felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
To keep to my writing schedule, I'm waking up at four in the morning now. I realized that the best thing would be to wait for the daylight time changeover, and simply not alter my schedule. Though today I woke up early at three and couldn't get back to sleep.

So far I've managed to keep to my five-page-per-day quota, an appropriate number for the fifth edit of my fifth version. So life is good. Also, I'm reading the most recent work of genius by John Ralston Saul, so expect to have your friends' page spammed with brilliant quotations.

I'm at work today, listening to CBC while I do data entry. It was a beautiful misty morning, both in Verdun and downtown. I'm in the heart of the business district here. It's abandoned at this hour on a Saturday, and the tops of all the tall buildings are shrouded in fog.

ETA: Saul was on Daybreak this morning on CBC, talking about his book, about colonialism, and Canadian history. He talked about Obama, too -- said that he really likes him, and considers him a good leader in the European style.

He said he met Obama when they were on a discussion panel together and Obama was an unknown senator. Saul admitted he was worried he wouldn't be able to remember the man's last name (since Saul's first novel was entitled Baracka, I doubt he'd forget the first name).

He was impressed when Obama spoke, though. He said he told his wife -- then-Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson -- "Today I met the first black president of the United States." I wouldn't buy a boast like that from anyone else, but Saul's ability to predict future events is almost uncanny.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Today, on CBC Radio-1's early-morning hourly news:
Today in the US, Congressional Committees have finally hammered out an agreement on the $700 billion-dollar bailout package proposed by the Bush administration. We go to [X reporter] for the story:

[short pause]

"Dead Dogs. Dogs in cages..."

[long pause]

We'll have that story for you in just a moment.
Either CBC is having technical difficulties, or the American economy's in rougher shape than anyone previously thought.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Writing

So I'm working on the preliminary edit as a first step toward the massive edit I'll be doing in BC.

(By the way, for anyone who didn't know, I'll be in BC at this time next week, and remain there until Sunday evening of the following week.)

I'm about one-fifth through it. I changed the last name of a member of the supporting cast who'd kept his name through the last four versions. Nothing tremendous -- I just found a name that was more allusive.

Now, though, I'm thinking of the spelling of my main character's name.

I got "Llew" out of a 19th-century retelling of the Mabinogian story. I found out since that "Llew" is considered a misspelling these days, though it was sometimes seen in the 19th century. The circumstances of how he got his name make it perfectly valid that it would be spelt that way, but I've since the proper spelling -- Lleu -- and I kind of like it. Now I'm torn.

CBC

Anyway, I was at work today, and the good news is that Go! has gone. Sadly only for the summer -- Brent Bambury is probably using the summer to spend some quality time with his hyperbaric chamber -- but in the meantime, they've got Simply Sean.

I can see [livejournal.com profile] em_fish has been raving about him. He's strange, but very funny. I'd say his comedy style is a kind of Emo Phillips/Steven Wright/Homestar Runner mix, and he plays independent/local Canadian bands to get them a wider audience.

Here's hoping that Sean Cullen's ratings are so high that CBC arranges an "accident" for Bambury.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I'm in the office again, and I've been listening to CBC most of the day while I work.

I couldn't handle Brent Bambury today, but momentarily caught him, when I switched back after running out of Sigur Rós CDs. I caught the final few minutes of his "superhero show" which pitted him against Stuart MacLean, playing a villain named the Vinylator.

Stuart MacLean must be really hard up for cash.

After that, on Quirks and Quarks, they were interviewing a woman who was exploring the relationship between the coloration of male barn swallows, and their testosterone levels -- the darker they are, the more testosterone, but they weren't sure which was cause and which effect. So they captured, tagged, and coloured male barn swallows, and released them back into the wild.

The high-tech technology they used to change their colour? Non-toxic black markers.

I want that on my résumé: "2008: coloured live barn swallows with black magic marker for science."

Naturally, when I went into Tim Horton's right after hearing this interview, the radio was playing "Ça fait rire les oiseaux."
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I'll check my ephemerides when I get home, but I can't begin to imagine what alignment of the stars led to a less-atrocious edition of Go! this morning on CBC.

I admit, when Brent Bambury in the teaser said, "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation, but Go! does," I figured it was finally time the Canadian people took out a restraining order on Brent Bambury.

Yet the writing was okay, today, and he came across as something other than a frat boy. There was even something there I feel deserved to be called a joke: "The third anniversary is leather, but you have to wait for the fourth for handcuffs.”

There was also a Country-Western song about Jack Layton and Olivia Chow, so the fact that I didn't wince once during the program probably doesn't mean the show is getting better, but rather that I'm becoming inured to it.

On the other hand, Definitely Not the Opera still sounds like it's being written each week by a gaggle of fifteen-year-olds after their seventh joint.

ETA: Make that the ninth joint. Right now they're asking random strangers "Would you rather have the body of Chuck Norris and the head of Michael Moore, or vice versa?"
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
For the first time, one of my letters was read on CBC. Nothing major -- just about three sentences (about Tom Lukiwski's homophobia) on the political program, The House.

(For anyone actually interested, the podcast is here. I'm somewhere between 40 min and 50 min in.)

Since I wrote that letter, I discovered another homophobic vote by Lukiwski just two years ago. I should also have mentioned that it was an "unwhipped" vote -- Lukiwski had the right to vote however he felt both times, without it affecting his career.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
CBC Radio Saturday-Morning Programming

You know, I've never been a heavy-metal fan in the slightest, but even I can tell that Brent Bambury talking about this stuff sounds like an old man trying to discuss drugs, using the "heppest" slang possible.

Oh well -- it's better than sex with pigeons, which was his opening topic.

Go is the worst program, bar none, on the CBC. And that includes Pearls of Wisdom (is that even still on anymore?) which might feature Jazz-Kletzmer-fusion yodellers from Senegal, or the vocalizations of giant singing yaks recorded on deteriorating wax cylinders.

David Wisdom had every recording the human race had ever made in digital form, hit shuffle every week, and called it a show. But even he never reached the 9th circle of atrocious -- beyond even Caïna, Antenora, Ptolomæa, and Judecca -- where are imprisoned, in Bamburia, traitors to taste.

No, I don't know why I listen to Go. It goes beyond my usual masochism. It's radio that should come with a safe word.

Eco-Police

Walking to work this morning, I spotted what looked like a police car in colours I didn't recognize. Moving up to it I saw it belonged to Environment Canada, and confirmed (in a line of text on its side) that it existed to enforce environmental-protection laws.

Did I mention it came complete with a siren?

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm happy the government is taking such things seriously. But most eco-crimes are long-term, white-collar, and corporate. What do you need a sirened car for? Do polluters really run around with barrels of toxic waste like they do in Captain Planet?

Besides, where does the car go when the emergency is all around?

ETA: Coming home from work, the eco-emergency vehicle is still there. Must be a stake-out. Maybe someone's planning to steal the St-Lawrence River.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I just finished my work shift, and I'm listening to a Quirks and Quarks debate on CBC radio, about whether the universe could be conceived as a computer (software = laws of physics, hardware = matter, with a brief debate over whether we're running Windows or Linux).

I've been listening to the CBC all shift. Even Brent Bambury's Go.

I'm not really sure why I listen to Go -- today they were having people anthropomorphize their cats and narrate their thoughts, with the audience meowing for the best cat impressions -- but I suspect it's some combination of obligation as a Canadian to listen to the national broadcaster, and the fact that the radio is across the room.

It did have the interesting factoid that Brian Mulroney's autobiography is longer than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm sure that the Mulroney fans who pre-ordered their copies and waited in line at midnight for the bookstore events were ecstatic.

I haven't read it, but I'd lay money that it's not as interesting as Deathly Hallows, and probably not as believable a work of fantasy either. Most likely it won't even give us any information on Mulroney's Horcruxes.

I'm guessing one of them is Michael Wilson, however.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
"Stories are equipment for living."

This is my new favourite quote, gleaned from CBC today. I looked up the quotee, and discovered it was a literary theorist I'd never heard of named Kenneth Burke -- and by coincidence, today would've been 110th birthday if he were still alive.

Listening to CBC for a full day on a Saturday -- as I did today at work -- is an experience in the ridiculous and the sublime. CBC is still this country's best news source, but in between the news are very strange things.

Brent Bambury's sense of humour, for instance, falls into the ridiculous category -- it makes one reflect on the banality of evil.

Politics

Among the sublime, there was a brilliant argument by a senator as to the stupidity of fixed election dates in Canada. Not just is it a numbed emulation of the American system for no reason, he argued, but it also means that we've made it illegal to call and early election.

The senate once forced Mulrouney to shelve free trade unless he got a new mandate from the people in the form of an election -- they felt that he'd sprung a major change on the public by surprise, without consulting us. We can no longer do that -- a policy either has to be shelves until the fixed date, or allowed through, and the senate may be reluctant to stonewall something that long.

It also means that that Harper can pretend he's doing something about election reform, when he isn't tackling the real problem -- the lack of proportional representation, which helps the right-wing party win elections even when most Canadians vote to the centre or to the left.

Language

On a very different note, I learned of a new punctuation mark thanks to CBC today -- the interrobang. It's meant to replace the "?!" you get at the end of loud questions -- as in "What the fuck?!". Unfortunately, I can't get it to display on my browser, even with the code.

Looking it up, I discovered the irony mark -- a backwards question mark (؟) -- for ironic statements. No doubt it'll be of great use to Alanis Morrisette؟

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