Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Law of Attraction

For those who don't know, I'm applying for permanent resident status in Canada. That's like a green card. Anyway, my application has been transfered from the Buffalo consulate to the Detroit consulate - which means something, I'm just not sure what. Either way, I'm happy that something is happening and it is a nice post-Christmas surprise.

This is just the first step on my journey to be Prime Minister of Canada. Canada is great, because unlike some other country I will not mention, naturalized citizens can hold the top federal government job. You know who you are, country with the seal with an eagle holding an olive branch and arrows.

Schwarzenegger for President!

Soylent green is made out of people.

Who wants chestnuts roasting on an open fire when you can have cold Coronas in front of an open fire instead?

I wonder if there's an alternate universe where a second ice age has already happened and Mexico's average winter high is 4° C. Would the houses in Mexico (now the world's superpower because of it's lack of glaciers) have fire places? Do houses in Mexico have fire places now?

Why am I even thinking about this question? Because it's the week between Christmas and New Year's Day and this is the time of year when I ponder these types of questions. As Casey Kasem would have said (not really) "Boy, is this fucking ponderous man...ponderous, fucking ponderous."

I'm not sure where I get these ideas from. I once read an article in Rolling Stone, or maybe the fucking Internet, about a pick-up artist. The pick-up artist claimed he could use the power of suggestion and subliminal tricks to get women. One of these tricks was to say the following during a conversation;

"My best ideas comes from below me."

Now I'm not sure what that even means or where you could fit that into a conversation, but all the same - it is pretty funny. Funny like this joke I heard this weekend;

"If big breasted women work at Hooters, where do one-legged women work? IHOP!!"

Now that is funny. Funny like this picture of a hamster holding an automatic rifle I found on the awesome sports site - Kissing Suzy Kolber. KSK won best sports blog from the Bloggies, which is like the Oscars of blogs, which pretty much means what you think it means. All the same, congrats to them - and their blog does rock.

Continuing on the sports theme, I went to my first - and because of ticket prices - potentially last Toronto Maple Leafs game at the Air Canada Centre last night.

The Leafs prevailed over the Wild 4-3, and I even was able to witness my first penalty shot. Well, not my shot - it was some dude named John Pohl, who just happens to be from Minnesota. I've always wondered if it feels weird to score against the team from your own state? Probably not considering how much they get paid. Minnesota is a cool state too - mainly because they elected Jesse Ventura governor. I like California for a similar reason.

The four day Christmas/Boxing Day weekend is over - and it ended way to fast. I'm not sure if it just that I'm older and time passes quicker or what, but damn - I feel like I didn't even have one day off. This week I only have two days of work, and then it's cleaning time in preparation for New Year's Eve Eve. It already feels like it's Wednesday.

Shit. It is Wednesday. Ok, I'm off to clean. Have a great week.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It is not snowing



Seriously. There is not one flake out there. It's like nature is using "Head & Shoulders" out there. I took the trash and recycling (Yeah Earth!) out in flip flops and a t-shirt. Could this be global warming? Well, if you live in Denver, probably not. It's just an unseasonably warm winter here in Waterloo and it looks to be a "green" Christmas. I guess it would be a "green" Christmas if you recycled gifts from last year. That's probably not what Al Gore had in mind.

Speaking of Al Gore, we rented "An Inconvient Truth" the other night. I'm not sure if it was the bottle of wine of Al Gore's monotone voice, but I fell asleep within fifteen minutes. All I could hear was "Lock Box, Lock Box, Lock Box..." and then I just dozed off. I woke up during the credits, and I felt guilty. Why? Because it's a documentary about how the Earth's fragile environment is more than likely going to be way worse than it is now in forty years and I went to sleep.

Does that make me a bad environmentalist? I don't think so. Here's why:

1) I recycle
2) We sometimes carpool
3) I don't use hair spray
4) I don't work for Big Oil
5) I've never clubbed a baby seal

That last one is more of an animal rights thing, but I just want it to be clear - I have never clubbed a baby seal, nor any other animal. The closest thing to animal cruelty in my past helping this guy in university feed mice to a snake. I still feel bad about that.

Anyway - Merry Christmas. I have no idea what this has to do with Christmas, but it's the thought that counts.

Monday, December 11, 2006

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here

My friend (and soon to be first time published author) Katie has a blog on the topics of writing and her dog named after the Winston Zeddemore character from "Ghostbusters".

That last part about the dog's name may not be true, but I like to think it is. The dog may be named after Sir Winston Churchill. However, seeing that neither Katie nor her husband are British (as far as I know), I don't see why they would do that. I could just ask her. I think Winston is a good dog name because dogs shouldn't have people names. What if you wanted to name your baby "Francis" or something, and then your neighbour names their dog "Francis". You can't use that name now, because what if your baby and their dog get out at the same time and start running/crawling down the street. Which one will answer? They'll both be confused. It's messed. Anyway, check out her blog whenever you get a chance.

The photo to the right is from the evite to this year's New Years Eve Eve party which will be held on, of all nights, December 30th. Leave a comment if you'd like an evite. Who doesn't love evites?

This will be year two, which I think qualifies NYEE (as the cool kids call it) an official annual tradition. We picked December 30th for three reasons;

1) Abundance of available cabs
2) A plethora of babysitters
3) New Years Eve Eve is no where near the psychological and emotional let-down, skull fuck that New Years Eve tends to be.

You may say, "Wow man, that's harsh". Harsh? Yes. True? Yes. Seriously. I'm not even going to count the New Years Eves from 1976 through 1990 as I was only 0 through 14 at the time and who can have a good time on New Years at that age? Well, there was this one year when my brother and I watched comedy specials on HBO, and we were able to hear the comedians tell jokes with curse words and it was fantastic. To this day, just shout "look at my wingspan, I can destroy you all" or "Trevor, Trevor, take us with you - we're all Christians" to my brother and he will piss himself.

Anyway - so 1990 through 2003. They were all crap. There was one time where my family went to see "The Amazing Jonathan" at the Comedy Corner, that was cool - but other than that - garbage. Then in 2004 - I had my best New Years ever in Cleggen on the west coast of Ireland. We spent the night at a pub called Olivers - ringing in the New Year in the middle of nowhere. It was also the night of the following phone call, which took place at 12:10am Ireland time;

Alex: "Hi."
Marian: "Hey Alex, where are you?"
Alex: "I'm in the future."
Marian: "Ooo, what's the future like?"
Alex: "It's all pastels and jet packs."

That was a good time. But really, save for those few good times - the rest of the nights are spent with people you'd probably want to avoid any other night. You get drunk and make resolutions you won't keep, and then you wake up around noon and not one thing in your life is different. Wow, that is harsh. I need to go have some eggnog.

That's why I like the 30th. I'm a "nothing risked, nothing gained" kind of guy - and that's what makes the 30th awesome. You're taking a risk by going to a party on the 30th and, well, hmmm.....ok, you're right - there is no risk there. But, it is still a good party, so whatever.

If you can't make New Years Eve Eve in Waterloo, you should throw your own.

That's all.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Snowballs

I got an email yesterday from a co-worker asking me if I wanted to go get a coffee.

Of course I want coffee....so I was told to go out the side door and meet the co-worker there.

As I'm writing back, I see five of the other guys I work with leave the office. I think nothing of this.

I go outside and see the co-worker who sent the email.

Then I see the other five co-workers, plus another 10 people from the office - all running towards me with snowballs in their hands. It was an ambush - and my first snowball fight. I need to work on my aim for next time.

Want to be disturbed for the day....go over to Chowdaheads and watch his Christmas clip of the day.

Friday, December 01, 2006

It's the first of the month, grab your cheques

Here is the audio clip where I got the name of this blog from. I find this clip to be inspiring and uplifting and I hope that by listening to it, you will find it easier to tackle life's daily hiccups.

Now i'll give you a moment to go throw up. That is the cheesiest thing i've ever written. Thank god the clip has nothing cheese ingredients.

I've got to go to work now and solve the world's direct store delivery issues. Happy December....New Year's Eve Eve in 29 days.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Isn't that the game old ladies play?


Jetsetters Lounge
Originally uploaded by alexkinsella64.
We just got back from Jetsetters Lounge in Lake Worth where I stuffed myself with 24 oz mai tais and Jamaican jerk pork. Mai tais? Hell yell mai tais - they remind me of Hawai'i and luaus and for $7 a drink with a take home tiki mug....well, you can't go wrong.

My parents have been hitting up this joint since for a couple months now, and after their glowing reviews, I had to make it a pit stop on my stomach filling tour of my old stomping grounds. Lake Worth is definitely the Snow White to the wicked sister that is West Palm - if you're planning on ever being in the area, check out all downtown Lake Worth has to offer - it is a much better scene than West Palm. Sure, i'm selling out my former home town, but what they charge an arm and a leg for parking - so tough.

Anyway, back to Jetsetters. The theme is tiki meets James Bond meets 60s/70s post modernism....and with that, i've done this place no justice at all. Entree and app options are from all over the globe. Portions are huge and the service is rocking. It was, honestly, one of the best dining out experiences i've had in a long, long, long, long time. As mentioned before, I had the Jamaican jerk pork. My mom had the same, my dad had the Pollo Barcelona and Laurie had the Bayou Bowl gumbo. For apps, we tried the Cuban Cigars - basically they are Cuban spiced pork egg rolls. I'd recommend any of these items. They were out of the African Peanut Soup - which sucks because this is only the second restaurant i've seen this item at - and it's one of my all time favourite soups.

This is my first review - so work with me here on this...

Jetsetters Lounge
8 3/4 on a scale of 10 (1 being a bowl of shit, 10 being that scene from "Defending Your Life" where you can eat everything you want and not gain any weight and everything tastes great.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Shorten your punches


Blue Moon
Originally uploaded by alexkinsella64.
This Thanksgiving, i'm down in West Palm Beach with Laurie and my parents. I've eaten too much left over turkey and chicken curry today and now I feel like I should go for a run or something, but that won't happen. It's a holiday weekend - a little indulgence doesn't hurt. Anyway - speaking of indulgence - I put down a 12 pack of Blue Moon last night. I only bring this up, because I noticed something on the bottle that angered me. As some are aware, Blue Moon is one of my favourite beers. Sadly, the LCBO and The Beer Store don't carry it - and that means the only way for me to get some is to drive to Buffalo and spend 48 hours there so that I can meet Customs Canada requirements for bringing alcohol into Canada. I don't have a problem with this - it just would be easier if I could get some down the street. Where is all this going? Well - look at the bottle, it is brewed in Toronto! Yes. The same Toronto that is a 45 minute drive east from my house. This makes me mad at Molson Coors - for I am in West Palm and can easily get a 12 pack of beer that is brewed 45 minutes from my house in Waterloo - but I can't get that same exact 12 pack of beer in the brand new LCBO that is a 10 minute WALK from my house in Waterloo. What is going on here Molson Coors. They will be getting a letter from me next week - and while I feel the need to lash out, I will manage to contain my anger and write professionally. Maybe my pleas will fall on deaf ears. Maybe I will touch them deeply with my witty prose (what witty prose? hopefully nothing like this crap). I'll keep everyone updated on my progress with this.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

We love to fly and it shows


In what I can say is the strangest bit of airline news in a while; US Airways has made a shock bid to buy my beloved Delta Airlines. According to this post from Ben Mutzabaugh over at USA Today, the offer was a total surprise to Delta, and it's actually a good offer - like 25% over the current trading price of Delta's unsecured credit claims - or something like that. I have no idea what they're talking about in the financial part of this - all I wonder is what happens to my frequent flyer miles? Good news - they want to fly under the name Delta - so I don't need to get new luggage tags or replace my "I (Heart) Delta) t-shirt that I wear all the time.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Good joke, eh?

We're going to see a taping of the Rick Mercer Report at the CBC in Toronto this Friday. Rick Mercer is the Jon Stewart of Canada, or if I was to say that as a Canadian; "Jon Stewart is the Rick Mercer of the States". The Mercer Report website has clips from each show - go check them out and post a comment if you need me to explain what the hell he's talking about (or aboot).

I offer this service because, even though the U.S. and Canada share the largest unsecured border in the world, there are so many pop culture and political references that our two great nations don't share. For example, on tonight's episode of "This Hour Has 22 Minutes", there was a clip of Alberta's (that's a province) outgoing prime minister (governor) Ralph Klein made a joke at some roast or something - and he said "...Belinda Stronach doesn't have a conservative bone in her body...well maybe one (audience laughter)....speaking of Peter McKay...". Now most of you will have no idea what the hell that means or why it's funny. Well, it is probably not funny.

Anyway - Belinda Stronach is a member of parliment here in Canada. She was once a member of the conservative party - but switched parties and joined the liberal party a couple years ago. She happened to be dating another member of parliment at that time, and I guess the story is she dumped him and the conservative party at the same time. Now, if you don't know that back story - well, the comment isn't funny.

But that's why i'm excited. Not because Raplh Klein says outrageous stuff - but because I understand Canadian political humor. I know the backstories and history and I can watch shows like the Mercer Report and This Hour Has 22 Minutes and actually get what they're talking about. I'm also excited because I got the joke tonight about how Justin Trudeau will host any event Ben Mulrooney won't host. It's funny, eh?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Loco Moco

In a continuation of fine culinary tradition, Maziere has made it to Maui and got himself a helping of loco moco. I also like how Vern and Maziere managed to turn their glasses to show the Coca-Cola logo. Awesome product placement. Very awesome product placement.

Sure, it's unhealthy - but it is delicious! Not fergalicious, just regular delicious. Has anyone noticed that "Fergalicious" is a complete rip-off of JJ Fad's "Supersonic"?

Lara and I are going to spend Friday drinking and scanning in Polaroids. Polaroids? Yes. My mom got me a Polaroid camera a couple years ago. I just bring it to parties and leave it on a table with some packs of film and let people take photos. I have about 300 hundred shots from the last five years. They're from all kinds of parties, from house warmings to wakes and everything in between.

Here's a scanned Polaroid from a couple weeks ago. It almost looks 1970's.

See, totally 1970's. That is Lara's brother Pablo from Ottawa. He is a ladies man.

Anyway - more to come over on the Flickr.

DNA
















My brother looks my uncle Raymond. I wonder if i'll end up looking like Santa Claus. Wait, Santa Claus isn't Irish - he's Dutch or something.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Stay out of the penalty box

I love fajitas. Canada is not know for their fajitas (or anything else tex-mex for that matter). Thankfully, neccessity is the mother of invention and i've become quite the amature tex-mex chef. Tex-mex and Cuban....although my Cuban cuisine is made up of chicken with black beans and yellow rice. Let's get back to tex-mex.

We made fajitas for Lara tonight - and damn, where they ever good. I'm sitting here watching "HEROS" and basking in a post fajita and couple glasses of wine afterglow. Ah, good old fajita and wine induced afterglow.

One thing that's always freaking me about Canadian television is how they show U.S. shows on Global and CH (networks here) - but they don't show U.S. commericals. So during the SuperBowl - no good commercials, just the boring game. The good thing is, they seem to show most of the shows at different times than U.S. networks, so if you miss a show - you can always catch it later. Then again, there's not a hell of a lot out there to watch.

So i'm watching "HEROS" and it's a damn good show - although I secretly wish it would only last a year. For example, I really like LOST - but this season is kind of wack. Maybe it will be like that one season of "The Sopranos" were no one died until the very end when Tony killed Joey Pants after Joey set a stable fire that killed Tony's horse.

Anyway - back to "HEROS".

It's the best ever

Here's a tip. Skip the risotto. I'm not saying that has anything to do with the fact that the tip of my knuckle is missing and the cheese grater is in the sink. There two have nothing to do with each other.....just look over there for a minute.

Ok. All better. So, how was your weekend? Me? How nice of you for asking. Friday night, we held a charity poker tournament to raise money for a friend of our's sister who has to travel for medical treatment. It's a horrible story - the kind of situation that makes you feel like shit for being angry at your mom for when there wasn't any milk that one Tuesday, sixteen years ago, when you wanted a bowl of cookie crisp, really, really, really bad.

We raised over $1400.00 - which is not bad for one night of poker. If you're saying prayers at any point during the day, drop a line for Catherina. Nicole, saying a prayer during confession for what you did this weekend counts, just thought you'd like to know.

Last night was hockey school - where I was finally able to skate backwards. After last Sunday's tap dancing fiasco - where I have to say, I really did look like Savion Glover on speed, I made a pledge to myself to watch all the hockey I could and see how they moved their feet to achieve this "backwards" momentum thing. Turns out, you gotta stay on your toes. So last night, Matt the coach runs us through this exercise of going forward to the blue line, then turning around and go backwards, and then at the next blue line, go forwards again - and I was able to do it. Three people came up to me and said how much better i've gotten since the first night. This is good and bad. Good because i'm improving, and that was the whole plan. It's bad because they noticed how bad I was when I started.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Don't Vote

The AARP (American Association of Retired People) has this ad campaign on promoting "Don't Vote..........(long pause)...until you know the issues". Personally, I think it's a great slogan - though it seems that the only issues the AARP care about are social security and medicare drug coverage. I was raised in an environment that had no love for the age of retirement. My parents get angry at restaurant staff who try to give them a senior's discount. They like to pay full price for their entrees and don't try to talk them out of it. If you ever want to have the crap kicked out of you, just mention "early bird discount" to my dad.

I'm not even voting in this election.

(Silence from the audience)

Yeah, yeah - I know. "How can you not vote? Don't you care about democracy?" I do care about democracy, I just forgot to email in to get my absentee ballot. So i'm shit out of luck. Still, it feels weird voting for elections in a country I don't live in. I'm even in the district where Mark Foley was a congressman. Also, contray to reports, did not molest me at Ultima Fitness in downtown West Palm. I'd vote here in Waterloo if I had the vote, but I don't - yet. Don't worry, i'll be sure to get my absentee ballot for the next presidential election. Who i'll vote for? I'm writing in Arnold. Hasta la vista.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Soured your sheeps milk






The trailer for season six of 24 dropped today - i'm probably the 1,000,000,000,000th person to post a link. That's the power of the internet - inundating you with the same twenty of so links every day. I have to say, as much as I love 24 - i'm not sure how I feel about the season coming up. From what I can tell, some terrorists are making threats and the only way they'll stop is if they get to kill Jack Bauer. For some reason, the Chinese buy into this and send Jack back to the states (he was on a slow boat to Bejing at the end of last season). I think Jack mentions sacrificing himself at least three times in the promo. Isn't that what he does every season? He is the ultimate team player. If he worked in an office, he'd be the guy who'd always make sure the water bottle was changed. He would fill the paper towel dispenser with towels when it was empty. Sure, in the fictional world of 24 - Jack takes a beating at the hands of a random bad guy every season. Jack in the office world would replace the toner in the copier - and check that the letter paper tray was full.

Everyone who's ever worked in an office can relate to being under appreciated at some time in their career. It sucks - but most of the time, it's just one person in the office who doesn't get what you do, and well - you really don't care anyways. Jack goes through this on a much larger scale. His coworkers have occasionally shot at him, gave him up to the bad guys, and hit him up for a coffee when they were short on change. Yes, the world of CTU is just like your office, except they have video phones. Video phones are creepy anyways - and they always seem to have their cameras pointing up your nose. In retrospect, your office is probably better.

On a completely different note - i'm excited because I got rid of my phone and DSL service and went with Rogers Home Phone and cable internet. It's much faster and cheaper and in only a way i'd appreciate, the cable modem is way cooler looking than the DSL modem. Geek. Geek.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dinner at Loblaws

We saw "The Killers" perform on Friday night at The Kool Haus in Toronto. The only place to eat near the Kool Haus is a Loblaws supermarket. Fancy dinner and a show! Ok - on to the concert. First - awesome performance. The band sounded better live than on CD - which is damn impressive. I honestly hadn't listened to their new album "Sam's Town" too many times - but hearing it live made me run home and throw it on. Their set consisted of two new songs, then two old songs, and so on. They didn't play "Andy, you're a star" which is my favourite song of theirs - but hey, what can you do? When they played "Mr. Brightside", I felt like I was in an episode of "The O.C." - which was scary because I kept thinking Micha Barton was lurking around the stage. Chills.

Last night was the third night of hockey school. The coach says I finally got the crossovers down - which is great news because I thought I was still screwing that up. I fell down a lot - which is good - because if i'm falling, that means i'm trying really hard.

Falling down = trying hard? Go figure.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Rules

I've learned two things from Patrick Swayze. First and foremost, i've learned how to defend your town from Soviet backed South American communists who invade Texas. Second, i've learned the rules to life (From "Roadhouse" of course). These rules are:

All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it's absolutely necessary. And three, be nice.

Tonight we're going to see "The Killers" at the Kool Haus in Toronto! I'll post more about that tomorrow. For now - it's off to a hard days work. Keep on truckin'.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Smack that

If hockey is Canada, then i'm the recently added province of Nunavut. I'm two weeks into the developmental hockey program at RIM Park. This is the first year they're doing this program - the idea was to have an introductory hockey program for people who aren't at the skill level to join a regular league (this describes me perfectly). The program is great and suprisingly, I'm actually able to keep up with what's going on. It's full gear on ice too - so I finally get to wear my Hartford Whaler socks. No one can stop the Whale.

In other hockey related news - my company had it's annual Thanksgiving food donation road hockey tournament over the last two weeks. Thanksgiving is in October here. Anyway - you bring in $20 bucks worth of food in order to play. It's five on five in the parking lot. This year, we had three teams. I was on the same R&D team from last year (because we rock). We don't rock enough to win though - but we did get to the final game, so that's something to be proud of. At least, that's something my mom would say. That's me in the green hoodie. It was fucking cold out there. It actually started snowing as soon as we got outside. Snowing on October 12th - hopefully this means it will be a good winter and i'll have enough snow to build that half pipe in my backyard.

The last two weeks also had the amazingly fantastic Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest. Now, I didn't win the Molson Oktoberfest VIP contest this year - which was probably a good thing because the second time is never as good as the first. This year, we went to Ruedsheimer Haus at the Waterloo Rec Centre. It's typically the university crowd joint - but there were people of all ages there - good times. It also helped that we know all the security people - they're all from the same dojo where Lara goes. Knowing security is a damn good thing.

But getting back to not winning the same contest again this year. I'm happy I didn't becuase spontaneity is extremely important - and winning the contest again and then going to all the halls wouldn't have been the same as the first year. This is different than overhyping something. For instance, we're having a New Year's Eve Eve party again this year - and i'm not hyping it up - because I want it to be a good time. That party was spontaneous - it was planned and just ended up being a fun night. The impromptu after party that was thrown after the work Christmas party was spontaneous - therefore, if we plan one this year - it won't be as good. That sucks, because it was a good party. We'll just wait and see.


Monday, October 02, 2006

I have no illusions about me being Wayne Gretzky

Here is a short list of things I learned about myself when it comes my knowledge of hockey fundamentals. It also more than likely describes my ability to the aforementioned fundamentals.
  1. While skating forward is easy enough, skating backwards is not.
  2. I'm no so good at doing cross-overs while walking sideways.
  3. The secret behind the two feet stop eludes me.
  4. The secret behind the one foot stop eludes me.
  5. I can stop fine if I just skate into one of the boards.
  6. Dropping your gloves and pulling another players jersey over their head at a hockey fundamentals class is not acceptable behaviour.
All in all, it was awesome to finally get out on the ice. There are two weeks before the next class, and I know what I have to work on (see list above)....so I have my work cut out for me. Good news - we're getting jerseys, and jerseys count as swag - and I live for swag. Until next time sports fans.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

That's not logic, it's paranoia

I've lived in Canada for almost three years and to this day, I still don't completely grasp how the health care system works. From what I understand, there was national health care across the country. It turns out that each province (provinces are like states for those unaware) runs their own health care system. Here in the #1 province Ontario, the health care system is called the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. On the streets, the cool kids call it OHIP. Anyway - something like 70% of our taxes in Ontario go to funding the health care system. This includes everything from local hospitals to paying family physicians.

I'm bringing this up because we had a mini-crisis here yesterday. The local hospital (and my front yardneighbor), Grand River Hospital announced that they would be temporarily closing their emergency room due to a lack of staff. The closing had been planned for a while, but just announced yesterday - and it seemed to take the Ontario health ministry by surprise - so much so, that they came in and have appointed some type of overseer to run the hospital and deal with the staff shortage.

Now, I'll be honest - I have no idea what any of this means. I could barely understand the West Palm Beach hospital system - and they had their own problems. A few years back, a private company bought both local hospitals and started closing programs in each of them...which sucked because of course the quality of care went down. The problem here was that - if Grand River did shut their emergency room, the other local hospital (the not uniquely named) St. Mary's Hospital's E.R. would have to take in the patients who usually would go to Grand River. That would put an added stress on that E.R. and then, well, all hell would probably brake loose. If Dr. Venkman was here, he'd probably start shouting about "dogs and cats living together" - that level of mass hysteria.

Just to be clear, I'm not bringing this up because I think the health care system in the States is better. You can't compare them - they are two entirely different systems - and they both suffer from bureaucracy and lack of funding in certain areas. There have been emergency rooms in the states that had to close due to lack of staff and/or funding too.

Now thankfully, the emergency room at Grand River won't be closing down. The local TV news thinks that this will bring attention to the health care issues in Ontario - just in time for elections

Just as in the states, the issue of health care coverage and funding is continuing to be a career ending political issue. Hopefully leaders on each side of the border can look at each system and see what things work and what things don't - and use that knowledge to build better systems - rather than using the other system as a political red herring. Like Communism.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Long Walk

While I was doing laundry, I missed the season 3 start of "The Office" on NBC. I'm not really upset by this, because I've decided to give up television. Again.

Television is my "cigarettes". I've given it up before. Sometimes for months at a time.....but then i'll have a couple drinks with friends, and before you know it - i'm watching "Friends" on TBS and drooling as I wait for reruns of "The Family Guy" to come on. Then it turns out that it's not "Family Guy" night, it's "Everybody Loves Ramond" night - and well, I just never liked Raymond that much.

Now i've given up television again - but there's a problem. "LOST" starts in two weeks. I'll say to myself "It's ok Alex - just one show won't hurt. You deserve it - you've had a hard day at the office developing mobile applications for the direct store delivery market..."

You get the point....it will just sneak up on me like a tiger. Rarrrrr. Khansella is pissing himself laughing at that right now.

So i'm checking out iTunes, looking for some good songs, and somehow I end up browsing through someone's playlist of freestyle classics. Freestyle is a musical genre that developed out of Miami in the early 80's and still is on the radio is most major markets - including Toronto. Two odd stories - I actually saw TKA live in a club in Fort Lauderdale once....but I have no idea what songs are theirs.

The better story is this....

I was in Bozeman, Montana on a gig a couple years back. The customer was an Anheuser-Busch and Miller distributor. Now this is strange, because typically, AB distributors only distribute AB products. Sometimes they'll distribute partner brands, or in the old days Corona or Heineken - but never products of another big 3 brewer. So the gig is going well, and on the last days of live training, the drivers invite me out to a the Crystal Bar for some well deserved after work beverages.

We're on the rooftop patio and the drivers in the AB uniforms are drinking Miller Lite and the drivers in the Miller uniforms are drinking Bud Light. In my business, you drink what the customer makes - so in this situation, I was already confused. Confused, and scared because I had no idea what to order - I never want to offend anyone. I settled on switching between the two, and the night went a lot smoother after that.

Eventually, the patio became more and more crowded as the kids from Montana State came trickling in. A group sat at the table next to (more like on) us, and we struck up a conversation. There were two girls, both brunettes, and four or five guys. I asked one girl her name....

"Lisa..." she answered. One of the drivers asked the other girl her name and girl #2 also answered "...my name is Lisa too."

Now here is where I thought I was witty....

(to the group of guys at their table) "...and who are you, the Cult Jam and Full Force?"

Silence.

Apparently, they had never heard of the 1980's latin freestyle group "Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam". They hadn't even heard of Full Force, who stared in a couple films with Kid N'Play for crying out loud. Who hasn't seen "House Party" at least once?




Friday, September 15, 2006

A dance was $5 dollars, a beer was $7

I've been in Toronto all week at a conference....and tonight was the end of conference party at The Guvernment House featuring a performance by Rick Springfield.

I don't know what else to write about that. Here are some photos of the evening that hopefully are worth a thousand words.

Livy, Allison, and Krissy were nice enough to let me crash at their apartment for the week - and in return, Livy came along to see Rick Springfield. Yes, seriously - Rick Springfield. He smashed a guitar on stage. Just look at the photos.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hurry up and wait

Got to Toronto.

Had drinks at the Royal York. No celebrity sightings.

Walked around Queen Street West. No celebrity sightings.

Had dinner at Xacutti. No celebrity sightings. Delicious food. Let's just call it even so far.

My Blackberry has died and i've forgotten my charger so i'm trying to download the Blackberry desktop software so I can use my laptop to charge it. Of course that would require getting my laptop on the internet, which isn't going so well. Now i'm running around trying to get the software downloaded on someone else's PC and then use my digital camera to move the file over. I'm like McGyver, but without explosions or suspense or a mullet.

It's raining outside, which is weak, because I have to walk ten blocks to the Royal York and I have no umbrella. Hopefully it'll let up. Anyway - off to charge the Berry.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bad Ideas

I like to believe you can learn a lesson everyday. Yesterday, I learned that putting a block of knives on the bottom shelf of a kitchen island is not a good idea when there are three children under the age of 3 running around your kitchen. Thankfully, a smart parent pointed that out to me and I quickly moved the block of knives up to the top of the island.

Lesson learned.

We hosted the Fighting Pints year end BBQ at our house - damn good turnout if I do say so myself....and thankfully most of the food was eaten. There was a considerably large surplus left over from our team fees, so we were able to buy enough food to feed a small militia. I also managed not to burn anything (a lesson learned from New Year's Eve Eve) and no one left with any injuries - all in all, a successful BBQ - Fighting Pints style.

Ohhhh.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Spankings

I'm not the biggest sports fan on Earth - not by a long shot. I'm not the biggest sports player either, but I do like college football - mainly because I was brainwashed into liking it during the four years I spent at Florida State.

With that being said, let's review where my three favourite teams stand after yesterday.

Florida State vs. Troy - FSU comes back and wins 24 to 17. Not bad, not bad - and two wins makes a winning streak, so we're off to a good season so far.

Arizona State vs. LSU - The Sun Devils lost 45 - 3. That looks like a Cardinals score.

Wisconsin vs. Western Illinois - The Badgers win, 34 - 10. I wish the Badgers played Syracuse (the nearest university to me), so I could go watch a game. I also wish they would bring some brats and cheese curds with them.

OK, enough of my excellent, in-depth sports reporting.

Today is the Fighting Pints BBQ. I have to mow the lawn, but I have absolutely no motivation to do it. It's 9:30 on a Sunday morning. I'm not even sure why I'm up this early. This is insanity.

I've found that as the weather gets colder, I start going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. This past week, I've been getting to work at 7am. It's nice to be there when it's quiet and get some work done, but all the same - I'd rather sleep in a little later. I wonder if my body thinks it needs to hibernate at night, but then in the morning - it realizes that it's not a bear, it's a human and humans don't hibernate - so it wakes itself up. That is kind of existential, isn't it?

Happy 27th Birthday to my brother Khansella too!!! He has birthday picks posted at his site.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I've got my eye on you

All I have to say is "..You get to keep the sheets as souvenir..."

...and they said the American entrepreneurial spirit was dead.

I keep on having these dreams where i'm either on an airplane or in an airport and i'm going somewhere. Where I'm going, that I have no idea. Also, I continually think in the dream that i'm late. This is really fucked, because according to Moli Moli, you have no sense of time or numbers when dreaming. Apparently, if you can put yourself into a lucid dream state and try to do algebra, well - then you'd be screwed, because nothing would add up.

So i'm travelling, and worrying, and that's pretty much the entire dream. I'm not sure what that means. I'd like to imagine that it means my diet is lacking in tacos - but that's not it. I wish, but that's not it.

It's go time. See you Monday.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Last cereal post for a while

Ok, this is it - Cereal Mashup. I'm done with cereal writing for a while, as is the guy who posts to Cereal Mashup. He also has another site, The Impulsive Buy, which is a damn good read.

I'll leave you with this....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What the What the Lady Like?

It is September. This is cliche, but damn - where did the summer go? It seems like it was just yesterday when we were getting back from Boston (where I didn't fall asleep driving the entire trip) and getting ready for the May 2-4. The May 2-4 is Queen Victoria day. There's a giant statue of her in Victoria Park (go figure), and it really gives me the creeps. That and the fact that you'd probably get mugged walking through that park at night.

That's neither here nor there.....we're in September. The wedding season is over, once a month three day weekends (thank you Canadian Federal Government) are over, hell - the leaves are already changing colour!

What could cheer us up? I know. How about a nice bowl of "Chocolatey Peanut Butter Cruch"? Yes children, you heard correctly. Those barn-raisers over at Quaker Oats have messed with the ultimate peanut butter cereal (Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch, for those of you who are uninitiated) by adding chocolate flavour to the mix. What's the verdict? It's very reminiscent of "Coco Puffs" - but much thicker and it doesn't turn your milk into witch piss chocolate milk. Sure, sure - there are cereal purists out there who say that Michael Jackson-esque chocolate milk is the best part. Well, they're entitled to their opinons - even if they're wrong. Someone very near to my heart once said to a girl during an argument, "...I have to respect your right to have opinons, I don't have to respect the opinions themselves - especially since they're stupid..."

This past weekend, we went to Ethel's on King where I noticed this sign advertising a "5 for $15" special on Coronitas. Coronitas are the little 8oz Coronas. Many people ask me why anyone would want a small beer like that. One word - golfers. The beers stay cold long enough for the golfer to consume them. You can get 8oz cans of Budweiser and Michelob too. A couple guys from one distributor in Wisconsin took me to a bar where they had a "7 for $7" special on Coronitas - which even a calculator user like myself can see is a much better deal. That's taxes for you. Anyway - what interested me about the sign was that it was not a Coronita sign, but a Corona sign with the letters "ita" written in blue been. Also, someone had changed the price to $14 dollars for 5 Coronitas - i'm not sure if that was some form of graffiti or an actual price markdown. Usually, the same four brands go on sale at the beer store. It rotates between Coors, Canadian, Bud/Bud Light, and Alexander Keith's (Happy 211th Birthday!)

This weekend, we're watching all of "LOST" season 2. Every episode, back to back, in order to get ready for the season 3 premiere in October. Some would call that obsessive, but I just love a good mystery - televised or in a book (preferably in a book) - and "LOST" fills the void until my next shipment from Amazon.ca gets here.

I know it is not a mystery book by any stretch, but my copy of "Chuck Klosterman IV : A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas" gets here next week. Every book so far has been a day read at best - I can't put them down. Come on UPS, get your ass in gear.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Billy, get out!

Here's another example of why Florida is the worst state in the Union - Katherine Harris. I'm sure she's a very nice person, but how can an elected legislator say something like "If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin..."?

Seriously, that's the exact quote given to the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention. This woman led the effort to end the 2000 recap, she has accepted illegal campaign contributions from defense contractors, and on top of that - her own party has come out and declared that she can't win the upcoming election.

Then again, this is Florida - and you really can't expect that much. Once again, Florida - great place to visit, would never want to live there. Again.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What's Your Beer Personality?

Somehow, i'm Samuel Adams

You're fairly easy to please when it comes to beer - as long as it's not too cheap.
You tend to change favorite beers frequently, and you're the type most likely to take a "beers of the world" tour.
When you get drunk, you're fearless. You lose all your inhibitions.
You're just as likely to party with a group of strangers as you are to wake up in a very foreign place.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Short order cook

I'm back from a week's vacation in Pointe Clark, Ontario where we spent the week doing nothing but reading books and drinking wine - and I would go back in a second. I don't think there is such a thing as a bad vacation. Maybe if you got that bug on a cruise ship that makes you shit yourself, that would be a bad vacation - but then again - the cruise line would either refund your money or give you a voucher for another crusie (a bacteria free cruise hopefully), and in the end - it would work out in your favour. Hell, you'd probably loose a couple pounds too - so where do you go wrong?

Let me get back to the topic. I read the LOST tie-in book "Bad Twin" and Augusten Burroughs '"Dry" - a memoir about going through rehab (which is always odd to read as you down a margarita). "Bad Twin" was actually really good for what it was. I wasn't expecting much - but it delivered suspense and gave some clues to LOST - awesome, because I'm a LOST fanatic.

"Dry" is another great book by Augusten Burroughs - the authoer of "Running With Scissors". The guys has had a seriously fucked up life, and of course that makes for interesting reading. In this memoir, he recounts his days working at a New York ad agency and being forced into rehab by his work partner. Unlike A&E's "Intervention", which really just go for shock value of the intervention - this book really shows what's going on in his mind as the weeks of rehab go by and he begins to change his lifestyle in order to keep sober. Totally great read - go pick it up.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Heat

I was driving to work and I noticed that gas at Petro Canada was $1.10 a liter. That's about $4.18 a gallon. Seriously. If you live in America, you're probably thinking "My god - that's freaking expensive for a gallon of gas..." and, well - it is freaking expensive for a gallon of gas. What's worse is that it's even more freaking expensive for a liter of gas than we're used to. When I moved to Waterloo a little over two years ago - a liter of gas was $0.74. Two years and a $0.40 increase - not the worst on Earth, but still.

When interviewed, Oil company execs will say the price of gas is going up simply due to an increase in demand and not enough increase in production. The blame on the lack of production is often attributed to environmentalists - who work to block the construction of new oil refineries and drilling in the environmentally sensitive areas like the Gulf of Mexico.

It sounds like it makes sense - but then there is some bullshitting going on here. Please explain to me how demand can rise so much in 12 hours that last night gas was $1.02 a liter and now is $1.10 a liter. In the last three months, gas prices have gone up and down quicker than a manic depressive with an endless supply of coke and valium. $0.98 in the morning and then $1.07 at lunch - in the same day?

It's such a futile thing to complain about. Even now, when I see a liter for $1.02 - I think to myself what a great deal that is. In three months, $1.02 has become the new "cheap gas" - while in Decemeber, $0.95 was the "cheap gas". In all likely hood - $1.10 will be my new marker for when to fill up the tank. Or maybe i'll start riding my bike and see if that helps bring demand down.

*************
Update - gas is now $1.14 a liter.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I've got five on it


You've got to go to over to CNN.com and check out the clip of the "candid, open, uncensored" conversation between Bush and Blair at the G8 summit. For those of you who live under a rock or have a strict IT policy, Bush and Blair were having what they thought was a private conversation... cameras were rolling, but the mics were supposed to be off. In the conversation, Bush says "...See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over." I've put the word shit in a font face because shit is such a bad word. Bad, awful.

Come on, he's the leader of the free world (and a former baseball team owner) - do people honestly think that he never uses "colorful" language when speaking to other world leaders? I can't stand the coverage of this because it reminds me how damn puritanical the U.S. still is. I wish he had have dropped "the f-bomb" during the conversation - now that would have been awesome. Even better would have been if he paraphrased Samuel L. Jackson's line from "Snakes on a Plane" and said "...what they need to do is get mother fucking Hezbollah out of mother fucking Lebanon....". Now that would have been awesome. It would be more awesome if Samuel L. Jackson was president.

It reminds me - although how I don't know - of a conversation I had once in Fort Myers. I was having dinner with Quack and Pat - they were still in grad school at Florida Golf Coast University, and I had come over for some reason. It was probably to go to the Fort Myers Ale House for chicken wings and five for $5 Bud Lights. Oh how I miss five for $5. We're having dinner and we're talking about work, and one thing leads to another and we start discussing the advantages and disadvantages of FedEx vs. UPS. Seriously. About ten minutes into this conversation, Pat breaks in and remarks - "You know what the problem is - we used to talk about fucking, and now we're talking about FedEx..." It was a sobering moment - although once again, i'm not sure why. It could have been because it was one of the first moments that I realized we were all really out of university and working in the real world. But that is garbage - it was funny and memorable because both subjects of that sentence start with the letter F - and that is just funny. It wouldn't have been nearly as funny as if he had of used UPS or DHL. That just goes to show you, throwing in a curse word every now and then can be funny.

Shit.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Typical


DSCF0823
Originally uploaded by johnkin79.
My brother is a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia. Everytime I call him, he's in a bar or a club or at a party. Ritchie has an amazing knack for finding a party to go to - it's an amazing gift - and I'm truly jealous of it. Not that i'm a party slouch or something - I do have low grade narcolepsy, but i'm still a partier. He just puts me to shame.

I could shame him now by telling the story of how an Indian dinner didn't agree with him and we had to miss a frosh-week party in Madison, but that would just be mean.

Here's a link to his Flickr page.

**Update**

I'm on the phone with my brother right now. He's at a store buying beer, and then going over to a friend's apartment for a party. I'm really the pot calling the kettle black when I make comments about his partying habits. But who are you to judge me?!?!?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Immigration Threat

DMick sent this over -

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

My 3rd Canada Day


Canada Day 2006 028
Originally uploaded by alexkinsella64.
Technically, this is only my second Canada Day. I was in Maui on Canada Day 2004. I only mention that I was in Maui - well, because it's Hawai'i and i'm obsessed with Hawai'i. That's not the point, the point is - Canada Day is not just one day - it's an entire weekend - or as they call it here in Canada, a long weekend. While my fellow Americans had to go to work on Monday - my fellow Canadians enjoyed it off relaxing at their cottages or doing yard work.....and Canada Day was July 1st - a Saturday. How is this possible you ask? Well, in Canada, they are so efficient that they always take a Monday off for national holidays - and if the holiday doesn't fall on a Monday, they just pick the closest calendar Monday and take it off.

It's fantastic. So here are some shots from the weekend - check 'em out.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Bananas, son, bananas





Also - check out this guys photos of buildings around Kitchener and Waterloo.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tabreek Migam!

That's my poor attempt at writing "congratulations to you" in Persian. Well, it's not in Persian obviously, since Persian uses a totally different alphabet. You get the point.

Or do you? Oh, that's right - you have no idea what i'm talking about. Our friends Sarah and Bardia got married on Saturday and Barida is originally from Iran, so Laurie and I asked Eisa (the one guy from Iran who works at our company) how to say "congratulations" in Persian so that we could say that to Bardia's parents. It was a good plan....except for the fact that I don't think they expected to hear a blonde girl speaking Persian. Who knows....it's the thought that counts.

Here is a link to the pics.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Computer says no

Good morning.

I'm too sleepy to be witty - last night was Bardia's bachelor party and I went to bed at 5am. I woke up at 7:00am - not for any reason, I just did - and I layed on Sarah and Bardia's couch for an hour and a half drinking Gatorade and reading old issues of US Weekly.

Due to the rules of gentlemenhood (?), I can not divulge much, if any, of what happened last night - other than to say I feel dirty. I need a shower, and quite possibly a skin peel. I've never had a skin peel, i'm not even sure if that's what it is called - just go with it.

Earlier in the day, I met up with Laurie's sister Krissy for lunch at Tortilla Flats on Queen Street. I had their curry chicken buritto - it wasn't the most curry-flavoured dish i've ever had, but then again, why would I order curry chicken anything at a tex-mex joint? The margaritas were decent and service was awesome.

Dinner was at Canyon Creek Chophouse. I had the filet and a baked potato - it was quality. Then we went somewhere else, and then we went to this Miami-style lounge called C-Lounge on Wellington. I felt like a celebrity, we had a little private booth thing - very nice planning on the night, thanks to Bardia's brother Pouya. During our time there, we were clawed on by members of a bachelorette party - which once again goes to prove my point.

What point?

I was best man for my friend John's wedding last year. His then bride-to-be informed me that, under no circumstances, were we allowed to take him to the a strip club. In her opinion, a man should have no desire to go to a strip club. If he did, it meant that he must not be attracted to the woman - and going to a strip club could lead to him going home with the stripper. Now, if you're not a complete moron, you would know that the chance of picking up a stripper at a strip club is about 1 in 1,000,000,000 - and usually the stripper is a meth addict. I'm not saying this from experience, it's just part of my theory. Anyway - my theory (that i'm taking forever to get to) is that a guy is way more likely to pick up (or get picked up) in a regular bar - which is where we took John. At the bar we went too, many women spoke to John - and i've got to be honest, if he wanted to try - he could have gotten some numbers. He's a good kid, and he wouldn't do that (although in hindsight, he should have - which is another story).

So last night, at this C-Louge place, my theory was proved again. At the adult establishment that we may or may not have visited, no strippers really spoke to us. That's fine, because honestly I was watching the third period of game six and Edmonton was up 2-0 and they scored two more times and now we're going to game seven. If Edmonton wins, I win the office hockey pool and will be crowned the Greatest Canadian (even though i'm from Ireland and Florida).

Anyway - then we went to the C-Lounge place - and as I mentioned earlier, many of our party were attacked by rabid bachelorettes. So my advice to all you brides-to-be out there is to let your man go to a strip club, and everything will be ok. That is unless the strip club is next to a meth lab.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My first time was very special

I was getting ready to avoid going to the gym yesterday when Russ called. "What are you doing?" he asked.

"I'm going to go the gym" I lied.

"Skip the gym, come to a Blue Jays game".

Having never been to a Blue Jays game before, I said why the hell not. Russ, Kevin (Russ's fiance's brother), and Rick pulled up and I was promptly informed to grab a red shirt.

As I went upstaris to grab a red shirt, I started to wonder why we'd need red shirts for a Blue Jays game. It turns out Rick had gotten the tickets from Monica who works at Canadian Blood Services. Yesterday was National Blood Donor Day and Kevin and Rick (who work at Rogers Television) had been doing a shoot at a donation center. Monica was being interviewed for the piece, and last night the CBS were having a special night at the Rogers Center for the National Blood Donor Day - hence the free tickets.

The game was awesome - and the Skydome, er, I mean Rogers Center is pretty damn impressive.

Here is the link to photos.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Cleavland of Asia

Ritchie has a new post up at Khansella. One word - Fungolia.

Monday, June 12, 2006

There were some goats

On June 3rd, I appeared as a guest on CKCO's "The Final Round". Thanks to the magic of Google Video, you can now enjoy me making an ass of myself even if you don't live in CKCO's viewing area.

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I got five on it

I have never worn this much makeup in my entire life.

That is one of those statements you make, and then before your lips can close, you realize that a statement like that is very open ended. Do I mean that i've never worn make up before? Or, do I mean that i've worn make up before and just never that amount? Do I like to add a little eye liner to bring out the brown in my eyes?

Let me clarify this - I've not worn makeup before, not that there's anything wrong with a man wearing makeup. Actually, my skin tone has never looked more even. I'm kind of sad I washed it off now. The makeup lady (this will be explained in the next paragraph) said that her husband asks her to touch him up sometimes. She says she sees nothing wrong with men wearing makeup. I can agree - but she is biased, because she is a makeup artist and half the population (other than on-air personalities) does not currently need her services. Still - fantastic job.

So. Today I taped an episode of "The Final Round" on CKCO - our local CTV affiliate. The show is a four person debate on five current events - mostly national and international and it's hosted by Brent Hanson. I don't want to spoil the topics of the show for everyone - it's airs this Saturday at 6:30pm on CKCO. For those of you not in the area, i'm going to try and get it up on YouTube.com or something.

I think the taping went really well. I got caught up in my tounge a couple times, but managed to make a save and get my opinion out. There are four guests - all from around the area. Most are usually on because of an event or something. Today, there was myself, Alison (a personal trainer), Ed (a radio dj), and Angela (she's running for Waterloo council). Angela and Ed have been on before - you could really tell by the way they handled themselves when taping. This was my and Alison's first time - I think we both did ok. They played back some clips and the main thing I noticed is how freaking over-animated I am. Is that how people see me? I don't even realized i'm making half the hand gestures I am.

Here's the weird coincedence of the week (but not so weird, because this is Waterloo). As we're getting to know each other prior to the taping, we all discuss what we do, where we work, etc... It turns out that Alison the personal trainer is my friend (and ex-manager) Sharon's personal trainer. Waterloo is a small town. She even lives around the corner from Cara who lives around the corner from Susen who lives a couple streets away from me. This is all like a five block radius. Anyway. It's not so weird I guess.

Show is on SATURDAY!

Monday, May 29, 2006

hot

Sure, 32 Celsius is only 89.6 Fahrenheit, but it's still hotter than hell today. I need a beer. Or a mai tai. You know, I thought mai tai's were Hawaiian, but they're not. Sad, so sad.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The answers you need

One time in Dallas, I turned down a freebie with a prostitute. Not a freebie from a prostitute, a freebie with a prostitute. I told this story to my friend, and very catholic friend, Sharon once. How would this come up in conversation? Funny you should ask - for some reason, we were talking about men who go to bars to just pick up for one night stands, and someone in the group asked why said men wouldn't just go to a prostitute if all they wanted was sex. Of course the cliched metaphor comparing picking up a one nighter and hunting was brought up. Personally, I find that metaphor to be bullshit. I've never had a one night stand - nor would I want one. It's not because I don't like hunting - I do like hunting. I've never been hunting, it just seems fun. Except for the whole killing a defenseless animal and then drinking its blood. What's with the blood drinking? That's not the point. The point is that there's nothing wrong with one night stands, but don't bullshit yourself about it - don't make it seem deeper than just wanting to get laid, because that's all it is.

So back to the prostitute, and let me be very politcal about this. I can't say when or where this was other than it was in a hotel lobby. I'm speaking with this guy who we'll call Frank. Frank and I had been drinking heavily all night, discussing a variety of subjects. Hours had gone by since i'd eaten and my stomach was craving something greasy before I went to bed. I let Frank know this, and he says that he's had enough for the night and he's heading up to his room.

Words begin to form in my head. Room. Room. Room. Service. Room. Room Service. We start towards the elevators and just as we are about to push the up button, the doors to the elevators open and two young women step out. Both were dressed quite, well, they looked like hookers. Sorry, they just really looked like hookers - they weren't dressed like they were heading out to Wal-Mart to buy some shampoo and a "Dirty Dancing 20th Anniversary Edition" DVD.

My new buddy face changes. It looks like he knows them, or at least thinks he does. Now this is the weird part. There's no lollygagging or anything - he just asks one of them how much. Right there in a fancy hotel lobby. How much. Prices are discussed - reasonable prices I assume because my new buddy offers "..hey, let me get one of them for you."

Never in my life, and never since, has anyone ever offered that. I can imagine picking up my venti cafe mocha (no whip) from Starbucks. I can even phathom (big word) grabbing the check at Mortys after wings and pitchers. But a prostitute - no.

I sobered up quickly and politely declined his offer. He said it was no problem and he whispered in the first prostitutes ear, and just like ole' Saint Nick up the chimney, all three of them were gone.

Standing in the lobby, still semi-dumfounded by the whole conversation, I noticed a waiter wheeling over a room service cart. ROOM SERVICE. I took the next available elevator to my floor, ran in and dialed the three digits. A bacon cheesburger, fries, and strawberry cheesecake.

The next morning I woke up - strangley hungry. I looked around the room and there was no empty plate with lettuce and a ketchup stain. Where was my cheesecake covered fork? No where. The red, message waiting light was blinking on my phone. I pressed the message button on the phone. One waiting message. "Hello, this is room service, we're sorry we missed you - no one answered the door when we tried to deliver your food. Have a nice day."

Oh the humanity. The humanity!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I'm a transformer

There's a reason I don't save my password in iTunes. It's because if I did, people would use my computer to download albums and i'd go broke. Now, this is not true. The part about downloading is - but the part about not saving my password in iTunes is a blatent lie. For some reason, I saved my password in the evil Dell Dimension 4100 upstairs ("Where should I start with this ignorant cow?").


During Lara's welcome back party a few weekends ago, Bryan and Livy (see photo) were drunk iTunes music store surfing and they downloaded the album "St. Elsewhere" by Gnarls Barkley. I knew nothing about this group, except for a brief shout-out in Whitney Matheson's awesome USA Today "Pop Candy" column. Gnarls Barkley is a collaboration between DJ Danger Mouse (who did that actually pretty damn good, but way to popular "Grey Album" smashup of the Beetles and Jay-Z and Cee-Lo from the Goodie Mob. I have a Cee-Lo solo album at home - it's decent, a couple good tracks. This Gnarls Barkley album is much better than decent. I'm not sure how you'd categorize this music - and i'm not sure categorizing music is a good thing. It's like saying the Beastie Boys are rap or that Elvis Costello is easy listening. Speaking of Elvis Costello, his collaboration "Painted From Memory" with Burt Bacharach is freaking awesome and you should download that legally at your earliest convenience.

This weekend is the first long weekend of the year here in Canada. I have to say, this whole long weekend thing is beautiful. You have Victoria Day (May 24th), Canada Day (July 1st), the cryptic Civil Holidsy (August 1st), and then Labour Day (September 6th). Four months, four three day weekends. You don't get much better than that. On top of that, most people take the Friday off too - so tomorrow will be empty here as people make their way to their cottages or friend's cottages or camping. Us? Well, between throwing a party one weekend, and Boston last weekend, i'm toast. I'm going to get around to fixing the flower pots on the deck and maybe even paint the bedroom. And drink beer. Lots of beer. While consuming chicken wings. It's a good time to be alive.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bears need handlers

I'm listening to the new Lewis Black CD - "The Carnegie Hall Performance" which can be found on Amazon or iTunes. For some reason, the iTunes version doesn't include one track - which happens to be 17 minutes long. I've chosen to not purchase from iTunes - because, well - I want the whole fucking CD. What is that nonsense?

I'm still recovering from last weekend. I had McDonald's twice. Twice. That makes it five times i've had McDonalds in the last eight years. The visits to McD's are so sporadic, that I remember each visit. Let's recap -

1. February 2004 - Waterloo, ON - Sausage Egg McMuffin with Cheese the morning after heaving drinking with my fake cousin Aisling. Couldn't take more than one bite because Canadian McDonald's tastes different.

2. January 2005 - Salt Lake City, UT - Hotcakes and sausage. Tastes good.

3. June 2005 - Waterloo, ON - Sausage Egg McMuffin with Cheese the morning after Sharon and Jeff got engaged. Couldn't take more than one bite because it tastes different and I didn't remember that from the first time.

4. May 2006 - I-90 somewhere in NY state - cheeseburger. Avoided fries successfully.

5. May 2006 - I-90 somewhere in NY state - Big-N-Tasty. It's big. Not so tasty. Still feel sick.

Speaking of eating, I just had some curry for lunch that Laurie made last night. My mouth is on fire. FIRE. I need to get a glass of water.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It's a swing and a miss


Last night was game 2 of the season for our softball team - the "Fighting Pints". We lost the game, but won a small victory in the game of life. That last sentence is why i'm not a sports writer.

I'm actually playing semi-not-poorly. In previous leagues, I was always catcher. That's something I never really understood, because catcher is an important position. I guess they're all important - but I was a late comer to softball, so it seemed like a really important position to put a novice at.

This time around, I wanted to try something new - so i'm playing third base. It's awesome - so much better than playing catcher. That doesn't sound good.

I got four outs last night - two at third where I caught the ball in the air, one at third where I was able to throw to second for the out, and one in the outfield. There was one bad incident....a grounder to third where I decided that the best thing to do would be throw the ball at the runner. I nailed him in the side. It really wasn't intentional, everything was just moving so fast and I swear I saw someone run to cover third. Thankfully, I only kind of lobbed it over to third, so he didn't get hit that bad.

Game 3 is Wednesday, and hopefully I can make it through without throwing the bat at someone.

Monday, May 15, 2006

It was all the rage before the fucking internet

9 hours and a McDonald's Big-n-Tasty later, we're back in Waterloo. I really need to compliment both transportation departments of New York and Mass. for their amazingly well kept highways. It made the drive back and forth damn easy I must say.

Also - going to Cheesecake Factory at 10am is a good idea if you don't want to wait in line - it's a bad idea if you spent the previous night with a group of total strangers on a bar crawl. Lesson learned. Can I get some more iced tea?

We had two awesome meals in Boston - the previously mentioned Atlantic Fish Co. - and then Saturday's lunch at Chili Duck Thai on Boylston. I had the masaman curry and it was awesome. In order to be rated as "awesome", a Thai curry must make my nose run (disgusting, yes) - and this curry did. Check out that joint if you're in town.