Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'm Sorry.

Being in first year at university, I am forced to be part of a class that teaches me how to write essays (something I already know how to do). Still, it does give me the opportunity to write about topics that interest me. Here's my most recent assignment:

It is an unfortunate truth that the tooth fairy does not exist. The idea of a creature that sneaks into our bedrooms while we sleep and leaves money in return for the pieces that fall out of our heads is admittedly appealing, but it is also so improbable that to believe it is laughable. Even if we were to limit the recipients of the tooth fairy’s generosity to those who lose their teeth in the nation of Canada, that would still leave approximately 2 789 920 children within the ages of 6 to 12 (the age group in which tooth loss is a normal occurrence). If we take into account the fact that each child loses 32 teeth within a 6 year period, we can determine that Canadians lose approximately 14 879 573 teeth each year, or 40 766 teeth a day. It is possible for children to lose multiple teeth in one day, or for multiple children to lose teeth in the same household, but the frequency with which this happens is not enough to decrease the number of households that the tooth fairy must visit by more than a couple hundred. Let us therefore accept that the tooth fairy must visit 40 566 Canadian households each night. If the average child gets 10 hours of sleep a day, and there is a 4.5 hour time difference between the East and West coast of Canada, this gives the tooth fairy 14.5 hours in which to work. The tooth fairy must therefore visit approximately 2798 households each hour. This would be difficult enough if they were side by side, but Canada has a surface area of 9 984 670 km², and Canadians have taken advantage of the opportunity this gives them to spread out. If the tooth fairy is lucky, a journey of about 10 000 km is in store each night. Unfortunately, no research has been done on fairies, so let us assume that their flying ability is similar to that of a common swallow. The airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow is about 38.6 km/h, so at maximum speed a fairy could only hope to complete 5.6% of the required journey if it forgot to pick up the teeth and didn’t leave any money. If the tooth fairy were kind enough to bring the money, it would have to start its journey carrying 285.4 kg of loonies, a feat impossible for any swallow. Alas, we must accept that as no creature is capable of simultaneously reaching the speeds required for the journey and carrying such a weight, the tooth fairy cannot be real.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Officially Licensed Maintenance Ninja Handbook

I have had the profound joy of working on the maintenance team at Circle Square Ranch (Severn Bridge) for the past two years. It was there that I became the Maintenance Ninja. In an effort to pass on the training and lore of the Maintenance Ninja to younger generations, I created The Officially Licensed Maintenance Ninja Utility Belt. The O.L.M.N.U.B. fell into the hands of Joshua M, a friend of mine. However, due to time constraints, I was unable to complete the handbook that was supposed to go with it.
The following is an excerpt from The Officially Licensed Maintenance Ninja Handbook.


You are either the recipient of the Officially Licensed Maintenance Ninja Utility Belt, or have won it in a battle to the death. If the former, you must be a staff member at the Christian summer camp Circle Square Ranch (Severn Bridge). You are, therefore, awesome (though if Josh W is reading this, that is no excuse for making up egotistical nicknames for yourself). If the latter, you have just killed a Circle Square staff member. Know that my vengeance will be swift and terrible.

A Maintenance Ninja is one who can use everything around him to trick his enemies. He and fast and he is friendly to his environment. A Maintenance Ninja is honest and good. His mind, body and spirit are one. He has self-control. He has discipline. He has an awesome Utility Belt. A Maintenance Ninja loves nature because he is part of nature. A Maintenance Ninja never fights a battle if he cannot win.

The original ninjas, on the other hand, were cold blooded killers who had the unenviable job of trying to kill off military leaders and royalty without being caught or executed. Still, there is much that we can learn from the first ninjas.

The first man considered to be a ninja was Prince Yamato. He dressed up as a woman and killed two men. While he may not have been wearing the black costume we now consider to be obligatory ninja garb, he did use everything around him to trick his enemies (and by everything around him, we mean a dress and a large sword, and probably a lot of makeup).

The classic ninja originated in the regions of Iga and Koga in Japan. The mercenaries in these regions were experts at infiltrating castles, using stealth and deception. Iga-Ueno, a city in the Iga region, now boasts a Ninja Museum, and holds a ninja parade every year. In the most recent parade, nobody saw anything until it was too late.

Many legends have arisen about ninjas. The ability to summon animals, shapeshift, or even split into multiple bodies are among their mythical talents. In fact, the reason most people think ninjas wore black is because early drawings depicted them in black to portray a sense of invisibility. It has long been believed that ninjas themselves spread false rumours about magical abilities in order to scare their enemies. While this theory made sense, no one knew until recently that Ninjas planted the rumours by flying through windows and planting the ideas in our minds while we slept.

Ninjas usually wore civilian clothes, and could disguise themselves as priests, entertainers, fortune tellers, merchants, or komusō monks. The komusō monk was a very effective disguise, as the monks were well known for wearing “basket” hats that covered the whole head, though why no one would be suspicious of a man with a basket on his head is beyond me.

Interesting Fact: Paranoid warlords often took precautions against assassination. Some built floors that were specially designed to make a loud noise when people stepped on them, others covered the ground with gravel. All of these countermeasures were unfortunately useless, because ninjas can fly.

Friday, April 02, 2010

I googled my name the other day. I came up with a brewery in Yorkshire and a tombstone. Creepy.

The tombstone got my birthday wrong.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The film shall be called My Name is Joe, and I Am Canadian

I have decided to make more of an effort at updating my blog regularly. Partly because the last post was a lot of fun to write, but mostly because a cute girl told me I should update my blog regularly. (Sarah, the word cute is used here in the best and most not-objectifying-your-body sense there is).
What follows is a piece I wrote for a writing contest. The contest, run by the CBC, called for a short advertisement, tweet, or movie plot-line to be sent in for judging. I wrote a movie plot-line. As it was the CBC that was doing the judging, I put in as much Canadian awesomeness as I could. So far as I know, it hasn't won yet. I still think it's awesome.

Joseph is a man seemingly incapable of holding down a job for longer than a month. As the Olympics in Vancouver wind down, Joseph has been preparing for his imminent dismissal from the store that hired him (temporarily) to sell Olympic mittens. This preparation involves a surprising job offer as the personal (temporary) assistant of Kiefer Sutherland, who is soon to play a role in an upcoming science fiction film. Unfortunately, due to Mr. Sutherland’s role as Jack Bauer in the popular television series 24 and a misconception about the difference between television and reality, the luckless actor is kidnapped by a group of high profile gamblers who want him to infiltrate the Olympic committee and sabotage the gold medal hockey game between Canada and the USA. With nothing but a cell phone and a box of mittens, Joseph must work with Mr. Sutherland to prevent the Canadian hockey team from being undermined and bring the criminals to justice.

I wrote this the day before the game itself, with no idea of who the winners would be. The fact that Canada won makes the idea even more epic. Obviously, the goals against the Canadian side were the result of a rigged puck. It's in the script. Cameos will include Bob and Doug McKenzie and Joe from the Molson commercial. Someone will ask Colin Mochrie if he was in Ghostbusters; no one will ask Dan Aykroyd if he was in Ghostbusters. Dawn Cherry will be in it, but we may have to digitally remove his fashion sense.

I'm trying to think of something witty to finish off with, but words fail me.

I'll be back.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It was better in my imagination

When I was six, or eight, or whatever age I happened to be when I went to the supermarket with my mother, I used to look with envy at the children whose parents were kind enough to buy them unhealthy food. How I longed for pudding, how I dreamt of orange pop, how I wished I could sink my teeth into any one of the candies being sold at the checkout. But one treat I desired more than any other.
Every time I passed the drinks section of any supermarket, a particular fizzy beverage caught my eye. It came in plastic containers that were roughly half the height of any adequately sized pop bottle. Just imagine a pop bottle upon which a large weight had been placed. A grenade-sized pop bottle. A pop bottle that drank too much caffeine when it was a child. I'm sure if I had looked closer, I would have read the words Serves 1 committed dieter or two hamsters.
The marketing department of this particular drink had looked at the bottle and its potential customers (who, let's face it, weren't going to be dieters or hamsters), and named it Chubby. Its mascot was a fat little man in a yellow cap and red shirt. He had a particularly bulbous nose that I'm sure was supposed to be endearing. My eight-year-old self thought it was.
I don't know whether it was the child-sized bottle, or the bright colours, or the endearing nose that interested me. All I know was that my soul was drawn to the bottles of Chubby, and I never got one. I can't remember asking my mum to buy one for me, but I'm sure I did, and I'm sure she said no.
It was not until this evening that I realized that, being a college student, I could finally buy a Chubby for myself. For many months I have been taking advantage of the fact that I can buy many of the things I desired more of when I was a child. I don't do this often, and I am always careful to eat healthy food too. I am also lucky that few of the things I desire, with the exception of Chubby, are particularly unhealthy. In any case, I hadn't even noticed the bottles of Chubby until tonight. I looked quickly at the price, and decided that it was worth 33 cents to fulfill a childhood dream. So I bought one.
I drank it on the way back home. It tasted like crap.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


High school is over. Completely. I don't need to go back ever. That's not to say I won't, but any visits to high school in future will be just that. Visits. Hooray!

Goals I Achieved in High School
  • Had films (which I created) shown in assembly
  • Won the Cosmo Music Award (Grade Twelve musical achievement award, basically)
  • Got a role in several school shows, including the musical
  • Won more music awards, with at least an honourable mention each year
  • Passed Grade Twelve French
  • Sang a solo in choir
  • Played at Talent Night
  • Played in an assembly
Goals I Didn't Achieve in High School
  • There's just one. You don't get to find out what it was.
I am now done High School. I graduate this coming Thursday. Hooray!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Home Before Dark

Once again, I have my life back. I don't particularly want it; I usually have nothing to do. But yes, it's true, the school musical is over and I now have no reason to stay at school till 10 o'clock every evening. I can return home before dark. For those of you who don't know, I've been playing Rapunzel's Prince in the musical Into the Woods for the past five months. It's been fun, it's been wonderful, but it's finally finished.

Some statistics
(to steal an idea from Darryl)
Play: Into the Woods
Authors: Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine
Plot Summary: Click Here
Producer: Phil Vriend
Director: Richard Peters
Stage Manager: Rachelle Veldkamp
Roles: 23

Number of Actors Involved: 29
Death Toll:
Time Spent Preparing: 5 months

Performances: 8
Average Length: 2.5 hours, including a 15 minute intermission
Scenes Cut: 2 (Our Little World and Moments in the Woods)

Role: Rapunzel's Prince
Inspiration for How to Play Rapunzel's Prince: Click Here
Songs: First Midnight, Agony, Second Midnight, Act I Finale, Agony (Reprise), Act II Finale
Minor Injuries Sustained as a Result of Playing Rapunzel's Prince: 8
Mustache: Yes
Burns on Upper Lip Caused by Allergic Reaction to Mustache Adhesive: Yes
Number of Times My Lapel Mic Fell Off of Its Clip During a Performance: 5
Cupcakes: Yes

*Death Toll refers to characters in the play, not the actors playing them