Saturday, May 31, 2008

My history of movie recommendations.

There's a recently-retired teacher who comes in and regularly does supply-teaching at our school. She's great with our kids, knows most of them because she's in so often, and she knows her way around the school because she taught there for so long; to wit, she once chaperoned a school dance there where the band was Rush. I shit you not. ("Nice boys," she said.)

She's also a big film buff, and likes quality flicks. A couple of years ago, I saw the Mexican film Y Tu Mama Tambien, and recommended it to her the following week. What I forgot about this film was that the very opening scene, even before the credits, is composed entirely of two 18-year-olds fucking each other's brains out, exceedingly graphically... press play, two seconds of blackness, then some furniture-destroying shaggin' accompanied by grunting and groaning that would've made Monica Seles proud.

Perhaps this colleague of mine was trying to exact some revenge on me lately when she recommended Lars and the Real Girl to me. The setup: a lonely guy in a small northern-American town (played by Canadian Ryan Gosling, and also apparently shot in different places in Ontario), who lives in the garage behind his parents' old house in which his brother and pregnant sister-in-law now live, orders a Real Doll and treats her like his girlfriend, all around town.

That's right... a Real Doll — those anatomically-correct, exceedingly life-like latex dolls that are usually used strictly for, ahem, "penetrative" purposes.

Oh, that's fine. Go ahead and be sceptical of this film. I was too, until I saw it this afternoon. It was actually pretty solid, well-acted, and the characters were very deeply-portrayed... although it made something like Fargo look pretty normal in comparison, and that's a pretty quirky movie itself.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Expert hockey analysis.

Game 3, Stanley Cup final between Detroit and Pittsburgh. Pre-game show, talking about the finer points of the series so far.

Ron McLean, to Kelly Hrudey:

"So, Kelly, what is going to be the key for the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight?"

Just once, I would like someone like Hrudey to answer with:

"Well, Ron, you see, the key for the Penguins tonight is to score more goals than Detroit. If they do that, they'll definitely win the game."

Monday, May 26, 2008

I got paid to do this.

My job works out pretty well sometimes. Today was one of those days: I took my physics class to Canada's Wonderland to do experiments on the rides.

Naturally, I got a comped ticket. I love the word "comped" — not only is it a great-sounding word, it's a great-feeling feeling when you get something for free that other suckers totally pay money for. Suckers!

Some observations:

1. I rode The Behemoth, a roller coaster whose highest point is far higher than the Drop Zone. Good christ this thing is (a.) big, (b.) fast, (c.) scary as shit, and (d.) awesomely awesome.

2. No matter how well you plan things with your classes, some moron is going to screw it up. "Meet at Thing X at 4:30," you say. Very clearly, several times. Where do they meet? Outside the fucking main gates, to the tune of, "But sir, I could've swore you said to meet out by the buses!"

3. Teenage girls use outings to Wonderland to hooch themselves up pretty thoroughly. Obviously I'd never go there in a million years, but even though I'm decent and upstanding, I'm not blind.

4. I don't remember teenage girls having tits that big that often when I was a teenager myself. In some sad, sad way, I'm almost envious of teenage guys having that kind of a visual smorgasbord available to them, and this is where i reallyreallyreally have to stop this train of thought.

...although it does remind me of a skit I saw on this past Saturday Night Live (a repeat which Ashton Kutcher capably hosted): four guys are sitting around a table, reminiscing to the song Amie by country-rock band Pure Prairie League. Part of the conversation is as follows.

Guy #1: You know who this song reminds me of?
Guy #2: Amie?
Guy #1: No, Courtney.
Guy #3: Oh yeah! Did you ask her out?
Guy #1: Yep, I finally worked up the courage. Got turned down cold.
Guy #4: Wow, really?
Guy #1: She said she'd never go out with me. Said she heard I was a pedophile.
Guy #2: You don't say!
Guy #1: I know! I told her, "'Pedophile'? That's a pretty big word for a ten-year old!"

I hope it made you laugh half as hard as I did.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Chasing skirts, coming up empty, but... whatev.

So, this girl I kinda liked as of late... well, she's gone a little crazy. Or maybe her Inner Crazy just came out in the light. Anyway, the point of the story is, I'm not that broken-up over it.

As I was explaining this to Frequent Site-Contributor ECB, a diagram started to materialize in my head. Because my memory is akin to that of a goldfish, I had to ditch ECB and start drawing.

Behold, Mount Delusion, in all its grandeur:

It's no Rushmore or Everest, but it gets the job done. I usually strap on my climbing gear and head on up The Path as quickly as I can.

I've made it here often enough:

It stings when I have to climb back down, tail-between-legs. A lot. But hey, what's life if it doesn't bite you in the ass now and again?

Fortunately, though, I only made it here with the girl in question:

Disappointing to be sure, but the key factor of "Area Code Gap" (and not just 416/905) played a key role.

It's just a good thing I didn't do this, or else I'd have been in real trouble:

Those are a bit harder to shake off. Trust me.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

On the importance of quiet.

I live in a loud-ass city. It's big, it's noisy, and the only way to get it to stop is to shoot every last goddamn person here square between the eyes. But, because that would require a lot of bullets — and my team of lawyers also advises me that it's somewhat illegal — the best thing I can do is to try and control the amount of noise I'm exposed to.

In case you don't know, I'm a teacher in a high school. And in case you don't know, teenage kids have one volume: fucking loud as shit. It might be because of the iPods they constantly have jammed into their ears, killing their hearing and makes them have to shout just to be heard. Or it might be because, in order to sell their drugs on the street corners, they have to yell over the constant sound of gunfire. Either way, the place is filled with hundreds of kids, screaming their heads off for six hours a day.

It also doesn't help that I have a few moronic colleagues who decide that the PA system is their personal play-toy — they jump on there and scream this, that and the other into the thing, perhaps not realizing/caring that, when they get on there, everyone in the school has to stop every conversation they're having, because their idiotic voices are blasting in everyone's ears. A kid is asking me an important question in a hallway? Gotta stop talking until the douche on the PA is done. Having a professional conversation with a colleague? Same deal.

In addition, I live in an apartment facing a major street, which is not too far from one of the largest hospitals in Toronto. Sirens and incessant traffic noise: a combination forged in hell. Oh, and let's not forget those quiet summer nights at 1 am, when you have the windows open because your apartment is a goddamn sauna, and some asshole decides to open 'er up on his sports car or, worse yet, Japanese motorcycle, when the light turns green. Yeah, we all appreciate that, asshole.

This has turned into a major rant, I guess. I'm not sure it has a point, and I'll just stop here, but maybe Psilence would help.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Tigers? They're shit.

Detroit Tiger manager Jim Leyland is a newspaper writer's dream. Here's his response to a reporter's question about whether or not Leyland starting to publicly call out individual players for their crappy performances would affect the team or not. (The original quote had the profanity removed, but for effect I've re-inserted it.) Enjoy.

I don't give a shit what [effect] it has. When people start making weak excuses in the newspaper, diversionary tactics and shit, that rubs me wrong. I don't give a shit what effect it has. It can't have a bad effect, because we've been as shit as you can be. So it can't hurt. I'm not looking for problems here, but I'm a man. I look in the mirror. When I'm shit, I'm shit. And there's a few [players] in that clubhouse right now that are shit too. And they need to look in that mirror. Don't look at mine, look at theirs. And don't look at the guy next to them. Look in the mirror yourself. Don't be pointing fingers over here and why we're not doing well. That's all weak shit. Grilli's shit, some of that other shit I read in the paper today, that's weak shit. Weak.

. . .

Grilli should worry about Colorado. I mean, if Jason Grilli had done a better job, he'd still be here. I don't want to hear any weak shit from Jason Grilli. But that's not any concern of mine now either, because he belongs to somebody else. My concern is the guys out there that are talking weak shit. And they'll know about it today.

. . .

Look in the mirror. Look at the numbers. And you're worried about the clubhouse? Take care of the clubhouse then. You want me to run out there like a schoolteacher every two minutes, make sure the clubhouse is good? These guys are grown men. That's weak shit.

(For reference, former Tiger pitcher Jason Grilli was quoted in an article in USA Today today saying that the clubhouse had grown really stale and complacent by the time he was released in late April.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

The end of a long weekend.

Seven o'clock on Victoria Day... where else would I be but (a.) on my couch, (b.) looking at the stacks of science labs I have to mark — rather, the bag in which they've been placed since Friday afternoon, and from which they have yet to be removed, and (c.) playing acoustic guitar along to Cake's Fashion Nugget album?

Nineteen more days of lesson plans, to-the-second schedules and endless paperwork. After that it's a week of exams, a few days of end-of-year tidying-up (and preparing for September), and then my life is mine for two beautiful months.

This is my sixth year of teaching (not including two years out in the middle "for good behaviour," as I like to tell people), and I still count 'em down like a rookie.

* * * * * * *

Living by oneself has its pros and cons. I had housemates for the last four years of university and the first four years of working, but for the four years since I've been rockin' it solo-style (two at Queen's, two back in Toronto).

Some of the pros are obvious (no scheduling of bathroom-time in the morning; no housemates leaving shit around the house for weeks for no reason; no near-fistfights with very bitter Italian-Canadians after you learn one of your ex-students has been shot [he was OK]).

There are cons, too — some of them are obvious as well (it does get a little lonely at times, but only very sporadically; nobody to split the bills with; no randomly-made dinners surprising you when you walk in the door from a long-ass day). But some of them aren't so obvious.

I think, in some ways, I'm losing my grip on reality. I'm a bit of a hermit sometimes — I'm perfectly happy chilling out at home and busying myself with, well, whatever strikes my fancy at the time. (Because I grew up in a small town, I'm seldom bored.) A side-effect of this is that I think I'm developing some habits that would be concomitant with being a crazy-person: I occasionally talk to myself in weird voices just to see what they sound like, I've gone four grizzled days without shaving (that's a lot for me), I'll eat a bowl of Master Choice Fruit Whirls at 1 in the morning if the mood strikes... shit, there's probably a dozen more that are flying under the radar right now.

Anyway, the moral of the story is..., does this have a moral? I don't think it does, other than the fact that I'm slowly sliding into insanity. But hey, what else is new?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hendrix rules, and Coming Attractions.

Once upon a time, my buddy Scott gave me a copy of Jimi Hendrix's Axis: Bold as Love. I was a scant 14 or 15 years old, and didn't know shit about shit; consequently, I just didn't "get" the album, even though I distinctly remember trying to, and thinking that I probably should, but for whatever reason, didn't.

Now, armed with years more experience and a more refined musical palate, I finally took another crack at the thing.


Seriously. worth. your. time.

Also: I'm working up a pretty good rant about technology, including (but not limited to) cell phones. It's going to be a collection of a bunch of stuff I've been thinking about for a few years, but haven't really put together in one place. Stay tuned, bitches.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A musical observation.

Radiohead's In Rainbows sounds like the soundtrack to a film that I'd really want to see.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Conservative/Republican Sex Scandal #383.

For the past few years, you really haven't been able to swing a sack of doorknobs without hitting a sex scandal involving some sort of Republican, especially of the Hilariously Wacko Christian Conservative Bible-Thumpin' Evangelical variety.

Today's scandal: Vito Fossella, a Republican member of the House of Representatives from New York. (Aside: New York elects Republicans? Who knew?) He's just straight-up conservative, which still makes this sort of thing "reasonably amusing."

Long story short... Fossella gets pulled over by the cops a week ago and gets nailed for drunk-driving. The cop asks him, "So, what are you doing around here, anyway?"

Fossella responded, "I'm visiting my daughter."

Cop: "Oh? You have a daughter in the area?"

Fossella (later, in his official police statement): "I have a daughter by this chick over here in the greater DC area. 'One in every port,' or something like that. Good thing my wife in Staten Island doesn't know!"*

Anyway, the moral of this story is, you'd think that if the Democrats were the godless sodomites the Republicans make them out to be... wouldn't it be them getting into all sorts of questionable hanky-panky? I mean, sure, there was Bill Clinton, getting some intern-lovin' in the White House, but at least she wasn't some 15-year-old boy/male prostitute-slash-meth-dealer/woman who bore your bastard-child behind your wife's back.

Hypocrisy? You bet. "Do as I say, not as I screw."**

* I think she knows now, though.
** I just made this up, just now. Patent Pending, motherfuckers!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

An international bitch-slap.

I've been jonesin' to call out the government of Burma — I don't do the whole "Myanmar" thing — and this seems like a pretty good time to do it.

I mean, first off, it's Burma and the US alone who haven't officially adopted the Metric system. Get with the times, jerks!

Perhaps more importantly these days is Burma's reaction to the gigantic cyclone which kicked their ass recently. The place is a catastrofuck of immense proportions, as some reports now are saying 100,000 people could be dead. That's some serious trouble, and a country with as shoddy an infrastructure as Burma should take all the help it can get.

But no... they'd rather get help "on their own terms" and from "traditional allies" such as Thailand and China. Countries like the US and Canada are lining up cash, people and supplies... and are being turned down.

Can you fucking believe this?! Think about it: the government of Burma is putting the pride of its military dictatorship above the well-being of a giant chunk of its people.

Pride before people. Jesus, it sounds like the mantra of the Conservative Party of Canada, doesn't it? The only difference here is that a population the size of Thunder Bay hasn't died in the matter of a couple of days. I mean, Stephen Harper's a dick and all, but this is way past that.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

It's gonna be glorious.

Alas, the Perfect Storm of Traffic Clusterfucks on my street, Bayview.

The dude from City-TV says, "Oh yeah, just use Bayview. It's a snappy alternative to both the DVP and Yonge."


Anyway, for the thing I gotta go to on Sunday afternoon, which is just off Bayview and just north of the 401, I figure I should leave... um... pretty much now, actually.