This story lacks a beginning or an end... and the middle is sort of weak, too...

Yesterday I was at the Noodle Box, the happiest place in Victoria.  While waiting for my Black Bean and Garlic with Rice, a rather cute girl around my age came in, standing alongside an older gentleman.  I did my single-guy exercises (not married, never had physical contact with the man, and let him lead the conversation), so I concluded she was with her dad.

Then I realized something that was kind of depressing.

I am at the age where this can actually be a problem.  In other words, potential partners for me could be dating men old enough to be their parents.  No longer can I look at a girl and easily deduce "ah, she's with her dad" and act accordingly.  Now I have to play things a little bit tighter.

The dad, by the way, noticed me checking her out.  So did she - I smiled at her, and she smiled back.  When they went to go sit down, she sat down next to me.  The dad shooed her aside, sat down next to me, and raised an eyebrow at me, as if to say "do you have the guts to hit on my daughter with me right here?  Do you, punk?".

Turns out that, no, I don't have the guts.  But I did have my noodles. 

Which were delicious. 

True Story:

During a rather slow day of work on thursday, one of the supervisors decided a Wing-Eating contest was in order.  She started planning the whole event, getting very excited by the process.  The manager thought it'd be a great morale-building exercise, and quickly agreed to it.

The game?  Whoever can eat the most chicken wings in five minutes.  I have no idea how they hatched up this plan, but I think it's ingenius.  It's even better than the chili cook-off we had at the government office... and that was a pretty damn cool competition. 

She went from desk to desk, asking for volunteers.  Very few stuck up their hands - I guess they didn't want to stuff their faces in front of their new co-workers.  Either that, or they were afraid of chicken wings, possibly suffering from some post-traumatic incident of one type or another.

Maybe they bit off a chicken's head during a rock concert.  Maybe there was some sort of sexual tension in the past (hey, we're all curious!).  Or maybe the sight of chickens causes flashbacks to the Korean War

Yours truly naturally stuck up his hand.  Hell, even though I'm not working during the day of the event (this friday), I'm more than willing to come in for a chance to eat free chicken wings.  Especially because the prize is - get this - a paid day off work.

And did I mention they were free?

I still had to get some information... after all, you should always be prepared, right? 

"What kind of wings will they be?"

"I'm told they'll be hot wings... they're not supposed to be that hot, but they do have a bit of a kick."

"I'm pretty sure I can handle them," I said, maybe a touch too smugly.  When something is declared by someone as being "not that hot", it generally translates into "Dave, you're not even going to taste these".  And "it has a bit of a kick" is just code for "holy crap, I'm a wuss when it comes to spicy foods!"

At least, that's my two cents.  Make of it what you will.

One of my co-workers looked unsure.  She wanted me to win, since the only two other competitors were both supervisors, and I'm sure she wanted me to strike a blow for the little guys.  But, she seemed dubious. "I don't know... they could be pretty hot..."

"I know for a fact I've had hotter and lived to tell the tale," I reassured her.  She didn't know about the fuck off hot wings, and I wasn't going to fill her in.  After all, she could pass the information on to my competitors, hoping for a big raise or something.  Ladies and gents, you can't trust anyone in a chicken-wing-eating contest.  Not even the chicken

The manager piped up during this exchange.  "Anyone that's going to enter needs to have a name.  One of your supervisors wants to be called 'Big Cock', but that name's not allowed... but try to think of something funny, but acceptable in an office environment."

I put up my hand.  "Can I be Captain Shortbus?"



Film Friday: Name that Movie!

A short and quick post for y'all today.  I've got some snippets from some really great movies - all you have to do is name them.  Because, hey, games are fun, right?  Enjoy.
  1. "If you're gonna shoot, shoot.  Don't talk."
  2. "I had a lot of fond memories of that dog..."
  3. "And all those... moments... will soon be lost.  Like tears... in rain."
  4. "You're like a gay Babe Ruth.  You're Gabe Ruth."
  5. "You told me those entry couplings would hold for another week!"  "That was six months ago, Cap'n"
  6. "You're a handsome devil.  What's your name?"
  7. "...and that's suicide.  By tiny, tiny increments."
  8. "Geez, if you wanted to scare the kid, you could of just pulled a gun on him."
  9. "He's the brains, sweetheart."
  10. "Do you have any last requests?" "Yes.  Don't fucking kill us!"
Also, in completely unrelated news, the production company Miramax was officially shut down today.  I'm sure I probably could have written a huge post about this subject, but I decided to go with random film quotes, instead.  No clue why. 

pterodactyl porn!?

Also, I was on failblog and there was some talking about dinosaur porn... because this is failblog, after all.  Someone mentioned "pterodactyl porn", and doing a search for it. 

Yeah.  There's pterodactyl porn, people. 

And, um, it's actual porn.  Like, with a naked woman riding a man dressed up as a pterodactyl, while two other "Pterodactyls" flap their wings nearby.

It's got fairly decent production values (for porn, at least), which means someone has spent money on this.  Which means... there are people out there that have an honest desire to see what it would look like to have a woman having sex with three pterodactyls. 

I have no desire to link to this, because it is actual porn, but if you want to find out for your own, just google search "pterodactyl porn" with the safe search filter off.  And then stare in absolute bewilderment, like I did. 

Timmies Run

I walked into the first aid supply shop yesterday, mostly because I didn't want to go straight home after work, and it was across the street from my job.  So I'm looking through the gear - safety vests, bandages, gauze, peroxide - all the fun stuff, and realized I'm horribly out of "practice".  Or, rather, I never had a chance to practice some of the things I've learned, and they're slipping away...

For example, it took me far too long to remember the PPQRRST memory device.  Or what dosage of aspirin to give in a heart attack.  Or, well, any of the explanations for what makes something a Rapid Transport ("This guy needs to get to a hospital, ASAP!") as opposed to, say, a normal transport ("this guy needs to get to a hospital... but let's stop for Timmies on the way!").

Scary stuff.  I think it's time I hit the books again.  Which should be fun.  Now I just need to find some cute nursing girls who'll let me play "doctor" on them...

Weekly Haiku #11 - Winona Ryder

my newt does corkscrews
in the world's smallest river
a pintsize gator

Day As Night #5: Avatar Sucks

To be fair, I actually don't mind most James Cameron movies.  But they do tend to run a little long, don't they?

(Remember, I Can't make it any larger.... you'll have to click to enlarge!)

Music Mondays - The Elevator Incident

It shouldn't come as a shock to you that I'm a bit of a, well... music snob.  I know what I like, and I know what I dislike.  When I hear something I dislike, which is quite often, I loudly proclaim exactly why it is the worst thing ever. 

Some would call this a character flaw.  Personally, I look at it as education - if people don't realize their taste in music is awful and must be changed, how are they going to learn?  And time usually proves me right.

For example, back in high school, all my friends listened to Korn and Limp Bizkit.  Multiple times I announced "guys, this music blows".  They all laughed at me, told me I just didn't understand the complexities of Fred Durst's angst.

And then, a few years after high school.... oh, look, I was right all along.

The point here is, there are some bands that are just no good - flashes in the pan that should be ignored.  Also, there are bands that are aimed towards one age group - just like how Korn was aimed at high school students who were angry for no apparent reason, or how the Pussycat Dolls are aimed towards lobotomy patients with daddy issues. 

Unfortunately, not everyone realizes this.  Or, they realize this, and don't take the appropriate steps to hide their shame.  Which led to the most unfortunate incident.  The elevator incident.

Picture yours truly, about to head outside, fiddling with my headphones.  I head down the hallway of my apartment building, when the elevator doors open.  Displaying a man roughly my age, his head down, his iPod on... singing what sounded suspiciously like Miley Cyrus.   

When he looked up and saw me, he froze, like a deer in the headlight.  Or a scantily-clad tween in a camera flash, as it were.  Then he gave the most pathetic nervous grin, and scuttled into his apartment.  For my part, I stood there, open-mouthed and stunned.  I felt bad for the guy - the shame at being caught listening to such garbage!  Such crap!

As put on my music and listened to some 1980s Black Sabbath after Tony Iommi left but before Zakk Wylde joined, I reflected on the fact that some people just have no taste. 


Opening Scenes...

Every time I leave a building with my iPod on, I always feel like I'm in a movie or something.  Like the cameras are on me, and the track playing is the soundtrack in the film. 

I'll leave work, and I can imagine the intro credits rolling across the bottom of the screen.  Adjusting my jacket, I'll stop at the sidewalk, look both ways, and then walk along the waterway.  Herons will pick around in the water (Production Designer:  Cam Fillerman) while I walk in the foreground.  A young couple will jog past (Chief of Photography: Eliot Smythe).  And I'll cross a rickety wooden bridge while a lazy-eyed seagull stares me down (Director:  Ridley Scott). 

Because of this, I am very conscious of that first song playing.  It has to be something cool, with a riff that draws you in, a cool bass line... something that makes you tap your feet.

Last week was perfect.  It was the Sneaker Pimps' Six Underground, or Queens of the Stone Age's Make it Wit Chu.  Both great songs that make me look like, well, the coolest guy to start a movie ever.

Yesterday, it was a little song by the Beatles called Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except for Me and My Monkey

Probably not a great way to start any movie.  Even a movie involving monkeys. 

I kept halfway expecting to get hit in the face with a lemon meringue pie.

An Open Letter to the Ladder Idiot

Dear "Handyman":

A little over six months ago, I was spending nearly every spare minute working on my Occupational First Aid Level Three ticket.  The course, if you don't know, is the highest level of first aid attainable in British Columbia.  It falls just short of the requirement for entry-level paramedics - in fact, were I to become an entry-level paramedic, it would be only a week's worth of schooling. 

I'm telling you this to give you an idea of where I'm coming from.  I've been in many simulated emergencies, including people landing on sharpened pikes of rebar, chainsaw injuries, and men and women getting crushed by errant forklifts.  I've also done extensive training on ladder injuries.

You see, there are a lot of idiots in B.C. that are careless while on ladders.  In fact, ladder injuries are one of the leading methods of injury on Worker's Compensation claims in this lovely province of ours, to the point that there are even ad campaigns warning you guys.

Based on wednesday's experience, I'm pretty sure you've never seen these ads, so I'll summarize them for you.  They show an idiot on a ladder, and a caption that says "Don't be so fucking stupid, you moron."

I'm paraphrasing, but you get the drift. 

You probably don't know who I am.  I'm the ginger-haired guy who said "I wonder if he knows he won't be able to claim WCB when he falls, because he's using that ladder improperly".  I know you heard me, because you shot me a very dirty glance.  But I'll let you in on a little secret - I wanted you to hear me. 

You see, you were standing on the top rung of a ladder - you might not have seen the warning that says "Do not stand here" or "This is not a step"... you were, after all, standing on it.  But that sign is there to protect you - you have absolutely no traction while on that step, and even a slight movement at the base of the ladder is amplified up there. 

You see, should that asian girl doing taxes on a computer at the base of your ladder move and accidentally bump your ladder, you'd have nothing to catch onto - you have no "points of contact".  And you'd fall.  And hit that asian girl doing taxes on your way down.  And her computer.  And her cute little Hello Kitty backpack.

In short, you would be landing on an overdone stereotype. 

So, when I was asking the supervisors who the first aid attendant was, it wasn't to be an ass.  It was in the (vain) hopes you'd get some common sense and maybe try to find a safer alternative.  It was also to figure out why in the name of hell the supervisors were letting you get away with this - after all, were you to fall, you can bet it'd be their asses on the fire.

I know how your mind works, because it's how the mind of every injured worker works - "I'm careful, and it's never happened to me before, so...".  Which is, of course, the stupidest thing in the world.  I've never been hit by a car before, but you can bet I still look ways before I cross the street, and wait for the "walk" sign to flash before my feet touch asphalt.

What you don't know is that I was already preparing for your fall.  Every time you wobbled, I was ready to spring into action.  I had already figured out who my helpers would be when it came time to immobilize your neck.  I knew who was calling the paramedics, and how I was going to deal with the panicky people.  I knew how I'd handle the situation were you to strike someone on your way down, or get cut up from shattering a computer monitor.  While I had never had an actual first aid emergency happen on my watch, I felt pretty confident in my abilities to handle the situation at hand.

In short, were you to slip and drop twenty feet to the ground, I was ready for it.  And, you may not like this, but I was hoping it would happen. 

Why?  Because sir, you are an idiot, and even though you didn't fall today, it is going to happen if you keep doing stupid things like this.  So I have no remorse for you when you get hit, because you heard warnings, and you ignored them.  As for me, well... I could use the practice. 

You got away lucky today.  But it's just a matter of time.  See you soon. 

Film Friday: Fun Fact: I said "John Cusack" ten times in this post... eleven, if you count the title.

My haiku this week is based off a real event. I was lying in bed a few nights ago, and realized - I am John Cusack from High Fidelity. Now, I've often noticed that I share similarities with that most excellent of characters, but lying in bed at 1 am on a weekday is a bad time to discover that the character that most resembles you in cinema is not Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker, John McClane, or The Man With No Name.

1 am is a bad time to learn that the character you most resemble is a neurotic man who knows far too much information on the trivialities of life and yet has a very hard time getting the big picture. It's really one of those depressing discoveries, like finding out there is no tooth fairy, or that Phil Collins didn't actually write "In the Air Tonight" about a murder he witnessed when he was a little kid... and do you see what I mean about knowing too much about trivial things!?
Now, if you haven't seen High Fidelity, you're probably a little lost here. Allow me to sum up the general gist of the movie in this little paragraph:
John Cusack owns a record store and hangs out with music snobs who talk about pop culture all day. He obsesses about his past girlfriends, and is unable to commit to the future because of what has happened to him in the past. He makes little lists about, well, everything - top five track ones side ones, top five songs about death, and so on and so forth. He is sarcastic, snarky, and probably a little self-involved, too. The movie ends with John Cusack learning that Bruce Willis was a ghost all along, and then they both walk off into the sunset and find out it was Earth All Along.
Anyways, this little revelation was cool at first. "Hey, I'm like John Cusack... I make those top five lists... I know a lot about music... I'm pretty sarcastic..." and then of course, I started making the other connections, and realized that, while High Fidelity is one of my favourite movies, these connections are not good things. In fact, they are the opposite of good things.
They are, indeed, very bad things.
So, new goal in life. I want to be John Cusack in Say Anything, not John Cusack in High Fidelity. I want to be the cool John Cusack in The Ice Harvest... not the neurotic John Cusack in High Fidelity. Hell, I wouldn't even mind being John Cusack in America's Sweethearts, or Serendipity... anything but John Cusack in High Fidelity.

Wouldn't mind having that record collection, though...

Death Knights ARE the worst.

My first week at my new job is over, and in some ways, it didn't go that badly.  I didn't have to drink any magical kool-aid, and there were no wal-mart esque cheers necessary.  I didn't make a complete fool of myself in front of my hot boss, and I can't see something like that happening any time in the near future, either.  However, in one very real way, it didn't go well at all.

See, I've found that I actually kind of like the work I'm doing. 

I don't want to be the type of guy that enjoys doing taxes.  Because by admitting you enjoy doing other people's taxes, you're taking that first step on a staircase that inevitably leads to Pocket Protectors, Michael Buble concerts, and picking up the bar skags and not realizing they're bar skags

Seriously, at the office on wednesday, I listened to two grown men discussing World of Warcraft for a good fifteen minutes, in the same conversational tone that you or I would use to discuss mowing the lawn or the daily news.  The conversation went something like this:

"Yeah, I had a bit of a problem killing those cats..."

"Oh, killing those cats is easy... you just have to lure them into a hallway and jump on them!"

"Oh, yeah?  Well, we killed the cats no problem, but then we were attacked by death knights."

"Shit, dude.  Death knights are the worst."

Now, I know that I should be the last one to throw stones, here.  I am a ginger-haired Dungeons and Dragons player who wears glasses and actually has frames from Futurama hanging on my wall.  But I can't help it - I look back fondly upon a not-so-distant past.  A past in which conversations about killing cats would provoke "anonymous tips" to the police.  A past in which death knights were not really a worry.

I wonder what would happen were I to make such an anonymous tip tomorrow.

"Hi, officer?  A guy at work keeps talking about killing cats with his guildmates, and...?"
"Oh, he's killing the cats?  The trick is to lure them into a hallway, and..."

"But he's also talking about being hunted by death knights."

"Death knights?  Shit, son, death knights are the worst." 

Weekly Haiku #10 - Alarming self analysis

I missed last week's haiku!  Totally forgot the day... so instead I wrote about tight pants.  I'm a bad person.



I'm like John Cusack
during high fidelity
...might be a bad thing

Music Mondays - The Happy List

Sometimes, on rare occasions, I need just a bit more than a liberal dose of caffeine and my deeply held belief in my own awesomeness to get me moving.  Sometimes, I get a touch of the 'blahs'.  It starts with my shoulders sagging, and ends with a drawn-out sigh and yours truly wearing only one sock for some unknown reason.

Luckily, there's an easy way to get rid of the blahs.  And it doesn't involve meth (despite what some people may have seen, I'm meth free).  What's my amazing solution?  Listen to my iPod, put on the best collection of super awesome music, and dance and air guitar like an idiot

After about an hour of this, I'm smiling like a moron.  It's a pretty good approach to life, and I have to say, I'm a fan.  For those that are interested, here's my "happylist" as of late:
  1. The Beatles, "Getting Better"
  2. The Animals, "The Story of Bo Diddley"
  3. Them Crooked Vultures, "New Fang"
  4. Cage the Elephant, "No Rest for the Wicked"
  5. The New Pornographers, "The Slow Descent into Alcoholism" (so catchy!)
  6. The Sneaker Pimps, "Six Underground"
  7. Lynyrd Skynrd, "Free Bird"
  8. Radiohead, "No Surprises"
  9. Spoon, "The Underdog"
  10. Muse, "Knights of Cydonia"
  11. Led Zeppelin, "How Many More Times"
  12. Pink Floyd, "Wish You Were Here"
  13. Unida, "Wet Pussycat"
  14. Duffy, "Rockferry" (I have no idea why I like her, but I do!)
  15. Amy Winehouse, "Eff me Pumps"

This ol' generation of ours...

So I shamelessly stole this from the Insomniac's Guide to Ambulances.  Don't worry, it has absolutely nothing to do with flashing lights.

Just one of those amazing things that everyone needs to see.  Seriously, watch the whole thing.  ALL OF IT.  And then watch it again.  Really well put together. 

Re: Ferrets

During the last few days, I've been considering getting a pet.  My landlord is pretty lax with rules, and while I have a "no pet" clause in my lease, at least a quarter of my tenants have an animal of some sort, and I'm pretty sure he'll let me bend the rules and bring in an animal of some sort.

So I've been weighing options.  If I do it, do I want a dog?  Or a cat?  Or maybe something a bit more exotic? 

A dog is my first option, because dogs are awesome.  But then, they're also a lot of work, and while I have a lot of free time now, I won't be rolling free time a year or two from now, and so getting a dog might not be the smartest idea in the world.

As for getting a cat, well... I'm not a cat person.  Especially after I heard about a disease called Feline AIDS.  I'm pretty sure a cat that vaguely resembles Tom Hanks from that movie, Philadelphia, is not something I want in my house. 

And then I saw a ferret.  They're pretty much the coolest animals ever.  They sleep twenty hours a day.  They're insanely curious.  They're affectionate.  And they're amused by paper bags. 

Granted, there are some bad sides.  Ferret owners refer to themselves as "Ferret Fanciers", which sounds dirtier than is really necessary.  Plus, the animals always look just a little suspicious.  I mean, can you ever really trust an animal that looks like this:

And there are other reasons why getting a ferret might be a bad idea.  They stink.  They get into trouble.  They poop a lot.  And when female ferrets go into heat, they stay in heat until they're pregnant - and could die if they remain in heat too long.  So, really, you could compare a ferret to pretty much any ethnic stereotype.

But still, I'm intrigued.  And I just want to say, right now, for the record... that if I do break and get myself a ferret, I hereby promise that I will *not* name it something stupid like "Ferret Fawcett" or "Ferret Bueller". 

Nope.  I'm gonna name him "Marcus". 

Okay, I'm just gonna say it...

It's very simple.  Commercials in which food talks about how fun it is to be eaten. 

You know the ones I'm talking about.  A bunch of cows are talking about how great it will be to cut into pieces and devoured.  Or chickens driving around and pretending they're other chickens or something.  Or dumb little commercials where talking carrots shout "I'm high in Riboflavin!"

Wait.  Are carrots high in Riboflavin?

Wait.  What's Riboflavin?

The point is, I'm sick and tired of these commercials.  Your food does not want to be eaten.  If they had their way, they'd be eating you.  But just because we're on the top of the food chain, keeping our vegetables and proteins down lest they rise up and devour us all, it doesn't mean we need to rub it in their face.  I mean, do we often tell the French how much better we are?  How they are a poor excuse for a country that no one cares about?

No.  And you know why?  Because we're awesome, that's why.

I think it's because we eat so many carrots. 

Film Friday: Good until it starts...

A few weeks back, I was watching one of my guilty pleasure movies... When Harry Met Sally.  I was doing it for the purpose of capturing some nifty photographs, but I got lost in the film.  I love this movie, and I was completely absorbed up until the point Harry and Sally hook up.

Wait?  You mean, you didn't realize they got together?  Come on.  It's a friggin' romantic comedy that's not directed by Woody Allen.  You have to know they're going to wind up snogging.  And by this time, there's no excuse for you having not seen the movie.  It's like being angry when I tell you that in The Sixth Sense, Bruce Willis was a ghost all along...

The point here is,  I love When Harry Met Sally right up until the point where the movie starts to fulfill its purpose.  I would love that movie if it was just When Harry Met Sally and Then They Remain Friends.  It's a great movie... until all that romance starts. 

And then I started thinking about it.  Movies that I love up until they do what they're supposed to do.  And it seems to be a fairly common occurence with me.  I loved District 9... up until it turned into an action movie.  I loved Fight Club... except for the "Fight Club" scenes.  My favourite parts of Gladiator had very little to do with the gladiatorial arena (if the movie had been called Russell Crowe Goes to Rome for Three Hours, it'd still probably be on my top 50 list)  And I always love zombie movies... up until the last act, where there are "too many zombies". 

I know what it is, too.  All of these movies have a change of gear somewhere in the midpoint.  The film shifts, making a change in direction and genre, and for some reason, I always pick up on it.  It almost feels like I'm watching a new film somehow related to the first.  For example, through most of the movie, Harry and Sally are talking, enjoying their friendship and helping each other out through a rough period in their lives.  And I love that.  And then, while we know it's coming, they kiss, and the movie turns into a romantic comedy, whereas before it had been a comedy with some romantic overtones. 

Or in District 9 - we get a movie that is filmed like a documentary (and an allegory on Apartheid), and then, about halfway through, there's a giant robot in a slum blowing stuff up. 

And so it goes.  Fight Club changes from scathing observations on the modern American male into a "Crime is fun" show with a bit of a twist.  Gladiator becomes less of a showpiece on ancient Rome and more of a classical tragedy with some political machinations.  As for zombie movies - they build up on the isolation and loneliness, and establish that humanity is the real evil... and then this moral play breaks down about halfway through, and we see zombies tearing people apart.  Usually for at least half an hour.

My fix?  It's simple.  Watch a movie until it's halfway done, and then write my own ending.  That way, nobody gets hurt. 

So, have you seen this great new movie?  It's called The Sixth Sense.  I just watched it, and it turns out, this little kid can see ghosts, and then he gets eaten by wolves.  Oh.  And have you seen Planet of the Apes?  Turns out that the apes weren't on Earth all along... and they wind up eating that kid from The Sixth Sense.

I should make movies, man.

Marcus the Ferret

Saw a Salmon Kings game with Squee, Squee's brother, the Schlesbian, and Moon Rock (have I mentioned that I named the Schlesbian's boyfriend?  No?  Well, his new name is Moon Rock.  So there). 

Have to say, it was a pretty fun and interesting game, especially the part where Moon Rock knocked Squee's beer everywhere, making Squee smell like a priest on a weekday.  Also a big fan of the two twenty-ish girls in front of us who were actually watching the game and not, say, texting the entire time (like the ladies brought by their boyfriends sitting a ways to my left).

It's good to know that the tradition of goalies leaving their crease to stop the puck when it goes behind the net isn't just going strong in the NHL, either - often leading to near misses when the opposing team grabs the puck.  Both Squee and I were doing our usual curse and groan each time it happened.  I'm pretty sure that's how I'll die - some sort of stress-induced aneurysm during a playoff game when my team's goalie goes to stop the puck and then isn't in net to protect it from some lame opposing team.

The cops will find my body, face down on my living room floor, with a hockey game on.  "Another Luongo/Nabokov-caused fatality," one of the cops will intone, shaking his head mournfully.

"When will those goalies learn!?" the young rookie will say, wiping a glistening cheek.

"It's a crazy world, Rook... It's a crazy world."

Fade to Black as they walk into the sunset, with the camera slowly focusing on my dead face, frozen in an expression of hockey-panic.   

Completely unrelated, I bought a book about ferrets at the pet store.  And now I want a pet ferret.  Named Marcus.  For some reason, I find the idea of "Marcus the Ferret" particularly amusing.

That is all.

Thank you, God, for inventing tight pants

Dammit.  This new job thing is not going well.

Or rather, it'd be going swimmingly, were it not for the fact that my supervisor is cute.  I've mentioned before how she was attractive, but I thought my checking her out was a one time thing.  That, after learning from my awkwardness during the interview, I would learn from my mistakes and avoid ogling her if at all possible.

...yeah, that's not going to happen.

During the orientation a few days back, she came in to help out with the filling of paperwork.  I was focusing on what I was supposed to be focusing on (tax papers and sexual harassment policies... read into that what you will), but about 13% of my attention was paying attention to the fact that she's a nice looking lady.  And then all those "guy thoughts" ran through my head:
  • I wonder if she's single?
  • Hey, when she lifts her arms like that, I can see her belly.
  • Damn, that's a nice belly.
  • I wonder if she's single?
  • Thank you, God, for inventing tight pants.
And so on, and so forth.

And then I went into what I'd like to call "Guy Ego Mode".  Which works a little bit like this - you start to gauge the woman's interactions with you and compare them to her interactions with other, and attribute the minute differences to the fact that she obviously has the hots for you. 

Luckily, I'm able to recognize the signs of Guy Ego Mode, so I was able to fight the urge to stand up and proclaim my everlasting love.  Barely.  Mostly, I fought if off because I was only about 50% sure of her name, and no one likes getting names wrong when you're proclaiming everlasting love.  It's sort of a faux pas.

I've had some cute bosses before, I have to say, but I'm thinking this one wins top prize.  I'm working here for at least a couple of months.  Something tells me it's going to be a long, awkward couple of months.

Day As Night #3: Penguins...

Sometimes, the stupidest things amuse me.  Case in point. 

(This is as big as the piece will get - click on it for a full-size view). 

Music Mondays - Guitars, guitars, everywhere...

It's probably a bad idea to put me in a guitar store.  Because I wind up looking at all the "pretties" and then getting told mean, mean things by the salesmen.  They'll say cruel little lines like "Hey, it's zero percent financing this month," or "that guitar is 50% off right now... it's only a thousand dollars".  Then they of course hit you with "yeah, that's a beautiful guitar... too bad it won't be reissued for five years... and you know that's going to sell by the end of the month".

I was there for an hour, and I saw two of the world's most beautiful guitars.

Oh, and I also saw my dream amp, a 100 watt Fender Bassman... for only three hundred dollars.

Of course...  I don't have seven hundred dollars for a Martin Acoustic guitar.  Or eleven hundred dollars for a 1960 Les Paul doublecutaway reissue (A *huge* deal, too!).  Or even three hundred dollars for a Fender bass amp. 

Sad days, my friends.  Sad days.

I am a juvenile little man...

I make no secret of it.  I am a juvenile little man. 

Which is why I love these commercials.  I realize I'm coming to this a little late, but hey, better late than never, right?  And there's just so much to love.  I mean, they have everything.  Stupid babies?  Check.  Vomit jokes?  Check.  Singing?  Check.  Golf?  Check ("Shankopotamus" is the best new word ever!) A guy that reminds me of most of the people I went to high school with?  Check.  

Moral of the story?  Um. 

There probably isn't one.

More Things I Hate!

Things I Hate...
  • 8.  The Anaheim Ducks. 
  • 9.  Any movie with a Wayan brother in it.
  • 10.  Upper middle class kids with three hundred dollar emo glasses, carrying iPhones and an expensive laptop... who wear Che Guevera t-shirts. 
  • 11.  The French.
  • 12.  Uppity Vegans (when I am king, they'll be first against the wall...)
  • 13.  Michael Bay. 
  • 14.  When bands that were awesome in the 70s or 80s decide to "reform".  Because you know they're just going to make crap music. 

I had to laugh:

A Quote from Brian Burke, general manager of the U.S. Men's Olympic Team:

(I'm paraphrasing)

"We know there won't be a dime bet on us in Vegas.  If you start ranking the teams, it'll go Canada, the Soviet Union, Sweden, Finland... and I'm fine with being the underdog."

Great statement there, Burkie.  Really, I admire your spirit.  However.... Soviet Union?  Are you kidding me?  I seriously doubt anyone is going to be laying any bets on the Soviet Union's hockey team in 2010. 

Film Fridays - My Life Philosophy in 4 sentences.

Y'know, I was just thinking.  I can get a little long-winded on this blog occasionally, and I should really give brevity a chance.  So, here goes:

If you do not like The Princess Bride, you have no soul.  Or, possibly, you have a deep-seated phobia of spanish duellists.  Either way, you ain't no friend of mine. 

'Nuff said. 

Things I Hate...

"Dave, you need to update your blog," my inner voice kept nagging me.  "You're running out of reserve posts."

"But inner voice," said I, "I have nothing to write about!"

"You could always just make a list of stupid things you hate, or movies, or..."

"Nah, those are dumb ideas.  I need all my blog posts to be witty, clever, and brilliant." 

"Well, if you don't do something soon, you're going to miss a day.  And then your daily posting streak will be ruined."

"Don't worry, Inner Voice," I said, "I'll think of something."

Turns out, I am completely bereft of things to post about. 

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce a new feature (and a handy way to fill dead space, but don't tell anyone I told you) - a handy little list I like to call:  "Things I Hate..."


Things I Hate...
  1. People that wait in a restaurant line for a couple of minutes, and don't make up their mind what they want until they get to the counter.  "Ummmm.... I'll have an, umm......"
  2. Any song that either begins or ends with more than two seconds of guitar feedback.
  3. This. Stupid. Commercial. Like, this band writes down the lyrics to a song, and then gets rejected by a studio.  And then they play "their" song in front of a crowd.  Except the song is by, um, the Beatles. 
  4. "Are you sure you should be eating that?  You are diabetic, you know..."
  5. The French.
  6. Any sentence that begins with "I'm not racist, but...".  Also, any person that says "I'm not racist, but..."
  7. People that put their backpack next to them on a bus seat, so no one else can sit there - especially if the bus is crowded. 

Weekly Haiku #9 - First Day

my first day of work
nod often, control my nerves
and pray I don't puke



Been doing the usual "check the ATM, see if the rent's been taken out, see if my EI has come in" dance since friday night.  And of course, the balance has remained static. Making me go "Why won't he take out the rent, so I can at least stop worrying?"  along with "when is my EI going to come!?"

The whole weekend went by with yours truly afraid to spend even a dollar... even though that was kind of overkill on my part. 

Just an hour or so ago, I checked the bank machine - my balance hasn't changed.  Still.  No EI coming in, no rent coming out.  Frustrated, I called EI. 

"Just, um, curious... but, uh, when is my EI going to come in?"  And then I let some frustration into my voice.  "This isn't the first time this has happened.  It sucks not getting money..."

"It came in monday morning, sir"

"....wha?"  I know.  A line for the ages. 

"Yeah.  You got your money monday morning." 

"No I didn't..."

"Talk to your bank.  kthxbye."  (I may be paraphrasing, here)

Uh.  Is there a problem here?  So, I call my bank (oh, and as a side note, try calling coast capital savigns... they have the weirdest automatic answering machine message ever... I remember it once said "if you want to hear the sound of a hummingbird, press 4".  And no, I'm not making that up). 

On the phone, I explain the problem.  "They said I got my EI deposit, but my balance hasn't changed since friday..."


"Yes.  This is all really frustrating," I start fishing for sympathy. "I'm about to get my rent taken out of my account, and I'm going to be penniless, and EI hasn't given me any money... holy stress, batman!"

He started laughing.  And being laughed at by a bank teller is never fun.  The feeling is about the same as when a dishwasher at Denny's points at you and laughs, although for an entirely different reason. 

"Sir, there was a deposit in your account monday morning, and a withdrawal from your account monday afternoon...  your balance changed by eight dollars."

"....wha?"  I broke out the gem again, impressing him with my dialogue skills.

"Yeah.  You're good to go.  kthxbye". 

...hunh.  How is that this possibility never occurred to me?  Oh, right.  I'm an idiot. 

Go fig. 

Day As Night #2: Pulling Out

like the idea of making webcomics.  But I have to tell you, doing this little strip is a pain in the ass.  Laying out this strip took me the better part of three hours.  Hopefully, I'll pick up speed doing this. 

In any case, don't expect these every week or anything.  But for now, I'm really enjoying making them, so expect to see some more in the future. 

And the Answers...

Here are the answers for last week's lyric game:

  1. 1960:  Elvis Presley, "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"
  2. 1961:  The Tokens, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
  3. 1962:  The Beach Boys, "Surfin'"
  4. 1963:  The Kingsmen, "Louie Loiue"
  5. 1964:  The Animals, "House of the Rising Sun"
  6. 1965:  The Beatles, "Yesterday"
  7. 1966:  The Temptations, "Get Ready"
  8. 1967:  Jimi Hendrix, "Purple Haze"
  9. 1968:  The Who, "Magic Bus"
  10. 1969:  The Beatles, "Come Together"
  11. 1970:  Led Zeppelin, "Immigrant Song"
  12. 1971:  Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On"
  13. 1972: America, "Horse with no Name"
  14. 1973: Led Zeppelin, "The Ocean"
  15. 1974: Carl Douglas, "Kung Fu Fighting"
  16. 1975: Pink Floyd, "Have a cigar"
  17. 1976:  Thin Lizzy, "The Boys are Back in Town"
  18. 1977: Queen, "We Will Rock You"
  19. 1978: The Who, "Who Are You?"
  20. 1979: Pink Floyd, "Another Brick in the Wall, pt. 2"
  21. 1980: Blondie, "Rapture"
  22. 1981: Journey, "Don't Stop Believing"
  23. 1982: Survivor, "Eye of the Tiger"
  24. 1983:  Styx, "Mr. Roboto"
  25. 1984: Queen, "Radio Ga-Ga"
  26. 1985:  Phil Collins, "Sussudio"
  27. 1986:  Berlin, "Take my Breath Away"
  28. 1987:  Michael Jackson, "Smooth Criminal"
  29. 1988:  Bobby McFerrin, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" (I know at least one person remembers this one!)
  30. 1989:  Vanilla Ice, "Ice Ice Baby"
  31. 1990:  Sinead o'Connor, "Nothing Compares 2 You"
  32. 1991:  Guns and Roses, "November Rain"
  33. 1992:  Kris Kros, "Jump"
  34. 1993:  Radiohead, "Creep"
  35. 1994:  Beck, "Loser"
  36. 1995:  No Doubt, "Don't Speak"
  37. 1996:  Bush, "Machinehead"
  38. 1997:  Hanson, "Mmmbop"
  39. 1998:  Barenaked Ladies, "One Week"
  40. 1999:  Lenny Kravitz, "Fly Away"
  41. 2000:  Everclear, "Wonderful"
  42. 2001:  Staind, "It's been awhile"
  43. 2002:  John Mayer, "No Such Thing"
  44. 2003:  White Stripes, "The Hardest Button to Button"
  45. 2004:  Modest Mouse, "Float On"
  46. 2005:  Wolfmother, "Joker and the Thief"
  47. 2006:  System of a Down, "Hypnotize"
  48. 2007:  Radiohead, "Reckoner"
  49. 2008:  Mother Mother, "Hayloft"
  50. 2009:  Them Crooked Vultures, "New Fang"
I'm watching MSNBC, which is one of the most infuriatingly biased news channels out there.  But i had to watch - there was a documentary on the Reena Virk murder, and, like any other self-obsessed Victorian, I like watching others discuss my hometown... even its darker side. 

I hate the guy that presents it, though I can't remember his name.  The whole narration seems like it's aimed towards retarded children.  And watching him interview people is painful. 

The part that surprised me about it all is that the murder happened only a few blocks away - on the craigflower bridge.  Which, to the best of my knowledge, has no plaque or anything indicating the event.  Which bugs me.

The rest of the program just goes downhill from there.  Guh. 

Eric Munchausen Returns!

So, my friend across the hall, Eric Munchausen, has been having a real rough year.  A huge fan of my blog, he begged me a month or so ago to "guest post", and the fan mail just kept flooding in.  Eric's been really enjoying his fame, and those days when people stop him on the street and ask for an autograph really pick his spirits up.

In fact, Eric was so buoyed by his successes that he was finally able to get a job - working for an auto company, no less!  I was talking to Eric in the hallway last night, and he asked if he could speak to you, my loyal fans, for another 'guest post'.  So, without further ado, may I present.... Eric Munchausen.


Thanks, Dave.  It feels good to be back on the blogosphere - that is the word, right?  After one of the roughest years of my life, all due to my whore of an ex-wife, I've finally landed quite a prestigious new job.  You are looking at, dear Blog readers, the head PR man for Volkwagen British Columbia.

That's right.  It's my job now to represent the image of Volkswagen automobiles in this little corner of the world.  As you can imagine, this is quite an honour.  Volkswagen cars are, after all, some of the best vehicles in the world.  Hey, Sheila - who has a dead-end job now, huh?  Is "Fred", your new man, working for a worldwide car company?  What?  He's a mailman?  Oh, I'm really sorry to hear that, Sheila.


So, where was I?  Right.  Volkswagen Automobiles.  Yessirreebob, I am the new face of Volkswagen.  And what a great company to represent.  We have all the qualities of a great company - loyalty, integrity, adaptability, dedication, and reliability.  I have the best job in the world.  Because I get to tell you all about our great qualities.

Loyalty:  Volkswagen is a loyal company, and we take our loyalty to our customers very seriously.  Why, back when we were making cars for the Nazis, our CEOs didn't just produce vehicles - no, we supported the movement.  We were loyal to those beautiful men in red - wherever Jackboots goose-stepped, Volkswagen was there.  Even when our supporters came across hard times, they knew they could depend upon the Volkswagen brand. 

Integrity:  Volkswagen has something those other car companies lack.  We have integrity.  Why, just ask all those Nazis we helped hide during some pesky trials in the late 40s... oh, wait, you can't, because Volkswagen never revealed where those nazis were hidden.  See what I mean?  Buy yourself a Volkswagen, and you're buying our silence.  We won't let the long arm of Justice snare you, nosirreebob.

Adaptability:  After most of our factories were firebombed to the ground from pesky Allied bombing raids, we found ourselves with warehouses of extra stock and little factory space.  What did we do?  Why, we took all those parts and slapped together a little car called the VW Beetle.  Maybe you've heard of it.  Using west German ingenuity and cheap communist immigrant labour, we put together the most popular car in the world. 

Dedication:  Volkswagen is a dedicated company.  We are dedicated to our products.  In fact, you can see our dedication every day simply by looking at our products.  We are committed to our designs to the point that the Beetle has changed very little over fifty years of production.  Even in this time of economic hardship, you can see our unchanging, dedicated stance to doing things the good ol' fashioned way (well, except for the slave labour... thanks a lot, Nuremberg trials). 

Reliability:  Our cars are reliable.  You know exactly what you'll get with a VW Bug.  They are so reliable, that when one of our cars break down (and they will), you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll be able to find replacement parts in no time.  And cheaply, too - there are just so many of our cars in the scrapyards that you'll have to do a minimum of searching to find just the part you need!

...and with that, Dave, I need to get to work.  It's going to be a good day - we're sending a bunch of free cars to Argentinia today, for some reason.  But before I go, you were asking me about the origins of the VW Bug, how such a well known vehicle came to be.  Determined to find the answer out, I searched through our archives, and found a lovely little photo of some old military guys who helped in the design of our car.  Hope it answers your question:

It coulda come straight from High Fidelity...

A little over a week ago, I asked you guys for some help deciding which album I should next add to my small vinyl collection.  Well, a few days ago, I found myself in Ditch Records with a copy of the Beatles' Abbey Road in my grubby, music-nerd mitts.  I walked up to the door of the shop while listening to Radiohead's Kid A, and took out my ear plugs as soon as I entered (because record stores usually play cool music).  I then made a bee-line to my album, eyes cast low, so I could not be ensnared by the sirens-call of rare issue stoner rock LPs.  After grabbing my vinyl, I made my way to the desk.

One of the guys, who I shall call "Beard", had just put on Radiohead's Kid A.  The first track, Everything In Its Right Place, started playing.  As I gave the record to the cashier (who I'll call "Glasses"), I smiled.

DAVE:  Hunh.  That's funny - I was just listening to this album before I came in here.
BEARD:  Yeah?  I had to put it on.  He (tilts head towards Glasses) has never heard it.
GLASSES:  Hey, dude.  Are you just going to start telling this to completely random people, now?
DAVE (To Glasses):  What?  You've never heard Kid A? 
BEARD:  I know, right? 
GLASSES:  No, I've never heard Kid A...
DAVE:  But, you work in a record store!
BEARD (Points towards my Album):  Yeah.  Hey, you should check out this band.  They're this great little band called, um, The Beatles.
DAVE:  You should give them a listen.  But don't tell too many people about them - I don't want them to get popular or anything.
GLASSES:  Great.  Now random stranger is making fun of me.
BEARD:  ...And he has every right.  You work in a record store.
DAVE:  Don't worry, you'll like the album.  It's not as good as OK Computer, but it's still pretty good.
GLASSES (A pause):  ...OK Computer?
BEARD:  You're kidding, right?

Best.  Conversation.  Ever. 

(also, turns out, Abbey Road is awesome on Vinyl.)

Film Fridays: Boy, was I dumb...

Except for a few exceptions to the rule, I think we can all agree unanimously on this single fact:

Children are dumb.

I was no exception.  I concocted all sorts of stupid theories when I was little guy, such as my belief that all animals were either cats or dogs (bears were just big dogs; mice were obviously just smaller cats; fish were obviously dogs, because cats liked to eat fish; deer were dogs because they had snouts... and so on).  Really, I did all sorts of retarded things.  I ate bugs.  I loved cheez whiz.  Hell, when I was a kid, I actually thought baseball was interesting.

I was thinking back on this today, and I remembered one theory that stood out which, even in comparison to everything listed above, shows how stupid a child can actually be. 

See, I remember watching movies when I was a kid.  A lot of movies.  Now, I knew they were filmed, and that the events depicted were not real.  But, I had this weird belief that any time a movie showed a flashback (ie, it said "1969" and showed the main character as a child) that the flashback had been filmed first, at the listed date, when the main actor was a child... and that the director had waited two decades - or however long - before carrying on filming (now that, you know, his main lead had grown up). 

So, by the time I was eight, I realized I was never going to be in any movies, because no director had contacted me and filmed those early flashback scenes for all my future movies. 

Some would say my theory shows just how "trusting" or "innocent" children can be, but they're just covering up for the fact that kids are naturally dumb.

Oh, yeah.  Happy New Year.