Director/photographer Sam Jones has this show where he interviews celebrities in a conversational style. For whatever reason I’d never heard of it until today. His interviews are not traditional fluff pieces but instead candid, revealing, and honest. In the interview above Jason Sudeikis tells us a story about staying over at Will Forte’s place and sleeping on his couch. For more interviews click here.
I’m less than a week from going to Hawaii and a phobia of mine has popped up again. I always fear getting sick right before I travel. If that were to happen, it’d suck for two reasons. First, getting on an airplane when you’re ill is terrible. Flying in the 21st century is not a pleasant experience even when you’re completely healthy but imagine being cooped up in small confined metal tube for several hours while you’re packed in with the other cattle in economy. Second, once you get to your vacation spot, you’ll be too tired and out of it to enjoy the trip.
I came this close to having this nightmare realized last February when I went to San Diego. I chronicled it a previous post but the summary is I caught the flu about 48 hours before my flight. Like it wasn’t just a sore throat and some nasal congestion. I had a massive headache, my entire body was in pain, and I switched between being freezing cold and sweaty hot. By some miracle, some 24 hours after I fell ill, my symptoms subsided almost completely in the course of about an hour. I’m still not sure if it was my immune system or the Tamiflu that I had prescribed. I was fine to fly and felt just about normal on the plane. I didn’t get away scot-free however. On a few nights of my trip, I felt quite tired by around 10pm and basically had to go to sleep.
Now that I’m on the eve of another trip, I’m actually considering limiting my exposure to the public until I go to the airport. I know this sounds ridiculous but I don’t currently have a job to go so outside of perhaps getting food and supplies, do I really need to be out and about risking my chances of touching some pole, door handle, or other surface that might have some disease on it? I’m just imagining myself stuck in bed all day in my hotel room when just outside is the sun, water, and beaches of Hawaii.
Man, I think I’m gonna just call Pizza Hut delivery until Sunday night.
Like many of you, I have a multitude of electronic devices that require a USB cable for connectivity and/or power. In the last few years I’ve need USB micro cables exclusively for my phones, tablet, portable chargers, and video game controllers. It’s amazing how many cables you need to keep everything connected and powered.
I don’t think I’ve had a cable last more than four months in the entire time I’ve been buying USB micros. Invariably, either the cable just stops working or I find a way to destroy them. In the first case, the cable just dies on me one day. It either no longer passes a charge through or it fails to connect the device to my computer. Maybe I tugged on it too hard one time or perhaps repeated wear and tear just causes it to fail. In the second case, I outright accidentally wind up destroying the cable. Several times a cable will be on the floor and I’ll roll my desk chair over small end causing the connector to bend. It can’t really be bent back because I’ve busted connection already. Sometimes the cable will be plugged into my device and somehow it falls or get tossed. This will bend the cable connector on the device end. There’s no coming back from that and I’m lucky it didn’t cause damage to the device itself.
I bought a new USB micro cable on Friday and I managed to break it by Sunday. I’m not even sure how it happened. It wasn’t even plugged into anything as I recall. I was in bed and had been reading on my tablet when I fell asleep. Sometime in the morning, I remember pushing my tablet off my bed and it landed in a garbage can. The tablet itself wasn’t damaged but when I woke up, I took it out of the garbage can and noticed my new USB cable on the floor had a bent connector. The cable was next to the garbage can. How did the connector get bent? I’m still not sure but it was ready to go in the trash as it did not work anymore.
I don’t pay anymore than $2-$3 for these cables so it’s not a big loss and having to buy one so often makes me wonder how many cables I’ve gone through so far.
I’ve come to call my periods of funemployment as one giant, indefinite long weekend. A long and carefree weekend where I can do whatever I want. Of course, authentic long weekends come about too and I’ve written before that I get annoyed when that happens because the working stiffs are out of their offices and such, crowding the places I normally hang out in.
Friday was Good Friday, a public holiday, which I didn’t even realize until it was too late. I thought it was just a normal weekday. I woke up late, as usual, then I decided I wanted to go visit a tailor shop downtown. For months, I’ve wanted to get some pants altered to make them more slim and stylish. I took the train downtown and there seemed to be a lot of people out and about downtown, more so than usual. There were also a lot of families around which seemed odd for a weekday afternoon. When I got to the tailor shop, I saw it was closed. There was a sign saying something about a holiday. It then dawned on me this was the Easter long weekend. That explained the closed shop and the many families who were downtown for the day. I was slightly annoyed at myself for not realizing it was a holiday but then I understood that regular folks need a long weekend as well… lol.
Everything was alright though as the tailor shop was scheduled to be open again the next day. I returned on Saturday to drop off my pants.
Conan had a very heartfelt and lovely tribute to his friend Garry Shandling on his show tonight. As some of you may know, Shandling passed away suddenly today at the age of 66. I’ve always loved Shandling’s self-deprecating humour and it was on It’s Garry Shandling’s Show where I really noticed his talent. Modern audiences know Shandling as the evil U.S. Senator who was actually part of Hydra in the Marvel movies but he’ll always be the talented stand-up comedian to me.
Adult web site PornHub launched their virtual reality section today. As part of that launch, they also released their Android app for Google Cardboard. PornHub has also made available a player for Oculus Rift. The Android app for Cardboard though, ensures millions of people now have an easily accessible way of viewing virtual reality porn using just their smartphone.
I got my own Cardboard viewer when SIGGRAPH was last held in Vancouver. Coincidentally, I just started to look at new Cardboard VR apps several days prior to PornHub’s VR launch. So the timing was great. PornHub’s app allows you to just view videos normally on your smartphone but that’s no fun. The real fun is when you select videos under the “VR” category. Each of those videos has a Cardboard option, which means it can be viewed in 3D virtual reality.
I viewed three VR videos, each about five minutes long, with my Cardboard viewer. All the videos were shot POV style (or point of view), meaning you’re experiencing the scene from one of the actor’s POV. In two of the videos, it’s from the POV of the male, while one was from the female’s POV (there were two ladies in that one). I have to admit, I was really impressed by the gravity of the moment. As a species, we’ve progressed to the point where I’m now able to use my smartphone to experience 3D boobs, butts, and various other parts of the human body swaying and jiggling right in front of my virtual face. The 3D effect is as good as any I’ve seen for a Cardboard app. If you’ve become bored with all the 3D videos of natural landscapes that is a staple of Cardboard apps, you might want to take PornHub’s app for a spin. I can’t state it any simpler, it’s like being there as naked people doing naked people things.
Of course, it’s not all perfect. The resolution of my smartphone doesn’t allow it to be an HD virtual reality experience. The 3D effect works fine just don’t expect to see any fine details. This isn’t the fault of PornHub’s app, it’s a problem with my own hardware. I imagine on the Oculus Rift at 1080 x 1200 per eye, it’s a much more detailed experience. The videos also are about only five minutes long and the scenes appear to be cut short on purpose. I think they might have some plan to charge people for longer scenes.
Overall, it’s not a surprise that a porn company has decided to push the envelope of an emerging technology. Everyone knows that porn has done this time and again, whether it was the home video cassette or the heady early days of video streaming on the Internet. Currently, we’re still quite far from having sex on the Holodeck but considering people were looking at magazines hidden underneath a mattress just years ago, this is quite the development.
Despite my carefree days, I actually try to have a productive day, each and every day while I’m unemployed. Of course, the word “productive” is subjective and can mean different things to other people. For me, being productive means doing something with that day (or evening) that I normally would not be able to if I were working. That’s the ultimate value of this time, being able to do or experience things without being shackled by a job. At least that’s my personal view on this.
Now, if you think about it, it’s actually pretty easy to have a “productive” day. If I sleep in until 2pm, get lunch at 4pm, and wind up going to bed at 5am, by default that’s something you normally can’t do if you have a regular job. That’s kinda cheating though because that’s just a lazy day. In my mind though, it doesn’t take much to have a real productive experience. I consider going to a movie matinee during the week to a great experience. While people are stuck at their desks, I’m in a theatre just to myself, watching a movie in complete comfort.
Today was one of those days where I was inspired to be productive. I woke up at 11am, ate some breakfast, and then had to go to the nearest Service Canada government centre to send in a document related to my EI application. That took about 20 minutes and it was nearing the lunch hour so I decided to go to Longtail Kitchen for their awesome Thai chicken wings. Normally, there’s no way I can go to Longtail for lunch so the day was already off to a good start.
After lunch, I had to head into Vancouver proper to get my haircut. When I’m working, I have to get my haircut at a 7pm timeslot during the week because my stylist doesn’t work weekends and with my schedule, that’s the earliest I can get to the salon. Since I’m not working, I can now get my haircut in the morning, afternoon, and I guess even the evenings too. For this particular day though, my appointment was around 2pm. It was the first time I’d been at the salon in the bright sunshine of the afternoon since probably February of 2015. It seems trivial but I found great delight in having my hair cut during a weekday afternoon.
Once my hair had been shortened, I hadn’t planned on anything else but while I was on the bus to the Skytrain station, I had an idea. I let the bus go past the stop for the station and I kept going into Chinatown and then into the shadier area of town where there was a fatal daytime stabbing just days before. Undeterred, that’s where I got off the bus and walked a short distance to the No. 5 Orange strip club.
Now you might wonder why I’d go one of the most (in)famous strip clubs in Vancouver at 3:30pm in the afternoon on a Tuesday. I know for a fact that the afternoon is a terrible time to go a strip club. It was not a surprise that when I walked in, there was no one dancing on stage and just two “entertainers” casually looking at their phones at the bar. There was just a handful of dudes sprinkled throughout the bar. I had my pick of the seats, though I will point out I did not sit at the front row. The reason I went is just because I could. I suppose I could have gone to a mall as well, as technically that’s a place I could not normally go to at 3:30pm on a work day but let’s just say the No. 5 Orange has a bit more character to it than a mall.
As far as strip club experiences go, it was pretty terrible but I didn’t care. I had one beer while I discerned who else was with me on a Tuesday afternoon. There was a group of what looked like construction workers who might have left a site early that day. There a guy in a suit by himself. He was the only business looking guy in there. A few of the strippers seemed to know him and made a point to go over to his table. A lawyer perhaps? There was another gentleman, about middle-aged, who was at a table with two strippers on each side. I don’t want to sound like a bastard but I know enough about the world that those women are there because that dude keeps the money flowing to them, either with drinks, tips, or private dances. I’m not judging though because it’s his money and to be honest, he seemed really, really happy. The highlight of the afternoon was seeing this super old dude sit right by the stage. I believe he is the oldest man I’ve ever seen at a strip club by wide margin. Like he was so old, he walked very slowly to his seat and he seemed almost fragile. You know when people get so old that they get that gaunt look and their skin seems to be just stretched over their skull? Well, that’s how old this guy was. At one point though, I looked over and there was a dancer right next to him on stage who seemed barely in her 20s, with an amazing, flawless, naked body, her legs splayed wide and high into the air for him to see all her secrets and desires. It was at that moment I realized that old dude was doing ok in life. I doubt I’ll make it as far as he has but if I do, I don’t even think I’d have the energy to walk into a strip club. Seeing him made the whole day worth it.
I didn’t stay much longer after that, mostly because I was getting hungry again. I left after I finished my beer and walked two blocks back into Chinatown to get a bowl of pho. It was delicious as most pho is and I made my leisurely way home after that.
As far as days go, today was indeed a most productive day. I did many things I could not do if I was working so I’m pretty happy about it. Tomorrow is another day and while I have nothing planned, who knows what I’ll decide to do.
As with the other times that I’ve been unemployed, I’ve applied for employment insurance, the social assistance program that helps Canadians with financial benefits while they are unemployed. I’ve become quite accustomed to the process of applying for and being on EI. Some might think this is sad but I don’t. EI has never been a program that I’ve depended on to pay for my mortgage or help me buy food. I feel quite lucky it’s never come to that and I hope it never will.
EI does help soften the reality of being unemployed. As nice as it is though, it can be very tough to get the benefits. Depending on how you were paid when you lost your job, you could wind up waiting weeks or even months before you see a dime from the government. For everyone, there’s at least a two-week waiting period before they’ll even consider giving you money. Then they look at if your company gave you severance or even paid you out any vacation. They take that money into consideration and then extend the time before they’ll start sending you cheques.
This waiting time can go into the absurd. So when PopCap closed down our Vancouver studio, I was given an extremely generous severance package. There was no way I could not report that to the government. Even though I applied for EI the week after I was unemployed, the government determined I could go on EI but I wouldn’t see any money until an incredible four and a half months later. The government is currently still assessing my latest EI application, so I won’t know for a few more days until when I could see some sweet social assistance. I’m guessing it won’t be anywhere close to a four-month wait for money.
Last week we moved our clocks ahead one hour in this country, which was because of daylight savings time. Because of this, there’s now more daylight during the day. You look at the clock and expect the sun to be down but because we messed with the time, it’s still daylight outside.
Normally, I welcome the spring forward part for DST because you now get more light for more of the day. Today though, I looked outside at around 5pm and it was still very bright outside and for some reason I was annoyed at that. Internally, I was thinking, “damn, it should be much darker out right now”. I’m not sure why that was. Generally, I like sunnier days than cloudy ones. I’m not an emo or goth dude who wants the world to live under a never-ending gray sky. I’m pretty sure I’m not depressed.
If I could offer up one theory, it’s that I might be getting pretty fed up with DST in general. I don’t think it actually offers me any personal benefit. There are many people who want to get rid of DST as well. I don’t think I’d be disappointed if that ever happened.
I’ve had this day penciled into my calendar for a few months now. At midnight tonight, season two of Daredevil premiered on Netflix. This is the first time I’ve caught a premiere of a Netflix show right on the first day, in the first hours to be exact. I also knew I had no job and no commitments so I could start watching as many episodes as I wanted.
The concept of binge-watching is a real thing and damn does it feel satisfying. It’s now almost 5:30am and I’ve watched four episodes. In between I took time to prepare snacks and I even did some exercise. I am now only just stopping because I need to sleep as I have to meet a friend for coffee in the afternoon. I’m not even that tired and if I didn’t need to meet my friend, I’m sure I could have gone on until the sun began to rise.
At this rate, I’ll be done season two probably by the end of the weekend. The thirteen episodes would have taken over three months to air on a normal network schedule. Is it better watching all of them in a short amount of time? It might mean I’m just waiting longer now for season three. All I can say is season two is so good so far.