Tuesday, January 30, 2007

They shouldn't even bother.

From time to time, I come home from work and check my mailbox to find a piece of paper from Canada Post saying that, when they tried to deliver a package to me sometime during the middle of the day, nobody was home. Therefore, I should haul my ass to the local Shoppers Drug Mart sometime "after 1300 tomorrow" to pick up what I paid someone else to send to my place of habitation, so I wouldn't have to leave said place in order to actually acquire the item in question, which I could have easily accomplished given that (a.) I own a car, and in case said car ceases to function, (b.) public transportation passes right by my place of habitation, as I just heard while typing the word "public," I shit you not.

(Oh, #88 South Leaside bus... right on time.)

The problem, of course, is that most people — including myself — WORK DURING THE GODDAMN DAY. That means that, surprise surprise, I ain't gonna be there to pick up whatever crap I ordered off www.penis-embiggener.com when Please Mister Postman comes to my door.

Seriously, I wonder what percentage of people are actually at home at 1:25 on a Tuesday afternoon in late January. It's gotta be in the teens somewhere, if that.

As such, I propose that a significant percentage of service industries — barbershops, Canada Post parcel delivery, clothing stores, the telephone service hotline at www.penis-embiggener.com — open for business at 4:00 pm instead of this 9:00 am horseshit. Open at 4, close around 11 at night; that way, I can actually get to shit before it closes. TD Canada Trust boasts that they're open late now and again... open it up late every night, you overstuffed cash-jockeys! Some of us have shit to do during the daylight hours!

In conclusion, I demand to have my item delivered to me when I am at home. And I demand that my barber be open evenings. (Sorry, Rocco.)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Comparison 2: The Sequel.

I told Matt about me comparing him to Bam Margera, and — completely unprovoked, I might add — volunteered to take a photo of himself holding something in a pose similar to Bam's.

So, without further ado, I submit for your comparing eye this pair of side-by-side photos.


Let me reiterate that the new photo was entirely Matt's idea. Also, he is holding a bottle of "Teachers" scotch, because he is both an alcoholic and an educator. And ladies, he's single (but currently living in Brazil).

There, I said it.

Bottled water is stupid.

ohgodIhatemarking ohgodmakeitstop whydotheymakemedothis thisistortureitreallyis mykidsaresostupid andit'snotmyfaultiswear

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A comparison.

Figuring out how to take a screen capture of a DVD took me friggin' long enough, so I'm damn well gonna share my success with the world. (Long story short: under Linux use VLC, even if you have to armwrestle it into submission to correctly play a DVD. Nothing else seems to work.)

While watching Jackass Number Two, I noticed something about Bam Margera: namely, that from certain angles, he bears a striking ressemblence to my friend Matt. I've mentioned him before here: he was the one who got marooned in Asuncion, Paraguay with nonfuncional bank cards and no cash to get home, his mom's car broke down in Tennessee while driving back from Mexico and he begged me to drive to Buffalo to pick him and his friend and his friend's worldly possessions up, and is the world's worst filler-outer of paperwork.

First, Mr. Margera showing off an implement of "Medicine-Ball Dodgeball":
And now, Matt while in attendance at a hockey game in Switzerland:
I think it's probably mostly the half-goatee and the dopey look (I didn't capture Matt's too well there, but he's capable of pulling off a Margera-esque one, for sure). Anyway, this was largely an exercise in figuring out how to capture stills from a DVD, and now it turns out I can, so... just keep going about your daily lives as before.

Mission(s) Accomplished.

I made two New Year's Resolutions, and I believe I have fulfilled them both (at least in part).

1. Drink more
For the first time in almost a year, I attended Ritual. Started off with two double-rye-and-cokes (short glass, no fruit, no straw), which tends to set the train a-rollin' juuuuuuust fine, then kept up the brain-pickling with a steady diet of Keith's until KC and the Sunshine Band's "Baby Give It Up" came over the speakers at around 5:30. I realized I'd forgotten most of the Clark Hall Dance... and either most of my fellow dancers had forgotten it as well, or they were (like I was) too drunk to really care if some of the moves got messed-up. At any rate, it's a hell of a lot better way to spend a Friday afternoon than yelling at a room full of ridiculous teenagers to stop being ridiculous.

2. Watch Jackass Number Two
I enjoy high-brow comedy: politically-flavoured farces, British humour and the satirical works of the late Phil Ochs. But I also can't stop laughing at the Jackass fellows... so last night I made good on my second resolution and rented the aforementioned sequel. Yeah, you know what sorts of things to expect from Number Two: vomiting, various colo-rectal feats, random punching/slapping/kicking, and assorted pranks pulled on Bam Margera's parents, April and Phil (including a delicious one called "The Switcheroo"). All in all, a wonderful way to spend an evening.

Other news that's fit to print:
  • Did you know eggs could go bad? I didn't, until today. (Well, I'd always figured that since they were a food product it could be a possibility, but I suppose I've always used dozens I'd purchased in a reasonable length of time. Except today. Yoiks!)
  • There are less than 3 weeks until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. It seems like yesterday that the Tigers were playing... oh, wait, it practically was (well, at least it was the end of October).
  • Nice snow, eh? Finally, some winter.
  • "Highway Star" by Deep Purple, while admittedly awesome, does not, for me, fall into the category of "psychedelic rock." Call it "proto-metal" if you like, but to me psychedelia is more of an early Jimi Hendrix/Piper at the Gates of Dawn/"Incense And Peppermints" kind of thing. Discuss.
  • I'm feeling disconnected from the indie music scene these days, not co-hosting a indie-rock show on a campus radio station anymore and all. Fortunately, the CBC Radio 3 and KEXP podcasts are awesome. If you don't know how to do this podcasting thing, just ask a grown-up and they'll help you (but remember, don't talk to strangers*).
* Unless they have candy.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thank fuck that's over.

I just couldn't contain my enthusiasm yesterday. It bubbled-over around 3:16 pm, when the fact that there was this one asshole kid who I would never have to ever teach again hit me square between the eyes like a bowling ball fired from a cannon.

Except that, instead of a bowling ball, it was a money-shot of pure ecstasy. And, instead of a cannon, it was a cannon of pure ecstasy.

...did I mention I was ecstatic that I won't ever have to talk to that little hellspawn ever again? The one who made my life, and the lives of 22 other unfortunate souls who had the lack-of-pleasure of spending up to 75 minutes in the same room with him 92 times, a living hell? The one whose mom is completely out-to-lunch about how truly horrible a person her son is? The one who has absolutely no filter between his vile, rotten brain and his putrid, railroad-tracked mouth? The one who, oddly, looks like Butthead from that old MTV cartoon?

Yes, that one. Hallelujah.

Now, my colleagues (and even a few students) assure me that I have some real winners coming down the pipe next semester: a mild-mannered Chemistry teacher, who is definitely not prone to fits of yelling and screaming and other such emotional outbursts, lost her shit on one kid multiple times into whose head I apparently will have to cram some Physics knowledge in the upcoming five months.

You know what, though? I can take it. If I spent five months with the aforementioned hellspawn — an extremely talented colleague of mine told me yesterday, "I purposely chose not to teach Grade x so that I wouldn't even have the chance of possibly teaching him" — I swear to whatever's-up-there I can take any kid that ever comes my way. Ever.

Think I'm exaggerating? Back in the fall, we had a pow-wow in the principal's office with the student, his parents, all four of his teachers, a representative from the Academic Resource (aka "Special Ed") department, both vice-principals and the principal, basically letting he and his parents "have it with both barrels," telling the parents about a small sample of the crazy shit he'd done in our classes. I've never seen anything like that before, and neither had any of my fellow teachers, and one of them has been in the game for 25 years.

Alas, I am done with him. Forever.

Ergo, since I have no exam to supervise tomorrow, and we don't have to be in the building if we don't have kids writing, I am travelling to Kingston — namely, Clark Hall Pub at Queen's University — and drinking my goddamn face off at Ritual, starting around 12:30-ish to 1:00-ish. If you're around, and you're thirsty, look for me in the Golden Words jersey which has my approximate age on the back.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

This could get very, very sloppy.

I'm not gonna lie, being a teacher is a pretty sweet gig. Sure, it can cause you to question your sanity from time to time and fear for the future of the country, but between being able to spread my enthusiasm for physics to others and all the red pens I'll ever need in my life, things are pretty decent.

One of the problems, however, is that my entire life is pretty regimented, down to the second, from Labour Day to Canada Day. I get very few weekdays off (and no, PD/PA days are not "days off"), and the ones I do, it seems like everyone else is off as well; I'm never going to get to go on vacation in an off-peak time.

This also obviously puts a crimp in my drinking schedule, confining it largely to Friday and Saturday evenings for ten months a year (and most Friday evenings I'm so bagged I'd just rather go to bed at 11 anyway). Ritual, the Friday-noon-to-6 boozefest at Clark Hall Pub on the lovely Main Campus of Queen's University, was great when I was a grad student, but is now sadly a dream.

...except next Friday, which is during our school's exam period, and I don't have to supervise any students that day. Ergo, I propose a T.O.—to—K-town road trip to Ritual.

Put on yer drinkin' shoes, kids!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Solid but unspectacular.

I played volleyball for the first time in over two years tonight, in a local pick-up rec league here in Toronto. I did alright; most of my serves were in-bounds, I had some nice sets and I honed my "volley off the serve" technique in the middle of the back row. Initially I was a little apprehensive, as the friend with whom I went had gone the previous week and described how someone spiked her in the face and that some of these people are pretty hardcore. However, the level of competition was pretty much in my zone, and I held my own. My friend commented my game, and I responded with, "Well, I guess was solid enough, but not really spectacular in any way."

On the drive home I started thinking about how apt a description this is when applied to other skills I have. In my teaching, I think my students get a thorough understanding of the concepts and their applicability to a diverse set of situations, both real and theoretical... but they aren't doing crazy-ass catapult projects. In most sporting endeavours I can hold my own alright... but I'm not going to be hitting all the home runs or making all the 3-pointers. For playing musical instruments, I can play a decent set of drums or be a capable "campfire guitarist"... but I won't be putting Eddie Van Halen out of a job anytime soon.

I can put together Ikea furniture, but I'm no Norm Abram. I can explain General Relativity alright, but I'm no Chandrasekhar. I'm a pedophile,* but I'm no King of Pop.

So, in conclusion, I don't know what all this means, other than to suggest that, in a world preoccupied with flashy extravagance, it's easy to overlook the solid contributors to the group effort who get the job done but don't necessarily have peoples' jaws hitting the floor.

* I'm not a pedophile. Seriously.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Alright, now I'm REALLY scared.

Why can I not stop watching this? Or this?

For Pete's sake, someone please rescue me from Steely Dan.

...but seriously, though, how many bands these days have the chops to play (much less write) music like this? What an outrageously tight band.

Okay, I'm done. I swear.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I'm scared.

About a week and a half ago, I heard Steely Dan's "Peg" over the speakers pumping tunes into my local Food Basics. I chuckled, as it was used as intro music for episode #2 of Yacht Rock, the one in which the Back Alley Songwriting Contest pitted Hall & Oates against Loggins & McDonald.

My brother picked up the album which contains "Peg," Aja, for a buck a couple of years ago. One day, when I was over at his house, I put it on and thought, "This is really well-put-together music. Too bad it's well-put-together elevator music." I thought it would be fun to download "Peg" for a closer listen — after all, it contains an instance of the mystical "mu major" chord (otherwise known as the "Steely Dan chord" for their propensity to throw it in). I figured I'd listen to it a couple of times, satiate my curiosity, and relegate it to the dustbin; after all, it's elevator music, right?

Well, it's a week later, and I'm FUCKING ADDICTED TO THIS ALBUM. It's scary because it's cheesy and schmaltzy and I know I just lost 300 cool-points, but... god damn it's complex. I like complexity in my music, and everything Steely Dan does is for a reason: there are absolutely no mistakes, as evidenced by the process for selecting someone to play the guitar solo in "Peg". (Legend has it that they brought in at least 7 or 8 different guitarists until someone played a solo they liked.)

So, at this very moment, I'm listening to Aja for the second time today. This is very strange: I normally allow at least 2 days between successive spins of an album... hence my concern.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

There, I said it.

Believing in God, or a set of gods, is a stupid waste of time.

Now, don't get me wrong: I spent a good chunk of my youth dutifully going to Sunday School and Church once a week. (Okay, I was forced to go by my mom. Still, I was buying the story and diggin' the Jesus.) And I can see how religion — the ritual, the history, the "we've got all the answers" attitude — can be a security blanket for a lot of people. It makes them feel good that there's Something out there who has their back.

But there comes a certain point in your life when you have to say, "Alright, I've built a good foundation here. My life is based on solid principles, and now it's time to go and live it."

When I was little, I had a little stuffed dog I would take to bed every night. It made me feel comfortable because it helped me face the Dark. But after a while, I realized that I didn't need it anymore: I knew the Dark wouldn't come out and eat me, so it was time for the puppy to go. ("Thanks, puppy. Thuppy.")

Some habits are hard to break: I chewed my fingernails until I was in about Grade 10, when I made the conscious decision to stop. It was hard at first, but the compulsion went away. My dad quit smoking back in the '80s after taking up the habit when he was 15, and he still chews a ton of gum to feed the physical addiction he still has to the cigarettes.

And so, after a while, I think it's alright to discard the notion of a Divine Being. Some of the morals and ideas you can learn from a book like a Bible (I'm obviously slanting this towards Christianity; "write what you know," the saying goes) are pretty good: don't kill, love your neighbour, hate the fags.* Nice lessons, but do you really need an omnipresent ghost around to hold your dick** while you take a leak?

Now, I'm not saying there is a God/gods, or isn't a God/gods. I believe in what I can see and touch and feel and measure and know to be verifiably true, and a Divine Being doesn't really fall into that category. (I'm sure that some people who have claimed to have "seen God" really just happened to have a some bad oysters which caused hallucinations. It's happened to the best of us.)

In the end, though, who's to say who was right or wrong? The Jews think they're right, the Muslims think they're right, the Branch Davidians thought they were totally on to something, as did those people in that mass suicide when they saw that comet a few years back. Who knows, maybe those suicide folks are totally rockin' out in Heaven right now — we'll never know until we kick the bucket ourselves, and then it'll be too late.

In the meantime, I'll just try to be nice to people and not steal their Fruit Roll-ups.



* I don't hate fags, but some people sure seem to.
** Or whatever equipment you happen to own.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

An open letter to my downstairs neighbour.

Dear Ms. Crazyass,

Since you insist on banging on your ceiling when you perceive I'm making too much noise, I wrote you a polite letter and slipped it in your mailbox suggesting that I try to keep things as quiet as humanly possible up here, both for myself and my guests (but never more than 2 at a time, lest your aforementioned crazy ass be offended by all the commotion we cause up here, playing Trivial Pursuit and, y'know, sighing).

And since you answered my letter with one of your own, suggesting that I "stomp" on the floor, "drag" chairs across the floor, "slam" my door when I leave my apartment, make too much noise with the sliding doors in my closet and "bang" my cupboard doors, I feel it necessary for me to clarify a few things.

1. I do not stomp on the floor. Because you're insane, you don't realize that I have to walk on the balls of my feet as to cushion my steps. In my own apartment. I do so very gingerly, as not to unduly vibrate the floor to cause you this apparent distress.

2. The only chair I've moved in the past six months is the one closest to my dinner table, which I lift and re-place on the floor, and gently at that.

3. I hold my apartment door until it's within an inch or two of being closed, then it very softly closes itself. If this is "slamming," then you're even crazier than I thought you were.

4. My closet doors haven't moved since May.

5. Why would I bang my cupboard doors — are my coffee mugs trying to make a break for it? Is the rigatoni staging a poorly-cast revival of My Fair Lady? I push them closed until the latch catches them, then I walk away (probably to go slam my apartment door shut a few hundred times).

In conclusion, you've made my decision to move all that much easier. Lord knows I despise nothing more than having to haul all my shit somewhere else, but the combination of street noise (you gotta love those motorcycles ripping up the street at 3 in the morning during the summer), the lack of a balcony, the stifling summer heat and, of course, neighbours who came in on a slow train from Looneyland have me hitting the classifieds harder than Macauley Culkin looking for his next gig.

Sincerely,

Your soon-to-be-ex-upstairs neighbour

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Don't think, just keep killin'.

This is Lt. Ehren Watada of the 3rd Brigade of the US Army.


He joined the military back in 2003, because he bought the whole "Saddam Hussein has WMDs and links to al Qaeda" story that the US government was peddling, even though these days Dubya's boys can't seem to spit it out fast enough that, "Hey, we never said Saddam had anything to do with 9/11."

Riiiiiiiiiiiight. If you launch a "War on Terror" in direct response to 9/11, which was carried out by al Qaeda, and then include Iraq in this "War," and then you start speaking of Saddam as "terrorist," you are implying a link between him and al Qaeda and, hence, 9/11 (even though a little bit of digging can easily net you the fact that Osama bin Laden considered Saddam Hussein an infidel and would've liked nothing more than to put a bullet through Saddam's brain, but that's neither here nor there after Saddam got a little "rope massage" a couple of weeks ago).

Now, whether or not Lt. Watada bought the story or not — and he claims that he did, along with a lot of other people — the US-led war on Iraq, no matter what way you slice it, is patently illegal under international law. (You remember international laws, right? The ones that countries say they're going to uphold? Well, Dubya's crew must have thought the one about "don't attack other countries unless it's in self-defence" was "quaint," much like the Geneva Conventions about prisoners of war, and decided to kindly disregard it.) And now Lt. Watada is refusing to be redeployed to Iraq.

Do you condemn him or not? Perhaps an analogy would help.

Let's say there was this new diet being pushed by some guru in which the advertisements said, "All these people who have tried my diet have stopped eating mangos, and all these people lost thirty pounds in six months." You happen to really like mangos, though, and you know that they're generally pretty good for you, unless you happen to be deathly allergic to them.

Consider the above quote, made by the diet guru. Would you say s/he is trying to imply that mangos prevent people from losing weight? It would be easy to make that leap of logic, even though it appears nowhere in the statement. But hey, you're a bit on the tubby side of things, so you're willing to give it a shot: out go the mangos, the mango juice, and your secret family recipe for something called "steak and mango pie." Needless to say, local mango farmers are pretty pissed off, because they've had scientific evidence, gathered since 1991-ish, that says mangos are actually part of a healthy diet.

MangoMania™ sweeps the nation. People burn mango-processing plants to the ground, the mayor of Beloit, Wisconsin declares "Anti-Mango Week" in the city, and old re-runs of Saturday Night Live containing Chris Kattan's "Mango" character abruptly stop being aired; in fact, soon after this "War on Mangos" was declared, you were one of the first to burn a mango tree in effigy. And yet... people still pack on the pounds, more than ever.

Finally, after nearly four years of being mango-free, you decide that it's time for you to read the research and come to your own conclusions about this juicy, ellipsoidal fruit. You realize that it's not mangos that are making people fat, it's the pork rinds and the Double Big Macs and the deep-fried-everything. Hell, even a lot of higher-ups who started the anti-mango movement are now coming out and saying that the diet guru faked his facts. So you vow to go back on the mangos.

"But no!" the obese mob shouts. "Mangos are the enemy! We must stay the course and wipe them out, once and for all!" In the face of all the pro-mango evidence, though, does the mob's argument hold any water anymore? Or are they just crazy idiots who have been brainwashed so thoroughly that they're beyond all reason?

In conclusion, in my opinion, Lt. Watada is justified in refusing to go back to fight this illegal, unjust war. He's a thinking, rational person who has come to realize that he was incorrect in his initial judgment, and should be allowed to once again eat mangos — i.e., not break international law to help continue a conflict which was based on lies (or, even if you're being generous, a "breakdown in intelligence-gathering;" but really, does it matter? It was wrong, the whole war is wrong, and it's immoral to continue the damn thing).

Friday, January 05, 2007

Radio is dead.

This doesn't come as much of a surprise to many, but let me officially declare radio dead.

Well... it's dead to me.

Well, at least in Toronto.

Let me explain.

I don't listen to commercial radio too much as it is. Most days when I drive to and from work, which is where I listen to the radio the most, I end up listening to the CBC. Why, you ask? Well, let's take a quick run through commercial stations on the dial:

Jack-FM, 92.5: I don't need to listen to "My Best Friend's Girl" by The Cars, both the skinniest and most mediocre band in the history of rock and roll, nine times a day.

Flow, 93.5: I work in Scarborough, so I already hear enough about "bitches" and "bling" as it is.

EZ Rock, 97.1 and CHFI, 98.1: "Soft rock." I need say no more.

Mix, 99.9: Possibly the worst of the lot. Middle of the road, its quasi-official genre is "hot adult contemporary," but their mediocre mix of today's pop flavours-of-the-week and Matchbox 20 barely reaches "tepid."

Edge, 102.1: Once upon a time, there was this amazing radio station called CFNY. It played all kinds of cutting-edge (hence its name) artists, but now it's dominated by legions of mascara-clad, sweet-harmonizing, heartbroken, suburban pop-emo BULLSHIT bands. And before the likes of Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance, it was the All Nickelback-And-Disturbed-And-Staind show; I though the neo-garage movement was going to pull them out of their funk, but alas, I was wrong. I don't even bother trying with the Edge anymore... it's just not worth my time. And Dean Blundell? Bazooka Joe is funnier than you, and he hasn't been funny since the Great Depression.

CHUM, 104.5: See "Mix, 99.9".

Q107, 107.1: When I was about 9, I went to a wedding reception where I heard "Takin' Care Of Business" by BTO for the first time. The novelty wore off by the fourth listen. I realize they're CanCon and all, but... give it a rest. (N.B. Andy Frost's overnight program is actually pretty decent; last night as I went to bed he spun a wicked track by John Mayall. Why don't they play this during the day?)

Add to this my disdain for commercials — all of the above saturate their morning shows with endless EXCEEDINGLY LOUD advertisements (seriously, why is this the case? Who cranks up the volume? It's the same on TV) — and you have me either listening to CDs or the CBC most of the time.

And yes, there are noncommercial stations on the dial, but I find they're a little unpredictable. Jazz 91.1 usually has something to ease my mind (unless it has words; god damn I hate jazz vocalists, with the exception of Ella Fitzgerald), and occasionally CIUT has a decent DJ in the morning, but it's pretty hit-and-miss.

So, there you go. A city of three million, and not a decent radio station on the entire dial that plays music. What gives?

(My musing today was inspired by a few hours listening to KEXP over the Internet. I can't say enough about the eclecticism of their playlist: in the span of a few hours I heard songs by Ass Ponys, the New Pornographers, Beck, Lady Sovereign, extremely early Nirvana, the Velvet Underground, Michael Franti and Spearhead, the Stone Roses, DJ Shadow, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club... and those were just from the bands I know. I'd say eight out of every ten songs are by artists I know nothing about; a ten-minute track by an outfit called Low Frequency in Stereo had me nearly hypnotized. So really... are you saying that in this most cosmopolitan of Canadian cities, this multicultural mosaic, this hotbed of musical talent both famous and not, we couldn't put together one fucking decent radio station?! I swear, if I could earn a decent living from running a station that played awesome music across genres, I'd seriously consider doing that full-time instead of teaching.)

(Really.)



Addendum: KEXP is now playing a song off Sloan's (!!!) most recent album. Now, I've been pretty anti-Sloan since about 1999, but this track, "Can't You Figure It Out", is actually fairly decent. Ooooh, hand-claps!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

There's a fine line between innovation and involuntary manslaughter.

From today's London Free Press, reporting on a story in a corner of southwestern Ontario not too far from where I grew up:

Wiper-fluid punch suspected in death

One person is dead and three are in hospital after drinking punch mixed in an windshield-washer fluid container at two holiday parties in Chatham-Kent.

The host of one of the parties, Rebecca Demeurichy, 25, died yesterday after drinking punch that police think was contaminated with windshield-wiper fluid, which contains methyl alcohol.

Her husband, Rob Demeurichy, is one of the three people being treated at a London hospital.

Police said they are still investigating whether the contamination was intentional.

One person was in critical and another in serious condition at London Health Sciences Centre after being flown by air ambulance from Erieau.

Sure, they're handly containers — four litres, tightly sealed top, and a handle good for grasping whilst mixing the ingredients for your next batch of Purple Jesus. Chances are you have a very nearly empty one lying around, if you own a car.

But, here's a tip: if you have a container which held something so toxic as to have the ol' "skull and crossbones" picture on it... you're probably just better off using something else to mix the ingredients for the punch at your Christmas and/or New Year's house party.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's a new year.

So, in the words of Master Shake, "Whoop-dee-damn-doo."

On the brighter side, though, the past few days have seen me take the idea of sloth to new and amazingly slothful heights (lows?). Sleeping late, spending tons of time on my couch reading books by Al Franken, John Hodgman and I.B. Cohen (went big on the Franken today, with his 1999 faux-memoir of his winning the 2000 U.S. presidential campaign, Why Not Me — hey, he's mulling over a Senate run in '08, I figured this would put me ahead of the pundit corps), and admiring what is turning out to be a splendid sunset at this very moment... oh, the colours! If darkness is trying to overtake you, January the Third, you're putting up a valiant and iridescent fight.

Why does my neck hurt?

Hmm.

I hope it's not meningitis. My sister-in-law had that when she was a baby, and the fever was so high that she experienced profound hearing loss in both ears, and she's worn two hearing aids since childhood.* Apparently a sore neck is one of the symptoms.

Maybe it's just my pillow. I've been thinking it's too high lately.

Damn, I'm bored.

* This is entirely true.