Puffer Fish Clothing...

This was originally a post for the blogoff.  However, I decided I disliked it as an entry, and so pushed it back for later in the week.  However, it still has some merit, and it is (after all) a true story.  So, here it is, in all of its glory.  Without further ado, allow me to present...

Dave vs. The Drunken Indian Native

When outsiders are exposed to Victoria, it is usually in the form of well-planned tourism videos. But it also has something of a seedy underbelly that surprises first-time visitors.  As my friend Kittens remarked during one of her trips - "Holy crap... I've never seen a person doing crack until tonight!". 

(He was a nice crackhead, by the way.  He waved at us and everything, and his shirt was from Old Navy, so at least he kept on top of things, fashion-wise.  And I'm pretty sure he was smoking designer crack.  So it's not all bad.)

See, my hometown is a combination of lovely tourists and happy times juxtaposed with drug dealers and crime.  It's like Miami, only with no latinos and social medicare.  And strange things can happen in such a place.  Events happen here that, on a most basic level, happen everywhere - but Victoria always lends a special character to the oddness.  I figure I'll just present a snapshot of the Victoria experience, and let you - the reader - make your own decision. 

Enter the drunken indian.  Oh, wait, I'm sorry.  Drunken Native.  I didn't mean to offend.

This lovely little fellow was doing his best to remain standing with his friends, maintaining all his concentration to keep on both feet and only barely succeeding.  He was lurching around, doing awkward pirouettes in place while his considerably more sober friends discussed the band of the month.  His whole crew were well-dressed in R&B "Puffer-Fish" clothes - over-sized attire designed to make someone look larger than they actually are.  I was with my friend Squee when I walked by, only to be approached by the drunken indian... er, native. 

"Hey!  Hey, you!"  He said, lurching towards us, expensive ghetto clothes flapping like a sail in the sea breeze.

He quickly started demanding we give him smokes.  Of course, neither of us smoked, so he switched to "well, wanna buy some weed?" which, really, is how people seem to say "hello" in Victoria.  Seriously - when the vice president of the United States visited Canada last week and met our lovely Premier, the first thing Mr. Campbell (aka "Douchie McGee") said to him was the customary "hey, wanna buy some weed?". 

Mr. Biden, fluent in all cultures, responded with the traditional "Nah, 'scool, I grow my own."

Anyways, drunken indian native.  He was still craving tobacco, and we didn't want to buy weed off him, so this was his cue to fight us.  And, natch, he focused on me, because I was the smaller of the two.  And I, being the smartass that I am, made fun of him.  Which mostly went over his head, and even his over-sized ball cap. 

"Fug you!  I gots, I gots backup!  I'll kick... I'll kick... your ass!  I gots backup!" he repeated, like a mantra. 

His friends, of course, kept saying "Dude, you don't have backup.  If you pick a fight with these guys, they'll kick your ass, and we won't do a thing."  And they kept apologizing to Squee and I, all the while laughing at their drunk-ass friend.  Because that's what boys do, ladies and gents.  Laugh when their friends make idiots of themselves.

Eventually, I was pushed me a little too hard, and I pushed back - just enough to get the drunk out of my face, because I didnt' want to hurt the guy (he was harmless, just a little riled up from the firewater).  Of course, that little push was enough to knock him square on his butt.  Infuriated, he got to his feet, fists in the air, ready to fight... and then looked for his "Backup".

Who were walking down the street without him.

"Uh... sorry".  He said to us, gave us a figurative tip of the hat, and then went off after them.  "Guys, wait up!"

Later on, he met up with us again, vaguely remembered who we were, and sheepishly apologized.  He gave a friend of mine free weed, and we wound up buying the drunken indian native smokes.  And then we complained about tourists, the government, and (of course) hockey. 

How is it a Victoria moment?  A posse of white, native, and asian teens who were pretending they were black got drunk and picked a fight with random people on the street.  Marijuana was offered as a trade for tobacco because it is cheaper here, and people walked by without raising an eyebrow.  And then the thing was resolved relatively peacefully, and in the end both parties settled their differences in true Canadian fashion.  Upper middle class kids strutted around in a poor part of town with absolutely no fear.  And, um... something about maple syrup and orca whales.  

The Blogoff - "My Hometown"

The blogoff continues! As you're hopefully aware, there's a war going on between yours truly and a vile imposter. Each saturday, we'll be making a post on a preset topic, and waiting for votes from you, the loyal (and handsome and supremely intelligent, might I add) readers. So, after reading my post and tolerating the filth that is fakenewts, place a vote on whose entry you like more. Without further ado...

Ah, Victoria.  A tourist destination if ever there was one - a city that doubles in population during the winter, has more restaurants per capita than any other city in North America, and often oozes wealth and ostentation.  One only needs to look at the Empress Hotel for a second to realize that Victoria is a place that speaks to money. 

Naturally, growing up in a place so filled with tourists can often lead to resentment - because for every wealthy visitor, there is one lower-class resident who lives the life of a servant, and one even-lower class man who wishes he lived the life of the servant. 

And then there's the middle-class white kid, who feels resentment towards, well, everyone and everything.  Enter the young CrazyNewt. 

Growing up in this town, I used to feel unexplainable anger towards the rich American tourists, elderly English visitors, bemused European travellers, and camera-happy Asian paparazzi.  About the only visitors I tolerated as a teenager were the sexy Australian surfer chicks, because, well, I was a teenage male.  And really, how can anyone hate sexy australian surfer chicks?  It's physically impossibly, I guarantee you.  Unless you're another sexy Australian surfer chick, involved in some sort of squabble understood only by Sexy Australian Surfer Chicks.  Sort of a highlander, "there can be only one" thing, I imagine. 

Anyways, some friends and I felt it was our moral obligation to berate the piss out of some of the dumber visitors to our fair city.  We reserved our contempt for those morons who were truly deserving - the visitors who got off the plane in July wearing Winter Clothing (because "It's cold in Canada!"), the Americans who sneered at Canadian money and called it "toy money", and the tourists who would block an entire sidewalk so they could spend five minutes arranging their family for a photo of a lamp post or garbage can.  You know, the dregs.

Now, I know you can't really blame tourists for some of their actions.  One could expect Canada to be colder than home, due to the reputation we have throughout the world - but to wear a parka in july just reeks of lunacy.  To be unused to a new currency is perfectly natural - but to make fun of it simply because it is not like your money back home is just rude.  And to take pictures of things that are an interesting variation from what you have at home is perfectly fine (my friend Kittens took pictures of our drainpipes and postboxes while here!) - but to block people from passing to do so is rather selfish. 

And so we would taunt the fools.  Partly to encourage them to never come back.  Partly to defend the good name of our hometown.  And partly to gain some sort of feeling of power against people who hold all the power at home.  Mostly, though, we did it because it was funny.

There were great moments.  My personal favourite:

RANDOM TOURIST:  "Excuse me, what kind of tree is that?"
DAVE (Who was just walking by, minding his own business):  "That?  Oh, it's a Douglas Fir."  (Keeps walking)
ANNOYING TOURIST: (grabs DAVE'S arm):  "And what about that tree?"
DAVE:  "Um.  That's also a douglas fir."
JACKASS TOURIST:  "And that tree?"
DAVE(Rolls eyes)  "That's the Grandfather tree.  Ancient native stories say that, many moons ago, this tree housed the soul of a dying indian elder.  And, since that time, his kinsmen approach the tree for words of advice.  And if you ask on a full moon, you will get a wise answer... or so the stories go."
DAVE:  "No.  That tree's name is Randolph."
FOOL TOURIST:  "You're messing with me.  Seriously, what kind of tree is it?"
DAVE:  "...A Douglas Fir."

True story.

Supermodels vs. Bear

 As a part-time insomniac, I am required by law to occasionally get super sleep-deprived and make poor decisions. This is the reason I own movies like Alexander and The Ringer... in my sleep-addled state, I looked at those films and said "how can they go wrong!?"

However, despite some of the problems that come from sleep-addled declarations, often I stumble across ingenius little ideas that are destined to turn me into a millionaire. Enter the newest idea for a reality TV series...

Supermodels vs. Bear

Here's the idea. Every episode, we put a specially-picked dream team of aspiring supermodels picked up off the streets of Los Angeles. These women, thankful to put their low-grade porn days behind them, wish to win the big prize - some sort of crappy modelling job where they get to wear shiny clothes and get photos taken of them. I don't fully understand how to entice model-folk, but I imagine their attraction to clothes is sort of similar to a magpie's attraction to shiny objects.

How do they win that prize? Well, the team of models have to defeat a trained Grizzly Bear in a no-holds-barred cage match, Mixed-Martial-Arts style. If the women can pummel that bear into submission, then the prettiest (alive) woman at the end gets the modelling contract. Of course, it's not as easy as it sounds. Because, see, we don't feed that Grizzly Bear for a few days before the bout. Also, models killed that bear's mother and wore her skin, so it's kind of got a personal vendetta thing going on towards models.

This is gonna be a great show. The women get to see reality TV, models competing against one another, hair, and clothes. And then men get to see a Bear tearing the shit out of hot girls. Really, it doesn't matter who wins in the end - the way I see it, it's a win-win situation.

The Vancouver Trip - In Brief

A few days ago, I decided - mostly on a whim - to head down to Vancouver.  After all, it's just a ferry ride away - and I seriously doubt there will ever be an Olympic games in Vancouver again.  At least, not in my lifetime.

I dragged myself out of bed at around 5:30 am, and eventually hopped on a 7 am bus, my backpack filled with the essential travelling supplies - pringles, energy bars, water bottle, a book (Nick Hornby's awesomely hilarious About a Boy), an iPod loaded with albums and movies, and my travel journal.  See, I carry the journal so when I spot attractive women, I can take it out and pretend I'm thoughtful as I record the privatest of my musings.

I wish I was making that up.  I mean, it kind of makes me sound sad, eh?  But hey, it works sometimes.  And I promise, I don't use this as a ploy to meet women so I can cut them up and store them in my freezer.  I grew out of that phase years ago. 

The ferry terminal was more packed than I've ever seen it, with the floor so crowded you couldn't even lean against a wall - hipsters be damned!  There was this huge line-up forming, of people who are apparently not used to travelling on the ferry.  If you want to get on the ferry early and claim all the good spots (read as: a table to eat at or a seat near a window), you need to be able to fight your way through the door, and a line isn't gonna do jack.  So, I made my way through the crowd and camped out a good position by the door.  I was one of the first ten people on the ferry - as usual.  I think it's either a knack of mine, or a complete disregard for other people when it comes to travel.  Either way, I got to eat first.

After a lovely morning trip that involved yours truly in the cafeteria eating a "smart choice" egg mcmuffin-clone and making smiley faces at the people still waiting in line to get a meal, I started wandering about and eventually grabbed a seat.  I sat and read for a bit, all thoughtful- and pensive-like.  And, lo and behold, I discovered I was sitting next to a girl about as equally thoughtful and pensive as myself (what a coincidence!) 

She was listening to her iPod and reading a book.  I did the same, and we kind of shared a smile.  And then, to show her just how thoughtful and pensive I was, I started writing in my book... she seemed interested.

Of course, I had no idea where to go from there.  See, I hadn't thought this plan out... I mean, what was I going to do?  Invite her to wander Vancouver with me?  Exchange numbers?  Open my mouth and prove that, really, I'm not all that thoughtful and pensive?  Of course not!  I shut up, and went back to reading.  Win some and lose some, right?

Also, I didn't want to do anything because my freezer's currently full.

Vancouver was crammed.  Every second street was shut down, and every now and then a cheer would ripple through the crowd as some canadian athlete or another did well at some crazy event (I hear we got silver in long-distance nipple-sliding).  I wandered about the city bewildered, letting random adventures befall me. 

There was a Russian dressed up like Santa Claus singing on a street corner.  People zip-lining down Howe street (pictured).  The olympic torch on the waterfront, and a brilliant lady making such stunning observations as "Oh my GAWD!  That torch is on FIRE!" (you can see my facial expression from this statement in a picture above).  And - best part of the trip - one of the streets was shut down so some kids and adults could play road hockey.

And those adults weren't playing down - they were playing a full game of hockey, as were the kids.  And that kid in net was good, man.  A crowd of two hundred watched, and it was just amazing to watch.  A true Canadian moment, that.  Only, it wasn't bi-lingual, it lacked beer, and not a single "hoser" was mentioned.   I think a beaver died to make one of the players' hats, though.  Does that count?

I found myself in Rosie's pub, off Robson, where some American tourists bought me drinks because they thought I was a fellow yank (I had a sharks cap on, see).  When they found out I was Canadian, that actually made me cooler, for some reason.  I guess "Canadian who likes an American team that consists mostly of Canadians" is a good thing among U.S. Hockey fans.  But, hey, who am I to complain?  They bought me a free drink, which in Canada means instant friendship.  It's why we're stuck with Quebec, in fact - they bought the first round when we were celebrating burning the white house to the ground, and since then, we've been stuck with the french bastards.   

Eventually, I fought through the crowds, got on the sky train, and took the ferry home.  And then sat down next to a thoughtful lady, read my book, and acted all pensive and thoughftul once more.  She noticed me, and gave a nervous smile.  I started talking to her, and got little in return beyond super silent whispers and that thing some girls do when they're incredibly shy and withdraw into themselves.  It was like talking to a kitten.  An asian kitten.  Who reads Anne Rice. 

So I shrugged, sat down next to her, and read while the ferry hummed along.  She smiled at me, I smiled at her, and all was well in the world.  I count the day as a win. 

Weekly Haiku #15 - A Day At Work

processing taxes
-bathed in the monitor's glow-
carrying my ones

(I actually wrote this haiku at work... when I jokingly told a
supervisor that making haiku in my head was the only thing keeping me sane...)

Day As Night #9: Autobiography

I was giggling near the end of this one.  Kristen Ball's facial expressions are priceless

As usual, click if you wanna read, and props to those who guess the original movie. 

Music Mondays - The Closing Song

I'm one of those people that prefer albums over singles - while a lot of bands can release one or two decent songs, I find there are a shortage of bands that can release albums that are decent overall.  To me, albums are much better than a collection of singles... I love albums like Dark Side of the Moon or OK Computer.  Albums which are put together beautifully, and united in theme and sound. 

And I love love love albums that end well.  Because a good closing song can really tie an album together.  Which should be fairly obvious - it'll be the last song you hear before you put in a new CD, flip the record, or whatever. And it should leave you going "damn.  That album was awesome".

My friend Kittens was talking about great last songs on albums a few days ago, and not even a few sentences in we both realized it was going to have to be my music monday post.  Because it was such an obvious topic.  Why wouldn't I write about closing tracks?

So, here are a few of my favourites.  Tracks that end an album, and help tie the entire compilation together.  Would love to hear other opinions, too... because this list is only scratching the surface.

1.  The Beatles: "Good Night"
from The Beatles (or "The White Album")

My first pick for a Beatles closer was actually "The End", off Abbey Road.  However, because some silly music tech decided to instead end Abbey Road with "Her Majesty" (not a bad song, mind you - it just should have come on earlier in the album), I can't go with that song.  So, it'll have to be "Good Night" - this really pretty string arrangement that sounds almost like a lullaby.

Of course, it's hard to tie together an album as diverse and crazy as The White Album, which was just a hodge-podge of songs individuals had been working on (a couple of the songs were peformed with only half the band - "Why don't we do it in the road" was just McCartney and Starr, while I remember reading that "Julia" was just Lennon).  But for some reason, I hear "Good Night" and it just seems like the perfect way to end the album - as something following the bizarre "revolution 9", this song sometimes makes me think it was a mesasge to the perceived audience:  "okay, guys... album's almost over, so stop doing your drugs, okay?". 

I mean, could you imagine if the album had ended with "Revolution 9"?  God knows what the Manson Family would have wound up doing...

2. Pink Floyd: "Pigs on the Wing"
from Animals

Pink Floyd knows how to end albums - from the monolithic "The Trial" (as heard on The Wall, though technically not a closing track), to the lovely rock chant on "Brain Damage/Eclipse" (Dark Side of the Moon), to the absolutely gorgeous second half of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" (from Wish You Were Here, a perennial fan favourite).  Hell, even their "drug song", the bizarre "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" certainly has a charm to it.
So, why am I picking this song among the entire Pink Floyd catalogue?  After all, it's barely a minute long, is just a few vocal lines and an acoustic guitar, and isn't even that complex.  Well, here's the reason:  it's not just the closing song... it's also the opening song.  See, it plays at the beginning of the album as a question, and then is repeated to close the album, phrased almost as an answer.  It ties the entire album together in this almost profound way. 
Plus, I think there's a certain poetry in the lines "And every fool knows, a dog needs a home/a shelter/from pigs on the wing".  Considering how part one of the song questions whether there is love in a relationship, and the second part has an answer, I've always sort of seen this as one of the more positive endings to a Pink Floyd album.  And I can be a sucker for sappy romance stuff.  But don't tell anyone, or it'll ruin my street cred.
3.  Duffy: "Distant Dreamer"
from Rockferry
Well, shit.
I mean, I think I just kind of made myself look like such a fool for putting this song (this musician!) on the list, but it needs to be said.  And, while I can understand some of the Duffy-hate out there (that "Mercy" song can get pretty effin' annoying when you hear it in a mall), I actually really like this girl.  I mean, we have a white girl from Wales who sings black motown and soul from the states.  And, um, she sings it well.
Really, "Distant Dreamer" is probably a bit poppier than it should be, and maybe a bit longer, too, but I still really like it.  It's upbeat, it's soulful, and it's optimistic - and first albums should always end on either a note of hopeful optimism or confused cynicism.  This whole "I hate the world and I know what I'm talking about" tone that some debut albums use kind of pisses me off.  It's like rappers singing (is it really "singing"?) about how much money they have on their debut single... what's the point?
So, yeah.  Duffy.  She's a cool lady.  Plus, she was attacked by Johnny Rotten, which is pretty cool. 

Oh my god. That torch seems to be on FIRE!

Gah, my head hurts.

Yesterday was a day trip to Vancouver, with all sorts of crazy happenings - I saw the Olympic torch, a hockey game in the middle of Howe Street, people ziplining across Robson street, a Russian that looked like Santa Claus, Americans that wanted to buy me drinks (it was the Sharks hat, y'see), Insanely cramped ferry terminals, and probably a lot more that I am forgetting right now but will remember when I go through the shitty photos I took with a ten dollar disposable camera.

Anyways, the moral of the story is this:  I'm insanely tired, have a huge headache (not from booze!  I only had one drink, while watching the Swiss-Slovakia game in a pub), and not in the mood to write about anything.  The olympic experience will, no doubt, get an entire post once those photos come back.

I also bought a present or two, which will be put in the mail sometime tonight...

Best quote ever, though:  "Oh my god.  That torch seems to be on FIRE!"  Yeah.  Some people should not procreate.

Also, for those anonymous voters on my blog - could you at least SIGN your vote?  For example:

 "I vote for you, Dave, because you are awesome.  Sincerely, Muggles Magoo". 

Without even that, we can't accept the vote (by mutual agreement).  And since the only vote I've received so far is from an anonymous voter....

Anyways.  Next blogoff entry was begun on the ferry ride home last night, written on paper.  As well as a much better Day as Night than last week's debacle. It's gonna be awesome, ladies and gents.  But for now?  Now... I'm gonna put a warm cloth over my eyes, and thank my lucky stars I'm back in Victoria. 

The Blogoff - "Awesome Memories"

(Day one of the "Blogoff" begins!  The topic for today is "awesome memories".  The game is simple - read my entry, and then read the entry over at Trinity's page, and decide which one you like more.  Vote either here or on his entry, and they'll get tabulated next friday to see who wins round one.  Let the battle for newthood begin!).


Today's topic is "Awesome Memories", and I've had more than my share.  Despite the gaggle of amazing memories, many of them legal, I found myself staring at the wall... wondering to myself "Just what sort of awesome memory should I talk about?"  After all, it had to be a memory that really says a bit about Crazy Newt's formative years, right? 

Oh, I could go on about all of those usual "firsts", and I've had great times for most of them - first kiss, first sexual experience, first "I love you", first time I got drunk, first concert, and so on.  But really, who wants to read about the time I got fondled by a kissing hobo backstage at a Creed show, right?  Especially because I barely remember it - that hobo's breath was one hundred and seventy proof.  And to this day, I don't know if he said "I love you, too", or "I love U2".  He was, after all, a roadie. 

But to be serious, all of my firsts, while generally pleasant, were also tempered with a sense of fear of the unknown.  They were "holy fuck, I can't believe I'm doing this!" moments which prevented me from sitting back and actually enjoying what was going on.  I'm sure most of us have had those thoughts - "am I doing this right?  Is this the proper way to do things?  What if I get caught?"

Instead of all that usual "coming of age" garbage, I'm going to talk about the first time I saw an awesome guitar up close and personal.  Because I'm a music dork, and this is one of those important moments in my life.  So sit down, and shaddup.

My friend Nny* and I were once, way back when, in a band.  We called ourselves "Charlie C-16", and I think everyone wanted to play guitar - at one point, we had three guitarists.  This was around 1998 or so, and we figured we were the next great metal band.  Of course we did - we were teenagers, and the world was our oyster. 

Really, though, the band was just a front for a bunch of kids that obsessed over guitars in the same way that most teenagers obsess over girls, or sports, or grades, or making out with hobos at creed concerts.  Nny and I were the type of people who were always putting forth "A or B?" questions and then debating the merits of both sides.  One would ask the question, and we'd argue until we found a common ground.

They were always silly elitist questions, too.  "Marshall amps or MESA boogie?", "Les Paul or Stratocaster?", "Digital or Analog effects?" and so on.  And, for the record, Nny was a Marshall boy and I was a MESA boogie addict (though I've changed sides in my old age), we both preferred Les Pauls, and he has always been digital and I will always be Analog.  But that's neither here nor there.  It might be over there, somewhere, though.  Maybe underneath the couch?

Our crazy guitar adventure wasn't something that was announced, which is generally how amazing memories start.  If you walk into a situation going "this is going to be an amazing memory", it's a pretty good chance that you'll walk away subconsciously thinking about the ways that memory could have been even better.  Creed could have chosen a better encore - possibly something not performed by Creed, for example.  I could have worn prettier underwear.  That hobo could have brushed his teeth.  That sort of thing.

Rather, our guitar adventure began because one of us - I forget who - broke a guitar string.  And, in the tiny little town we lived in (about a 45 minute drive outside of Victoria), there was only one store that sold guitar strings.  It was one of those crappy thrown-together music shops that had no quality gear and made a living by lying to unknowing customers, and had picked on us stupid, unknowing kids more than once.  The guy that ran the place was overweight, had a combover, and seemed to always begin and end his sentences with "trust me".  We had learned, the hard way, that trusting him was a bad idea that usually wound up in us buying "high quality" mexican-made guitar strings for 14 bucks (in 1998!).  And, for a long time, we didn't know that guitar strings weren't "supposed" to break after only a few hours' worth of use... because, fools that we were, we trusted Captain Combover. 

So it was well worth the trip into Victoria to pick up strings.  While it took an hour and a half bus ride (each way!), we were kids - what else were we gonna do with our time?  For the price of one set of defective Mexican strings from the local shop, we could travel to Victoria and back, and pick up two sets of decent D'Addario strings. Strings that are so decent, in fact, that I use them to this day, when I'm wiser and (at least on paper) wealthier. 

We made the trip, Nny and I, spending the busride debating the merits of humbucker pickups vs. single-coil (humbuckers, all the way).  We made our way downtown, and popped around Guitars Plus for a while - a typical guitar store, run by a hawaiian father/son combination that overcharged a decent amount.  It was a  decent place, but it only sold Ibanez guitars... which meant that Nny and I were only ever exposed to middle-of-the-road instruments.  Imagine really loving cars, wanting to buy a car, and seeing great cars on TV and movies... but only ever being able to walk onto a Hyundai carlot.  Sure, Hyundais can be alright, but they're not really a classy vehicle, y'know?

I mentioned to Nny a pawnshop a few blocks away that sold cheap guitar strings, and we headed on that way.  We figured, if we were lucky, there would be some nice guitars being pawned off that week - maybe a Jackson flying V, or even a left-handed Telecaster or something.  We cut down the Victoria streets, avoiding eye contact with the homeless (who were just beginning their domination of downtown Vic's streets), to a neighbourhood that straddled - then as now - the divide between "posh Victoria shopping country" and a place best described as "the underbelly".  As if the yellow line in the center of the road were a demarcation line, there were well-kempt specialty shops, coffee stands, and clothing boutiques on one side of the street, and pawn shops, bargain hotels, and second-hand stores on the other.  Natch, we cut into the pawn shop.

And there it was.  A 1996 Paul Reed Smith guitar.  Tiger-striped green, with the golden eagles flying up a rosewood neck.  Gold hardware.  Tremolo bridge.  24 frets, lovingly crafted.  Nny and I saw it, looked at each other, and our jaws dropped.

Some explanation, here.  In the 90s, Paul Reed Smith guitars were really beginning to come onto the market.  They were the "it" instrument, and many of the great new talents of the era owned one (or more).  They were also exceedingly rare in Victoria - even the high end music stores, like Long and MacQuaide, were not licensed to carry them.  In fact, the nearest you could get to a new PRS was in Vancouver, and they were rare even there.  In 1998, they were the holy grail of sixteen-something guitar boys living out on the fringes of civlization.

So imagine walking into a pawn shop, with a few banged up guitars hanging on the wall in the corner, and seeing the guitar of your dreams.  Right there, in front of you.  Now, imagine the store owner seeing that look of admiration, and saying "do you want to hold it?" 

When the roadie hobo said that to me, at that Creed show, there was a bit of nervousness in the entire situation.  But there, staring at that beautiful green axe**, there was no nervousness.  No trepidation.  Just a longing carress as Nny took it in his hands and stared down upon it like a father upon his newborn child.  I ran a finger down a string, and when we plucked the D-string and listened to it hum, it was the most beautiful sound either of us had ever heard.

Okay, so you non-musicians are probably bored to tears by now.  "What does any of this mean?" you're asking yourselves.  Only this - that moment was the moment both Nny and I realized that there is a world of possibility out there.  And not just a world of musical possibility - but just plain possibility.  For me (and Nny has said something similar over the years) it was this moment that said "yes, the outside world exists".  It was a moment that told me there is more than just my small town and Victoria... that there is the entire world, and with a little bit of luck, it can fall into your hands.

* Obviously, not his real name.  But it was a nickname... and it's better than his other nickname, "Blowcock", a pun of his last name. 
**  For some reason, guitars are often called "axes".  I have no idea why, but it makes us sound cool.   

(Remember - read both this post and Trinity's post, and vote on your favourite!  Every vote counts... and be honest!  May the best newt win!)

Film Friday: Start with a bang, and then... nothing.

You know what bugs me?

Okay, wait.  To be fair, if I ask an open question like that, we'll be here all week - there are a lot of things that bug me.  Some of which I don't actually think about too often, but would be bugged by were I to take the time to ponder them.  So, in the interest of brevity, I'll cut to the chase.

I am annoyed by movies that start off amazingly well, to grab your attention, and then wander off into nowheresville.  I'm not talking about movies with great opening scenes, mind you - I'm talking about movies that have a great first ten, twenty minutes, and then fade away into mediocrity. 

What?  You want some examples?  Sure, easy enough (unfortunately). 
  • 28 Days Later:  Think about it.  The movie starts off with this amazingly awesome series of scenes in which our main character walks about an abandoned London.  Hell, the first act of the movie is A+, all around.  And then it starts to peter out... and then the characters leave London... and the movie falls apart.  Terrible waste, really.
  • The Quiet Earth:  You've probably never heard of this Australian movie.  It starts off much like 28 days later, in fact - one man, alone in the world.  However, here, he really is alone - the last human being... or, really, the last living creature.  He wanders Australia by himself, slowly going crazy... and then the movie wusses out and starts introducing other humans.  And then it just gets stupid.  Lame.
  • The Postman:  Oh, god.  How I wish this movie remained awesome.  Oh, how I wish... by the time Tom Petty appears (as himself... in a post-apocalyptic wasteland), it just meanders into the realm of caricature.  Gah.
And it goes on and on.  There are also plenty of movies that are better in the first half than the second (Fight Club, Knocked Up, Hollywood Ending) with lackluster endings, but they don't really fall in this category. 

My solution to these "come too soon" films?  I don't know, but my first impulse was to go with something bukkake-themed.  Luckily, I've matured a bit in my old age, so we'll go with something a bit more adult. 

Fire the directors out of a cannon.  But, to show how we are much more skilled in the art of building suspense, we'll work our way up to the cannon, with some slow torture first.  What kind of slow torture?

The directors have to watch their movie.  All of it... not just the first twenty minutes.   

Another pointless story...

Found myself in Fan Tan Alley today, kicking around this grungy record store that seemed like a transplant from the 1980s.  Old vinyls hung on the wall, and the entire place was cramped floor to ceiling with old records and CDs... even a section of cassettes (!).  Peeling posters hung on the wall, and behind glass were rare Led Zeppelin albums, alternate covers for Hendrix albums, and some weird album by Johnny Cash.  It was the type of place that seemed stained by cigarrette smoke, even though no one had smoked there for years.   

After poking around for a bit and finding an only slightly-mangled copy of Magical Mystery Tour for 15$, I asked the owner if he had any records by the Animals.  The owner seemed surprised by my question, a bit unsure of how to regard a 20-something asking about a B-list band that faded away in the 70s.  His stunned expression was kind of entertaining, considering he had a bushy beard, but a shaved chin - sort of the Easy Rider biker look, or something. 

Naturally, of course, he went into a long speech about the animals, as record store owners are wont to do.  He went on about the organ sound of the original Animals, and how Eric Burdon did some amazing stuff in the 1970s, and so on and so forth.  And his lackey would pipe in every few sentences with an observation of his own, usually one that consisted of shocked surprise when I'd say "Actually, I don't really know any yardbirds music" or "I've never really been a fan of the doors". 

Apparently, disliking the doors is enough to make a middle-aged music nerd start choking on air.  He kind of did a double take and then started coughing, his face turning a pretty shade of pink. 

But then, this is the type of guy that hangs out at a record store for hours on end every day.  The type of man who hit his mid-twenties and said "you know what?  I'm going to stop aging now" but failed to tell his body this - that man who got older and older, but stayed in the same place because it was comfortable.  He had a big stack of old records he was trading in for new old records. 

Eventually, the owner - assisted by his lackey- tried to press into my hands a copy of the original "The Animals Greatest Hits", and the lackey actually recoiled in horror when I said "no thanks, I already have that on my iTunes".  As if having iTunes is the worst sin imaginable.  You don't want a crystal clear copy of something made in the 60s, after all - you want the original printing, in the original packaging.  God forbid you just want to appreciate the music, right?

It's nice meeting people who are bigger music snobs than I.  It gives me a sense of perspective.  Makes me realize there's hope for me yet! 

Not that much hope, though.  I did blow almost forty bucks on ancient records, after all...

The Blogoff Begins!


The Epic Battle of Newt vs. Newt will commence this Saturday, Feb 20th, 2010.

This battle will be waged on three fronts:

  • "Awesome Memory" (Saturday, February 20th)
  • "My Hometown" (Saturday, February 27th)
  • "Video Games Gone Wrong" (Saturday, March 6th)

Each Post will be automatically submitted at 12 PM Eastern.

For the week following each post, you, our readers, will be asked to vote on your favorite post to determine the winner for the week. The best of three posts wins and will be named the true Newt. It is expected that this be an unbiased voting process.
May the best Amphibian win!

Weekly Haiku #14 - They should've left the trilogy alone...

indiana jones
-hero of my childhood -
murdered by spielberg.

Day As Night #8: Yeah, this one is kind of crappy...

Apologies in advance.  I'm not a big fan of this one - it's just kind of crude.  These webcomic thingies can be pretty hard to make, I'll have you know.  So, yeah.

As usual, click if you wanna read. 

Music Mondays - Kutiman

You know, the point of "music mondays" is to talk about music... but often, I find myself either bitching about music, or talking about albums that I love that, odds are, you're already familiar with.

Maybe you're familiar with this. It is, after all, a pretty popular viral internet thang. But then again, maybe not.

The idea? A guy has taken a bunch of youtube clips of people playing songs and combined them to make unique songs. A guy playing piano, a guy playing drums, and the sound of a dance troupe are combined to make a techno beat.
It's one of those things that is really hard to explain until you hear it. And then you realize just amazingly cool it all is.
So, yeah. Next time you get a couple of spare minutes, sit down and give it a listen. It's pretty mind-blowing.  You particularly need to listen to "Just A Lady" and "The Mother of All Funk Chords".

Get ready for the Blog-Off....

Also, make sure you head over to The Fake Newt's page.  Our little blogwar is about ready to start.  We'll be writing on three random topics, and then having our readers vote on their favourites.  So, go over to his page and suggest what the third topic should be - we're all ears.

Crow vs. Parrot

For some reason, I couldn't post a comment.  So instead, I'll just post a link.  This is the funniest thing I've read all day.  I especially love the symbolism.  I'm not afraid to say it... I LOL'd. 

I'm an Idiot.

Over the past year, I've become a bit of a tea addict.  I love tea, and my cupboards currently hold around a dozen different varieties.  Literally - a dozen.  It's pretty bad.  And, especially when it's cold out, I'm prone to pick up a cup or two from Starbuck's. 

Now, I'm far from a regular or anything, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say I go to starbuck's maybe three times a month, maybe?  You see, I'm a fan of the place because Chai Tea Mistos are friggin' amazing.

Sometimes, however, Starbucks is closed - which happens, if you're a nocturnal freak such as myself.  And that means picking up Chai tea from Tim Horton's... which is to Starbucks what The Special Olympics are to The Olympics. 

The worst part, though, besides the substandard tea, are the days when they have cinnamon donuts in stock.  Because, Cinnamon donuts are the most delicious thing known to man.  Seriously, they are like crack cocaine, and I have no idea why Timmy's decided to phase out that variety.  Now, I'm not complaining because they're delicious, mind you - I'm complaining because I'm diabetic, and lack the willpower to resist buying these little slices of heaven.

See, when something appears so infrequently, I feel the need to snap it up when it's available.  This is why I always buy Desert Sessions albums when I find them.  Or why I cringe whenever I find my Double Cutaway guitar "on sale" at the guitar store.  So, when I see my cinnamon donuts available, I grab them - even though I probably shouldn't be eating them.

The moral of the story?  I'm pretty sure there isn't one.  Except maybe that donuts are delicious... and that I'm an idiot.

Death and Taxes... and... love?

I've been working in a tax centre for the last couple of weeks, and yes, it's about as boring as it sounds.  It mostly involves processing the taxes of welfare bums and 18 years olds who are eager to process their 1,200 dollar T4 so they can get a hundred dollars (or so) back from the gaddang gubmint.

However, occasionally there are little... shall we say... gems?

During the day, I had the pleasure of coming across people with some truly awful e-mail addresses.  We're not talking "Sunshinefan89" or "Iliekmittens" or anything.  Nope.  These are grown men and women with the most depressing and "gothic" of addresses.  I wish I could post the real addresses, but be rest assured that the substitutions I am giving you are pretty much of the exact same calibre.  We're looking at names like "Suicidefan666" and "blackenedhart", if you catch my drift.  And there were more.  Oh, god, were there more. 

I had "Dreaming in Darkness" at Yahoo.com, a thirty year old man from Toronto that apparently still lives at home and works part time at a fast food vendor.  I'd like to imagine Mr. Dreaming paints his fingernails black, and thinks Marilyn Manson and the Nine Inch Nails are the BEST BANDS EVAR.  Personally, the only NIN song I like is "hurt" - you know, the one Johnny Cash fixed

Then there was "PerpetuallyAlone" at hotmail.  Now, I don't know about you, but should one's e-mail address (especially an address that one gives to random strangers like Moneymart in a semi-formal situation) really be an address that shouts out "hey, I'm a loser"?  This stunning lass was born in 1985 and lives in Niagara Falls - where she works two mall jobs.  Something about her address (and her scrawled writing) suggest that Alone might not be the greatest catch. 

Of course, I had a great idea here.  Darkness and Alone are both single, and they're only a short ride away.  I'm pretty sure, with only a little bit of work, I could introduce the King and Queen goth to each other, and they could go on to rule Gothtopia together.  Exactly what Gothtopia is, I'm not sure, but I imagine it doesn't have much in the way of sunlight, and Trent Reznor is deified in some way. 

This flash of brilliance bloomed - as insights are wont to do - into the best idea I've ever had.  Think about it - an instant tax processing centre that also doubles as a dating clinic.  That lonely potato farmer in Saskatoon who pulls in 40K a year could be hooked up with that strict vegan chick from Regina who "lives naturally off the land" (read as: homeless).  Single welfare bums from all over the country could be matched up with other single welfare bums - and then proceed to save some money by filing as common law. 

Because, hey... whatever keeps them off the streets, right?


Um.  Considering the recent death of that Georgian Luger during a training run just before the Olympics, I have to admit I feel sort of guilty about this post.  Particularly that line about "Euro Trash". 

Gah. Part 2.

To all those watching the Olympic ceremonies right now, I just want to say - Vancouver is nothing like that.  This whole thing is a big chunk of B.S.  Also, I think this is the first time anyone's ever spoken French non-ironically in Vancouver. 

Also, most of the natives in there don't speak "native languages", or anything like that, either.  Granted, we're a multi-cultural and all that - I'm not saying we aren't - but this is just crazy. 

Our Olympic National Anthem

I'm a patriot.  I have the maple leaf tattooed on my leg (and, for the last time, no, it's not a red potleaf!), and like any true patriot, I get piss drunk on Canada Day.  I love everything my country stands for, with the exception of Nickelback, Celine Dion, and the entire province of P.E.I.

In case you didn't already know, the winter olympics start today in the amazing city of Vancouver, which is only a short ferryride away from my little neck of the woods.  And, not surprisingly, I've caught a pretty big chunk of Olympic spirit.  I'm cheering for Canada with all my being.

Except, there's a hitch.  The Canadian national anthem is a little... lovey.  It's all happy and proud and whatnot, when really, the purpose of a national anthem is to strike fear in the hearts of your enemies.  You play your anthem at a hockey game, you want the other team to know that "hey, I'm a badass, don't mess with me". 

Think about it.  The Americans have an anthem about bombs and rockets going off.  Italy's national anthem goes on about how they're ready to die (they would - nobody can turn losing a fight into a moral victory like the Italians).  Hell, even the French anthem sings about slitting people's throats. The French, people.  The French.

Are we about to be out-anthemed by a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys?  I think not.

So, with that in mind, your fearless blogger has made a few changes to the dear Canadian anthem, made particularly with the Olympics in mind. 

my Canada
will grind your bones to sand
our patriots' blood
will boo you from the stands

so go back to france
you euro trash
and fear this proud country
for if you don't
then Canada
will hockey stick your knees

God bless this land
and all our proud goalies
o Canada
We'll steal the gold, for thee
o Canada
We'll take the gold... for... thee. 

Is This It?


This last week, I have been overexposed to Michael Jackson for some reason.  And yes, I'm aware that was probably a poorly constructed sentence, considering the subject matter.  And no, I'm not going to go there.  Pedobear Jackson jokes are a dime a dozen.  (*Cough* "What's the difference between Michael Jackson and a grocery bag?" "One's bleached white, made of plastic, and is dangerous to small children, while the other one carries groceries").

There have been clips from that silly This Is It documentary that was released, like, a day after he died or something.  There have been features with him on TV, seeming to revel in his weirdness and the fact that he doesn't look, y'know, human.  Talks about his Neverland Ranch, what's going on with his children, and everything else.  MSNBC seems to be doing a Michael Jackson weekend (ew!) There are pictures of him on magazine covers.  And I've heard far too many songs from Thriller this week for it to be a coinkydink.

I have no idea what's going.  I mean, it's not like the man can die twice.... the last time that happened, someone wrote a book about it that wound up being a bestseller for frigging years

(aw, crap.  I just accidentally compared Michael Jackson to Jesus.  Way to open a can of worms there, Dave). 

I mean, do you remember this time last year, when people were kind of freaked out by M.J.?  How he was super scary, terrifying, and used to frighten small children into eating their vegetables?  He was like a plastic bogeyman with a fake nose who lived in a ranch instead of your closet.  Am I the only person who remembers that the guy was a walking freak show?

If this sort of rosey glasses thing happens when Kim Jong Il dies, or when Dubya bites the bullet, I'm really going to freak out.  Because I have no desire to witness people 'delightfully reminiscing' about the time "that guy with big ears had a shoe thrown at him". 

P.S.  this is the first time I have ever linked the Bible before.  I assure you, it was done for ironic purposes, and not as a passive aggressive way to suggesh that you should cease with your sinful ways.  ...Except for you, Doug.  You really need to give this book a checking out, because that shit you do on thursday nights is just wrong, dawg.

It's a Blogoff!

Last night, during one of my frequent sleep-deprived haphazard wanderings over the internet trolling for obscure porn latenight explorations of the corners of the "world wide web", I discovered the most awful of sites.  It seems, dear reader(s), that there is someone else on blogspot who dares to lay claim to the "newt" moniker. 

This man - and I use the term lightly - has been ripping off this wonderful blog of mine since 2004.  Which is admittedly quite the accomplishment, considering my blog has only been in existence since August of last year.  Despite this faux "newt"'s astound prescience, however, he must be show who is the amphibious salamander, and who is merely a tadpole that resembles a black sperm with freaky legs

And so, I declared a "blogoff".  A competition of sorts, with the winner laying claim to the prize of all of Newtdom... and the loser having to suffer with the perpetual humiliation of being known as "Steve". 

And so it is.  While the terms of our little battle are still being hammered out (I'm sure our seconds will meet to arrange matters in a gentlemanly fashion), I think we can all agree that this will surely be the most noble of of competitions. 

...Provided I win.

Otherwise, that guy is a flat out cheater, yo.

Feel free to heap all sorts of derisive scorn upon he who seeks to challenge me.  Go forth, loyal reader(s), and do my bidding!

Weekly Haiku #13 - The Next Generation

hipster crowds massing
like moths to an obscure flame
indie plaid orgies

(P.S.  Image stolen from here)

Day As Night #7: Shazam!

And today's strip is *finally* up.  I apologize right now for the lateness, but apparently yours truly needs to sleep from time to time.

(As usual, click if you wanna read). 

Music Mondays - Them Crooked Vultures

I cna't imagine a better combination for a band than the one in Them Crooked Vultures.  If someone came up to me and said "Hey, Dave... imagine a band containing the guitarist from Kyuss and QOTSA, Dave Friggin' Grohl on drums, and - get this - the bassist from Led Zeppelin" I would've said something like "yeah, that'd be a cool band, but it's never going to happen."

So imagine my surprise when this very combination got together.  It really should be a music fan's wet dream, right?  A supergroup so perfectly formed... it's uncanny.

What's even more uncanny is the fact that the result is one that I would probably only rate as a 6 or 7 on a 10 point scale.  The rhythm section is frigging amazing, mind you - with Dave Grohl channeling John Bonham on drums and John Paul Jones rocking the bass, how can it not be? - but Josh Homme's vocals and guitars seem to remind me why I don't buy the new Queens of the Stone Age albums.  Granted, there are some amazing songs - "Reptiles", "Scumbag Blues", and, of course, their single "New Fang", but the album as a whole just seems kind of... flat?  Bland?  Repetitive?

Actually, I know what it is.  This is a jam album, much like most of the early Led Zeppelin albums.  I can understand why both Dave Grohl (Dave Grohl actually has a John Bonham tattoo on his arm) and Josh Homme want to channel Led Zeppelin, considering how they're playing with Zep's bassman... but the problem is, these guys are really jamming in a Led Zeppelin manner.  So, we get long songs that lack the depth of the great Zeppelin jams - just tracks of riff upon riff that could definitely afford to be cut down.

Apparently, Paul MacCartney was the first choice to play Bass on this album, which is kind of funny... since John Paul Jones was originally Led Zeppelin's second choice, too.  However, at least this time around, I really think the band should have gone with choice #1 - I think Paul would have been able to rein the band in a little bit, and focus on the final product, as opposed to the "let's jam" philosophy.

Face Hangover

For some reason, the post I had scheduled for today didn't post.  Luckily, it was a very crappy post, so I just deleted the draft and decided to start again.

Y'see, I went out drinking last night - with The King Of Swing and his cheerful sidekick, the Faux Frenchman.  And, while at the club, I talked to one of my supervisors (who I awkwardly discovered was a part time bartender LAST weekend....), and then started comisserating with another of my bosses ("Hey, Dave.  You searching for pussy too?  I'm striking out..."  "Uh.  This is awkward...."). 

But fun was generally had by all, and I walked home a relatively happy fellow, before passing out facedown on my bed in a halo of boozesweat. 

I woke up sometime in the afternoon, my body completely fine, but my face feeling like its been hit by a bucket of bricks.  I hereby dub this condition a "face hangover", which sounds much better than "possible stroke". 

If it is a stroke, I have no way of telling.  See, I'm making toast, so if I smell burnt toast, that could mean anything

Sad News:

A few months ago, I made a quick post about Brendan Burke, mentioning how great it was that the son of Maple Leafs' GM Brian Burke (and a hockey coach himself) had openly admitted his homosexuality.  And I talked about how this was a very good thing in the realm of professional sports.

In super sad news today, Brendan Burke was killed in a car accident.  He was only 21 years old.


I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned Noodle Box on this blog, like, a bazillion times.  You see, I'm quite the fan of the super spicy thai noodles.  And I happen to find it kind of funny that, in a city that is almost overrun with various forms of asian cuisine, my favourite of the whole gaggle just happens to be the only one that is run and staffed entirely by non-asians.

I think that makes me some sort of noodle-racist.  But I prefer to look at it in an entirely different light:  Do not judge a man's noodle by the colour of his skin, but by the spiciness of his noodle

I paraphrase Martin Luther King because it is, after all, Black History Month.  And if you don't like it, well, you're all racists. 

Where was I going with this?  Oh, right.  Noodle Box.

So, I'm at the noodle box, waiting for my order to come, when two young guys (nineteen?  Oh, how sad it is that I refer to 19 year olds as "young"!  I'm getting old!) order a split noodle box (basically, one meal put into two different boxes, for one dollar more).  One guy wants a medium-hot - which, in noodleboxese, actually means "pretty hot by western standards".  The other guy orders Suicide Hot, which in noodleboxese means "Gawd DAMN you're an idiot!". 

He got the usual warnings, and the clerk jokingly asked the kid to sign a waiver.  The kid put up a big show of bravado, and mentioned it was his first time at noodle box, but that he loved hot food and knew he could handle it.  Naturally, I snickered.  When my meal came, and I made a show of finishing the article I was reading and preparing my to go order before I left... because I wanted to see this kid try the noodles out.

I have never seen a man try so hard to look casual when, on the inside, he was dying.  I was pretty sure he was having a stroke.  His skin was slick with sweat, and his chopsticks were practically vibrating because he was shaking so.  His friend actually had the gall to say "man, these noodles are kind of hot.  How are yours?"

"O-okay...." the dying kid stammered.  "I... I'm not very... uh... hungry.  D-Don't think I c-can finish them..."

I snickered and left.  On my walk home, I passed a paramedic, streaking downtown.  I'm pretty sure the noodle box incident and the paramedics were two entirely different events, but deep down inside, a part of me thinks it would be kind of funny. 

As I say to Squee on a regular basis:  I'm a bad person. 

Yeah. I've got nothing.

So, I had this awesome post all written up.  But then, um, a donkey came along, kicked me in the face, and stole my post.  He posted it on this really awesome website, too, that I'm not going to link to, because then it would just encourage said donkey to steal from me more often.

But, if you're on the internet sometime this week and see something super awesome posted... that was my post!  And make sure you hit that donkey as hard as you can.

A Donkey Punch, if you will.

By the way, this post?  this post right here?  It wasn't just done because I am completely out of ideas right now.  Nosireebob.  There really was a donkey.

Fucking donkey.

In other (completely unrelated) news, I started running the other day.  And have absolutely no energy whatsoever.  Seriously.  I'm wheezing like a fat guy climbing a flight of stairs.

Kittens... for kittens.

Just got off the phone with my dear friend Kittens, who loved my post today enough that I have been told to do something else involving cute kittens.  You see, I am all about pandering to my audience... also, I have nothing to write about, except for an unfortunate incident involving taxes, J.D. Salinger jokes that were made just a little "too soon", and an Ouija board. 

And no one wants to hear about that.  Right?

So, here we go.  Day two of Kitten Extravaganza... done entirely in images... and a video I stole off youtube that is awesome.

More Ferret-y goodness:

In case you haven't seen it, there's a video on youtube called "Kitten Vs. Ferret".  I hereby submit that, on a ten point scale, it is a 8.973 in terms of awesomeness. 

And it's not the only one.  There seem to be quite a few Kitten vs. Ferret fight clubs kicking around.  Of course, we all know the first rule about kitten/ferret fight clubs, right?

...that's right.  No "Yo Mama" jokes allowed. 

Also:  I LOL'd here.  Even if it was kind of mean. 

Weekly Haiku #12 - Kittens!

Because I promised Kittens I would:

soft little furballs
destined for sleep on keyboards
"look at me... I'm cute!"

One of these days, my blog will come back to bite me in the ass, I'm sure.

P.S.  For those of you who were offended by my "ethnic minority" joke in my last post... it was a joke.  Some black comedy stated sarcastically for humorous effect.  So, calm down.  I don't actually hate any ethnic minority.

...Except for the french.  And I'm not a fan of >>>insert your ethnicity here<<< , either. 

I mean, geez, can't those people ever get a job? 

Music Mondays: The Voyeuristic Goat is probably the best cover EVER.

I was at Ditch records yesterday, looking through a bunch of vinyls in search of something a bit more "upbeat" than my current collection (really, the only thing I have that's even close is the Beatles' Abbey Road).  While flipping through vinyl after vinyl, and debating on whether or not I should pick up Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (or whatever it's called), I came across the New Pornographer's Mass Romantic

I don't really know the band well, but Kittens introduced me to the band a while back, and I liked the songs I've heard (cheerful stuff, like The Slow Descent into Alcoholism, which is much more upbeat than it sounds).  So, I figured - hey, it's less than twenty bucks, why not pick it up?

I got to the counter, and wouldn't you know it, it was the same pair of workers that were there during my last foray, when I picked up Abbey Road.  This time, Glasses took a look at the album's cover, and decided that it'd be a good idea to give me a black bag, to cover the image up.  The image, for your perusal: 

Then Glasses started making jokes about gay sex that were a little crude, even by my standards.  Which led Beard to mention "Um, you know that it's a man and a woman on the cover, right?

Which then led into a conversation about the goat that I won't be going into.  I really just stood idly by, suddenly embarrassed by a purchase that I really had no reason to be embarrassed over, because Mr. Glasses thought that a cover consisted of two people boning while a goat got his jollies watching is something that should be covered up.

Me?  I think it should be celebrated.  I mean, if it wasn't, would >>insert ethnic minority of your choice here<<  even exist?

Also, while at the store I bumped into an old classmate from high school, with her super-trendy indy boyfriend.  He was pretentiously looking at albums, and then would reject her choices.  She would go "hey, look, the Doors!" and he would just sigh dramatically and then look at an album by the Pixies or something.  She caught me rolling my eyes when he started telling her about the Pixies...  and we shared a smile as I left... with a voyeuristic goat tucked under my arm. 

Oh, and the album?  Pretty damned upbeat and catchy, but I'm still not sure where I stand with it yet.