Saturday, May 30, 2009

Christmas is a ways away.

But, if you're looking for gift ideas for yours-truly, you can't go wrong with this.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I am a great fuckin' guy.

And don't you ever forget it. To wit:

Today we took the kiddies (57 of them) to Canada's Wonderland so I could get paid to ride rides. Mind you, this is after putting in hours of paperwork, getting all kinds of crazy forms in, counting mountains of cash, wrangling buses, rearranging kids from one bus to another because the second driver got into an accident on the way to the bus depot (in his own personal car) and it was going to be an hour before another driver got there, dealing with equipment, doing surgery on stopwatches to replace their batteries, counting and recounting and recounting kids again, and hoping it wouldn't rain.

(It sprinkled a couple of times, but the threat of rain kept away most casual parkgoers, and the lines were mercifully short.)

Outside the ride now called something like Backlot Stunt Track Dealie Thing (formerly "The Italian Job," when Paramount owned the park), I looked down and saw a fresh, new Season Pass to Wonderland, with the name also freshly written on the back. It was a somewhat-kooky Polish-looking name, which I imagine is pretty unique in this part of the world, so it later dawned on me that, through the miracle of Facebook, I could probably find her.

Which I did.

I'm putting the thing in the mail tomorrow morning.

Q: Who needs religion to have a set of morals?
A: Not me.

* * * * * * * * *

Why do Beck's lyrics seldom make sense? Listen to pretty much anything he's ever done (aside from Sea Change, which was straightforward and extremely solemn), and nothing ever comes close to being a coherent thought. I'm fine with this, because I think lyrics in songs are stupid to begin with ("Ooooooooh! I just looooooove how Hoobastank's lyrics make "The Reason" speak to me!"), and vocals make it easy for bands to get away without writing a true melody (as opposed to vocal stylings over dumb chord progressions). Is Beck using satire to show how meaningless most lyrics are? I can't bring myself to believe that he wants us to take the phrases "automatic bazooty" and "mouthwash jukebox gasoline" seriously.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cross that one off the list.

While it's true that I do have strong nerdlike tendencies at times — running Linux, degree in physics, a mild obsession with the English language — I take pride in my ability to work with power tools. I don't mean some rinky-dink rechargeable screwdriver (although I do own one); I mean the big ones, the loud ones, the "you'll do big damage to yourself if you fuck with these" ones.

So, yesterday, I officially added "jackhammer" to my checklist of power tools (which includes table saw, bandsaw, cutting torch, arc welder, lathes of the wood and metal variety, circular saw, jigsaw, belt sander, and a few I'm probably missing). It's the biggest, loudest and most phallic power tool I've ever used, and I can't think of one which could top it (save for gas-powered hole-auger, one of those big-ass pile-drivers and, naturally, an oil derrick).

Earlier this week, my buddy says to me, he says, "Hey, want to come over on Saturday and help bust concrete out of my back yard so I can lay down some lush, verdant vegetation?" I figure it was either going to involve a sledgehammer or a jackhammer, so I told him I'd be in for that. Fortunately, he rented a couple of medium-sized jackhammers (I think most professional ones are pneumatic, but these were electric), and we had at it.

What I never realized about these things is their sheer weight — I bet these things tipped the scales at over 70 or 80 pounds apiece. When you have the lever pressed down and the thing is bashing away at whatever it's sitting on, all you do is basically guide the thing and let its own weight do the pushing. The problem is, though, once you've let it bust through whatever is in its path, you have to lift the thing back up to go again — and, as I mentioned, the thing is a friggin' beast. Plus, you have to do this countless times. The moral of the story is that my biceps hurt today.

The thing does shake you a bit, but it's not as bad as cartoons would have you believe. If everything's going well, all the vibration is directed downwards, and the energy is absorbed by whatever it is you're trying to break apart. Then again, things don't always go well, and you do end up sometimes getting your body all-shook-up.

And so, with sore arms, I'm playing two baseball games later this afternoon. Hooray for Tylenol.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The socialists are coming, the socialists are coming.

Seems as if the Republicans are all hot-and-heavy on the whole "let's always refer to the Democrats as a bunch of socialists because they think it might be a spiffy idea if the government provides some stuff that for-profit corporations currently does, namely health care."

Stephen Colbert put it perfectly, when he responded to a bunch of Republican spokespeople endlessly referring to "government bureaucrats making decisions" in the health care system:

Can you imagine? It'll be, "Hello, bureaucrats! Goodbye, mom-and-pop massive insurance conglomerates!"

(This was during his "The Word" segment; the snappy sidebar changed to "Getting Screwed Will Lose That Personal Touch".)

I know whenever I go into one of our All-Powerful Government Tyrannical Monopoly Hospitals, I can't walk ten feet without seeing a life-sized portrait of an angelic Ministry of Health bureaucrat hanging in the hall with a plaque beside it saying, "Hey you, you don't need that air-cast! Just walk it off, you pussy!"

Monday, May 18, 2009

One-Sentence Random Thought #3.

A month ago, when faced with a choice between doing my taxes by hand and marking labs, I chose doing my taxes, and I feel exactly the same way today, as I do every day between September and June, inclusive.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

One-Sentence Random Thought #2.

My apartment smells like pork ribs and barbecue sauce, which is why slow-cookers rule.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I wish I had more to tell you.

Dear Readers,

I'm just really busy lately. I go to work extra-early, I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, I get home late, I zonk out on my couch for an hour or two, I get up, I mill-around my apartment for a while, and I go to bed.

Here and there I listen to "Electric Feel" by MGMT, and Little Steven's Underground Garage on Sunday nights (like I am presently), and I've been catching some hockey (Go Wings!), but that's about all. Slo-pitch season just started, and for some reason I'm absolutely crushing the ball (three homers in the first two games). I think it's all because of this awesome bat we have.

The way things are going down at work, if I can just survive until May 28, I'll be fine. But until then, it's gonna be one busy time down at the ol' schoolhouse.

I really should do less next year.

JTL

PS: Dill pickle-flavoured rice chips are the shizz.
PPS: Crazy-good breakfast-cereal sale on at Metro (aka Dominion) this week. Go, get your Froot Loops! No more crappy Master Choice™ Fruit Whirls for this guy! (At least until the box runs out.)
PPPS: I am now going to pour up a big bowl of Froot Loops.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Contentment.

I'm not entirely sure why this feeling came over me as I drove home today from work.

It's not like anything big or amazing has happened — I still have about four major work-related things on the go which don't actually involve teaching, my own baseball season is starting soon (which will take up my Sunday afternoons/evenings from now until Labour Day, with a couple weekend-long tournaments thrown in), my love-life is in the crapper, the price of gasoline is creeping back upwards, the conflict in Sri Lanka continues to rage, and Toronto's thinking about banning right turns on red lights.

But as I listened to the opening saxophone-laced introduction to the first track of Black Mountain's self-titled album while sipping a coffee and driving down Kingston Road, for some reason I felt completely relaxed. All the stress and stupidness of my life just melted away for some unknown reason, and I started grinning like an idiot who just figured out how to use Velcro for the first time.

Sometimes you just gotta roll with it.