Tuesday, January 31, 2006
... the team is strong and we shall overcome...
Speaking of new headspaces, get your head into Ruhee's podcast. It is exceedingly kewl.
We're going to be on The Hour next Tuesday (Feb 7)!
We got confirmation of our tickets today, so Eva and I are going to hang again with our old friend, George. I wonder if he'll remember us; we remember him.
Hey Monica, I'll see you there. Come say hi, okay?
RIP, Coretta Scott King
Monday, January 30, 2006
How exactly does someone do their job when the mighty institute of higher learning where they labour gives them absolutely no fucking support? How do I work now with no office, no internet, and a hostile environment. How does my colleague - a professor - work in a tiny run-down shithole of an office shared with 2 grad students, with one internet connection ("but we can put one in for you in about 3 weeks for $900.00 and thanks for giving up your nice office where you already paid for 2 connections, sucka!"), and one fucking electrical plug?
The sad thing is, if I were to quit, it would only hurt the people I care about, not the fuckers who are making it impossible for me to do my job. They either don't give a shit or they are wringing their hands in glee because hey! it opens up more space for them. My hands are tied.
Fuck them all.
Thank you for listening; I feel better now.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Here are the characteristics of DOG people:
responsible, compassionate, reliable, honest, pessimistic, anxious, overwhelming, nosy
Is it just me or do some of those characteristics cancel each other out?
Apparently those born in my particular year are of the subspecies EARTH DOG. Here's what the powers that be say about us dirt puppies:
The earth Dog is clever and genuine. She is rational and supportive, stable and stoic. Earth gives this Dog an element of security, for she is inspiring and confident. These characters are just, certain to hear both sides before making a decision. She makes a great leader because she is such a trustworthy, diplomatic individual.
Yup, that's me all over!
I am also, of course, a LIBRAN DOG:
These are charismatic characters. Libran Dogs are genuinely concerned about the well-being of other people. They are just and kind souls who value their families and friends.
Gosh, I'm getting all verklempft now...
I hope the Year of the Dog brings you much happiness
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Friday, January 27, 2006
a love letter to Stuart Murdoch
When exactly did I become so smitten with you? Particularly as I didn't ever expect to like your music? It was insidious, that much I know. Robbie Burns Day clinched it - all Scottish music all day; Franz Ferdinand was perfect for exercising, and then Belle and Sebastian took over and never let go. Even the day after (would that be Robbie Burns Boxing Day?), B&S were still the exclusive performers on my playlist.
In fact, January 26 should be declared Stuart Murdoch Day. You are, after all, true heir to the title of Scotland's poet. Robbie has had his day, besides I can't understand a bloody word he wrote. True, your words may be a little enigmatic occasionally, but then straight narrative can become pretty boring pretty fast.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Monday, January 23, 2006
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
... our man Matt Good will be on The Hour again on Monday night as part of an election night panel. It appears that The Hour will only be on once that night, in the 8pm ET slot, but I think to be safe, it would be best to stay home on Monday and watch CBC Newsworld all day long ...
... The Hour is coming to Calgary February 6 and 7!!!! Tickets will be mine, mine I tells ya, because George Stroumboulongname and me, we're like this now ...
... I can only think of two Welsh hiphop bands - Goldie Lookin Chain and Super Furry Animals, and SFA are not even strictly hiphop ...
... I will never watch the film Karla. Its very existence is testing my feelings about censorship, but I have to stick to my principles. I refuse to in any way pay homage to these two sadistic people who kidnapped, tortured and murdered teenagers in Southern Ontario. Burn in hell, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka.
... is it just me or is Julian Casablancas (the Strokes) sounding more and more like Rufus Wainwright? He is starting to affect that slightly exasperated, slightly bored whine. Maybe it's a New York thing.
Not everyone agrees though. Here's my conversation with the resident music nerd in the car this morning:
me: don't you think that Julian Casablancas is channelling Rufus on this song?
Eva: no, he's just pissing me off!
We both agree, however, that Rufus is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay prettier. Plus he has the best sideburns in rock.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I can't stop thinking about Master Cpl. Paul Franklin.
He is the medic who lost part of his leg in the suicide bombing in Kandahar on Sunday, which tragically killed three Afghan civilians and Canadian diplomat Glyn Berry, and wounded 10 Afghan citizens, as well as two Canadian soldiers.
When their vehicle was torn to shreds by the bomb, Paul Franklin tied a tourniquet around his own partially severed leg and tended to the other wounded people. The next day, his wife, who is astounding in her own stoicism, reported him as saying that he has given himself a new nickname - Stumpy McGillicuddy - and recounted their conversation in which she laughingly told him that now they had to get the automatic transmission car for which she has been lobbying to replace their old standard vehicle.
How do people get the strength to deal with such overwhelming situations with this much courage and grace?
I don't want to comment on whether Canada should be sending 2,000 more troops into Afghanistan as part of a multinational partnership. I don't want to split hairs over whether this is indeed a peace-keeping mission, when in fact, there is little peace to keep. The fact is Master Cpl. Franklin is a medic. He tested his training to the ultimate degree, putting aside his own pain and horror and blood loss, while tending to the wounded.
And that is heroic.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Saturday, January 14, 2006
I've lost 3 of the 5 Christmas pounds that I've gained, but Christmas fat is relatively easy to get rid of - it's transient. It goes on in a couple of weeks, takes a look around, and is gone again in a month or so. The pregnancy fat I'm still trying to get rid of, now that's another story. Let's see, my kid is 14 years old now, so those fat cells have definitely put down roots. They're sending their kids through university and joining the Chamber of Commerce. They are fine upstanding citizens. They are pillars of the fat community. They are not going to be driven from their home without a fight. They just got new carpet, fer Christ's sake!
But that kid of mine, she's blown my mind again. (lame segue, sorry) When we were tearing down the Christmas tree a few weeks ago, she played me a new cd - Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want - The Soft Pink Truth. I honestly didn't think much of it at the time.
But yesterday, it was my turn to carpool the neighbourhood kids to school and she slipped this cd in as we were pulling out of the garage and holy shit, I was gobsmacked! I've never heard anything quite like that. Loved it! Loved it!
If you too are not familiar with the Soft Pink Truth, they cover songs in an electronica (electro-crass, Eva calls it) vein. My ears have been opened to a whole new sound.
I don't know what the lads in the carpool thought of this cd, though. They are used to Eva and I playing weird stuff, but this was highly profane.
Ah, fuck em if they can't take a joke. If you can't learn to swear properly in your carpool, where are you going to learn it from, I ask you?
Eva got glasses - do you like them?
I think she is the shit!
But I wonder sometimes, what is she going to be teaching me when she is not 14?
Friday, January 13, 2006
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
A Mixology Primer
You lot got my curiousity piqued the other day when we all had our own desert islands on Michelle's archipelago. What a nice place that was. (For the uninitiated, Michelle is the non-Martian half of the insanely sassy Big Porcupine team).
Neil and Jen both chose as one of their desert island cd picks their own mixed cd, which of course, made me sit up and take notice, as I am an obsessive mixed cd maker, and very nosy to boot.
I burn a shitload of mixed cds, for two main reasons: 1) to keep me sane during my 45 minute one-way commute, and 2) to inspire me to keep exercising. I also make quite a few mixes when I get that prickly feeling that somebody I know just has to hear some of my new music or they won't be able to survive. (No huge egos in this family)
Besides wanting to hear what some of your gold standard mixes are, I'd be interested to hear how you decide what goes into a mix.
Here's my recipe (because making a mix is sooo very difficult). Because I'm an incorrigible multi-tasker, each mix has to fit some stringent criteria:
- use the whole 80 minutes (I cannot tolerate waste)
- as most of the cds eventually end up beside the stationary bike, the first 45 minutes or so need to be primarily lively or I ain't going to pedal hard enough
- very rarely reuse songs, especially favourites, because God forbid I ever get tired of hearing them
- go back into the archives for some old favourites (ie, the Clash, Elvis Costello, Queen, Red Hot Chili Peppers) - they sound surprisingly fresh after a few years absence
- don't be afraid to throw in something unusual on each one (ie, Louis Prima, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Handel)
- and perhaps, trickiest of all, when making a cd for someone else (and of course I want to burn a copy for myself - it's that multi-tasking obsession again) have to follow all of the above plus make it unique for my buddy
So to start off the exercise, here's an example. I just made this cd for Kellee, in which I was trying to showcase to a certain degree some Canadian artists, highlight the Constantines, but nothing from Tournament of Hearts because Kellee already has that, and avoid repetition from some earlier cds I made for her. And I also couldn't resist putting on some songs from my new cds (ie, Franz Ferdinand, the Decemberists, Belle and Sebastian)
1 At home he’s a tourist – Gang of Four
2 Evil and a heathen – Franz Ferdinand
3 Watermark – Weakerthans
4 Ariel vs Lotus – Limblifter
5 National hum – Constantines
6 Electric version – New Pornographers
7 Rock the casbah – the Clash
8 Diagnosis – Weakerthans
9 Goodnight goodnight – Hot Hot Heat
10 Teenage lobotomy – the Ramones
11 This boy – Franz Ferdinand
12 Asleep on a sunbeam – Belle & Sebastian
13 Steal this sound – the Constantines
14 Hollywood is high – the Violent Femmes
15 We both go down together – the Decemberists
16 Ever fallen in love? – Buzzcocks
17 Justice – the Constantines
18 Germ Free Adolescents – X-Ray Spex
19 Buona Sera – Louis Prima
20 Hyacinth Blues – the Constantines
21 The fake headlines – the New Pornographers
22 Eli, the barrow boy – the Decemberists
23 Coax me – Sloan
24 Lord Anthony – Belle & Sebastian
25 Sea ghost – the Unicorns
Okay class, wake up!
Here's your assignment for 30% of your mark:
Hand in an example of a mixed cd. How do you decide what is burn-worthy?
Bonus points for wow factor.
You may begin ... now
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
One of those days
This is just a self-indulgent pity-fest for the sake of purging. No sympathy required.
But sometimes don't you wish you could just crawl inside your computer and live in the lovely internets?
Or are those just the words of a pathetic loser?
Thank the powers that be for fuzzy slippers, wine, a sassy family, and South Park.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Who knew there was soooo much dust in those old (believe it or not) DOS manuals in the lab? (Some of you youngstas won't even know what those are!)
Jas and I threw out a whole bunch of crap and moved almost as much to the new lab and I'm beat.
I'm half-assed watching the leaders' debate and reading the paper. Mind is shot. It's amazing that I used my muscles all day, instead of my mushy brain as usual, and now my mind won't work. The Hour is not even on tonight, because of the stupid political leaders, so I'll have to get my edumacashion from South Park instead.
Remind me that tomorrow I want to ask you about your mixed cds that you have been tantilizing us with on Michelle's blog.
On an even happier note, Eva's buddy in Toronto won tickets to the Belle and Sebastian/New Pornographers show. We are so thrilled for her and plan to live vicariously through her as she tells Stuart Murdoch that not everyone in Alberta is a banjo-picking homophobe and that the next time they are out whoring a cd release they should drop in to see us.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
God help me, I'm turning into an indulgent, I'll-give-my-kid-anything parent. Pass me a folding chair, I'm heading straight to the Springer show. I've actually spent the last couple of days trying to figure out how Eva and I can get to the Belle and Sebastian/New Pornographers show in Toronto.
I have written about the New Pornographers before, about what an amazing voice Neko Case has and how gorgeous and sexy she is, and what insanely catchy songs Carl Newman writes, even though the NME (again! those bastards) refer to him as a trout-faced, cardigan-wearing, supply teacher.
They are quite simply one of the best bands today.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Friday, January 06, 2006
Isn't this look so totally over? If not, it should be.
And it hasn't even been out of style for long enough for the guys sporting it to claim that they are wearing an ironic hairstyle. I think a certain length of time has to pass between the demise of a look and its resurrection as an ironic look. Perhaps someone who is hipper than I can either confirm or deny this theory.
Monkeys are nasty, vicious, dirty creatures. But I don't even hold that against them so much, that's just their nature. What really bothers me are people who think that owning a monkey as a pet is a good idea. Especially if they dress them up in stupid little hats and shit. I'd be nasty, vicious and dirty too if someone did that to me.
Now, the magnificent western lowlands gorilla, on the other hand ... that's a primate!
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
I think in Brokeback Mountain they eat butterscotch pudding. I have nothing to base this on, I'm not sure why butterscotch, I just feel that it’s so.
Let it be known, that I am completely stoked to see Brokeback Mountain. Jen actually already scooped me on this and wrote earlier today in her insanely sassy blog about how much she wants to see it, how she loves gay cowboys.