So, um, yeah.

So I'm sitting at my desk right now, watching my newt swim around in his/her tank.  She's casually swimming to the top of the water, and then pirouetting down to the fake plastic leaves at the bottom.  Her game seems to be to land on one of the fish as she sinks - but the fish aren't stupid (well, okay, actually, they are), and they swim away before she gets anywhere near.

Then she looks around, and slowly swims up to the top of the water and repeats. 

I only bring this up because it's amazingly hypnotizing, and I've been watching it now for the better part of half an hour. 

Plus, I can't think of anything else to write. 

So, um, yeah.

Some Observations on July Drinking:

Went out drinking on saturday with Squee, the Shlesbian, the Special Lady, and company.  Much fun was had.  Rather than going into a blow by blow, I think I'll summarize my night in point form:
  • The Cactus Club is a stupid little bar in Victoria that I've avoided since it opened because I felt that it was the type of place that tries too hard to be cool.  I was right.  The fact that there's a chair in the men's washroom is kind of weird, too. 
  • When taking shots of hard alcohol, one is inclined to make the "strong alcohol shot face".  How one responds to this is based entirely upon his age. 
    • A man in his early twenties will avoid making the face, thinking this makes him look tough. 
    • A man in his late twenties and early thirties will make the face, because he knows everyone knows the alcohol is strong, and if he tries to cover it up, it'll look like he tried too hard. 
    • An older man will do his best to avoid making the face, because he wants everyone to think he can still drink like he's twenty. 
    • A woman will drink something that tastes good, instead. 
  • If one approaches a sleazy strip club, you can get in for free by loudly saying "there's no way I'm going to pay to go in there."  I call it the "rule of variable cover charge".  Unfortunately, it works - because once you get in for free, you look around and wish you were somewhere else.
  • The new liquor laws are weird.  You have to buy food with your drink at a pub or restaurant.  Last call is supposedly at 2:00 am.  The pub will serve you food until close, but they will tell you not to order food after 1:30, because by the time it gets to your table, you won't be able to get booze.  In other words, if you want to drink, you need to buy food, but if you buy food, you won't be able to drink.  Sort of a catch-22 situation. 
  • It's fun making up new jokes on the spot to make fun of your girlfriend's 'rustic' hometown.  For example, "What do you call an orgy in Prince George?"  "A Family Reunion". 
  • It's hard dodging your girlfriend when you're sitting at a crowded table. 
That is all.

Weekly Haiku #27 - to the guy who lives below me...

so you play guitar
for yourself, or for the girls?
finger a g-string

Music Mondays - We've come full circle

A little bit of a history lesson for you all:

Way back in the 1960s, if you wanted to listen to music at home, you bought everything in the form of records.  They weren't particularly cheap, but it was the only option available.  Sure, they took up a lot of space, had only about twenty minutes of music per side (meaning you'd have to flip the record every couple of songs), and, quite often, more attention was paid to the album artwork than the actual content... but what else could you do?

The eight track tapes came out in the late 1960s/early 1970s, and were a breakthrough.  You could now listen to music in your car!  They were clunky, of course, and the sound quality was worse than a record, but the convenience!  Oh, the convenience!  Plus, if someone tried to break into your car, you could hit them with one of your tapes, causing a subdural haemotoma. 

Cassettes were a marked improvement - better sound quality, more space for music, less flip time.  Plus, they were cheaper to make.  And every car had a cassette player come standard in the eighties.... which is probably why the 80s were all about high energy "Driving Music" - hair metal and new wave and whatnot.  Not surprisingly, traffic fatalities were high in the 1980s.  I blame Flock of Seagulls. 

CDs came out in the late 1970s, but only saw widespread use in the late 80s/early 90s.  And they revolutionized everything:  high sound quality, none of that useless "flipping the record" jazz, and you could program in your favourite tracks.  They also doubled as a frisbee, in a pinch. 

The mp3 revolution further expanded on this (though audiophiles will tell you the sound quality of mp3s is fairly low).  They were cheap (in fact, they can be as cheap as.... free!), they took up absolutely no physical space, and were infinitely convenient.   

And now?  Now, people like me complain because mp3s have no album artwork.  They take up no space, except on your hard drive, and so feel empty.  They are not "albums" but rather a collection of singles.  And you can listen to them anywhere, making the idea of "listening to music" as an activity in and of itself a thing of the past.

So, what do we do?

We buy records. 

We've come full circle. 

Giant Gnome?

Victoria is a strange place.  I've pontificated on this before.  But what I haven't really mentioned is that, well, outside of this city? 

It doesn't get any better.

Case in point:  while driving back from Parksville with the Special Lady, we saw a giant gnome on the side of the highway.  And when I say "giant", I mean GIANT.  As in, it stood at least two stories high, and had its hand raised up in greeting at the cars that were passing by. 

There was a house next to this gnome, that was dwarfed by the friggin' thing.

It was surrounded by dozens, nay, hundreds, of normal-sized gnome, all facing their porcelain god in religious awe.  It was like some sort of Garden Gnome Stonehenge.

I have no idea what's up with island people.  But, as a whole, we're pretty much nucking futs. 
Yeah.  New updates have started, at least.  The "Crazy Steve" moniker is finally gone.  But still a little of fiddling left to do. 

Another super quick update:

Trying to update my blogger page.  This is a bit more difficult than one would initially guess, simply because my computer is tweaking out like a meth addict.  Seriously, it's about half a dirty spoon away from foaming at the mouth.

What this means is that it's going to be "Crazy Thoughts from a Crazy Steve" for a little while longer, now.  And I fully expect that newt icon to start twitching wildly, before cleaning up its box in the alleyway before picking at its scabs and screaming "them's bugs unnerneath my skin!". 

Seriously.  I've seen newts do it, man.  It's like trainspotting.

Only with, you know, newts instead of Ewan MacGregor. 

An improvement?  I'll leave that one up to you to decide. 

The Stupid People Tax:

It seems like, everyday, I'm bombarded with warnings I don't really need.  Commercials with sky-diving stuntmen engulfed in flames have fine print warning me not to do this at home, vacuums have warnings to avoid using on genitalia (seriously?), and coffee cups are warning me that coffee, is, apparently, hot. 

Everything around me has been dumbed down - music, cinema, the news, even university classes.  The fact is, our world bows down to the stupid people, catering to their every misinformed whim.  This, dear readers, is why there "Cheeseburger" flavoured doritoes, but still no cure for cancer. 

We are constantly dealing with the small percentage of the population that is, frankly, retarded.  They clog our emergency rooms with idiotic concerns ("My nose is runny!"), they clog the phone lines for every public service with stupid questions ("how do I turn my computer on?") and they fill every office with mountains of needless paperwork.

And frankly, I'm sick of it.

Which is why I propose a stupid person tax.

It works like this:  because stupid people are the reason we have so many unnecessary expenditures in the public works, not to mention the economic strain they put on private businesses, I feel it is only appropriate that they carry some of the burden they place upon society as a whole.  So, said stupid people will have to pay a small tax to make up for the fact that everyone else has to deal with them.

Next time I'm stuck in line behind a man who can't decide whether it's better to get the "two for five dollars" product or the product that regularly costs 2.50, I can shrug and say "hey, at least he's paying the tax".  Ditto for all those people who call my office demanding I take their listing off the credit bureau when they owe my company thousands of dollars - they may be wasting my time, but hey, at least they're paying the moron tax.

Of course, the government would need to set up parameters for deciding who has to pay the tax.  I have a few suggestions.

Anyone convicted of a D.U.I. would have to pay the tax, as well as anyone who calls a single office more than four times in one week for trivial concerns.  Anyone who owns more than one dirt bike immediately has to pay the tax, as well as people with mullets.  Fans of "Emo Rock" have to pay the tax twice.

Working in the government office dedicated towards the stupid tax would be pretty, um, taxing.  Imagine the phone calls:

GUY:  Yeah, I'm trying to call to see if I have to pay the stupid person tax....
GOVERNMENT WORKER:  I see.  Are you voluntarily calling to alert us that you may be eligible for the stupid person tax, then?
GUY:  Um, yeah.  But I don't know if I'm stupid or not, see...
GOVERNMENT WORKER:  Oh, trust me sir.  You're stupid. 
GUY:  Okay, cool. 

In the end, though, the government would rake in all sorts of funds.  I suggest we put all earned moneys towards building a giant rocket.  We will load this rocket up with all the dumbest offenders, and send them on their way to Mars or something.  We'll send food - and air - later. 

Maybe then I could finally get some work done.


I live next door to a former school.  A few years before I moved here, it was an elementary school, but it closed down due to a shortage of kids (!) and is now a community centre.  Because of this, I wake up every Saturday morning to an aerobics class blaring outside of my window, and I'm kept up Friday nights by the high school bands that play in the gymnasium.

Wednesdays and thursdays are Volleyball nights, where a bunch of pseudo athletics in cargo shorts hit a ball around while old songs from the late nineties/early milennium play on.  I fully expect to hear these volleyballeurs to utter colloquialisms such as "rad", "gnarly", and "Far out".    And I bet they're all named "Gneech". 

The best times, though, are when I can look out my window and watch the outdoor martial arts people.  I enjoy watching because it makes me feel a helluva lot tougher than I actually am.  There's nothing quite like watching doughy men playing with bo staffs (poorly) to make yourself feel like an absolute winner.  And it's just as enjoyable watching women trying to learn self defence moves half-heartedly, not fulling committing to the fact that a large man is coming at them with a fist.

(Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against self-defence classes, especially for women;  this class, though, is just pathetic in how it is taught and arranged). 

The best part is at the end of the class, when the instructor tells them how good they are.  "You're really learning;  make sure you go home and practice!"  Which makes me wonder, exactly, how one goes about practicing for a self defence class. 

I can just imagine the 911 calls. 

Food Stamps

I like to eat out a lot.  And yes, I'm realized that's probably a loaded statement, and you're all perverts for catching the double entendre.  But, regardless of which of the two entendres (entendree?) you're looking at, it's true:  eating out is fun.

I go to a lot of places with "buy ten, get the eleventh free" - they stamp little cards with your purchase, and send you off on your merry way.  This is, in my book, a cool thing.

Until you realize that every day, you're spending five bucks at the coffee shop, and that every ten days, your "Free chai latte" actually cost you around fifty bucks. 

If only there was some other way to get my lattes for free.  When the special lady worked at a coffee shop, she'd push free lattes my way... and all I had to do in return was something that comes naturally to me.  Eating out to eat out is my idea of a good thing. 

Music Mondays - This post is a little limp...

I don't really like blanket statements, but I think I can safely make this one:  if it is the year two thousand and ten, and you're still a fan of Limp Bizkit, you, sir, are a fucking retard. 

Seriously.  The band sucked when they were current, and ten years or so down the road, they have not aged like a fine wine.  They are now, metaphorically speaking, vinegar.  One of the most unfortunate coincidences of my life is the fact that I share a birthday with Fred Durst... this is only balanced out by the fact that I also share a birthday with Robert Plant, who is infinitely better than Mr. Backwards Red Ball Cap.

So, if you are a Limp Bizkit fan in 2010, you're seriously handicapped.  If you're a limp bizkit fan in 2010, and you think that it's cool for you to play a limp bizkit album on your stereo while at work, someone should take you out back and put you out of my misery.

And if you actually try to sing along to the lyrics, and say "I totally get what this song is about" - and you're pushing thirty - there's absolutely no hope for you whatsoever. 


Smoke 'em if you got 'em, I guess.

In my office, pretty much half the staff are smokers.  And the other half are "trying to quit".  It really does seem, at times, that being a non-smoker makes me a minority - we really do seem to be outnumbered.  It's as if my office is a bizarre throwback to the 1960s, only without the horrid fashion, decent music, and good ol' fashioned sexual harassment (to be fair, have you seen her ass?  Meant for me, it is!  Har har) 

Anyways.  There are quite a few smokers who are, shall we say, a little stupid. 

My personal favourite is the woman who believes that doctors are lying (presumably for political reasons) when they say that Second-Hand smoke is harmful.  An actual quote of hers went something like this:  "What are they going to say next?  That vegetables are bad for you?" as if "Second Hand smoke causes cancer" is comparable to "don't eat your vegetables". 

But what really bugs me are the people who should know better.  Such as the health-food nut who will go on for hours about how lactose is bad for you, and the ideal way to exercise and stay in shape.  I was surprised to find out that the health food nut was a smoker.

But not as surprised as the excuse he gave me:  "Oh, it's okay.  I have a cigarette, and then I run it off, so it's not doing me any harm". 


Heat exhaustion:

The heat wave that has gripped Victoria is getting bad - so bad that, even with all my windows open and my fans working overtime, I'm slowly dying of heat exhaustion.  I wake up in the morning, my muscles spasming, while a cheerful meerkat I've affectionately named "Simon" sits on my chest and tells me that I need to get more exercise.

(I'm pretty sure Simon is a hallucinatory response to my over-sized coconut brain slowly roasting in the dutch oven that is my skull, but I like him nonetheless.  He's nice, and he knows all the lyrics to "Johnny B. Goode" - including the ultra-rare version with all the cuss words.)

A few nights back, I was lying naked on my bed, my body gushing sweat while I prayed for my ceiling to collapse... killing me instantly.  It was 1:30 AM, and I had been in my bed for almost two hours, wondering how it was humanly possibly for it to be nearly forty degrees celsius in the middle of the night.  I was pretty sure God was playing some sort of Cosmic joke on the human species, with the punchline being "burn, motherfuckers, burn". 

With the thoughts of a fiery apocalypse in my mind, I finally drifted off, and had this lovely dream in which Simon was brutally murdering me with an ice pick.  We were in a meat locker, and Simon was humming "stuck in the middle with you".  It was a nice dream, because at least I wasn't hot. 

I woke up to someone shouting my name - "Dave!"  over and over again.  And then someone else was yelling it, too. 

I bolted up in bed, only then realizing that I was wearing my pillowcase on my head, and my medic-alert necklace was looped over one ear.  Every time I heard my name, my body shook and I frantically flipped around, looking first towards the window and then towards my door, unsure of which way to go.  In my groggy, sleep-addled hallucinatory state, I was sure these shouts were dire.

In reality, it was simply an argument between two teenage girls in the basketball court below my window, fighting over some guy named Dave.  A "Dave" that was most assuredly not me... but then, law of averages says that most Daves are not, in fact, myself.  There are a lot of Daves out there, after all.  I guess one lovely lady was poaching some other lovely lady's territory or something. 

While I was still groggy and sleep-addled, I had half a mind to walk downstairs and attempt to offer myself to both of them in some sort of offering of peace.  The other half of my mind had already cooked, and now resembled nothing less than a tuna melt.   

When I realized what was actually going on, my offerings of peace changed to wanting to lean out the window, shouting "shut the hell up!  It's two in the friggin' morning!".  But even as I considered this, laying in bed, sheets clinging to my sweaty body, I decided that was probably a bad idea.

Besides, Simon had already loaded my shotgun. 

"You know what you have to do," he said, handing it to me.

Something to keep in mind.

There are two words in the English Language I detest above all others:  Heat Wave*.

Every year, in early July, my lovely little corner of the world is hit by that mean, fiery orb in the sky.  It turns my skin to a bright, lobsterish shade of red (regardless of sunscreen).  It makes everyone reek of body odour, as their baggy metallica T-shirts cling to hairy flesh.  And it encourages women who have no place wearing revealing clothing to... well... wear revealing clothing. 

Even in an office place.  "Short shorts" have no place in an office space!  The building is air conditioned.  Wear a nice dress.  Or a skirt.  I have no problem with that.  But I *do* have a problem when you wear shorts cut up to your butt crack, a two-dollar pair of old-navy flip flops, and a tank top that barely covers your bra.

I realize this is very unstereotypical male of me, but when I'm dying of heat exhaustion, the last thing I want to see is half-naked wimmin flesh, reminding me of the fact that, in normal situations, I'd be "all over that shit, yo". 

Were you to dress like a bottle of gatorade, you'd be my new best friend. 

Something to keep in mind. 

*(Contenders for this position also include "Easy Listening", "I'm tired", and "Avatar's Awesome")

Another Actual Conversation:

CO-WORKER:  Man, our system shut down again.
DAVE:  Yyup.  It sucks, eh?  We just sit here, with nothing to do...
CO-WORKER:  I can't believe the bosses do this to us.
DAVE:  Um, what? 
CO-WORKER:  Yeah.  They're the ones that shut down the system.
DAVE:  So... they pay us, to do nothing?
CO-WORKER:  Exactly.
DAVE:  How does that make more sense than what they said?  "Sorry, the system went down"?
CO-WORKER:  Well...
DAVE:  Wait.  Don't tell me.  I don't want to know.
CO-WORKER:  "The system is down" is just what they WANT you to think.
DAVE:  Shouldn't you be on the street corner, wearing a tinfoil hat? 

I'm not dead! No, really!

To paraphrase the great Mark Twain... reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. 

I'm still shuffling along this mortal coil, ladies and gents.  I've just spent the last weekend camping, getting sunburned, and drinking a tad too much (seriously, though... just a tad.  I must be slipping in my old age).  Blog updates will follow soon. 

I have a great story involving a bottle of sunscreen, an angry raccoon, and half of a tequila lime.  It involves Rick Astley and seven hot dogs, too.  But I don't want to say too much, or I'll give away the surprise. 

Film Fridays: You haven't seen the Dark Knight?

During a conversation with a co-worker, I came to a stunning revelation:  he had never seen The Dark Knight. 

"You've never seen it!?" I asked, completely shocked.  It was as if he had said he had never had ice cream, or was never let outside of his mother's basement until the day he turned eighteen.

"Never got around to it, I guess," he shrugged.

This might not seem weird to you folks out there on the internets, but I should explain.  He's seen every other batman movie.  He was in the line for Iron Man 2's debut.  He owns over three thousand comics.  In short, this is a guy who should be able to quote the movie from start to end.  He's about two degrees of nerddom away from wearing a batman T-shirt to work, and just yesterday he told me in all seriousness that he's debating using the universal greeting from the transformers movie when meeting new people, just to see their reactions.

So, yeah, he should have seen The Dark Knight.  As should everyone, because it's an amazing film.

Instead, he was perplexed when I asked him "why so serious?" in my creepiest Heath Ledger voice, and he had no idea what the Hell I was talking about when I mentioned making "this pencil disappear".

Trust me, my pop cultural references were comedy gold.   

Something inside of me snapped, which is to be expected when you're a movie and music geek of epic proportions.  People not sharing the same cultural experiences as myself must be educated - this is what we in the western world call "progress", and what every other culture in the world calls "why we can't speak our own language anymore". 

On my break - instead of, you know, eating - I ran home, grabbed my DVD of  The Dark Knight, and dropped it on his desk, beaming like a proud father. 

"Trust me, you're going to love this."

And that was when I realized that I approach movies much like jehovah's witnesses approach religion - I have to spread them around, and convert the masses.  I think I'm only about two weeks away from going door to door, and saying "greetings, do you have Charlie Kaufman in your life?" to random strangers.

I'm about two weeks away from declaring a holy war on the Wayan brothers.  It'll be a Jihad for the ages.

I was thinking about this, feeling a little guilty for having dropped my DVD on my co-worker's desk, when I made a new revelation:  I'm not the only person who thinks this way.  Apparently, my co-workers agree with me.    Because they were all equally surprised when they found out he hadn't seen the movie.

And they were just as surprised that he hadn't seen Fight Club, either.  Or Pulp Fiction.  Or Avatar

By the end of the day, he had about five films stacked on his desk, because some of the freaks I work with actually drove home on their lunch breaks to give him these films for the weekend.

I work with some strange people.

Ten Tracks for July....

I'm channeling Scientific Culture here, because when people have a good idea, you need to rip it off give credit where credit is due.  Essentially, she likes to give each month a sort of "playlist".  And I'm all for it. 

So, here it is:  ten tracks for July.  Crazynewt's random and weird playlist;
  1. "Hold me now" - The Polyphonic Spree
  2. "Paradise by the dashboard light" - Meat Loaf (no idea why I like this song right now!)
  3. "To the Beach" - Jon and Roy
  4. "Psychotic Girl" - The Black Keys
  5. "Horse with No Name" - America
  6. "Gallows Pole" - Led Zeppelin
  7. "Shine a Light" - The Rolling Stones
  8. "Back in the U.S.S.R." - The Beatles
  9. "Japanese Cigarrette Case" - Spoon
  10. "Wait for Me" - Kutiman