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Whenever you hear the sound of a Chinese *GONG*, a cancelled TV show or animated character gets its wings.

The Sacred: Deep & Dumb Ramblings (with Killer Rabbits too!)

December 2, 2009

Westminster Abbey circa 1749

<GONG!>

The Sacred: Deep & Dumb Ramblings (with Killer Rabbits too!)

There is ‘something’ about sacred ground.
It is almost inexplicable, yet undeniable for those who have been brave enough to step upon it.  I don’t think “sacred” is a word we can use casually, and I’d argue that it’s an adjective that is best left to those things that can truly epitomize its meaning.

I’d like to say that any place of worship can be experienced as “sacred”, though, I suppose, much of that is up to subjective experience.  I mean, if you watch a somewhat decent vampire movie or t.v. show, anything remotely “sacred” that can repel them.  “Holy Water”, a sacred “cross”, the “Holy Hand Grenade”,  (though you won’t really find a Holy Hand Grenade in a vampire movie…Though you will find that it can repel Killer Rabbits.  <See Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie> )  and things like that seem to possess an almost mystical essence of purity and goodness in combination with a sense of mystery…something “Higher than I”.  Well, for the academic geeks like me, you might notice that I have avoided really “defining” what “sacred” is.  That’s on purpose.  Partly because I’m feeling a bit lazy and it would take another paragraph, but if you must attach to a deeper reason, then I’ll say it’s because the word “sacred” cannot ever truly be defined because of its dance with the “mystical” and the “mystery” with That which is “Higher than I”. (Didn’t I just say that in the previous sentence?  Yes I did.  But the concepts were so cool, I had to repeat it. haha)

Last weekend, during the first day of Advent (if you don’t know what that is, just Wikipedia it), I had a couple of fantastic opportunities to check out two “Advent Carol Services” on the Sunday evening, at some fantastic places of worship.  One of the highlights was at Westminster Abbey (an artistic rendering of it is in the picture above).  Wow.  If “sacredness” could be dumbly simplified and measured along a continuum, I would say that the sacred meter was like at a 100 on a scale of 0 – 100.  (Yes yes, that is really dumbing down sacredness.  But I did say in the title something about “dumb” right? ).  Yep, it was my first time at the Abbey (I had prevented myself from going there until I special occasion, because I wanted to “save” visiting this spot for a special service that I could really “savour”.).  What a truly spectacular sight to behold (it’s hard to describe, and again, I’m a tad lazy now, so best bet is to either Youtube “Westminster Abbey London”, or else Google image search it for a “sense” of it…but of course, “being there” is a completely different and wholly unique experience).

Anyway, when I walked inside, the whole abbey was darkened and mostly illuminated by candlelight. (thought there were a lot of candles strategically placed, to ensure there was enough light throughout the space.  Also the early attendees were fortunate enough to be given a candle to hold).  There was a large golden centrepiece/altar area, and us commonfolk were off to sit on the sides.  Surrounding us on every wall were stone memorials and statues to saints and influential figures throughout British history.  In fact, you might already know that below the Abbey is the final burial and resting place for some significant historical figures (e.g. 18th century critic, Samuel Johnson’s burial place <don’t confuse him with Samuel L. Jackson> is right below Shakespeare’s memorial <though Shakespeare’s burial place is elsewhere>). http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/people#sQ (Click here to check out some names).

As I was looking around, the choir started singing.
My jaw dropped.

…The sound that the choir was able to produce included perhaps the most amazing choral performance I had ever heard (so far).  For me, the sound simply epitomized how I have described “sacred” in this blog–and if I may repeat–“possessing an almost mystical essence of purity and goodness in combination with a sense of mystery…something ‘Higher than I’ “.  Sure sure….maybe the pure awesomeness of the experience was due to the combination with the amazing Abbey acoustics and atmosphere plus the brilliant hymn they sang (it’s old from late 90’s, but I had never heard it previously, and it sounded simply EPIC.  An immediate favourite, that I immediately researched and subsequently purchased on ITunes when I got back to my room), but even if it’s not THE best, I’m sure that the Westminster Abbey Choir is still renowned as one of the top 5 in the world of its kind (probably St. Paul’s Cathedral choir is up there too..and I have yet to hear the “Westminster Cathedral Choir” which is also legendary by reputation<the Cathedral is different from the Abbey>).

Here’s a website with a sound sample of “A New Song” from the album by “James MacMillan” who wrote it, performed by the Westminster Cathedral Choir (the choir I haven’t heard yet in person).  It sounds great even on the sound sample and on my Itunes quality version, but again…I think I will need to “go there” to really get a sense of how awesome it is. (Sound Sample of  “A New Song”-James MacMillan, performed by Westminster Cathedral Choir)

…Cool eh?

Anyway, I’m a tad hungry so will need to eat.  I guess my dumb ramblings were much less than my deep ones (or so I think).  But, just for those that seem to enjoy my dumb ramblings about the sacred…well, I’ll just give you this video link to the “HOLY HAND GRENADE OF ANTIOCH”!!!!

Classic.  An awesomely Dumb, Sacred, Yet Brilliant piece of British history. 😉
…oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Knights are trying to kill a “Killer Rabbit” (see below).

<GONG!>

The Lychee Toilets Experiment: Trial 1 = FLAVOUR

November 21, 2009

<GONG>

THE LYCHEE TOILETS EXPERIMENT: Trial 1 = FLAVOUR

Go ahead. Let your imagination run wild.  What kind of experiment would possibly combine lychee with toilets?  Maybe for cleaning, or sanitizing, or even, dare I say…for FLAVOUR?
…Now, I don’t know what you’re thinking in terms of flavour, but let me say, that I’m just thinking in terms of the “flavour” of aesthetics 😉 haha.

Okay, I’m completely lying.  I have no idea what I mean by “flavour” either.  It just seemed to fit really well with lychees (which do have lots of flavour), and toilets (which probably do not have much flavour…I would think you have not tried…Though I suppose you could ask your dog or cat.  But that depends how well you can communicate with your animal.  After all, if you can’t speak “canine-nese, or feline-nese”, how can you really know if your pet enjoys the flavour from the cleanest water in the house?…ahem.)

Hmm.. I also have no idea how to combine lychee with toilets, though I suppose I could come up with all sorts of ways.  The experiment is just my little psychology thing to see whether the combination of lychee and toilets is enough to get your attention to shift your focus away from your either really fun or really busy life.  Stop paying attention to the daily complexities of your life and enter a world of senseless, fantastical nonsense–The world of my Blog.  Haha. Then again, if you’re already “living the dream”, well, God Bless you…that’s a great attitude to have…and may my oddly entertaining blog add some nonsensical wonder to your existence 😀

Ok, so here’s an idea:  Offer your comments. Be creative.

What do you think about when you hear the words “Lychee Toilets” + “Flavour”?  I’ll post my thoughts too eventually 😉

But for now.  Here’s a random picture of a toilet shaped house.  Maybe surrounded by lychee trees?

<GONG>

Christmas Cows & Cannibal Cows

November 13, 2009
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Christmas Lights at Oxford Circus

<GONG!>

Christmas Cows & Cannibal Cows

Ahhh..to be a Christmas Cow.  How sweet would that be?  But, I’m not sure I would want to be a human-eating, Cannibal Christmas cow..that would be wrong..and gross.  Why did I mention that disgusting-ness?  You’ll find out at the end.  So be sure to keep riding the Christmas Cow on your journey through this blog.

~Last weekend I got a chance to check out some of the really neat Christmas lights around Oxford Circus on the way to church (@ All Soul’s Church this time).  It was pretty fantastic, and the pics I have here are the best I could do with my little, but serviceable “point & click” camera.  Maybe one day when I want to splurge the cash on a really nice camera and take some formal training just for fun, I can take some really awesome pictures that would really make the cows call home. Moo!!

Anyway, these “Christmas Carol” lights were part of that whole “Christmas Switch-on” thing.  But marketing gimmick or not, it still seemed pretty neat and really created a nice magical aura to the the Oxford Circus (which is typically a shopping haven for Londoners).

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More Christmas Carol goodness

Ahhh. good times.  More Christmas Carol stuff here.  Hmm…does this seem like an unusually normal Blog post to you?

It does eh?

Especially how I’m just talking about Christmas lights…

…while including lots of space between bits of text…

Indeed.  it is true.  It is rather…normal, eh?

….Perhaps then I should briefly mention that I finally found….

IMG_1555my Toilet brush!!!  It was only £1.  “only”.  But still cheaper than everywhere else.  A very important tool I must say.

Ok.  Well…hmm…I really have not much else to say…Maybe I’ll just stall your time by just throwing a whole bunch of pictures at you.  How’s that?

Ooooo….

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Blue is cool

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This was a cool lucky shot.

Christmas Cows…

Random words of nothingness.

Woo…….Impressed aren’t you?  I am too.

Not bad for a complete amateur, eh? haha

Looks like I have potential.

Wow. Fancy Schmancy.  Where are the Christmas cows?

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Random fellow photographer with probably a $1000 camera doing the same thing I was doing. Anybody want to donate a camera like that to me?

Even I don’t know.

But aren’t you inspired by these words along Carnaby Street?

Love. Hope. Joy. Peace.

Hmm…..

Hmmm…….

I can hear your voice……….   Hmmm…Do Re Mi…..

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Pink Reindeer. 'Nuff said.

haha.  Nah, I’m not going crazy just yet.  Just keeping you entertained while I throw random pictures at you.

..Once upon a time…

there was a Christmas cow…

and this Christmas cow was related to a Pink Reindeer….

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Cool store display, eh? Freaky, but cool.

….who, coincidentally, was related to weird Bee-Zombies.

Yes.

Somehow, this makes sense.

With that…

I will leave you with another bizarre picture from Ripley’s Museum’s front entrance…

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Eaten!!

Yes.

That is a giant, inflated Mascot (Scottish mascot?) eating an

innocent bystander woman’s face.

Yahh..I know.  The Scottish mascot has nothing to do with a Cannibalistic Christmas Cow.

But maybe…maybe…Someday, they will all fit together.

Ahhh…Don’t you love Christmas Cows…??

<GONG!>

Vampira & Jim Carrey Fight in “Santa Claus vs. The Ghost Elves of the South Pole”.

November 6, 2009
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One of the Best Worst Movies ever!

<GONG!>

Vampira vs. Jim Carrey Fight in “Santa Claus vs. The Ghost-Elves of the South Pole”

Terrible movies are fantastic.  They are the Wind beneath the World’s Wings. Especially when they’re really old, involve aliens, monsters, vampires, Santa Claus, or weird elf-ghosts with green or red glowing backgrounds behind them,  and feature tonnes of music from the “theramin”.

Ok, no Santa Claus…or elf-ghosts for that matter. But It woulda been cool to see Santa Claus make a random unrelated cameo in these movies, but I can’t recall one that does.  Surely somebody would have thought of it too?  Anybody else know of an old movie that might involve that?  Like “Santa Claus Against the Vampires of Darkness” or something like that?  Or the “Christmas Elf-Ghosts of the North”.  Filmmakers?  Oh wait, anyone “artsy” enough to make that would probably be at my school. hahah.  Though wait.  Vancouver has it’s share of awesomely weird filmmakers too, like Emily Carr!  Not sure about UBC, SFU or TWU though.  I could be wrong.  Somebody, prove me wrong.

Anyway….Halloween has just past, and, expectedly, I’m betting all of our big cities are already ready for Christmas, right?

Well, Christmas began on November 2 here!!  I actually found that quite early, thinking they’d wait until after Remembrance Day, but, they needed to market something, so I guess that’s why they were early?  London attempted and succeeded in creating a new Guiness Record by coordinating a city wide “Christmas Lights ‘Switch On‘(click for short article) ” in several locations throughout the city.  The record was for the largest number of people singing Christmas Carols at once, which included “Silent Night” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” (led by Andrea Bocelli in person at Leicester Square and linked to screens all over the city in different locations…I was at the St. Paul’s Cathedral location).  Hundreds of thousands of people I suspect   It was part of a gigantic Disney promotion to premiere the new release of the CG-animated move “A Christmas Carol”, which looks fantastic.  In addition to the awesome Andrea Bocelli, tonnes of other celebrities like Jim Carrey (yes, it is indeed “poor taste” to include them into the same sentence, haha) showed up. Also there was Bob Hoskins, Colin Firth,  as well as teenybopper music stars like “Little Boots”, the stars from X-Factor (sorta like American Idol etc.), to ring in the New Year..err. I mean “Christmas”.  Yes, there was actually a “countdown” to lead up to the lighting!  All in all, it was pretty massively commercialized, but at the same time, it was also pretty cool to be part of the event, I gotta say.).04-carrey-500

How did I get from terrible movies to Halloween to Christmas?  Well, simple.  1.) I am Me.  2.) Chronologically in the Western calendar, Christmas follows Halloween about 2 months later 3.) Christmas Carol is a good movie and many halloween movies are poorly made ones 4.)  Many halloween movies involve horror and/or sci-fi elements and really old sci-fi movies involve the “theramin” and involve these themes too.  5.)  Take a peek at the picture of Jim Carrey to your Right, and with the actress portraying “Vampira” up into the Top left. ****Don’t they look alike?**** (nice, I hear clapping and cheering in the background for my five somewhat logical connections)

Ok.  I’m going to leave you hanging without a conclusion here.  But I actually listened to an electric theramin at a concert at Goldsmiths not too long ago. Connection # 6!! I’ll try to put up a short video of it in the next blog~!

<GONG!>

Aladdin’s High School Musical

October 30, 2009
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Aladdin's Cave!

<GONG!!>

Aladdin’s High School Musical

Yah, it’s real!!  Aladdin goes back to high school as an undercover cop in order to expose the revived Jafar and rid the world of his evil for good.  Except he loses his memory mysteriously…which…is the perfect set-up to allow him to meet Princess Jasmine for the first time again! (especially since Jafar has actually wiped her memory as well! Woa!)  So then they burst out into song, like High School Musical.  And then there’s a bollywood number at the end.  And then magical lychee cows pop up.

Ok ok.  I totally lied.  But it seemed plausible didn’t it?  Ahh..Disney..So many good films, yet so many bad ones too…it makes you think they’d actually make something like that.  Well, thankfully, the legendary Aladdin does NOT sponsor the  High School Musical.  That was a gimmick to get you to come here.

So Aladdin only refers to this really neat used furniture store along Lewisham Way (this is perhaps the biggest street connecting Lewisham to New Cross, where my University is.  According to the all masterful Wikipedia, Lewisham is the overarching “borough” within London, and New Cross and Brockley (where I live), are “wards”.  According to the “always” reliable but unsourceable Wikipedia, “wards” are like our Vancouver electoral districts, so like “Quilchena”, or “Vancouver-East”, except that we actually include these “wards” on our mailing addresses and thus it’s a bigger deal.  For reference, click this link to the Wikipedia page about Lewisham. Wow.  Don’t you feel smarter just reading that??

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Ahhh...good to know that awesome Camels are everywhere, and are also surrounded by random pirates and miscellaneous individuals, just like in real life.

Anyway, Aladdin’s Cave is like this really large, old house or giant garage. If you walk inside, you can find it filled to the brim with all sorts of neat things like wood, lamps, chairs, tables, paintings, leprechauns, window frames, desks, drawers, santa claus, plates, forks, televisions, radios, lychee cows, spoons, knives, magical elves, and all sorts of fantastic little things to get!

I haven’t actually “shopped” inside there yet (besides a quick scan inside), but I do need a comfortable desk chair for cheap, so I’ll take a look and see if I can find a decent one for the price.   I’m also trying to figure out if i can find those special leprechauns, santa claus, lychee cows, and magical elves.  Because I think they will change the world.  Especially those lychee cows.  Come to think of it, I think I need to write a sequel about lychee cows.  What do you think?

And just so you get my drift, I mention High School Musical because I bought a box of it (discounted clearance, inexpensive, and was actually the “healthiest” of the bunch there, just b/c in a rush, I won’t make eggs and will just eat cereal and some fruit in the morning.  Here’s a box of the High School Musical Cereal.  Mine is Chocolate, and not that colourful.  And there’s a “Can you spot the missing things between the two pictures” activity on the back.

Terrible cereal.  Tastes like chalk.  Edible though, and I can certainly finish it.  But, I’ll know better than to experiment with £1 in order to save breakfast costs on discounted cereal that is just a marketing gimmick capitalizing on a popular franchise.  ….But hey, on the bright side, at least when I finish the cereal, I get some decent Chocolate milk in the leftover milk after!     ….Nice.

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Speechless.

<GONG!!!!!>

Oh Where, Plastic Cow, is My Toilet Brush?

October 24, 2009

Woa, that's a crazy toilet.

Woa, that's a crazy toilet.

<GONG!>

OH Where, Plastic Cow, is My Toilet Brush?

“Oh where is my toiletbrush (and holder, of course)?  Oh where is my toiletbrush?  Oh where oh where, oh where oh where oh where…is my toiletbrush?”

I can’t find a cheap toiletbrush.  But don’t worry. I got the “disinfectant”, and do so regularly. So, my toilet is certainly disinfected (but I couldn’t “infect” it that bad, could I?  Don’t answer that), but I still need a toilet brush, because, well, we all need toiletbrushes.  What kind of toilet brush do you have?  I’m just trying to find a bloody serviceable one for £1 that doesn’t look like it’s been used before (I found one at a flea market, but…it kinda looked used, but hey, maybe I’m just being judgmental).  So, this is my quest.  I think my best bet is at the £1 Store (which, for reference at Friday’s closing exchange rate (referencing XE.com), £1 = $1.73 CDN)  I can accept $1.73 CDN, b/c blabla plastic costs blabla, import fees to pay the magical cow from which plastic is milked, and the plastic farmers), so fine…that much for a toilet brush. But so far, everywhere I’ve looked, at places supposed to be “cheap”, the available selection and offers have been just robbery.  Especially where, in those same spots, I can easily find adequate sandwiches for cheaper! So, if I could feed myself for cheap, why would I feed my toilet for double the price?  Oh Plastic Cow Farmers…Poor Plastic Cow.
Here are some examples of prices (note, all would include that cheap little holder thing)

@ Sainsbury’s:
I got a choice at  only ONE CHOICE of an, I confess, pretty cool looking plastic fancy toilet brush….but it would have cost…
->a hefty £ 2.37 (or around there), which is $4.98 CDN!! It looked cool…but I thought about that sandwich. I could have eaten 2 sandwiches, or 1 really fresh and good sandwich.

@ Several Locally owned independent hardware stores and corner stores:
->dude… a very plain toilet brush (white or blue) = £1.96 ($3.39 CDN)! !!  Easily a decent quality sandwich too. Why Plastic Cow Farmer, Why??!?
->classy metal one = £7.00 ($12.10 CDN) . ok, I get why a metal one is expensive.  Because the Metal Cows must be milked by the Metal Farmers. And that’s really tough, and must note be easy for the cows. I empathize.  But still, for 7 GBP, that’s like a FEAST I could eat!!

Anyway, I’ve never been quite certain why toilet brushes are so expensive (even in Vancouver..but at least, a dollar store that has the toilet brush AND holder will be cheap!..which would be 50p for the combo (p=pence, for those who don’t know) here in the UK ! But they just are.   I don’t need my Plastic Cow to be a free-range plastic cow, if that influences the pricing by those Plastic Cow Farmers.  Maybe I was trying too hard to find a “nice” one for good value….maybe I’m being too hard on these plastic and metal cows, and complaining much too much?  But really…should we need to pay so much for a plastic toilet brush?
Indeed, Plastic Cow Farmers…Indeed why…?

Hmm..No comment :-)

Hmm..No comment 🙂

<GONG!>

The Movie Screen on the Truck & The Magical Queen

October 21, 2009
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This will be my 1st wish

<GoNG!>

The Movie Screen on the Truck & the Magical Queen

This movie screen was the absolute most shameless advertising I’ve ever seen in my life. And I loved it.

I stood there for 10 minutes…watching. haha. I mean, how often do you see a movie screen on a 4×4 truck, showing Movie trailers (like a ninja movie!), and pumping out some superloud sound with thunderous bass!??!

As a tech geek, this was the coolest thing I had seen in a while.
Something I’m hoping will come to me “donated”.  For instance, I’m hoping that someday in the near future, I will meet Queen Elizabeth on the street…

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WOW.

…and then she’ll say to me, “Oh wow!  What a kind young man, you are Nathan.  Just because you have seen me, I will grant you 2 wishes….What is that Nathan?  Why not 3 wishes? Ho Ho Ho!  Well, your heart has already wished for this truck with a movie screen and sound system.  You will find it at your dorm.”

….Yes, and that is indeed the story that will happen what after I find the magic lamp.  What? Wrong story?
Would that be a magic teapot, then?  No, eh?  How about a talking teapot, talking teacups, candlesticks and a waltz in a magic castle, said to house a ferocious beast?

Ok.  I’ll stop.

But in honour of this quirkiness, tmrw’s blog will be about…”Aladdin!!”

<GONG!>

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