Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Get your ass to Lee's Palace.

Friday, December 18
Lee's Palace


Santa on Viagra!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh, that's bad.

Flipping around the radio dial on my way home tonight, I happened upon HTZ-FM (97.7, from St. Catharines; they're alright sometimes). Seems as if they like playing songs from the new Our Lady Peace album.

I did not know Our Lady Peace had a new album.

Turns out, they do.

In case you haven't heard it yet — or, heard the first single from it, cringe-inducingly-titled* "All You Did Was Save My Life" — imagine this:
  • Raine Maida's, ahem, "unique" voice
  • even-more-emo lyrics
  • suburban-emo-pop vocal harmonies and guitar "licks"
It truly is a marriage made in hell, this fusing of Raine's voice and the sort of music you get from bands like Fall Out Boy. Can you imagine that? Raine Maida fronting Fall Out Boy? If you can't, get Our Lady Peace's new album. It's ear-stabblingly good.
* My old CFRC co-host and I used to look at new CDs we'd never heard before and, solely based on the band's name, the album's name and the track names, we'd guess what the music sounded like. Nine times out of ten, we were bang-on.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A word of advice.

I shared this with frequent blog-commentor ECB, but I think it warrants repeating.

I bought a bag of rice chips from Dollarama, labelled "salt and vinegar." They taste pretty much like you'd expect salt-and-vinegar rice chips to taste like... but they actually smell quite strongly of something ressembling latex paint.

So, take my advice: unless it's a chocolate bar or a soft drink, don't eat things you buy at Dollarama.

* * * * * * *

Special Bonus Thing: The Chinese government is a bunch of cocks.

* * * * * * *

Another Special Bonus Thing: George Strombolopoulos, host of The Hour, wearer of black clothing and all-around cool guy, used to have a syndicated show on the Corus Radio Network on Sundays from maybe 5-ish to 7-ish pm. But, seeing as how Corus (the owner of CFNY and others) didn't give two shits when his friend Martin Streek tragically took his own life earlier this year, Strombo ditched Corus, and he has a new show on CBC Radio 2 on Sunday evenings from 8 to midnight! Unfortunately the last two hours conflicts with Little Steven's Underground Garage here in Toronto on Q107 (which is as awesome as a radio show could be); looks like I'll listen to George live and stream Steven later in the week. Deets here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fun with rental-car companies.

The fourth annual "JTL Florida March Break Baseballfest Bonanza" needs a sweet set of wheels to hopscotch around the Sunshine State, so I decided to call up a rental car company which shall remain nameless (but I will tell you that their colours are the same as a bumblebee's).

Me: "Yeah, so, I was wondering if there's an extra charge to drop off a car at a different airport than I pick it up at."

Agent: "Well, there is no charge for an inter-city rental, but there is a charge for a one-way rental."

Me: (don't really catch the gist the true idiocy of what she said and proceed to give details about the days and cities I require for said rental)

Agent: (quotes me an astronomically-high price)

Me: "Whoa, that's really high. I thought there was no extra charge for an inter-city rental."

Agent: "That's correct, sir. But there is a charge for a one-way rental."

Me: "But, aren't inter-city rentals, by definition, one-way rentals?"

Agent: "That is correct, sir."

Me: (struck speechless by the stupidity on the other end of the phone)

In conclusion, the show "Community" is really, really funny.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One-Sentence Random Thought #11.

I wonder how flammable my marking-pile is.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Berlin Wall follies.

Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall was danced-upon by East and West Berliners. (And yes, I remember that night.)

(You see, kids, there used to be this thing called "communism." Barack Obama is trying to bring it back, though. Godspeed, Comrade Obama!)

You'd think Mikhail Gorbachev would be an interesting person to ask about the Berlin Wall, and you'd be right. The CBC just had an interview with him, which contained this tasty (if paraphrased) nugget of insight into late-1980s geopolitics:

Interviewer: "In 1987, US president Ronald Reagan said, 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.' What was your reaction to that at the time?"

Gorbachev: "It didn't mean anything to us, really. It was nothing new. And, after all, he had been an actor."

Take that, Ghost of Ronald Reagan! You didn't do shit! (Plus, your movies were terrible.)

Stop the "Stop the TV Tax" commercials.

First off, it's not a tax.

Secondly, don't you want to slap that little d-bag who accosted those "random passers-by" on the street?

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, I hate cable companies, because they screw people over for fun and profit. I'll give you an example.

For years, I subscribed to the "basic cable plus a few extra channels" package — you know the deal, I get Discovery and Comedy and the rest, but not the fancy-pants movie networks — and didn't mind paying a few extra bucks. But, I started to think about how little TV I watch, and how most of what I watch can either be found on a free over-the-air channel (e.g. Stewart/Colbert on CTV instead of Comedy) or on basic cable (CBC Newsworld, CP24 and its assorted sexy personalities (seriously, CityTV must be reading my mind these days), and of course CPAC), and... well, it didn't make much sense anymore to pay for all those extra channels when, at most, I'd watch two or three.

And now, the kicker. A friend of my parents, who lives out in the suburbs of Calgary, told me that their cable provider lets them subscribe, if they want, to the other out-of-area Rogers Sportsnet channels for $5 a month. (I live in the Ontario region; there are also East, West and Pacific channels as well.) This confirms something I'd suspected all along: cable companies can let you have single channels, but they would rather make you pay for shit you would never watch, call it a "package," and rake in the bucks.

Meanwhile, of course, local TV stations in Brandon, Red Deer, Wingham and (almost) Windsor have shut down because they don't have enough revenue coming in. Now, as uneventful and uninteresting as a small-city TV news broadcast might seem to some of you city-slickers, this sort of thing is important if you're in Brandon and all you can now get is news from Winnipeg; same goes for Red Deer and either Edmonton or Calgary.

What the annoying d-bag in the commercials doesn't talk about is how smaller cities can easily get overlooked if they don't have a local voice telling the stories that matter to them. As much as I always thought the local-yokel Sarnia radio station news was boring... well, maybe there was a reason my parents would always listen to it. Mind you, we also watched the evening news from Detroit (where single-murders rarely got a mention; triple-murders on the east side of town seemed to really get top billing), so we got a mix. But, if you live in a more remote community, and you don't have a local TV or radio station, how are you going to hear about stuff happening around you? You won't.

Oh, and we didn't have cable growing up — not because my parents were cheap or anything, but we were in such a small town that cable just wasn't available. If it wasn't for the TV stations in London and Kitchener, we would've only had Detroit and Toronto.

Anyway, the point of all this is that local TV does matter. You may not realize it if you've always lived in a big city, but if you don't, it does. Stop the Stop the TV "Tax" people, and fuck Ted Rogers.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I wish I had more to tell you.

I think the title of this post pretty much says it all.

The lack of any sort of day off in the stretch between Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays has really been playing tricks on my mind lately. The reason this all seems ridiculous to me is because, well, I'm usually pretty resilient when it comes to my mood.

Hours of daylight getting shorter? Who cares!
Clouds aplenty instead of sun? Big deal!
H1N1 killing tens of millions worldwide? No sweat!*
* except the sweat from the fever that eventually turns you into a useless, wasted bowl of jelly

I realize that nine straight 5-day weeks in a row with nothing in the middle to break it up is pretty routine in a lot of jobs; people work some pretty crappy gigs, to be sure, and the fact that I really love my job puts me squarely in the minority — as a straight white male of pseudo-quasi-Christian-ish-y background, hey, there's a first time for everything. But what my job has that others lack is an absolute, down-to-the-second rigidity in terms of time and schedule. It just isn't flexible at all, and there's no getting around that; part of the gig, though.

A friend of mine was regaling a few of us around the dinner table last week about a recent company outing to the U2 concert at the SkyDome a few weeks ago... limos to the show, booze everywhere, kickass corporate tickets, and the next day everyone rolled in around noon. As a member of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, and hence part of the group who is the majority owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs (unfortunately), I think it's high time we got a similar kickback:
  • every year, all the teachers in one school get shipped to a Leafs game
  • we get rinkside seats and free booze
  • we get drunk as skunks, get boorish, and maybe get ourselves thrown out of the joint
  • we go out for more drinks afterwards to really get the ol' team-building thing down pat
  • we fall into bed nice and late
  • classes start at 1 the next day!
Ooooooh, I think I'm on to something here.