Gray Flannel Dwarf


Several times now, from inside

Several times now, from inside the train, I’ve seen the walls that line the caverns of the ‘College’ and ‘King’ stops on the TTC subway. The tiles are something of a white/brown gradient, angled towards a corner on each tile. The arrangement of these tiles appears to be random, so you have gradients pointing all sorts of different directions within the halls. It looks pretty neat, actually.

They always make me hungry, though, because when I was a kid, we used to go to Mr. Gatti’s for pizza. I seem to remember the floor tiles in the place being the same sorta pattern… So it’s some image-memory-recollection thing, I guess.


For what it’s worth, I don’t see many Gatti’s anymore. The aformentioned one closed years ago. There was one near my college in Tennessee, however, and it brought back a few memories, too — mostly the projection TV, trademark of every Gatti’s, I think. The pizza wasn’t all that great, though.

cswiii @ 2:19 pm


Is it just me, or

Is it just me, or is Toronto’s “Famous Players Paramount” the absolute coolest theatre, ever?

Oh yeah, and Ocean’s 11 was pretty good, too.

Tags: , — cswiii @ 7:52 pm


Quick thought for the day.

I know I haven’t updated in a while. Xmas was good. I’m in Toronto now. My Nextel works here.


It took how many years for Listerine to finally get their heads together and make a minty version of their mouthwash, one that didn’t taste like crap.

Recently, they’ve come out with a minty toothpaste.
It tastes like crap.

So how many more years must we wait for them to get this one right, to keep it from tasting so bad?

cswiii @ 10:40 pm



CNN tells me:

* Pentagon sending new “thermobaric” bunker-buster bombs to Afghanistan

Jane’s Information Group (a defence publication) tells me, in an article titled “British Army seeks bunker buster“:

The use of thermobaric weapons by Russian forces in Chechnya has been widely criticised by human rights groups.

cswiii @ 5:07 pm

some rock-solid thoughts, some streams.

I’ve realised recently that the aformentioned apathy probably has something to do with my lack of gym time. It’s knocked me off-kilter. Going to the gym in the mornings and/or afternoons had me somewhat more disciplined — I had that much less time to waste during the day, and thus, got things done. It also cleared my mind and body of toxins and stress, I think, and I felt good, all-around.

Now, I feel sluggish. And then I get tired. And then I take a nap after work, which means I stay up late and means I get tired at work again; the cycle continues.

This, of course, does bad things to my motivation to do things — anything. After the new year, it’s time to get back on track.

* * *

My wallet “disappeared” today. Likely, that means it got stolen. I was strangely calm about the whole thing. I mean, I rushed around to get cards cancelled, get new forms of ID, etc., but I didn’t stress over it; Normally I probably would have. What was bitching about it gonna do, though, get me my wallet back? I don’t think so. Now, I’ve know that sorta reasoning for years, but I’d never used it, until today.

I must admit, my new driver’s license pic is pretty great. I tend to look more and more scotch-irish these days, it’s weird. God help me, should I ever start quoting Braveheart.1. Maybe I’ll scan it over the holidays, post it here. The woman at the DMV, as soon as I sat down, said something to the effect of “this is going to be a good picture”, as if she had a premonition. Took the picture, smiled. “You’re gonna like this one”. Sure enough, when she handed it to me a few minutes later, I smiled too.

Was at the DMV about half an hour; Crowds were small. However, no matter the size of the DMV crowd, the place always puts me in full-on Henry Rollins mode.

When I go to the godforsaken place, I make sure I have my stuff together. IDs? check. paperwork? check. Money? check. Now I sit.
And sit…
And sit…

I just sit there and observe the sheer stupidity. That’s not really a judgement call, it’s just the truth. People can’t get their shit together. They always forget something, or don’t understand something, or can’t read, etc. And then when something screws up, emotions cover a very narrow range of ire to rage. Granted, the Department of Motor Vehicles has had a bad rap in the past, but I think the bottleneck in that place is the customers, anymore, not the service. Probably was, all along.

Gur phfgbzref ng gur QZI znxrf zr haqrefgnaq jul NBY vf fb fhpprffshy. Ubarfgyl. 1

There was something else I was going to mention tonight, too, but I can’t remember what it was.

1 – I guess that would mean actually watching the movie in the first place.

2 – bcvavbaf pbagnvarq urerva ner zvar, naq abg gubfr bs zl rzcyblre. Gurl ner abg qverpgrq ng NBY be vgf phfgbzre.

cswiii @ 1:00 am


strangest dream…. ever.

I wanted to write this down immediately after waking up, because it made so much sense, and was pretty funny, albeit most strange. Now I can only remember fragments, and some of the more memorable scenes.

The following is recited in the order in which I kinda remember it existing, so a few readthroughs might be necessary to string a few of the bits together.

The dream revolved around this (fictional) new strip club in town. “Strip club” isn’t wholly accurate — it was adult entertainment, but there was a twist. Rather than have lots of single, slob guys coming in and checking out the same old daily special, this club catered to younger people — and in fact, couples or groups — to experiment with their sexuality. It had music, a bar, etc., but it wasn’t seedy, with greasy bouncers and their ilk. It was controlled, but not in an intense, we’ve-gotta-watch-out-for-sleazy-sal way. In fact, I don’t even really remember seeing much ‘skin’ in this dream.

Here’s the premise. People would come into the place, and use, if desired, the costume room in the back. This costume room would contain all sorts of different outfits that anyone could use, to indulge their fantasy. Now, participants were then able to act as strippers for the club, go around to different groups, charge whatever fees they wanted, to perform the standard fare, to whatever degree they felt comfortable. The club would then, of course, get a cut of the profits. If you didn’t want to experiment, fine, you just lounged there on your chair, or pillow, or whatever and drank beer. No pressure, just enjoy the scenery.

Fragment 1:
A group of us, 6-8 are going. I don’t recall most of the people with whom I was in attendance — in fact, for the most part, I don’t think I know, in real life, justabout any of them, with the exception of my housemate, who was in attendance. Most of the group was straggling behind on the sidewalk, chattering. My roommate strided on ahead to check the place out (Very true to real life).

I guess she had been unaware as to what exactly it was — by the time we (the group) get to the lobby, inside the first set of doors, she’s making her way out of the main room, quite petrified, scared as to what this is. She came over to me, saying she didn’t realise that this was what kinda place it was, and that it wasn’t her thing, during which, she began to cry. (Now, this isn’t very true to life — while I don’t think this sorta place is something she’d frequent, she wouldn’t break down over it — in fact, she’d find some way to amuse herself with it). In any case, I told her I understood, she nodded, gave me a hug and left. We enter the club, hung out.

Fragment 2:
We find out that, due to the popularity of this place, they’ve sponsored a contest to see who can earn the most amount of money for a given night/week/month.

Fragment 3:
We were in there just lounging around — maybe one or two people in our group had gone back to at least check out the costume room. I’m kinda off on my own when I happen to catch sight of this stunning woman. I reckoned that she looked something like Melina Kanakaredes, but a few skin tones darker. She was talking to some bonehead. The bit of the conversation I heard went something like this:

[chattery mumbo-jumbo]

Her: I speak some Chinese.
Bonehead: Really?
Her: Yeah, I also have some Nepalese blood, lived there for a while.
Bonehead: Really? I have a friend from Africa, too.

There was then a little more silly talk that I can’t remember, but I took that last statement as an excuse to say something a little more intelligent. We chatted, had some great conversation (about which I can’t remember), and she came over and sat down with our group for a while.

Fragment 4:
[I can't remember what happened in here. But there was something to segue to the next section....]

Fragment 5:
Our original group has left the club, and broken up into smaller segments, most of whom were on their way home. 2-3 of us head to a convenience store to grab a soda and whatnot. All along the way, we see the occasional pamphlet or flier… and start to really realize how serious people are taking this contest. One group/person is putting up these signs advertising “You’ll have a good time with Justine” and “Come Kiss Justine”, etc. on lightposts, and on the corkboard in the convenience store. They were collecting money up front. We ask the clerk about it, he doesn’t know very much. We decide to head back over to the place to see if we’d missed something.

Fragment 6:
We’re walking back through the parking lot. A car (BMW?) with the Melina woman in the passenger side is near by. They’re turning from the curb out in front of the place, to go down the lane in the parking lot in which we happen to be walking. They have a very minor fender-bender with a yellow VW bug while doing so. I guess it was their fault — but the VW owner doesn’t seem to care, since his car is so beat up anyway, waves it off and drives by. They go down the lane, make a U-turn, and start heading down behind us, just slowly cruisin along — a little more careful, I guess.

I also guess they weren’t happy about the fender bender — there’s a marked change in attitude as they start to drive by…

Me: (wave to her) “ni hao ma?
Her: (looks at me, wry look on her face, as if she knows something) “what?”
Me: “Ni hao!” Just saying hello again. I heard you mention earlier tonight that you spoke Chinese.

Her: No, I never said that. I said my friend did.

They drive off. I stare in disbelief, shrug, and we head back into the place.

Fragment 7:
As we enter the place, it’s pretty much dead. In fact, it is dead — the place had closed for the night, and there were just mostly some cleaning people hanging around. We spot a custodian over to the right.

Me: Hey man, what do you know about this ‘Justine’ character?
Him: (smiling) Heh, you want to know about Justine?

Me: Yeah. What’s up with her? I mean, they collect money up front and everything…
Him: You really wanna know, eh.
Me: Well.. yeah.
Him: “Justine” is the name of a horse in the alleyway that this group brings down here, every week. they take the people who paid their $5 out through the side door, blindfolded. They proceed to then get “kissed” by the horse.

Me: What??! (all of us proceed to laugh)
Him: Yeah, no shit.
Me: People fall for that?

Him: Heh, Justine’s been the biggest moneymaker for three weeks straight.
[much more laughter]

* * * * * * * * * * *

That’s pretty much the end of the dream. There’s another mini-segue, and the when the dream ends (with my alarm going off), I’m sitting up on a balcony or something, yelling down to some old college classmates I knew; They don’t yet hear me calling to them when I wake up.

Is that most bizarre dream you’ve ever seen? It ranks up there, for me, anyway….

cswiii @ 12:20 am



This is, by far, the best Windows-based game1 to come out in a long time. Hands down.

That is all.

1 The winner, and still champion, for cross-platform games is, of course, Nethack.

cswiii @ 7:23 pm


In other news…

…I feel like.. I dunno. A slug? Apathetic? I’ve done nothing of note in the past month, it seems, regarding any thinking… I’ve just sorta droned along with the rest of the cattle. No gym, no nothin’. Live the typical American life.


cswiii @ 3:51 pm


Had some company in town this weekend. M. and I have an old college friend who came up from TN, brought M’s sister with him, so she could fly out of IAD (changed to BWI), home to Russia.

M. and our friend decided to go check out the Smithsonian. I’m pretty much burned out on the Smithsonian. So I took his sister Xmas shopping, since I had to do some myself, too.


Hit Leesburg outlet mall. While there, she mentions that she saw the exact same sweater that she was wearing, in the store for $48. She’d gotten hers for $16 at Ross’. Remember this. You will be quizzed later. I started to not feel exactly tip-top. I didn’t feel bad, but I wasn’t feeling quite wonderful.

After that, we headed to Dulles Town Centre, roamed around, and she still couldn’t really find any suitable toys for 6 and 7 year old girls, per the request from back home. Thus, we went to Toys R Us.

I was getting pretty tired, a little more sick, and slightly achy. Really beat. But then I made the fatal mistake. Leaving Toys R Us…
Me: *pointing across the parking lot* Hey, there’s Ross’. Need to do any shopping? *joking laugh*
Her: Actually — yeah, I do, I need a hat before I go home.

We ended up spending so much time in that store. Erff. I guess we left my house around 2.30, earlier that day. We didn’t get home till 9.30. I was a pile of sore bones, and I still don’t feel great today.

#$@$%$@#@ malls. Or maybe just #$@$%$@#@ the fact that I’m such a nice guy. :P

cswiii @ 3:40 pm


Too much holiday shopping yesterday.
I think I’m getting sick.
But not because of the shopping, or anything.

cswiii @ 1:02 pm


Speak of the Devil!

Two days ago, I said this:

* You know you’re in Canada and not the U.S., when you see liquor commercials on TV. Some of these were fun. Made me wish the ban on liquor ads here (albeit self-imposed, I think) didn’t exist.

Today’s news tells me that’s no longer true. Soon we’ll start seeing Bacardi and Smirnoff ads on NBC, it seems.

cswiii @ 9:43 am

* I scraped up my

* I scraped up my bumper something fierce tonight, helping a friend buy a mattress. Ironically, I also put a payment in the mail tonight, as well.

* I twisted my ankle on the curb and fell, crossing the street after helping my friend move the mattress into the house.

* On the other side of the street, I tripped on the curb again, almost falling.
(Lest you think I am a complete klutz, the street is about an inch lower than the gutter part of the curb. Idiots, whoever put this asphalt down.)

LESSON: Don’t help friends move things just because you have a truck. Unless they are buying you lots of drinks afterwards.

Other funny thing tonight: There’s an old Foot Locker store near my house. It’s not been occupied since I’ve lived here, but the sign was always partially lit. Specifically, at night, it only read “L K R”.

Now, strangely, you can read “FOO”

Even more strange, it’s next door to a computer shop. Hmmmm…

cswiii @ 1:18 am


Oh, yay.

“I’d like to welcome our next guest. This is his second appearance in the Globe Theatre.. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome The Cold War!”

Nikonov said Russia’s response might be to put multiple warheads on its newest generation of strategic missiles. Karaganov said the Russians believe the results of abandoning the ABM treaty “will be negative, but will be your responsibility.”

Hey kiddies! The word of the day is “M.A.D.1“.

Curiously enough, CNN has just changed the main, headlining story to “Bin Laden Tape Released”. The fact that we just happened to drop out of the ABM Treaty is now “old news”. Grr.

1M.A.D. (abbrev.): Mutually Assured Destruction is “an evolutionary defense strategy based on the concept that neither the United States nor its enemies will ever start a nuclear war because the other side will retaliate massively and unacceptably.” (Col. Alan J. Parrington, “Mutually Assured Destruction Revisited“)

cswiii @ 11:19 am

Forget the Segway… meet the

Forget the Segway… meet the Megway!

cswiii @ 11:02 am


For anyone who had the

For anyone who had the slightest inkling of suspicion that the Taliban was an innocent pawn in the War Against TerrorismTM, I offer you this interesting article.

Three cheers for hypocrisy. Another three for abusing your constituents. :-P

cswiii @ 6:22 pm

Note to self: Canadian nickels

Note to self: Canadian nickels work in vending machine. Dimes don’t. And don’t “accidentally” try a loonie again, unless you have some tweezers handy :>

I don’t know about quarters, yet.

(No, I didn’t break the machine, it eventually got knocked through the discard slot)

cswiii @ 5:21 pm

Final Toronto updates and observations


* She got me the watch pictured above. I had to modify the image — there is something wrong with the one on their website… all of the orange portions there appear yellow. I felt kinda bad at first because I didn’t want her to spend that kind of money on me, but she got a really, really good deal on it. And I suppose it’s the first nice watch I’ve owned. I must admit, I like it a lot.

* Watched some curling bits on TV. I kinda got into it, even though I didn’t quite understand the scoring — I’ll have to read up on that. It’s so curious, but watching the men’s Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, it was amazing to see the sheer accuracy that some of these guys have. Also, I think that the guys roaring, “harder! harrr-derrrr!” to the others who have the brushes… it’s satisfying in some weird, viking sorta way.

* You know you’re in Canada and not the U.S., when you see liquor commercials on TV. Some of these were fun. Made me wish the ban on liquor ads here (albeit self-imposed, I think) didn’t exist.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 11:23 am

5.00 AM, still dark outside.

5.00 AM, still dark outside. On the way to the airport in a van run by some chinese guy who runs people to the airport for $20 CDN, rather than the $40 a taxi would charge.

Heard a rumble behind us. I’m not a car expert, but what looked like a Cobra growled by us in this early morning trip. Its license plate was “WHYSPEED”.

Taxi driver asked her something like, “ta shi meiguo ren?“, as to determine which gate at which he should drop me/us off. Not that there was much conversation in the van at that hour, but that was the tiny bit that I understood.

Departure is always sad. xiang ni si le… :-/

cswiii @ 12:34 am


Toronto still rocks.

Well, with the exception of this computer at which I am sitting, right now, in this computer lab… the spacebar on this keyboard sux0rz!!!#@$!

Quick rundown. Had dinner here the first night. Not bad, but not spectacular. My singaporean noodles were good (oh, excuse me, Zyngaporean noodles), but her Sichuan noodles were nothing to shout about. And the dumplings were pretty generic. The chili sauce was too sweet. But I could still see myself going down there for lunch if I lived here.

At Second Cup, I’ve had …a few. Not a bad coffee joint, a la Starbucks. Actually, there’s a Starbucks right across the street from this one. Still haven’t been to Tim Horton’s yet, as recommended by my co-worker. He says it’s the best coffee up here. There’s one downstairs, across the street, however… maybe I’ll go grab one.

Went to a get-together with her family. It was about 99% Mandarin, so I didn’t talk much. Had one good laugh though, when one of her relatives brought over some special Chinese rice wine (52% alc by volume), and gave me some. She, worried that I would end up drunk in the hands of her relatives, admonished me with, “tai sha!“, to which I responded “ni tai sha!“. This resulted in an eruption of laughter.

The weather has been a bit chilly sometimes… as compared to the unseasonably warm DC weather we’d been having, anyway. Very nice, though. I’ve enjoyed walking down Yonge Street quite a bit. This section of town is very neat.

Flight to DC, early tomorrow morning :-/

cswiii @ 7:12 pm


Oh yeah — I forgot

Oh yeah — I forgot to mention the most memorable event of my walk the other day. In itself, now, I suppose, it’s not as interesting, but I want to remember it…

While in Chick-Fil-A, I saw two little boys. CFA had set up a Christmas tree, decorated in various CFA boxes, bags, etc.

The youngest of the boys, probably about three years, old, pointed to one of the boxes and started talking about it being a Christmas present. At which point the older boy said, “that’s not a Christmas present! That’s dinner!”

I chuckled quite a bit, thereafter.

cswiii @ 3:50 pm
Newer Posts »