Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas continues, off to see the rest of the family for what I am calling "Christmas.2"
I've been meaning to get out of the house and take some pictures, but haven't. Been sleeping a lot, mostly on account of nothing to do (the weather is shit for photography).

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Fucking Christmas

You can read, right? It's Christmas eve, so I'm getting dragged off to non-secular festivities. Not especially happy about it. On the other hand, four hours until the twenty fifth.

I'd forgotten what I didn't like about Christmas.

Fuck it. The whole damned season.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

That went well

I didn't get around to finishing those liveblogs.

I also managed to leave the memory card with all of my pictures from Montreal back in Ottawa.

I didn't finish the liveblogs because I over slept and missed the train I was supposed to catch and had to scramble to get a ticket on a different train and... look.
It was a fucking mess. A sixteen fucking car pile-up with a gasoline tanker thrown on top for shits and giggles.

And I have no snow :(

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Train Ride

A recap, for the week. I wound up going to Montreal. It's a gorgeous city, for the record, but I don't have any pictures from there. There are two reasons for this. Winter decided to finally get it's game in fucking gear and bit down hard with a cold snap, and I wasn't fucking around outside with the sun going down in a city I wasn't familiar with in the fucking cold without any fucking gloves. That is the requisite run-on sentence for this post. Long story, as to why I was in Montreal, but it's always nice to be out of the house with company. I'm not exactly a fucking social butterfly.

As for my plans. I've got a five hour train ride to Toronto tomorrow, and this time I'm actually going to take pictures as I go. I could liveblog the whole trip when we stop at a station, if I had a mind to. I'm also going to finish my Blair Witch Liveblog tomorrow on the trip, and finally get around to resuming watching those hilariously bad videos.

TL;DR? G0t my shit packed, and I'm getting the fuck out of here for a while.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I remember reading an article a while back, can't remember where, about how the human mind is essentially geared to look for and recognize certain patterns, the shape of a human face, for instance. It's an instinct... a skill set that's hardwired into us, ostensibly so we wouldn't get eaten by tigers or something. The article goes on to say that the human mind even tries to find patterns in places where they don't exist. It's where you get kids making the clouds out to be dragons, or kittens or what have. How we got that famous face on Mars, and why there are conspiracy theorists. Misfires. Because the human brain apparently needs to do this. But does it recognize breaks in patterns as well? The one thing that doesn't fit in a crowd?
I'd like to think so. If the human brain is geared towards patterns, it seems to make sense that it should recognize changes to them.

So let me tell you about houses. The houses on my street, most of them have christmas lights. Or lights period. You can see them as you walk down the street. Except for a few of them. A house with no lights on, no cars in the driveway, sitting on it's own at the end of the street gives me an... off sort of feeling. One of these things doesn't belong, you know?

And I'm going to get into touchy feely stuff, because the season sort of merits it. Christmas is that whole family thing, but I'll be spending it five hours away from mine, with my mother's sister, for assorted reasons. The least of which is that I have no desire to see my father, a miserable, hateful, decrepit, alcoholic excuse for a human being for whom death cannot come soon enough.

Things with Miranda are going well, though she's still glaring at me if I so much as mention the homeless guy from the other day. I've got a week until I take my train ride. Probably spend the whole thing liveblogging, if anyone cares to enjoy it.

Caffeine withdrawal has started to subside. I expect I'll spend at least a week of the break sick as a dog post finals. But I've got a dinner date on wednesday (also the last of my exams), and need to finish this website.

Friday, December 9, 2011

What the fuck?

We were downtown for class today, and Miranda flipped out. At a homeless guy in a wheelchair.
I think that sums up what happened fairly accurately. Exam stress must be getting to her or something.

We're on our way back from the field trip downtown, visiting an office, about to catch the bus, and all of a sudden, from behind me I hear Miranda start swearing. At least I assume it was swearing, judging by the tone. I'm assuming because I think there were at least four different languages in there. She starts going at the guy in french. I know a *little* but she was talking way too fast for me to pick up more than every sixth word.

You have to understand, this is fucking out of character for her. Incredibly out of fucking character. I have never seen Miranda flip the fuck out on someone like that. Not on her worst days. So I have no idea what this idiot did to get her going like that. I knew she spoke french, but I think there was some italian and german thrown in there for good measure. At least when she was cursing.

In any case, the entire street now staring at them (myself notwithstanding) Miranda finally manages to get a hold of herself, leaves the wheelchair guy alone. And when she gets close enough, she shoots me this look. You know the sort right? The ones that contain volumes of information without actually needing anything more than a glance? This one said "Don't even fucking think about asking." Did I mention she was... I think grinning is the right word. What the fuck have I gotten into here?

I'm going to go back to this thing I was working on then. The break cannot get here fucking fast enough.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Further Update

I could really have done with a wakeup this morning. Almost walked right out of the house without my glasses.

To those of you with vision that doesn't need correcting, I'll try to explain. Without my glasses, objects start to lose definition outside of arms reach. Like having a great big blur filter tossed over them. After a certain distance things like words and writing become indistinguishable blurs of little more than vague ill-defined shapes and blobs of colour.

I need more sleep. Just another week or so. It's snowed again, which means I'll be making my yearly trip to Toronto for the holidays soon I suppose. Snow always looks so pretty right after it's first fallen.

Monday, December 5, 2011

More updates

So, I've talked with Miranda. Good news! She knows about this blog. (Hi Miranda)

How to best go about this then? Well, let's start with the obvious update. Caffeine free:

I'm still doing pretty good without the caffeine. My sleeping had normalized a little before we went into "OH SHIT EXAMS TIME" and I started fucking with my sleep again. At this point I'm catching naps or scraps of sleep whenever I can.

Suffice it to say, sticking with my personal challenge is proving harder than expected.

Miranda: Take the chance to thank Rynia here. Miranda found me liveblogging MH (part of the reason that's on hold) and recognized it. How you recognize one shaky cam video out of a few dozen I don't know. We got to palavering and things followed. That was a few days back.
She's... yeah let's go with 'intense' as a word to describe her. Apparently I am seeing her. This was an... I think this qualifies as an ultimatum.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Update time

So, we're now at.. the end of a week, I think.
One week sans caffeine. I'm not doing terribly well at this point. My sleeping is completely thrown off. Maybe I should have just tried giving this up in march or something? I'm starting to come down with something. Not surprising. Gotta to get around to getting my flu shot before I head to Toronto for the holiday.

So, yeah, might as well cover that there. I'm heading to Toronto for the winter break. Don't expect too much from me during that period. It's probably the most social interaction I'm likely to get for the next six months, I intend to make the most of it.

The date with Miranda (that's her name, incidentally) went... badly. I either couldn't shut up, or couldn't articulate my thoughts properly, neither is a good extreme. I blame the lack of caffeine. We did get to watch Dead Snow without my running commentary (understand, this is rare), but she caught the bus right after that. Quiet the whole way.

I kind of get the feeling I fucked that one up, quite a bit.

I was walking home this evening and realized I could see Orion. I don't think that I could live in a place where I couldn't see the stars. It's just not possible.

I got home, having left the light in my room on. For a second, I thought that... well it was stupid of me. Let's leave it at that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

About last night

Spectacularly bad.
At least, I think so. I haven't talked with her since last night.
I've got class in... two and a half hours.
So we'll see how that goes.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Movie

So, that whole date thing which I seem to have accidentally engendered is tonight.
Not quite sure how that'll go. I'm confident that I'll make an absolute fucking prat out of myself or be perfectly unable to shut up.

I'm still not sure that anyone actually reads this (not even the prof who suggested we start these things [HI ROY]) but if you'd like to try to help me calm down, I'd be more than willing to accept aid. Or troll you, I'm not sure where that particular mood-aspect is leaning at the moment.

Try not to take it personally if I do, it's just the World and I keeping track of who's winning.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What am I on now... day... 3 plus, of not having caffeine.
Considering the habit was "at least once a day", I was expecting this to be... I don't know, easier?
I certainly credit it with the rash of absolutely *brilliant* ideas I've been having lately.
That was sarcasm. I know it doesn't translate well.

Suffice it to say that it's been fucking with my sleep a bit lately. Either I'm awake much too late without trying or I'm sleeping too lightly and waking up a few times in the night. Either way, it's doing wonders (sarcasm again) for my state of actually being awake in class.

So there's this girl in one of my courses. She's from the other section of the class, should be in the 2pm editing class instead of this one, but I digress. She's cute, blonde, and likes horror films.
So, in my half-awake state the other day, I ask her "hey, that theatre downtown is showing Dead Snow (Norweigian? zombie flick. Nazi zombies, very good). I was going to go with a friend, but he bailed." Completely out of the blue, no reason that I can think of other than that I was half asleep.

Want the shocking part?

She said "sure."

Well fuck me. What am I supposed to do now?

Friday, November 25, 2011

So, my camera whacked out on me the other day. Some of the pictures showed up all weird, distorted. It's not brand new, it's a pretty basic point and shoot. Maybe the cold, or all the bumping around or low battery or something fucked it up a little?

Of course, the annoying part is, it's not acting up at this point. Shooting just fine as you please. There's no point in having it looked at of course, it's just.. frustrating.

T+ 24 Hours

So, day one without caffeine.

I got up around usual time, class from ten to four. First problem was that I was falling alseep halfway through that. The second problem was the looming assignment deadline. That was nice. Had to get that one finished.

The cold is what's doing it though, I think. If you'd asked me to go without caffeine in the summer, I'd have said I needed it because of having to get up early and work, but really it was because the door I sat next to pretty much belched arctic air out at me all day. It could be 30+ degrees (celsius) outside and I'd be at the counter, wrapped up in a blanket. The cold is going to be a killer.

Getting off topic though. Stumbled into bed around two in the morning after forcing myself to stay up and finish an assignment. Got up at six again to polish it off, class at nine, another assignment downtown this afternoon and then? Weekend. I want my bed again already. Bluh...

So, today's official action plan? No caffeine, stay warm. Maybe, I don't know, herbal tea or something?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Caffeine withdrawal

So, I've started my winter project. I need something to do when it gets cold, otherwise I tend to spend my days inside doing completely unproductive things (usually sitting around playing flash games for 3+ hours) or sleeping.

I'm quitting caffeine.

This may seem counter-intuitive, given that I live in Ottawa.
For those of you unfamiliar with the region, it gets quite cold here. A cup of coffee (or hot chocolate, if you aren't a coffee person) is easily appreciated. And if you're in a program where you find yourself attending late classes, or needing to be awake at odd hours of the morning in order to benefit from the class?

But I digress, I'm now rather tired, after only six hours in and a full night of sleep? This is going to be an interesting first day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lack of Horror

My pursuit of interesting scary stuff continues in vain.

Why can I not find any good horror. And please, please don't try to tell me that gore is good horror.
Gore gets old *fast*. When you throw buckets of blood and guts at a screen, over and over again? The audience is eventually going to get desensitized.

So I need some psychological horror. And really if there's anyone reading this? I would love suggestions.


Winter isn't coming any more, winter is here, so the rest of you cold-hating, snow-shy screwheads can all fly away, and leave the snow to me.
My snow.
Expect pictures.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


It's fucking cold.
Mostly, the problem is that the whether hasn't decided how cold it wants to fucking well be, up until this weekend. WINTER IS COMING!
Not that I have a problem with winter or anything, I'd just like the whether to settle on a mood so I can dress appropriately.
I'll have some more photos up on the tumblr later this week, if anyone's interested.

Monday, October 17, 2011

If no one hears from me for a while

I'm probably dead or in police custody.
After murdering my classmates and teacher.

Seriously, I'm paying this man's salary?


edit: this is what low blood sugar will do to a body.



Is the only way to describe the current situation.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011



So... It's after thanksgiving now. Hope you had a good one. Unless you're some silly sort of person who celebrates thanksgiving in November.

I rode the train twice, managed to murder my arms playing kinect sports and now I have all kinds of leftovers. But I have no idea what happened to TWO WHOLE DAYS. Time should not move that quickly.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On procrastination

So, I've been telling myself for about a week that I'll get groceries "tomorrow."
Tomorrow arrived last night when I started to actually run out of food.

But here's the problem. It's eight blocks, one way,from here to the grocery stores. I don't have a car and I hate spending money.

So it's a little hard to get the groceries home on my own, especially when I'm in a starvation situation.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fire Alarms

I really don't like fire alarms.
Or noise of any sort. I say noise, rather than sound, because noise is unwanted sound. Or really any unwanted sensory information.

We had one running earlier today as tumblr will show.
I've got video of it, but I don't think I want to subject anyone to that ear-piercing wailing noise the alarms make.

This post is only tangentially related to fire alarms.
An earlier post mentioned the house fire nearby. Three alarm fire at eleven at night tends to generate a lot of noise. Emergency vehicles, the fire itself, the noise of people in nearby houses. Doors, windows, sirens. Lights, smoke.

The house that burned down was a little up the street from my own. Eventually they cordoned off the lot, and cleaned it up. News said there were two bodies found in the fire, and it was arson.
So you sort of have to wonder:
Would a fire alarm have really helped them?

They've cleaned up the lot now. There's plants and things growing there. You'd never know there had been a house.

In which I write a diatribe in response to a tumblr question

So, my dear anon, what makes a good horror movie?

My own top three consists of 28 Days Later, Alien and the first Evil Dead.

So what can we take away from that?

Suspense, Tension and a good soundtrack.

28 Days Later (and I’m spoiling something here) has that wonderful scene with this track “In The House, In A Heartbeat.” The main character sets all hell loose, you can’t actually hear 90% of the action in the scene, just a steadily increasing crescendo as 95% of the human cast dies. And just when everything seems awesome? The film throws you a curve ball.

What can I say about Alien? Let me refer you here. That scene was shot more than 30 years ago. It's still filled with tension and suspense.

The original Evil Dead? Hmm, can I find the ending on youtube? I can in fact. So here it is. The Ash you see there has just butchered his sister, his girlfriend and two of his closest friends (I may be misremembering) and then they do THAT? Ouch. Kick in the crotch for Ash there. But that's pretty standard fare. That's a decent shock.

The problem I find with a lot of recent horror is that it relies a lot on shock for all the scares. Sure, something poping out at you is going to make you jump. Don't even get me started on this 3D shit.

A decent soundtrack will go a long way to building suspense and can add to tension. Psycho? The Shower Scene? Jurassic Park (and if you watched Jurassic Park as a kid, raptors may still terrify you to this day.)

Suspense and tension will leave a lasting scare that will keep you checking your closet and make you want to turn the lights on when you get up to get a drink at two in the morning. Not making you jump, and certainly not gore.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dear Grocery Store

I do not like you.
I do not like that your aisles are too narrow, that there isn't enough space between the cashiers and the shelves to provide enough space for people to queue properly.
I do not like that your store has a persistent layer of grime and, dare I say, decay.
I disapprove of the quality of your so-called food, despite how low the prices are.
Furthermore, I do not like that your patrons seem to fail to understand that standing in a long line of shopping carts while blocking any possible way past them is not a good idea.
I'm sure, somewhere there is a fire code violation in your store.
And I hope it burns to the ground.


The Reliable Robin

Oh the weather outside is...

Actual honest to god weather! None of this, partly cloudy stuff either. Overcast, blustery, cold and wet. Proper fall weather, how I have missed you!
The leaves are changing colour, I can wear long sleeved shirts or the colour black without worrying about them sticking to my back like tape!
Fall is the second best season.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


So, I've been back in Ottawa a month. There are three things I like about Ottawa. First, at night I can actually see the stars. Not a few miserable pinpricks of light trying to compete with every streetlight in the city, we're talking constellations worth.

Second: Trees. The trees at my home in the GTA are boring, blade-leafed, straight sickly looking things. There are maple and oak trees around here, pine trees that dwarf the houses they stand in front of. The trees seem more fundamentally tree-like. I'm not exactly sure why. They just seem more like real trees.

Third: Lack of noise. I live on a bus route in the GTA. All hours, bloody buses. In Ottawa, I live at least two blocks from the nearest major road or bus route. There's next to no car traffic.
This was interrupted a while back by a house deciding to burn down. I've got pictures. Well, not exactly.

Tales From the Coffee Shop

So, keeping current with the whole writing thing.
I worked at this little coffee shop in downtown Toronto over the summer. It was open to the street, no AC and we baked stuff as well.
The coffee tasted like battery acid (purportedly, I never drank it myself) and some of the pastries we had in the display could have been used to induce blunt force trauma.

In short, we did next to no business. I still got paid, and I loafed around the back room a lot with my laptop. It was a pretty reasonable gig except for the weather.

The boss was an alcoholic and I'm pretty sure he spent most of the time high.

At least three of the other employees smoked (god I can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke.)

The "customers" we'd get? I'm pretty sure most of them weren't up to any good. Like we had these two guys come in one day. Only reason I remember it was because the girl serving people came an bugged me about it. Anyways two guys, both wearing long coats like they're extras just walked in out of a scene from the Matrix.

The one guy, much older, has grey in his hair, looks like he's some sort of addict, eyes are a little screwy, malnourished, looks older than he probably is, hood pulled up over his head. The younger guy, brown hair, blue coat, looks twitchy and nervous as all hell. I'm pretty sure he's on drugs. Keeps fiddling with something in his pocket.
They talk in the shop a while, the older fellow keep looking around and soon he's pretty nervous too. The older one actually orders coffee and drinks some of it. Which is the shocking part. This was abominably bad, horrible coffee by all accounts. super-humanly bad coffee. The younger guy bolts out of the coffee shop after they talk for a while.

That was actually a fairly horrible day. Between the rain, those two guys in the shop and then the subway? Absolutely rubbish. So here's the story there. Bloor-Danforth subway line, blocked by body. SRS BSNS.
Obviously it is not on the tracks. THANKS FOR THAT DUMBASS.
I was three hours late getting home and STARVING. (It wasn't pretty)

The worst part was of course that half the food had gone by that point.

Please allow me to introduce myself

I am a man of wealth and taste
Okay, enough of that. No better time to start a blog than at 9:30 in the morning!
So, I'm the Reliable Robin! I'm a student living in Ottawa.
One of the professors suggested that we maintain our own blogs (Hello there Roy!) as a way to keep up our writing skills when we aren't in class. Not a horrible idea!
So this is my blog. Not quite sure of what to do with it yet.

Here's a thought! INTERESTS!
Unfortunately, Blogger is very anti-photography. Well, anti-non-text entries anyways.
So photography and music have to find another place to roost. (Blog rule, minimize bird puns)
Movies, Books, Games, I suppose I could try reviewing them, though that tends to turn into pretentious opinion stuff.
If the URL didn't give it away, I'm a fan of Shakespeare. Living as close as I do to Stratford, I try to get out once a year and see some of the Bard put on at the festival there. (That's Stratford, ON)
I do photography as a pastime, literally as a way to pass the time. Don't expect anything super artistic. I really should see about setting up a place to post those. I have spent hours wandering around taking photos of anything that catches my eye. (See what I avoided there?)
I also make puns.