Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
So, who's your cartoon crush, past or present?
Monday, October 24, 2005
^^ That's what Chart said about the new Con's CD (and gave it 5 out of 5)
This is what I think:
Tournament of Hearts is a great CD, more mellow, more personal than the brilliant Shine a Light. The rhythmns on TOH are not quite as richly textured, as deeply layered as on SAL. For me, I miss that. I miss the purely visceral groove that SAL had running throughout the whole cd. TOH is wonderful, don't get me wrong, but I still swoon for SAL.
I love the Constantines. They first really came to my attention when they were touring with the Weakerthans. I had heard the odd song before but it didn't really register.So the band comes on stage and this clean-cut pleasant-looking young man steps up to the mic and out of his lungs booms this HUGE voice: deep, raspy, powerful. There's no way this choirboy should have the voice of a demon, but he does.
Bryan Webb's voice is indeed a staggering weapon, as Chart states. It pierces through my guts and plays havouc with my intestines whenever I hear it.
Generally I am drawn to male voices in music, with a few notable exceptions (Neko Case, Christine Fellows). And the voices I'm drawn to usually fall into two categories:
- open, friendly, slightly nasal voices, like John K Samson (the Weakerthans), Gordon Gano (the Violent Femmes), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie)
- genuinely beautiful voices, with wide vocal ranges and rich artistry, like Matthew Good, Rufus Wainwright, Hawksley Workman, Thom Yorke (Radiohead)
Oh I guess there's a third category, although it's accents more than voices. I love the posh little British accents of Brit pop, like Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), Morrissey (the Smiths), Carl Barat (the Libertines)
... bloody shitcakes, did I ever go off on a self-absorbed tangent there ... sooo, Tournament of Hearts - it's still growing on me, it's the Cons so it's great, but I still love Shine a Light best of all.
Oooo, update - the Constantines are touring the UK with Sleater-Kinney in early November. Now that's an interesting collaboration. So, if you're in the UK, ummm, you could go see them ...
Sunday, October 23, 2005
An Open Letter to George Romero
Dear Mr. Romero,
I'm sorry, but I did not love Land of the Dead. I wanted to and I tried really hard to, because you are the Zombie King and you have instilled in me an enduring fascination with zombie culture.
Dawn of the Dead (1978) was probably one of the most influential films of my teen years. Of course it was scary and fun, but it also spoke to me in a way that touched me (as a mall zombie myself at the time). DOTD went beyond the gore and the frights and delved into the idea of the mall as a symbol of modern culture.
So I guess I was expecting the same revelations and insights into humanity, along with some great scares, when I rented Land of the Dead last night. Was I expecting too much? I don't think so.
Mr. Romero, you could have made it great. It could have been such a statement on society. You had all the premises there - the walled city inhabited by the wealthy, the outer edges populated by the working class, and out beyond - the undead - making nightly forages to the edges of the city to feed.
Oh you did make statements when you portrayed the tactical teams that would make nightly sweeps of the area, blasting away zombies with heavy artillery, but sadly, the movie was poorly executed. The non-zombie characters were cardboard caricatures, the acting wooden, the story formulaic. I couldn't even tell you any of the human characters' names, and if I don't bother to learn the names of the characters in a movie, it's a sure sign that I don't give a shit what's going on. The zombies were by far the most sympathetic and interesting characters. And I guess that was the point you were trying to make. You obviously wanted us to identify with the zombies as they learned to use rudimentary reasoning, to use objects as tools, to work as a team. That concept came across, particularly in regards to the kingpin zombie. He was good. That Chewbacca-like roar of his was a nice touch.
Sadly, though, it did not save your film.
Mr. Romero, the recent zombie flicks Shaun of the Dead (an homage to you, Mr. Romero) and 28 Days Later were far superior films, both in their originality and in their execution. Maybe it's time to let a new generation of film makers take over the zombie genre. Please don't become the Rolling Stones of the film world.
Thank you for listening,
Saturday, October 22, 2005
oops, stand on your head for this one of me and my mom
Is everyone else finding that it now takes hours and hours for new posts to show up on Blogger? When it used to be instantaneous? Or is it just my loser computer?
Friday, October 21, 2005
My brother-in-law (who's an English teacher!) couldn't think of the word manicure when he was telling his daughters what he was getting their mom for Christmas last year, so he told them he was getting her a handjob! HA!!
While we're on the topic, check out Pitt's hand job pic (Oct 19).
I don't usually like to talk about work here, but last year The Nature of Things filmed a documentary about our acute stroke program, which has been nominated for a Gemini. I'm not personally in it because this dealt with patient care and I'm in basic science research, but it's my team that's profiled.
brag brag brag brag brag
1 nomination for:
The Nature of Things: Clot Busters
Clot Busters chronicles three intense weeks with the rapid response team at the Alberta Foothills Hospital Stroke Unit. A rare glimpse into the life and death dilemmas of twenty-first century medicine.
Best Science, Technology, Nature, Environment or Adventure Documentary Program
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
1. Chicken balls will always be gross. Don't let anybody tell you that these chicken balls are going to be different because they will always be those disgusting little pieces of unidentifiable flesh surrounded by seven pounds of batter. They taste like their name.
2. The way to get a teenager's attention is to ask them "hey, do you want to see a picture of me and George Stroumboulopoulos?"
3. Brother-in-law will get you to the airport on time, much more than sister will.
4. There are some really great German swear words that I had forgotten (and will be posting over the next while for your entertainment and enlightenment).
5. Some people have never heard of Franz Ferdinand.
6. I am a music snob. Okay, I guess I already knew that.
7. Airport parking always costs a fuck of a lot more than you think it will.
8. You still have to pick up milk on the way home.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
This is everything I know about plumbing: Shit flows downhill.
Plumbing does not strike me as being particularly mysterious or complex. Or is it?
Can you compare toilet plumbing to human vasculature? Over the years, can toilets get plaque buildup (or *shudder* whatever the toilet equivalent is) in their arteries?
One of our toilets is a regular plugger, another a periodical plugger and the third (mine) has never plugged in the almost 8 years we've lived here. Until now.
It's now plugged twice in the last two weeks, and there has been no ... how to put this to not offend your delicate sensibilities ... no increase in the volume processed by this particular apparatus.
Is this malady of the vasculature a function of increasing age? Of physical inactivity? Poor diet, perhaps? Genetics?
How do you treat an aging toilet? Maybe I need to flush a baby alligator down there.
Monday, October 10, 2005
to my eye reminding
which lies have I been hiding
which echoes belong
(Kamera - Wilco)
I turned 47 today.
If 47 isn't a time for reflection on your life, on what has passed and what is to come, then Christ I don't know what is. On the upside, you no longer give a shit about what others think about you. If they like you, great; if they don't, fuck 'em. On the downside, you can pretty much assume your life is more than half over.
You slowly realise that you are no longer 20. You don't abuse your body anymore and you learn to look after yourself. Fact is, I feel better, younger, and more energetic now than I did 10 years ago.
This is what the horoscope in the newspaper said about people born on October 10:
You're not casual. Quite the oposite; you're careful and precise. You observe everything around you. You are patient and will work tirelessly for your goals. You know how to create a beautiful home. In the year ahead, you'll wrap up things you've been involved with for years.
And of course we all know that horoscopes are bang-on accurate.
Actually my friend Holly in London once did my horoscope based on my date and time and place of birth and I really liked what she came up with:
"You are not as nice as people think you are."
Haha, fuck 'em if they can't take a joke!
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Have you seen Birth? We watched it last night, and I'm so glad that nobody took me up on my suggestion that we boot it and watch Shaun of the Dead instead.
So tell me, is Birth SUPPOSED to be a comedy? I know Nicole Kidman has done black comedy before (To Die For), but was this in the same vein? This film was simultaneously excruciatingly boring and absolutely hilarious.
Jerry of course went to bed just before it got really funny (he is famous for that), but Eva and I stayed up and shouted encouragement to the director: "Okay, we get the point! Move onto the next scene!" when the camera stayed on Nicole's catatonic face, while she was watching the symphony, for 5 or 6 minutes. And "Uh, Nicole, do you think it might be ill-advised to allow that 10-year-old boy to get into the tub with you?" And then after 10 minutes of them in the tub together she tells him: "What are you doing in here?" We almost wee-weed all over the couch.
But our all-time favourite line from Birth:
"I thought you were my dead husband, but you're just a little boy. In my bathtub."
It just doesn't get any better than that!
OMG, I fucking LOVE turkey!!!!!!
We are doing turkey tonight instead of tomorrow and it is making me crazy, smelling that beautiful bird all day long. (I had to go out to Zellers to buy a replacement bathmat just to get away from the aroma for a while)
I am cooking a 6.5 kg (14 lbs for our American friends) turkey for 3 people and a cat. What the hell was I thinking?
I'll tell you what I was thinking. I was thinking that tomorrow (my birthday) I am going to do nothing all day long but sit on my fat ass and read and play on the computer and maybe do some yardwork (oh and have a big-assed workout) and then eat left-over turkey and rice and stuffing and brussel sprouts and green beans and salad and rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream.
Yes, I said rhubarb, not pumpkin, pie. Rhubarb filling is sooooo much healthier than pumpkin, isn't it? *snort* Actually, I guess it is it you don't eat the pie crust, but I ask you, who can turn down a homemade pie crust? Not this little piggie.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, ALL
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005
This Charming Man ....
Seventeen years ago today, Judge Gladys I. Yokum (no shit, that was her name) married us at the courthouse in London, ON, while all our nieces, who were little tykes at the time, ran rampant around the room. It was great.
I was a little hungover, as we had stayed up till 5:00 that morning, drinking with my friend Terri who had flown in from Winnipeg to be a witness. And then I had a 9:00am interview at Employment Canada, as I had just quit my job selling livestock feed and wanted UIC benefits.
And then my dad was being weird and kept asking, as we were taking group shots outside the Middlesex County jailhouse, "what kind of sex is that?"
And then Jerry's dad, who had amputated the tip off his baby finger earlier that week putting on storm windows, was being all sauve and dancing with me and the bandage went flying off the tip of his finger right across the room.
These are old photos of Jer. You should see him now, since working out on the Bowflex for the last year. He is all buff and trim and I am very proud of him.
How does a person live with another person for 17 years? Well, as Jerry so sagely observed last night, he lived with our old cat, Pook, for 16 years, so. Cats, spouses, what's the difference?
So, Jerry, as your mom would say, "HAPPY UNIVERSITY!"
Appropo of nothing, except the title of this post, The Violent Femmes were once playing a show in London, when they were informed that Morrissey was in the audience. So, for an encore, they played "This Charming Man" (for non-Smiths' fans, the lyrics go "I would go out tonight, but I haven't got a stitch to wear"), dressed in nothing but their underpanties. I love those guys.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
And Punk Rock Karaoke!
Have you watched Going Coastal lately? I think they've recently implemented a policy whereby they must show some male nudity each week. It's been great.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Zombies are cool. I'm not entirely sure why I'm so fond of zombies. Obviously the Romero films had a big impact on me, particularly 1978's Dawn of the Dead. I have gone into a rant on the sociological significance of the zombie film as an analogy for our suburban lifestyle in a previous post (08.30.05) if you want to get all analytical about it. Suffice it to say the mall zombie film arrived when I myself was living the life of a mall zombie. It tore apart the very environment that formed the basis of my society in those days, and asked the question "are you really safe in the record store?"
George Stroumboulopoulos told me that I am a cool mom. I was a little disturbed by this at first, because it brought to mind that idiotic woman in the US who was brought to trial for having sex with her son's teenaged friends because she wanted to be thought of as a "cool mom". What kind of pathetic loser do you need to be to crave that kind of acceptance? I'm pretty sure that's not what George meant, particularly as we had just met and he had no way of knowing whether I have sex with teenagers. At least I don't think I said anything to give him that impression.
George is definitely cool.
Eva is the coolest kid I know. I'm not just saying that because I'm her mother. She really is. She is smart and sassy and talented and wicked funny and completely unique. She walks her own path and will forge her own glorious future. And she knows more about music and music history than anybody I know.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
I have been dropping the subtlest of hints to Jer that I want the new Constantines cd Tournament of Hearts for a present. "In case you were wondering what to get me for our anniversary, I really really really want the new Constantines cd." Some situations require a straightforward approach.
I listen to Shine a Light all the time. It's got a really serious groove happening throughout the whole cd that just keeps getting stronger and stronger with each listen. Chart reviewed TOH on its release and gave it CCCCC out of CCCCC. And that hardly ever happens. I LOVE those guys (both the Constantines and Chart).
photo manipulation by Eva because my computer skills suck