Procrastination and Hair-Cutting

So, being on E.I. and all, I have a lot of free time.  I've been spending whole days where I stay inside, doing pretty much nothing but watching movies or TV shows on DVD.  I've been composing an opera in my head about a guy that has so much free time that he does silly little things, like composing operas in his head.  I think I have it pretty well planned out... I just need a fat guy to play "Fat Guy that sings opera" - the lead part. 

Of course, I've also been hitting the streets, dropping off resumes... but there are days where that's just not possible.  And there are only so many office jobs to apply to - I'll be damned if I'm going to apply to a place that pays less than I'd make on E.I.  That seems, um, ass backwards. 

In an effort to keep myself from going crazy, I've been giving myself chores.  Tasks.  Little jobs like "get some exercise", "kill the president", or "do some grocery shopping".  Nothing major, mind.  Just little tasks to keep my body busy.

Unfortunately, little jobs that would seem like nothing if you were at work become much larger in scope when you're a lazy little shit lounging about your apartment.  My three tasks for today?  Write an e-mail to a friend, make a cheer up e-mail for Kittens, and work on my Office Resume.  Perhaps an hour of work, at most.

Were I at the office, I would tackle this, no problem, while multi-tasking and tackling a bazillion other chores.  But, at home, it becomes a dilemna.  Do I watch some lame movie on DVD... or get some work done?  And so, I put it off.  And off.

Procrastination.  Gotta love it.  I should teach a class on it, really.  Except, of course, I wouldn't show up.  Neither would much of the class.  On the plus side, I imagine I wouldn't have many papers to mark.  Not that I'd mark them.

A while back, I had to go to the interior to see Kittens for a couple of days.  One thing I knew I wanted to do was cut my hair - it had been getting long and shaggy, and I wanted a nice clean hair cut before I went to make a good impression on her friends.  After all, who wants to see a ginger with a fro? However, I kept putting it off.  And off...

...Until the night before I got on the plane, at around 1 am in the morning (I had to be at the airport for sevenish).  I finally decided to buzz off my hair.  As soon as I started, my hair trimmer started acting funny - it wasn't really cutting, just sort of sawing into my hair, and making this low griding noise, sort of like the death rattle of R2D2.  Needless to say, it was painful - imagine getting your hair cut by having your angry little sister trying to pull it out in clumps.  So, I took off the guard (the plastic threads that regulate the length of your haircut;  I had the 3/8" guard set in), and started cleaning the blades, pulling out chunks of ginger hair in the process.  But the trimmer was still making bad noises.  So, I oiled it, and it suddenly started working like a charm.

Being a little tired, and not really thinking, I decided to check to see if it worked by running the buzzer through my hair. 

Yeah, it worked. 

Of course, I had forgotten to put the guard back on, so I now had a streak of bald skin, right down the centre of my head.  It was a like a highway through a dense forest of red shrubbery.  I stared at myself in the mirror, a thick head of hair cleanly bisected down the middle by a shiny, nearly-bald scalp that was surprisingly wrinkled.  For a while, my mouth just kind of opened and closed, before I finally managed a quiet, "....fuck." 

I wound up having to shave off all my hair - and bald gingers are not a sight to see.  Needless to say, I looked like a total ass in front of Kittens' friends, and it caused her all sorts of stress.  I think she told most of her friends that I had just escaped from a cult of some sort.  It was not a good weekend.  Especially because it was remarked to me several times that my story didn't really fit - my running shoes just weren't up to cult snuff. 

The point of this story is that, had I not waited until the last possible moment, I could have at least had the opportunity for my hair to grow out a bit after the disaster, so I wouldn't have been completely bald in front of Kittens.

Geez.  You'd think I'd learned from my mistake, eh?  But here I am.  Updating my blog instead of, you know, getting work done. 

In short, I'm awesome.

I shouldn't shoot my mouth off, apparently...

So, I was talking to Kittens today, and I made a claim that I could name probably a hundred movies that featured Christopher Walken.  She didn't think I could.  And I'm beginning to think she's right.

But here's my list - with no help from any sort of internet site (such as imdb.com).  Let's see how far I get!

1.  Annie Hall
2.  Poolhall Junkies
3.  Pulp Fiction
4.  The Rundown
5.  Balls of Fury
6.  Antz
7.  Nick of Time
8.  Click
9.  Blast from the Past
10. America's Sweethearts
11.  Man on Fire (bad movie!  BAD!)


....eleven.  I got to eleven.

Geez. 

A quick hockey update

An anonymous commenter mentioned that the Sharks possibly made their trade, getting rid of good ol' Ehrhoff and Lukowich to make salary space for Dany Heatley.  If this is the case (and it has the ring of truth to it!), then.... hm.  I don't really know.

Dany Heatley is a great player, but I'm not so sure he's a good addition to the team.  But the Sharks do need a scorer, so we'll see.  I just don't really like his background - demanding to be traded, and then refusing said trade just because you don't like the team is kind of a dickish thing to do, after all. 

On the plus side, all this talk makes me realize that hockey is just around the corner!  And, at the risk of being a stereotypical canadian, this makes me very happy. 

Whose Line.... sucks.

I was clicking through the channels the other day, wondering if I could find something at all decent to watch.  After all, the news is pretty damned depressing, and there's very little on TSN concerning hockey - and as we all know, baseball sucks. 

I never understood how baseball made it as a sport.  You get a bunch of slightly overweight people who take far too many steroids, and they play a game  that mostly involves everyone standing around waiting for their chance to catch a ball.  Even the crowd get in on this game - they sit around and eat eight dollar hot dogs and hope that a ball gets knocked their way. 

Personally, I think the only time baseball is interesting is when someone gets beemed in the face

But I figure, I've got better things to do with my time besides watching baseball and hoping for one of those golden moments.  So I keep clicking.  And I came across a little gem called Whose Line is it Anyway?  Or at least, I thought it was a gem when I clicked to it.

For those not in the know, the basic gist of the story goes like this:  the show consists of improv actors, who play various improv games suggested by a moderator based on themes given by audience members.  So, the game might be "you can only speak in questions" and the theme could be "Superheroes at a Coffee Shop".  Or something equally stupid.

"Stupid" being the big word, here.  I was watching for only a few seconds before I started wincing in pain.  Imagine Wayne Brady (and not the funny Wayne Brady, either) singing doo-wop about, um, poisoned wine.  It wasn't pretty.  No siree, it definitely was not.   

I sat there, watching this horrid bit of improv theatre, and I shook my head.  You see, I used to like this show.  No, cancel that... I used to love this show. 

I remember, in the ninth or tenth grade, heading home pretty quickly after school ended so I could catch an episode of Whose Line.  It was a ritual that I sadly followed for more than a year, since Saturday Night Live had turned to garbage a few years earlier.  I would come home, grab some sort of snack from the fridge, and plop my ass in front of the TV and giggle like some sort of lobotomy patient.

Flash Forward a year or two.  Because this story gets worse.

Every year, our high school did a play, which is fairly standard stuff.  I was one of the few students who would regularly get involved in the play but wasn't involved in the drama program - I can't remember why.  I mostly got smaller roles, which I was happy with, because small roles are easier to mess with, add lines to, and generally make funny.  And I was all about getting the laughs - both then, and now. 

So, every year, it'd be the same kids in these plays.  And almost all of them were in the drama program - making poor Dave feel left out.  However, our school also got "Tutorial" times - an hour long slot every day where students could go to any class in the school and catch up on schoolwork.  And the drama class had these Improv days set up, similar to Whose Line.  So, every day, we'd all get together, and play our own version of Whose Line.

At the time, it was pretty fun.  But after watching this show on TV today, I started thinking back on that time.  And, my god.  Dear God in heaven. 

It couldn't have been pretty.

The show is a crock.  It is embarrassing to watch, boring, and about as funny as watching an appendectomy on the medical channel.  And these were people who were trained professionals.

My only real memory of being in Improv was during "Prop Comedy".  Where I took a phone, put the receiver on my head like Devil Horns, and kept saying "Call me Belial". 

Over and over again.

"Call me Belial".

"Uh...."

"Call me Belial".

"Um...."

"Hi.  Call me Belial".

"Uh.... Belial?"

"Call me..."

And so on.  And so forth.  It was a train wreck.

So, I'm watching Whose Line is it Anyway?, and shuddering as I walk down Memory Lane.  Eventually, I change the channel.  Baseball's on.   And the pitcher's not wearing a helmet.

...bingo.

A long, silly, unconnected post...

Once again, the newt is training for the newt olympics.  Swimming straight up, and then slowly spiralling down through the tank.  It's very graceful to watch, and I can imagine a row of heroin addicts staring into my tank, completely enthralled. 

Possibly I'm thinking about heroin addicts because of my neighbourhood.  A very skinny wisp of a woman with a face that was covered in open sores lurched by me yesterday, muttering random nothings to herself.  I wanted to tell her that white short-shorts and a winter jacket is not really a good combination of clothing;  I also wanted to tell her that short shorts are never a good wardrobe choice... especially when you're a forty-something drug addict. 

...I'm a bad person, I know.

Anyways.  When fall and winter come around, I've noticed that the homeless population seems to migrate from downtown Victoria to neighbourhoods like mine.  This isn't to say that I live in "Crack Alley", or anything, just that the street person presence picks up as it gets colder.  A few years ago, they used to sleep in our parking lot.  Nowadays, they just pick through my building's recylables container and pick out cans, which they return to the bottle depot down the street. 

I'm probably going to give Kittens nightmares, here, making my home sound like this total shithole.  It isn't, not at all.  I like this neighbourhood - it just has certain... um... quirks

We talked about camping last night, Kittens and I.  She is of the opinion that camping with an air mattress is not "real camping" - I agree with her, even though I'm a very bad offender.  My general opinion is, if I'm going camping with people that are using air mattresses, and I'm not, I'm just suffering needlessly to make a point.  But I love the idea of camping with only a backpack.  It just... never happens.

It occurs to me that this post is:  a) not funny, (thankfully, Kilroy is on a vacation to a Swiss Auction House) b) incredibly random, and c) still not funny.  Yikes.

Ah well.  You win some, you lose some.

P.S.  In hockey news, the San Jose Sharks traded two great defencemen - Brad Lukowich and Christian Ehrhoff, my favourite Shark D-man - for two young, unproven Vancouver Canucks - Centreman Patrick White and D-Man Daniel Rahimi. 

I understand why the Canucks made the trade - they need good defencemen, and it makes sense to trade with the Regular Season's #1 team.  The trade makes less sense for the Sharks, though.  They are a young team already, so getting more young players isn't really that important (unless they're afraid they'll lose a lot of players to free agency at the end of this season...).  I guess they do need a new forward now, since both Mike Grier and Jeremy Roenick have left the team.  But.... I'm wary. 

And this comic explains perfectly how I feel...

http://xkcd.com/339/

My long blog, and Firefly...

Well, this blog is almost a month old.  I started on August 2nd.  It is currently August 27.  In that time, there have been some 33 posts. 

I'm happy with that progress.

Even on the internet, I won't shut up.  Woot!

***

I get to dork it up tonight.  I'm going to get a bunch of people gathering at my place, and we'll have a Firefly marathon.  Gonna watch as many episodes of Firefly as possible.  If you haven't seen Firefly, well, you're silly.  And you should come over and bust your cherry

Cuz Firefly kicks ass.

Chicks Doing Yoga

It's funny.  I mailed Kittens a happy birthday card, a day before her birthday.  She got it the day after her birthday.  She mailed me a happy birthday card, two days before my birthday.  I got it... six days after my birthday.  So, it goes like this:

August 18:  Kittens mails me a happy birthday card.
August 20:  It's my birthday.
August 23:  I mail Kittens a birthday card (I actually mail it very early on the 24th)
August 25:  Kittens' birthday.
August 26:  Kittens gets her card.  I get my card.

This amuses me for some reason. 

It's a great card I got, too.  It involved baby chicks (as in, chickens), doing yoga.  So weird.  So awesome.  Wish I could post a picture.  But when I search for "chicks doing yoga", something different comes up. 

People have some weird fetishes, man. 

Album #9: The Who, "Who's Next" (1971)

There are albums everyone knows.  Times when you can ask someone "Hey, have you heard this album?", and they will shake their heads.  And then you put the album on the stereo, and you catch those very same people singing along.  In short, there are albums that have been burned into the collective consciousness. 

Everybody knows Pink Floyd's Money.  Or Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile.  Or Michael Jackson's Thriller.  Or at least a dozen Beatles' songs. 

And I think pretty much every North American has a pretty big familiarity with the Who.  I blame Jerry Bruckheimer.

Bruckheimer being the TV producer who started using Who songs for the opening credits on his ridiculously popular CSI series.  The original CSI plays "Who Are You?", off the album of the same name. But later CSI series mine from an earlier source, 1971's Who's Next.  We hear a chopped and mangled version of "Baba O'Riley" for CSI: New York, and a slightly less chopped up (but still barely recognizable) version of "Won't Get Fooled Again" for CSI: Miami (which, personally, I think should be a song referring to David Caruso's career.  If you ever want to see a good David Caruso parody, watch William Baldwin's performance in Forgetting Sarah Marshall). 

The point of all this is, the second you put Who's Next into your stereo these days, you might be tempted to think of it in reference to shade-wearing ginger fucks making stupid one-liners.  Or... whatever the hell goes on in CSI New York.  I've never seen it.  But try not to think of the album in reference to what came after it;  look at it on its own merits. 

Who's Next is a rock album in a way that we rarely see rock albums.  We get Keith Moon's frenetic drumming, mixed with the fairly simple guitar lines of Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey's raw vocals, and John Entwistle's amazing bass lines.  But let's focus on the first two - the drums, and the guitar.

Keith Moon never does anything simple.  Listen to the starting track, the previously mentioned "Baba O'Riley" - we get a crazy, computerized set of tones, followed up by simple piano tones and then Moon's amazing ability to find the perfect drum counterbalance.  And when the guitars finally kick in (at 1:39), they are fairly simplified - Townshend is a master at basic guitar lines that just added to the overall tone of the song, letting his bandmates really come forward.  (As a side note, I think Baba O'Riley is one of those songs that has been "creatively borrowed from" since its release.  For example, compare the piano chords from the original to the guitar chords in this little number). 

Every song on this album is golden, with a wide range of sounds.  It's not one of those albums where you get the same song, played slightly differently, thirteen times.  Instead, you get everything from ballads ("The Song is Over"), to songs I'd call Seventies Grunge ("Behind Blue Eyes"), to acoustic rock pieces ("Going Mobile"), to lyrically pessimistic Arena Rock ("Won't Get Fooled Again"). 

What's funny about this album is that it was never supposed to exist at all.  Good ol' Mr. Townshend, in the hopes of making a rock opera in the same lines as Tommy, had this idea for something called Lifehouse.  The basic idea was, people would watch the show, and input in the creation of some sort of cosmic music experiment that would free the consciousness of those involved.  Basically, your usual early 70s combination of ego and drugs that plagued too many guitarists of the era.  I'm pretty sure if this sort of thing happened nowadays, there'd be magical kool-aid, matching nike runners and track pants.  Just sayin'.

Anyways, this project was understood by only Pete Townshend, which should give an idea just how messed up he was while putting it together.  Eventually, the concept was dropped, but some of the songs he wrote for Lifehouse made it onto this album (and later albums, such as "905" and "Who Are You?", both on Who Are You).  Pretty good, if you ask me, because I've seen some of the directions Lifehouse was heading.  Imagine an even more fucked up version of Tommy, and you get the basic gist.

So.  Why does this album need to be on your shelf?

Well, first off, because it's pure rock and roll.  And that's always a good thing.  But more importantly, because it's an album that shows the purest form of The Who's songwriting.  Every track tells a story.  Every track is pure music-  there are no lengthy guitar or drum solos to show off an individual's musical proficiency.  This is an album where the band shows their strength as a whole. 

And, let's be frank here.  You've seen CSI how many times?  Every time you're sick from work, lying on the couch in the middle of the day, watching a marathon on TV.  Odds are you've accumulated more hours watching CSI than the waking lifespan of some animals.  And, well, CSI isn't really that good

This album is.  So listen to those songs CSI made famous, the way they were supposed to be heard.  Trust me, David Caruso had nothing to do with this album.  Thank God.

Why I shouldn't write in the morning...

There are those who are totally ahead of the technological curve, always buying the latest in toys from futureshop.  You know the people - they were the first on the block to have a DVD player, and right now their phone is also a laptop, an iPod, and a miniature geiger counter.  For, you know, those times when you need to count geigers

Then there are those riding the crest of the technology wave.  People who have a fairly new cell phone, get a new computer every few years, and are pretty up to snuff with all the technological gidgets and gadgets out there. 

There are those who are behind the technological crest.  You can usually tell who they are from the large number of VHS movies they have.  Often, their house has wood pannelling.  And they flee if you make the sign of the beast

...and then there's me.

I am not tech-savvy, whatsoever.  I can usually figure out things if I have instructions, which I will read - twice - before trying to hook things up.  I get confused installing programs on my computer, so I often just say "fuck it!" and install the program, regardless of how it interacts with other programs... meaning I buy a computer every few years, due to the fact that I've completely fucked my computer in that short time.  About the only technology I can comfortably handle are those I've been "trained" in - anything involving guitars, for example.  Or the type of stuff I've learned in my first aid classes (I can hook up oxygen like nobody's bizness!). 

I am not up on the latest tech news.  When the iPhone was announced, I think I said something like "why would you send people music?  They're busy."  And so on, and so forth.

I say all this because I just found out that you can send people text messages using MSN Messenger.  This may be old news to everyone else, but it's a new discovery for me.  And when I used it, last night, to send Kittens a "Happy Birthday" message, I felt like I was riding the crest of the technology wave with the rest of you normals.

It was a proud moment. 

'natch, I'm going to go overboard, send a bazillion text messages to Kitten, and then get her to cancel the service.  Or move on to the next technology.  Something better than text messages... something faster, more efficient, and easier to understand:

I'm guessing it'll be some sort of technology that allows people to transmit their voice over large distances, for nearly instantaneous communication, regardless of distance.  Two way telephone conversation.  They will be called "Phone Calls", and they will supplant the lowly text message.

While I'm not a tech junkie, that is my prediction for what the future holds. 

Amazing, eh? 

On Self Worth:

On days like today, I really start to think about my worth.  I start to ask myself:  in the grand scheme of things, what am I worth?

No, really.  How much?

....like, per gram?  say.... 2.69$ per 100 grams?  I mean, that's roughly the equivalent of fat free turkey... I figure I'm worth at least that much.   

This blog post was based off a true story...

So, I started counting the dimes and nickles in my change dish.  I have something like twenty two bucks in nickles and dimes.  I think this is awesome, and I told Kittens today that when she comes to Victoria, I'm going to pay our cabby in dimes.

"here, sir.  Here's your cash.  And, here's your tip.  It's in a baggy - no charge."

Kittens basically told me that if I do that, she'll be sleeping on the couch.  Or getting back on the plane. 

I think it'd just be fun.  Especially if I counted out the nickles and dimes, one by one.  And perhaps lost count halfway through.

"Thirteen fifty... thirteen sixty - hey, when did I cut my hand?  Oh, shit.  Where were we?  Damn.  Um.... ten.... twenty.... thirty..."

Or, even better, pay him while driving.  The fare starts at around 3.50, I think.  So, I hand him the cash, and every time the fare meter goes up by ten cents, drop another dime in his lap.  I mean, how can he even complain about that?  I say it's pretty considerate, on my part.

I do want to buy something using only dimes and nickles.  Way back when, I was silly, and would get embarrassed doing something like this.  Nowadays, I say, why not?

I kinda want to count my pennies, and use them to buy penny candies.  Because it's fun being just so dang literal

He Blinded Me with Science.

Tomorrow morning - in around seven hours, in fact - I have an eye exam.  This basically consists of my opthamologist sticking some weird shit in my eye that makes my pupils dilate and turns me into a light-sensitive vampire.

Moreso than usual, I mean, what with the gingervitis.

Then, he proceeds to stare long into my eyes.  And without the usual payoff that such staring usually allows.  After which, he tells me that my eyes are fine, and tells me to go.

This would all be well and good.  An 8:30 eye exam, and by 8:45 I'm out and on the street.  See, the problem is, when I leave, my eyes are super sensitive.  I'm like a larger chick in the sexy red dress at the fashion show - I'm sensitive, I have a sneaky suspicion everyone's looking at me, and I really want a cheeseburger. 

I just know that I'm going to have one hand shielding my eyes while I stumble around Victoria, the sun burrowing into my skull. 

I'm very tempted to mutter under my breath "the experiment... went.... wrong!" whenever I see a mother with her child.  It could be a very interesting game.

Radiohead!

There is a free radiohead single to download. It is called "These Are My Twisted Words". For some reason, it's a single, though it really shouldn't be - it's good, but it ain't single-worthy. Worth downloading, though. Cuz it's free.

I have a feeling today is going to be one of those days where I make a bazillion tiny posts. Like some sort of blog haiku. Which, really, is what I should have done to begin with:

Ladies/Gentleman
It's good to start... plus it's free -
Some Radiohead.

On Squee's Girlfriend

So, Squee's girlfriend's birthday was this week, and to celebrate, we went camping. I believe I recently mentioned this.

While on said trip, she mentioned that she's been reading this blog, and while "it can be boring sometimes", it's got some "pretty funny shit". This makes me happy. But, she was a bit upset by her nickname here. To defend myself, I claimed "I couldn't think of a good name for you!" Which is, actually, true.

But, I thought of one tonight. Actually, it's a variant on a nickname she's had for years: PPP. I won't go into exactly what it stands for, but the first P is her name. And the last one stands for "Pussy".

So, for the purposes of this blog, she will be dubbed "Three Pee".

Wear the name with honour, Squee's girlfriend.

The Luongo Incident

It seems like everytime I go out drinking with the King of Swing, strange things happen. Misfortune and disaster seem to cling to the King, and follow in his path. Part of this is definitely due to the king's personality, but I sometimes think weird things just happen to him more often than most folks.

Once, he was arrested and thrown in the drunk tank, and became convinced that all jail cells had to have a "secret way out", and spent a good hour trying to squeeze through the bars. He has had his nose broken after mouthing off to a much larger man than he (which isn't hard, as I'm quick to point out). He will hit on anything that moves, if it has nice breasts. And there are other stories, equally fun to tell, but that probably shouldn't be put on the internet, I'm sure.

And one of those stories will be told here.

We look back on this as "the Luongo Incident", and it's one of the most awkward moments I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing. And I once saw a friend make out with a Jack Russell terrier. No, seriously. But that's another story.

The Luongo incident happened a few months ago, during the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. My team (the choke-artist sharks) had already been knocked out of the playoffs - to the Anaheim fucking Ducks, no less - so I had started to cheer for the local team... the Vancouver Canucks. And the King of Swing is a well known Canucklehead. We had decided to watch what was fated to be the Canucks' last game of the season - a very disappointing game #6 against the Chicago Blackhawks. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The King of Swing and I met in my favourite bar, and had a few drinks while waiting for the Faux Frenchman. Now, the great thing about Heckler's is, during a game, you get all sorts of bonuses. Free popcorn at your table. Everybody gets their name entered in a draw for a Canucks jersey. And, most importantly, every table gets assigned a random canuck - if that player scores a goal, gets an assist, or gets in a fight, you get a free pitcher of beer.

Also important - I don't drink beer. I think I'm allergic, or something. I stick to the hard stuff (I've been known to say "Fuck it. Let's switch to 151!").

We had Kyle Wellwood that night, or, as I like to call him, "That fucking nerd". As we're watching the game, I'd start shouting out "shouldn't you be an extra on star trek, you fucking nerd?" at the top of my lungs, while the King made passes at our waittresses. And when Wellwood showed me up, and got a goal, the whole pitcher went to the King. Who stoically drank most of it, before knocking the rest on the floor while making a grandiose gesture of some sort. Or, more likely, he was describing his masturbation technique.

The beer is dripping on to the floor, and the King is already drunk enough that he just stares at it. Stares at it. I'm grabbing napkins and stuff to clean up the mess, while the King laughs and carries on with his story. Two waittresses are cleaning up, and he's apologizing to them, but not helping at all. And he's still talking to me. It was a moment of jackassery that is always fun to watch.

It was going to be a good night.

Around this time, a man wearing a Roberto Luongo jersey approached us. Luongo, of course, being a tall, hairy italian man who plays goalie for the Vancouver Canucks. He is, quite literally, one of the most-loved people in Vancouver. Even if he is from Quebec.

This man, however, looked very little like Roberto Luongo:
  1. He was not very tall.
  2. He was bald, and not very hairy.
  3. He did not play goalie for the Vancouver Canucks.
  4. He was not one of the most-loved people in Vancouver. Actually, I don't know that for sure, but I'm 98% sure I'm right.
  5. He was not from Quebec. I think, from his accent and use of mid 1990s slang probably learned from watching friends, that he was from Lebanon, or from some other wussy country that can't win wars.
He tried some friendly conversation with us, though I'm a little fuzzy on the details now. Mostly, he was berating the King for not helping clean up the beer mess while the waittresses did the dirty work, which was fair enough. And it ended with Luongo telling the King that if KoS knew how to treat women, he'd be "down on his knees".

At the time, I thought it was just because this weird Luongo didn't fully grasp English, and so didn't realize his double entendre. (Look at me using fancy words). So, we were polite enough, and he meandered away. We all kind of looked at each other, shrugged without speaking, and got on with watching the game. Around this time, the Faux Frenchman showed up, insisted on calling me "Gollum", and got dirty looks from yours truly for the next hour or so.

It's hard to call a hockey player that makes millions a "Fucking Nerd", when the guy sitting next to you insists that you look just like fucking Gollum. Totally threw me off my game. I'm pretty sure that's why I didn't take a waittress home that night. Had to be the reason.

But at least the game was good. It was one of those swingy, back and forth games that have "Clutch" written all over it. It caused us to have celebratory drinks. It forced us to groan and mutter "I need a drink", just as often. In the space of about half an hour, I think I had two rye and gingers, a shot of 151, a prairie fire, and some other nondescript drink. I can't remember which ones were celebratory, and which ones were in mourning.

I hugged a random woman when the Canucks got a goal - and I hugged her boyfriend, too. It was one of those long, lingering hugs, where you smell their hair. Like I said, I'd been drinking. And I wasn't even as blasted as the King.

In fact, the King was so drunk that later, after the "Luongo Incident", he wound up getting into a "battle rap" with the Faux Frenchman. Which is about as cool as it sounds. There was also a dance involved, that sort of reminded me of the type of thing you'd see some out-of-touch jewish uncle performing at his embarrassed nephew's bar mitzvah.

Near the end of the game, when the Canucks were doing what the Canucks do best - failing miserably - our Luongo wannabe won a drink. We looked over, and saw that he had about half a dozen player cards at his table. Turns out, he was a friend of the owner, and so got all the leftover cards after every other table had been served. So he'd been winning free pitchers of beer all night.

He came up, and offered the King and I a pitcher of our choice... because "I've had waaaay too much".

An aside: when I'm out drinking, and I'm about to do something where there could be two possible outcomes (amazing success or disastrous failure), I often precede my action with a declaration of just how drunk I am. So that, if I fail miserably, I can at least blame the booze and save face. Normally, I use this technique when hitting on girls. It very rarely works. I think Luongo had picked up on my strategy.

We took him up on the offer of beer, and I sat back and watched as Luongo and the King talked. The King, barely able to stand at this point, was doing his best to chat amiably, mostly to be polite. Then Luongo leaned in, conspiratorily.

"So, King," he began, "You seem like the type of guy that does crazy things."

The King just laughed. "Yeah, I'm the king of swing, baby! Crazy is my middle name!"

Luongo smiled. That sort of smile that usually only hangs on the faces of paedophiles and televangelists. "I bet you haven't done stuff as crazy as I have."

The King grinned, while The Frenchman and I backed up a little bit. "Please! I'm nuts. I've done all sorts of crazy shit. Please, there's no way you've got me beat."

"You want to hear some of the crazy stuff I've done, man?" Luongo carries on.

"Yeah, fine, let's hear it," King says, taking another long pull from his beer.

"One time, I was at a wedding. A bachelor party, you know?"

"Oh, wow. You were at a bachelor party? That's totally 'crazy'..." King rolled his eyes.

"There were strippers and all these girls, and we drove around in a limo. I stuck my head out the window." Luongo carried on like this, describing a night of hedonism that can only be found on old episodes of Full House or Saved by the Bell. I fully expected to hear a story about how they found Screech in a locker the next morning, or something.

"...and then, we started playing Truth or Dare. Have you ever played Truth or Dare, King?"

Imagine this. A balding, olive-skinned man with a bit of a gut, at a bachelor party, playing a game with (presumably) other balding, gutty men. A game that is usually only played by men when said "men" are actually sixteen, and hoping they get to french the hot chick. Or the hot chick's friend. Or the hot chick's mildy retarded little sister.

I think the King was thinking just this. "oh, wow. You played truth and dare? Hard core, man." He shot me a glance, as if saying "can you believe this shit?" while rolling his eyes.

"What was it you were dared to do? Streak?" The King laughed at his own joke, as he is wont to do.

Luongo just smiled that creepy smile. And then he dropped the bombshell. "No. I was dared to Suck the Groom's dick. And I did."

It all got weird, then. But Luongo wasn't finished. He leaned in, and lightly touched the inside edge of the King's arm, with just the right amount of familiarity. "Have you ever done anything crazy like that, King?"

While staring with these intent eyes.

King just shook his head nervously, while hoping for a way out. Looking for his buddies to get him out of trouble, come with guns blazing like the fucking cavalry or something.

The Faux Frenchman and I were nowhere to be seen. We had escaped to the pool table, and were busy laughing our asses off while the King floundered.

Luongo's assault didn't stop there. He kept pressing, until the King retreated to our pool table, quietly relating the later events of the story - a story of Luongo's "game".

Luongo eventually dropped chasing the King, only to go after the Faux Frenchman, at one point loudly telling the Frenchman to "get on your knees!" and even trying to push the Frenchman down to the ground by pressing down on the shoulders.

I have to say, I was a mite offended when Luongo didn't go after me. I'm guessing it's because I ooze heterosexuality. But the FF would probably say it's because I look like Gollum, and even gay lebanese hockey fans have their standards.

Davevaginitis.

Recently, being jobless and whatnot, I've reverted to my night owlish nature. I am perfectly fine with this. A problem arises, however, when one is hungry and wants food, and it is three in the morning. Choices, as you can imagine, are limited. Within, say, a ten block radius, there are relatively few places to get food - an East Indian Convienience Store, an all-night Subway, Denny's, and Tim Horton's.

I was hungry, and didn't like the options in my fridge or cupboard. So, I decided to run down to Timmy's. I haven't been there in a few days, though I'm usually a regular (it's a two minute walk away). I'm usually in there every day on my walk home from work, to pick up a small iced capp.

Kittens has told me, multiple time, that the term "iced capp" is a misnomer. Because it is physically impossible to ice cappuccinos. See, a cappucino is mostly foam, and you can't really freeze foam.

But, I quit drinking Iced Capps (and diet coke, in fact) a few days ago, both in an effort to save money and to take better care of myself. Because that shit is poison. There's this river in Atlanta that takes the run-off from the coca-cola factory, and they found that the fish in this river are 335% more likely to develop birth defects, and many birds have been found dead in the water from an increased intake of unhealthy carbolic acids.

Sounds true, right? I made it all up, but I'm sure it's fact. Some way or another.

But any port in a storm, and Timmy's does have some decent menu items beyond their chemically delicious iced capps. As I head down the street, hands thrust in my pockets, I decide to pick up a bagel, and maybe a little bit of cream cheese. Not a super healthy choice, but not a terribly unhealthy choice, either.

I head in, nod at the face behind the counter, and take my place in the line. Yeah, Timmy's is awesome. They have a line at three in the morning. Mostly drunks, the homeless, security guards, paramedics, and students. And asians, for some weird reason. As if, they were never able to acclimatize to the new time zone, and they're all still stuck on china time.

I'm thinking all this when I step up to the counter. And a small iced capp has already been made, and placed before me.

"1.98" I'm informed, and an empty hand is thrust at me, waiting for my toonie.

Yes. The night staff at Timmy's have seen me often enough to know that I always order Iced Capps, and were confident enough in this fact to make it for me without asking. It was ready before I got to the till, pretty much.

I was a bit stunned. Should I return the iced capp? After all, I didn't order it. But then, isn't this really my fault? I mean, I'm a regular, and I order this all the time, so is it really their fault for assuming? Most times, I'd be flattered if they remember me enough to know my order. Do I want to discourage their assumptions and attentions?

All this runs through my head before I give them the two dollars. And then, after I give them the money, I casually say, "hey, can I add a bagel to that? They look good."

As if the bagel is an impulse purchase in addendum to my iced capp. I don't know why I do this, but I'm sure there's a psychological term for it. I imagine it's some sort of "conflict avoidance" thing. Or maybe it's just "Davevaginitis". I hear it's treatable.

I took two sips of the iced capp in the store, and threw it out on my walk home.

Beware the evil "i"....

iPods are bad news.

When I was a kid, I used to crank up the volume on my zellers stereo and listen to old albums that would get my blood pumping. Albums like Queen's The Game, The Offspring's Smash, or Junkhouse's Fuzz. I'm not really a fan of the last two, but back in the day, those were my go-to albums for insane caterwauling in the privacy of my bedroom.

This was around when I was thirteen or so. And I'd move to the music. Not dancing, or anything like that. But I'd pace, jump at the great parts of the song, play air guitar... all that stupid shit. As the album carried on, the music got louder and louder. Until my dad, in the computer room next door, would get fed up, slam on my door, and tell me to "turn that shit down!"

The thing is, when you're blaring your tunes out, you eventually become aware that other people can hear them, too. Which helps remind you that, well, you're not as alone as you'd think.

Flash forward thirteen years. I've given up on stereos, because I live in an apartment building, and I don't really want to torture the people below me any more than I already do (I'm a night owl/early riser with creaky floors and heavy feet). But I still love music. But, I've never been one of those people who can just put on an album and do something else.

I like listening to the album. Focusing on it. But I also have a problem sitting still.

I got an iPod a few years back, and it works wonders. I put on the album, and I go for a walk. I run. Or whatever else. I get to focus on the album, and I get to move. All good things.

As of late, though, I've found I have an empty apartment once more. And often, I come back to my apartment with half the album unplayed. And I seem to flash back to those times when I was thirteen.

It's two in the morning, and I'll crank up my iPod, and start thrashing about. But, you see, there's a bonus - while it's perfectly loud enough for me (and a helluva lot clearer than one of those K-Mart stereos I was stuck with growing up), nobody else can hear my music.

What this means, is there is a lot more time for frenzied dancing. Or air guitar. Or lip synching. Generally, anything that involves me making an ass of myself in the privacy of my own home. As time has gone by, I've slowly forgotten that lesson enforced by the stereo - you're never as alone as you think.

When I got home from a quick run tonight, I was still totally "in the zone", listening to some damn fine tunes. So, I'm frenetically pacing my apartment, getting rid of my hoodie and losing the pants.

Basically, it occurs to me that I'm doing a strip tease, though that wasn't my original intention. After all, I'm taking off clothes... and music is playing, right? So, let's play around. I go over the top, totally being a ham, because, hey, no one else can see, right?

...you see where this is going.

Long story short, if you're gonna do a strip tease in the privacy of your own home, make sure that:

  1. You don't live in an apartment with your main window overlooking a busy street.
  2. If you do live in said apartment, that you at least turn off your lights or close your blinds.
  3. If you cannot follow #2, at least make sure it's not around 2 am when you do this, because even random passers-by will notice the ginger idiot prancing around the apartment when it is the only window lit against a black backdrop.

Or, failing all that, if you're gonna do some frenzied dance while listening to an iPod... don't dance like me. I dance like some sort of retard iPod commercial.

Camping Trip Upcoming...

I get to go camping next week.

Now, I'm a big fan of camping. I enjoy curling up in my tent, hearing the sounds of nature around me, and that wonderful camping smell that seems to permeate the air. I love camping cuisine, hanging out with my friends, and the crazy adventures that always seem to happen once you get a little off the beaten trail.

This weekend, though, I have a suspicion.

See, it's the first time the location, and really, the overall event itself, has been planned by Squee's girlfriend. A woman who, while she camps with us all the time, is someone who I secretly believes hates camping.

We're talking a campground. As in, a place where you're actually supposed to camp. None of the fun "off the beaten trail" happiness. Nope. And I believe the campground has... *shudder*.... "Facilities".

How can one consider pitching a tent in a pre-arranged location with modern amenities camping? It boggles my mind.

I think I'm just more pessimistic than usual. It will be a lovely camping trip. Mosquitos will take a pint out of me, I'll get sunburned to a crisp, and one of us will nearly die from alcohol poisoning - business as usual.

Now if you'll excuse me, this post is severely lacking in "the funny". I have a literary tiger named Kilroy to avoid.

A Day of Silence, Full Contact Yoga, and another Newt Observation

So, Kittens is in Salmon Arm right now, seeing some sort of three-day music festival. Meaning, I have no contact with her whatsoever right now. Couple that with the fact that I'm currently jobless (blegh) and without plans this weekend, and I've found that I spent an entire day without saying a single goddamned word.

Instead, I spent my morning cleaning the apartment, before heading down to pick up some food. And then I got home, watched a few DVDs, read a book, and all that usual shit. It wasn't until watching the last few scenes of High Fidelity (it'd been on my mind, lately), when I said "I love this scene", that I realized they were my first words of the day.

In other words, today, I accidentally lived the life of a friggin' monk. Kill me if I ever get to the celibacy stage; I've already tackled the "Shave my head" step, after all.

It all reminds me of the time I lost my voice last year. I had some sort of illness or another, and I lost the ability to speak for almost a week. At the time, I was annoyed at being unable to communicate with friends, and became something of a recluse. Even moreso than usual, I mean. But I also secretly enjoyed it, being able to witness life through someone else's eyes - all my anthropology classes were kicking in, telling me to experience life through the eyes of "The other".

Today was almost like that, except I was being something of a fraud - I could speak, after all. I just somehow chose not to. I started thinking - while I enjoyed the time I was unable to speak, I don't want to live a life of silence.

So, I've come to a solution. I'm going to go down to Wal-Mart tomorrow, and buy a volleyball. I will then paint a face on this volleyball, and we will watch movies together. I will buy this volleyball lunch - what do volleyballs eat? - and we will have long, interesting conversations. I will talk about my views on great albums and movies; my volleyball will talk about a life of persecution, and trying to avoid getting spiked.

Either that, or I'll join a club of some sort. I'm thinking "Full Contact Yoga" - we do our best to maintain a perfect lotus position... all the while bouncing around in the back of a buddy's truck trying to knock a football around a field with long sticks. I think, if we try hard enough, we can get the whole thing televised. I mean, if they can televise darts, anything's possible, right?

Or maybe I should just endure the weekend of quiet, and wait for Kittens to get back? That is probably the most sensible solution. But I've never been accused of being sensible.

In other news, Winona is currently busy building a fort. She's used a piece of wood I bought on sale at Pet Cetera's closing out sale, and taken all the fake plastic plants nearby and pushed them over, to form a sort of canopy. Occasionally, she'll peek out through a cleft in the wood, surveying the only entrance to her aquatic abode, before once again sinking back into her demesne.

My fish are giving her a wide berth. One of my new tetras is missing a fin. Apparently, Winona Ryder, much like Reality, bites.
In other, completely unrelated news... I'm awesome.

...just thought I'd let you all know.

Fun Fact

While doing a bit of research on albums and bands, I came across a fun tidbit. My birthday (the 20th of August) happens to be the last time all four Beatles worked together in the same studio. They had recorded "I want you (she's so Heavy)", and finished it August 20, 1969.

So, my birthday marks the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' breakup, sort of.

There's your fun fact for the day.

Album #10: Queens of the Stone Age, "Rated R" (2000)

I first bought this album roughly six months after its release, knowing only a little bit about Josh Homme's previous band (Kyuss), and not really into the so-called Stoner Rock scene. In fact, the only reason I'd picked up the album in the first place was because an article about Stoner Rock in an issue of Guitar World mentioned Kyuss and Josh Homme's work with his new band, Queens of the Stone Age.
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I think everyone nowadays is familiar with Queens of the Stone Age (or, as they're more commonly known in print, QOTSA) - but they are familiar with a different beast than the one present on this album. This was an album that bridged Homme's fuzzier, riff-driven guitar work from Kyuss with the pop/rock sounds found on later QOTSA albums. While I'm sure a lot of mainstream music fans will disagree with me, I still hold that Rated R is the best QOTSA album out there - in fact, I sometimes think it is the only QOTSA album that is good overall.

The album has much of that riff-driven, fuzzed-up hard rock sound that is essential for what is commonly known as "Stoner Rock" - groovy beats that draw equally from Led Zeppelin, Delta Blues, R&B, Black Sabbath, early 1980s punk, and underground Grunge. But it is also more accessible, with a very polished quality to the recordings (rare in the world of Stoner Rock, where even the major records seemed to be produced on a shoestring budget). Many times, the Stoner sound is dropped in favour of mainstream rock - "The Feel Good Hit of the Summer", for example, has a guitar sound that is familiar to any rock fan, even going so far as to be accompanied by a driving piano beat that always reminds me of Little Richard. Only without, you know, the veiled references to Butt Sex.

The album goes from that super-charged opener (which consists of a single line, repeated over and over again - "Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, Marijuana, Ecstacy and Alcohol", and the chorus of "C-c-c-c-Cocaine!"), into the more groove-driven "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret". After a more traditional Stoner Rock style piece ("Leg of Lamb"), we get "Auto Pilot", a sort of Drug Ballad with a chorus that reminds me of early Beatles, with the verses sounding sort of like acid blues.

As an aside, this whole album is about drugs. If the title didn't warn you, the song titles should. Most are about taking drugs in one way or another - "Feel Good Hit of the Summer", "Leg of Lamb", "Auto Pilot", "Better Living Through Chemistry", "Tension Head", and "I Think I Lost My Headache" all involve drug use in one way or another. And I'd be willing to bet that band was stoned out of their minds through the recording of much of this record. I can visualize Josh Homme lying sprawled on a couch, guitar in his lap, staring vacantly into space before saying "Hey, guys? This album needs to, like, have a song with a japanese school girl singing along...".

And you know Mr. Homme is big on the drugs. I mean, take a look at the man's wardrobe choices.

The album fluctuates in its middle, going from a power ballad ("In the Fade", sung by ex-Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan) to a rhythmic punk piece ("Tension Head") to a striking acoustic guitar and piano duet ("Lightning Song"). It finishes with the occasionally rocky, occasionally bizarre "I Think I lost My Headache", which begins with a confusing time signature and devolves into bizarre jazz-like guitar stylings and wailing saxophones. The song is apparently Josh Homme's favourite on the album; I've always liked the first half of the song, but been annoyed by the second half. Imagine a good-old-fashioned rock song getting interrupted by a jazz band that's lost its sense of rhythm. And imagine slipping said jazz band some acid. That is pretty much how the last half of the song plays out.

So, why does this album need to be on your shelf?

To begin with, it's an example of modern rock at its finest, unburdened by record producers trying to create a radio-worthy single. After this album, the studio heads were much more attentive, and it shows in the band's next release - the financially successful Songs for the Deaf that plays it much more safe. And suffers as a result - but only in comparison to Rated R (it's still a great album).

Much like later QOTSA albums, Rated R is an amalgamation of talented musicians - QOTSA has never had a consistent lineup, which is one of their strengths as a band; there's never enough time for any one particular lineup to create a consistent QOTSA "sound". This collusion of musical minds can be heard in the versatility of the album's sound, and a feeling of experimentation pervades the entire piece. While I'm not a huge fan of the song, I have to admire the fact that the band was able to release such an unconventional song as "I Think I Lost my Headache"; I don't think that later producers for the band would allow such a release on the album.

Which is why this album remains QOTSA's finest - no one really expected QOTSA to be as successful as they would become. In many ways, it reminds me of Dark Side of the Moon in that regard - an album that would serve to elevate a B-list band into the big leagues.

Intro to the Top Ten Albums of All Time...

So. After listening to The Beatles' Abbey Road for, um, about the tenth time in the last two days, I got to thinking about albums. Or, more specifically, my "desert island" list of albums. Which I blame on Kittens.

We had been talking about Desert Island movies (my three being Bladerunner, High Fidelity, and Fight Club), and since then, I've been thinking about albums. What are the albums that I'd feel were necessary to always have on me?

Or, more importantly for this blog, what are the albums that I think everyone should have on their shelf?

So, over the next couple of weeks, in a very High Fidelity-esque way, I'll be listing the top 10 albums of all time. Those ten albums that everyone should own. Of course, the list comes entirely from my perspective (obviously), so I'm sure there are albums that should be on there, that I haven't listened to yet. So don't give me any of that B.S. I'll concede your point before you make it.

Should be a fun way for me to pass the time, and at the same time rant and rave about the best music ever made.

...Wherein Dave rants about Bladerunner

At a barbecue last weekend, I got involved in a discussion on film. Now, I'm a huge movie nerd, and all my friends (both of them) can attest to that. So of course, I was following the discussion intently, not really saying much, lest they observe my mania and back away frightfully. And when the subject changed to Black Hawk Down, and from there, onto Ridley Scott films in general, I felt as if the holy grail had just fallen into my lap.

They discussed how beautifully-directed Ridley Scott films were. I agreed, and started talking about how he was a great eye, and that with the exception of a few movies (Hannibal, for example), all his movies were great. Including, of course, the best movie ever made. Bladerunner.

They ignored me. Didn't even acknowledge it. Later, while they were still talking about Ridley Scott and how amazingly great he was, I mentioned it again. This time, a bit more timidly, suggesting that Ridley's Magnum Opus was, of course, Bladerunner. Again, no reply.

It was then that I realized that neither of these two had ever actually seen Bladerunner.

This bothered me. Quite a bit, actually. For, here they were, discussing one of the best directors of the last two decades, and they hadn't even seen his greatest movie.

See, Ridley Scott has made some great movies. But if we were to make a top five of his best movies, it would look something like this:

#1. Bladerunner, the Director's Cut.
#2. Bladerunner, the Final Cut.
#3. Bladerunner, the Theatrical Release.
#4. Gladiator.
#5. Alien.

I realize a lot of you haven't seen Bladerunner. Which is a shame, because it is an amazing movie. Imagine a very dark, dreary story that doesn't try to lead you by the nose in the plot - it just presents images, and dialogue, and lets you figure out what's going on by yourself. No long expositions (except in the Theatrical Release, with the much-despised voiceover work). No artificial dialogue to explain to you what's going on. Just an amazing film.

The movie was made in 1981 or 1982, and it still looks crisp and new. In fact, I point at movies like Bladerunner (and, to a lesser extent, Alien) as a good reason why CGI was a bad development in cinema. The fact is, when you're limited by technology, you strive to make it look as real as possible. When a computer can make the image in your head appear, it often doesn't look as realistic - you haven't had to work to get that image down. The difficulties of putting an effect on the camera helped invest the director into making that image just right; these days, CGI divorces the director from that responsibility.
But I digress.

The plot of Bladerunner is deceptively simple. In the year 2019 (or thereabouts), the Tyrell coroporation has perfected the creation of androids known as Replicants. They look like humans, they bleed like humans, and they have thoughts and emotions just like humans. Some would even argue they have a soul (certainly an element of the movie). The only catch? They must contend with a four year lifespan.

The presence of replicants on earth is illegal, as they are created for off-world slave labour. But four replicants steal their way back to Los Angeles, in the hopes of trying to find a way to extend their lifespan. Enter Rich Deckard (Harrison Ford), a retired Bladerunner - a member of the police department assigned to the destruction of renegade replicants.

So begins the story - Deckard must follow in the path of Replicants that seek only to extend their lifespan, and experience the wide range of emotions and experiences that humanity seems to take for granted. Throughout the film, we watch as the replicants (essentially, the "villains" of the story) are seemingly more human than the humanity around them. In fact, it is one of those rare movies where the viewer seems to identify more with the villain than the protagonist.

That's the simple overview of the movie. But there's so much more. A replicant introduced to Deckard who doesn't know she's a replicant (she's been implanted with false memories). The world of biological engineering. And the city itself - Bladerunner is one of those rare movies where the setting itself is a primary character.

Essentially, it's an old 1940's film noir detective story, set in a desolate, decaying city of the future. And it is, in my humble opinion, the best movie ever made. Every time you watch it, you walk away with some new detail, some new perspective. So much thought went into the making of this movie, that it is incredible. And none of it is made obvious to the viewer; the movie will never tell you about the role of eyes in the film, for example, but if you pay attention, you'll notice something (I won't say what). Everything, from the writing on the back of the cars to the covers of magazines in the news stand, contributes to this fictional world of a dystopian tomorrow.
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And perhaps the best part about Bladerunner is the question of Deckard's Identity. Without going into it in depth and giving away much of the movie's wonder, allow me to just say that there are a lot of unresolved questions throughout the film. And the great thing is, they are truly unresolved - it is left to you, the viewer, to piece together clues throughout the film to decide what is the so-called "truth" of the matter.

It's a cliche to say, but they really don't make movies like this anymore. Which is just too bad. But understandable, I suppose. Bladerunner bombed in the box office, and would have lingered away in obscurity were it not for the dedication of its director to release a "cleaned up" version of the film (that got rid of a "happy" ending and a terrible voiceover that tried to explain the events in the film). While it has influenced many of today's science fiction films, directors, and cinematographers, it is still an often ignored and misunderstood film among the general public.

Stuff Me

So, I was just walking through the mall, when I walked past one of those "Build a Bear" shops. If you're not familiar with the idea, it goes something like this: you pick out a basic teddy bear shape, stuff it, and then dress it the way you like with accessories that you pick from the store (and spend a fortune on). In the end, you have your very own customized teddy bear, that probably cost you about a hundred bucks to make.

Walking by said store, I noted the signs hanging from the ceiling, detailing the process. "Build Me", one sign said. "Dress me" said another. And then, hanging on the far wall, was a sign that said "Stuff me".

I guess it's just my male conditioning acting up, but when I hear "Stuff me", I usually have a good feeling that the night is going to have a happy ending. Or at least a "moderately satisfying" ending. So, when I saw that sign, I started thinking about all the happy times I've heard some variant of "stuff me" being said, and how things played out.

Remember, though. I'm standing in front of a store populated by eight year old girls dragging their mothers around by one hand whilst stuffing overpriced teddy bears. Starbucks in one hand, staring vacantly into space.

Alarm bells started ringing in my head - klaxons and red lights going off like the final scene in pretty much any episode of Star Trek.

Don't get turned on, Dave, I muttered to myself. Now is not the time.

I beat a hasty retreat, and wondered if anyone else suffers from problems like this when they go to the mall.

Horses

So, this weekend, Kittens and I went to a petting zoo. And we saw the horses.

I'm not a fan of horses. They're just too large, and I'm pretty sure they eat people. You laugh, I'm sure. But it's not crazy. Think about it.

Horses live primarily on farms. Well, how often have you seen a homeless person or a derelict in the country? It doesn't happen, right?

Horses got to him first.

Also, I've been told that quite often, chickens or sometimes even goats will just disappear from the farm. Horse got hungry.

And the thing is, no one ever suspects the horse. "They're vegetarian, they don't eat meat!" they say, while the horse sniffs at its hay.

Yeah, they look all innocent. But I know what they're really up to. They're plotting.

Watch your back.

Additions to the Urban Dictionary: Crosswalk Hovering

Crosswalk Hovering: When a driver, usually out of impatience, edges his car onto the crosswalk in the hopes of either squeezing between traffic to fit in a turn, or to get a "head start" once the light goes green. By doing so, of course, they block the crosswalk lane for foot traffic, and earn themselves a seat in Hell.

The term can also be used to describe pedestrians who hover on the edge of the curb, getting as absolutely close to the street as possible, so that the second the walk signal flashes, they have a head start on crossing the street. Ironically, these people are often slow walkers, which makes me wonder why they even bother.

On the subject of Newt Olympics

I have an aquarium on my desk. And in it is a little paddletail newt named Winona Ryder. I so chose the name "Winona Ryder" because I know absolutely nothing about IDing the gender of paddletail newts, so I wanted a name that was gender neutral.

Winona doesn't usually do much in his/her tank, mostly just hiding under rocks and chasing after fish that are way too fast for him/her to catch. But sometimes, it's a very entertaining creature to watch.

Right now, it's swimming straight up, breaching the water (yes, like a whale), and then sinking back down, slowly. It then pauses, looks around nervously, and then does this again.

And again.

I think it's practicing for some sort of "newt olympics".

I have no idea how such an event would be judged, but I imagine points being scored for the highest breach above the surface of the water, the largest splash, and the gracefulness of the descent back to the tank floor. Right now, using the mentioned scoring device, I think Winona is averaging about a 7.8 in the technical department, and maybe slightly higher in the artistic category. Except from the Russian Judge, who is scoring flat 6s across the board, which is angering the Chinese audience.

Geez. When did newt olympics get so political, man?

I hate planes.

When I was a kid, I used to dream about being a jet fighter pilot. Soaring over the clouds, and looking down upon a distant ground, detached from the problems that plagued my typical seven-year old existence. I would daydream about how wonderful it would be to be in the air, to live a free, careless life in the sky.

Of course, when I was a kid, I used to pick my nose, watch the shittiest inane cartoons, and I had a rat tail. I short, when I was younger, I was fucking retarded.

I once heard someone say that flying a plane consists of long periods of boredom, punctuated by brief moments of stark terror. I'm pretty sure whoever said that was a master of understatement. I was on a flight to the Interior on friday. And I learned that turbulence... sucks.

Actually, scratch that. Flying sucks.

Flight leaves at 9 am. But you're supposed to get there an hour early. So, I get there at about 7:30 or so, just to be safe. Flight to Vancouver takes a bit longer than planned, but that's okay. Then, it's supposed to be a quick wait in Vancouver. This "quick wait" takes a super long time, as the flight gets delayed. And then, delayed again. And then... delayed again.

Let's put it this way. My flight was delayed for an hour. So, I decided to wander around Vancouver Airport, poking around in the shops for a while. When I got back to my terminal, I found my flight's been delayed again. So, I decide to watch the first half of Role Models on my iPod. And laugh at the part about cup sizes, and think about Kittens.

At the end of that, I look up... flight's been delayed. Again.

Watch the last half of Role Models. And then fiddle on my iPod again. And then watch the first 20 minutes of it over, this time with closed captioning. I don't know why.

My flight, which was supposed to leave around 10:30, doesn't leave until almost 1 pm. Which is funny, because the NEXT flight to my destination leaves at 1 pm. And it was right on time.

And then there's the one hour flight, where I was told I can't sit at the front, because it will unbalance the plane. I look at the stewardess - er, flight attendant.

"Are you saying I'm fat?" I tease.

She kind of smiles, and asks me to politely move to the back of the plane, as if saying "hey, it's not my fault you weigh too much."

Seriously. Like a 150-pound ginger fuck like myself is going to make much of a difference if this plane starts going down. About the only difference would be that when I scream "Jesus Christ, why didn't I take the bus?" the stewardess, er, attendant, wouldn't be able to hear me, as my voice would be drowned out by screaming engines and the sound of flames licking at the exposed flesh of the overweight passengers.

So, they put me in the back.

Didn't stop the turbulence, though. "Turbulence" being pilot speak for "holy fuck, we're all going to die". Seriously. Are planes supposed to just drop about one hundred feet in two seconds? Is that normal?

The moral of the story? A 200$ trip to get me to the interior "much quicker than if I took a bus" took around 6 hours. If I had gone by bus (at around 80$, including ferry ride), it would have taken about 8.

And busses don't get turbulence.

the Best Picture. Ever.

Every now and then, we stumble upon greatness. Whether it be at 2 am, trolling for shemale midget porn, or during the afternoon.... trolling for shemale midget porn... we sometimes come across images so great, so profound, that they change our lives forever.

Tiananmen Square. The moon landing. The Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Self-Immolating.

These images illicit emotions that spark introspection and reflection upon untouched issues. The dangers of a totalitarian state... The human drive for exploration and discovery... Why you shouldn't set yourself on fire.

But then, once in a while, you come across something truly great.

I found such an image while searching the internets for a picture. I had been searching for the perfect picture to use in my public service announcement extolling the virtues of seppuku for the modern youth, when I came across this gem of a photo wedged in between photographs of effeminate emo boys.
I saw it, and my jaw dropped. For I knew I was laying my eyes upon something touched by the hand of God himself.

I call this picture - Dare to Dream. I hope we all learn something from its majesty and poetry.

Here There Be Tigers...

So. Today at work, I was busily re-reading old e-mails I have sent Kittens. Because it beats, you know, working. And I came across some very funny stuff - stuff I had completely forgotten about, that was pretty damned hilarious.

I'm not gonna post them, because I'm lazy, and I don't want to have an angry Kittens going after me for putting stuff about us online. But to paraphrase, it sort of goes like this: Did you know that the vagina of an adult blue whale can let in a volkswagon? No? Did you know that the Vagina of Cher can let in a blue whale?

(I should say now, for the record, that we had already talked enough to establish that we both have a habit of saying weird things upon first meetings, which was the point of the 'whale vagina' bit).

Anyways, this sort of stuff amuses me. Probably because of my coconut brain.

My point here is, I don't always bring up this stuff. Usually, my sort of "funny" is only kind of funny. It's usually just these stories that have a bit of humour to them, but none of that random crazy shit that is pretty much pure awesome. And I hit upon why that is today.

Pure fucking terror.

Or, to be a bit more accurate, fear. When we are afraid, nervous, or in some other agitated state of mind, we tend to think outside of our usual comfort zone. When I was writing to Kittens, I really turned on my "A game", writing super silly stuff in the hopes that she'd like me. And I was afraid that she wouldn't.

So, if I want to produce truly amusing, funny stuff, I have to keep myself in a state of fear, nervousness, and agitation. And I think I've figured it out.

Ladies and gentleman, allow me to introduce to you Kilroy, the literary tiger:


Kilroy here, as you can see, is a well-armed tiger. His literary interests include Mark Twain, Calvin and Hobbes (natch), and anything "funny". He has been known to kill people that are boring or that produce highly derivative work.

He's currently in my bathroom, freshening up after a long flight from Bengal. And cleaning his gun. He's told me, in no uncertain terms, that if I don't produce grade A comic material, he's gonna "go apeshit" on me.

I'm afraid for my life, o blogosphere readers.

But at least I'll die funny.

My aquarium is on my desk, right next to my monitor. So, sometimes, I stare into it and watch my fish dart around.

Or my three dozen snails, which always seem to multiply.

I don't know if you've ever seen an aquatic snail, half out of its shell, curling around some piece of fake plastic terrain. But it's the stuff nightmares are made of. Lovecraftian, for sure.

...that is all.

People are Stupid

There are a lot of stupid people out there.

A few weeks ago, I had to book a bus trip back from the interior of BC, to get back to Vic after seeing the always-lovely Kittens. The clerk told me the trip times.

"There's a 6 am trip"

"Nah, that's too early"

"Oh. How about a trip at one? You'll be in Vancouver by 6."

Naturally, I assumed she meant 1 pm. Nope.

Checked my tickets last night. I am a holder of a 1 am trip.

People are stupid.

Dave and the Fuck Off hot wings

(Hot Sauce. It's pretty much the best stuff in the world. I love the stuff. There are, in fact, few things on this wonderful planet that I love more than plain jane Louisiana Hot Sauce. Hockey. Steak. The San Jose Sharks. Kittens. Led fuckin' Zeppelin. And probably not much else.

Like all true men, I adore hot sauce. And I put it on everything. There isn't a meal in the world that isn't improved by adding a touch of hot sauce. Or two touches of hot sauce. Or a groin punch of hot sauce.

Eggs? You can always add some hot sauce. Potatoes? Hey, hot sauce is great! Kraft Dinner? Needs the hot sauce, because fake cheese tastes like ass. Nothing in this wonderful world of ours cannot be made better with a touch of liquid heat. If Kittens would let me, I'm sure I'd work hot sauce into some sort of kinky bedroom game.

The older I get, though, the more I need. It used to be, when I was a teenager, that a splash of the stuff was enough. But now - I crave stronger things. I have, in fact, five different types of hot sauce in my fridge, in varying degrees of hotness. Tabasco Sauce. Louisiana Hot Sauce. Mild Green Jalapeno Sauce. Iguana Habanero Hot Sauce (super hot, and super good). And Chipotle Hot Sauce, from Mexico.

It's gotten to the point where I don't even notice things that a lot of people (I call them "wusses") would think are too hot. I've had jalapeno nachoes, and I'm munching away, while friends are chugging milk and crying like the little girls I've long suspected they are.

But this story is about the hot wings that kicked me in the balls. -Dave)

Dave and the "Fuck Off" Hot Wings

So, I'm at my favourite bar, with a few of my friends. The basic plan was to introduce a buddy from work, the infamous King of Swing, to my mainstream gang of friends - Squee, his girlfriend, and the Shlesbian. It's a wednesday- Wings Night at Heckler's. The greatness of wings night is that you can buy a plate of around eight wings for around three bucks - KoS and I had done it a few times already, ordering two drinks and two plates of wings for under twenty bucks.

I love this bar, too. If you were to imagine the set of Cheers, but with more TV screens and fewer ugly fat men, you wouldn't be far off. Plus it has a pinball machine, which equals infinite fun when you're so drunk you can barely stand. And, the coup de gras, the best pub food menu item ever. The Poutine Wrap.

Yes. the poutine wrap. Exactly as it sounds. Imagine poutine (i.e., fries, gravy, and cheese, for that one random non-canadian reader who has stumbled across this blog), with bacon, wrapped in a tortilla shell. I've never ordered it, or even seen it, but sometimes, I dream about it.

But I digress.

So, I'm hanging out at this bar, with Squee, his lady, and the Shlesbian, shooting the shit and waiting for KoS. They're all splitting a pitcher, and I'm working on my second Rye and Ginger while we talk about the draft picks for the NHL, and possible trades and whatnot, while Squee's girlfriend nods off at our table, wishing she'd brought a book.

And then in walks KoS, wearing a Kamikaze bandana. At this instant, I know it's going to be a good night. Behind him is his best friend, a navy bosun with a french name that is decidedly unfrench (and that's a good thing). We'll call him the Faux Frenchman, or FF for short. So, KoS and FF grab a chair, and KoS gets introduced to my friends. And promptly starts hitting on The Shlesbian.

"So. You're a chemist. I bet you wear a very sexy labcoat."

And so on, and so forth. This would culminate in KoS (in his early 20s... at the time, he also had braces, and way too much confidence considering he had to wear the fucking things) drunkenly proclaiming "I think I'm the sexiest man at the table wearing braces tonight" and Squee replying "Nah, I think you're the ugliest man wearing braces at the table tonight."

To which The Shlesbian added "hey, I had braces. When I was sixteen."

This is why I love my friends.

So, while KoS is busy making an ass of himself, and I'm working on Rye and Ginger number three, the waittress comes and starts taking our orders. I decide that regular hot wings are not going to do the trick tonight, because, well, I can barely taste hot sauce these days. I think I've killed most of my taste buds.

"What are your hottest wings?"

She pauses. She doesn't seem like the brightest tool in the shed. Or the sharpest bulb in the chandelier. Her face scrunches up, before she hesitantly offers "That would be our 'Fuck Off' Wings".

"Fuck Off wings?"

"Yeah," she says, apologetically.

"Are they actually hot, or are they wussy wings that try to act tough?" I grin. I am, after all, the man.

"no... they're pretty hot" I notice now that her breasts are about two sizes too big for her shirt. I know the sick little games that waittresses play. KoS has a good rule - never try to bag a waittress. It's a waste of time, and not worth it in the end.

"Bah. I can take it. I'll have a plate of those, and a plate of your so-called 'hot' wings."

Yeah. I feel like the fucking man at this moment. King shit, and all that jazz. This is good, because in about ten minutes, I will look like a total ass and a huge pantywaist.

When the wings arrive (super late, I think because our waittress had been busy in the back, taping her boobs together for perfect cleavage or something, so she could get an extra fifty cents added to her tip), I knew things might get bad. I could smell the spice coming off them.

And it was making my eyes water.

KoS had to shift away. "Dave. Those even smell hot, man."

"Fucking amateurs," I say, waving my hand nonchalantly at them. "Watch a pro, kids."

The first bite was not too bad. It was a little hot, but not as bad as I thought. But then it got hotter. and hotter. And then, just to be different, it got even hotter.

"Dave. You're looking a little red there." Squee said, digging into his wings. They were Honey Bourbon wings. Because apparently, Squee has a vagina.

"Fuck," is about all I can say. I take a drink of rye. It's empty. I order one more.

Wing #2 is even worse, and my skin is now flushed. But I don't want to say anything. So, I give one to KoS, thinking that a) it will reduce the number of wings I have to eat, and b) will totally kill him, making me look better by comparison.

KoS is unable to finish the wing. "Fuck, Dave, that's hot."

Squee has a wing, too. And I think he starts crying before it even gets near his mouth. There are now only about six wings left on my plate. I know I can do this. But, I stall, waiting for my drink to come. My body is now super flushed, and I'm sweating.

After two wings.

I start eating the other wings, the so-called "hot" wings. Now, these are my wings of choice. They are normal wings, drenched in louisiana hot sauce. I think they'd be hot for the average person, and normally when I have them, they are definitely pretty spicy. But this time, when I take a bite, I taste no spice. It is like I am eating bread, because by comparison to the Fuck Off wings, the hot wings are nothing.

It'd be like putting Barbara Bush in the same room as Charles Manson, and asking which one is the bigger monster. Because, while they've bothed killed people, at least Manson isn't letting Dubya come into his, er, "oval office".

There are six wings left. I have to finish them. I know this. But I can't keep picking at them - I'm sweating too heavily. And I've already emptied my rye and ginger, and ordered another. If I take my time eating them at this rate, I'll go through an entire bottle of rye. Not a good plan on a wednesday night. Already, FF is encouraging me to stop.

"They're too hot, dude. There's no shame in quitting."

But what the fuck does he know? He's french. Quitting is in his blood.

So, I decide to power through them. My plan? Eat the wings as fast as I can. Just burn through them, and suffer the consequences. Because the way I figure it, it will be the same amount of spiciness, in a shorter time frame.

Yeah. This would be a big mistake.

I start chewing on these wings, and by wing number one, I'm already sweating. By wing #2, I can actually feel my arms beginning to sweat. Shlesbian told me later that she could actually see the sweat pouring out of my skin.

My mouth is on fire. But I keep going, and start on wing #3. I'm having trouble breathing, and black dots are swimming at the edge of my vision. These "Fuck Off" hot wings are definitely pretty fucking hot. I'm contemplating running into the kitchen and performing some sort of murder-suicide deal.

At this point, my drink is empty again. Within about three seconds of it being placed on the table. I start chewing on the ice cubes, hoping to numb my tongue.

Halfway through #3, with wing residue still on my fingers, I remove my hat. This is when I discover that my hair is soaked, as if I've just had a shower. Except, my hair had been dry a half hour earlier. Even my goddamned hair is sweating.

FF is staring, wide-eyed. "Dude. Stop eating them. You're gonna kill yourself".

Squee and KoS, bastards that they are, instead pressure me. "Come on, Dave. Be a man! Keep going!"

Motherfuckers. I hope they both get polio. Or some sort of penis disease.

Wing #4. Let's go.

I start eating, and my mouth now hurts so much, that it actually feels like it's bleeding. I have to use one arm to keep my head propped up. I'm not hearing noises anymore, and my vision has blurred. I'm beginning to seriously think I'll black out. I can barely breathe, and it feels like someone has filled my mouth with shards of glass or something.

After wing #4, I look down at my plate. I see two wings that blur into four wings. And they are laughing at me.

"Damn wings.... fuck off" I curse.

At least, that's what I thought I said. I think everyone else heard "dmmnwngs... fffoff."

Two wings to go. And there's FF. "Come on Dave. Just quit. Come on."

So, do I keep going, or do I heed the advice of the frenchman, and let the germans walk all over me?

Sadly, I let the germans walk all over me.

I pushed the plate away, sadly, and hung my head in shame. KoS and Squee squealed in victory while I weeped. And then, to top it all off, I rubbed my eyes to get rid of the tears.

With the wing sauce on my fingers.

Fuck Off, wings.

A quick Note:

Those checking out these early posts will notice they are all on the same day. I am not really that prolific! They are really about three or four days worth of posting, before I decided to transport my blog here from Livejournal.

Livejournal: Like Facebook, except your "friends" are actually fourteen year old goths with nothing better to do. And it's run by a fucking Russian Goat.

That is all.

On the Perils of Anal Sex

I've never really understood Anal Sex.

Rather, let's rephrase that. I understand the mechanics of anal sex - how it's done, the general steps, and all that. I just don't understand the appeal, and why it seems to be this total desire of the average straight male. And that last bit is the important part - the average straight male. Butt sex for gay males makes perfect sense (and as the girlfriend - a lovely lady we'll call Kittens - pointed out last night, they are usually much better prepared for it than women - well groomed for anal sex, as it were).

See, in my mind, the average straight male is a little unnerved by gay sex, and will do many things in his power to proclaim his straightness - including using the word "gay" as a negative verb. Don't worry, I'm not gonna go into some long speech about why that's a bad thing, because I really don't care. I'm an asshole, remember?

No, what I don't understand is why a man that is a bit queasy about homosexuals would so willingly venture onto their turf, what with the buttsex and all.

If I were a woman, I'd totally say things to unnerve the guy during our anal sex sessions. I'd bend down, take it, and then start saying things like:

"You're doing it wrong. When I had a penis, I was much better at this, you know"

"Mind you don't squash my ballsack"

"You like my ass? I just had it waxed"

Or, my personal favourite, "Hey, did you watch Will and Grace last night?"

...Pretty much anything to fuck with the guy's confidence, really. And women of the world, next time your Mister decides he wants to stick it up your bum... have fun fucking with his head.