Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Rules of evidence

My friend Bryan complains about a lot of thing. This isn't because he's high strung or has a short temper, it is simply due to being from New England. Thank goodness he spent a good few years in South Florida or else he wouldn't be able to pronounce the letter "R" either. One day we were driving around town and he was pretty upset about something - I can't remember what - but it gave birth to the ultimate calming mantra - "puppies". Yes, you read that right - "puppies". From that day on, whenever I get upset, I simply repeat "puppies" over and over again and all my problems just fade away. I would put photos of puppies up at work to create a calming work atmosphere, but man - that would just be weird.

I need to go renew my health card tomorrow. It's March 1st and it expires on March 9th and after that, well, i'm not sure what happens. I'm sure I could still get care at a hospital or clinic, but there would probably just be more paperwork involved. So far, i've had really good service - and never a long wait. People warned me that there was a shortage of family doctors accepting patients - but I only had to look around for about two months. I think the problem is that people only look for a doctor when they're sick. It's kind of like not having a plumber's number around until there is a problem.Ok, tonight's "Law and Order" is insane. The judge's office was bugged by the murder suspects so they could kidnap the guy who was going to testify against them. Also, James Brolin is in it - and he looks angry. Maybe he misses "Spin City"?

Ok - back to L&O - word is bond.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The man to beat here

I used to work with a guy who looked like The Rock. If you were having a corporate party and you wanted a guy there who liked The Rock, well then this is the guy who you call. I'm talking that level of doppelgangerey. We went on a couple business trips together - and there would always be at least five people who would stop and ask for an autograph. He would actually sign for people - and I was in awe of that, because a) no one asks for my autography (at least sincerely asks for mine) and b) I was amazed that he would sign it and these people belived they had an autograph from The Rock. It wouldn't suprise me if some of them ended up on eBay.

The first trip I we both went on was to Worcester, MA. Like all gigs, we worked anywhere from 10-20 hours, so if we had one day where we got out before 7pm we would always try and explore the city and grab a bite to eat. One lucky day, we got finished around six and made our way downtown to find the Applebees. Why Applebees you ask? Well, to get some fucking Riblets - that's why. We parked the rental in a lot and followed the directions from the Applebee's website. After a couple minutes of walking, we cross paths with a kid - he's maybe 12 or 13. Of course I'm thinking that he's an autograph seeker and here he is - face to face with The Rock. But no. He's not looking for an autograph. He looks up and asks us "Hey, you lookin for dem trees?"

Now I'm fucking confused. What trees? What? I look over at The Rock and he's laughing. The Rocks says "No little man, we're all good". The kid nods his head and keeps walking.

I ask The Rock what just happened.

"You know, trees." he answers.

"Trees? What?" I ask.

"Weed. Trees is weed."

Trees are weed? Now I know terms for weed (not that I have been anywhere near any illegal drugs) and I hadn't heard trees before. I'm not even sure what is more amazing - that for once no one thought this guy was The Rock or that a 12 year old tried to sell us weed. Maybe he thought he was selling The Rock weed. Maybe it was a sting by US Weekly and they wanted a cover photo of The Rock buying weed. Then I might have made it onto the cover of US Weekly. How weird would that have been?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Better fuel economy

Last night was poker over at Moli Moli's palacial estate. Did I spell palacial correctly? Doesn't matter - what's important is that for the first time I cleaned house. I'm not sure how I did it either. Sure, sure - gambling is half luck and half intuition - but there was something different last night. I sat down at the table and said to everyone that "...tonight is my night, i'm going to leave here with some money..." It was confidence from the start, plus a little bit of smart betting and not chasing four of a kind on pocket deuces. Moli and OB know what i'm talking about. Confidence is an amazing thing. I would consider myself pretty confident - not cocky, not cocky most of the time anyway.

In the last couple years, i've really taken to the philosophy of nothing risked - nothing gained. It's simplestic - yes - but it works. I'm not saying to jump out of a plane - you know how I feel about that. But taking a risk like trying a new food or going mountain biking even though I get winded biking across town. That was fucking stupid. I hit the cross bar pretty hard too and couldn't walk right for a week.

Tomorrow night we're off to see Shannon Runstedler in "Prelude to a Kiss" at the Galt Little Theater. I've never seen the movie - and I didn't even know it was a play. The production is supposed to be awesome - and I haven't been to a play in over two years, so it should be a rocking night. Plus we'll get to try some new place to eat - which is good, because I've been to all the good places in Waterloo and I need something new.Bryan (who I leave out of stories all the time) is coming up in two weeks - so I know we'll be having wings at Mortys. Can't complain about that. If it's one thing I love (after tacos) it is chicken wings. We're going up to Toronto to party with Sarah and Bardia for my birthday - yeah, the big 3-0. Ole' 30. Son of a bitch.

I was talking to Rob today and I think i've convinced him to start a band with me. Now he plays bass and keyboards. Moli plays guitar (the AXE) and I, well i'll be lead singer and play the cowbell. The fact that I am tone deaf will not get in the way of me winning a Grammy. Maybe it will actually - but I could get a People's Choice Award - they hand those out to anyone who shows up. In Canada they have the Geminis and the Junos - although I haven't figured out what they're for yet. Shit - i'm going to get in trouble for that. I'll ask.

The Geminis are for film and the Junos are for music. There - problem solved.

On a blog related subject - i've often been critized for picking pictures and titles that don't have anything to do with the blog entry. Personally, I just pick the title from what ever someone says on the TV the momement I start to write. As for the pictures - I pick funny things i've found. This entrie's photos are of my favourite food item - Gutherie's Golden Fried Chicken Fingers. You can learn more over at this site. I'd like a chicken finger box, no slaw, extra fries and four extra sauces.Ok - back to watch Olympic figure skating, uh - wait - I mean, oh to hell with - i'm watching figure skating. Snowboarding is over, there's nothing else on.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Get regular

I was wondering why they call taking a dump regularly "being regular" - but then I figured it out. If you're wondering about the picture - I googled for "fiber" and this is what it gives you. Coincidentally, here is a story that bares some connection to the google found picture. One time my friend (and not coach of the Miami Heat) Pat Reilly was over at the studio of our campus TV station were I worked at the time. We were walking down the hallway and I had these "snakes" hung up - these were 100 foot cables with a patch box at one end and loose cables at the other. Pat picked up the loose end and asked me "Hey, what would happen if I shoved this up you ass?".

I looked at him and said "Well, I'd get more channels then you do."

That is a coincidence, not irony. I've always liked Steve Buschemi's quote from "Con Air" - "Define irony: a bunch of idiots dancing around on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash."I feel that as a dominant species on Earth, we use the word "irony" way to often, and also incorrectly. I heard once saying that it was ironic that he had on the same shirt as another guy in the office. That's not ironic - that means that one of them was probably either A) stalking the other guy or B) also shopped at Banana Republic. Quite possibly the most incorrect use I've ever heard was when a co-worked a few years ago mentioned that it was ironic that his database had become corrupted. If the database had been advertised as uncorruptable, then that would be ironic. The Titanic sinking was ironic - and also was caused by the Dutch. Don't trust those Dutch - they're shady.

Last night we headed over to a suprise party for Alison - it was actually a suprise - thanks to everyone parking around the corner. I think that may have been only the second actual unspoiled suprise party i've ever seen. It's so tough to pull off because someone always manages to slip up and park somewhere too conspicous or accidentaly forward an email invitation for the party to the birthday person.

Ok - have to watch judging on Iron Chef - America.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Lay it down. Cut it.

I wore a tie to work today. There was no specific business reason to do this. No important meetings were scheduled. I was not giving a presentation or doing a training session. Actually, i'm afraid of doing in-office training sessions because the one time my boy Foster had a mild heart attack. Calling it mild doesn't quite express the shock I had - nor he. But he's fine now and kicking ass, so we'll call it mild. Actually, Foster once told me "You dress for the job you want, not the job you have." I've always liked that quote - but that's not the reason I wore tie - I simply did it to see people's reactions. The tally is:

"Do you have a job interview" - 10
"You look professional" - 1
"You look handsome" - 1
"Are you going to a wedding?" - 1

The wedding comment from Kathy confused me a bit - it's the middle of the day, why would I be going to a wedding? The professional and handsome comments stroked my already gravity producing ego. It was the "Do you have a job interview" remarks that I was hoping for . I did wear jeans too - I figured that would throw people off. It didn't. Many people made the comment that in this day and age, you could go to a job interview with jeans on. I don't believe that - I believe a job interview demands a suit and nothing less. It doesn't matter what job you are interviewing for - it shows that you are a professional and you want to succeed. When I was down in West Palm, I used to conduct the occasional interview session - I lost count of the number of people who showed up in jeans, shorts, t-shirts. This wasn't exactly an entry level job, but it wasn't management either - still, put on a shirt or blouse and slacks or a skirt and for the love of all that is holy - don't curse in your interview.

Yes, that's me fucking say that - ya heard me? I curse - everyone knows it, but I know when to curse. One applicant dropped the "f bomb" almost fifty times. Sure, once you get the job - go for it. But not before i've finished my coffee.Glen dropped some dope science on me too about my theory. It wasn't so much dope science, more like brick. I wear jeans and some kind of shirt everyday, not a dress shirt and tie - so of course people are going to ask. So in all reality, my test is completely invalid. It's ok, because i'm not a real scientist - so to hell with it. Don't forget to go spend a fortune on teddy bears holding hearts tomorrow. Who doesn't love teddy bear's holding hearts?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Chocolate and coconut

There's fore shadowing and then there's beating me upside the head. Tonight's "Smallville" dealt with Clark getting over Duke (or is it Bo) dying in last week's episode. His mother wants to give him his father's watch - but he won't take it. Martha decides to go to Metropolis to meet with the mayor and then give some clothes to the homeless shelter. Outside the homeless shelter she is mugged and then saved by a masked super hero. I won't spoil the end, not that it would matter - but let me just lay out the "hidden" references to Clark's future -

1) The masked super hero ends up working at the Daily Planet.
2) She changes in the phone booth at the Daily Planet. Who has a phone booth in their office? Really?
3) She wears glasses in the office and contacts on her "night job".
4) She wants to defend justice.
5) In a video clip, Bo (or is it Luke) calls Clark the "man of steel" as they drive a tractor together.

Come on - there is such a thing as subtlety. It makes me miss the days of "Manimal" - the short lived, 1980's sci-fi drama on NBC. In "Manimal", the main character somehow (the details have eluded me) has the ability to turn into animals. I think he only turned into a black panther (if the show was made in the 1960's, then it might have been ironic) and a hawk. There may have been other animals. I'm not sure - but it was still AWESOME! Well, it was awesome when I was 12 years old. I'm nearly 30 now and I can pretty much say that if I saw that show today, well - i'd be freaking depressed. Thinking about "Manimal" gets me thinking about the nine episode run of NBC's "The Highwayman" which starred the guy who played Flash Gordon in the 1980's film and "Jacko" Jackson, the Australian rugby player and former Energizer battery spokesman.For some reason, NBC likes to spend a couple million on random sci-fi series, only to cancel them before the season is up. Think about "Earth 2", the weird 1960's looking show with Megan Ward, uh - Seaquest DSV. Sure, Seaquest was on for three seasons - and it did have Michael Ironside in it - and if he's there, you're sure to see some scowling and yelling. He was also in NBC's "V" - the mini-series turned regular series where the lizard aliens invade Earth. They brought him in at the end to kick a little ass. But I digress - I was talking about "The Highwayman". Now here was a weird show where these guys are futuristic US law men who drive trucks that have hidden helicopters in them. There are some many of these shows, where the plot resolution of each episode relied on some piece of technology or special power. They all failed because that just makes each episode so predictable. The only show to not suffer from this was "Knight Rider" - mainly because KITT wasn't a plot device - he was a character. He was just as, if not more, engaging than Michael Knight himself. Not David Hasselhoff. No actor is more engaging that Der Hasselhoff. He even has a website. Er tritt Esel und nimmt Namen.

So i'm messing around on the internet and i've found this link to a new film named "Dave Chapelle's Block Party". It's a concert film with Kanye West, The Fugees, Mos Def and pretty much every musical guest to ever appear on his show - this is worth the $9 ticket price at the Galaxy. This is Waterloo, not Manhattan - $9 is expensive.

Saturday night was the Panthers at Sabres hockey game over in Buffalo. I got the tickets for Christmas from Laurie's parents. Her dad has season tickets - and I had no idea the seats were so damn good. 2nd row from the boards!! We were so close, you got to see the sweat get knocked off the player's faces as they were checked. I've been to a couple NHL games in my life - but always in the nose bleeds. I am beyond spoiled now.

Ok - off to bed. Keep it real.

*** Also - updated Khansella.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Not accepting help from strangers

It’s Thursday and that means one thing – the O.C.

Wow. I never thought in a million years that’d ever write that – and yet, here I am watching. Tonight’s episode deals with the aftermath of second-tier character Johnny’s death. He was written off the show via a drunken fall off a cliff – the drinking and climbing inspired by his broken heart – said heart broken by Micha Barton. Damn you Micha Barton – damn you to hell. Still – this isn’t about Micha Barton and her soul destroying ways – it’s about generational microverses.What the fuck? Maybe I’ve made up that term – but hear me fellow Romans. About a decade ago or so, there was this little show named “Beverly Hills, 90210”. The show dealt with the lives and constant sexual partner switching of a group of young and wealthy (via their parents) group of teens. In “90210” (that’s what the cool kids called it), they had one of those very special episodes where the promos hyped a cast members impending death. High school hallways all over the nation were a buzz with rumors of who would it be? Brandon, Brenda, Steve, Donna??? Who? Well – it was none of them. That’s the bullshit – it was some kid who was David’s best friend in the first two seasons and hadn’t been seen in about three. At some party, this kid finds his dad’s gun and tries spinning it like a cowboy and blows his brains out. It was shocking at the time – but also kind of a let down. As sick as it is – many people were hoping for a major character – but that was not to be.
Tonight, there are most likely large numbers of 14-22 year olds out there who think this is the first time a character in a show has been killed off. They’re probably viewing this the same way the previous generation viewed the special episode of “90210”.

I’m totally off point – I’m just saying that it always one generation who views some experience as completely new or original – but it’s not – it’s happened a thousand times over. Moli Moli talks about how there are only seven stories – and that the difference is in the way they are told. I too have heard this, but I can’t remember where. It could have been in a screenwriting workshop I took once – who knows? Maybe it was my 9th grade creative writing teacher Meg Medina. She called me a snake because she thought I was always up to something. She was right – I was – but that’s neither here nor there.

Everyone views things from their own time line. For my generation, the whole idea of the internet is still pretty cool. For someone ten years younger – well, they’ve grown up with it – they expect it like we expect the telephone. I’m guilty of thinking that they’re being obnoxious. That makes me a hypocrite – because I do think of cable and phone as always having been here. I don’t remember rabbit ears. I remember those old black cable boxes with the dials on front – the ones where you could slide an index card in behind the front to flip a switch to get all the channels. Tell that to a 19 year old and they have no clue what you’re talking about – they know getting a blown open card for DirecTV. Perspective can just be a bitch.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hand in my pocket

Laurie and I were talking about selfish people tonight – no particular reason really, we just ended up there as our ride home conversation unfolded. We started talking about Super Bowl XL. More specifically, we started talking about how we didn’t care about who won. The second half is well underway and we’re watching the judging part of Iron Chef America instead.

Back to the topic at had. In my opinion, everyone is a little selfish. We all have that voice in our heads that is looking out for number one – and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m often accused of only thinking about myself – that’s a half truth – I’m only thinking about my stomach and what I want to put into it. If someone recommends that we go to East Side Mario’s for lunch, well, I recommend we go somewhere else. I’m not trying to criticize East Side’s or people who eat there. I’m simply saying that I don’t like that place and I don’t want to go there. I also don’t want to criticize East Side Mario’s because it is possibly associated with organized crime. I’m not saying all generic Italian themed chain restaurants are mob shell companies, but really – how does Olive Garden afford to give those breadsticks away for free? They fell off the back of a truck down at the docks, that’s how.

Ok, I’m off topic again. Let’s recap:

- Everyone is a little selfish
- Alex does not like Italian food

Right. So everyone is a little selfish, but how many people can you really say are selfless? The two we could name, and in a completely non-ass kissing reference, are our parents. I can honestly say that my parents would do almost anything for me. Laurie says the same thing about her parents. I started thinking about that and I’m pretty sure almost (hopefully) everyone could say that about their parents. Then again, I’ve heard horror stories – the worst one was one woman found out her unborn kid had a birth defect and opted to put the kid up for adoption. The logic (?) being that raising a child with a disability would put to much strain on her marriage. Now that does sound absolutely fucking horrible – but you can’t really judge anyone. Maybe the kid will be better off – you just don’t know. I’m not sure how I’d react in a similar situation – but I know that, personally, there is no decision to make – it’s your child and that’s the end of it.True selflessness is something to be awed at. My friend Stuart basically put his life on hold for a good ten years to take care of his mother as she battled cancer. He moved back home, found a job that would make him happy, and did everything and anything he could for her. There are plenty of men and women out there that would do that – but to see it first hand is awe inspiring.

Let me break out the clichés – like all things in life, there is a balance between being selfish and selfless. You can’t give yourself 100% of the time – I’ve seen people do that and they end up as empty shells. There are people who have a cause they can’t give enough too. There are those who can’t let go – especially some parents who can’t let their children go. One guy I knew got married – only he didn’t just marry the girl – he got her mother too. When a fight broke out, he didn’t get to argue with his new wife – he argued with her mother. The girl would call her mom, tell her the details (her details) and then the mother would call this guy back. Insanity – and purely selfish on that mother’s part.There’s a difference between being selfless and being used too. That’s where the red devil on your left shoulder (unless you’re in Australia where it’s your right) comes in handy, letting you know that something is up and in the words of Ice Cube – "You need to check yo’self before you wreck yo’self".

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Junior seems worried

There's an old episode of South Park on the Comedy Network right now. It's the one where Uncle Jimbo takes the boys on a hunting trip, all the while unaware of the lava flow that is racing towards them. Now, why I am starting my blog entry off with mentioning this? Well - I don't know. To be honest, I wasn't watching - I was looking at altered Family Circus cartoons and laughing my ass off at some and being disgusted by others. It's amazing, even with my sense of humor, that there are still things that can make stomach queesy. We went to see "The Aristocrats" at the Princess Twin a couple months ago. I liked the movie - and seeing some of the comedians tell this one joke - a joke out of character for them - was pretty damn funny. Still others were just sickening - like Howie Mandels. It could be that I don't find him funny either. He's on the commericals for Boston Pizza and those spots make me not want to go there. I still go because it's a good place to eat - especially in Waterloo where there any good place ends up closing. I'm looking forward to Chef Choma opening his joint here - but that's not for another year and a half.

Ok - time for bed. Keep it real.