Conundrum

I made a pretty bold promise in Throw It Against the Wall* a little while ago. That was that 2012 is the year I make a video game. I really thought I had it figured out. I wanted to finish and put to rest an idea that’s been kicking around since, probably, seventh grade. It’s evolved since then, but the core of it has always been the same. A story about relationships in wartime, about disparate definitions of right, about making tough choices and taking terrible, necessary action that you know…

What My Favourite Games Say About Me

Yes, this is a nerd thing. 100%. I came across this list of what games say about the people who play them. I find them unnervingly accurate. What do your favourite games say about you? Here are mine: Minecraft: You’re a very attentive lover. No comment.  Starcraft: You like cooking, but not baking. Check out some Throw It Against the Wall for discussions about how much I don’t like baking. And how much it doesn’t like me.  Portal: You’ve started a Twitter hashtag game. Several times. Sigh. Civilization: You get excited by the bulk…

I AM NOT DEAD.

It’s been since before Christmas that I blogged a blog. So here I am, letting you know that I have not, in fact, died. In fact, I’ve been pretty busy. Over the Holidays I went to Costa Rica. Be jealous. This is in the jungle, on the side of a mountain, within sight of the Pacific, in the middle of nowhere on the Nicoya peninsula. While I was there, I had some beer and met a dog. Oh, and a pig. I got back at about 2 AM Dec. 30th…

Universal Cookie Constant

There’s always a lot of baking that happens during the holiday season. Even I get into it a little bit, although my baking usually consists of churning out several hundred sausage rolls, made in massive volume in direct competition with my dad. It’s one of my favourite bits of the holiday. We start off working together Dad prepping pastry while I cook sausages, then slowly we both go into head-to-head production of a squillion and eight rolls. It gets messy. Less often do I see those kinds of astronomical volumes…

Beautifying Gaming, Part One

So, late in 2010, I bought myself a SNES. It was the first console I’ve ever owned. I have seriously fond memories of playing NHL ’94 (at least, I think it was ’94–the one that brought in fights), GT Racing, Mortal Kombat etc. over at my buddy Paul‘s place down the street. Bikes would get piled out in front of the garage and the neighbourhood kids (our group, who I now refer to as “the Briargreen Old Boys”) would get piled up on the couch, swapping controllers between four or…

Why Windows?

Since the latest episodes of both Bent and Throw it Against the Wall have seen me mention Windows Phone 7, I think it’s about time I talk about why I like it. I know there’s a lot of scepticism surrounding it. And why not? Most people I know who were considering jumping the Microsoft ship did so in the dark days of Vista, so that’s their last experience with Windows. Anyone who saw their parents working on a Treo back in the nascent days of the Blackberry know the sloppy,…

Canoe Resuscitation

So the last post got my brain juices flowing on that canoe I posted pics of. It’s in rough shape, guys, seriously. I mentioned this already, and the pic of the chewed-up bow is only the start of it. Like all things cottage- and Park-related, this canoe is kind of a special piece in my family. It was a sort of rescue–a disused boat that Omer Stringer (of Beaver Canoe semifame) had lying in the back lot. From some minimal research, it seems to be a Chestnut Canoe Company product–the exact…

My Robot Friend

One of the things I found most difficult about being a teacher candidate was moving all the time. Every three to five weeks over the course of teacher’s college, I was picking up and moving either from my crappy apartment in Kingston to my folks’ place in Ottawa or back to the aforementioned crappy apartment. It was nice to be back at home; I hadn’t lived with my parents in years, and I had hardly been home at all in the previous fourteen months due to a punishing work schedule…

The Bookshelf Test

You know, Past Leslee’s blawg (over at http://letterstofutureleslee.wordpress.com) is a constant source of gnawed minutiae and spurious organs. When it’s not being totally random (and a little gross, based on my choice of descriptors) I get to thinking a little about what she’s writing about. And she has recently written about dating people on dates and about how you should scrutinize someone’s bookshelf to get to know them. And so I decided to do the bookshelf test on myself, to see if I’m date-able or whether I come off like a…

Scarface, Part One

Those that know me (or, failing that, those who creepily stare at me from across rooms) know that, up close, I’ve got a few divots in my otherwise unblemished boyish good looks. I have very nearly symmetrical scars above my eyes, for example. You’d think that such perfectly mirrored chunks taken out of my brow would have been from some freak accident involving a obsessive-compulsive mugger, or from a run-in with curious but aesthetically advanced aliens, but no–they were, in fact, thirteen years apart and under wildly different circumstances. The second…

Vigil for a Fish

There are a lot of nerdy things I’ll cop to. Being totally fascinated with Canadian airplanes and pilots in WWII is one. Being competitive about StarCraft and feeling like I should be training for it like it’s a half-marathon and not a meaningless video game is another. But one of the things I’m not as ready to admit to–and I have to, to tell this tale–is that I kind of love fish. Not all fish, mind you. Specifically, bettas. Specifically specifically cool-coloured male bettas, the fighting fish you hear about. They’ve…

Ice and Oil

Another prose poem, this one from earlier this semester, about teaching, and teaching creative writing in particular. *** Ice and Oil I watch the children dance upon the razor’s edge. No slippers upon their feet, no music upon the breeze. Only shoes of ice and oil, threatening treachery with every step, every pace and turn and link and separation. I’ve danced these steps before. I have fumbled these steps, teetered upon the micrometer-measured scalpel-blade of judgement. I’ve watched my own dance drip down both sides of the steel. I watch…