The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Being an outcast as a kid, Halloween has always been an awesome day to me. The chance to disguise myself as something else certainly had appeal, if only to keep people off my back for a day.

My problem was two-fold. On one hand, I didn’t really have a lot of money to spend on costumes. On the other, even if I did, I really enjoyed trying to make my own costumes.

Given that my monetary status was low, the resources I had access to were somewhat limited. Not to mention, I was a bit of a procrastinator. For example…

The Cop

I got the brilliant idea one year of being a cop. I had a fake badge that was pinned on a hat, and a gun. With these two things alone, I figured I would be the best cop ever…

The dorkiest cop ever.
Click to enlarge…

Looking back I wonder what the hell I was thinking. It was bad enough that I wore what was clearly an Adidas running top. Not only that, but wearing green sneakers and folded jeans was probably also not a good idea.

To top it all off, my sunglasses were so big they could have protected my face were I to go into welding.

A lot of my childhood costumes were like this. I just chalk it up to the fact that I didn’t think things through. Of course, this seemed to carry into adulthood.

The Crow

The Crow was one of my staple costumes after high school. I saw the movie and thought it was an awesome concept. Not to mention I had a long black wig and the makeup and clothing were relatively easy to do…

The original Crow (left) and my version (right).
Click to enlarge…

Obviously my version was nowhere near as cool as the movie version. I lacked the cool threads (a ripped t-shirt over another shirt really removes the imposing nature of the character), and the make up was not as good as it could have been.

Score another defeat thanks to waiting for the last minute.

Indiana Jones

Indy is one of my all-time favourite movie characters, mostly because he feels like he could be a real person. One would think that this would make it easier to put together a costume that would do him justice.

This is not always so…

The original Indy (left) and my versions (middle, right).
Click to enlarge…

Out of all of the costumes I had created up to that point, Indiana Jones was the best. The first year I dressed up as Indy, though, I couldn’t find a bullwhip. I even went to a bunch of sex shops to no avail.

So that year (the middle photo), I used a shock cord and tie-wraps to approximate the whip. It didn’t really work out.

Later on, I ended up securing a nice 10′ whip to hang on my belt, which really helped.

The real problem with the costume, though, was the fact that the palette was all wrong. The saving grace, of course, was that it was universally off.

Kakashi Hatake

Kakashi is another character that I think is awesome. If you don’t watch Naruto, you won’t know who he is.

It’s enough to say, though, that he’s probably one of my favourite characters of all time in any media.

The challenge with this costume was that the character is animated. Translating cartoons to real-world costumes is not always the easiest thing to do. Since my friend Shaun had invited me to a costume party, I gave it my best shot. Shaun is insanely good at making costumes, so I had to meet the standards he sets…

The original Kakashi (left, middle) and my version (right).
Click to enlarge…

I think I did a pretty good job.

This time I didn’t procrastinate. I designed the costume using some official pieces of clothing, and a lot of searching around Chinatown for parts that would be a close match. For the record, I didn’t actually get the contact lens for my left eye. I just photoshopped it in. But I spent most of the night with my head protector over my left eye anyway.

Kunai are illegal in Canada, so I made the blades out of bristol board using a design courtesy of this kid. The rest of the kunai were made using various parts from Home Depot.

Special shout-outs go to Chris, who went as Maito Gai, and Kelly who went as Chiyo.

The original Kakashi (left), Gai (middle) and Chuiyo (Right).
Click to enlarge…

Here are our versions…

Our Naruto characters. Gai, Chiyo and Kakashi.
Click to enlarge…

It was a great party. And it felt great to actually make a decent costume for a change.

Mean Streets Experiment

Mean Bus Drivers

What pleasure could one possibly get from waiting for some poor passenger walking up to the door of the bus and then taking off just before they can get on?

I mean, really…

I can understand if the passenger was taking their time, sauntering up the street like they owned the town. That type of arrogance should be rewarded with a face full of exhaust.

But when the poor soul has been running for a good few blocks just to catch the bus. It’s not really fair.

Not all bus drivers are like this, mind you. Most are awesome.

I’m only ranting about this because I’ve seen it happen twice this past week.

Streets Suck

Sometimes I wonder what city planners are smoking when they design streets.

I mean, I know that grids are overdone, but they make it easier to get around.

If you don’t know what I mean, go to New York. Pick two places, then ask for directions from anyone on the street…

YOU: Hi there. I’m trying to get from the United Nations property to the Empire State Building. How do I do this?

Honestly, they wouldn’t say that (often). The directions they’d give you would be relatively straightforward, as the streets are laid out and named in such a way as to facilitate finding your way around effectively.

However, go to Sao Paolo and ask for directions….

YOU: Hi there, I’m trying to get from A to B. Can you give me directions?

ANYONE IN SAO PAULO: [Explodes, leaving behind a tuft of singed hair.]

Why am I writing about streets? Well, I was inspired by a conversation I overheard yesterday…

OLD LADY: Excuse me, miss [Approaching some other lady.]. Does Dundas St go North from here?
SOME OTHER LADY: Dundas St West goes Dundas St West.

We have a street in Toronto named Dundas St W. In some places it goes North/South. In most it goes East/West. It crosses Bloor St W at least twice, making directions a bit more challenging to give. Seriously, tell someone you’re looking for Dundas & Bloor and see what they say.

As awkward as that sounds, though, it’s not as bad as King St in Kitchener/Waterloo. At any given point it could be King St N, King St S, King St E, or King St W. I think it even crosses Weber St three times…

YOU: [Getting in Cab.] Hi there. I’d like to go to King/Weber.
CABBIE: [Applies gentle bathing to you with flamethrower.]

Ah, gotta love city streets.

Experiment a Success?

I wrote an article yesterday engineered to capture many hits from search engines. The thing about that article is that it will demonstrate its effectiveness in the weeks to come.

Any new article is attached to the front page of one’s blog after it has been written, attaining hits by virtue of being front-and-center. Eventually, though, it is moved down the list, and off the front by newer articles. Occasionally you will see footprints from web-searching-spiders.

Now that the spiders will run amok inside my article and it will move up the hit charts, causing the counter to rise steadily rather than taper off.

That’s the hope, anyway.

I’ve never really been all that scientific…

Engineered For Hitz. W00T!

How Many Hits…

And so, it has come to pass.

The time has arrived to attempt to hold a Darth Vader-like sway over the internet. The goal of this particular piece of writing is to capture as many hits from as many search engines as possible without using obvious references to sex, porn, or swearing (other than writing them there, of course).

I could easily just make a top ten-type list of words that would hopefully be hit by the spiders of the web, but this would be a cop-out. To truly be the bomb, this article has to be done with some manner of style. Thus, I intend to write about myself, while living up to my own little challenge.

I’m not really sure why I want to write this article. It’s not like I am some stats-hungry moron with some kind of agenda. Nor do I have hopes of gaining notoriety or celebrity with it. Indeed, the last thing I’d want to be is one of those celebrities like Tom Cruise or Katie Holmes, who seem to do things for the sake of attracting attention.

Indeed, if I write without any meaning, how can I hope to attract intelligent comments?

Normally I tend to write about things other than terrorism or the moronic activities of George Bush (which seem to me to be quite similar at times). I write about things locally that bother me (like jerks in the subway, or how insensitive people can be). I also write about the good things that I see around me, as well as some of my adventures in nature (that is, camping). I also write haiku poetry.

Originally, my intention was to use MSN Spaces to draw people to my photography. As am amateur it is great to get as much exposure as possible. The naked truth, though, is that selling art helps to keep the art going. I suppose the ultimate goal would be to have my art as my sole source of income. Money is not the most important thing in the world, but it’s tough to buy food with nothing.

Back to the blogging.

As I stated before, my original intention was to bring attention to my photo work. But things changed a bit.

I started to enjoy writing. The process of tapping out words on my keyboard became a therapeutic release. Writing is something I liked to do when I was younger. School almost drove that love out of me. Now that there is no other judge other than public opinion (which is, in all honesty, much more forgiving than a crotchety old prof), it has become enjoyable again. Orgasmic, even.

I don’t have crazy events on my blog for the most part. No requests for cancer research donations, or any other charity (I tend to do that on my own, privately). Instead, it’s just a place to hang out. People are even free to kidnap a poem from my collection to use on their sites.

It’s all good.

What does the future hold for Barking Space? I’ll most likely continue to do this for a long time. It doesn’t take a Superman to keep something like this up (insert Viagra joke here). It’s surprisingly easy to maintain.

It’s a great way to express yourself and a great way to share news.

So let’s see how I did…

website hit counter
View My Stats