressive than the Arizona, because you can actually see the partially righted ship).

The best story award goes to the sailor that showed us the big dent in the side of the USS Missouri. Apparently a Japanese kamikaze pilot flew along the water directly into the side of the "Mighty Mo" in an attempt to single handedly sink the battleship. The 18" thick steel thwarted his attempt, but the dent remains. The commander of that ship was so impressed by this act of bravery, he ordered his sailors to make a Japanese flag, and held a funeral for this pilot at sea.

We came around to the Arizona Memorial where we could actually get off the barge. The memorial itself is pretty impressive, supported by two cement beams and held above the Arizona, making no contact with it. Inside the memorial, one can look through Hawaii's clear water and see the rusted details of the fallen battleship. A few of the gun turrets protrude through the water. The most captivating thing about the memorial is the oil that leaks from the hull of the ship (they say about five quarts a day), the navy officers called this the "tears of the Arizona."

The wall of memorial is very sobering; it's hard to see over a thousand names that represent individuals that died within minutes of each other. The attack by the Japanese was so quick that most of the sailors did not have time to escape the ship before it was sunk, and as it stands today there are over 900 bodies still entombed aboard the USS Arizona. The few sailors that survived the attack have all agreed to be buried with their shipmates, having their ashes placed aboard the ship by divers.

I'm surprised at how this affected me.

Utah Memorial

Arizona Memorial

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

OP Hawaii

We went to the North Shore to see the swell today...It also happened to be the finals of the first leg of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

We arrived about halfway through the 35 minute final. The conditions were choppy, but huge (the pics don't do justice). I was excited to hear that Mick Fanning was in the finals...he's Australian and the first surfer I read about in a surf mag. He had some huge accident a year or so ago, tore his hamstring during a fall in a surf comp, and has come back this year to do very well.

Below are some pics, some I took, some I found. The next leg is Pipeline (which breaks closer to shore, so my 3x zoom may actually produce some pictures that you can see). Check out the fearless Keiki (kid).

shaking hands

a much better photo found on some website

Huntington Beach, CA native, Brett Simpson.

Australia's Mick Fanning.

Local Hawaiian (Kamaaina) Pancho Sullivan giving a victory speech

Brazil's Raoni Monteiro (3rd place)

Picture of the finalists (L to R)...Pancho Sullivan (top of his head, finished 1st $15,000, Brazil's Raoni Monteiro finished 3rd $6,000, Brett Simpson finished 4th $4,000, and Mick Fanning finished 2nd earning $8,000).

Pancho Sullivan hugging his wife...

At the award ceremony

Terrible pic of Mick Fanning's final wave...he's on the wave in the background (you can really only see the top of his head).

Brazil's Raoni Monteiro on a wave in the finals.


Waves at sunset

Great pic of a guy getting tossed...right of center.

Monday, November 21, 2005

CSI: Caruso

For the first time since maybe season one...I am watching an episode of CSI. I think this happens to be CSI: Miami. I tend to steer clear of television drama, because, honestly, I don't have the attention span for it. Something caught my eye tonight, and I'm glad I've stayed away.

Here's the reason for this entry: Either David Caruso is the most annoying person on the planet, or the writers of CSI: Miami are just trying to make me not want to watch their show..."Dare ya not to watch," they sneer. In the span of two scenes, lasting a combined two minutes, Caruso addressed the person he was talking to by name six times. Example, Caruso: "What do we have, Alex?" (Presumably) Alex: "Two dead bodies, both under 21. I just don't like it." Caruso: "Neither will their parents, Alex."

As I was transcribing this example, Caruso did it two (scratch that) five more times while interrogating a suspect. C: "Nick, take hime away. Later, Chris."

Has anyone else noticed this, or are you too scared to admit you watch...?

My favorite things too...

Ok, I admit. When I saw a commercial for Oprah's "Favorite Things" show, I thought, "I'd like to watch that." I love it when that crazy lady "gives" stuff away.

(Just so everyone knows and doesn't get any delusions of charity, the companies whose products are featured on this show donate the items to Oprah's show as a tax write-off and in return get the best ever free advertising to the demographic with, typically, the most Christmas-present buying power...)

Sidenote: While I worked at Target, I had an extremely well-to-do 65+ year old woman come in the day after the show, wander back to the electronics department, and ask if she NEEDED a pod-thingy, referring, of course, to an IPOD...and, of course, I responded that she definitely needed one. (I wish Target paid comission, or at all, for that matter).

As further testament to my above belief, has the following statement below it's picture of the Sony Vaio...

Having trouble ordering your favorite thing? Due to heavy traffic, some websites may become inaccessible throughout the day. We suggest you try again later!

So everyone is clear, again, this quote is posted below a Notebook Computer with a MSRP of $1599.00. Oh, to have that power for one afternoon! "Well, if it's good enough for Oprah..."

My best tally is that the total amount that these (well-deserving) Katrina support workers walked away with is (approximately) $4900, not including the Neimann Marcus diamond watch where no price was listed...

Another Sidenote: Spell-check has not joined the Oprahsphere, because it suggested I change "Oprah" to "ovary"

$1599 Sony Vaio Notebook.

$299 New Blackberry device plus 3-months Unlimited T-Mobile service.

$299 20GB Video IPOD

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Michigan...will you ever learn?

An 18 year old high school student becomes mayor of Hillsdale, MI. click here and here
And by the quotes you'd never know this kid is like, totally, still in high school.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Even I didn't realize how close we were to Pearl Harbor. But here's the thing...if I want to go to the Arizona Memorial (somewhere around 10 o'clock on the pic), it would take me about 40 minutes drive.

Arial view of my habitat. Or a close approximation...Brandon, this about right? White Plains is the place to surf on the Leeward side.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


That's how we say "November" in New Brunswick.

I just realized a few minutes ago that it was November. It doesn't usually take me 8 days to adjust to a new month...I keep glancing back at the calendar to make sure it doesn't say June; just checked again, and it doesn't.

It's 10:00pm here and I just walked outside to take some trash to the curb. One year ago to the minute (I'm quite sure of this) I walked outside wearing similar clothes to perform the same task. Tonight I strolled to the curb and thought, "What a nice night." I think my thought from last year was, "Where are my freakin' shoes?"

It's probably about 72 degrees right now in Hawaii...ok, according to it's 75. They have Muncie, IN (last place of residence) listed at 64 (not bad Indiana), and 0 degrees Celsius (or 32 degrees Farenheit, for you uncultured types) in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada (my birthplace).

While I was surfing today, someone asked me if I was cold...She must have been kidding, I kinda did one of those double takes, "Are you serious? I'm surfing in Novembrrr," I said.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

New Phone #'s

JoAnna and I both have new cell numbers making our old number obsolete. If you did not receive an email containing the new number, leave a comment and I will make sure you get it.

The other silver guy


The silver guy Hawaii?

Another band shot.

Clear water.



The band shot

Waikiki/Honolulu from Diamond Head

Brandon and Magee on Diamond Head

View of Waikiki from Diamond Head...


View from Diamond Head

In the tube.