The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon

The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon
Shortlisted for The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Ratatouille... and pissing in the park!

Well, the family and I sought out the coolness of a movie theatre this afternoon to escape from the continuing heat. As my 4 year old son says, "It's STINKIN' hot!"

We decided to check out the new Disney/Pixar treat, Ratatouille.

It really was a treat. Of all the great movies Pixar has put out - and there have been a few - this one is tops. The animation is superb. The story is heart-touching and works on so many levels. The timing and humour are spot on. Highly, highly recommended.

Earlier in the day, it was my turn to take the aforementioned 4 year old to his weekly soccer game. We were having a great time until he needed to go pee. In my town, Fergus, we have an A-1 volunteer soccer program. The coaches are great and the playing field is well cared for. There is one issue - toilet facilities.

There are 2 municipal buildings adjacent to the field - a seniors' centre and an information centre. Both have lovely, 21st century bathroom facilities - I know this first hand. Both, unfortunately, are locked on Saturdays. Hundreds of little soccer players and their parents, grandparents etc need to make due with a pair of chemical toilets. That's right, folks, 2 johnnies on the spot for literally hundreds of bladders. The complicating factor today is that after making the frenzied trek to the port-a-potties my son and I discovered that some jokers had decided to tip them over last night.

What's a dad to do. We found a shrub that looked like it could use a little moisture and the boy began to irrigate. At that moment someone's grandma came by and, with a look of shock and disgust, said, "That boy can't pee here!" As my son packed away his man-tackle, I looked the old bird in the eye and said, "Just did, lady. If you have a problem I suggest you and the other old folks open up your friggin' Seniors' Centre. Jesus, lady - I figured if anyone was sympathetic about bathroom emergencies it would be someone in their golden years. That is why they call them the golden years, isn't it?"

Thank god the kid didn't need to take a dump!

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Long Weekend and a New Friend

Another Canada Day has come and gone. It was a great weekend filled with a pancake breakfast put on by the local volunteer firefighters, a trip to the beach, barbecues aplenty and spectacular fireworks. Absolutely no work was done on writing projects but that's as it should be - family time comes first. Today, however it was back to the grindstone polishing Loremaster.

Another thing that didn't get done over the weekend was gardening. Normally, a long weekend would be spent cutting grass, weeding beds and maybe working on the odd woodworking project but it has been so dry here lately I'm actually afraid to do anything but water. The forecast calls for rain tomorrow, but I'll believe that when I see it.

Over the last week I've been working outside. I've retreated to the backyard with the laptop to go through Loremaster line by line, word by word. I guess it was last Friday that I first met my new friend. I was typing away, wearing a t-shirt, shorts and sandals, when I heard a scuttling noise to my right. It seemed to come from a slightly overgrown flowerbed. I glanced over but quickly dismissed it and got back to work. The next thing I knew I heard the scuttling again but then something scurried over my sandal and bare foot. I screamed like a little girl and nearly shat myself. (I find it wonderful that Blogger's automatic spell checker doesn't take issue with "shat")

After I regained my composure I saw that the culprit was a very cheeky chipmunk.

Since Friday he has made daily visits and yesterday the kids and I fed him peanuts. Today he showed up less than three feet from me and seem to shrug his little shoulders as if to say, "Hey man, where's my peanut?"

Of course I went in the house and got him one.

On an added note - went to see Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer. If you're thinking of going - don't bother. I went really wanting to enjoy it but the timing was bad (poor editing, perhaps) - there was no chemistry between the actors and the story, while having a lot of potential, fell flat. There was even something weird going on with Jessica Alba's make-up. If the makeup team was going for peroxide-blond California Tan-in-a-bottle whore, then they succeeded in spades. It wasn't completely bad. Special effects were pretty good. The reason to rent it when it comes to video is the best Stan Lee cameo yet.

'Nuff said.