The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Posts Tagged ‘Places I Visit’

Away, Away, Away

Posted by Matt on September 5, 2011


(Fuck you, I don’t have a camera and my parents have a less-than-fancy one)

This was taken during my trip to Toronto, which I blathered on about rather boringly here. I have since grown very interested in the whole Toronto Island set-up. Something about a smaller community surrounded by water and just a skip from a modern metropolis, being able to see it right across the pond, has caught my imagination. Read the same shit I did about it here!

Places inspire me more than anything else. I look at a building, a park, a shopping mall, a street, an old hockey arena, and I start thinking about what could happen there, and how it could be used as a setting. If there was a martian battle there, what would it be like? I think locations have provided me with a basis for my most solid story concepts, because it anchors them to something real. It great being able to do whatever I feel like, but it often feels that with no foundation, nothing I can look at and feel like there’s a physical thing to base them off of, they can become a vaporous entity. Something that just drifts away, pointless and meaningless. I can think of a million silly things, but I just can’t seem to care about them without that connection to earth.

It often seems that this ideology I’ve developed has driven me to base most of my ideas on one or more of three things: character/personality, nature, and of course, places. All real things, things I can experience (in various ways and in varying doses). But location holds a special place for me, especially in the last few years, as it is something I’ve had the most experience dealing with. I don’t meet as many real characters I can turn into fake ones as I do step into buildings I can set a story in.

It’s one of reasons I enjoy just going somewhere else, not even having a real purpose for the journey (although when I do, there’s usually another story in that). While a lot of people I know have become jaded when it comes to vacationing, only feeling the need to go to places that live up to their high standards. Not me; anywhere I go, I can generally find something worth thinking about. Even in the dingy little villages that dot the provinces, only half-integrated with the modern world, usually home to an auto shop, a family restaurant, and a droning sense of monotony. There’s stories to be told about them, too.

At the same time, it also makes me appreciate where I come from, even when I want to escape. Familiarity breeds contempt, but familiarity also gives me the opportunity to employ nuance I just can’t with the big cities that leave me awe-struck, as an easily-impressed city slicker from the middle of the flatlands. I always pretend I want to escape, but what would I do without the schoolyards I know like the back of my hand, the hotel lobbies I once traversed and still associate with New Years Eve and lungs full of chlorine, or the city’s centerpiece, the hockey area where I once had to find my own fun while my siblings actually competed in sports. I’m quite curious to observe my own reaction if and when I finally leave this town for greener pastures.

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Posted by Matt on October 8, 2009

Why would MTV ask Gerard Butler about a 300 sequel? Did they see the first one?

I also saw on the West Edmonton Mall homepage that at some point they were showing a movie to the people in the gigantic water park (I can’t seem to find the ad again now, but I swear it was there). Yep, while people happily waded, slid, dived, surfed, etc., they would be accompanied by the soothing white noise of Wolverine projected somewhere nearby. I know this is a relatively small piece of excess, it still represents some of the insanity that big fucking malls produce like…something easily produced.

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Magic America

Posted by Matt on August 8, 2009

I’m so happy now. My room has room (finally) with this new set-up I just bought; I’ve finally figured out how to turn off the annoying power on/off noise on my phone; I’ve gone somewhere; and everything is A-OK.

While in Winnipeg last week, I went into a Costco for the first time. My god, it’s like that mega mart from The Simpsons, only real. It’s an ugly-as-fuck warehouse with little to no organization at all – in essence, a chaotic mess of oversized products. Some of the prices on these huge-ass things are okay, but even when confronted with the best deal, you must consider that you have to pay AT LEAST $40 a year in order to shop there, which is just fucking weird (the different levels of membership even have different store hours. It’s like we’re living in India). The store I went to even had a little restaurant/stand thing, which served everything and did not require a membership to go to (it’s basically its own entity).
The thing isn’t as frightening as a Super Wal-Mart, but there’s definitely something ugly about it. Unless you really need to have 20+ packs of toilet paper, 32-pack drinks, child-sized bags of chips, or any of the other pointless things…I don’t see any real need to shop there. And like hell would I buy a computer or iPod at a horrible warehouse store.

CONSUMERISM TODAY.

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