top music picks

well folks.. here they are.. velkr0’s 2005 top music lists.. andrew was the first person to remind me of the need to prepare such lists.. a few weeks back.. and well.. here’s a link to his.. we followed a slightly different format, mainly kuz i find it extremely difficult to weigh the quality and significance of an album or track.. but anyways.. i gave it a shot.. so here are my ‘top’ 30 albums.. ‘best’ 10 albums and 10 most played tracks (by unique artists)… check them out.. if you have not already.. enjoy…

velkr0’s top 30 albums of 2005 (alphabetical order)

velkr0’s 10 most important albums of 2005 (alphabetical order)

velkr0’s 10 most listened to tracks

  1. Bloc Party – This Modern Love
  2. Black Mountain – Faulty Times
  3. Wolf Parade – Modern World
  4. Team Sleep – Tomb of Liegia
  5. Blood On The Wall – Reunite on Ice
  6. Broken Social Scene – Our Faces Split the Coast in Half
  7. Nine Inch Nails – Right Where it Belongs
  8. LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk Is Playing at My House
  9. Sufjan Stevens – Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Il
  10. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth

audible irritability

ok, i/someone needs to do some research here and see/show me the effects, other than hearing loss, of prolonged exposure to sirens, repetitive sounds, and other loud and unpleasant noises… i am referring to the emergency service vehicles that drive by, siren engaged, every 3 minutes.. the do-do-do that plays on the skytrain at each stop, the tick-tick-tick that the two dollar clock in my washroom makes, and of course the countless chimes included at the end of many television ads. then again.. maybe i just need to get out of my apartment and find me a buoyant, uncomplicated and explicit good time.

a sense of direction

with this calendar year near end, i am finding it necessary to outline some new goals targets of varying magnitude… and what’s easier and more fun than accomplishing this with some, unsorted and point-form, new years resolutions… and yes, be warned, many all of these can be tagged: cliché

– become more physically active
– consume less alcohol
– develop better eating habits
– improve posture
– expand knowledge-based skill-set
– increase positive cash-flow
– optimize work/life balance
– broaden social network
– advance professionally
– strengthen soul

now, one caveat… since all of these targets are pretty much qualitative aspirations which cannot be accurately measured… this list must be viewed as a mission statement for 2006, rather than a list of promised predetermined actions.

inhibited christmas cheer

so i finally found some time where i could write a few of my thoughts down. ahh, it feels good to blog.. anyways.. over the past week or so my dad has been here and it has been quite interesting. i have discovered many things about myself and him that, well, don’t really mesh nicely or contribute to our relationship in an overly positive way… you know.. the tensions that result from attempts at describing and understanding what a blog or a web browser is, or the rationale behind not supporting corporate radio…
it’s not like i should have expected anything more or less of his visit, but i guess i kinda was… i think i had hoped he would be able to magically understand me, my life, and all the things that i have an opinion on and matter to me. and umm.. this has not happened… sure he has drawn his own conclusions of my first year in vancouver… and expressed his judgment of me based on the surface things he sees, understands, and relates to… like, ‘where’s my girlfriend’… ‘you don’t need a good tv’… and ‘ohh, probably this… and probably that…’ ha, wow, in retrospect i realize how implausible this dream of mine truly was: i am such a fool!! i will never be able to change my father, nor should i want or need to.. but then why do i constantly strive to do this!?! why?!?! it must be kuz i want him to be a better man.. more able to successfully live in modern society.. to maximize his happiness and life potential.. but what the fuck?!?! who am i to determine this for him.. so if i can accept that i cannot and should not change that, well that must mean my motives, entirely residing in my subconscious, are seeking to meet my own self-interest.. and well.. that ain’t right either.. so yeah, i dunno… but regardless, thus far, this has hardly been a holiday in the sense of a break filled with fun, silly and memorable activities… but rather a short segment of time in my life where i need not to goto work and where i constantly struggle to create a positive setting which will generate substantial and memorable events of my dad’s first attempt to enter my independent life.

leanin’ left with a trigga, yo

ok, the Liberal plan to ban hand guns really has my brain in a knot… now let me tell you why.. at first glance, in point form, and over the short-term, a ban on handguns:

  • will not reduce homicides, or gang activity;
  • will not reduce the use of handguns by criminals;
  • will not reduce the supply of illegal handguns;
  • actually discriminates against law-abiding citizens, who already have registered handguns; and,
  • creates criminals out of currently registered owners unless they become ‘legitimate target shooters who meet strict requirements’ (extra fees not included)

i love it when i hear conservative ‘thinkers’ like Mr. Ralph Klein say things like: “I can ban anything. I can ban tape recorders, by law. It’s not going to stop you from using them” (from the cbc)

and he is 100% right. for instance, if the government decides to ban, steak knives, people will not take advantage of amnesty efforts, or buy-back programs… and it is simply because people need their knives to help facilitate steak consumption (also something klein would appreciate me saying :P)… anyways, most citizens do not use their supply/collection of knives to kill people, even though stabbings do account for the highest proportion of homicides in canada. (statcan)

ok, i’m getting off track here, so lets just assume knives will never be banned since they are essential to human survival, and get back to handguns; since we all know that handguns really only exist to shoot people. if we push politics aside for a moment, and forget about the short-term Liberal intension to gain popularity in urban-canada… we can focus on the long-term effects of a canadian handgun ban and see that over the long-term a ban on handguns:

  • will strengthen our socially progressive canadian culture, by providing controls to dampen the need/desire for a handgun;
  • will reduce the proportion of homicides caused by handguns, by eliminating the need for gangstas to partake in a self-defeating arms race; and thus,
  • will result in a safter society, less reliant on handguns.

Joseph Heath & Andrew Potter, in The Rebel Sell, suggest that differences in “…culture are a consequence of the differences in laws and institutions” and well, this is most clearly seen by comparing us to our friend directly south, where “two-thirds of all homicide victims were killed with a firearm in 2003, [which was] more than double the proportion seen in Canada.” (from statcan) … obviously since canada already has stricter gun laws than the americans.

Ok, so i didn’t really prove anything with this post, and i am still really torn on the issue, even though i am clearly leading a little left…. any thoughts?


there is just something about this ‘poem’ that i adore.. check it out.. it’s from the film ‘me and you and everyone we know‘…. it’s just kinda misquoted….

i going to be free,
and i going to be brave,
and i going to live each day,
as if it were my last.
with grace.

and in the dark of the night,
and it does get dark,
when i call a name,
it will be your name.
what’s your name?

lets go,
even though we’re scared,
kuz it’s life,
and it’s happening,
it’s really really happening,
right now.

christmas spirit and election fever

two exciting events are quickly approaching, and today i started my preparations for both. the first is christmas. this year, i will be breaking tradition for the first time ever. i will be staying in vancouver, and as a result, i will be unable to attend the normal dinners at my grandparents and at my dad’s, and won’t be able to gather with all my friends for some customary festive cheer. now, i know i am going to regret this, kuz it is going to suck ass, when i am sitting here alone on new years.. but at least for christmas, i will be able to feed my dad some of my experimental free-range turkey, while i have some christmas music pumping in the background. (ohh btw my dad is coming to town for a pair of weeks later this month).

now on to the other exciting event… which is the federal election. ohh, how i just love federal politics!! the conservatives have already played all the big cards… shit we’re a week in to the campaign, and they have already played the GST card, which to be honest, totally took me by surprise.. this GST trick of theirs might actually turn out to be a wise move… since we all know (but somehow recently forgot) the broken liberal promise of killing the GST… (damn, wish i had my ‘red book’ here) anyways, when you tie this old (even retired) issue in with the sponsorship scandal, it truly does make a convincing argument that the liberals (or any government) cannot be trusted with all of these surpluses that have been happening year after year. way to go for the conservatives who have been able to take this positive outcome of the liberal leadership and spin it to make their own platform shine!! i love it!! canadian politics rules!! anyways, time to get serious here.. and to let you all know that the conservative campaign is starting to scare me, since it does in fact seem very well planned. they are constantly setting the pace, putting the election focus where they want it and as a result are getting the prime media coverage and possibly gaining popularity [poll check]… i hope my buddies jim, jack and paul, step it up a bit, and provide canadians with some quality bate so we don’t get distracted by all this conservative glitter.

defective feet/shoes

ok, i am now officially convinced that i have a walking disorder of some sort.. kuz there is no way that the last 4 (possibly 5) pairs of shoes i have owned are all intrinsically defective – it must be me!! let me explain… today, since it was snowing here in vancouver, i quickly realized the soles of my shoes have yet again cracked right through… it’s not like my socks are visible from the bottom or anything yet.. but the cracks are indeed large enough to allow enough slush in to make both my feet uncomfortably cold and wet… i don’t know what i can do?!!? sure, i can buy new shoes again, possibly even more expensive ones, that are specifically designed to help people like me, but will it help? it seems that rationale didn’t really work for the pair before these, shit, those ones even came with a year warranty, which i actually went to the effort to utilize, only to have the replacement fail on me too… so what do i do, buy a new pair of cheap shoes, or go all-out? do other people experience this issue with their shoes too?!?! or do i, in fact, suffer from some kind of foot ailment!?!?

themed chaos

the new theme is now live again.. and it’s now more cross-browser friendly *hopefully*… everything is pretty much random… with the background image and individual post’s border, width and title-font changing upon each reload.. now, there are still some tweaks that are coming in the near future that will add just a few final touches…. but for now, all of you not using an RSS reader to read all this fine blog… please leave me some constructive feedback on design elements, flaws, and on any issues that you feel are due to your preferred browser… i aim to please, people!! (except of course if you fancy a static, boring weblog that doesn’t keep you guessing before and after each click!!)

sup boss?

so tonight, andrei and i went out for dinner and drinks with our old boss. she is in town for some business, so of course we had to make time to get together.. it was really good to see her and catch up on the many things that have happened to us over the past year.. i have always had a great admiration for her, as she has this unique ability to see the best in people and can somehow encourage people to bring it out.. she is also always willing to go above and beyond any expectations… and for all of this.. i respect and truly appreciate her and our friendship… cheers diane!

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