Thursday, November 25, 2004

The bard's tale of John Orr

Gather round, children, and I will tell you a tale. A tale of wonderment and majesty, about the travels of a young man to the great city, and the gathering that awaited him there. This was no ordinary gathering, nay, this was the yearly ultimate gathering of those most distinguished of people, the Queen's Alumni.

The Queen's Alumni meet annually in the great city of Toronto to honour their own. They give an award to the most worthy member of their ranks, an award so great it carries with it the name of the Great Hero of the Queen, John Orr. The legends of the Great Hero have been lost in the sands of time, but his memory lives on in the hearts of all the Queen's Alumni, who congregate in the Great Hall of Marriott to feast, dance, and celebrate the memory of their Great Hero.

This meeting is not restricted to members of the Queen's Alumni. There is an appearance by the mighty Queen's Bands, and it was through this appearance that our hero first became aware of the Hero of the Queen, and the event named for him. For 4 years our hero had ventured to the great city with the Queen's Bands, but now it was time for him to set out on the voyage on his own, as he had joined the ranks of the Queen's Alumni.

We join our hero at the Bus Station, where he has met his good friend and guide to the great city of Toronto. The voyage to Toronto is long and arduous, fraught with peril and boredom. Our hero and his guide run out of topics of discussion halfway to their destination, causing his guide to sleep and our hero to venture on in solitude and silence.

Upon arrival in the great city, our hero and his guide trek through the unfamiliar streets, through the Valley of the Healers, and on to campus of Trinity College, where his guide studies the machinations of the gods. They set up camp in the halls of the Trinity residence, and venture out into the Wilderness in search of food, as the long voyage has left them both drained of energy.

Our hero is led to a merchant peddling the delicacies of the Far Away Lands. They feast on the spicy meats, ample amounts of noodles and rice, and the oddly-familiar vegetables of a land neither of them may ever see, and, their stomachs full, they return to camp.

Upon arrival at camp, our hero and his guide cast off their travelling clothes and adorn themselves in the finery appropriate for the Great Hero's celebration. Once properly attired, they embark on a quest to locate the method of transportation known only as the TTC. They know that by finding and riding the TTC, they will arrive very close to the Great Hall of Marriott, but from there the path is uncertain. Undaunted, they locate the TTC, pay the Gatemaster, and are carried to the waystation called Dundas, deep in the Wilderness.

Disoriented and in unfamilar terrain, our hero and his guide quickly become lost, travelling away from the Great Hall of Marriott, away from the TTC, and away from all hope.

Just when things look their bleakest, our hero spots a familiar landmark, the Centre of Eaton, the most prominent structure in the Wilderness, and home to untold numbers of merchants. Also notable is the proximity to the Great Hall of Marriott, which our hero and his guide quickly locate and enter.

But all is not well. Our hero and his guide are stopped at the registration table, where they are denied further access. You see, they have arrived an hour early, and the highest ranking members of the Queen's Alumni are still partaking of their feast. Our hero and his guide, being lesser emmber of the Queen's Alumni, are not permitted to enter the Great Hall until the feast has ended, and are ejected back into the Wilderness.

Undeterred, our hero and his guide search for the safehouse of Tim Horton, a great refuge from the Wilderness. There they pass the time required of them, until they are permitted to return to the Great Hall.

Upon entering the Great Hall, our hero and his guide are wlecomed by the very table guard who had refused them before, and they are permitted to pass into the Great Hall, marked as members of the Queen's Alumni by wristbands.

The events of the Great Hero's celebration are for the most part unnoteworthy until the arrival of the mighty Queen's Bands, led by our hero's good friend. They march into the Great Hall, entertainign the gathered Alumni with song and dance, evoking memories of the past and upholding all Queen's Tradition. As the Bands exits the Great Hall in search of libations, our hero meets friends both new and old, and plans are made to venture through the Wilderness to the temporary home of the Bands.

Eventually the crowd of Alumni begins to disperse from the Great Hall. Our hero has become separated from his guide, but is travelling with his old friends. The group splits, leaving our hero to traverse the Wilderness with just one of his old friends. Together they pack their supplies and head out in search of the Bands.

Their voyage goes smoothly for a good while, but they eventually become lost. Fortunately, they encounter a Lady of the Night, who they ask directions of. Alas, the Lady of the Night is devious, and sends our hero and his old friend in the wrong direction, leaving them lost and stranded deep in the uncharted territories of the Wilderness.

Just as hope begins to fade, a yellow flash splits the Wilderness, and our hero and his old friend are picked up by a Taxi and carried directly to their destination. The Bands is entrenched in the Town Inn Suites, and now must be found. Our hero and his old friend steel their nerves and enter the Suites.

They are immediately greeted by our hero's good friend, who is in the lobby of the Suites for an unknown reason. He directs our hero and his old friend to the proper location of the Bands, a room on the 20th floor of the building.

Upon arrival, it is apparent that there is something amiss. The room is full of too many people to move, and the majority of them have lost their clothing. Sensing danger, our hero and his old friend employ the only defense they have, the deadly Gin and Tonic. Several of these enter our hero, who loses his shirt in the process. He is happy, and joins the party.

Soon after, an alarm is raised by the revellers. The dreaded forces of Security are on their way to the room, with the intention of breaking up the party and ejecting the Bands from their temporary home. With no intention of letting Security do that, the revellers quickly disperse, reacquiring their clothes as they do so. Security arrives and is placated by the now small, fully clothed group in the room, so they move off in search of their next target.

The party over, our hero stays in the room with the King of No Pants and some new members of the Bands he has not met. Our hero's good friend arrives from dealing with Security, and they all rest, for the time being.

Not soon after, the good friend is called away by Security again. The party has re-emerged in a different room, and must be dealt with. Not wanting to get involved, our hero makes a bed and lies down to rest. Before rest comes, though, our hero is assaulted by two unknown parties fighting to the death! Through the darkness our hero recognizes his good friend engaged in mortal combat with his guide. Not knowing who to support, our hero jumps in and deals equal amounts of punishment to both parties, eventually breaking up the fight with no casualties, but several bruises.

After calming down, the traditional fight has been completed, so our hero's guide departs for camp at Trinity, while our hero stays in his good friend's room, as he already has a bed there. The night passes uneventfully.

The next morning, our hero learns when the Bands will be stepping off in the Great Parade that harkens the beginning of the Holidays for the great city of Toronto. Having only a short time before it starts, and no sign of his guide, our hero rushes back to the camp at Trinity, wakes his guide, and they set a location for watching the Great Parade.

They meet at the Corner Before the Camera, a location where they are guaranteed a full afternoon of music and parade pageantry. They settle in and await the arrival of the Bands, which is sure to be their highlight of the day.

The Bands come and go, with great cheers from all assembled. Other bands come and go, some greeted with cheers, others with mere applause, some with little to no fanfare. Their are oddities in these other bands, a drum major who makes inappropriate gestures, a man dressed as an elf in a band of non-elves, and others that cannot be recalled. The parade culminates in the arrival of the one known as Santa Claus, a man greeted with defeaning cheers from the crowds, a man so loved they named the entire Great Parade after him. He is not the Great Hero of the Queen's Alumni, but he seems to be the great hero of the citizens of the great city of Toronto.

A short time later, after acquiring lunch from a merchant near the now-vacant parade route, our hero and his guide make plans to separate, and our hero to depart from the great city. Our hero will ride the TTC to the place known as Union Station, the hub of travel for the great city. There, our hero will be put to the test of patience, as his train arrives late, and all passengers are detained for unknown reasons. His patience tested, our hero is rewarded with being allowed to board the train and return to his home.

It is a pleasant trip, not nearly as long as the voyage to the great city, and our hero is pleased.

Way to post, no post

Can't believe it's been a week since I wrote anything in here. Well, I can believe it, I'm just not too happy about it.

This past weekend was the John Orr dinner. It's the main alumni event, with a dinner, dance, a big award, and the year's most important appearance by the Bands. Dinner cost $85, so i just went to the dance. Not a lot to tell, had some drinks, saw a ton of old friends, wound up in a hotel room with easily 75 half-naked people in it. Just a standard night of hedonism.

I'm talking to Kevin and Greg, and I'm realizing that I never should have left Kingston. There are more potential jobs here, but the same number of actual jobs, and I left behind all my best friends. I haven't really felt comfortable since I left, and I enjoy my comfort. I'm disillusioned with everything, and that's upsetting.

Want proof? I was in a room with 75 mostly-naked people and I can't even get worked up about it.

And with that I run out of things to say.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

A new beginning

Once upon a time I had a domain, and a blog, and they were separate. This is no longer the case.

Yes, this blog is now reachable from No need to click that, it'll just bring you back here. But now it's much easier for me to tell people to come read this, because the URL is a lot easier.

In addition, I'm now linked from my friend AbsO's newly-founded community Check it out, read the other blogs, make comments, tell AbsO he needs to drink more coffee.

So, welcome new readers, hopefully I'll be able to halfway interest you with tales of talking about Star Wars and incessant whining.

Monday, November 15, 2004

I kicked Boba Fett's ass

That's right, whupped him good.

I'm playing Jedi academy, and recently completed a level where the only enemy in the entire thing is Boba Fett, and he basically just kicks your ass for a long time. You can fight him off, but sadly can't really beat him until the end. It took me a couple tries, and he blew me up with homing missiles several times, but finally I could honestly claim to have kicked Boba Fett's ass.

Got him with my dual lightsabre fighting style. One's yellow, one's green. I was going to make them both yellow, but I like the effect the two colours give when their glow areas overlap.

Greg and I were discussing lightsabre colours eariler, and I asked if a Jedi's sabre turns red when he turns to the Dark Side, or if he has to build a new one. We never really resolved the issue, but instead figured out that Anakin turns to the Dark Side because Obi-Wan makes a joke about hitting Anakin's mother with his meat sabre.

I haven't been playing much Halo 2 online the past few days, and I don't know why. I'll have to rectify the situation tomorrow. If anyone reads this, my gamertag is SickeningTrout, so add me to your friends lists so you can invite me to games and kick my ass.

About the name. The one I originally wanted wasn't available, and one of the suggested ones was SickeningTrout. After falling off the couch laughing, I knew I had to take that one. It still makes me chuckle every time I look at it.

Kevin said some nice stuff about me on his blog (click here to read it), so I figured I'd link him. I don't know if I have enough readers to give him more readers, but so far we're the only ones who comment on each other's blog. Maybe this way things will change. But most likely not.

Lately I've been making an unusual amount of Simpsons references. And for people who know me, that means more than I normally make. Which is a lot to start with. No idea why, I just can't go a day without making a few.

The new season started today, and it made me laugh quite heartily. Thumbs up.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Updating for the sake of updating

Nothing new in my life, nothing to really say, just didn't want to go too long without an update.

I've done nothing on any of my many many ideas, so they're all still crammed in the back of my mind. I looked at pitching something to a professor at either of the universities here in Ottawa, but I couldn't find anyone who specialized in the right field, so it's kinda pointless.

When I put 9 cups of water in the coffee maker, why do I only get 8 cups of coffee?

Friday, November 05, 2004

Big plans

It's official. I have more ideas than I know what to do with.

I've long had some ideas for useful devices (which I won't detail here in case someone steals them)(yeah right, nobody reads this crap), and an idea for a kickass reality TV show, and now I have ideas for a book, and maybe a comic book (if I can write a decent script and find an artist).

When did I become a wannabe writer? I haven't written anything since high school (although I was good at it), and every paper or essay I wrote in university was awful. Maybe I just need to start writing fiction again. It's not like I'm busy during the day...

I've been reading a lot of webcomics lately (I picked up 3 new ones in the past 2 weeks, reading a grand total of 9 years of archives (yikes)). I also registered on the Keenspot forums, heralding my triumphant return to the world of message boards. Now to get over my fear of writing something stupid and getting ostracized for it.

I got my hair cut the other day, and on the walk back to my apartment, I realized that I'm lonlier now than I've ever been. I talk to people online, but the only person I ever actually speak to is my brother. I've become a hermit by accident.

I'm thinking of putting in a resume at the RCMP, but to do that I'll have to take the bus out to Orleans, and I'm not a big fan of Orleans. My orthodontist is there, and that's unpleasant. But the real reason I'm reluctant to go is still the hermit thing. I don't want to talk to people, but I want to get out into the world. Maybe there's a way to become a mute without doing any other damage. Or maybe I can just be "Quiet Guy" who everybody wonders about when I'm not around. Either way, not very pleasant options.

Going to a LAN party tomorrow. I initially wasn't going to participate, but rather go just to see my friends. Through some tricky questioning the host got my signed up and assigned a seat, so I guess now I have to follow through with it. Apparently there are going to be more people just there hanging out than playing, so now I'm a little nervous about it. I just wanted to see my friends, not hang out with scores of people I don't know. But I have to look on the bright side. Maybe I'll make some new friends, and get my life back. Who knows?