Saturday, January 15, 2005

a new hero for our times

i remember in university, a girl i went to school with had a schtick, you know, how we all have our bits that we do, but hers was this hapless superhero called "MASTER OF THE OBVIOUS!!!" mostly he'd just kind of stride purposely into a room and state something... well... obvious.

the reason this comes to mind is that i was involved in making a short (read: 1 minute long) film this morning, which will theoretically be on Zed TV on CBC, for any Canadian viewers. and the director said something about people being able to view it on their cell phones/pda's. very hi-tech, very hip and happening with the youth culture, our CBC.

in any case, apart from lending my apartment for the interior locations (note: if anyone asks you to lend them your apartment for a film shoot, never do it. they will rearrange your furniture, traumatize your cat, and discover all sorts of embarrassing things like your boyfriend's multitude of candy wrappers, old christmas paper and the like when they move the couch.), i played the role of an innocent bystander who is inadvertently killed by a crumpled-up piece of paper thrown off a highrise balcony by a frustrated scriptwriter. this neccessarily involved numerous takes of me getting beaned with a paper ball, and hurling myself, unconscious, to the concrete.

for anyone unfamiliar with northern alberta, particularly this week's weather in northern alberta, today's temperatures reached a balmy high of -28C without the windchill. and so there we were, camera, boom, reflective silver disc-thingy, standing in the snow out front of my building, taking turns knocking me down with wadded up paper.

buses were slowing down. traffic was honking. oh, yeah. check out the big movie stars-- maybe they're filming a BRICK COMMERCIAL! there was a guy in yellow who would NOT GO AWAY. he kept asking questions. i think he even asked if we were making a porn. yeah, a really AWESOME FREAKING PORN MOVIE. it's called Polar Necrophiliacs 3:Flesh for Fantasy-- the action's just starting when i hit the ground!

so for one particular shot, the other actor had to run past my motionless body. this meant that i had to lie down on the (cold cold) sidewalk. no problem. it was actually fun. but we had to keep waiting while the general public walked by. so there i am, lying there, eyes closed, and this woman walks by. i just see her fur-covered boots, i have no idea what she looks like. but she says in this CLASSIC falsetto voice "must be cold!".

Must be cold.




Thursday, January 06, 2005

Thank you, Royal Bank.

you can read more here, but i'll quote the relevant bits. this is the advice that my financial institution directs me to when i ask them for guidance in paying back my massive student loans:

"Let's take a look at different approaches to paying back your student loan with the following examples:
Danielle and Gordon just graduated in the same class with a degree in engineering. They've both found jobs in their field with about the same salaries - just over $40,000. Each of them has approximately $16,000 in student loans, but they're managing their loan repayments in totally different ways.
Danielle plans to pay off the entire loan in four years, which means hefty monthly payments of $400. To fit these payments in her budget, she'll be living with a roommate in a small apartment and hold off any big purchases, like a car."

hmmm that seems plenty realistic to me. oh, except for the fact that if my entry-level job paid JUST OVER $40,000 a YEAR, i probably wouldn't be asking my bank for $%#&^* suggestions!!!

in the real world, the world where i've been paying the royal bank an amount equivalent to my rent each month for 4 years, their little online pamphlet might read something like this:

"uberviolet just graduated with a degree in theatre. since there are no jobs to be had in her industry, her first job out of school pays $8/hour, and she photocopies papers and takes abuse from screaming lawyers all day. uberviolet has approximately $30,000 in student loans, and the royal bank has suggested that she should investigate time travel and go back to 1994 and apply to engineering schools. in order to manage the non-negotiable $360 a month payments she must make for the next 9 years, uberviolet has decided to give up the following: brand name food, main courses not containing the name Ramen, new clothes, non-roommate living situations, any hope of having a credit card, a car, or owning property. grateful for her education, uberviolet accepts the crushing monthly payments, and the disdain of the Royal Bank Student Loan Centre customer service reps who suggest that she either take out a bank loan to pay her student loan, or sharply remind her that it is illegal for those with government student loans to declare bankruptcy. because obviously, someone who pays regularly for years and calls in to try to negotiate something less crushing must obviously be thinking of making a break for the sweet, sweet, credit-mashing 7 year relief of total bankruptcy."

Royal Bank, i salute you. i am confident that your net income for the year ended Oct. 31, 2004 of $2,839 million is going towards maintaining the level of customer service i have come to expect after years of dealing with you. after reading your 4th quarter revenues, i can understand that it must be vitally important to the Royal Bank machine for me to pay $331 a month and not the manageable $300 i requested.

thank you, Royal Bank, for making me realize what it truly is to be a part of something greater than myself.

thank you.