Friday, September 30, 2005

Dirty enough I got me a love
I've gone on record as saying that the acoustic Hello Time Bomb on In a Coma didn't really do it for me. But tonight I was standing in the kitchen listening to cd2 when Hello Time Bomb started playing. It was as if I hadn't heard it before. I stopped wiping the counter and just stood there transfixed. My arms became leaden, I couldn't move but just had to let the voice and the raw guitar strings and the ambient sounds pour over me and through me.
And then the cd started to skip. And the cd player in the kitchen never skips. I was so freaked out I turned it off. I'm afraid to touch it. I think it's possessed.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Only a total moron could get stuck in a parking arcade
But I did last night.
Pulled the Pathfinder with the big fucking roof rack right into a parcade and then realised I wasn't going to make it up the incline without hitting the ceiling. Backing out was not an option, not onto 8th Ave. So I did the old 26-point turn, only to find a barricade blocking my way out.
So I spent $5.00 on a goddamn ticket, and then the scanner you have to swipe to let you out said it wasn't valid. I just bought the thing 30 fucking seconds ago! I leaned on the totally useless help button and contemplated snapping the baricade but it was made of metal, not wood.
Finally a couple of other people showed up to get out and we tried their tickets, but by then I must have broken the scanner totally because theirs didn't work either. And then the lazy fucker who was supposed to be manning the help button finally answered and I got the fuck out of there.
I am the biggest loser in existence and am removing the roof rack this weekend.
A really nice homeless guy talked me through how to use my visa in the pay machine in the next (above ground) lot I tried. Because I DIDN'T HAVE ANY MONEY LEFT! He knew the idiosyncracies of that machine because he lives in the planter at the corner of the lot. He gave me lots of good advice, I gave him a tip, and we parted. If you ever run into a guy who frequents 8th Ave and 5th Street SW in Calgary, give him a hand.
They don't pay me near enough for this shit
They evacuated our building at work for 6 hours yesterday because of a hydrochloric acid/formaldehyde spill.
- chemistry quiz: hydrochloric acid + formaldehyde = chlorine gas. True or false? **
Today the Biosciences building on main campus was evacuated and cordoned off after 11 people got sick upon opening an envelope with an "unidentified powder" inside.
I'm not going to work tomorrow. (Well, I don't work on Friday anyway. But I'm still not going!)
** true
update: Turns out if was formaldehyde and water, nowhere near as nasty, and the powder, although not yet identified, is being called harmless. How come people became sick? I dunno, mass hysteria? The chance to wear those fetching decontamination suits?
If you came home from the office and found me lying on the floor,
would you carry me in your arms like this?
- Patrick "Kitten" Braden
If you see only one transvestite-stripper-in-search-of-romance-and-his birth-mother film this year, let it be Breakfast on Pluto.
I expected high camp (and there is that) and sassiness (and there is a boatload of that), but I didn't expect this film to delve into the brutality of politics, the cruelness of neighbours, and finally leave me with a new perspective on the idea of family.
And Cillian Murphy is GLORIOUS!!!! He is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. All wide-eyed coyness with those famous lashes, breathy romanticism, and cheekbones you could cut diamonds on. You aren't sure whether you should want to fuck him or take him shopping for feather boas. (I am soooo confused!!)
There are plenty of cruel and brutal moments (set against the backdrop of IRA bombings as well as Catholic prejudices, this should hardly be shocking).
But they are shocking.
And you can hear gasps from the audience during moments such as the bombing of the nightclub where Kitten is getting cosy with a British soldier. The cinematography is particularly effective during the bomb blast scene, where it looks as though the screen itself has been ripped apart.
And then of course, Kitten ends up being beaten and interregated at police headquarters, as they figure s/he's a transvestite terrorist. And s/he's loving all the attention. So much so that s/he doesn't want to leave the next day when they try to release him, breathlessly pleading "Please let me stay, I'll be the best prisoner ever, I'll iron all the uniforms". Awww.
I'll shut up now, as I cannot possibly do justice to this glorious film. Just look for it!! And check out the Calgary International Film Festival.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Calgary International Film Festival (in drag)
I am really stoked about going to see Breakfast on Pluto. Cillian Murphy (he of the lovely long eyelashes) plays a transvestite cabaret performer against the backdrop of IRA bombings in London. Can it get any better than that?
I loved Cillian in 28 Days Later (running zombies, yeah!!) but am really concerned for future of his credibility (with me anyway). So many lovely UK actors end up getting lost in the evil Hollywood machinery. I haven't seen Red Eye, but have heard it's a real stinker. My main worry about that particular film is - does Cillian affect a bad American accent. I hate it when that happens.
Remember Ewan McGregor before he whored himself to Hollywood? Remember how lovely it was to listen to his thick Scottish brogue in Trainspotting? And then came the string of crap-tastic Hollywood films (Star Wars, I'm looking at you) and no more lovely Scottish accent. I can't really blame him; I'd do the same for a stack of money. Besides what boy could resist playing with light lasers?
Breakfast on Pluto should be blissful experience, though. I love the old Globe theatre. It reminds me of the rundown theatre that I used to frequent for midnight showings of Rocky Horror Picture Show in university, except not as ready for demolition. Yes, of course, I went as Magenta. Have you SEEN my hair?
Cillian Murphy is prettier than most women I know, and can you imagine those eyelashes with a bit of mascara?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I've got a date with the DVD player
Not much time to say anything, as I've got to slap that In a Coma DVD in the player. I only got to see about half of it last night. Ooooooh, I can watch Strange Days and Anti-Pop anytime I want to now. Oh Be Joyful!
Go read Rob's review. It's the most comprehensive analysis of In a Coma you will come across, I guarantee you. And it's damn well written.
I'm going to turn on the tv.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Matt Good lyrics contest
Stretch that enormous planet-sized brain of yours.
details on September 24 post
No entries to date so your chances of getting the most right
answers is pretty bloody good.
That bunny is way too creepy, so here's
a kinder, gentler picture.

It's here! It's here! It's here, it's here, it's here!!!!!!!!
I spent a chunk of the day reading a thesis at work, so had the headphones on the whole day. I had my All Matty playlist going in the hopes of placating the Maple Music delivery gods. And it worked!
In a Coma arrived today. And not a moment too soon.
Matt sure has some bad penmanship though. Either that or he wrote "fuck off" on my copy. Or possibly "moo", it's a little hard to tell.
Now I don't even mind if tomorrow's commute is a repeat of today's and it takes me an hour and 15 minutes to get into work again. Go ahead and break down on the Deerfoot. Matty and I are going for a little drive.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I Totally Ripped Off This Photo From Jen

Matt Good at Sugar in Victoria last night. Isn't he pretty?
Jen says it was a "fan-fucking-tastic" concert.
And nobody hucked anything.

I love making mixed CDs. I haven't made one for forever, but yesterday I couldn't stand it anymore because there were some songs (and song combinations) that I just have to hear all the time. This happens more often than I care to admit. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new mix. Here it is:

StripteaseHawksley Workman
Hold My LifeThe Replacements
Tank Commander (Hung Up in a Warehouse Town)The Constantines
Pickin’ It Up – Hot Hot Heat
Redemption Song
Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
Bastards of YoungThe Replacements
Miracle DrugAC Newman
Lazy Line Painter JaneBelle and Sebastian
Devil’s EyesBuck 65
Tripoli – Matthew Good Band
The Bleeding Heart Show
The New Pornographers
I Wanna
Be Sedated – The Ramones
BurnoutGreen Day
Science Fiction/Double FeatureRichard O’Brien
TarantuloveHawksley Workman
Kiss OffThe Violent Femmes
A Long Way DownMatthew Good
Sing Me
Spanish Techno – The New Pornographers
Sweet Hallelujah
Hawksley Workman
LeashThe Weakerthans

I didn't intend for it to be a work-out CD, because I make a lot of those (if you have to exercise you might as well use it as a justification for blasting music you love), but I actually worked out with it this morning. And it was great, except for two problems:

  1. I absolutely can't not sing along with the chorus of "Lazy Line Painter Jane". However, when the song starts playing at 30 minutes into your workout and you're pedalling like snot at 21 miles/hour, something has to be sacrificed. Sing hard or pedal hard. You can't do both. I sang.
  2. I made the mistake of putting the two sexiest songs in existence on this mix, "Striptease" and "Tarantulove" (both by Hawksley Workman; coincidence? hmmm). They both make me want to take my clothes off. So I came up from the basement all red-faced, sweaty, stinky, and horny.

Oh now that's attractive.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

I'm bored but I'm excited
I'm bored because I'm in Calgary, not Victoria, today, but I'm excited for Jen because she gets to go see Matt Good tonight.
I hope he plays really good and loud, Jen, so that you have to say "goddamn, it's deafening". So loud that they have to supply earplugs for the birds and the animals. It's going to be such a great show, you're going to wonder how'd this world get to be so fucking fun all of a sudden.
Hey, Jen, when you're rocking with Matt tonight, I've a favour to ask, maybe this is a bad time or perhaps you'll think I'm evil, but if anybody starts hucking stuff at our man, first of all, don't get hit yourself, and, secondly, if you can get those bastards back, do so, because it's amazing what velocity can do when wrenches start getting hucked. I know it's not allowed, but sometimes I fantasize that you're going to punch some idiot right in the throat. The lights are out anyway and after all, you're only human. And you know, life's a dirty business, so just be a prick.
Afterwards, you can disappear altogether although maybe the best thing you can do is hang around a while. Matty might want to personally thank you for saving his life (whatever keeps claim to keeping us civilized). I can just hear him telling you to come to the after-party: "Hey Jen, let's get this party started, all gonna stay up late". Will that make for a better, happier you?
Can you hear your blood pound?
And then Matt would apologize for not personally delivering your In A Coma. "Sorry, Jen, I'd be there if I was a better man". Then, I'll bet your teeth can feel you smiling. Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but what is life if not a joke?
I'm just making this shit up. But, there's a concept here I'm trying to say. I'm really excited for you and I want to hear all about the show. It's always what I wanted, but I have to wait until November 1 for Matt to come to Calgary (I'm peeling off my skin), so now I just sit here and think of meaningless things to say. But I'll wait on the sidelines all this time, so get out there tonight and push and push and push till it hurts, and then check me tomorrow. And take lots of photos if you can. It's all or nothing, baby!
I'm frantic, so load me up!
See the words in blue?
Those, of course, are Matt Good lyrics.
There are 30 of them.
Which songs are they from?
Whoever gets the most correct wins my undying admiration and a lame prize.
Some lyrics are a little more obscure than others, but still it shouldn't be all that hard for a real MG nerd

Friday, September 23, 2005

Shit, that was fun today.

Eva got some really sassy shit at Value Village. Hot Wax didn't have any of the cds on my list, but I did find two Violent Femmes cds:
Freak Magnet
Why do Birds Sing
Eva bought:
Wish - the Cure
World Outside - the Psychedelic Furs
Laid - James
Spike - Elvis Costello
We had Saag Gosht and Butter Chicken at the Tandoori Hut, and then we rented SLC Punk - a couple of punks in Salt Lake City circa 1985. Great concept, great music if you like punk (which I do) and great story.
Sadly, there's no future in anarchy.
Striptease for me baby
Goddammit it Cartman! I've got the sexual harrassment panda song stuck in my head. I'm going to hire Kyle's dad and sue the ass off of Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Eva's got no school today, Jerry took the day off to go on a fishing trip with Grant and Todd, and I don't work Fridays anyway. WOOOHOOO!!!! Ain't none of us working!!!

I'm going to have a big-assed workout, and then Eva and I are going to Value Village to finalise the drag queen Hallowe'en costume, with a stop-off at SouthCentre to pick up the new NME and our Matt Good tickets!!!! Then on to Kensington to scoop up used cds at Hot Wax.

Plus the Calgary Film Festival starts today. I'd like to take in C.R.A.Z.Y. and Grizzly Man. We saw Let's Rock Again last year, Dick Rude's documentary of Joe Strummer's last tour with the Mescaleros. I still think about that film. I wish I had the chance to meet Joe Strummer. Not only is he one of my heroes for fronting what's probably the seminal band of my lifetime (The Clash, in case anybody has been living inside of a cave at the bottom of the Dead Sea for the last 30 years), but he seemed like such a warm, funny and upbeat person, while struggling to hawk his new band to brain-dead djs and to passersby. "Come see our band tonight; they're young and sexy. And they're British." My heart broke hearing that, realising he would be dead 18 months later.

I'm still pounding it with Eva that we saw this film and George didn't!!!! It's rather empowering to know that you can tell the greatest voice of Canadian pop culture in our time something he doesn't know about Joe Strummer. ***struts around the fucking room***

I've had it with that goddamned panda song. I'm going to listen to Hawksley Workman's Striptease over and over again until that damn panda is banished from my head forever.

Hawksley is a sex god

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Barb's Moderately Long Questionaire
(A blatant ripoff of Jen's Excessively Long Questionaire)
For all who love:
- talking about themselves
- completely useless information
- hearing others give completely useless (but fascinating!) information about themselves

Warning: The following is a PG13 rated questionaire.
The Marthas have requested a sex questionaire.
If you too would like a sex questionaire, drop me a line and
I'll send it along when I get it written.

Punk or metal?

Would you rather lose your arms or your legs?
Legs, because how would you wipe your bum with no arms? Seriously.

Favourite Canadian bands/musicians (maximum of 5)?
Matthew Good
The Weakerthans
The New Pornographers
The Constantines
Hawskley Workman

What was your favourite tv show as a kid?
Hawaii 5-0

Your signature recipe?
Shrimp Korma

How long does it take you to get to work?
45 minutes – 1 hour

Do you have siblings?

Birth order?
4th of 4

What is your favourite body part?

Which Elvis?

What colour is the number 26?

Pete or Carl?... Do you know who Pete and Carl are?
Carl was obviously the talent, while Pete is a crackhead, but on the other hand, Pete is such a fascinating train wreck. Overall: Carl

Showers or baths?

Do you think that George Stroumboulopoulos is:
a) the greatest voice of Canadian pop culture of our time
b) an angel sent from heaven to make women feel more alive
c) an insanely nice person
d) all of the above

Favourite authors?
Douglas Coupland, Ruth Rendall, Minette Walters, Roddy Doyle

Top 4 favourite tv shows?
South Park
The Hour
Bromwell High
Trailer Park Boys

Sexiest song?
Tarantulove (Hawksley Workman)

Would you rather be twice your height or half your height?

Favourite number?

Would you rather stick a pin in your eye just once, or listen to nothing but Snowbird 24 hours a day for the rest of your life?

Favourite American bands/musicians (maximum of 5)?
The Pixies
The Violent Femmes
The Replacements
Red Hot Chili Peppers

Who sings the best cover of Hallelujah, and why?
Jeff Buckley – heart-wrenching

Favourite season?

Blur or Oasis?...Would you have given the same answer 10 years ago?
Blur!!!!!!! Yes

Can you play a musical instrument?
Pink saxophone? (sorry, Bromwell High joke)… spoons

Any piercings?
Used to have holes in ears, but they grew over

Song that makes you cry?
Fallow (The Weakerthans)

Salt or sugar?

What colour are your bedroom walls?

Do you have an inner South Park character?
I’d like to think I would be Cartman, but I’m afraid it would more likely be Randy Marsh or Chef

Know any binary jokes?
Yes… 10011100010110110012 hahaha

Ever done any acting?
Not even in home pornos

Favourite British bands/musicians (maximum of 5)?
The Clash
The Smiths
Joy Division
Bloc Party

Do you have any skills that most people don’t know you possess?
I know how to weld

When did Trading Spaces jump the shark?
With the first spin-off – Trading Spaces Family. All downhill from there

What personal effects do you have in your workspace?
Bart Simpson poster, Dilbert cartoons, photos of Matt Good, The Weakerthans, Bloc Party, George Stroumboulopoulos, family, Buck 65 signature, music on Media Player, a little zen garden which I NEVER use

If you were to have cosmetic surgery, what would you have done?
I’d lift my boobs up off my knees, or get rid of that fat flap on my inner thighs

Ever kill anyone?
Only in my mind. And at Rumoli

Decorating style: minimalist or traditional?

Favourite disease name (you like the name, that is, not the disease, idiot)?
Necrotising Fasciatis

How do you feel about bagpipes?
Love them!

Any tattoos?...If not, what would you get and where?
No…an x on my inner forearm, or a heart surrounding the word mother on my bicep

Zombies, vampires, or werewolves?
Zombies rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is for Jaspreet, who also loves George. She said she needed to see a larger "this is me with George" picture, so this one's for you, girl!
Jaspreet, being a Sikh, is actually very fond of facial hair, so she is one of the few women I have polled who prefers George with the faux-beardy-thingy CBC-lockout-protest growth.
This one's all for you, Jaspreet. No drooling on the screen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The day Matt Good nerds have been eagerly awaiting for months, and I had to cheap out on shipping.
Others have listened to it a gazillion times by now.
I'm chewing my nails and checking the mailbox every four hours.
But mine will be autographed.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Warning: Severe Gushing Alert

This is me with George. Must be a crappy camera
because in real life I am breathtakingly beautiful.
This is Eva with George, illustrating how
I truly am the world's shittiest photographer.

Bloody shitcakes! All the hype is true! George Stroumboulopoulos really is the most gracious, friendliest, and most sincerely nice guy you could ever hope to meet.

Eva and I met George last night after a lecture he gave at the library. He was classic George during the lecture - informed, intelligent, irreverent, funny as hell. The weird faux-beard-thingy is a protest to being locked out by the CBC.

Some of my favourite bits of the lecture:

  1. First question asked during the discussion period - my Eva!
  2. George: "Don't waste your time voting for the Marijuana Party, that's just what the Conservatives and Liberals want you to do to take the attention away from them. Why don't you start a "Lower My Fucking Tuition Fee Party" instead?"
  3. About George Bush - They used to say about Princess Di campaigning against landminds: "But who's in FAVOUR of landminds?" Well, now we know."
  4. The woman who blurted out "Get rid of taxes on tampons!" Which George handled very nicely, by saying "If quoted on this I will deny it, but if you have a dad or an uncle or a grandfather who owns a company which does not pay women equitably, stop talking to them. Just don't talk to them anymore and pretty soon, when their baby won't talk to them anymore, they will change that."
  5. That strange woman directly behind us who kept calling George out on doing something about changing the maximum decibels on ipods. "So what are you going to do about it?" George was gracious, but the rest of us rolled our eyes and smirked.

The lecture was supposed to run 1 1/2 hours, but lasted more than 3. As you can imagine there was a tonne of interactive discussion about everything from US foreign policy to Madonna (maybe too much Madonna, but Cynthia seemed to have a thing for her - and would not SHUT UP).

Afterward, about 40-50 of us stayed to meet the lad. This is where George really shone. He took the time to meet and speak personally to everyone, take "this is me" pictures, sign autographs etc. I heard him ask a number of kids wearing rock shirts "what's your shirt say?" and then talk about the band.

And the whole time, he's telling stories and looking around, making eye contact, engaging everyone in the vicinity in the moment.

And about those famous eyes. When George looks into your eyes, you had better know how to dog-paddle or you could very easily drown in those big browns.

Anyhoooo, Eva and I had a spirited chat with George. He was horrified to know that there was a documentary about Joe Strummer's last tour that he, not only had not seen, but had never heard of (and we had seen it the year before). George, of course, is a big Joe Strummer/Clash fan and told a funny story about interviewing him, and feeling like a 12-year-old at the time because he was trying to think four questions ahead the whole time, figuring out how to get Joe to say lyrics from some Clash songs. "How do I get him to say 'Clampdown'? How do I get him to say 'I live by the river'?"

George was extremely gracious to us, was a totally active listener, and seemed genuinely interested in hearing what everyone had to say. He is one of those rare people who asks a question and really wants to hear the answer. I think that's one of the reasons he is so successful in what he does. I realise he was being paid for the lecture, but he seemed be really enjoying himself and to be completely in the moment. Most people don't have that gift.

Some facts I learned about George after meeting him:
  1. George has a really large head.
  2. George is really warm. I don't mean George is HOT, although he is, and I don't mean that he is affectionate and friendly, although he definitely is. I mean he is WARM. Physically. But not in a sweaty way. No no, not at all. But when George put his arm around me and snuggled in for the "this is me" photo, it felt just like I was snuggling up with my cat after she just spent two hours lying in a sunny patch on the living room carpet. Very toasty and comforting. George must have an outrageously high metabolic rate. Maybe that's what allows him to put in those 20-hour days.

Friday, September 16, 2005

10,000 Schools

That's how many schools across Canada will simultaneously be running the Terry Fox run at 12:00 Pacific today, the 25th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope.
The Terry Fox Foundation has raised over one-third of a billion dollars around the world toward cancer research.
All the kids at the school are expected to participate in this run. I will helping out a little bit today, by standing on the corner of Lake Bonavista Drive and Lake Moraine Rise during the run, and keeping the little bastards from sneaking off to the mall instead.
Remember to celebrate the dreams of this brave boy.

Today's run was a huge success. In addition to our Junior High, there were students from three area elementary schools joining in the run/walk, which ended up with everyone meeting at the schoolground for a barbeque.
I was posted at a corner which was sort of a natural crossing point to get back into the schoolyard. And I got to wear a police vest, and step out into the road to stop traffic. I felt like such a big swinging dick! One little lad looked up at me as his class was crossing and asked "are you a police?" Oh yeah!
I think Terry would be pleased.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Jerry was right. Mac Hall, November 1, all ages
I'm going to give Matt all my leftover Hallowe'en candy.
But I won't throw it.
We all know how Matt feels about people hucking things.
And look what happened to David Bowie with the lollipop in Denmark.
I had some really interesting stuff to post, but am WAY too excited to sit here any longer.
I heard the coyotes howling down in Fish Creek Park last night. First time I've heard them since the flood. The cat stiffened at the sound and then pressed her back harder against my hip. She hates animals. But she does have an uneasy truce with the jackrabbit that sleeps in the silver sage mound out front. He could kick her ass anyway.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Fun with Dyslexia ... and other hobbies

I'm losing my mind, or becoming deaf or dyslexic or something.

Last night when the little bunny on tv said "it's my first aid merit badge", I thought he said "it's my first gay marriage badge". And then Eva called me a fruit fly.

And the day before I glanced at the tv and there was this tampon commercial on, showing a woman getting into an elevator with a man and the back of her dress was tucked into her panties. I saw the words "Sexual Harassment Happens. Leaks Shouldn't" on the screen. WTF? But after a second glance, I realised it actually said "Embarrassment Happens. Leaks Shouldn't".

Pretty soon, I'll be wearing a diaper and drooling my mashed peas down my chin.

  • MUSIC (going to work) - Buck 65 - Secret House Against the World
  • MUSIC (coming home) - The Futureheads - S/T
  • VIDEO (that made me happy) - Matt Mays - City of Lakes

The Hour was scheduled to start again tonight, but due to that goddamned labour dispute at the CBC, we get reruns of the fucking Roadside Antiques Show or some damned thing. But, haha, Eva and I are going to see George give a lecture at the main library this Friday night. Jerry has declined, even though I think he has a hetero man-crush on George (but then, who doesn't?).

Sunday, September 11, 2005

But What About When Others Die?

Today being September 11, we are seeing a lot of commemorations, and in many regards that is fitting, as many lives were taken en masse. It was, of course, a horrific act, and it stunned the world. However, the US invasion into Iraq, a direct result of that day, has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens since March 2003. And there is no commemoration ceremony planned to honour them.

Nor are the victims of other acts of evil being remembered today, in Rwanda, in Sudan, in Congo, in China, in Yugoslavia, in countless other countries where genocide happens, where governments collude with multinational organizations at the expense of human rights, where people die through neglect by the western world. No one is stopping to remember their deaths today.

I in no way mean to disrespect those who lost their lives in the US on September 11, 2001, but wonder why we don’t show the same respect to countless others who are killed daily, or better yet, do something to stop the deaths.

I think our first responsibility is to become aware. There is absolutely no justification for remaining blinded to what is going on in the world, or for thinking that somehow acts of atrocity are not related to our lives. They are. We influence actions around the world through the choices we make every day and how we spend our money. We influence actions around the world when we do not speak out about wrongs. We influence actions around the world when we wait for someone else to take action, for someone to hold yet another benefit concert. We owe it to the people of the world to inform ourselves, to recognise the root causes of conflicts, and to take action.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


You know how the symbol for Libra is a set of scales, which indicates balance and judgement, being able to see all sides of an arguement? Well, there's a downside to that, and that is sometimes having difficulty in making a decision. My name is Barbara and I am a Libra.

There were some awesome entries in the contest and I had such a hard time making a decision that I took the coward's way out and chose my favourite three:
  • Chicken Wing Marmelade - Jen
  • The Psychedelicacies - Rob
  • Replace Fuck with Fuji - Eva

Honourable Mention goes to:

Something Else - submitted by Erock

Chicken Wing Marmelade is deliciously disgusting and makes me kinda hungry at the same time, The Psychedelicacies has a nice word play, Replace Fuck with Fuji is based on an actual spellcheck incident, and Something Else is nicely subversive.

Do check out the blogs of the winners, which are linked on the top sidebar (except for Eva who does not yet have a blog).

Jen has a nicely skewed view of the world and her entries always make me snort, sometimes because I can totes relate, sometimes because I never thought of things that way before. (No pressure to perform here, Jen)

Rob plays bass for a band called Cry Electrum and has audio clips on his site. Check it out - support Canadian music - and maybe you can say "hey, I knew him when..."

Eva knows more about music than anybody I know and has a great critical ear. I'm always looking over her shoulder and asking who's that and consequently I steal most of my music from her.

The other entries to the contest, which were all really good, (but even a Libra has to make a decision sometime) were:

  • Supa Buff Hot Ties
  • The Derelicts
  • Tongue and Groove
  • Pipe Dreams
  • Band Wagon
  • Smokes and Groceries
  • Rogue Crackhead
  • Expectedly Stunted
  • Angry Spider Monkeys
  • Limbo Dwellers
  • Courtney Love's Broken Heart
  • Refried Bean Delight
  • Sonic Death Monkeys
  • Pine Cone
  • Janet Velcra and the Static Pinecones
  • Cow Cults

Thanks to everyone for entering and my apologies to the winners for the lame-ass prizes. Maybe next time I can fly you all to Hawaii.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Do I really want buff abs this badly?

Reverse crunches kill me. Today was abs day, and I've been kinda slacking off on my lower abs lately, so I did 100. Damn near did me in. Had it not been for the inspiration I was getting from those wonderfully life-affirming Weakerthans, I would have quit at 70: "Here's a marker, here's my naked skin, our exhibit A. Put a small x where I lost my way." *

Okay, so John Samson was probably not thinking of my lower abs when he wrote that, but he might have been.

Go ahead - punch me in the guts. Hard as you can.

* Benediction (Reconstruction Site) - The Weakerthans

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Time is running out to enter the Supa-Fantastic Band Name contest (details on September 2 post)
Basically, send me your best and sassiest fictional band name, and the one I like best gets a prize!
(There may even be runner-up awards)
deadline: this Friday at 6:oopm MT.
Enter early. Enter often.

It's Been a Porno Kind of Day

Neko Case

Carl Newman

For some reason, I've been listening to the New Pornographers (or some variation thereof) most of the day. Must be the fact that Neko and Carl are so hot.
Neko's gorgeous! And Carl ... well, he's not exactly a poster boy for Hot Rock Stud magazine, is he? But, goddammit, that man writes insanely catchy songs!
New Pornographer songs (all written by Carl) are so much fun they should be illegal. At the first few listens I didn't love Twin Cinema as much as I do Mass Romantic, but that can be a very good thing. More staying power if the infatuation starts off slowly.
Carl's solo album, The Slow Wonder, is way too short - I listened to it 1 1/2 times on the way in to work today - but that's my only complaint. That, and I can't get the damn songs out of my head.
And what can you say about Neko's voice? She has one of the most powerful and compelling voices in rock (and country). We should definitely make her an honourary Canadian. If you've never done so, you need to listen to Furnace Room Lullaby, and listen up good.

Then go out and buy:

  • The Slow Wonder - AC Newman
  • Furnace Room Lullaby - Neko Case
  • Mass Romantic - The New Pornographers
  • Twin Cinema - The New Pornographers

BUY MUSIC, you cheap bastards

Monday, September 05, 2005

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

The kid goes back to school tomorrow and I go back to work, regular schedule, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I took quite a lot of holidays this summer and put them to good use.

  • week at Lesser Slave Lake (and Conehead the dog)
  • no Stampede (Eva goes solo)
  • winning big Folk Fest contest and getting published in Swerve
  • Folk Festival
  • getting John K Samson's autograph
  • starting blog
  • Fringe Fest with the Marthas

Future events I'm panting over:

  • George Stroumboulopoulos's lecture at the library - Sept 16
  • Matt Good releases In a Coma - Sept 20
  • My birthday, when I open my present (please be In a Coma, please be In a Coma) - Oct 10
  • Going to Winnipeg (and then Brandon and Neepawa) for mom's birthday - 84! - Oct 14

Songs I'm currently obsessing over:

  • Miracle Drug - AC Newman
  • anything from Shine a Light - The Constantines (I still really really really like Young Lions, but I don't ever want to get tired of it, but National Hum, Insectivora, and Tank Commander (Hung Up in a Warehouse Town) also have very fine grooves)
  • Pledge of Allegiance - Matt Good
  • A Boy and His Machine Gun - Matthew Good Band
  • Sit Down - James

Ooooh, and now I really feel like hearing Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Leave Matt Good the Fuck Alone, You Morons

Let's leave music out of this discussion for a minute, shall we? Let's not talk about how much Matt Good has contributed to Canadian music over the last ten years. Let's just talk about Matt Good, the person. Can you think of anyone else who gives so freely of his time, who invites so much discussion on his personal blog, who quietly and behind-the-scenes walks the walk and talks the talk? Neither can I.

So now Matt is being attacked for "not focusing on the positive" in regards to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Give me a fucking break.

I've stated on other forums and will state again, there are no positives to be found here. It was a natural disaster, yes, but so many red flags should have gone up years before (and did, if anyone was listening). But aside from the cutting of funds for the maintenance of the levee system and aside from the questionable river system diversion, it is the abysmal lack of response by the Bush administration that infuriates me. In the five days that Bush golfed and played his new guitar for photo ops, people drowned and had heart attacks and succumbed to heat exhaustion.

And Matt gets attacked for not looking on the bright side of life. At least he is trying to generate discussion, to look for solutions, to make people think.

***deep breath***

Don't forget to enter the Supa-Fantastic Band Name contest, described in the previous post. I've had some great entries already, but the contest is open until Friday, Sept 9 at 6:00pm MT. And there will be prizes.

So, enter now; enter often.

Friday, September 02, 2005


When I was little, my friend Jocelyn and I started a band. We called ourselves The Spiders. "Hey, hey, we're The Spiders. We're just spinning around..." Okay, we were a total ripoff band. But give me a break; we were in grade two. We looked pretty hot, though, with our guitars made from shoeboxes with elastics strung across them.

Back then, it seemed a lot of bands had creature names, the Beatles, the Monkeys, the aforementioned Spiders. Pretty limited imaginations. Band names now are infinitely better. When I first started thinking about band names recently, I almost immediately came up with nineteen that I thought were really good. After much soul searching, I've culled the list down to the top 10 band names. So here, in no particular order, are my favourite band names:
  1. yourcodenameis:milo
  2. Propaghandi
  3. Super Furry Animals
  4. Jane's Addiction
  5. Dogs Die in Hot Cars
  6. Goldie Lookin Chain
  7. The Dead Kennedys
  8. Modest Mouse
  9. Death Cab for Cutie
  10. The Nancy Rayguns

In fact, I think the most fun part of starting a band would be to pick the name. I can't play an instrument, I can't read music, and I'm the only person who thinks that I'm a good singer, but I have a great band name all lined up - Retarded Fuckface.

Actually, I shamelessly stole this from Roxanne, who regularly comments on MBLOG . Matt had posted a story from BBC and entitled it "Crucial breaking news" (Matt's so sassy) about P Diddy calling a news conference to announce he was dropping the P and from now on just call him Diddy. Of course, we all gleefully waded in with our comments, and then Roxanne said "how about we just call him retarded fuckface and be done with it". I almost peed my pants. So, thanks Roxanne; if ever I start a band, I've got a name.

Now it's your turn.

What would your band name be? Send me your suggestions. The one I like best wins a prize! Deadline for entries is Friday, September 9 at 6:00pm MT. So you've got a whole week. Don't miss this chance for fame, immortality and the envy of all your friends.

I Love Cartman!!!

This is my favourite scene from one of my favourite South Park episodes, where Cartman, thinking he's a ninja with powers of invisibility, takes off his clothes to sneak across the stage at an auction. Look at his little dangly-down bits!
It Didn't Have to Happen

I was not intending to talk about the aftermath of Katrina, as I've been discussing it a lot on MBLOG already, but there are just a few points I want to make. It I were a citizen of New Orleans (or the former New Orleans?), I would be demanding answers to two questions:

  1. Why did the Bush administration divert funding from FEMA to military spending in 2001? This severely compromised the maintenance of the levee system, which itself was a response to some questionable environmental practices of river system diversions. Since the 1920s it has been evident that Katrina was just a matter of time. Cutting funding to FEMA was foolhardy and criminal.
  2. Why is more than one-third of the Louisianna and Mississippi National Guard over in Iraq, fighting an illegal war, rather than at hand to assist in rescue, maintenance of law, and rebuilding of levees?

That's what I'd want to know.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Martha Does Edmonton
Pic spam time!
Finally, the much requested photos of the Marthas fringing in Edmonton:
the lovely Marthas (Liz, Sandra, Bev)
my salamander henna (squint your eyes and concentrate)
Do you think I got ripped off?

Bev, darling, can you get any snootier? See how happy Sam and Liz are just to be here?