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idram_ [userpic]

Congrats to me!

November 29th, 2008 (06:13 pm)

By God I took on the challenge of writing a novel (or 50K words) this month, and I did it. Go me! Just goes to show if you plow ahead and totally ignore your inner editor, and give your characters long complicated names,and go into slavish detail about the littlest things, you too can finish a book in this short space of time. It also helps to brown bag it at work and type like a fiend through your lunch hours, and have a teeny tiny little laptop notebook propped on your lap as you lounge on the couch multitasking with The Housewives of New York City and this masterpiece you are creating. And there you have it. They send you a certicate, and you have the satisfaction of having written some kind of a novel. Not bad for less than a months work,eh?

idram_ [userpic]


August 19th, 2008 (09:25 pm)

In a sweet bit of irony, I found myself reading Stephen King's 'The Stand' at the around the same time Roger Federer was battling for his Wimbledon title. The folks in the story, survivors of the 'virus' had to make their stand against a great evil plotting to overthrow them. It was all on the line...just like Roger's title defence. They couldn't give ground or they'd be doomed. They made it. But Roger didn't. He lost that final by the barest of margins and plummeted into a freefall he seemed helpless to get out of. He lost 1st round in Montreal, 2nd round in Cinncinati and then finally, cruelly, he lost in the quarters at the Olympics, a tournament he compared to Wimbledon, and one where he wanted to do so well for his country. It was his 3rd Olympics, his 2nd time carrying the flag for his country, and he was still unable to get on the podium. Out of singles play, and with no medal and no grandslam titles, Roger Federer was assured to lose his number one ranking the following Monday, August 18th. Over 4 years--237 weeks at number one---over.

And that should have been that.

But Roger still found himself alive in doubles. He and his partner Stan, weren't seeded highly, had hardly played together before but they seemed to gel and play better and better each round. Somehow, they kept on winning. They went up against the Bryan Brothers, the number one team in the world, and won. Then they played the Swedes in the final...and won. Somehow,improbably, Roger Federer had turned the worst year of his career since becoming number 1, into something special. He came out of the Olympics with something he always cherished, a gold medal for his country. It wasn't the way anyone could have foreseen it playing out. It was absurd. It was beautiful. But Roger finally had... redemption.

idram_ [userpic]

End Game

January 28th, 2008 (09:56 pm)

An interesting fact emerged about Heath after his death. He was a bit of a chess player. Was the West-Australian junior champion in fact, and in the last few years would wander around Washington Square, New York, and pick up games from the local colour. Five dollars a pop and running trash commentary....Heath would win some and lose a few more. He'd read a book awhile back called, 'The Queen's Gambit' by Walter Tevis, and been so inspired he was preparing to direct a film based on the story. And while he was at it, pursue his dream of becoming a Grand Master. Why not? Heath had that fearlessness that allowed him to leave home at 16 and cross the ocean with the philosophical notion if things didn't work out he could always pack it up. His dad said he could see everything 4 or 5 moves ahead of everyone else. Hollywood better watch out.

On January 21st, 2008 Heath Ledger went to sleep in the 4th story loft he rented in Soho , New York . Sometime during the early morning hours, something shifted.

He didn't see the end game.

(Bobby Fischer, the legendary and controversial American chess player died Jan 17, 2008, 5 days before Heath Ledger. He was 64 . As noted by retired business man and teacher Thaddeus Collins , "How many spaces are there on a chess board?. Sixty-four. He died in the place he became famous" )

idram_ [userpic]

Knockin on Heaven's Door

January 22nd, 2008 (06:44 pm)

Bob Dylan -

Mama, take this badge off of me
I can't use it anymore.
It's gettin' dark, too dark for me to see
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door.

Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door

Rest in Peace, Heath.....

idram_ [userpic]

Personal Space Invaders

December 9th, 2007 (11:35 pm)

So I was reading this post on personal space invaders. This guy had another guy come up to him, compliment his tie, then go to touch his tie and voila, line is crossed. People had lots of opinions on this, including this one:

"Yea, gay dudes and white people never seem to have any real respect for personal space; so they’ll invade it like a motherfucker and then wonder why they get stole on or cussed out.

I will say though white people don’t really know, whereas I find that some gay people just like making folks antsy for shits and giggles. And gay folks are always trying to bring out the “dormant homosexual” in everyone–kinda like Dr. Kinsey who had the theory that everyone is gay it’s just like on a scale of 1-10 (most people are above 5, going towards homo)—OOO dropped that knowledge on you! LOL (you should check out Kinsey the movie though, good stuff)."

I dunno. This cracked me up. So Lyn, would this be true of Andy??? :)~

Gayness and whiteness aside, people DO invade people's space. Especially at work...and at company functions where you're somehow the last to leave>:( And so, next time so and so comes around blah blah blahing, I'm going to point out the 6 foot space rule and gesture em away.

idram_ [userpic]

Long Days Journey into Night

December 19th, 2006 (09:06 pm)

Okay. It's been awhile since I updated. But , hey, maybe I'm just a blank white board some of the time. That's not an unpleasant thing to be. It's just blank and white. Anyway, I have been contemplating some things. Like my mom's assertion that one of her boot heels is higher than the other. I didn't think that could be. Afterall, these boot factories have standards and quality control and slave labour, and surely they wouldn't let boots of differing heights out of their squalid working conditions and float on a barge over to Canada!! So, a few evenings ago, I swiped her boots and measured the heels. Perfect match, as I suspected. And so, mom will have to attribute her toppling over to other causes.... I was also recently watching Larry King, and who would have thought the combo of Angelina Jolie, Robert DeNiro and Matt Damon on a talk show would be the most boring thing in the Universe??? It's Matty boy. It's Bobby-you talkin to me-Deniro. It's freaking Angelina-adopt the brown babies-Jolie!!! And it's excruciatinggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg. I guess that's why the press pay so much for 'still' pictures. Just look at em folks. Don't expect sparks to fly outta their mouths.

And that is all.

idram_ [userpic]

On Cloud Nine

September 13th, 2006 (07:23 pm)

And there we have it. Grandslam number 9, and Federer stands alone at 6th on the all-time grandslam list. Not bad for a guy just turned 25. And the sneaking suspicion is, he really could be the greatest of all time. Of course the irony is I still can't watch him play live. I get too darn nervous. So while all this greatness is unfolding before our eyes, it's usually unfolding before mine via 2hr tape delay;) Anyway, love ya man. And congratulations....

idram_ [userpic]

Birthday Wishes

August 8th, 2006 (08:35 pm)

08/08/06 means only one thing. Roger's birthday of course. And a nicely wrapped present in a win over Matthieu . Of course, just because I live in Canada doesn't mean I can watch the Number One player in the world actually play live at a Canadian event. No sir ree, gotta put the Blue Jays on during that time slot, so I'm nursing a cranwater til the taped coverage begins. I'm also pondering what will happen when Rog turns 27. 08/08/08. Looks kinda mystical. Too bad it couldn't fall on the day of the French Open final.

P.S I think the Body Shop should be banned from selling certain lines of lotions. I understand they don't test on bunnies and are saving the rain forests etc, but encouraging people to arrive at work smelling like a grapefruit isn't helpful either.

idram_ [userpic]

Barbarians at the Gate

May 2nd, 2006 (08:56 pm)

Since I promised my friend I’d write something this weekend, I thought I’d do one of my rare and wondrous updates of this blog. So what’s on my mind? The ebb and flow of fame and fortune. Case in point: Roger Federer and Raphael Nadal. Roger, for those who don’t follow tennis, is the number one player in the world, and is presented in the press as the cordial, polite Swiss who is calm, cool and collected on and off the court. After losing to his closest rival Raphael Nadal in Monte Carlo for the 3rd straight time, he made the remark that he thought he was getting closer to beating Rafa on clay, and that he didn’t think Nadal was better than him on the surface. He also unveiled his thoughts prior to the match pointing out that Nadal’s game was one dimensional. He consequently got his butt kicked in the final- albeit an extended butt kicking that lasted over 4 hours in which Roger was 2 points from forcing a 5th set . The interesting thing wasn’t that Roger lost to the Vamos machine but the fallout afterward. Suddenly Roger was being described as being ungracious, delusional, and having a serious mental block. One columnist, poison pen at the ready, declared Nadal the best player in the world –oddly ignoring the almost 3000 point difference between Roger’s and Raphael’s ranking –and taking potshots at Roger’s physical appearance. Hairy? Toothless grin? I don't think so. On some of the more unmoderated boards..ESPN .. tennis fans with their own axe to grind, gleefully pointed out that all of Federer’s previous niceness was a big facade and that he’s really an arrogant pr*ck. Nadal, on the other hand, is humble and sweet and represents good against the evil overlord . Indeed, Raffy never talks up his chances–almost going absurdly the other way proclaiming himself the underdog–but brutally bashes the opposition with vamo’s and scissor kicks until all that’s left is their carcass to be dragged off with a yipee ki ay motherf*cker. He’s also not above gamesmanship when not clenching those oversized biceps.. This was evidenced in the final when as soon as Fed went up a break or started to turn the momentum his way, Rafa would stop the match to wrap his finger–one can imagine which one- fatally disrupting Roger's rhythm. He also benefited from some nifty coaching from his uncle Tony on the sidelines . While Fed does it the old fashioned way, figuring it out himself on the court, Nadal looks to his over-exuberant relative to get tips when things need a little shove in the right direction. But such is life. Beauty and the Beast.. Next meeting, Rome. On clay. Of course.

idram_ [userpic]

Blood on the red carpet

March 10th, 2006 (09:40 pm)

Blood on the red carpet

Annie Proulx on how her Brokeback Oscar hopes were dashed by Crash

Saturday March 11, 2006
The Guardian

Ain't no Mountain high enough ... Ang Lee with his Oscar for best director.

On the sidewalk stood hordes of the righteous, some leaning forward like wind-bent grasses, the better to deliver their imprecations against gays and fags to the open windows of the limos - the windows open by order of the security people - creeping toward the Kodak Theater for the 78th Academy Awards. Others held up sturdy, professionally crafted signs expressing the same hatred.
The red carpet in front of the theatre was larger than the Red Sea. Inside, we climbed grand staircases designed for showing off dresses. The circular levels filled with men in black, the women mostly in pale, frothy gowns. Sequins, diamonds, glass beads, trade beads sparkled like the interior of a salt mine. More exquisite dresses appeared every moment, some made from six yards of taffeta, and many with sweeping trains that demanded vigilance from strolling attendees lest they step on a mermaid's tail. There was one man in a kilt - there is always one at award ceremonies - perhaps a professional roving Scot hired to give colour to the otherwise monotone showing of clustered males. Larry McMurtry defied the dress code by wearing his usual jeans and cowboy boots.

The people connected with Brokeback Mountain, including me, hoped that, having been nominated for eight Academy awards, it would get Best Picture as it had at the funny, lively Independent Spirit awards the day before. (If you are looking for smart judging based on merit, skip the Academy Awards next year and pay attention to the Independent Spirit choices.) We should have known conservative heffalump academy voters would have rather different ideas of what was stirring contemporary culture. Roughly 6,000 film industry voters, most in the Los Angeles area, many living cloistered lives behind wrought-iron gates or in deluxe rest-homes, out of touch not only with the shifting larger culture and the yeasty ferment that is America these days, but also out of touch with their own segregated city, decide which films are good. And rumour has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of Trash - excuse me - Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline. Next year we can look to the awards for controversial themes on the punishment of adulterers with a branding iron in the shape of the letter A, runaway slaves, and the debate over free silver.
After a good deal of standing around admiring dresses and sucking up champagne, people obeyed the stentorian countdown commands to get in their seats as "the show" was about to begin. There were orders to clap and the audience obediently clapped. From the first there was an atmosphere of insufferable self-importance emanating from "the show" which, as the audience was reminded several times, was televised and being watched by billions of people all over the world. Those lucky watchers could get up any time they wished and do something worthwhile, like go to the bathroom. As in everything related to public extravaganzas, a certain soda pop figured prominently. There were montages, artfully meshed clips of films of yesteryear, live acts by Famous Talent, smart-ass jokes by Jon Stewart who was witty and quick, too witty, too quick, too eastern perhaps for the somewhat dim LA crowd. Both beautiful and household-name movie stars announced various prizes. None of the acting awards came Brokeback's way, you betcha. The prize, as expected, went to Philip Seymour Hoff-man for his brilliant portrayal of Capote, but in the months preceding the awards thing, there has been little discussion of acting styles and various approaches to character development by this year's nominees. Hollywood loves mimicry, the conversion of a film actor into the spittin' image of a once-living celeb. But which takes more skill, acting a person who strolled the boulevard a few decades ago and who left behind tapes, film, photographs, voice recordings and friends with strong memories, or the construction of characters from imagination and a few cold words on the page? I don't know. The subject never comes up. Cheers to David Strathairn, Joaquin Phoenix and Hoffman, but what about actors who start in the dark?

Everyone thanked their dear old mums, scout troop leaders, kids and consorts. More commercials, more quick wit, more clapping, beads of sweat, Stewart maybe wondering what evil star had lighted his way to this labour. Despite the technical expertise and flawlessly sleek set evocative of 1930s musicals, despite Dolly Parton whooping it up and Itzhak Perlman blending all the theme music into a single performance (he represented "culchah"), there was a kind of provincial flavour to the proceedings reminiscent of a small-town talent-show night. Clapping wildly for bad stuff enhances this. There came an atrocious act from Hustle and Flow, Three 6 Mafia's violent rendition of "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp", a favourite with the audience who knew what it knew and liked. This was a big winner, a bushel of the magic gold-coated gelded godlings going to the rap group.

The hours sped by on wings of boiler plate. Brokeback's first award was to Argentinean Gustavo Santaolalla for the film's plangent and evocative score. Later came the expected award for screenplay adaptation to Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, and only a short time later the director's award to Ang Lee. And that was it, three awards, putting it on equal footing with King Kong. When Jack Nicholson said best picture went to Crash, there was a gasp of shock, and then applause from many - the choice was a hit with the home team since the film is set in Los Angeles. It was a safe pick of "controversial film" for the heffalumps.

After three-and-a-half hours of butt-numbing sitting we stumbled away, down the magnificent staircases, and across the red carpet. In the distance men were shouting out limousine numbers, "406 . . . 27 . . . 921 . . . 62" and it seemed someone should yell "Bingo!" It was now dark, or as dark as it gets in the City of Angels. As we waited for our number to be called we could see the enormous lighted marquee across the street announcing that the "2006 Academy Award for Best Picture had gone to Crash". The red carpet now had taken on a different hue, a purple tinge.

The source of the colour was not far away. Down the street, spreading its baleful light everywhere, hung a gigantic, vertical, electric-blue neon sign spelling out S C I E N T O L O G Y.

"Seven oh six," bawled the limo announcer's voice. Bingo.

For those who call this little piece a Sour Grapes Rant, play it as it lays.

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