Monsters on the road

9 04 2010

Yes. This is the first post of 2010.  We won’t get into how bad I have been at updating this blog, or make false promises that I can’t commit to. As a reader, just enjoy the new entries when they come. Cool? Good.

I have been doing a LOT of driving as of late. Highway driving at that. Every day I drive on the highway 30 minutes to work… and then other 30 minutes back on my way home. And the majority of the vehicles I see are transport trucks.

That’s cool. I don’t mind ’em. But the drive home last weekend has put this image in my head that I just can’t shake.

Road Trippin’

I’ll set the scene (Sophia Petrillo style)

Picture this. Easter weekend 2010. I’m leaving work early in the afternoon to make the eight-hour drive from Corner Brook to St. John’s. I have the car all packed up: dirty laundry to take home to Mom’s, a half-eaten bag of Lays sour cream and onion, almost full container of strawberries, cd’s galore and the ever-important audio book (Superfreakonomics!!)

Driving all that time, your head starts to wander. You look at all the scenery. Look at all the cars you eventually pass. And I passes a lot of cars, luh.

Seeing as just about ever good in the province has to be shipped in, the highways are mostly tractor trailers. Heavy rigs. Slow rigs. Inevitably, they’re in my way. But after several hours of zipping past one truck after another, my imagination took off.

Sometimes, I would think that when I was passing the truck, something insane would happen and the truck would go out of control and I would go into a ditch. And then there would be times when I would have to drive in between two trucks: one I was passing, the other in the oncoming lane. THAT was some seriously scary shit.

Passing Personified

But that’s all normal paranoia. I am sure everyone thinks that when they pass vehicles on the highway. Keeps you awake. Keeps you alert. Keeps you a good driver.

But somewhere along the way my imagination went on steroids.

I passed this one truck. Then,  I looked behind in my rear view mirror. All I saw staring back at me was an evil face.

Tractor Trailers as Killing Machines

Jaws: The Highway Chronicles

All I could picture was that the truck, uber pissed at me for passing it. He felt violated. Angry. He snapped, came to life and started chasing me. And then took a bite at me.

I never watched Transformers much as a kid, but I think I must have watched enough. Now, every single time I pass a tractor trailer on the highway all I can see are Decepticons. And they are all out to get me.

Is it just me, or do these vehicles have faces? Scary faces.

It’s not just tractor trailer that have been personified in my head. Obviously, the VW Beetle is a happy-go-lucky dude. But have you met it’s cousin, the Mazda 3?

Ok. I will go take my medication now.

They look so.. happy!


Part II of de road trip

2 12 2009
The Innocent Man

This book enraged me so much. What the hell is wrong with the justice system? If your answer is nothing, read, or listen, to this book.

Ok. So the drive back into St. John’s, music was not gonna cut it. I was given a book on cd (or 5 cds at it turned out). It was John’s Grisham’s The Innocent Man. I remembering hearing about the book, being John Grisham’s first attempt at non-fiction.

I have to admit, I thought the whole idea of books on cd were kinda weird. It was the lazy person’s way to reading. But I am kinda lazy sometimes, and often wished text booked came in audio editions. My first audio book was Stephen Colbert classic I Am America (And So Are You). I mainly got it cause I thought it would be more fun if Stephen read the book to me. I still am only on chapter 5… sorry, Stephen.

But The Innocent Man tells the tale of the wrongful murder conviction of two men in Ada, Oakland. It took over 20 years to become free men, all due to what seemed to be vindictive, stubborn police and district attorney’s office.

If you want a book to add to your must-read, or even must-listen to list, I recommend.

Also a good thing to have on hand if you have to drive 7 hours in a car solo 🙂

Waiting for an album of my own

2 12 2009

Last weekend saw me driving across this lovely province of mine (Newfoundland and Labrador) for a little bit o’ journalist duties. It was the first time I ever had done the drive, a drive consisting of a mere 700kms or so. Of utmost importance, I had to make sure I kept myself alert, awake and not bored.

Best solution : music!

I was packing clothes and living essentials up until the last minute before leaving (no surprise!) but the music list was thought about and worked on for many days in advance. It was important that I dig out some good driving classics, as well as to reacquaint myself with the cd’s in my collection that have sadly been neglected with the use of mp3s.

Here is the list I complied:

Jack Johnson – In Between Dreams
Panic at the Disco – Pretty Odd
Basia Bulat – Oh My Darling
Brian Borcherdt – Coyotes
Metallica – Master of Puppets
Julie Fader – Outside In
Modest Mouse – Good News for People Who Like Bad News
Old Time Relijun – Catharsis in Crisis

Ok. So it was a pretty mellow drive, except for the Metallica (a MUST). The hours were full of sing-a-longs and behind-the-wheel dancing, but it did accomplish the goal of making me fall in love with the music all over again.

And the biggest rekindling of love was from Ms. Bulat. I don’t even remember how I fell in love with this album, all I know is that the album makes me sing at the top of my lungs and smile from cheek to cheek. I remember when Basia played in St. John’s a few years back, I was one of the only people who knew who the hell she was and made sure she saw me sing every song word for word.

Now, I am patiently awaiting this January when once again my life with be filled with London, Ontario’s Polish Princess and her angelic voice. Want a taste?

Her new album is already out in Europe, yet another reason my Europe is better than North America, so if someone out there would like to send a copy to Canada, I wouldn’t mind….

Great ad or the greatest ad?

9 09 2009

I know all things that were old eventually become new again, but does that also include obscure 80’s metal bands? It appears so. In this new ad, the marketing geniuses of the world have decided to let the mediocritly  popular Dokken take a much needed rest from touring the world over for the hundreds of fans who STILL have yet to have their dirt-taches and cut their hair, to make this master piece.

Chickens beware. But does this mean that you cannot have the complete discography of Dokken on your hard drive whilst owning the new Norton?

The Internet is on every day!

3 09 2009

Ok. I am so ashamed my last post was over two months ago. I promised myself when I started this that I would keep it update, fun and interested for the Internet-masses. I apologize to you all. Let’s hope we can all move on from this terrible experience.

But to my defense, it has been one busy summer. I am officially a freelancer, for reals. I will keep you all posted on the publication I am writing for. It’s sorta a secret right now, but I hope the suspense will keep you all even that much more interested.

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about bears. I know, the number one threat to America is always a good source of conversation. I have seen a lot of them this summer. I saw a stuffed polar bear at the museum in July and just last week I witness four, up-close and personal – in a zoo. I wanted them to stand up on their hind legs and roar for me, so I could capture with digital photographyland magic how furious they really are. I even remember a friend of mine mention how he cooked a bear roast this summer.

But I was watching watching TVlast night, and my real life attitude towards bears softened a bit. On ABC’s Primetime, they featured a Charlie Vandergaw. He has a cabin in Alaska where he treats the bears around his cabin like family. It was a sweet story and sad at the end. I even learned a little bit of trivia – it’s  crime to feed bears in Alaska.

Anyway, have a look for yourself and shed a tear for poor ol’ Charlie.

Grizzly Bear at the Calgary Zoo, not wearing a hat or riding a bicycle.

Grizzly Bear at the Calgary Zoo, not wearing a hat or riding a bicycle.

Fiesta means party in Spanish

26 06 2009

Ok, so not that I have given you your Spanish lesson for the day, how about we talk about the latest thing that is irking me these days.

So the American car companies aren’t doing so hot these days, with their billion dollar bailouts coming with the clause that they actually have to change their ways. Well it seems like they are all trying to convince us that everything is fine and dandy and that maybe I should buy a car from them.

The new ads that have been flooding my TV-watching every commercial break are really starting to irritate me. Chev’s new one suggests they are building a bigger, better and badder world for us all. It feels like three hours long and not once am I impressed with what they are doing. Do they really need to spend millions of dollars on an ad campaign to console us all like we are children?

But the one that cracks me up the most is Ford. this time around they are the cool guys, building the latest, greatest and coolest cars, the best of all being the new Ford Fiesta.

Sure the ad is flashy, makes me want to get up and dance, but really the image they are trying to sell makes we want to stay as faraway from Fiesta as possible. Maybe cause the image of a clown car is stuck in my head.

This is a note to all car companies trying to rebuild their image. You can try and create what might just be the high performance, good gas mileage and the most aesthetically pleasing vehicles you want, but if it still has the tainted image of a joke car from years gone by, no one is gonna buy. Ok, well just not me.
And another thing to note, the new Taurus is marketed a oh-so-fucking-cool cause the dash is all digital. This just reminds me of the time my sister and her fiance had borrowed a friends new Ford F-150 an truck wouldn’t start because they locked the doors automatically and used the key to open them. Apparently, if you did not use the automatic locks to open the doors too, the vehicle would lock up. Good ol’ Ford technology.

And that was my latest pet peeve.

The ceremonies ovah, back to reality

22 05 2009

Last week I was all nostalgic, waiting to head back to Halifax for one last hurrah with my fellow graduates. Well, all I can say is that is did not live up to all my expectations. Trying to party with half the vital players missing, too depressing. And I was travelling with my parents. Oh boy!

It was the first family roadtrip I had made with my parents out of province. I decided it was a good idea that we stay in Dartmouth rather than Hali, mainly because that plan would mean they would get a car. It was the same price as getting a hotel in Hali with no car.

Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. Life might have been easier with no car, cause Dad driving around Halifax was an accident waiting to happen. Just as we were leaving the airport, we were in the wrong lane and cut off the poor couple behind us. It took us about an hour to find a decent place to eat when we finally got in town. And then there was Barrington St.  and Spring Garden Rd. Not exactly the best place to start ones Halifax driving experience.

Then grad felt like entertaining the folks. It was more of making sure they weren’t bored rather than partying hard with all my friends. In fact, I didn’t get drunk once. Seriously.

So my family vacation was somewhat of a stressful adventure. But we learned a valuable lesson: to never to THAT again.

But I can happily report that I found a website that made me feel much better. Awkward family photos is a place to share your terribly embarrassing family portraits with the world for its amusement. Some of them are dorky, all matchy-matchy. Others are unusual poses. And then there are some were all you can say is WTF (see below).

So rummage through all those glorious pics hidden in the closet, or perhaps hanging over the mantel, and send em in. I look forward to laughing.

Titles "Weirdest family photo ever", I must say I agree. First of all, who decided to knit these outfits, and then take a picture FOREVER?? Please note the little girl. Is this illegal?

Titled "Weirdest Family Photo Ever "