Thursday, November 26, 2009

Travis's Nocturnal Review

Instead of writing a novel this month as I had planned, I have been screwing up my sleep patterns and consuming various media. As such, I shall introduce you to these media and give you my thoughts. You can figure out screwed up sleeping patterns as well, if you desire the complete experience.

First we have Wake, a book I recently finished by one of my favourite authors. Since everyone loves pretty pictures, I shall supply one of the cover.

Delightful. This book is the first in his new trilogy in which the internet gives rise to a sentient being. The things strike me as fascinating in this book are the same things that I have enjoyed in his past books. Every book that Sawyer writes is written in a way that integrates the speculative elements of science fiction with theories from various disciplines. Wake has two and a half pages of acknowledgements listing the sources that he draws from. Being from Mississauga, he also likes to set his stories nearby. The setting of this story in particular amuses me as it is right here in Waterloo. He meshes everything quite beautifully and even seems to write the part of a teenage blind girl quite well (which is good since she's the main character). Wake is a fantastic read and I'd highly recommend it to fans of sci-fi literature.

Keeping with the sci-fi theme, I caught Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance at the Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema.

We got the North American premiere because we're cool like that.

I'm not usually a fan of mech anime but Nick is rather good at introducing me to good ones. Of course, I was already aware that Evangelion was highly thought of and was already curious about it myself. I haven't seen the older ones but this rebuild is rather well done. While the first movie was only alright for me, the second blew me away. The story really takes off from there and draws you in. I blame metaphysics for that. The visuals are astounding as well and I enjoy the feel to the mechs (if that makes any sense at all). It's certainly worth a watch.

In the vein of anime, I have also managed to watch my way through Kujibiki Unbalance.

I bought the boxed set for the Genshiken OVAs which came along with them. If I have not made it clear in previous posts, I shall state it here: I absolutely love Genshiken. Kujibiki Unbalance is the show that the Genshiken members are always watching/manga they are always reading. I want to stress that Genshiken came first. Kujibiki Unbalance is spawned from a show about otaku.

Oh dear.

The show itself is... unique. The plot line and character designs differ from the original conceptualization seen in Genshiken but the prevailing themes are the same. As such, it is filled with blatant fanservice and crazy antics that boggle the mind. While incredibly enjoyable, it was horribly stressful and left me with the feeling that my brain was melting. I have decided that it is now my mission to expose as many people as possible to this show in the interest of shared perplexity. I'm kind of a jerk like that.

Finally, I have something entirely unconnected to my previous entries. Recently, Priestess came to Starlight and Joe and I saw fit to go see them. The band was late getting there so the door didn't open until 9, a minor inconvenience really. The opener was called Early Man and they gave off a vibe of Radiohead crossed with Audioslave. It was pretty cool.

Priestess themselves surprised me. Being only familiar with Talk to Her and Lay Down, I expected a sound akin to Wolfmother. Most of their songs were actually much harder. It was an interesting change of aesthetic but not unwelcome. They put on a killer set and I ended up leaving with a Priestess t-shirt and Early Man's CD. I certainly feel I got my money's worth, particularly since buying the tickets helped me discover a really cool record store.

That's about it. Currently the house is watching Pani Poni Dash!, so I may talk of it in the future. Otherwise, school's winding down an exams are coming up. I'm hoping to survive until Christmas. Mmm, delicious Christmas...

night - sleeping = new blog post,
Travis T

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Take Off Your Sweater, Your Shoes And Your Shirt And Get To Work

Have I mentioned that the Dear Hunter is awesome?

You should check out Smiling Swine too, though do it on good speakers or you will miss out on the fantastic layering in the song.

In recent news, I have been playing more Magic the Gathering. Nick, Joe and I hit the booster draft on Friday which was pretty great. We all had 1-3 records I played green for a change though I still played black too like I often do. Nick seems to be slightly annoyed at how lucky I keep getting. That may have something to do with me pulling another mythic rare as well as winning one of the promo Oblivion Rings in the random draw. They are so pretty, look:

Here's Nissa

And the Oblivion Ring

So shiny...

Ahem. Anyways, I have a few other things going. Priestess is coming to town of Wednesday and I intend to be there. I have two midterms this week too. Between all this I have to find a way to catch up on my NaNoWriMo word count. My story's coming along nicely, though in my attempts to try something different I'm doing some things that are hilariously horrendous. I am looking forward to the responses I get when I let everyone see it at the end. I expect quite a few complaints about the parentheses.

(Parenthetically Yours)
Travis T

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Book Is Silly

I stole this idea from Rose, who stole it from Jessica, who stole it from Trish. I'm a third generation idea thief!

So my novel's essentially a fantasy comedy called Hob. The protagonist is a goblin!

Here are my characters as I have them so far.:

A goblin who makes a not-so-great living as a junk salesman
likes- shiny things
dislikes- Gina's cooking

A banshee and Hob's fan girl.
likes- Hob
dislikes- dunno yet

Elvish Assassin
Evil Dude
likes- stabbing things
dislikes- kittens

Handsome Knight
A handsome and very talented knight who launches my story with his death
likes- being better than everyone
dislikes- being stabbed

Oracle of the Legna
Important member of the Church of the Legna
likes- the Legna
dislikes- hereretics

That's really all I have so far. Aren't my characterizations delightfully simple? I expect the cast to grow out of necessity. Yay goblins!

Goblins, goblins, goblins,
Travis T

Monday, November 2, 2009

Attention Duelists: My Hair Is Victorious!

I'm rather fond of how my Halloween turned out. I just so happened that Magic the Gathering's Zendikar Game Day coincided with it so I decided to dress up as a character from a children's card game. I couldn't find the snazzy parts for a main character though so I went as the goon from Duelist Kingdom with the giant hair spike. I think it turned out rather well. No pics unfortunately.

Game Day itself was rather fantastic. Out of the ten players that showed up, I placed a cool second. That was good for $8 in store credit in addition to the sweet promos they had. Here's the promos:

I got four of these

Each event got ten of these so everyone got one.

Full art cards are pretty...

Besides Magic, Halloween was fun. Dom and Peter Wu came down and there was a fair amount of people that came over from around town. We also opened up another box of Zendikar between six of us (back to the Magic again!) and played some sealed games with the cards we got.

Things wound down on Sunday. Mike brought his desktop over and we played some Borderlands. Unfortunately it seems to have been detrimental to my NaNoWriMo Word count. Better get to work on that!

Attention Duelists: My Hair Is Finished This Blog Post!
Travis T.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

This Blog is Contaminated with Spirals!

At the behest of Nick and Keyar, I recently read the entirety of Uzumaki. It's a twenty chapter horror manga that is realized in disturbingly vivid detail. The only significant detail I can provide about the story without giving anything away is that the town is contaminated with spirals. It does a good job of setting the standard for creepiness from the first chapter. The horror factor climaxes around chapter eleven, so if you manage to make it that far you should be alright for the rest of the series. Also watch for chapter six. It turned out more funny than horrific, really. I found the series a pretty good way to get into the Haloween spirit. If you wish you can check it out here (it's read left to right).

What else have I been doing? I saw Zombieland last week. That was another great way to get into the Haloween spirit. I've been playing around with Magic cards and Fallout 3 in my free time. NaNoWriMo starts next Sunday so I'm looking forward to that. I can't really think of anything else to report.

Uneventfully yours,
Travis T

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why Was It That I Don't Have A Girlfriend Yet? Ah, Yes...

I am now among the Magic initiated. I even have a DCI number!

My first prerelease was absolutely delightful. I pulled a pretty nice field from black and red (though a good deal of people did that). I even managed to get my hands on this fine little number:

My matches went less than smoothly, ending with a record of 2-5-0. Still it was a fun, if exhausting, day (I slept it off for much of Sunday).

Highlights included:
-winning a match on the last turn before time by a creature steal spell
-encountering a deck that refused to die due to a combination of bounce-back abilities and a life resetting artifact
-Nick milling out Joe (and almost quite a few more people) with one of the most adorable cards ever:

In the end only Maks received a place of note, earning a couple boosters for his troubles. Zendikar is a ridiculously fun set to play and the Landfall mechanic proved very interesting. My first Magic event proved very fruitful and Nick and I are planning to hit a few Zendikar draft events for some rewards, a fancy new (and more durable) DCI card, and because Zendikar is just so much fun to play.

So that's my delightful prerelease report. Stay tuned for the next time I feel the need to share my awesomeness.

Why do I bother with these sign-offs?
Travis T

Monday, September 21, 2009

By Popular Demand

After the continual harassment I have received today (NICK!), I have decided to update my blog. What shall I speak of? I suppose I could start with the media I have been consuming recently.

First we have 9, the new Tim Burton CG movie. As much as I loved it conceptually, it came up short of my expectations. I love portrayals of post apocalyptic worlds and the use of automatons, both conventionally sci-fi and sackboyish. It was certainly visually stunning, in line with Mr. Burton’s other works. Where it fell short was the lack of a clearly driven plot. It was full of vagaries and loose ends which are never resolved yet don’t provide a clear lead into a sequel. Frankly, I expected more.

Keeping on the Tim Burton track, I saw Sweeney Todd at our house warming party. The one did live up to my expectations. It was every bit of the gothic, macabre and fascinatingly grotesque masterpiece I expected it to be. The visuals were stunning, the songs entertaining and it ended in a fashion rather reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet. It proved a delightful watch.

In gaming, I’ve been playing Worms Armageddon and Fallout 3. Worms is a game that has always delighted me and I’m glad to be playing it again. Fallout 3 is post-apocalytia done right. It offers an expansive world that is beautifully rendered and intriguing in every sense. Exploration is seldom tempered with the same repetitiveness that some free exploration games offer. I’m certain I’ve hardly broken the surface of this decimated Washington DC but I’m already thrilled with it. I foresee many hours being sunk into this game.

Those are my reviews. I am also obligated to give a “shout out” to my good friend Oleksi Derkatch from upstairs. Also I’d like to commend Michael Overmeyer on his attempt at the Godfather Burger at Mel’s diner. Though you didn’t manage it this time, it was a valiant effort and quite the spectacle to see.

That’s it for now. At the end of the week I’ll be attending the prerelease for the launch of Magic the Gathering’s Zendikar set. I’ll get one of these shiny little guys:

That’s all for now. Hopefully this will appease the masses.
Travis T

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Like My Helm? It Gives Me +5 To Sexterity!

I’ve been meaning to check out the Guild for a while now. I’m glad that my roommate from last semester had the good sense to remind me of it on a weekend where I had so much time to fill and no one around to need the internet. I found the series thoroughly entertaining throughout, though Calan thought the writing took a dive near the end. The nerd in me was enthralled by this piece on the interactions between the players of an MMORPG. The normal person in me was unavailable for comment (I think he fears fanboys). If you are familiar with the workings of an MMORPG, I suggest you check it out here. It’s has Felicia Day in it!

What else have I been doing? Mostly reading comics. I picked Runaways: Dead End Kids (Joss Whedon was writing!) and the first volume of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. Both were absolutely stunning though completely dissimilar. I also read all the scans of Ultimate X-men I had on my computer. I must say, the series took me by surprise. It was something I jumped to as a “What’s next?” after devouring what I had of the Ultimates and Ultimate Ironman. I was quite amazed at the depth of the storytelling as it examines the team as both part of a hated and feared minority and as youths developing their own identities. Normally I just look to X-men to provide me with my fill of adamantium claws and the action that comes with them but I was absolutely drawn into each character’s own inner struggles and triumphs. They were even tackling insecurities related to looks and sexuality. It was a thrilling ride and I hope to find more of the series soon so I can sink my teeth into it.

So, umm, I’ve finally posted in August. Yay! Gold star for me!

Handsomely yours,

Travis T.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Civil Civilian In This Civilization

In spite of my complaints, I am quite fond of my television. The channel selection is limited but occasionally I come across a rare gem that would have certainly escaped my notice otherwise.

This evening I came across such a jewel in a W5 special on the decline of civility in modern society (narrated by William Shatner!). It explored many of the issues surrounding the decay of proper manners including sixties counterculture, urban sprawl, technological saturation and isolation, a lost sense of community and emergent situations with no established protocol. It very fascinating, particularly the discussion on how the rejection of the almost oppressive etiquette of the fifties by well meaning idealists led to the elimination of protocols necessary for the functioning of polite society throughout North America.

What I find most interesting is how much of a formative influence civility has had on my decisions. It has certainly had an influence on my distaste for texting and social networking sites. There’s a very dehumanizing quality associated with short, textual messages that makes me uncomfortable. There’s none of the free and easy flow of conversation that comes with speaking face to face or over the phone; there’s none of the care and consideration present in a well thought out letter or e-mail. I find no discomfort in being alone but being alone and spitting messages out into the great unknown leaves me a little uneasy. I’m also fairly certain that my respect for common courtesy is key to my distaste for alcohol. Alcohol eliminates inhibitions and suddenly our respect for others and even ourselves is washed away in a drunken haze.

I’m not advocating stringent behavioural controls. I am far from conventional in many ways and I enjoy free expression. However, I do believe it is possible to offer simple kindnesses without damaging or demeaning yourself. I’ve seen the crime of discourtesy often, even among my friends and family. I’m certain I’ve transgressed myself. What disservice do you do to yourself holding a door open for a stranger? What do you gain by defaming another? Is it impossible to be chivalrous without wishing for something in return? I fear my own observance of civility has earned me a reputation as one who is cold and emotionless. Does discretion and self control mean I am unable to love? Does it make me unlovable? I’d like to say no but I have no track record to speak of. I’m sure I’m not alone in my respect for civility but sometimes I feel I’m the only one who grasps what it means. Rather elitist of me, yes?

Tip heavily (another courtesy)

Travis T

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And What Are Men But Chariots Of Wrath...

… by demons driven!

I’ve avoided blogging for quite a while. I’ve managed to avoid posts on my trip to Florida, my regrettable absence the Brandon Family Bonfire and my Bayfest experiences. So what has stirred me from my long, blogless stupor?

Swamp Thing.

Yes, reading comics has outranked anything else that has happened to me in the past month as a blogable issue. Truly Alan Moore knows how to tell a story. I loved his work in the Watchmen and Swamp Thing was even better. What writer in his right mind begins by taking out the title character? It’s particularly astounding when you take into account that this was his first act as a newcomer in an ongoing series. Yet somehow he manages to use this as a device to add incredible layers of depth to the character. Then he proceeds to resurrect Swamp Thing in a manner that sets the rest of the story up perfectly. Coupled with the striking visuals that tie it all together, it is one the most enjoyable reading experiences I’ve had to date.


Also, I finally located my Writer’s Craft anthology. That made me happy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Too Much Time On My Hands

I finally got around to seeing Bowling for Columbine. It’s rather odd that it took so long considering it’s been sitting around the house for awhile (actually, I bought it as a present for my dad for some occasion or another) and I absolutely loved his work in Roger & Me. Personally I felt more affected by Roger & Me as the slow descent of the town of Flint into poverty is absent of the loud, punctuated climax of gun violence. Regardless, I found the piece to be brimming with the poignant satire & bleak comedy that I love in his work.

Since I’m in a contemplative mood at the moment, I’m going to write a bit of a response to Shane’s post on eugenics. I think it sets a dangerous precedent when a society attempts to put controls on reproduction. While it’s not entirely analogous, restrictions on reproduction in China led to the extermination of female children in favour of sons who would make better labourers & would not cost the family a dowry when the time came to marry her off. The “stupidist” idea is impractical & highly susceptible to corruption if implemented as a legal control. First is the issue of standardization. Who can we trust to form a sound & objective opinion on this matter? What tests could be administered to evaluate one’s fitness as a parent? IQ tests really have no bearing on one’s capabilities as a parent & most good psychological theory is only predicative of behaviour about 30% of the time. This leaves most of our assessment to an after the fact evaluation which renders eugenics completely useless. Another concern is enforcement. Castration? It would be the most effective but it’s probably too severe. Depression & suicide is quite common in current cases so it carries a weight not much less than a death sentence. Procedures such as vasectomies & tube tying would not diminish quality of life in such a dramatic way but these are reversible & in an age where couples shell out exorbitant amounts on fertility treatments both these & fines could prove ineffectual. At best we can offer a system that takes needed finances from a family that already has financial strain in its future. Now it’s not that I disagree with the sentiments expressed about unfit parents but eugenics can in no way act as a substitute for proper education on these matters. Certainly the programs in place are inadequate for the purpose of eradicating issues of poor parenting but I believe that it is the proper direction.

Ahem. That is all I have to say about that. Until I receive some responses that is…


Now I’ll treat you to something a little lighter. I have unexpectedly had the entire week off due to the lack of a job that is ready for us to tackle. As such, I have spent much time lying around playing Disgaea. So to conclude this post I will provide you with a prinny.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ethics, Technology and Speculation

In recent years I’ve been looking into a great deal of science fiction novels, particularly speculative pieces. A great deal of this can be attributed to my grade twelve English teacher, Mr. Jamieson, who reminded me of the magnificence of Ender’s Game as well as introducing me to the work of Heinlein.

Last week I indulged my hunger for sci-fi by picking up Robert Sawyer’s Mindscan and Tesseracts 10 (I bought an anthology? Who does that?). I am enjoying both books completely and am quite glad that I haven’t made a waste of my money. They certainly make me feel good about the state of Canadian sci-fi (Sawyer and the authors featured in Tesseracts are all Canadian). Sawyer in particular has me impressed. I’ve read a few novels by him in the past and the sheer depth of his storytelling is astounding. He rigorously explores morality and technology as well as their points of intersection while crafting a vibrant narrative populated with an array of very convincing characters. All of his work is meticulously researched with many of his books bearing several pages offering mention of the people and organizations from which he got his information. I don’t even mind that Mindscan is written in first person, something I find tedious in most other novels.

I have come to realize that I have been saying that my friends have been sucking without specifying which ones. To clarify, it was a select group from my area who had thoroughly aggravated me with their inability to mobilize and venture to the theatre to see Wolverine. Those involved have since stopped sucking and seen the movie with me. I apologise to any I have caused undue anxiety through my careless diction. 

Also, Wolverine was cool. That is all.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

If Only There Were More Injured People Around...

I am now certified in first aid and CPR. I believe this will help me strike a nice balance between the people I injure and the people I fix. Yay for neutrality!

The first aid course was rather amusing. There was a good group of people and one was even there so had could be on the Waterloo campus response team. He’d even been part of the disaster simulation that my friend Alexander J. Dolan ran. Good times were had by all and now I’ve got something new to put on my resume.

In anime news, I’ve completed I, My Me! Strawberry Eggs. It wasn’t as horribly emasculating as the last time I tried to watch it. Perhaps it is because I have become more in touch with my feminine side. Perhaps it is because the first episode back was entirely about boobs. We may never know. Also I’ve managed to acquire a copy of the Girl Who Leapt Through Time. It made me very happy. It would also make me happy if my friends stopped sucking enough to see Wolverine with me. Friends: PLEASE STOP SUCKING!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beard, In Memoriam

I had a job interview for a Camp Leader position at the Petrolia community centre on Thursday. In an attempt to look like someone who does not feed on small children, I took a razor to my good friend beardy. Now this is certainly no big loss; I’m fairly certain I could have it back in a week or two if I wished. The trouble is that now I have so much more area to cover when I shave until I do decide I want it back. Oh, the world of facial hair is full of joys and pains!

I do believe the interview went fairly well. I decided to make myself all fancy so I threw on my fancy pants and tied back my hair. Dressing for success is awesome! When I got there the first thing I was asked to do was to construct a craft. It was a little weird being in those fancy clothes and then being asked to play around with crayons and construction paper but I was really too excited by the fact that they had pipe cleaners. I made an awesome little bug thing, mostly out of pipe cleaners, and stuck some googly eyes on it. I was rather pleased with myself. The rest of the interview was a series of pretty basic questions about myself and my experience (nothing abstract like “If you were a retrovirus, which would you be and why?”). Getting this job would be nice; manual labour sucks! Actually it’s not so bad now but by the time summer is in full swing I’ll be wishing it gone.

In other news, I still haven’t seen Wolverine. I’m beginning to think my friends suck.

Dear friends,
                       Stop sucking!
Travis T

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gotta Catch 'Em All! Ice Beam Edition

The following is a story of my adventures with Pokémon yesterday. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, just assume I’m awesome.

For a while now I’ve been playing Leaf Green for a while in an attempt to catch Raikou. Since he moves around and I can’t track him until I’ve seen him once, I’ve been running around in one area hoping that it will come to me. While I still haven’t come across Raikou, I’ve managed to raise one of my Pokémon to level 100 (soon to be two) and yesterday I found some things that have made this entire venture worthwhile. As I was combing the grass in hopes of finding Raikou, I came across a shiny Mankey. Absolutely delighted, I proceeded to catch it. Later on I happened upon a shiny Sandshrew. I caught myself two shinie4s in one day! I named my Mankey Bruce after Bruce Banner (The Hulk) since it’s green. However, it has come to my attention that it’s a female. I do believe a name change is in order. Perhaps I should name it Jennifer after She-Hulk?

Anyways, that is my Pokémon story. Now for a story that a broader audience (though not necessarily the one that reads my blog) can appreciate. Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, CEO of Research in Motion, has made several bids to buy NHL teams and bring them to Southern Ontario. Each time he has been shut out by the league. Most recently he has tried to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes who are trying to file for bankruptcy. The league’s convenor, Gary Bettman, has made statements saying that he is against the purchase and that the NHL will do what they can to stop it. He claims that it just wouldn’t be fair to the fans in Phoenix if Balsillie moved the franchise to Southern Ontario.

Wait… What fans?

An organization with a solid fan base should not be going bankrupt when others in the league are selling out every game. Moving the team from Winnipeg (the team used to be the Jets) to the middle of a desert was a poor move to begin with. A team that was selling out before the move is now strapped for cash and still Bettman is trying to keep it out of Canada. The fact of the matter is that Bettman is trying to keep Canada’s game out of Canada. Despite the overwhelming success of all Canadian teams he clings to the idea that it’s better to Americanize the NHL, even going so far as to mention the possibility of removing the Coyotes from the NHL should they fall into Balsillie’s hands. Since there is no clear economic prerogative, I can only conclude that Bettman either hates Canadians or just hates Balsillie. I’m more inclined to believe the former.

For those interested, check out Seriously, what desert needs a hockey team?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Pretentiousness Stat Has Increased By 5

Earth-shattering news: I, Travis Timothy Thomson, am now officially an arts student. This may come as shocking news to those who have known me for a while (my high school physics teacher was certainly surprised) but I think it is for the best. I will undoubtedly become the butt of many jokes from my friends in math but I’ll take consolation in the fact that I’ll have so much more free time than them.

I must say I feel like an island of calm amidst all the drama that seems to be swirling about. I feel most fortunate at the moment. This is a non-transferable fortune though; the problems around me will have to find their own resolutions. So for now I can only hope that all these problems solve themselves in ways amusing to me. Maybe something involving Neil Patrick Harris, he’s an amusing guy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


All three of my math classes were on the bubble at exam time. Now I have confirmation that all three were failures.

I loathe posting this because I know it will elicit pity. I would like everyone to know that these failures are entirely my fault. I am sure that I am capable of passing these classes and it is though my own laziness that my marks suffered. I could have studied more and handed things in but I chose not to.

Now certainly some of this is related to my desire for a program change but it is not entirely to blame. I tend to rely on my natural brilliance in place of hard work when it comes to school work. Clearly I have poor study habits and perhaps a correction is in order. As it stands these failures are not complete losses, though it would prove most irksome should it cause problems with my continued education.

On a lighter note, I’ve finished watching Ouran High School Host club. Damn that theme song’s catchy! I may need to find the soundtrack somewhere. It remained rather fantastic throughout and I may need to dig through the manga soon. I’m thinking of finishing Cowboy Bebop before trying I, My, Me! Strawberry Eggs again. I just hope the next episode isn’t quite as emasculating as the last… Maybe with a big, testosterone-fused fight scene? Not likely but I’ll settle for something that doesn’t involve dead parents or other tear-jerkers of that sort.

Maybe I won’t feel so bad if I stab a few things in Diablo II before/after.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

KISS KISS FALL IN LOVE! (and then die)

Since it amuses me, I’m going to go through the process by which I ended up watching five episodes of Ouran High School Host Club last night. It begins after I’d finished writing some cover letters for summer job applications. In the interest of continuing my streak of productivity, I decided to clear the rest of my university stuff out of my room. As a consequence I had room to set up my computer (except my sound system but I’ve got headphones). After much searching for an extension cord and some minor assembly I had my computer set up. Needless to say I was giddy. A little later on I thought I’d watch some I, My, Me! Strawberry Eggs. As much as I love the show, the episode I watched was so terribly emasculating that I had to follow it up with an episode of Cowboy Bebop. Not really in the mood for Bebop, I decided to continue with the theme of cross dressing that I’d started with. Hence I watched some Host Club. Two of the episodes just happened to occur in a beach/resort setting. Fan service much?

Now that I’ve got that cheery piece out of the way, I’d like to balance it out with a little cynicism. Ahem.

Suck it, Earth Day.

While I appreciate the sentiment of environmentalism, I find the modern attitude towards it rather hollow. There are many people are all too ready to boast about what they’re doing help the environment. A great deal of these people idle in the drive-through, leave their computer on 24/7 and drink bottled water (which requires a surprising amount of energy to produce). I won’t claim I don’t do any of these things but I also don’t try to pretend to be environmentally friendly. The truth is that most people are only environmentalists when it is convenient for them. They latch onto the “green shift” because it makes them feel good about themselves. I find pretentiousness of it all rather bothersome.

So in conclusion:

Ouran High School Host Club is great, Earth Day not so much.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quick, Get The Straightjacket!

In the interest of active blogging and mild exhibitionism, I’m going to throw a bit of a poem at you. It draws a parallel between Shakespearean tragedy (where everyone dies in the end) and life (I think you get the picture here). I strongly encourage criticism, particularly the kind that speaks to how ridiculously emo you think this is. Seriously, it amuses me.

And here we are.

Stage Hand

Of late it has occurred to me
All life is Hamlet
Marriage is no end
But the reaper
(A greedy little twat, he!)
Is all too willing to steal the show
And close the curtains
Lest some squeaky cherub seek its return

Great men have seen this truth
And in it great man drown
But being nothing great myself
It holds me up
As my curious eye scans its depths

This show carries a dark mirth,
Comedy in a newer sense,
Little princes and princesses
All chasing happy endings
Blind to the crashing curtains

A play without tragedy is incomplete
No ends are tied, no questions are answered
The conclusion comes on the headsman’s axe
On the sword and the guillotine,
The plague, the poison
Exposure, famine, war and disaster
These are the real ends

Play on you princes and princesses

I’ll bring a bouquet for curtains

                                                                     Travis T

Sunday, April 19, 2009

For Jessica

Since Jessica asked so nicely, I’ll provide a brief summary of Genshiken.

It’s an anime about otaku. Wow, that was brief. I suppose I could provide a summary of the characters.

Kanji Sasahara

Sasahara is a university freshman just coming to terms with being an otaku. He joins Genshiken in order to get acquainted with other otaku and learn more about the lifestyle. Much of the series focuses on his introduction to otaku culture.

Saki Kasukabe

Not an otaku herself, Saki’s presence at Genshiken is a consequence of her otaku boyfriend Kousaka. She loathes otakuness on the whole and makes an effort to get Kousaka to give up the lifestyle.

Makoto Kousaka

At first glance Kousaka doesn’t seem like much of an otaku. He is very fashionable and the clear bishounen of the series. However otakuness is deeply engraved in his personality. He is particularly skilled at video games and is often shown playing Guilty Gear X.

Harunobu Madarame

Madarame is the most hardcore otaku in Genshiken. He is argumentative and is often seen arguing heatedly with other members over some small detail in a manga or anime. Taking otakuness to a dangerous level, he even cuts back on living expenses to pay for trips to the dojinshi store.

Souichiro Tanaka

Tanaka loves cosplay and model building. He is very skilled at making costumes and designs all of those worn by the girls in the series.

Mitsunori Kugayama

Kugayuma is overweight and quiet (he has a stutter). While he is a skilled artist he lacks motivation and confidence in his abilities.

Kanako Ohno

Ohno comes to university after spending (five?) years at school in the US. She’s very quiet much of the time but comes out of her shell whenever the topic of cosplay comes up. She often tries to convince Saki to cosplay despite her adamantly voiced rejection of the idea.

That’s about it (for the first season anyways). It’s quite fantastic and comes highly recommended by me. Perhaps we’ll get together and watch it sometime this summer, yes?

What I Lack Is The Courage To Accept Myself For Who I Am

I went out to the Cheeky Monkey yesterday with Ross, Trish and Bryan to catch Wellington’s Record Store Day performance. It was a nice, relaxed acoustic affair with Kirk & Chris, quite enjoyable. While there I acquired that for which I have titled my blog (that's right, I WASN'T just being completely emo). For those who are unaware, here’s what I’m talking about.

Genshiken’s pretty up there as far as my favourite anime series go. I think it may have beat out Trigun for my #1.

So we headed back to Ross’s house & watched the first two disks. It’s only season one and it doesn’t have the OVA’s so I’m going to keep my eyes open for those.

I’ve been rather popular since I got back. Within hours of getting home I was invited to head over to Becky’s house to play Rockband. Between that & yesterday I really haven’t been home much. After getting home on Friday, much of my time was spent sleeping after exhausting myself by hauling around a lot of wood (not a euphemism). So today is really my first whole day at my house. I’m all alone because the rest of my family went out to a horse clinic. Perhaps now I’ll work on some of the things that I’ve been meaning to work on since I finished my exams.

That is for now. Stay classy my friends.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Week in Review

Much to the chagrin of my enemies, my week-long blogging absence is not due to my untimely death. Quite to the contrary, I have been rather busily alive.

The beginning is a little hazy. I do recall downloading I, My, Me! Strawberry Eggs, procrastinating and eventually producing two essays for final projects. That brings me to Friday. I think I kicked out pretty early that night. Saturday involved some Mega Man 7 (I think) and anxiously wondering when we were going to watch Repo! The Genetic Opera. I think I’ve been watching too many things with exclamation points in the middle. The movie is odd to say the least, everything I’d expect from a rock musical about the repossession of organ transplants. I returned to my room at some point, intending on sleeping until TB prodded me to work on some Infinity Rule plot. I believe I got to sleep around 6 AM.

I was awoken at 1 PM to a knocking on my door. I was then presented with the choice of heading out on my floor trip or going back to sleep. As it would happen, the trip was completely worth it. We headed down to Dooley’s for pool, which turns out to be unlimited for $5 on Sunday. Since only 8 people came, we had tons of left cash to spend on refreshments. We even went to Dairy Queen afterwards without going over the money provided to our don. On return I headed to the lounge to hang. We watched the Cat Returns, reminding us all of how absolutely bizarre it is to see inside the mind of Miyazaki.

Also, a cat is fine too.

On Monday we went to all you can eat sushi. It was quite delicious. Afterwards we headed to the mall to pick up a few things. I went to the bookstore to get a late birthday present for my dad. After picking one out, I went to find everyone before we left.

I didn’t. They left without me. Jerks!

OK, it wasn’t so bad. I just can’t believe they completely forgot about me. Now I know how Nick feels. After I got back, I proceeded to fancy myself for our last house dinner. It was quite the affair, full of end of the year nostalgia. I’m pretty sure our floor was the highlight of the night, as we managed to get permission to knight our don with a real sword. That’s why we’re awesome. We got our yearbooks around 9 and I purchased one of the snazzy t-shirts they were selling. We watched another Miyazaki movie, My Neighbour Totoro this time. I was pretty tired, I actually fell asleep during the movie. I went right to bed afterwards.

And now I’m here. I should really study for linear algebra tomorrow. Not failing would be nice. I think I’ll find Jesse and get on that. I will report back again when relevant information prevents itself. I hope you can amuse yourselves until then.

Edit: I forgot that I attended my friends' housewarming party on Friday. I left with the first wave as I'm not really the party type. It wasn't too bad but not really my thing.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


The April 1st and you know what that means!

My bandwidth is reset! It’s download time!

I’ve already blown a quarter my 12Gb already downloading the rest of Zero’s Familiar. Now I must consider what comes next...

I finally managed to make it to lunch today, only to sleep through dinner. Most unfortunate since lunch wasn’t that great. I woke around 10:30 & spent most of my time on the computer after that.

I’ve been organizing my music collection over the past few days. In the process I have taken something of a special interest in the Gorillaz. As such I have stumbled upon a couple things that piqued my interest.

First off:

I thought these were just awesome. 2D reminds me of Kirk.


It’s the biography of the band, cartoons though they be. Needless to say I hope to acquire these sometime in the future.

That’s about it, though I feel I’m omitting something. Something about what day it is... Wednesday?

The significance is lost on me.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Music & Beards

I accidently fell asleep just before lunch and woke up as it was ending this whole weekend. I hope this doesn’t become a habit (though blogging at this time probably isn’t helping).

Much of my waking hours were taken up by Coffee House, a termly talent showcase at rez. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even when Anna Maria and Joe sang her (highly graphic) geek love song in duet. All the music talent floating around here makes me wish I could play that guitar sitting in my closet. Alas, I am a lazy prick with stubby fingers. Or so my excuses go.

In other news, I cleaned up some of the epic beard I’ve been growing. I left a sort of Van Dyke, which may be coming off in a day or two. I enjoy being able to grow enough facial hair to play around with. Shaving’s a bitch though.

That’s about it. What am I doing blogging at this time anyways?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Everyone Was Doing It...

 It seems that a few of my friends have taken up blogging recently. Despite being a great resistor of certain bandwagons, I have now jumped on this one so I might as well enjoy it. I suppose you could now call me a blogger. How quaint.

For a while now I have had something of a passing fascination with my own name. My full name is Travis Timothy Thomson. The most obvious peculiarity is that all my initials are the same, something my parent claim was a complete accident. This lead to the nicknames (I’ve had quite a few) Triple T and T3. While interesting and quirky, these names have little significance to me. More interesting I find is that if you take my first name and (assumedly last) initial you get Travis T. For those of you unaware of the significance, I bring you some wisdom via

trav⋅es⋅ty [trav-uh-stee]
       1. a literary or artistic burlesque of a serious work or subject, characterized by grotesque or              ludicrous incongruity of style, treatment, or subject matter.
       2. a literary or artistic composition so inferior in quality as to be merely a grotesque imitation            of its model.
       3. any grotesque or debased likeness or imitation: a travesty of justice.
   –verb (used with object)
       4. to make a travesty on; turn (a serious work or subject) to ridicule by burlesquing.
       5. to imitate grotesquely or absurdly.

As you can see, I’ve turned myself into a rather delicious pun. It’s something almost worthy of a super villain, fitting in nicely with Bat-villains Harley Quinn and E. Nigma (The Riddler). It has become a point of pride in me, a piece a dark humour that I can claim as a part of me.

And now my blog’s name makes sense. Isn’t that nice?

Since I wasn’t awake for much of the day yesterday and today has barely started, I might as well give you the run down.

I spent too much for someone who is supposed to be a poor university student.

First I went to HMV with some friends. I proceeded to purchase some music, two each from Rage Against The Machine and Rise Against. I like the feel of fresh albums in my hands. We then returned to rez, only to meet some friends and head to the restaurant beside HMV for a nice meal. I then bought some pop and sour skittles at a convenience store before we headed for a tour of the wonderfully trippy psyche building. We returned to rez, again briefly, before checking out some Earth Hour stuff going on in the SLC. There was some neat music and we played Apples to Apples which is always fun. I ended up coming back with a t-shirt from the mocktails booth. Yay for free stuff! We then stopped back in rez for a while before deciding to go to Sobeys for some reason. A bag of chips and Swedish Berries later, I headed back with everybody else. Much of the rest of the evening involved eating candy and playing around with the piano (as opposed to actually playing it). I returned to my room rather late/early to edit a story Travis Brandon and myself are working on, try out my new music and generally visit my regular haunts on the internet.

And then I made a blog. Clearly something went wrong somewhere.