my next hangover will be called the ‘wine flu’

First of all, I don’t have swine flu. At least, I don’t think. This isn’t really the subject of this ramble, but as far as titles go, it never hurts to go with something topical.

I actually forced myself into work this morning. As I was driving, I knew it was a bad idea. My body was in the vehicle, but my head was still stuck in the sweaty-yet-chilled, between-paranoid-dreams void that was most of my night. I came home around eleven. Collapsed on the couch. Passed out for twenty minutes. Woke up to Bri cranking Aerosmith. She hadn’t realized I’d come home. Anyway, I idled away an hour with the newspaper, reading all about the Canucks matchup with the Hawks, did the crossword (half-completed), did the Scrabble (fail), and the Junior Jumble (win). Bri and I then watched Identity, a John Cusack film I hadn’t seen, but was happy to watch. It gave me hope for the world. Well, that is, John himself did. Not the film. That was pretty bleak.

Anyway, I’m really just rambling now, happy I’m still alive and feeling somewhat better. Just glad I didn’t get sick off a pig. I also think that a potential threat to people getting checked out for swine flu is all in the name. I mean, that’s bad marketing, right there. Who wants to potentially be told that they have something so ridiculously named as “swine flu”? It’s just embarrassing.

i keep popping dayquil but nothing is happening

I should really be at home and in bed right now, but I simply can’t afford to take off sick time. (Also, I had nearly a week off sick like two months ago, and I still feel guilty, like maybe I wasn’t sick enough. I also feel like a playground weakling for getting sick twice in as many months.) Yesterday, after work, I went straight home, collapsed into bed, watched Wall-E then read Persuasion and passed out by nine o’clock. I think I will probably end up doing the same again tonight. It’s unclear to me at this point whether or not I actually do want to continue living, but I will try to see this adversity through. If the darkness encloses, I will survive by propping up my laptop and googling random pictures of John Cusack. *sniffle, sniffle, swoon*

my life according to the latest facebook meme

Okay, so I guess I’m narcissistic enough to fall for the latest Facebook meme, the “My Life According to [insert favourite band here].” I am convinced that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the only reason at least 75% of internet content exists (this blog included, no matter how I try to rationalize it). Needless to say, I decided to use the Clash. (No other option really crossed my mind, although I bet it would be fun to do with Smiths songs. Maybe I will.) It only took me about five minutes:

ARTIST: The Clash
1. Are you a male or female: Janie Jones
2. Describe yourself: Lost in the Supermarket
3. How do you feel about yourself: Should I Stay or Should I Go
4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: Ivan Meets G.I. Joe (pretty damn accurate, actually)
5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: Armagideon Times
6. Describe your current location: Safe European Home
7. Describe where you want to be: London Calling
8. Your best friend(s) is: Julie’s Been Working for the Drug Squad
9. Your favorite color is: White Riot
10. You know that: I Fought the Law (and the Law Won)
11. If your life was a television show what would it be called: Straight to Hell
12. What is life to you: Rock the Casbah
13. What is the best advice you have to give: Stay Free (or, Know Your Rights)

ARTIST: The Smiths

1. Are you a male or female: Girl Afraid
2. Describe yourself: These Things Take Time
3. How do you feel about yourself: I Started Something that I Couldn’t Finish
4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore
5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: Girlfriend in a Coma
6. Describe your current location: Back to the Old House
7. Describe where you want to be: London
8. Your best friend(s) is: Sweet and Tender Hooligan
9. Your favorite color is: Golden Lights
10. You know that: There is a Light that Never Goes Out
11. If your life was a television show what would it be called: Bigmouth Strikes Again
12. What is life to you: You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby
13. What is the best advice you have to give: Accept Yourself

Yeah, The Smiths was better. Oh, Morrissey, you silly bitch.

sweep it like a curling rock

So, that Vancouver Canucks have swept their first series in recent memory. Four games to zero over the St. Louis Blues. Alex Burrows scored two goals, one being the overtime winner (none for Kesler). As a widely advertised Burrows fan, I feel vindicated. Without degenerating to mere fangirlishness or boring statistics, when I talk about the Canucks (namely, the playoff Canucks), I instantly turn into a ten-year-old watching the 1994 dream team in their epic playoff run.

That year, I started a Pavel Bure fan club with a bunch of other girls in my grade four class, filled my room with Bure posters, bet a grade six kid on the playground that he wouldn’t actually get the Canucks logo shaved into his head if they won the Cup (in permanence, the elementary school equivalent of a tattoo; and this was the old mouldy skate logo, too), and ripped up a Mark Messier hockey card and threw it in the cat litter box at the end of game seven. I will never accept the fact that he was ever a Canuck. Ever.

For the last month or two, I’ve been getting together to watch the games with “the guys.” I only put that in quotes to distinguish the fact that I am not one of these said “guys,” but rather a girl who blends in so well with their gender that my femaleness is really only noted by my high-pitched voice and the fact that I say “that’s what he said,” when the commentator says something like “and he’s going in deep, and now the Blues are double-teaming him….”

I do love playoff time, though. There’s always a fever in the air in Vancouver. First round was the car flags, second round will be feeling no shame in wearing your jersey over your suit to work. Without getting ahead of ourselves, third round should be … hm… kids standing on street corners with “HONK FOR THE CANUCKS” signs. Just like I did back in ’94.

there’s a special circle of hell reserved for child molesters and people who talk in the theatre

Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan are currently starring in Waiting for Godot in London right now. When I found this out back in January, Jason and I actually looked up plane tickets to London. However, Stewart has found himself in a bit of controversy:

Actor Patrick Stewart apparently lost his rag with an autograph hunter outside the stage door of the King’s theatre in Edinburgh, after a performance of Waiting for Godot. “Are you the arsehole who was sitting in the front tonight?” was his introductory comment, before bellowing “You know, what I really want to know is how you can sleep at night? I really hope you’re pleased with yourself.”

Apparently, the importunate individual had been spied earlier by Stewart trying to take a sneaky photograph of him and his co-star, Ian McKellen, during the curtain call – in clear contravention of explicit warnings that photography was not permitted. While most punters will have gone to see Vladimir and Estragon, others are clearly there to gawp at Picard and Gandalf. (Michael Simkins, The Guardian, April 16, 2009)

While people’s opinions of whether or not his reaction was justified naturally differ, I’m inclined to agree that he had a beef that needed dealing with, but maybe he could have gone about it in a better way. The ensuing commentary dialogue on the Guardian website went off on a tangent about how rudely people behave in theatres. It did venture somewhat onto a nearly technophobish rant, with which I do empathize. This was my contribution:

It’s an interesting notion of “instant memories.” So much so that people seem to be viewing the world through their cameras rather than with their own eyes.

I’ve been to museums to see people moving from painting to painting and just taking pictures without even looking at the actual artwork — just the pixellated version. Strange! I was at a Glasvegas concert in Vancouver on Sunday and when I couldn’t see the stage, I could just watch it in one of the many screens those around me were using to record the show. I just don’t get it. Can you record memories of something you never *really* experienced?

glasvegas at the commodore ballroom

Sunday night’s Glasvegas show at the Commodore Ballroom is best likened to a first date with that person you’ve noticed several times on the bus and finally got the courage up to talk to. They were polite and sincere; just as grateful to be in your presence as you in theirs. My only disappointment was quickly their set seemed to end. They played their wee hearts out, sounding just like the album, lyrics as audible as ever (which is only marginally so, depending on your comprehension of Glaswegian). They jumped from song to song. One encore. No social commentary, no “hello, Vancouver,” no queries to the audience, just an incredibly paced show that was over before I knew it. Maybe they just know their strengths or maybe they just wanted to get it over with. Awkward nerves, perhaps?

The mood was fantastically set, with incredible lighting, dominated by a pulsating purple that seemed to perfectly capture the essence of all that is Glasvegas. (One of my good friends is a lighting designer and he forces me to appreciate these things.) They played all the hits, which was to be expected with only one full studio album. I had read reviews of other Glasvegas shows where they covered golden oldies, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed they didn’t. I would have loved to hear Allan’s version of “Rave On”.

While the headliners were exactly what I expected, opening band, Von Iva, having “left their guitars and penises at home,” were the delightful surprise of the evening. I want to call Von Iva neo-Riot Grrl, but I don’t want to prematurely attach an unwanted label and thus sell them short. Like their tour mates, they’re exploding with potential.

I first chanced upon Glasgow band, Glasvegas back in September when I was in London. Reading one of those free dailes shoved into your hands as you exit the tube, I caught a review of their self-titled debut album. The mental note to check them out was made as I noticed a comparison to The Clash (Or perhaps that was just a note on James Allan’s looks. I’m sure he is more than sick of hearing just how much he looks like Joe Strummer. It is a little creepy.)

Glasvegas was released to great reviews, and when the Guardian proclaimed it one of the top ten albums of 2008, I finally bought it. I had already fallen for their singles “Geraldine” and “Daddy’s Gone,” so it was a welcome love affair. Needlesss to say, I was really looking forward to this concert, so much so that I almost expected teen comedy shenanigans to ensue on my journey from the burbs down to the Commodore. Despite the wonderful reviews, Glasvegas has some detractors, those who call them overrated. Where most bands with the kind of success they’ve had with a debut album usually tank on their sophmore effort, I have a feeling that Glasvegas are still growing into themselves, and I can see Allan’s potential. His stage presence was just what I expected given his songs: thoughtful and humble. I’m looking forward to the second date.

defining oneself is the most difficult and useless thing ever

I had to supply my bio on all voices. This is what I got:

Ashleigh Rajala is a writer/filmmaker/magazine editor/miscreant who uses backslashes far too often to be healthy. She enjoys non sequitors almost as much as spelling inconsistencies and philosophical questions. What colour would “color” be if it were a tangible object?


nothing to observe nor report here

Last night I caught a press screening of Observe and Report, the latest in an increasingly unfunny stream of Seth Rogen movies. I cracked a smile here and there, mostly at Anna Faris, who I think is actually ridiculously funny (see Just Friends). I do applaud films where solid, funny roles are created for women, except this isn’t one of them. She’s a sex object, and a crudely rendered one at that. Why, she’s nearly pixellated. Also, the film’s pacing is inconsistent, and best likened to myself in junior high gym class trying to get through the timed runs: violent bursts of sloppy, flailing speed followed by exasperated pain followed by casual strolling, over and over and over again.

Now, I like Seth Rogen. I think he’s funny, in a natural, relatable way. The problem with this film is he’s neither relatable nor hilarious. As Ronnie, he should be a lovable loser, but he’s just not lovable. Rogen’s almost too good at playing this nutjob. You want him to fail, and you feel a little (SPOILER ALERT) ripped off when he doesn’t. I don’t think I’ve as earnestly rooted for an unhappy ending since Titantic. Perhaps that’s an overstatement, and the film wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t funny, either. In a week, I probably won’t even remember it.

will blog for food

this epic week, part four

I also got a letter from Langara college, saying they’ve received my application for the Film Arts program, but that they are still waiting for my university transcripts. I called SFU to ask, “Quoi le fuck?” and was politely told that they had been mailed. With any sort of equus attire up my ass, they’ve already received the transcripts and there’s a letter at home as I write telling me I’ve been accepted.

As for today, I got an unprecedented email from the lovely (I’m assuming) people from all voices saying that they ventured upon my blog, this blog, and that they wanted me to consider writing for them. I’m going to spend this weekend considering their offer (and my boss’s), and will thus have a hefty Monday looming. Hopefully it won’t pass into nothingness like most other Mondays.

Lastly, this happened far earlier this week, but I wanted to save the best for last. This will go down in history as the week I published The Savannah Stories, Series One: The Frampton Menace. The first few copies I’ve ordered are in the mail, and once I’ve checked them over, I will proceed. (“How?” you ask. I don’t know yet. I make this up as I go.) It’s available to order through, whom I totally and utterly recommend for any self-publishing ventures! You can buy it here: BUY ME. The book is $17.99+S&H. I will love you forever. And ever.

Here’s the description:

Printed: 224 pages, 18.91 cm x 24.59 cm, perfect binding, black and white interior ink

One eventful day, Savannah Hunter gets an unexpected ‘I need a favour’ phone call from Jason Manning, an old friend who managed to screw up his life fast enough to set a few world records. Naively taking pity on him, Savannah lets him into her home with half-open arms. Suddenly, her apartment has become a stage show full of characters so colourful they might as well dress as a packet of Skittles for Halloween. As the horrors of the male geek world fall down upon her like Overeater’s Anonymous at a Las Vegas breakfast buffet, the parade of guys begin to monopolize the apartment through various events like a 48-hour long Survivor game on the sofa, a trip to the VD clinic, the construction of a fully-operational battlebot, and many other surreal events that not only border on insanity, but completely conquer it.

fear and loathing in employment

this epic week, part three

Thursday was by far the most epic. I love it when life builds to a climax. My bosses found out about the RCMP job that I have been offered, but am currently waiting for the completion of my security clearance before I start. I’ve since had meetings with three of my bosses, in ever-escalting superiority. They don’t want me to leave. I like this. Finally, after two years of picking away as a mere status-less auxiliary temp, I get some recognition. I told them I want the weekend to consider their offers. This will go down in history as the only time in my bureaucratic career where the ball will be in my proverbial court. I’ll keep bouncing that ball for as long as I can, savouring every sweet moment.

That evening, I was so excited following work that I skipped to my car, then skipped the movie I was supposed to go to with people from my meetup group, so I could go watch the hockey game with the guys at Jason’s. I know, I’m such a dude. I belch. Without recapitulating the whole game, epic barely scratches the surface. Even though we lost in the shoot-out, Alex Burrows scored, which is a personal victory for me. (He will have a 30-goal season. I said this over a month ago and was laughed at. Who’s laughing now, f***ers?) Following the hockey game, Lorena and I scored a victory over the guys in Cranium Pop 5. Wonderfully white-picket-fence if it weren’t for all the drugs and booze. (Kidding.)