Dead pope on a rope?


Dunno what all the big deal with the pope being dead is. Guess I ain't religious enough, but I'm old enough to remember the last one dying as well. Din't understand the fuss back then either.

In other news, finally figured out exactly how my novel will end! Now I just have to write the last 10,000 or so words and I'll finally be able to do the re-write. Can't wait since there is a few things I want to change and/or add. There's the whole sub-theme of movies that I really want to explore more for example...


(cross-posted on


Not something I do often (or at all), but here's a comment that I got in my mailbox about Babylon Road.
Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!

Yo Steph,

I finished reading your draft of Babylon road.

The title makes me think Sci Fi for some reason.

Over all, I like it. I want to read more. Story is cool so far, and I like the characters.

I find the change in style (Movie Script to narrative) and how you write the dialogue a bit distracting. You're doing this on purpose to separate the sections I think. But It takes me out of the flow a bit.

I find the descriptive narrative a bit heavy, not Tolkien heavy, but heavy.

I'm not sure when the setting is, it feels like the 1940's sometimes and sometimes present day. Then you mention something about the film style of the 70s.

I really enjoyed the chapter with Suzy in the car. You spell Suzy and Suzie at times. You have a few You when it should be Your. To be checked by your editor.

I feel it pick up a lot in part 10 on. But after the prologue I find it a bit slow. At that is the point for me in books when if I'm not hooked, I'm out.

Prologue is cool, but confusing the first time you read it. I re read it after and I get all the references now. Maybe communicating the effect of confusion of the character is your goal. I would cut a bit from there, and say only the bare minimum.

That's it so far. I like it.
Keep it up.

First, thanks for the comments. Very, very appreciated. It's bloody hard to work in the dark, especially when doing something for the first time.

Title, I'm thinking of changing, since it seems to bring up ideas of Bab 5... Too bad, kind of liked it, since it is a story with many different voices in it. Besides, there's actually a bunch of streets in the States that are actually called Babylon Road, something I didn't know (most of them seem to be in Utah... go figure).

Yup, the idea was to present different voices and jar the reader. Might not be working as well as I wanted, but I'll have to see when the whole thing is done. Maybe the voice thing is too experimental. The idea behind using a script-like structure for some chapters comes from the duality of the dream/aspirations/reality of the book. You'll see, it'll all become clear soon.

I'm not sure what you mean by heavy? Too verbose, flowery? I have to admit to a certain amount of padding, and a good editor and a second look will clean that up. Right now, I'm mainly trying to get the word count and worry about the overall flow and leanness of the writing later.

The shift back and forth in the time of the setting is subtle, but intentional. I'm very much trying to get a sense of confusion, of dream/reality duality going. You should see the chapter I'm working on. It should be up this Sunday... it was. I'm talking about Part Fourteen

About the car and Suzie: Yup, liked it a lot, and yes, I do need an editor. Lucky for me, someone has already stepped forward (and no, I'm not looking at you, although if you want a go at it...) Again, I want to wait until it's done before tightening the words/pace.

Yeah, I was afraid that the fact that I only had a vague idea of where I was going before Chapter 10 was going to show, but editing should clean that up. There are probably whole sections that can be cut out/re-worked.

Yeah, the idea of the prologue was to communicate a sense of confusion, which kinds of comes back up in the other chapters, but not as much. There needs to be some tightening there as well.


Why do I have so much problem concentrating lately?

I find myself having to do work (be it on the novel or just work-related stuff) and it's all I can do to sit still for a few minutes. And even there, the time I spend actually sitting at the computer is spent finding things to do other than the actual work I'm supposed to do.

Is it possible to get ADD as one gets older?



Woke up early and actually got out of bed by 6:11 this morning. Had breakfast, petted the cat and got dressed. Headed out the door into the frosty morning (surprisingly, I enjoyed the temperature this morning, although I ain't looking forward to winter). Got to the office and up to the gym. Happy little thought in back of my head was saying "Good, you'll be out of there by 7:45, latest. Plenty of time to goof off before work and still be in before 9:00". Saw some light escaping from below the door. Use my mag-pass to let myself in and... the alarm goes off. There is no one in the gym except for me and this other guy who came in right behind me. We step outside and proceed to wait. Surely someone will show up. 15 minutes later, no one...

Not happy.

I was actually looking forward to working out this morning, clear the cowwebs in my mind and just focus on the task ahead.

Two things piss me off about this: first, the door was unlocked, which means someone came by (I don't believe that they left the door like that for the whole week-end, although...); two, when the alarm went off, there was actually no response. Isn't that what alarm are supposed to elicit? A response?

I know the gym at work is free so I shouldn't complain, but...

Again! This is the third time in a month where I show up and there is no one. Come on! Either you have a gym and someone is there at this ungodly hour or you don't. I appreciate the gym (I did loose about 25 pounds so far and am in better shape that I have been in years), but please!

On the other hand, good thing I live next door. I would have been majorly pissed if I had an half hour trek to get to the office...

Now you have to suffer:
Washed up on the shore
I wake
    and reach
    across the sheets
    and find no one
    but myself in bed.

And then, when wakefulness
    is finally attained
    I tell myself
    that I might be missing
    your presence,
    your comfort,
    your guidance,
    next to me
    at night
    or during any hour
of the day.

But I really
    don't need you
              love you
              crave you

I swore you off
    a long time ago.
    A bad habit
    along with smoking
    and drinking
                  and breathing.

Kicked the habit of wanting
    and needing
    to share my life
    with anyone
    other than myself
              those lonely
              in scratches

Life and time of a cat named Isabelle...

Got the strangest junk mail ever today...

A swatch of fabric with the name of the store stappled across the top. Now, I understand the idea of sending samples of products to people, but you have to understand that this swatch was one of the ugliest fabric I've ever seen...

On the other hand, it seemed to amuse my cat greatly, so it wasn't all horrible...



Urg. Ron, the guy who was supposed to draw a webcomic with me, has had to pull back. Seems like he's got a big contract coming up, so...

Upcoming shows of interest:
McLusky @ Latulipe (show has moved and is now part of the Libertines show), Saturday October 16th, $15.00
Kill Me Tomorrow @ El Salon, Wednesday Ocotber 20th, $?
And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead @ Campus, Friday October 22nd, $?
Blonde Redhead @ Club Soda, Saturday October 23rd, $22.50
The Organ @ Petit Campus, Saturday October 30th, $12.00
The Dresden Dolls @ Cabaret, Tueday November 2nd, $15.50

And now a word from our sponsor

Three verses about friends and lovers
The shadow of your eyes
offer me no protection
against the piercing stares
of your companions.

And the thin line of your smile
is for me a weapon
against their spewed bile
under the smiles they let on.

And if I cared about it
I would not still be here,
exchanging fake smiles
and minding not one bit.
  • Current Mood
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(no subject)

Ahhh... nothing quite like posting to the sounds of beer fermenting. The gentle sound of bubbles poppin'...

Yesterday night, Mission of Burma took the stage at the Cabaret and it was glorious. Yes, the sound could have been better, especially Clint Conley's voice, but eh, it's not like you get to see living legends everyday. And unlike most "living legends", these guys hadn't played a show in like 20 years, and only played a handful of gigs.

A few things I noticed that was strangely new to me is that all three musicians on stage sing (there's actually 4 musicians in the band, but the tape-loop player stays by the soundboard). Second, most of the melody is actually carried by the base as opposed to the guitar, with all of the rythm work being done by the drumming. Roger Miller's (guitar) voice was strained, but he more than made up for it with sheer energy and verve. And seeing his chubby little head topped by those noise-reduction headphone made me smile.

Of course, they played all of their big songs (That's when I reached for my revolver, That's how I escaped my certain fate, Academy Fight Song) along with what seemed to me most of their output, except for the new album. They played only two or three numbers off of OnOffOn, but seeing as most of the crowd was there because they grew up listening to them or found out about them as they explored the roots of (intelligent) punk, it was all good.

The two opening acts were more problematic. The first one, Malajube, was more of a comedy act with competent playing, if really boring songs. Dunno how they ended up on the bill as I could easily think of local acts that would have been much better suited for this gig. The second act, Read Yellow, could have been interesting if only they had played more songs rather than long masturbatory passages. When they did play songs, they almost sounded like a much angrier version of early Jawbox, complete with Joy Division overtone. There was something that rubbed the crowd the wrong way about them though, myself included.

Now, all that's left is to see a reunion Husker Du show and I will be truly happy. If there is a punk rock fairy godmother out there...

Grab and scratch
Strange impulse
    to grab, at first sight
any piece of paper
    and lay down proper
all of your bright insights
    and secret loses.

Is it really any worse
    than just talking to anyone
when you know, perfectly well,
    that you might just as well
be speaking to no one
    or to your very own arse?

But then
    you decide
for no other reason
because you don't care
to drop
of even trying to rhyme.

Face it.
No one wil ever see it


Getting old...

Saw the Weakerthans yesterday. Good show (I'll come back to that in a sec), but the weirdest thing is that while I was enjoying the music the whole night, two thoughts kept on competing for my attention: my knees were killing me and the crowd was older than I thought it would be.

Ok, first things first: two shows in two nights, and standing for most of them. Man I'm getting old! next thing I know, I'll be needing a cane or something!

The other thing that struck me was the crowd. Now, I've been to two other Weakerthans shows before and the average age must have been around 20-21, max. Much singing along at the previous shows, with the crowd lapping the whole thing while singing to each and every song. This time, the average age must have been around 30-35... less singing along, more talking over the music about kids, cars and insurance.

Still, John Samson has an amazing hold over the crowd. With a boyish smile and an easy way, he mesmerized everyone. The rest of the band was really good as well, but the focus was John all the way. Funny to hear people in the crowd yelling about the Jets, but hell, when you're from Winnipeg...

The other band on the bill (that I saw... there was another one as well, but we missed that) was a band called Trailer. Woa... 70s rock has to stop. It's gone too far. These guys were good, but boring. Sounded a bit like an americain version of Fleetwood Mac. Got weirded out when, paying attention to what the singer was singing, I noticed that the last song was all about having been SAVED BY JESUS... urg. That's all we need, a 70s christian rock band...

On the other hand, tomorrow is MISSION OF BURMA. Now I can die knowing that I'll have finally seen them live.

ok kids, it's time for some non-rhyming grouping of words...

If words lost all meanings
    becoming once again
but a series of sounds
    rather like the scratches of a pen
would you still understand me
when I'd try
to tell you how I feel?

Would my gestures
    become futile,
useless flapping in the wind
    of a tongue and lips?

Or could you still tell
    by simply looking in my eyes
how I felt that night
    you told me to go away?

Steph's adventures in security...

Yesterday night ended up being pretty fun. I ended up having the "difficult" job of guarding the door to the backstage area. For most of the night, there was no problem as no one else than those who had the right to go there tried. Some of them didn't seem to care that I was keeping them safe, some of them thought it was funny (yeah, I'm talking to you, Starvin Hungry! just because you know me personally that you need to mock my toughness!), and yet one person choose to introduce herself. Was nice meeting you Cy!

The only time I actually had to do some work was after the Black Keys played. Two or three drunken people wanted to go see them backstage, but I stood tall. Learned a long time ago that the best way to deal with people is to stare them straight in the eye and not waver. One guy was easily 50 pounds heavier than me, and it didn't look like it was all fat, but he backed away. Fear the stare of doom!

And the show itself? Well, let's just say that seeing a show from the side sucks. Couldn't see most of the stage, but the music was clear. Starvin Hungry were their usual great rock'n'rolling self despite coming back from tour and a 57 hours-straight drive from Vancouver and Spencer (the drummer) being sick with a cold. The Cuts were downright shitty. The best description that I heard (thanks grammargirl) was they were playing songs that were not good enough for the Tommy soundtrack... And then there was the ballad. Here's a hint: if you have no voice and can't write lyrics, don't do a ballad. Scream. Would have sounded much better...

The Black Keys on the other hand were incredible. Loads of energy, loads of talents. Woa! Gotta see them live to understand. Dunno why they are not more popular than that, but it may be that they are too close to old fashion blues. Oh well, everyone else's lost.

And yeah, as payment I got a pass for the rest of Pop Montreal. All shows are now free for me to see!

Strange fact from my life: I've been asked on three separate occasions in the last week to go to a strip club. Three seperate groups of people too... Do I really look that horny? Is my cock showing?

In closing, some stuff...

Shaping shadows
It's really no good
     when I look at you
and picture
     someone else.

I can only push
     my fantasy so far
before I start
     to hurt you.

Is it really your fault
     that you look
     like her or
that you are the same sex?

My mind races
     and tries
     to make
the connections.

The problem still remains: