Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baseball season opens tomorrow.

Bring it on.

GO TIGERS.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sometimes days don't turn out the way you expect them to.

Let's say you caught me this morning just after I rolled out of bed and asked me this:

Hey J, what do you think the odds are of you dropping trou and having your nuts felt up by a stranger today?

First off, I'd have wondered what you were doing in my bedroom. Secondly, where's my phone so I can call the cops on you? But thirdly, right after the 911 dispatcher would've reassured me that, yes, the police currently in transit have orders to "taze the intruder with vigorous brutality," I'd have considered your question and answered, "Not very likely, chum."*

Well, as the title of this post suggests, some days just bring you stuff you weren't expecting.

Let me explain.

I coach a high school baseball team. We're in the middle of early practices/tryouts — I'm not sure we'll have enough to actually form a team, but we'll see — and we had a short practice today in a gym at lunchtime. I threw a fateful batting-practice pitch — we use soft indoor balls, thank GOODNESS — and an ex-student of mine hit a screaming line drive right up the middle.

Yup. Caught it off a mean bounce square in the jimmies.

At first it hurt like fuck. And then it hurt a little less. Then, after about an hour, it didn't hurt at all. But at about 3:00, it hurt so bad I could barely stand.

Now, I'm not what you would call a "nancy" about such things. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, in general. Three times in my life I've had pain this bad, and the other two involved me twisting my right ankle so bad I could hear it crunch. (Stupid Nike baseball cleats.)

(Actually, when I think about it, my top three most painful moments all involve baseball.)

On the advice of our head of boys' phys ed — they deal with sports injuries all the time — I headed to an emergency room for the first time since I was 6. After about three hours of waiting** the doc drew the curtain, I told my story, and he took a look-see. He said there was no major swelling, nothing appears to be ruptured or twisted, so with Tylenol and rest, I'll be fine.

So, how was your Monday? I bet yours involved less blunt-force trauma to your genitals than mine did.
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* This all would have played out much differently if you happenned to have been Halle Berry.
** God damn, get me to a jurisdiction with private health care like the US!!!***
*** I hope you realize I'm kidding.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Let's have an erection.

(And yes, I make that joke every time we go to the polls.)

"Canadians do not want another useless election."
"We put together a budget that helps ordinary Canadians."
"The Opposition is more interested in having voters go to the polls than in helping the people of this country."
— Steve Harper

"Jets and corporate tax cuts, that's what this budget gives out."
"There's not enough in the budget for seniors and working-class Canadians."
"The government has no respect for the institution of Parliament."
— Mike Ignatieff

"I have a moustache."
— Jack Layton

Looks like the writs will be dropped pretty soon; Steve's gonna visit my old buddy Dave Johnston* (current GG, former president of UW, and the guy who shook my hand and gave me my physics degree) and Parliament will be dissolved. The only question is, will the government fall on the budget itself, a separate non-confidence vote, or the bits about the Contempt of Parliament charge (which appears to have teeth)?

At any rate, this Parliament is a goner, and good riddance to bad garbage. If the Libs can't, at the very least, gain a whole bunch of seats from all these Conservative blunders — the Bev Oda "not" thing, the In-And-Out scandal, the shitty budget that Jimbo Flaherty had his shoes re-soled for — they deserve to be the Opposition again, plain and simple. Goddammit, Mike, Steve & Co. have given you the gun, the bullets and the target, and they're screaming "SHOOT! SHOOOOOOOOOOT!!!" at you. For fuck's sakes, man, pull that trigger.

Then again, the Liberals have a history of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory, so who knows what we'll get after the ballot boxes snap shut on May 2 or 9? The pollsters don't really predict much of a change, though, so that's kind of a bummer. The moral of the story, if there is one, is that, out of the four major party leaders, despite his stated intention of destroying my country, I still like Gilles Duceppe the best, as a person. If only he could harness his powers for good, eh?
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* Fun fact about Dave, from Wikipedia: While at Harvard, under the coaching of Cooney Weiland, Johnston captained the varsity ice hockey team, was twice selected to the All-America team, and met and befriended Erich Segal, the two becoming jogging partners. In 1970, Segal wrote the best-selling novel Love Story, basing a character in the book — Davey, a captain of the hockey team — on Johnston.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cereal Review: Trix Swirls.

I'm always up for new adventures in breakfast cereal, as readers of this here blog are no doubt aware. So, when I was in a Target near Flint, Michigan on the way back from Florida — seriously, folks, Flint is super-cheap to fly out of, if you don't mind a bit of a relaxing/boring drive to get there — and I saw some cereal on for $2.50 a box... well, with the dollar at par these days, how could I pass that up?

Enter, Trix Swirls.


As far as I know, Trix isn't available in Canada... yet, I'd wager to say that the vast majority of Canadians under 60 know the slogan, "Silly rabbit, Trix is for kids!" The box I picked up looked neo-retro like this, possibly because the "give-away" was a plug for watching retro cartoons Underdog and Tennesee Tuxedo on some website somewhere that's probably blocked outside the US anyway. (Assholes.)

Simply put, this shit is terrible. They're coloured-up to the tits, and the box professes that they're "naturally and artificially fruit-flavored [sic]" — and yet, when they hit my mouth, there really wasn't a whole lot of flavour to speak of. They sure smelled fruity, which is strange, because when you think about it, does breakfast cereal usually have a smell?

At any rate, these ended up being like smaller Corn Pops, which aren't that bad, I suppose. I was expecting a whole lot more out of Trix Swirls, but in the end they were pretty disappointing.

CEREAL RATING RUBRIC

Appearance: 4/5 (very colourful... a bit too colourful, maybe?)
Mouthfeel: 3/5 (slightly firmer than Corn Pops, not altogether unpleasant but not novel)
Taste: 1.5/5 (as discussed above)
Giveaway: 1/5 (retro TV is what YouTube is for... well, that and awesome music videos)

Overall grade: 9.5/20
Nothing exciting. Was hoping for more.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oh, hello there.

Hi, peoples.

I've been away.

But now I'm back.

A recap:
  • working my ass off on this writing gig, but actually getting somewhere
  • attending three full days of union meetings
  • going to Florida for six days and seeing some gloriously meaningless baseball games
  • spending a lot of time in transit
Needless to say, a busy week-and-a-half-ish. But hey, life's like that sometimes.

Also: a few more people are "following" this blog, whatever that means. Does that mean you follow me around in real life, too? If so, could you write down stuff I tell myself not to forget? 'Cause I could use a little help with that.

(I forget things.)

But alas, it's the last night of March Break, and I have marking to do. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Finally: fuck you, Mohammar Gaddhafi (or however it is you spell your name). You promise to make the streets run red with the blood of your own people, you deserve to get your ass tore up.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

One-sentence random thought #13.

This post should be called "Trying to procrastinate from a writing job you hate but not being very inventive at doing so."

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Stephen Harper is a cock.

You knew this already, but here's more proof.

I think the bit near the bottom that referenced Louis XIV of France — he said "L'état, c'est moi" — is particularly telling. Hell, didn't Hosni Mubarak, in his bizarre address just a couple of days before stepping down, say "I am Egypt"? Or was that Muammar Gaddafi, about being Libya? Or does it matter? Mubarak and Gaddafi were/are tyrants, and while I'm not (exactly) comparing Stephen Harper to them... well... if it looks like shit and smells like shit, it's probably shit.

Can we have an election, please? And can the Liberals not be incompetent this time?

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Cereal Review: Kashi Honey Sunshine.


Executive Summary: Somewhat lousy.

Detailed Review:

I got this because I received an email offer for a coupon for a free box. I filled in my address, clicked "Send," and waited patiently by the mailbox for it to come (missing two months of work and getting fired in the process; totally worth it).

Today was the day: I would redeem my coupon for a box of horrendously overpriced cereal. It's 340 g, and retails for FIVE BUCKS at FOOD BASICS (just about the cheapest place around for any edible foodstuff, except possibly for shitty Bravo pasta sauce, but that's barely edible anyway).

Armed with a coupon (but faced with an extraordinarily long lineup), I got my box, trundled on home, milked it up, and tried it.
  • similar in shape to Corn Bran, but the bits are about 20% smaller
  • somewhat simiar in taste to Corn Bran, but slightly sweeter
  • quickly acquires the consistency of wet newsprint
  • really, folks, not that exciting.
Kashi makes some delicious granola bars, but they're as overpriced as their cereal. I think their marketing angle is that their ingredients are all natural; if this is what "all natural" cereal is like, give me the artificial-est store-brand Fruit Whirls ya got, pal.

Overall Verdict: No way I'd spend the money for a box of this. Maybe their other cereals are better, but this ain't exactly getting my hopes up.