Monday, November 29, 2004

Sloan: The new Savages

I just noticed that the video for Sloan's "The Other Man" was shot on location at Centennial College's Centre for Creative Communications, where I took my publishing program. An interesting interesting coincidence is that this building was used extensively in the filming of Degrassi High and is particularly recognizable in the episode where Joey, Snake, Lucy, and the twins sneak into the school on a weekend to spy on a video shoot by their favorite band, the Savages. I always wondered what kind of lame Canadian band would want to use such a lame CanCon location to film a video, and now I know.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

ABC's TGIF lineup: The "TGIF" stands for "Lowest Common Denominator"

A while ago, I stopped and watched about a minute of this TV show called Hope & Faith that my housemate was watching. In that brief period, it not only set up the episode's premise as a blatant rip-off of the plot of About a Boy, but also featured a character babbling "Is that your final answer?" as a punchline -- a cultural reference that was trite and played out five years ago.

I got so angry that I made her change the channel, and threatened to permanently disconnect the cable television if I caught her watching that drivel again. It's not even that I wanted to watch something else; I was just passing through the room, and I have my own TV. I simply never want any television programming that inane to enter my home ever again, whether I'm there at the time or not. And since I pay the cable bill for the household, I'm laying down the law.

You know, I'm going to be the best goddamn father on earth someday. I'll make Murry Wilson look like Ward Cleaver.

Toasted tastes funnier

My old Golden Words cohort Neil has sold his Quizno's franchise. I wish he'd kept it. Normally, it's just Quizno's sandwiches that make me puke, but Neil's franchise specialized in hilarious stories that made me laugh until I puked. Read this. And this. And this too.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Dig the Big Dog's blog!

About the most shocking discovery I've made in the last day or so -- excepting, of course, that Spongebob Squarepants's boss is voiced by the same guy who played the evil Kurgan in Highlander -- is that Bill Cinton has a blog.

Or does he? No offense to the host of my own blog, but would someone of the former president's stature use a free public service such as Blogger? And for that matter, why would he have a Yahoo e-mail address? It's listed as "billclintondiary at"; the "at" instead of an "@" is no doubt to dissuade spammers. But shouldn't Bill Clinton be able to afford a private e-mail service and maybe an IT guy to screen out the penis enchancement spam? I think it'd be funnier if his e-mail address was "", as though he couldn't even get his first choice while signing up (to a much crappier e-mail service, at that), and had to add a number to the end.

My point: If you believe this is really Clinton's blog, then you'll believe the question I asked a couple of sentences back was the first instance of anyone ever writing a sentence featuring the words "Bill Clinton" and "penis".

And yet, almost everyone leaving comments on the site seems to be buying into the fiction without question, despite posts such as the one where Bill's assistant gets into a catfight with Hillary because the latter is forcefeeding him mashed potatoes after his surgery.

I haven't seen more gullible American voters since ... well, since just Nov. 2 when 51% of the electorate let themselves be duped into returning Bush to office, actually.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Nine extra tracks and a tacky badge

Morrissey, please. Rereleasing your latest album after only seven months with bonus tracks tacked on in an obvious effort to make me buy it twice? It's just not happening.

Paging 24 Hours's proofreader

Not to get in a rut, but in the interests of being evenhanded, I probably ought to slag the GTA's number two free transit paper, 24 Hours. From a story about Jack White snubbing Lindsay Lohan's entreaty to play on her debut album (and good for him):
He said in an interview : "We don't have a Frank Sinatra or a Patti Page nowadays. What do we have? Ashlee Simpson instead of Patty Page!"
Know what else we used to have? Newspaper editorial staff who could keep the spelling of Patti Page's name consistent from one sentence to another. Granted, she's not in the public eye as much these days, but I didn't think proofreading had also fallen so out of favor.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Seems wrong, somehow

Check out the unfortunate juxtaposition of headline and photo at the top of page 3 of today's issue of Metro, Toronto's foremost free transit newspaper. (May or may not require registration; in any case, it's free.)

I'll describe it if you're not the type to click links, though this one is really worth seeing for yourself. It's a headline from a story about disgraced newspaper magnate Conrad Black that reads BLACK CHARGED WITH FRAUD. And it's right next to an unrelated photo of a beleaguered-looking Colin Powell, the just-resigned African-American Secretary of State.

Let me repeat that. It's a headline that reads BLACK CHARGED WITH FRAUD ... right next to a picture of Colin Powell, arguably the USA's most prominent black politician.

That's kind of like if the Black Business Journal had run a story about computer outlaw Kevin Mitnick titled CRACKER JAILED next to a picture of Vanilla Ice from an unrelated entertainment story.

Saturday, November 13, 2004


Posting is suspended until I win at this.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Get your hands off me, tragedy!

Hallelujah! My missing issue of Blender has arrived, only a day after I'd called the customer service department and heard that it had probably been destroyed by a hurricane. It's odd indeed that this October issue should arrive after the November one, which is why I'd given it up for lost, and yet here it is.

What makes things even better is that when I called to complain, they extended my subscription by an extra issue to compensate, so I get one free issue. Oddly enough, the very same thing happened to me a couple of years back when I was still subscribing to Maxim. Year after year, I'm totally screwing Dennis Publishing.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

And on the other hand ...

This is the first website I can ever recall that's ever moved me nearly to tears. You've probably heard of, but if not, the concept is simple: hundreds of photos of Kerry voters holding up signs apologizing to the world for failing to get Bush out of office. Some are making exaggerated pouty faces, but others look genuinely devastated. The cumulative effect is heartbreaking.

Wishful Thinking Dept.

"The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved."

-- Resignation letter of US Attorney General John Ashcroft.

I actually laughed out loud reading this.

Oh, just one more thing...

The locksmith's here right now, working on the front door. I was just out there talking to him as though I were the murderer on an episode of Columbo, being debonair like George Hamilton and offering my own self-serving theory as to how the crime might have happened. ("Perhaps it was cumulative damage incurred over many incidents of the lock sticking, leading to a final catastrophic failure.")

I almost hope I get caught. Then I can snap, "That's an interesting theory, Inspector. But unless you have any evidence, that's all it is -- a theory. Now if you'll excuse me, I really don't have any more time for this."

Touched by tragedy

I have a complete run of Blender magazine, starting at issue #1 -- that is, I did until the October 2004 issue failed to arrive in my mailbox. Being that it had a cover story on Hilary Duff, I'm torn as to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing; however, since it's usually a great magazine notwithstanding the occasional fluff piece on some teen-pop nymphet, and since I have that complete run to think of, I'm leaning toward it being a bad thing.

Because it had that nubile young starlet on the cover, I figured that some perverted old Canada Post employee had probably run off with my magazine. (You know who you are.) But today, I called Blender's customer service department in Palm Coast, Florida, only to discover that my copy was likely destroyed in one of their many recent hurricanes. Suddenly, a tragedy that has touched so many lives has wreaked cruel havoc in mine.

So while my magazine might have been kept from me by an act of God, if you happen to have a copy and would like to defy God's will by sending it my way, I'll totally pay you back for it.

A Mona Lisa of mixed metaphor

It seems that the best grammarians are always political conservatives, two of the most notable being William Safire and James Kilpatrick. It makes sense. Editing and proscriptive grammar are fundamentally conservative pursuits. As a regular user of the English language, I know it lacks a convenient gender-neutral third-person pronoun and that this void will eventually be filled by the plural pronoun "they", but as an editor, I'll be damned if it's going to happen on my watch.

So while I probably wouldn't enjoy sharing a voting booth with Safire or Kilpatrick, I do enjoy their sensible musings on the language. And with this gorgeously awful sentence that Kilpatrick cites in his latest column as "a Mona Lisa of mixed metaphor, a plastic gem of purest ray serene", why not? Behold:
"All this worry about George W. Bush's 'goings-on' during the Vietnam War is a can of worms that the Republicans tried to crucify Clinton with that now has come back to bite them."

Just as gloriously terrible:
"Tea is no longer a stepsister to coffee, but has blossomed of its own accord into a swan."

(I first ran across these two sentences at A Capital Idea, a truly excellent blog on editing. I highly recommend it.)

Monday, November 08, 2004

Why I don't take more vacation days

Because I've got a lot of vacation days left, I'm taking Mondays off work for the rest of the year. So far, I'm off to a great start.

Despite it being a bitterly chilly afternoon that saw the first snowflakes of the year, I went out to get some groceries. When I got home, I realized I'd locked myself out of the house. No one would be back for hours, and I couldn't even run the rest of my many planned errands because each one required me to get back into the house for one reason or another. "Fuck it!" I said. "I'm going to the pub."

So I hid my groceries behind some bushes in our yard and I was off. After a couple of hours, I checked back home to see if anyone was there. No dice. So I traipsed off to the public library for another couple of hours before checking home again. Still no one home. By this time, I was pretty pissed, so I delivered a few splintering kicks to the front door until I realized I was probably one good kick away from smashing it out of the frame. So I went back to the library for another hour. Still no one was at home. I went over to the landlord's house. No one there either. Dropped by a friend's place. Not home. Anyone back at my house yet? Of course not.

I was headed for a pay phone to look into finding a warm place to sleep when I ran into my housemate with her boyfriend. "I need you to let me into the house!" we said in unison. It turned out they hadn't been able to get into the house for an hour (which explains why no one was home) because the front door wouldn't work. So she was hoping I could let them in through my side door. The front door wouldn't work, I realized, because I'd snapped the lock's cylinder with my feet of fury. Not only had I locked myself out of the house, but I'd trapped everyone else outside too.

We got back to the house to find another housemate trying to get in. Everyone was appalled that I'd managed to forget my key to the side door on the very same day the front door abruptly stopped working. What a terrible coincidence!

In the end, I ended up squeezing through a small second-story window, letting the others into the house, and -- even though I was the cause of the whole sorry scene -- playing the hero.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

¡Lucha libre! ¡Viernes en la medianoche en el canal 35!

¡Dios mio! I just discovered that I get CMLL Mexican wrestling on my TV! Guys doing ridiculously choreographed acrobatics and trying to dishonour each other by ripping each other's masks off! Midgets in gorilla masks wearing sombreros! And here's La Parka, my favorite luchadore ever! I haven't seen that guy in years! ¡Muy awesome!

On a less awesome note, I just found out from looking at visitor logs that my site comes up at #77 of 43,363 results if you search for "gloryhole" on HotBot. That's way too high a ranking for my liking. Not because it disturbs me to be associated with the term, mind you; it's just that there ought to be way better gloryhole-related websites out there, and more of them.

Update: Not only is this site #77 overall, it's also #7! What the hell? What kind of filthy man-on-clown gloryhole action are people looking for at this website?

Friday, November 05, 2004

Idiot idiots

For close to a week now, an autistic man with the mental capacity of a three-year-old has been missing from his home in Mississauga. Here's a tip for all the search parties who are still looking for him: Judging by the results of this week's US presidental election, he might have crossed the border to vote.

I was discussing this idea with my housemate Shanel, who asked if Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man was autistic. He was an idiot savant, I said, although you're just supposed to call them savants now. "Idiot savant" is politically incorrect. But why do we even bother tiptoeing around their feelings? They're about the last people who'd be insulted if you called them idiots. They'd be pretty much oblivious. "They'd probably just say something like, ' "Idiot" has six letters,' " Shanel agreed.

But of course, "idiot" actually has five letters, so if they said that, they wouldn't be idiot savants. They'd just be idiot idiots. You can't even make that one politically correct.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Advice for RSI sufferers

Someone I know was recently complaining about a repetitive stress injury in her wrist. As a service to the general public, I pass along the simple medical tips that I gave her:
1. Type with a straw clenched between your teeth, rather than with your hands.

2. Ride a unicycle rather than a bicycle.

3. Settle your differences through reasoned discussion rather than swordplay.

Mars needs retards

For months, I've been seeing this commercial for Mars bars. (You know, the one that goes, "Are you Cousin Bill-y?" Do you want me to be? [nods] Well, ah shore am!") Actually, it's not quite true that I've been seeing it. I've been catching bits of it out of the corner of my eye and kind of listening to it while I wait for the commercial break to end.

Just now, I finally clued into the fact that the slogan that I've been hearing at the end is "Recharge on Mars". All this time, I've been hearing it as "Retards on Mars".

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

USA: 51% of you are morons.

That's about all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The moment of truth arrives

As the race stands now:

Bush: 193 electoral votes
Kerry: 112 electoral votes

I just cracked open the bottle of emergency rum that's been laying dormant in my medicine cabinet for the last year and a half until my hour of greatest need.

If you believed they put a man on the moon

A couple of nights ago astronaut Leroy Chiao, with the aid of his fancy-schmancy rocket computer, became the first ever American to cast a vote for president from space. After completing what I'm sure will be looked upon as a fairly significant task, the pressure was on Mr. Chiao to come up with something equally significant to say. "It was just a small thing for me, but it is important symbolically to show that every vote does count," echoed the dramatic words floating 360 kilometres through the magic emptiness back to earth. Gee, Leroy. You could almost say it was sort of like... one small step for man but, say... one giant leap for mankind!

Way to break new ground, Jerkass.

Monday, November 01, 2004

It dudn't look good for presidential pronunciation

One wish: that our American friends would elect a president who can correctly pronounce the word "doesn't". There's no excuse for a Yale-educated man talking about whether so-and-so dudn't support the troops. Dudn't. Do you really want your president to sound like some semi-literate redneck? Half the reason for the poor ratings of Star Trek: Enterprise (at least in my house, anyway) is that the chief engineer keeps belching out this particular mushmouthed drawling stupidity.

Just Bush-bashing, right? No. I'm talking about Kerry too. I've heard him do it as well.

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