Twitter’s pretty cool

Twitter's Fail Whale which you see when Twitter is over capacity

You know, Twitter’s pretty cool. At first I wasn’t sure what to think about it but now that I’ve been on it for close to half a year, I can safely say that it’s a powerful medium worth reckoning with.

Follow the Follower
On Twitter, instead of adding people as friends like you would on Facebook you follow them: be they celebrities, real life friends, quoters, or business contacts. Within the range of 140 characters, you can pretty much put whatever you want as long as it’s not spam (Twitter’s got a devoted group of workers that disable accounts for spamming people) and most people post whatever they’re doing as a means of keeping in touch with everyone. So you might tune into your buddy’s Twitter and see that he’s out fishing at the lake or that his boss just gave him some extra work and he has a bad case of the Oh Noes.

I like the fact that you follow people on Twitter, it’s like what they say about the law of association: you are who you associate with. For instance I can learn about an acquaintance I just met by who he follows. Is he into self help and follow Steve Pavlina or does she really dig fashion and celebrity gossip? It’s not really important but it is definitely interesting. In this age where we are more and more technologically in tune with one another it’s cool to use this social media to express oneself.

Aside from the basic technological advantages and social media arguments, I like to plug into the thought leaders of our time. Twitter’s kind of like television in that you can stay current as long as you’re connected to the medium. I get some inspiration from following, say Rev Run from Run DMC or from getting the latest story on Lauryn Hill from J Smooth. Whatever it is, it seems that it is possible to change the world each tweet at a time.

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Happy Birthday Anthony Bourdain!

Anthony Bourdain in his show, "No Reservations"

Wow, the star of one of the best…okay, the best travel shows ever created (sorry Rick Steeves) has turned another year older. What’s to say about Anthony Bourdain? For those that don’t know he is the author of a generations-appreciated book about life in the restaurant kitchen, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. He is the movement of what is real in food: “peasant” dishes which your grandmother would throw together on a Wednesday night, finding the best street food that is universally appreciated yet locally unmatched in quality and authenticity, utilization of an animal’s entire body from snout to tail, an incredibly religious fascination with the one magical being, pig.

I have only seen an approximation of one season of No Reservations and already, I feel like I’ve seen it all: I’ve seen roasted pig lechon with a visually-rectifying skin so succulent I drooled on my sweatpants; I have seen a lamb shaven, gutted, and roasted over an open flame with men dancing; I have seen bacon done so many ways I never even dreamed possible. Wait, that was the Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate. Same idea.

Here in Canada, we always seem to get the quality programs a little late. The Hills, American Idol, the Bachelor, and all the other reality TV shows are always making noise on the airwaves on primetime but once in a while, an intelligent, delicious show that gets it right quietly flies in under the radar.

Anthony Bourdain has a knack for getting the best hook-ups wherever he goes, finding the local chefs that are doing it right, doing it local, and sometimes when I’m lucky, doing it bacon. Bourdain’s experience as a chef appreciates equally the hardship of creating a sashimi’d tuna belly with a delicate vinegar sauce as well as the ease and joy of eating homecooked – home butchered – pork in Romania. Bourdain so easily communicates the universal language that is food.

Whether he is snarking about his producer’s wacky ideas of getting “a nice shot walking past the pier” in France, or if he is making sweet nasty love to a a pig’s internal organs (okay, only a fantasy of mine): Happy Birthday, Anthony Bourdain.

Anthony Bourdain in his birthday suit

I hate fake Chinese accents


Racist Picture of a Chinese Man

I hate hearing fake Chinese accents. They’re not funny and they’re racist. What’s worse is Russell Peters made a routine using a Chinese accent which was circulated across North America thanks to the viral nature of Youtube and the internet. Now when I hear someone put on a fake Chinese accent – whether they are Chinese or not – I can’t tell if they are referencing Russell Peters or if they are participating in a mockery of my cultural and racial heritage (which they are). To be fair, when I first saw the routine, I’d enjoyed it a lot as I thought it held Chinese and Indian people (both particularly racialized where I’m from, Vancouver) in a constructive, funny manner. But that was in high school and really, I hate the racist humour. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I will be the first to shoot the shit with someone and can appreciate some banter with a close friend about our racial differences but that is a far cry from poking “fun” and reinforcing a negative stereotype.

Fake Chinese accents are not intelligent humour. They’re the opposite: they’re shallow generalizations that reinforce and regurgitate racist values with little or no articulation at all. Intelligent humour changes people. It changes the way we look at the world and how we act in our life after it. Give me Margaret Cho, Richard Pryor, or George Carlin.

I hate that Chinese people get boxed into a certain mode of speech. I hate that anybody gets made fun of by the way they talk whether it’s an accent, speech impediment, or otherwise. People are so quick to other and judge. I don’t know about you but when I hear someone speak with an accent, I know that they can speak another language as well as I can speak English. They are articulate. I’ll laugh if they say something funny, but I will make it known that it’s because of how it reflects on the individual person, not because they are Arabic or Nepalese or deaf or whatever. I know that person has once experienced pain, fear, confusion and isolation based on the fact that they speak differently alone. And that is terrible because it never needs to happen but it does.

Don’t talk in a Chinese accent around me unless that’s just how you talk.

Goldeneye 007 – For Wii

Goldeneye 007. This game deserves its own post, its own novel, its own movie, its own smelly rubber wristbands. This game is so damn good that I feel filthy just watching this trailer. Now it’s on Wii.

Remember those days of N64, with a room full of cousins on a holiday or a birthday sweating away the muggy bedroom because there’s like eight of us in there? No? Well I certainly do. Those were the beloved, nostalgic days of getting into fights over which cousin got to be which character and what sort of level to play in multiplayer. Hell, we got into fights just over which controller who got to use. But they were all worth it. This game is responsible for many frustrated days-turn-nights of summers long since gone where my brother and I would try to beat levels in ridiculous times just to unlock some sort of cheat that we would never even use. It was for the novelty of it. Like touching another for the first time, there was some sort of fascination – some sort of budding curiosity – to just glimpse at what was next. If even to drop it cold like a defaced ant farm littered with many unlucky garden insects due to our limited attention spans. Yes, I meant “filthy.”

But I digress. This game has been THE game that we always talk about. Whether our conversation is as serious as who the Vancouver Canucks should have drafted or how bad the Grizzlies suck, my brother and cousins and friends and anybody else who just so happened to experience the fortunate childhood pinnacle as Goldeneye can always – always – cut the conversation with a reference to this timeless game.

You have to admit, whether you fantasized about a slender, blonde Link picking you up and galloping away on his trusty steed Epona, or if you had spent many hours breaking backs in a wrestling game, you too had an instant gratified joy of shooting scientists in the bum to see them grab their ass. Even if it was Dr. Doak who necessary for your mission. It didn’t matter, not the first, second or thousandth time.

There was the gameplay, the multiplayer, the paintball mode. The grenade launcher, the throwing knives, the unarmed slap. Proximity mines, remote mines, and a fucking tank. A watch laser, a moonraker, a …well you get the point. This game had it all. If none of the previously listed things even elicits a slight increase in perspiration or elevated heart rate, you do not deserve to share my oxygen. This game is one of the few Greats (capital “G”) to absolutely guarantee playership amongst complete strangers. I bet you could pick up any random soul floating amidst ship-wrecked islands in the Bermuda Triangle and he would know what a Klobb is.

So here is the blog post saluting, giving thanks, and perhaps paying but the smallest tribute to the greatest game ever created, ever played, and ever re-made. Thank-you, Rare. You live in my heart.

How To Keep Someone With You Forever: The Down & Dirty

A Bad Relationship

Drop everything and read this: How To Keep Someone With You Forever.

This <a href=”http://issendai.livejournal.com/572510.html”>article</a&gt; is a basic summary of techniques to keep someone completely loyal to you forever, the bad way. Having just left a bad relationship (with a cheerleading team) I can recognize some of the techniques. It’s definitely worth taking 10 minutes of the day to read because who knows, maybe it’ll be your rope to freedom.

Report back after you’ve read this or I’ll hold out on giving you your pill. You’ll know what I mean.

a day in the life

I finally bought myself a basketball. I mean, it’s been like 2 years. This is hard to believe for me considering that I used to go to school at 6:30am four to five days a week in high school to just work on my game with a couple buddies.

It’s a Spalding (is there any other kind?). Soft, composite leather grip – smooth and firm. Bought it for $15 but it plays like a $35 ball…maybe because I bought it at Wal-Mart in the States and here in Canada everything is overpriced.

First shot, went right in without touching the rim but it wasn’t quite a swish. My hoop’s been neglected for several seasons and so it shrunk into half it’s size at the bottom. Several torrential autumn rains and eight inch snowfalls will do that. The knife Uncle Lou sharpened for me fixed that. Swishes like new.

Then Grandma came outside. She came out first to tell me not to wreck the flowers. (I didn’t). Then she asked for the ball and shot a three pointer. Best shot I’ve seen in my life. Grandma’s got to be about four feet tall now and if she curled up she’d be the same size as the ball. Amazing she pumped out four kids.

Just for her, I showed her my backflip. She never saw me do a cheer competition but man, she knows how to smile.