Thursday, August 31, 2006

Warning: Office Depot just ripped me off for $235.00!
I do not want this to happen to you. Please do not shop at this store.
I bought my wireless setup from them, and had nothing but problems while trying to install the adapter software. The service packs which the error message said that I needed to install would not install. I took my computer in to Bonavista Computers and they advised me that there are nothing but problems with that combination of routers and adapters, that people are getting freeze-ups and blue screens and that they cannot run Windows. (Barbara W, does this sound like the issue you are having?). BC advised me what I should exchange this faulty setup for.
BUT GET THIS! The store manager at Office Depot, Pete Burns, refused to exchange my purchase, even though I had the receipt, because it was over two weeks old and the package had been opened and obviously used. He accused me of trying to pull one over on him.
Well, YES, it had been opened and used! We tried to install it, didn't we? Pete Burns was arrogant and rude and obviously trying to make up for his inadequacies with his pisant little power position of big bad store manager.
That son of a bitch owes me $235.00. He's going down.
I plan recoup my $235.00, if not in money, than in the satisfaction of either ensuring that Office Depot loses at least 100X that amount in business, or in seeing that arrogant little tyrant's ass get fired.
Here is my plan:
1) warn everybody about this, to ensure that this never happens to them. I am starting with you, dear friends, and hoping that you will warn your friends and loved ones.
2) contact Pete Burns today to get his supervisor's name and contact information, as I plan to file a complaint about him personally, as he did tell me that he had the discretion as to whether to exchange my purchase. But I have the feeling that he will be less than forthcoming.
3) file a complaint against this store manager with Office Depot's Corporate Headquarters and with their media relations department.
They may be interested in knowing that I have purchased a considerable amount of equipment, as well as office supplies, from them in the past, on behalf of my lab, and that I consider it my obligation to notify the Materials Management Department at the University of Calgary about this, as I am sure that the University will want to warn the several thousand people who make purchases on their behalf. The university does not deal with vendors who have such terrible customer service.
4) contact the manufacturers of D-link to see if they can do anything for me. At the very least, they may be interested in knowing what sort of organization they are dealing with when they chose to have distributors like Office Depot.
5) ask the advice of a neighbour who is an IT guy. I want to find out if he has ever run into this sort of situation, if I am being reasonable in my expectations of customer satisfaction. I think his IT associates may be interested in this as well.
Incidentally, I then bought the replacement system from Future Shop, for $70.00 less than I would have paid at Office Depot and was treated with respect and dignity by helpful and knowledgeable employees. I normally aspire to encourage diversity in the marketplace by purchasing at smaller stores, even if the price is higher, but, based on this experience, Future Shop has my business from now on.
Pete Burns, store manager and customer service representative of Office Depot, missed an opportunity to establish good will and spread good PR about his company when he ripped me off $235.00. There will be consequences. Nobody fucks with the zombie.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Lessons in futility, personified...
Remember the show Bewitched? How she would crinkle her nose and presto it would be done?
That's what I need right now. Instead I have a missing computer, a desk that's too big to move, a need to buy a new desk to fit into the spot where the computer will go when it comes back home, and a living room piled up with dresser drawers full of clothes that need to be sorted for give-aways.
Plus I moved two dressers from room to room last night, leaving one of them in the hallway where Eva bashed into it with her face on the way to the bathroom during the night, so that she now has two big scratches on her cheek and she has to get school photos taken on Thursday. And then after lying awake for about an hour after the furniture-face altercation, I came to the realisation that although that big old desk will technically fit into the new office, there is no way in hell we are going to be able to get it into the room.
So I moved both dressers back to their original places, which confused the hell out of the cat, and no doubt pissed off Eva as all her face-bashing was therefore in vain, and measured out the new office space for a new piece of semi-disposable Swedish furniture.
Just back from IKEA where Eva and I got a new desk and two new office chairs - one for her room, one for the office. When we got all the boxes of JERKER bits and BONNY chairs and one SNILLE out to the parking lot, we realised we had no bloody idea how to fold down the back seats in the Pathfinder.
Eva: "This is so retarded!"
Me: "If worst comes to worst we are phoning your dad and getting him to bring the truck"
And then I got out the Pathfinder manual and read it out to Eva in the IKEA parking lot, and we figured it out! And we high-fived and pounded fists and strutted around the parking lot like a couple of bad-asses.
So now, we have six boxes of semi-disposable but rather sassy Scandinavian furniture on our living room floor, in addition to the dresser drawers full of charity clothes.
P.S. Our computer is away from home because I kept getting a weird error message when I was trying to install the wireless adapter, saying I had a USB incompatability and needed to install a service pack, but when I did I was told it was the wrong service pack, so I took the whole fucking thing into my neighbourhood computer shop, where they have had it for two days.
But that's a whole other story.
Time for a big-assed glass of wine, I think.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Does anyone want to go to a Hylozoists concert with me? My treat.

I'm serious.
I just found out Hylozoists are going to be playing at the Liberty Lounge at Mount Royal College (in Calgary) on Friday, September 22. Eva would love to go, but it's at a +18 venue, and Jerry doesn't want to go because we are going to see John Prine the next night, and that's too much concerting for the lad.
You would have to:
a) get to Calgary
b) be at least 18
c) be on your own the next night because I'm going to another concert

Let me know and I'll score tickets. I don't want to wait too long though, like I did with the upcoming Corb Lund / Elliott Brood concert. It's at a fancy-schmancy sit-down venue and by the time I went to book tickets, there were only singles left. Damn!

<< Look what I did score tickets for, though! The Frank Black, aka Black Francis, aka Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV concert in November!
Alas, I think that this is the closest I will ever come to a Pixies concert, but I sure would love to see Kim Deal's band, the Breeders, who are apparently planning a new album release next year.
She has got to be one of the coolest women in rock, alongside Kim Gordon.

We watched The Hills Have Eyes last night. We thought it was going to be a mutant zombie flick, but alas, it was strictly mutants. Not a zombie to be had.

We had a lot of fun with it, though, as it was quite audience-interactive. Well frankly, most films watched at our house become that way whether they want to or not.
The family that was ambushed by mutants had these two German Shepherds - Beauty and Beast. But I thought they were called Judy and Brenda, but it turned out that the teenaged daughter was the one named Brenda, which is all wrong because there are no teenagers named Brenda.
Nobody under the age of 40 is named Brenda.
However, Brenda the dog turned out to be quite the star of the movie. She must have killed as many mutants as Doug, the vaguely Matt Good-alike son-in-law.
Go Brenda the dog!

Speaking (kinda) of zombies, though, I got a lovely email from Joel Crichton, the playwright of Eat My Brain today about my review of his production at the recent fringe. It's so gratifying to hear back from the minds behind these creations.

Friday, August 25, 2006

"That woman is not going to break my heart three times in one year!"
- Jerry

Jerry is still all pissed off at Neko Case for not touring with the New Pornos this spring, plus cancelling out of the Calgary Folk Festival. So that's why I only scored two tickets to the New Pornographers / Novillero concert in October. Somebody's heart is still shattered.

Hopefully he can grab a ticket at the last minute if it turns out she is touring with them

Eva and I are excited enough to see the New Pornos again, plus our go-to-your-happy-place band, Novillero. They are worth the price of admission just to see their vaguely pudgy wildly enthusiastic tambourine guy (who, we understand, is actually not a band member, but their manager, whom they let play with them on occasion).

They are a really fun band to see live. They've got the energy, they've got upbeat songs with lots of crazy piano and, of course, a wild tambourine player. And they're really really happy when you buy their cd.

I finished Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk, which lived up to the hype of gross-out to the max and unbelievable ways for people to mutilate themselves. Of course by now everybody has heard of the story within the book of masturbation gone horribly wrong, resulting in the narrator having to chew through his own intestine to keep from drowning.

But aside from the vomit-fest, there is actually a point to the book about the nature of humanity and the price that people will pay for fame, fortune, and immortality. Of course, a vomit-fest never hurts sales.

I was happy to be able to pick up Lynn Coady's new book, Mean Boy, which I've been looking forward to for quite some time, ever since finishing the Saints of Big Harbour and Play the Monster Blind. It drives me crazy sometimes to discover an author that I really enjoy and they've only got about two or three books, so you have to wait for forever for them to finish another. Makes me want to go over to their house and tell them, "okay, no going out tonight, no tv, you are working on your book, missy."

Also at my new favourite record store, the library, I picked up a Primal Scream Dirty Hits cd. We have most of the songs already, but I was really chuffed to discover a second cd was included - all remixes. Cool! I can hardly wait to boogey down with Bobbie Gillespie and co.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

They are not going to see my ugly face around there until September 6!!!

Because I am on holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


<< Guess which one is me?

I'll be spending the week trying to figure out how my kid is going to get to high school (so far it looks like 2 buses and a train each way), getting her hair dyed all black and gothy, and making a few trips to Value Village for some quality previously-loved back to school clothes.

Awwww, the new crop of baby med students started today. They looked so precious, stumbling around in one big group, all confused and fresh-faced and indealistic. Can't wait to see what they are like in four years.

I'm so sad that Pluto has been downsized to a dwarf planet, just because it's too small and too wobbly. That completely sucks and I refuse to subscribe to it. Thank god Uranus is still a planet!!!! URANUS!!!! hahahahahaha - ahhhh...

Whew, that joke will never get old!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

We said we were going fringing, and, by god, fringe we did...
This is the unsavoury crew who tackled the Calgary Fringe Festival this year - Eliz, Bev, Barb, and Sandra, collectively known as the Marthas.
We had that little fridge in the hotel room just groaning trying to keep all of our treats cool - the sushi, the edamame, the cheese, the spinach dip, the 900 other dips, the rhubarb slice, the wine of course. I'm a little surprised that we even had time to go fringing with all the eating we had to do, let alone be able to zip up our jeans in order to look like the hot cougars we are .

EAT MY BRAIN - This was the one I was completely stoked for. I mean, five people holed up in a cabin surrounded by zombies. What's not to love? And it delivered. In spades.
Eat My Brain was performed by a theatre troupe from Red Deer, Alberta, consisting of a really young cast, who truly put their hearts and guts into this thing. You know when you enter the theatre at most plays, there's an empty set? Not at Eat My Brain. The cast were all on stage, vigourously attacking invisible monsters as we filed into the small dark stuffy theatre in the basement of a church, one woman smashing something with a baseball bat, one fellow stabbing at something else with a hockey stick, etc. I broke into a sweat just watching them. Oh, I just checked their handout - they have a fight choreographer. Cool.
This play, by Joel Crichton, was funny, irreverent, slightly gory, and as much about the unraveling of personal relationships in the face of the extinction of the human race, as it was about battling zombies. Very lord of the flies for the myspace generation. In fact, the final word in the play was "pOwned", uttered just before the lights went out and the final shotgun blast ripped the air.

^^ I even took this poster (with permission!) because I was so taken with this play and with this young energetic theatre troupe. I'm going to put it on my bedroom door.

P.S. 69 - a cute and funny one woman show, about a woman who takes her first ever job as a substitute teacher in a rundown school in New York.
I've been a fan of one-person shows ever since Ted Needles did such a great job with the Wingfield Farm series. The ability of one person to morph seamlessly into another person simply by changing their voice and their mannerisms fascinates me.
Susan Jeremy, a stand-up comic, was delightful in her multiple roles and impressed me with her quick thinking when at one point she started to choke on her own spit (just like I do!). She was playing the role of the hapless teacher at that point, said "class, teacher has to get a drink of water" and disappeared around the corner for a second to do that. Her quick thinking earns my tip of the hat.
And I loved that the one of the characters is a stripper at the Vagina Vault. haha

DRINKING IN AMERICA - was described as a dark comedy that examines the role that drugs and alcohol have come to play in the North American psyche. Definitely an emphasis on “dark”.
David Trimble (the American actor who is also Hilary’s mom’s cousin, not the Irish politician) is absolutely stunning in his portrayal of the many characters in this theatre in the round treatment of Eric Bogosian’s intense look at our fascination with addiction and escape.
I knew from the start that this would not be your usual theatre experience (well besides it being the Fringe and all). We had just settled into our seats when the actor made his way through the audience, hopped up on the stage, asked how we were, and got the usual mild response. He then stated that since it was a hot day and hot and stuffy in the theatre (yes, the same venue that hosted Eat My Brain) did anyone want an ice-cold beer, raise your hand if you do. My hand of course immediately shot up into the air, his words bypassing my brain altogether and shooting directly to my arm, and I was indeed rewarded with the promised ice-cold can of beer. Mr Trimble then asked “so how is everybody now?” and received a much more animated response.
And that of course was one of the points of the whole exercise, to examine our relationship with alcohol and other substances that people routinely use to anesthetize themselves.
This was a very powerful and hard-hitting play. Delivered through a series of monologues by 12 consecutive characters, from a pathetic industrial tile salesman, to a cocksure hungover teenager, to a short-order cook, to a cocaine-addled Hollywood agent, Trimble dominated the stage with his enormous presence. A flip of a collar, a swig from a bottle, was all it took for the transition between characters to be complete. For an hour and a half, he mesmerized me with his characters, some pathetic, some hateful, most eliciting a distinct level of discomfort from viewing their relationship with addiction.
When I stood at the end of the play to offer my ovation, I felt it was truly one of the more deserved. And I'm not just saying that because he gave me a beer.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cuff the Duke! Cuff! Cuff! The Duke! You know what I mean.
- Ashley, the Jian board
Yes, Ashley, I sure do know what you mean.
Cuff the Duke - can't stop listening to them now!
Okay, Okay, I know that some of you are expecting a review of the Calgary Fringe Festival (which was fantastic, I'm not trying to avoid the subject), but I just don't have my head around it tonight. I'm home tomorrow and will have time to do it justice and will tell you all about it then. Pinky swear.
But one thing that I do want to tell you about tonight was my trip to Megatunes, which is one block away from Fringe central. If you guessed that I bought the Cuff the Duke cd, you win a bag of smarties because you are so smart. Holy crap, is it ever good! I fell IN LOVE with it at the first listen, and that hardly ever happens to me.
I've seen the video for the Ballad of Poor John Henry about a million times and it's a good song, but the rest are even better. A lot of the songs have an almost trance-like quality to them at times, while at the same time they BUILD UP to a huge sound. And they are incredibly musical pieces - lots of piano and strings (Owen Pallette guests on the cd) and horns. I've been listening all day long.
But not to neglect my other precious finds:
  • Show Your Bones - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (smoking! - as good as Fever to Tell)
  • The Boy with the Arab Strap - the only Belle and Sebastian that I didn't own (yay! Now my life is complete)
  • New and Tributes - the Futureheads (really good second cd)
  • Everything Is - Neutral Milk Hotel (whenever you see any NMH, grab it, don't even think!)
  • Root Down - Beastie Boys (on sale!)
I'll leave you with a taste of Cuff the Duke:
video - The Ballad of Poor John Henry
song - There Was a Time
(I challenge you not to get caught up in the chorus of "mom, dad, I'm not gay")

Upload music at Bolt.

Monday, August 21, 2006

This little Zombie is way too tired and stupid to give you more than a sneaky peek at the Fringe goings on
- one lizard airbrush tattoo
- three pretty amazing plays
- one ice-cold beer given to me as a means of participating in "Drinking in America"
- four Marthas in one hotel room
- four Hunan noodle dishes ordered at one table
-six new cds bought at Megatunes (teehee)
- one suitcase that didn't get unpacked until after work today
- one alarm clock that went off waaay too early this morning
***details on these and more tomorrow***
When I got home yesterday, all Martha'd out, my sister and brother-in-law (who live 1,300 kms away!) were sitting at the kitchen table! I'm told I did the classic double-take head bob. Eva says I looked just like Kramer.
It was great to see them and we had a blast visiting, but we all had to get up way too early this morning, Berni and Bryan to drive to Manitoba, me to go to work (Jerry was smart and booked today off; Eva slept in till noon of course).
In my usual style, I didn't think to take photos till just before they left, so this morning I grabbed the camera and quickly shot off a couple of nice photos. But I forgot to check the setting of the camera and I guess I had it on video setting for some reason. So I've got a couple of 12 second videos of my sister and then the floor and then my brother-in-law and then the bottom of the fridge door. Great stuff. David Lynch, or maybe Cronenberg.

Friday, August 18, 2006

They said there's too much caffeine in your bloodstream and a lack of real spice in your life
- A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours
- The Smiths

And they would be right! So that is one of the reasons that the Marthas are getting together this weekend to go fringing. We're ditching the families and spending two nights in a hotel, where much giggling and eating of snacks and ass-whupping at Rumoli will ensue. And between all that there is of course, this incarnation of the Calgary Fringe Festival of which to partake.

We're only taking in three plays, because we are not hardcore fringers like some others I know. But I am really quite pumped about the one we are going to see tomorrow afternoon. It was my top pick, the main reason the fringe caught my eye in the first place - EAT MY BRAIN.

Five people find themselves trapped in a tiny cabin in the forest surrounded by zombies with no way out in this tale of love, revenge, and madness. They've found a sanctuary, but does the real threat come from within? And why won't Rob ask me to the prom? Watch your step, don't lose your head, and for the love of God, don't get bitten - bar the doors, grab your baseball bat, load your shotgun, and prepare for the worst as MAN VS. MAN VS. UNDEAD MAN unfolds - who will come out on top?

How can any self-respecting zombie resist a come-on like that?

We are also seeing PS-69: (one woman play where the actor stars as an entire New York City School. Frazzled teachers, pushy parents, hip-hop kids. )

and Drinking in America:

Eric Bogosian's one-man play stars Calgary favourite, David Trimble, who portrays a cross-section of characters and vignettes. "Drinking in America is about our society's fascination with power and fantasy. It is a dark comedy that examines the role that drugs, alcohol have come to play in the North American psyche." David won the 2005 Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role for this production.

So I will be AWOL from this site for the whole weekend. Be kind to each other, play nicely, and I will share tales of silliness and debauchery with you when I return.

Also on tap for the upcoming week will be the recounting of a life-affirming encounter in the tea towel aisle at IKEA, and a much-overdue profile on a Calgary musician and artist about to release his highly-anticipated second cd.

Cheers, babes!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Look what Will found for me!!!
I had expressed a desire to see my favourite video in the whole world, the Weakerthans' Our Retired Explorer (Dines with Michel Foucault in Paris, 1961), and wouldn't you know it, Will found it and put it up on his most excellent site - New and Used Records.
You really need to run, not walk, over to Will's place to take a look at this amazing video.
It's got Weakerthans in fake fur coats, dancing on a frozen Lake Winnipeg, it's got a swinging penguin, and it's got John K Samson overcoming his fear of cameras to don a really cheesy moustache and put out a really outstanding example of wooden acting, as the befuddled hero.

And while you are at it, take the opportunity to peruse the rest of New and Used Records. You can thank me later.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I sincerely hope this does not unearth my deeply buried need to purchase semi-disposable Swedish storage solutions: a cautionary tale

Once upon a time there was a zombie who had a few cds, so she bought some cds racks from IKEA. When IKEA was located way up in the north end of the city, she used to like to go there quite regularly, every 6 weeks or so. They always asked for her postal code at the checkout and she always chuckled to herself, "I'll bet they're thinking that if they moved the store closer to that Z1Z 1Z1, they'd make a pile more money."
And one day, that's exactly what happened. Since then, however, the zombie has only been to IKEA three times, the last two times being a year and a half apart. What happened? How did IKEA's finely crafted plans for market dominance fall apart?
Well first, the new store, although only a 10-minute drive from the zombie's house, was located in one of those big box malls. You know the kind - where you have to drive from one store to the next because they are just that far apart. And the road system in those malls was designed by some deranged labyrinth-maker, who was let out of the psychiatric ward only long enough to scribble down on a napkin some roadways guaranteed to gridlock if more than 7 cars were in the area at the same time. The zombie always swore she would never again set foot (or wheel) in another one of those big box malls.
Plus the new store was three times the size of the old one (which was just the right size), so that the zombie always ended up in the screaming baby section while she was looking for office furniture and started to hyperventilate when she couldn't find her way to the exit before her shopping stamina wore out.
And then one day, the cds stacks spilling out of the increasing number of racks on the kitchen counter got out of control. The zombie, who despises clutter, said something must be done. So she girded her loins (and that hurt!) and made the trip to IKEA.
Where she found a shelf-insert that was exactly the right size for the space she had available in her kitchen! And when she put it together and put all the kitchen cds into it, there was even space left over to fill up with new ones! Of course she had to get rid of all the cookbooks to make room for the shelf, but she didn't much use cookbooks anyway.

And she lived happily ever after.
George has been nominated for a Gemini award as best host.
Go here to vote for him.
Vote early, vote often - it would make a nice bd present.
Hilary is going to be interviewed on Sounds Like Canada! Probably tomorrow, so do try to listen online. You've got 5 time zones to choose from, so there are no excuses.
Hilary is going to give Jian a hard time about why she is whupping his ass at reading Ulysses.
Should be good fun.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Eveything you needed to know about Eastern Europe - right here:

Most anticipated movie of the year in the Zombie household has to be Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

Watch the trailer and tell me you are not waiting in line for this one.

The other cultural event we are all agog over is Ivan Hrvatska's Seasons of Love (Party All Year) cd. Mr. Hrvatska, who hails from Croatia, has a wonderful selection of loving songs for the whole year. You really must visit his site to taste a sample.

If you happened to catch Going Coastal last night, you would have been treated to Ivan singing his big hit First I Make Love to You, Then I Make Love to Christmas.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

You Have Been Blunt Attacked
The official score on the mother-daughter James Blunt pranks is tied at 3 apiece, but Eva's final instigation in the ever-escalating war was such a mind-blower than I knew I couldn't top it and have declared her THE WINNER.

It began with me taping a full-page ad of the upcoming James Blunt concert to Eva's bedroom door, to greet her when she got home from a week at camp. She was so zonked that she took a shower (falling asleep in the bathroom) and then stumbled right past it to pass out on her bed for several hours. Inscrutably, I waited for her to notice, and was rewarded by her outraged reaction.

The next morning I found Mr Blunt taped to my bedroom door, with a heart drawn around his head and an arrow piercing the heart. When my shrieks subsided, I wrote "Christmas present for Eva - front row centre seat to the concert" on the ad and tucked it into her bed, with James' head on the pillow and the blankets pulled up to his chin.

After I got out of the shower, there was James' severed head, taped to my bathroom mirror, at exactly the level of my face so that I had to peer around him to put on my makeup. (Eva later admitted that she measured to make sure it was at the right height.)

I retaliated by writing a speech bubble coming out of his mouth, saying "You're beautiful, Eva. Will be you be my Canadian gf?" and taped it to the outside of the front door. Unfortunately we didn't have any visitors today to be greeted by this declaration of love, although it was up there for about 3 hours before Eva noticed.

And then, finally, as I was preparing supper, I turned around as Eva came up the stairs from the family room, to be greeted by the sight of my daughter in a James Blunt face mask. It looked like something out of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

I came thisclose to tinkling in my pants, I kid you not. So we all tried on the James Blunt mask, posed for photos for posterity and declared a truce.

But there's always next time.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

And all is right with the world ...

My baby is home from camp.

Much talking will be done over the next few days. Many photos poured over, Pete Doherty news giggled over, and she is just going to kill me when she sees that I taped a full-page ad for the upcoming James Blunt concert on her bedroom door. I am an evil mom.

Oh, and the Ceebeecee package which I resisted opening? No porn dvds were inside, but Eva did receive some very lovely DNTO bumper stickers, a DNTO zipped cd holder, and a cd entitled "Big Break ... because obscurity is a drag", which features "the next wave of Canadian music brought to you by DNTO". Well, it's from 2003, so maybe next wave is not quite right, but we'll forgive that. Let's see, there's Nathan Wiley, Tom Wilson, Mir, Nathan, Offsides, Grimskunk, Microbunny, Shaun Verrault, Mount Pleasant, and Chin Injeti.

Okay some of those are still around. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Have you checked your assets recently?

This is one of those sites that tells you how much your blog is worth. The last time I checked, about a year ago, mine was worth about $2,500.00 (I'm not sure if that was Cdn or USd, but they are pretty close to par these days anyway).

Check out what it's worth now. The joys of compounded interest. And add to that, the worth of the joint blog that I am part of, and I have myself enough for a nice little vacation. How do you sell a blog anyway?

I just sat at the hairdresser's for an hour and had to listen to JACK FM "playing what we want" (well yes, it certainly isn't what I want), so I figure that $28,000.00 is the very least that the world owes me right now.

My blog is worth $17,500.74.
How much is your blog worth?

My blog is worth $10,161.72.
How much is your blog worth?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Don't mess with this one...

She doesn't meow; if she were to open her mouth right now, it would sound like this: " ".

But she is the best mouser I have ever encountered, she sleeps with me most every night, and she likes eating soap.

Tonight we had a huge rainstorm, so much so that our neighbour's basement flooded, and our back sidewalk sprouted a four inch deep puddle. The neighbour and his little boy were with us in our backyard, and Sputnik, who normally would have made a beeline for the house during a thunderstorm, instead had to show off her kahonas, and let the wee tyke know who ruled things around the neighbourhood, by attacking air bubbles while standing in the deepest part of the puddle.

Some just love an audience. Others love power.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

God I Love the Constantines, Part II
I finally got to see the video for Working Full Time, and, knowing the Cons, I did expect it to be somewhat more inventive than your standard performance video.
Actually I was told to expect "performing rocks".
It is quite brilliant. And if anybody knows anything about film-making (I'm staring directly at you, Will), I would love an explanation of how they did the rock thing. I have an idea of how it was done, but I'd love to know the truth.
Here 'tis:

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The curiousity is killing me ...

About a month ago, Eva won the Lost in Translation contest on Definitely Not the Opera for identifying the mistranslated lyrics of Joel Plaskett's True Patriot Love. They asked for her address and that was the last we heard of the whole thing.
I kept telling her to contact CBC, to use the same tactics I use at work when I want to hound somebody about getting something done without making it appear like I'm hounding them, which is send them an email asking "is there any more information you need from me in order to get this completed?"
But of course she never did.
And then today she left for camp, and guess what arrived in the mail? Her parcel from CBC of course. It's killing me not to open it, but I won't do that. But it's not a t-shirt, which is too bad because retro CBC t-shirts are all the rage right now. It feels like maybe a CD and a DVD.
Oh my god, what if it's Sook Yin Lee's porno movie that she just made. Well, I guess it's not actually a porno movie, but pretty close, from what I understand. We already have her cd.

The Constantines are supposed to be on some American tv show tonight, but I couldn't find it, but I did find this great footage of them playing in a hailstorm at the Sasquatch Festival this year.

Those boys don't let a little hail and driving rain keep them from rocking out. Check out keyboardist Will Kidman hanging from the rafters at one point. Literally. They've just got way too much energy for one little Canadian band.

Monday, August 07, 2006

If you come back, bring a new name for everything

What is today anyway? Jen says it's called BC Day, but what it is called in the rest of the country? For you unfortunate non-Canadians, we have a long weekend Monday today, but in typical Canadian fashion, nobody knows exactly why. All I know is, I don't have to go to work today.
I looked on the calendar and it says Civic Holiday, but I think it has a different name in each province. I can't remember what it's called in Alberta. Is it Heritage Day? Or is that the one we get in February which nobody else gets? (hehe) What is today called where you live?
Today's not a religious holiday, is it?
Just in case it is, here's some more Jesus stuff, because I wouldn't want to piss off any deities:
The lovely and talented Weakerthans have a very fitting song for today - A New Name for Everything. I am always astounded by how full of literary devices their lyrics are. You can certainly tell that John K Samson has a publishing background and loves words.
Check out these lyrics:
"A New Name For Everything"
When the bus shelter windows and napkin dispensers suprise,
with distorted reflections, it's never the someone you're hoping to recognize.
When the rent is too high living here between reasons to live,
and you can't sleep alone and your memories groan, and the borders of night start to give.
When you can't save cash or conviction;
you're broke and you're breaking - a tired shoelace or a wave.
So long past, past-due.
A new name for everything.
When the one-ways collude with the map that you folded wrong,
and the route you abandoned is always the path that you probably should be upon.
When the bottle-cap ashtrays and intimate's ears are all full,
with results of your breath and the threads of your fear are unfurled with the tiniest pull.
One more time, try.
Stand with your hands in your pockets and stare at the smudge on a newspaper sky,
and ask it to rain a new name for everything.
Fire every phrase.
They don't want to work for us anymore.
Dot and Dash our days.
Make your face the flag of a semaphore.
All you won't show.
The boxes you brought here and never unpacked are still patiently waiting to go.
So put on those clothes you never grew into,
and smile like you mean it for once.
If you come back, bring a new name for everything
A new name for everything - the Weakerthans (Reconstruction Site)

Upload music at Bolt.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang = Fun Fun
See my front porch? This is where I had planned to spend my entire long weekend and here it is Sunday at ... what ... 5:00, and I still haven't ventured anywhere near the place.
Oh boohoo I have such a hard life, you are no doubt thinking. And you would be correct, so nuff complaining. I'm almost done getting Eva's crap ready for camp, the weather is definitely starting to warmup after the furnace kicking in the other morning, Jerry is smoking some ribs on the bbq (an experiment - I'll keep you posted) and I'm figuring that once I kick Sputnik out of my spot (don't cats know how to relax better than anybody?), I'll settle down with my new music magazines that I have still only glanced through, or the Chuck Palahniuk book (Ghost) which I am reading - lord he's a weird, but entertaining, fucker. And then you will see what is meant by the word relax.
Last night we rented the film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Have you seen it? We howled throughout the entire thing. It is full of zingy very clever one-liners. I was almost afraid to laugh in fear of missing the next one, because they are just thrown away. I love it when a film is so clever and so full of witticisms that they can afford to just throw them away like that. Nothing worse than a one-joke movie, in my opinion. And I always like a film that breaks through the fourth wall, as well.
Opinions please. Apologies if you don't live in Canada and don't know who I am talking about, but Val Kilmer as Gay Perry in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Chris Hyndman from the Designer Guys - separated at birth, or what? And it's not just the gay factor either - they actually do look alike, especially since Kilmer is rather burly as Gay Perry. What do you think - am I full of shit or am I onto something here?
And can I just say how happy I am that Robert Downey Jr has gotten cleaned up and straightened out, because he does a great job as Harry - the narrator - he has too much talent to waste as a waster.
Without giving away any essential plotlines, check out some of these lines from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang:
Perry: Look up idiot in the dictionary. You know what you'll find?
Harry: A picture of me?
Perry: No! The definition of idiot. Which you fucking are!
Perry: [to the camera] To all you good people in the Midwest, sorry we said "fuck" so much.
Perry: He called her a... well, a bad word. [pause]
Perry: Cunt.
Harry: I peed on the corpse. Can they do, like, and ID from that?
Perry: I'm sorry, you peed on...?
Harry: On the corpse. My question is...
Perry: No, my question. I get to go first. Why in pluperfect hell would you pee on corpse?
Harry: Umm, clearly I'm interrupting. I feel badly. Let me... What are you drinking?
Harmony: Bad.
Harry: Bad? Sorry.. feel...?
Harmony: You feel bad.
Harry: Bad?
Harmony: Badly is an adverb. So to say you feel badly would be saying that the mechanism which allows you to feel is broken.
Perry: Go. Sleep badly. Any questions, hesitate to call.
Harry: Bad.
Perry: Excuse me?
Harry: Sleep bad. Otherwise it makes it seem like the mechanism that allows you to sleep...
Perry: What, fuckhead? Badly's an adverb. Who taught you grammar? Get out. Vanish.
There. Don't you feel refreshed after reading those?
I know I do.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

If anybody can knock Elliott Brood out of my head, it would be Primal Scream

If you've got an ohrwurm imbedded in your brain, you need something that is the complete opposite to dislodge it. Not that any of Elliott Brood songs are really ohrwurms, mind you, because that usually connotes an irritating song, and Elliott Brood are anything but, but after a while it does drive you crazy when you can't stop listening or thinking about certain songs, regardless of how good they are.

And happily, it just so happens that we made a long overdue trip to our local used record store yesterday, where we found Primal Scream's Evil Heat, A Jesus and Mary Chain cd of b-sides called Barbed Wire Kisses, and Morrissey's Vauxhall and I - for a grand total of $25.00.

Evil Heat is a grand cd. I started listening to a song called Detroit and thought, holy crap that sounds like the JAMC, and sure enough Jim Reid was doing the vocals. And haha also guesting on Evil Heat are, among others, Robert Plante and Kate Moss. Kate Moss? WTF! She must have been there for the drugs. Although Eva claims that she and Bobby Gillespie have the same bone structure and that's how they met.

It was total bargain day, yesterday, as I also found a really cute top at Value Village for $6.00. Except I thought it was $4.00, so initially I felt a little ripped off. However, I spent all the money I had saved on an NME and a MOJO, with Thom Yorke featured on the cover looking particularly evil and demented as it is taken at a very myspacey angle.

All of a sudden, the Jesus and Mary Chain are all over the place again. They recently received the MOJO Maverick Award, which only Jim showed up to receive. He was presented the award by former bandmate (and now Primal Scream frontman), Bobby Gillepsie and Primal Scream bassist, Douglas Hart - the first time that group of fellows have shared a stage in 20 years.

There's a really surreal group photo in MOJO with Jim Reid (now looking like a mild-mannered geography teacher, as opposed to the crazy haired guy on the left) standing in the back row beside - but 5 feet from - Bobby Gillespie, who looks like a malnourished 12-year old boy in an rather unfortunate-looking striped golf shirt, and who is in turn standing beside Nick Cave, who is looking like nothing less than an escapee from a mental institution, with that weird fu manchu moustache he has been sporting since he has taken up writing western screenplays.

Elton John is quoted as saying "You wouldn't think that I like the Mary Chain, but I love them".

And Jim Reid said, upon accepting the award "No offense to MOJO, but I thought it was gonna be a room above a pub with a crate of beer and everybody going, 'I like your record'."

I notice that five of the JAMC albums are being remastered and rereleased. Hmmm, so why the sudden resurgence of interest in the Jesus and Mary Chain all of a sudden? You would think that the record company executives have been reading this blog or something, wouldn't you? But that sort of paranoia will get you in the loony bin.
Still though, it makes me feel rather like a trend setter. Next thing you know grey hair and wrinkles will be fashionable.

So just in case you've got a song you need removed from your head, here's Primal Scream to give you a leg up. Sorry, I can't seem to imbed still, so you'll have to click below to hear. My apologies for the extra clickage, but you won't regret it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

How's Your Friday?
(a shameless ripoff of "How's Your Wednesday?)

Barbara W, the ever vigilant CBC watcher, (see what a great audience wrangler she would be, you folks at The Hour?), alerted me that Jian read my spotting the ultimate hippy letter on Sounds Like Canada today. Perhaps having a last name like Ghomeshi has made Jian sensitive to name pronunciation, but I have got to say, he has always done a beautiful job of pronouncing my not-so-easy name. You win, Jian.

Now the gloves come off. Was it Peter Brown or me who spotted the ultimate hippy at the Calgary Folk Festival last weekend? Okay, so Peter got an interview with his dude and I didn't even get a picture of mine, but come on, a long gauzy skirt beats jeans any old day. And the festival chair and the bike helmet strapped to her back? You have to admit I've got you there, Peter. Wanna arm-wrestle?

Okay Jian, it's your turn - what the story behind the frilly pink shirt, man?

On The Circuit tonight (8:00pm CBC Radio One), you can hear Great Lake Swimmers recorded at the Calgary Folk Fest. Eva and I were in the audience. See if you can hear her yell "wooden stars". A friend of hers makes a point of yelling that at concerts and we have heard him caught on recording once or twice. I'm the one going "wooo!".
Great Lake Swimmers (from my old stomping grounds London, ON, yo!) have a really dreamy atmospheric sound, and front Tony Dekker has a voice that will break your heart.
Sadly, I alternated between loving the sound of Great Lake Swimmers and kicking myself for missing the Elliott Brood mini-concert being held in the Megatunes tent at the same time. Oh the ironing is delicious!
Did I ever mention that I love Elliott Brood? Surely I forgot to mention it. I hardly ever repeat myself. I cannot stop listening to them. Damn you Elliott Brood - get out of my head!
Oooh I just checked their show listings and they are coming back to Calgary in October (opening for Corb Lund). Good birthday present for a certain Zombie!
Check them out if they are near you:
Aug 4 Nelson BC @ Royal Hotel
Aug 5 Lethbridge AB @ Tongue 'n' Groove
Aug 12 Cobalt ON @ Fred Eaglesmith's Great Northern Picnic and Musicfest
Aug 22 Lethbridge Exhibition
Sep 9 Wayne AB @ Waynefest

Cross-Canada Tour with Corb Lund & The Hurtin' Albertans:
Sep 15 Ottawa ON @ New Capital Music Hall
Sep 17 London ON @ Cowboys Ranch
Sep 21 Kingston ON @ Elixir
Sep 23 Toronto ON @ Lee's Palace
Sep 26 Thunder Bay ON @ Outpost (Lakehead U)
Sep 28 Winnipeg MB @ Ramada Theatre
Sep 29 Saskatoon SK @ Prairieland Park
Oct 02 Regina SK @ Conexus Arts Centre (Doris Knight Hall)
Oct 04 Grande Prairie AB @ Crystal Gardens
Oct 05 Edmonton AB @ The Starlite Room
Oct 07 Edmonton AB @ Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Oct 10 Lethbridge AB @ Yates Theatre
Oct 11 Calgary AB @ The Whiskey
Oct 12 Calgary AB @ Jack Singer Hall
Oct 13 Red Deer AB @ Red Deer Memorial Centre
Oct 14 Lethbridge AB @ The Roadhouse

Bonus points if you can spot the Simpsons' reference in the above post.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Oxford, 2046
If you think the conversations on this blog get a little weird sometimes, you should be grateful you aren't in the car with Eva and I sometimes.

For some reason, yesterday we started talking about what it would be like at Thom Yorke's house 40 years from now. We pictured him as an even more grumpy old man who does not tolerate idiots. His strange ginger fuzz has become even more unkempt and is liberally streaked with grey. Plus his eyebrows and his ear-hairs have grown out of control, causing him to have trouble seeing past his shaggy eyebrows, which only makes him more irritable.

Daughter Agnes is a doctor and lives in Oxford, as she has always felt somewhat responsible for her father's well-being. She comes over periodically to trim his eyebrows, for which she gets soundly berated.
(All conversation is said in our best Oxford accents, of course):
"Father, sit still, you cannot see a thing. I must trim these bushes or you'll trip and you'll break your hip! And then what will you do?"
"Leave me alone, Agnes, I don't want to see those pathetic idiots around here anyway! I'm better off with a broken hip than to have to look at those sheep".

And Rachel looks into the living room from her studio and sighs.

Son Noah has long ago made his escape to London, where he writes children's books. He has never been comfortable around his father's vitriolic tongue and he only visits on Guy Falk's Day and Christmas. He is gay, which doesn't bother Thom, other than the fact that Noah's partner is an insurance salesman.

Radiohead are still for the most part in touch on a regular basis. They usually meet at Jonny Greenwood's flat to sing their old songs, except that Thom gets disgusted because he thought they were meeting to discuss overtaking the Labour party government. When Jonny leaves the room to get them all another beer, Thom usually takes a whack with his cane at Jonny's little dogs, whom he hates with a passion.

"Yelp! Yelp! Yelp!"
"Thom, what did you do to my dogs?"
"Little bastards bit me!"
"They did not - they have no teeth - just like you"
"Well they meant to. I could tell by the look in their eyes. Little cretins!"
"You can't even see them, Thom!"
"I don't need to see them; I can feel their evil eyes upon me."

And so on and so on.

Eva gets all her weirdness from her father.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

God my kid is smart
For the last two days, I've been struggling trying to post photos on Blogger and today Eva says "why don't you upload them in Bolt and then imbed the html?" Duh!
And she even did it for me so I could go exercise (first time back after the wee back issues and man do I need it). Plus she put in a little code so that when you point the cursor at the picture a tag comes up. I asked her where she learned that and got the eye-roll and "it's common knowledge" response.
Kids. Can't live with em, can't shoot 'em...
Songs aren't imbedding properly in Blogger right now, so here are the direct links to some songs which you could have heard at the Calgary Folk Festival this summer. Sorry for making you do the extra click, but I'd love to hear your opinions:
1. Oh, Alberta - Elliott Brood [from Tin Type] - (a happy goofy song - I challenge you not to smile)
2. Second Son - Elliott Brood [from Ambassador] - (a much darker song, the characteristic Elliott Brood Death Country sound)
3. Streets of Anxiety - Dubblestandart [from Are You Experienced] - (nice piece of dub, very cool groove)