Monday, March 31, 2008

Britney Spears is a bad mother! Or so I'm told.

You know, when someone lives in the public eye, like an entertainer or celebrity or politician or a traffic light, people have a deep rooted desire to read into everything that person (or traffic light) says or does. We invent a mental framework for that person based on little to no information - like Britney Spears. We assume she's nuts because she shaved her head, barricaded herself in with her kids, and was ordered to spend some time in a psychiatric facility. We don't know anything about her, despite having seen her cooze on various semi-legal websites. I mean, that's a level of intimacy I don't share with very many people in my life. (Some girls prefer the lights out.) But do I really know why she does the things she does?

Today I started thinking, maybe other people feel the need to read in to someone's actions even it they are not in the public eye. Maybe it's not unique to what we see in gossip magazines and intersections. When Sandy hands in that report about the costs and challenge of upgrading the computer network, do people think, "Oh, it must mean she's having problems with her marriage." Or if Chuck tells an off colour joke in the lunch room, do people say to each other, "He totally based that chicken on his latest ex." If Lisa sneezes a couple of times too many, does anyone worry about the kids? Who is going to speak for the children?

What about our friends? How many times do you find yourself asking suspiciously, "What does he mean by that?" "Is she really just joking?" " She drinks too much. Her whole family must have been raving alcoholic trailer trash." How often do we wonder about people's motivations? "Why did Dave pick this movie to go to? What is he trying to say to me?"

Ever read about J. F. K. conspiracy theories? Conspiracy writers can spin endless chains of theory because the more research they do into banal and insignificant details marginally connected with the assassination, the more questions we can raise. "Someone walked into a jading store at 10:15 and were seen walking out again at 10:17. Why did the Warren Commission never ask what they were doing in there for those two crucial minutes?" The more we know, the more we know we don't know. And the more we need to read in.

It's kinda like that with celebrities and then people we know well. With celebrities, we have just enough information to invent their entire mental state, but not enough information to ever really question it. While with people we know well, maybe we are always learning more about them, and we're always trying to reconcile this new knowledge with our entirely fictional idea of who they are. Maybe. I work really hard to take people as they come, whether I know them through intimate friendship or uncensored gossip sites. And not try to send all kinds of mental energy inventing fictional personalities for them.

Except those traffic lights. Who the fuck knows what they're thinking.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Turtles, Hungry Dogs, Snow Plows and Landscapers

Okay, I'm breaking the seal here. I'm a fiction writer.

For a while I thought I should try to hide that, like in some small way I was being totally anonymous online to people who don't actually know me, RL. (That's real life to those who spend most of their time in it.)

But here's the thing - being a fiction writer in Canada (oops! another piece of my identity thrust into the flicking electrical current of the world wide head.) being a turtle on the savanna. (And I don't mean the nuclear powered cargo ship - although that would be weird too.) You spend all your time struggling to get from one tiny puddle of water to another, while the lion and tigers express mild curiosity at you - leaving you safe from their jaws through simple ignorance. And then a hipo sits on you.

Not that I would do anything else. Okay, maybe video game tester. That would be awesome. All I'm saying is we don't really have a tradition of popular fiction in Canada - and that fact spills over unrecognized into all aspects of our culture. Our best selling books are almost universally written by academics, and you ask people they'll tell you without hesitation that Canadian film and TV sucks.

When I tell people what I do, I am greeted by one of two responses. One... "No, I mean what do you do for money?" Or a blank stare. Like something in their brain fights off that thought like a hungry dog protecting a juicy steak. I think I have actually set people down the road of mental illness by introducing that foreign concept into their thoughts. People don't know what to do with that information.

It's like being a snow plow operator in Mexico City. Or a landscaper on the space station. You get the idea.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Everything you wanted to know about... what was I talking about?


There's so much expressed in that one little compound word. To how many people reading this does this sum up almost the entirely of your job? Or your life?

People who don't know how to work that crazy YouTube have email. Our entire society has become organized by email. You know how frustrating it is when you want to get in touch with someone, say at some government agency or something, and you can't find an email address?

Here's a hint. Never send an email to some catch-all address like That email address is their excuse to ignore you.

I hate it when I get no email. I go mental when I get too much. Someday, I'm sure, I'll get some kind of Blackberry thing and loose my grip entirely. I know people who thrive getting 300 or so emails everyday. I would snap, no question. I'd be on some news magazine show in four or five years, in my prison orange, telling a sympathetic but ambitious reporter how I don't remember anything after clicking send and receive. But of course I would remember, I'd be lying for the sympathy of the viewers back home. What else do I have to do in prison?

Here's a horrifying thought. They got the email in prison now, don't they? Man.

I gotta say, I can't imagine doing my work without it. It couldn't have been too long ago that people in my field used things like faxes and couriers instead. Maybe I shouldn't complain. It's a little like some old timey oral storyteller complaining about the printing press. "It's a fad, it'll never catch on." Did they have fads then? I know for a while it was popular for men to wear leggings. Now we don't. Does that qualify as a fad that came and went?

Is there some way to tell the difference between a fad and a trend? What about a movement? Can a movement also be a fad?

My cat's cute.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I'm a tiny bit on the embarrassed side by yesterday's performance in the writing exercise. Two paragraphs in three minutes? That seems pretty slow to me. Good thing writing isn't about speed. Unless you're a stenographer or something. I would suck as a stenographer. Have you seen their keyboards? The keys are blank!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wasting Time; The Thing About Hats

I'm going to try a writer's exercise. Mostly because I think you, dear reader, deserve a break from my meaningless ramblings. Here's something equally as meaningless, but not about me. As much. I'd like to point out this is not the kind of thing I normally spend my time doing.

This exercise is from The Writer's Toolbox by Jamie Cat Callan, that I've had sitting around for a while. It was released in 2007, and it was typeset in Rosewood, Trade Gothic, and Filosophia.

What I'm going to do is to pick up a "First Sentence Stick" and write for three minutes.

Ready? Let's go...

The sticks says, '"I like hats." That's what Donald said the day before he killed Sally.'

It was a bit of a shock for Donald. Up to this very moment in his life, he had hated hats. As a baby, he used to wiggle out of the knitted caps and touques that his mother would try to force on him. As a boy he made sure he would hit the ball on the first swing, just so he could throw down the batter's helmet. For a short time, he considered becoming an astronaut, but just watching Apollo 13 made his scalp itch.

It hit him with a sinking feeling, this out of the blue about face about hats. This was the moment when everything changed. And it was all because of Donna, and her baby blue Montreal touque, which she wore on the bias, letting her sharp bangs peek out over her eyes. Her laughing bright eyes. And not laughing bright eyes in a good way. Eyes that were laughing at you. Daring you to do something you would regret.

And that's over three minutes, I guess. I don't know. The point? I don't really know either. It's like a little two paragraph soap opera. What's Donald going to do now? Why does he kill Sally? Have you ever met anyone named Sally? I haven't. I've shopped at the Sally, but I think that's something else.

There are things I'd like to go back and smooth out. But I figured that would be too much work.

Someday I'll get back to Donald, Sally, and Donna. Cause coming up next is the Non Sequitor stick.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Exclamation! The Big M! Fuck it!

I don't know if you've noticed, but I really enjoy using exclamation marks!

They're happy things. Okay, sometimes they're angry, but what they are is emphatic. They say what they mean and they mean what they say. They're sure of themselves, unlike those wimpy question marks. And periods? Please. Talk about pointless. They don't add anything to a sentence, all they do is stop it.

My parents were always good at making things a game for my sister and I. When we were going to McDonalds, they used to say "Who'll see the Big 'M' first?" and we'd lean forward in our seats to be the first one to spot what, as I learned years later, was not in fact an 'M' at all. The rest of the world refers to it as the Golden Arches. To my family, it was the Big M.

Kids love cabooses. Or should that be cabeese? Like geese? The highest honour a kid in my neighbourhood could hope for was to have your birthday in the caboose that a local McDonalds had set aside for that sort of thing. Forever linking cheap burgers and train culture in my young minds. I remember birthdays there as the single most exciting thing that ever happened to me. My parents assured me that it reeked of piss.

Another game was when we waiting at a train crossing. We seemed to spend a lot of time when I was young in our car waiting for a train to pass. I'm from a big Ottawa Valley family, with relatives spread out all over the Ottawa Valley. I got cousins I've never even heard about, much less met. I guess driving around rural Ontario, you cross a lot of train tracks. Plus, I suppose there was just more train activity back then. Anyway, my sister and I would compete (at our parent's prompting) to see who could spot the train caboose first.

I remember being riveted to that train as it passed, no matter how long it took. Because I knew that sooner or later, that caboose would come trumbling down the track. "I see it! I see it!" We would shout. I still watch a train come by, waiting to see that caboose at the end. Of course, these days there's no more cabooses. They're gone. The train just kinda... ends. And it's a big let down. I guess when it comes to trains, what I'm really looking for is closure.

To me, the exclamation mark is like a caboose. You see that exclamation mark coming at the end and you know that sentence means twice as much as one that just kinda... ends.

I've been told by more than one person, some people I respect very dearly, that the exclamation mark is for people who don't know how to convey the same meaning with the sentence itself. For a while I bought that, living the life of a closeted exclamater. Wistfully lingering on posters for musicals. But then, I thought... fuck it. Very liberating, those two words. And sometimes when I shovel an extra exclamation mark of five into a two line email, I think of them as tiny extended fingers towards those who would try to rule me. They kinda do look like them, too. Watch...


And that's a nice way of looking at the under-rated exclamation mark. Because there's never gonna be any more cabooses in the world. But we're never gonna run out of people who want to tell other people to fuck off without having to roll down their car window.

Too late

Sometimes people say things that don't make a whole lot of sense.

You ever heard this one...

"Drink plenty of water, because by the time you feel thirsty, it's already too late."

Too late!? For what!?

Am I going to die because I haven't had a glass of water? I'm not trekking through the sands of the Sahara. Am I going to expire between my desk and the sink? If so, I better put some pants on.

Monday, March 24, 2008

"Me or the band"; What if...?

At some point in her life, pretty much every girl I know has said or will say a variation on those words, "It's me or the band." Or the book, or the movie, or the painting or whatever. And maybe I'm being genderist here, but I haven't heard too many stories of men saying the same thing. It must have happened. But you ask any girl and I bet at some point they've been dating some guy, and gave him an ultimatum.

Why would someone do that?

In my writing, if I'm stuck, I often try to puzzle out what a character wants, and what they need. Because the interface between the two is the single driving conflict in their story. It makes great fiction, and I think it often is borne out in RL. (Real life to those who don't speak chat room lingo).

Me or the band.

Why don't I own a house by this point in my life?

Will you get a real job when we have kids?

Why do some people make sacrifices to pursue a creative career? How much sacrifice is worth it? Why do some people make sacrifice after sacrifice and then suddenly stop?

Life is all about choices - and often that means going without one thing to get another. We have to sacrifice something to gain something else. How do we make that choice? What are we looking form, each of us, as an individual?

I don't have the answers. I can barely wrap my head around the questions. But I can tell you this - most of the people you consider to be the biggest successes in the world were simply the only ones left when opportunity presented itself. They sacrificed everything that most people cling to... money, family, friends, security, relationships... in order to get to where they are now. Some of us, perhaps, are called on to make more sacrifices to build our success. But I assure you, everyone has given up something in their life.

But let me ask you this. When someone makes you that kind of ultimatum, me or the band, what are they giving up? What sacrifices are they making?

One more thing. Not everyone who gives up everything to follow their dream is a success. Some times people lie to themselves about the things they're willing to go without. Needs versus wants.

Sometimes I wonder what I would do if the worst would to happen. Like, what if I was stuck on a desert island? Well... would I have something to write with? What if I was wrongfully convicted of a crime, and jailed for the rest of my life? Hey, lots of time to write! What if I was in a horrible car wreck and stuck in the hospital? I could write in bed! Just crank me up to sitting position and away I go! I often think that I could endure just about anything as long as I had something to write with. And if I couldn't? Well... I would probably just tell stories to myself.

Of course, I'd love to be in band, too. Just wait until you see my rocker stage stance. It's about being pelvis forward. Which, at the end of the day, is a good motto for life, too.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bitter Defeat; Tibet raping robber barron communists; Canadian Identity

Every morning when I get up (or, occasionally, early to mid afternoon) I sit down and browse through Canada's paper of record, the Globe and Mail. I like the Globe for a number of reasons. One, I can look down my nose at readers of the Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun or even (gasp!) the National Post! And the second reason I like it is because it rarely prints anything I'm too interested in reading, thus putting limits on my Noisette coffee sipping procrastination.

Although I LOVE the Social Studies section, and my day would not be complete without its fascinating and entertaining tidbits.

Today I'm looking through the headlines and I see this, "Canada fails to qualify for Beijing Games." Whoa, I think! The Olympics! Hosted by the lovingly Tibet raping robber barron communists. And we're not going? This is big news, says I.

Then I realize that only our soccer team failed to qualify. This is followed by the thought provoking question, "We have a soccer team?" And then comes the now infamous third paragraph. (In the news business, they call them 'graphs. I learned that on the Wire.) The third paragraph reads, in full, "The Canadian soccer team has not qualified for the Olympics since 1984."

Nineteen fucking eighty fucking four!? 23 years and counting, we have fielded a team that doesn't even make the very first cut? Now, I'm not a guy who expects someone to be perfect all the time. You don't qualify for the Olympics one or two years, fine. It's a big world, we'll try again next quad. Whatevski, as the kids so philosophically put it. But you barely make a showing for well over half my lifetime... in 1984 I was 9, for god's sakes! 9!! Fire someone! Anyone!

I gotta tell you, we Canadians love nothing more than to be able to point out our short comings. When it has gotten so bad that we have stopped complaining about it... that's bad, my friend. There was a national outcry when our precious short films were nominated for Oscars but then didn't win. "Canada shut out of Oscars" the headlines shouted. No matter that the exact number of people who, up to that point, had actually bothered to see the films was less than the number of people on the Canadian soccer team, here was something we could sink our teeth into and really have a good complain about. But this simply goes past us with a shrug and a jovial 'what-are-you-gonna-do' live and let live attitude. What are we, Poland? "Oops, conquered again. You want us to move our whole country to the east? Sure thing, boss."

I say no! We're Canadians! Our whole reason for being born on this planet to tell other countries "You don't know what cold is" and to ask ourselves "What's Wrong with Us?" And we pass up a perfect chance like this to beat ourselves up and put ourselves down? We're slipping. And let me tell you, there' are plenty of developing nations jostling for our top spot of Number One per capita Whiners. I hear Russia's sinking millions into R&D for self-depreciation.

"It seemed we just didn't have the energy levels," the couch says. What!? Energy levels!? You've been napping for 23 years, what's the problem here? Are you skipping breakfast? Come over to my place, I'll make you a nice fritatta. Bacon, orange juice. I'll drive you to the game.

Actually, scratch all that. I'm sure you guys did what you could. I commend you for trying. Because, really, if you hadn't, I wouldn't have had anything to write about today.

And that's the end, nice sharp conclusion. I'm pretty happy about it. Sharp turn around, surprise finish. Undercut and neutralized everything that went before. Probably one of my better posts so far. Normally I would simply stop writing there, leave you (I hope) with a smile on your face as you went on to TMZ so you could laugh at people richer than you would don't have a lick of privacy. But, I'd like to point out what you, the sophisticated and experienced blog reader, has no doubt already noticed - no links to the article I've been ranting about. I understand that it is standard blogging practice to do so. It is probably even frustrating to you that I didn't. But you know what? This blog is an internet dead end. Once you come here, you pretty much have to make a conscious decision to turn around and go somewhere else. Maybe some day I'll have pictures, and I'm sure at some point there will be something worth linking to. In the meantime, you want context? Added value? Hyperlinks? Here's a little thing called Google. Look it up.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rabbits; My High School Gambling Career

For those of you who are curious about me, here's a few random tidbits about the entity I like to call 'me.'

1) I like rabbits, but I don't entirely "get" rabbits.
2) I got no problem with musicals. A lot of people I know don't like 'em. But I find the musical acts on Saturday Night Live boring. Even more boring than the sketches.
3) I like lists. Like this one.
4) I honestly don't believe that anyone is reading this blog, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. There's pros and cons for sure.
5) I have lost count of the number of times I've had to scramble to put my clothes on.
6) I think everyone would move to a different city than the one they were born in, and I'm slightly suspicious of those who have not.
7) In life, one of the highest pleasures is the feeling of a brand new, never been opened book you can't wait to read. That and sex.
8) Many people are aware that the number eight sideways represents infinity, but I can't think of a situation when you'd need to use this. First of all, I never seen it on any keyboard or, for that matter, calculator. Even those scientific ones that you get for high school and never use half of those crazy buttons. Me and my buddy used to use the random number generator function on them, and we'd place bets on who would get the highest number. I got a high mark in math, and made a whole whack of lunch money. Ah, good times.
9) I enjoy a good digression.
10) There were times in the last few minutes when I despaired of ever getting to number ten. Believe in yourself, kids, and you can move mountains.

Late Nights; Leonardo's Mirror

Like many workplaces in Toronto, we play Jazz FM at ours. Only ours is in our living room. And right now it is 1:30 in the morning.

Working for yourself means you set your own hours... which means you work all the time. It has gotten to the point where when I think about someone going home at the end of the day, I often think to myself, "Okay, then what? What are those people doing all night?" Cause they're not working.

Not that I work very minute of every day. I'm a creative guy, so sometimes I just slack off and serf the web or play video games. In any job, that would be procrastination and grounds for dismissal. For me, I like to think of it as recharging. People may think it is easy to just make shit up. To those people, I often quote Leonardo DiVinci who said, "Shut your fucking trap."

Only he wrote it backwards in a mirror. Honestly, the guy invented the helicopter and the tank - you gotta make sure that your peeps don't steal that shit. Here's a thought. That writing stuff in a mirror as a code shit was pretty smart. Do you think he wrote that backwards, so people wouldn't steal that idea?

Everytime I sit down to write I imagine myself crafting some exquisitely ornate thematic structure, where everything is interrelated but you don't know it until the end. And somehow, I just ramble. I had read a long time ago Mark Twain once signed a long letter, "This would have been shorter had I more time to write it." Turns out someone said that in a letter a long time before Sammy. Most of the famous quotes we know weren't said by the people we attribute them to. They were said first by someone who got something right once in their life but didn't get the credit. Once I told a guy a joke, and he repeated it to the whole grade three class like it was his. He got all the laughs. Huh - just like being a movie writer.

All of this does actually have a theme, about the little recognized lifestyle of the creative worker. Okay, maybe you really have to want to see it. But most people have this image of someone banging their head against the typewriter or piano or whatever and then having some sort of epiphany and creating their whole work in one perfect burst of inspiration. People really want that to be true.

The real truth is very few people know how to manage a creative lifestyle. There's no books about it. You go to school, they certainly don't discuss your daily schedule. If you work in an office environment, you probably work hours best suited for banks and farmers, not you.

Who am I kidding, there's no theme here. Just some 1:30 Am babbling. Forget it. I've got to start my work.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cheating; Happy Birthday Nick

In place of an actual post that requires... you know... work, I thought I'd simply throw up this birthday gag I sent out to someone today. His name, in case you became confused, is Nick.

It made me giggle while I was writing it, which doesn't happen as often as you might expect. Or hope for.


Hello, you have been randomly selected by BIRTHDAY BOT to receive this birthday greeting.

Based on your CIA profile, BIRTHDAY BOT has compiled the following birthday greeting choices.

Happy Birthday NICK!

Congratulations on reaching your...

(choose one...)

1) First
2) Sixteenth
3) Forty First
4) Already Dead

... Birthday! We hope you enjoy lots of...

(choose one...)

1) Cake
2) Money
3) Sex
4) Money you get from Sex! Remember, now that you're a year older you can...

(choose one...)

1) wonder what happened the previous year, and where you left your bong
2) be tried as an adult
3) grow hair in new and interesting places
4) join the army and die in new and interesting places

...! Ha ha! To lift your spirits, I'm going to share with you the Norwegian saying about Birthdays. In Norway, it's not about being a year older...

(choose one...)

1) It's about being a year closer to death
2) It's the motion of the ocean
3) It's the ability to still do a 'Keg Stand.'
4) It's feeling dirty but still looking at the chicks on Facebook anyway

BIRTHDAY BOT kids. NICK, here's hoping you'll get a...

(choose one...)

1) boy
2) transgendered junkie street walker
3) understand judge
4) life

(choose one...)

1) love you long time
2) love you for the best 30 seconds of your young (and previously sheltered) life
3) develop a correspondence game of Milles Borne, the French auto race card game.
4) change your diapers

...and help you celebrate! Oh and BIRTHDAY BOT got you a gift... and a really nice one, too... but it's...

(choose one...)

1) in my other pants. Hint hint.
2) at the jewelers being resized for your unusually large fingers
3) underage
4) at this moment being worked on by the best scientists and doctors. We have the technology. We can rebuild him. (Whoops. Left the price tag on. Now everyone will know how much it cost!)


For this birthday greeting, BIRTHDAY BOT CO has charged your credit card for this message and the price of your gift.

Monday, March 17, 2008


You know what's tougher than blog posting?

Blog posting with titles...

Blogs are tough.

And let me tell you, I've done three posts now. That makes me an expert. I'm putting it on my acting resume as a 'special skill' right this second. Now if there's any audition calls for a commercial where the actor needs to blog, they'll call me. Top of the list.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jack Frost should buy the next round; Not why I like summer

I hate snow.



Any ice that's outside of a glass, pitcher or martini shaker.

Today it is a beautiful, sunny day outside and everyone has the sense of spring coming. Living in a northern clime, you can sense everyone breathing a sigh of relief when the bombardment of cold and snow starts to lift - like everyone was worried that this time it just simply would never end. Okay, maybe I'm the only one who feels that way, but the single greatest perk of being a writer is that you're paid to project.

The thing about not liking the winter is that you constantly have to answer the rather pointed observation, "You don't like winter? You must not ski." It is often delivered with a look that adds an unspoken condensation. There are two variations on this, either you're an idiot and you're just sad. I have had this exact exchange 846 times in my life.

There's the rare times someone says skating instead of skiing. Or maybe sledding. The funny thing about this seemingly iron clad argument is that your view on winter hinges entirely on being outside during it. I have heard people say that they don't like summer, but I have never heard anyone once say, with an uneasy look in their eye, "You must not like baseball."

I don't ski. Nor do I play baseball. I do, however, type slightly angry rants into a semi-anonymous blog. And that's a hobby for all seasons.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

An Object at Rest; Shakespeare Blinking

Well, okay.

I've had this blog waiting for me for some time now. But this is my first post. Not because I haven't had anything to say, whether it be interesting, useful or simply inspiring. Almost everything I say could be listed under one or more of those three headings. Or so I keep telling people.

No, this is my first post because I live my life firmly guided by the Newtonian principles of inertia - an object at rest tends to stay at rest until acted upon by an outside force. Or to put it into laymen's terms, it's like the time you faked sick to stay home from school, but miraculously got better as soon as you could hear your friends playing outside when school was over.

I am an awful self motivator. Just awful. I think maybe I'm getting a little better. How can I tell? Well... I'm starting this blog. Score one for me.

I'm still brand new to this blog thing. I know these days your blog hardly counts if you don't have something blinking and filled with pictures. Naked celebrities, if at all possible. But for now, I'm keeping it simple - black text on white background. I know, it seems like something out of a black and white film (or I'm guessing - my entire sum of classic film knowledge can be summed up thusly... 1) Rosebud is the sled. 2) Soylent Green is people. However, I have never actually seen the middle of either movie, I tend to fall asleep and then wake up at the seemingly less than climatic moment. What was I saying...?) but I'm a writer. For me, it has always been about the words and the ideas, whether it is movies or books or songs. And than means I got a hard on for anything that allows the words to be front and center. Would Shakespeare's plays have been better if they had been blinking?

All that being said, the instant I learn how to post pictures of naked celebrities, they'll be here.

Oh yeah, that was the point I was coming to. The links on this age will be few and far between. It seems the thing to do these days is to trade on someone else's content online to get traffic for yourself. Almost every blog I look at someone simply links to someone else's story or research or video and calls themself a journalist. Look around the internet a bit - who out there has something actually original to say? And I don't mean another endless regurgitation of the latest fad in pop culture referencing. Your in depth wiki guide to the abilities and limitations of the original KITT does not count as original. Hipsters be warned.

(Note to self: Topic for next post - When did Hipsters and Nerds start to blend together? Are Hipsters just Nerds that listen to Arcade Fire?)

And in conclusion, I'm going to leave you with a quick tip for what to do when you want to wrap up something you've been writing, but you have no idea how. Type "and in conclusion" and anything you write after that will seem like a satisfying ending.