Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Well, I'm off to party away 2006 and ring in 2007 at Munich's Tollwood New Year's Celebrations with Marianne and 5 of her Greek, French, and German friends! Unfortunately Duncan couldn't make it here in the end (crazy flights), but his wild dancing spirit will be here enjoying the celebrations with us. I am starting my new year off in an appropriate fashion by being on a plane and travelling back to England at 11am January 1st.

I want to wish you all the best for 2007, and hope it becomes everything you want it to be! Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Flew into Germany... and are my arms ever tired!

Well, I've arrived safe and sound in Munich, where I am staying with Marianne. Today, we are heading into town to see Nathalie and Toby and their new baby! Also we'll hang out with Stephanie and Dave, who flew in this week as well! I predict a bit of beer drinking, city walking, and baby burping.

New Year's Eve is coming soon, bringing Duncan, who will help us ring in the new year. We have tickets to a festival on the Oktoberfest grounds (I just can't stay away!) with four live bands, lots of dancing and lots of drinking. Should be a blast!

What are your New Year's Eve plans?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My Talented Sister

For Christmas, my sister - Lisa - made me this amazing Batman picture! She is in the middle of her digital graphic design course, and as you can see she is excelling in it!

If anyone wants to hire a creative, talented, energetic, funny, and skilled graphic designer for your advertising business or workplace, let me know and I can pass you to her! (She is also an incredible singer - fronts the band One Year Later - and a wonderful sis!)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Well friends, I am hoping on a bus in an hour and a half and going to Guildford to spend Christmas with my cousins. It's a 4 hour bus ride, so I am bringing some schoolwork as well as The DaVinci Code. That should be enough to pass the time!

After Christmas, I'll be heading to Munich for New Year's. I plan to stay with Marianne and see Duncan, Stephanie, Nathalie (and Toby and baby!) and also Dave, who I think is there until the 31st. We will be attending a festival with four bands, food, and drink, and fun! I'll be back on Jan 2nd.

To all my friends and family who read this blog, Merry Christmas and have a very very happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thank goodness for long arms.

I found this on the National Geographic News website:


Apparently the dolphins have swallowed some plastic bits and only the World's Tallest Man could reach into their stomachs and retrieve the bits. Check out the full story here!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


School is OUT for Christmas!

And, oh, do I NEED this. Two beautiful weeks away from the children who are driving me mad! Mwahahah!

Whew. Yes, the first term is over. School begins again on Sept 3, so what am I going to do for two weeks? Well, I am heading to Guildford for Christmas to see my cousins Nicky, Lara, and Angie. It will be really nice to see them, as it has been about three years. I'll let you know about my New Year's plans once they are finalized.

I can sleep in tomorrow!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Pantomime Time

Merry Christmas Web!

Yesterday, a traveling pantomime came to our school! We were treated to Aladdin, the panto, performed by only three people - the Villain (he also played the "bubbles" character), the Hero (good looking girl playing Aladdin), and the Dame (hairy fat man in a dress). And what a DAME!

This was the most over-the-top Dame I've ever seen! Fat, flamboyant dress, white clown face, scary woman make-up, deep male voice, and plastic fluorescent hair! The show was great and the kids loved it! I loved it too!

Somehow, though, the Dame knew my name! She told the school (as she was describing her past husbands) that she was in love with Mr. Bond. And boy did she not drop it. She (or he!) came and sat on my lap (to the mortification of my students!) and fed me fudge, showed me her ankle (ugh), and blew kisses across the hall. And I loved it!

Some of you out there may not know that I've been involved with pantomimes for the last 10 years in North Vancouver. With SMP, I've played the Babe, the Wolf, the Sage, the Farmer, the Villain!, the Rat, even the Panto Horse! Unfortunately, I won't be in this year's pantomime - Robin Hood and the Singing Nun - but I was able to create the poster and logo.

For those of you in the Vancouver Area, I urge you to go see this panto! Go see it now! Well, go see it in January!!! Go watch it for me and let me know! It is going to ROCK!!!

Miss you guys, SMP Panto-People!

Monday, December 11, 2006

88 Minutes

One of the movies I did extra work on that hasn't come out yet is "88 Minutes." This big-budget thriller stars the legendary Al Pacino. I have to say it was a thrill to work with the star of "The Godfather" and "Scarface." Unfortunately Al turned out to be the primadona many huge stars are. He stopped production for 20 minutes so he could have a coffee break, while 150 extras waited in their spot. An extra was also fired on the spot for accidentally nudging Al.

Anyway, those from Vancouver will recognize Downtown and UBC where it was shot. Look for me playing one of Al's students at the university. Hoo-wah!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Harborne at Sunset

The weather here in Birmingham in December is cool and crisp, with some rain spells. The sunsets and sunrises have been beautiful recently. These shots are up and down the High Street here in Harborne (click to enlarge).

This is the front of my flat. I live on the ground floor and my bedroom is behind the large white bay windows!

I am experimenting painting with acrylics. This is my ammonite so far... What do you think?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Hot Fuzz

There is a new movie coming out in Feb 2007 from the makers of "Shawn of the Dead!" It is called "Hot Fuzz" and looks fantastic. If you loved "Shawn" and you like "Spaced," than you will probably very much enjoy "Hot Fuzz."

Here is the two teaser trailers:

And here is the full length trailer:

I can't wait for "Hot Fuzz!" Can you?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

International Vodka Party

We had our first party last Saturday night in our flat. The theme was International Vodka and Czech Food!

Kate and Renata and her friend (all Czech) cooked us classic Czech food (dumplings, soup, goulash - all fantastic!) while we drank shots of Czech and Polish vodka. And beer.

Soon our flat was filled with people talking, drinking, and dancing. There were over 25 intentional friends from Poland, France, Czech, Finland, Germany, and India - as well as us British and Canadians!

You can see us all squished into our living room area (yes - that's Van Gogh on the wall). This room ended up becoming a dance hall as we turned off the lights, while the party continued in the kitchen and hallway.

Arjun and Kate having a laugh!

roommates: Me, Renata, and Roger!

We all had a great time during the party, but were feeling sore the next morning! But that's what indicates a good party!

Leon, Roger and Renata.

As you can see, I am making a few friends here in Harborne! Patrick, Renata, Leon, and Roger are great roommates and we go out quite often. We will be having a sixth and final roommate join us on the 18th of December: Emily - a jewelry designer - Just in time for Christmas!

Until then, keep on partying...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cat Bodyguards

On the heals of "Bad Sushi" comes "Cat Bodyguards," an even less serious short film created by Prehistoric Insanity Productions in 2004. This film was shot and edited in under an hour in the mansion where we lived in Drumheller.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Bad Sushi

Welcome to the internet premier of "Bad Sushi," a short film created to teach geology 12 students. It is the debut film from Bond-Wade-Travasso Pictures, written, filmed and edited in under 48 hours. Please let me know if you enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Work's about to get a lot harder...again.

Well, tomorrow the second of two problem children is returning to my class. So far Skywalker has caused a major shift in the classes behavior, causing some of the other children to act up. The second child, who I will call Chewbacca, will be rejoining my class after being in the year 3 class for over a month and in the other year 4 class for a week. These constant switching of classes is very difficult on students, as they need to learn the different classroom expectations of each teacher. Chewbacca is less mature than Skywalker, and thankfully less mean. He will sure be a handful though. I assure you I am dreading tomorrow.
I will let you all know how it goes...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Work's about to get a lot harder...

So I feel I have a grasp on the behavior issues in my class now. This is a good thing as it allows me to teach and allows the kids to learn. Unfortunately, this week has had two events that are going to make my life quite a bit more difficult and stressful: the return of Skywalker to the class and the removal of my teaching assistant.

Skywalker is the name of a student, as the names have been changed to protect the (ahem) innocent. Skywalker is a very rough kid with very little regard for personal property or the feelings of others. He was taken out and placed in another class before I took over as teacher. It was always in the plan to have him back eventually, although no date was set. Turns out, that date was Tuesday.

I arrived early on Tuesday (as I do every day) and set the classroom up. I did my photocopying and drew my daily dinosaur on the white board (it was a baryonyx, I think.) Soon 8:45 rolled around and the students began arriving. It was at this point in the day were one of the vice-heads (principals) leaned in and told me I'd be having Skywalker from now on.

"What?" I said, somewhat shocked. I naturally had expected to have some sort of meeting or short staffroom water-cooler discussion about the subject, so I could have gathered materials for the boy and reorganized the classroom. But no, the decision had been made and I was to deal with it. Thanks.

Secondly, I found out today that I will probably no longer have a permanent teaching assistant for my class. Great! Who needs help with an unruly class plus the roughest kid in school newly added. Not I!

My fantastic TA had also been working one-on-one with a child in the year above me for the past few weeks, and it seems the school is about to move her permanently into that class (and she really does not want to go). This leaves myself and the other year four teacher sharing one TA. I foresee problems in this arrangement as my TA will be very unhappy and my children with have ANOTHER change to their environment - causing more behavior issues for me. The less change and more stability they get, the better.

These two decisions were made by the administration at the school. I blame them for the problems this will cause. And it will be me and the students who will suffer. Oh well, at least I am planning a fun weekend: Going out to see Tenacious D tonight and then co-hosting a vodka party on Saturday night!

But now I haves some school re-planning to do...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Traumador the Amazing Tyrannosaur

I would like to take this moment to announce that I have taken on a new client: Traumador the Tyrannosaur!

As his new Special Talent Agent, I'll be handling his accounts, managing his talents, and increasing his marketability. I promise to promote his skills and crafts, so that Traumador achieves his maximum potential. All this for only my small sizable fee and complete power of attorney. After our meeting at the bar (Check it out here! ), the tyrannosaur signed the standard contract.

For those of you not familiar with Traumador the Tyrannosaur, he is a carnivorous dinosaur on the verge of making it big...Although his size is rather small. He is friendly and talented, helpful and curious. You might remember him from such films as "The Hardcore Apocalypse after Next Tuesday" and "Delta Patrol!"

You can now catch him staring in his own blog at "The Traum Blog!"

Check it out and experience the Trauma for yourself!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bond, James Bond

I went to see Casino Royal last night at the local cinema. And it was good! But different, not at all like the past James Bond movies!

STOP READING if you don't want to any spoilers!

This movie takes Bond back to his first ever mission. (Which is a bit weird because M is still Dame Judy Dench, but there is no Q or Moneypenny.)

Anyway, it shows him as an intense no-nonsense secret agent, who is dealing with how close to let the women into his life. Some good special effects (with no stupid CGI iceberg surfing!) and some great stunts, make it a definite Bond film...but it was missing a good opening song and the standard silhouetted dancing ladies.

How times change. Less gadgets, less comedy, less Bond-quips ("Shocking"), but more reality...

At least it is not the appalling 1967 Casino Royal, staring David Niven, Peter Sellers, Orsen Wells, and Woody Allen. Please don't see that movie. See this one instead. Please.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Smallville cameos

I have now found myself in two episodes of the fifth season of Smallville ('Thirst' and 'Exposed'). In both episodes I play the same man, Mr. Guy the Carrier of Paper, a worker in the basement of the Daily Planet. You will notice how I have taken the important role and varied it by having my jacket OFF in the first episode, and ON in the second. True acting.

See for yourself:

Here I am bumping into Chloe, on her first day as a reporter at the Daily Planet. And I did actually bump into her. See the eye contact?

A nice shot of the Daily Planet set. You can see me in front of Chloe again, this time bringing papers to the filling cabinets at the right.

Here in the second episode, Chloe and Lois Lane are too busy with their computer to notice me walking past. Notice the paper I am transporting. It is very important paper.

Now I am walking up to Chloe and Lois as they talk with a detective. Check out the same paper I am carrying. Here I am...

...And there I go. Right past Chloe and Lois. The more observant of you will notice that, besides the important green papers, I am also carrying a copy of the Daily Planet newspaper.

So there you have it. My other 15 minutes of fame. And it turns out that skilled acting is all about the props. A very good prop is paper.

As for my life here, I am good. I have been painting and playing a borrowed trumpet! Pictures to follow soon.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Back off, man. I'm a scientist.

The Peter's finally meet. Plus Egon. (Thanks Dave!)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Who ya gonna call?

Haven't you ever been sitting around and wishing you had the coolest video game to play?

Well, I have. And I, along with my friends Craig and Cam, have come up with it! All we need is a bunch of money and the rights to...

The Ghostbusters Video Game!

Can you imagine? A first-person shooter style game where you play one of the four Ghostbusters (Peter, Ray, Egon, or Winston), roaming around a 3D New York City, using their proton packs and traps busting ghosts! You could follow the storyline of the movie, capturing smaller ghosts, working your way up to Gozer and the Stay Puff Marshmellow Man! You could drive the Ecto-1! You could even work with Slimer!

How cool would this be?!!!

Favorite Quotes...
- "Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back."
- "When someone asks if you're a God, you say 'Yes'!"
- "Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria!"
- "I blame myself." "So do I."
- "Woah. Somebody's coming."
- 'Back off man, I'm a scientist."
- "Listen! Do you smell something?"
- "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Nice shootin', Tex!"
- "The flowers are still standing."
- "What, someone blows their nose and you want to keep it?"

Half-Term Experiences - Part 3: Stokesay Castle

Continuing my trip aroung the Midlands area, the coach brought us to the small, beautiful, and remote Stokesay Castle. Actually it is one of the best preserved examples of a 13th century fortified manor house on the world. As you walk into the Great Hall, you can imagine long tables full of steaming food, noblemen and guests drinking and singing, armour clanking, dogs snaging scraps of food, live medievil music playing, and the smell of sweaty soldiers before deoderant was invented.

Interestingly, the ladies of the court were not allowed to the feast. They were to stay in their bed chambers and peek through holes in the walls to see the hunk knight of their dreams.

I found out all this information through the guided tour audio-guides: a 1980's brick-like phone-shaped device that plays the information track at the touvh of a button. Stocksay Castle's audio-guide was hilarious! A male and female voice would take turns talking, while sound effects play behind (squeeling pig, soldiers partying, head chopped off sound...) Reminds me of the even more hilarious audio guide for Stonehenge - poety by druids, warnings by whitches, and goats...yes. Goats.

I also learned that Stokesay Castle had been attacked only once in it's entire history! And it surrended without a fight during the English Civil War (around 1640s). Not very glamourous...

The audio guide has about 16 stops. At the end of each stop, it tells you to turn and walk to another location. Great. Easy. Should be simple without any opportunity to get lost. Unfortunately, stop 12 was in a room that was closed off, but we listened anyway, trying to match stop 12 with room 13. The guide is telling us to look for "the two distinctive holes in the floor.." but all I could see was a beetle and what looks like the remains of a well-blown nose. "Walk through the door and turn left..." is what I hear, but if I went left, I would walk out the window. How easily life can be turned upside-down!

But then it was time to get on the bus, as the university professer/Margret Thatcher guide was calling us to board. On to our final destination of the day: the town of Shrewsbury. Birthplace to one of the most important men in science...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Stress release...

This week has been really stressful in my class (lots of shouting out, refusing to work, teeth falling out, blood down the top...) Ugh.

So I need a way to release some stress.

Click on the link "Create your own Jackson Pollock Masterpiece!" and relax as I did.

Really works.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Half-Term Experiences - Part 2: Ludlow Castle

On the Saturday of last week, the ladies of the house Renata and Kate invited me to join then and their friend on a tour of the Midlands area. The full day tour began with going to Ludlow Castle on the coach, which left at 9am from the university. Usually this wouldn't have been a problem, but we had gone out drinking the night before and I wasn't feeling too good. We had to rush to get to the coach on time and then off we went! And then off I went - to sleep...

I woke up in the small town of Ludlow. More specifically, I woke to a lurch inside the parking lot beside a toilet just outside of Ludlow. Luckily Ludlow is very small, so it only took us 5 minutes to walk to the town square where the market was in full swing.

The Saturday Market was a bustle of alive things (merchants) and dead things (products), with children and dogs running underfoot and amazing smells and sounds assaulting the senses.

Ludlow is dominated by (and famous for) it's 11th century castle; a beautiful medieval castle in the last years/centuries of its life, more of a ruins that you can walk through and onto and under and into and around. We were able to climb to the highest tower in the castle (up long spiral staircases) and become sentry knights surveying the beautiful English countryside, looking for advancing armies or potential tourists. The view was breathtaking. Even the pigeons thought so.

Speaking of pigeons, it seemed that every room in the castle had to have a dead bird in it. It was almost Ludlow Law: All rooms to be furnished with dead poultry. Special double rooms have dead cat at no extra cost! Call now...

Soon it was lunch time and my stomach was calling for fish and chips. Never one to disagree with my tum, we found one of the fifteen fish'n'chips shops and ate by the church, enjoying the view of Ludlow in the Fall....before returning to my dreams on the coach. The next stop was another castle...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

My 15 Minutes of Fame

About a year ago, I was an extra in the motion picture "X-Men 3: The Last Stand" which was filmed in Vancouver. I played a cop in one scene and a soldier in the finale, and now the movie has come out on DVD. I have created some screen-captured photographs of myself in the movie (remember to click on the pics to enlarge them).

The first scene I am in is where the mutant Angel jumps from the Wall Center and flies over the crowd.

There I am, the San Francisco PD officer standing by the road. (Definitely me!)

Here is the back of my head! (Definitely my ear!)

This is the view of the crowd from the top of the Wall Center. You can see the crowd with me, at the top of the pic, standing by Burrard Street.

Here is the whole scene together from the movie:

The other scene I am in is the movie's finale. I am a soldier in the US Army defending Alcatraz from invading Brotherhood of Mutants. My plastic gun explodes and I back away slowly.

Here my gun explodes. (Could be me...all grunts look the same...)

Here I am backing away slowly. (Not really sure which one is me...somewhere down left)

There you go! My other film/TV credits include I, Robot, Catwoman, 88 Minutes, Smallville, Killer Instinct, Dead Zone, The 4400, the Hardcore Apocalypse after Next Tuesday, and Delta Patrol (coming soon)!

So keep your eyes peeled for me, Extra-Extraordinaire, on a screen near you!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Halloween Rebellion

I did not take my school's "No Halloween" policy lying down. I rebelled in minimal yet significant ways.

I wore all black with my T-Rex skeleton tie. I discussed Halloween with my class and asked them what they were dressing-up as. I gave an art lesson at the end of the day that included colouring ghosts and pumpkins, and creating candy bags to take home. I also gave out Halloween stickers to each child at the end of the day.

So there, British School administration! Ha Ha!

On a related note, Guy Faux Day, or Firework day, or increased-burns-of-the-face day, is celebrated on November 5th...

"Remember, Remember,
The 5th of November, ......"

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Blues

Halloween is tomorrow and I am sad. I am sad because my new adopted country does not celebrate it. I am sad because no one gets dressed up. I am sad because I do not see pumpkins, bats, witches, ghosts, or skeletons. I am sad because there are no costume parties or trick-or-treaters. I am sad because I am not ALLOWED to celebrate Halloween in my class. I am sad because I am not allowed to put up Halloween decorations in my class. I am sad because I am not allowed to carve pumicing or make paper ghosts with my class. I am sad because the children are not allowed to dress up and parade through the school...

I am sad because Halloween is a Pagan holiday, and apparently celebrating it goes against the school's religious policies...


(Memories of Halloweens past...and other dress-up moments)