Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Rundown: Excitement Mounts

Pictured is the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacao in Samana, Dominican Republic.

That's where I'll be getting married next April. Exact dates aren't set in stone yet, but the resort is and I couldn't be more excited. Sarah and I have been eying this place for six months and to know now that we're definitely getting to have our wedding there is awesome.

Obviously, tying the knot and gettin' hitched is the most exciting thing on the schedule, but that is still nine months off and there are a lot of things I'm looking forward to between now and then, wedding related and otherwise.

Here they are in Today's Better-Late-Than-Never Rundown...

Five Most Anticipated Events

5. Engagement Party - August 16th
I have some reservations and apprehension about this thing, but ultimately, it's a chance for me to see a bunch of people that I haven't gotten to spend much time with over the last two years. It'll be Sarah's first real chance to meet some of the people that are really important in my life and for both our families to interact together, which, in spite of any hang-ups I may have with things, is something to look forward to.

4. Next Stop - TBA
As I mentioned in the last installment of 10 Things, we're in the process of figuring out where we'll be setting up shop next and this is something that I truly am looking forward to. I've moved so much in my life that it doesn't phase me anymore and I only see the fun and enjoyable parts, like finding a killer apartment, buying new things for the space and decorating. Yeah, I said decorating... I like it... sue me!

3. Vancouver - September 2008
Looking forward to this one for a number of reasons. We were supposed to go over last Christmas until someone had to have their appendix removed and then Bambi happened, so now that we've got tickets booked, I'm starting to get excited again. I've never been to BC and I can't wait to just see how beautiful it is, but I'm also looking forward to meeting Sarah's Girls, spending some QT with her mom and getting a chance to spend more time with her brother Tim.

2. Champagne Birthday - October 30, 2008
The Big Three Oh doesn't phase me at all - you're only as old as you feel and I feel like I'm about 21 most days, so piss on all the worrying and nonsense. I'd like to have one hell of a party for this one, Spencer Style though. No out all night boozefest like the younger years; I want my closest friend at my house / apartment, great food, better beverages and just lots of laughs and entertainment. Feel free to contact Sarah to make this happen...

1. Our First Christmas Together - December 25, 2008
Yes, we've been together for two actual Christmases thus far, but neither has really been together in the complete sense of the word. For that matter, they weren't really Christmas-y either. Sarah was home in VanCity for the first one and last year I was at work after we spent all of Christmas Eve travelling home post-Bambi. While I know Sarah may have to work, I also know that I most likely won't and that means I make sure we have a great Christmas together, wherever we are.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

When Will These Kids Learn?

So American Idol winner Jordan Sparks has made a Virginity Vow.

Isn't that sweet?

In a word, no.

It's stupid. Don't you know you Pop Starlet History Jordan?

See that vampy, trampy thing to the right?

Yeah, you remember her: that's Britney before Kevin, two kids and a redneck meltdown that has been raging on for the last three years.

What you'll also remember is that she public declared that her legs would remain like The Go-Go's (and Duff Sisters') lips - sealed.

Guess what didn't happen?

Other young and chaste stars like The Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus sport Purity Rings much like Sparks does to remind themselves of the commitment they've made (to themselves) to not have sex.

A couple things come to mind, neither of which are going to make me sound like a great guy, but in actually, it's just the cold, hard truth and some entertaining copy for everyone to enjoy:

1. Purity Rings, much like Wedding Rings unfortunately, can be taken off whenever you want. They aren't soldered onto your hand or etched into you skin like a tattoo (See how I did that? Worked Jordan Spark's song title into the piece... brilliant!), they are a piece of jewelry that you remove when you wash your hands. Or get naked.

2. I went to a Catholic church college affiliated with the University of Waterloo. In the Women's Residence, there were a lot of young Sparks-esque women, intent on saving themselves for marriage. I even dated a couple of them. Please feel free to draw your own conclusions...

3. Sure you don't want to have sex now, but wait a couple years. You're 16. Only tramps and Bady Daddies in Training are getting naked and frisky at 16*. But by the time you're 18 and you've made a load of money from the music biz, probably done a movie and are dating the Usher-in-Training of the time, you might have a different outlook on things.

* I'm just kidding by the way. A lot more people than tramps and BDIT are doing it at 16 and while that's a little scary to me, that's the world we live in.

While I don't encourage Jordan Sparks or any other songstress to go the Xtina Aguilera Route, buy some ass-less chaps and get Drrty, I would also recommend keeping all things regarding your private parts private.

That way, when you break this vow, no one gives a rat's ass.

Now you've just set yourself up for a fall and that's never a smart career move.

Ask Britney.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

10 Things I Learned This Week

1. There Aren't Enough Hours in the Day
24 hours is not enough time to do all the things I want to do and need to do. That is exactly why I haven't been here in two whole days; the things I want to do (read: write posts here) get outweighed by the things I need to do (read: going to work) and as soon as I get home it's off to sleep, pretty much. Today is going to be interesting because we need to hit the Travel Agent to plan the wedding, but I also have to be at work earlier than normal and close the place tonight.

2. Back Behind The Bar
So I've been helping out on the bar at Montana's the last couple weeks - grabbing my own drinks and helping out when the bartenders get overrun with drinks to make and tables to cover. Friday night, one of our bartenders didn't show up for the 900th time and has now been 86'ed. Guess who they asked to take his place? Obviously, I accepted, as it's the same hours over less days and better money, though it does feel weird to be pouring draft again after more than a year away from the taps.

3. I Should Have Been Tending Bar From the Beginning
Why? Because I made as much money in one shift yesterday as I did working Tuesday, Thursday and Friday combined. Granted, I did work for ten hours, but still, making $150 bucks in one day is aces to me. Mix in a closing shift tonight and a couple more nights on the bar during the week and I could be looking at some pretty decent financial gains between now and the next installment of 10 Things.

4. Dark Knight = AWESOME!
Friday night was crap at The Cookhouse, which normally would make me angry. This week, however, it made me very,very happy as it meant that instead of having to wait until this coming Sunday to see The Dark Knight, we could take it in Friday night. And take it in we did, from the second row... for the 10:45 show... At 1:30 when we walked out of the theatre, I knew I had just finished watching my favourite movie of the year.

5. I'm Really Going to Miss Heath
Seeing the transformed Ledger deliver an amazing performance as The Joker only reminded me of how unfortunate it is that he died earlier this year. His Oscar win - and he will win - won't be because he passed away like some people will undoubtedly frame it, but because his performance was so captivating that you couldn't take your eyes away from him, even when he was just sitting there. We lost one of our generation's best when he died. It would have been incredible to see him continue to evolve as an actor because there is nothing he couldn't do on screen.

6. The List of Future Landing Zones
So Sarah has finally finished her resume and cover letters and is applying for jobs as we speak. The potential destinations of the future Mr. and Mrs. Kyte are: London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, Grimbsy, Orillia and St. Catherines. We'll keep you posted on whether we're coming to a town near you...

7. No Longer Questioning My Coolness
A couple of weeks ago, I waxed poetically about whether the style of the time had passed me by. After a day spent shopping on Saturday, the answer is a resounding no... sort of. While the style of the time for teenagers and twentysomethings has passed me by, my style has grown up into much more classy and stylish attire and that is never a bad thing. I never would have imagined a time would come where I would pass up a search announcing my training as a ninja or one of goaltender Jesus making a brilliant grab that reads "Jesus Saves" in favour of a quasi-political, socially aware GAP Inspi(RED) t-shirt, but those days are here and I love them. Look Mom - my jeans aren't hanging off my ass cheeks any more.

8. Movie Lengths - An Opinion Piece
So the last two movies I've watched (Vantage Point and Dark Knight) had a time difference of nearly 90 minutes. Another way of looking at it is that I could have watched Vantage Point twice in the time I watched The Dark Knight, but I would never do that. What I don't get is why someone in Hollywood thinks 90 minute movies work. For the most part, they don't, unless they are cheese-tastic comedies with little to no plot. Vantage Point was rolling along nicely until it seems like they got near their 90 minute cap and ended it horribly. Like I've said since Friday night / Saturday morning - I would rather sit through nearly three hours of The Dark Knight and how no stone unturned than watch 90 minutes of uselessness that leaves me wondering why they left parts unfinished.

9. A T-Shirt, An Idiot and A Little Perspective
So I had a guy sit at one of my tables yesterday with a black t-shirt on that said "I Oppose Gay Marriage." Yesterday was the London Pride Parade, so it made a little sense. But this wasn't "here are my feelings on a t-shirt" in a nice, polite way; this was a biker dude who I also overheard using the words "faggots," "queers" and other slurs repeatedly. I actually asked if I could refuse to serve him. I was told no for the record. Anywho, I got to thinking as I dealt with him and his four neanderthal friends - social monogliods like them get to live their lives, hating people for who they love, believing in all their stereotypes and "we're better than everyone else" bullshit, so what the fuck is their problem with guys who like guys or girls who like girls? You don't see anyone walking around in "I Oppose Gay-Dashing Biker Morons" t-shirts...

10. Operation: 185 Update
Starting Weight: 204 lbs.
Last Week's Weight: 201 lbs.
Current Weight: 199 lbs.
So I've dropped two pounds - and not just overnight or anything. I've maintained the 199 for the most part over the course of the week and have now refined my training into a much more balance (read: no more near hernia-inducing overdoing of the ab portion of the program) routine where it's two on, one off, two on, two off and no body part gets overly taxed on back to back days. Five down, fourteen to go...

Continue reading ...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: A Change Gonna Come
Artist: Sam Cooke
Album: Single (1964)

Sometimes you just need a reminder that the struggle is worth it; that eventually all the work that you put in on a daily basis is going to pay off. The unreturned phone calls and doors you knock on will eventually get answered and the opportunity you crave to prove yourself will happen.

Soulful and smooth, Sam Cooke gives me that reminder with this song, released after his death in late 1964.

Change is inevitable. Sometimes we just have to wait a little longer than we like.

Thanks for the reminder Sam.

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From the Pages of Bugs & Cranks

For nearly two years now, I have been a voice of support in the comeback of Major League Baseball player Josh Hamilton.

The Coles Notes version of Hamilton's career, for those who don't know, goes like this:

  • #1 Overall Draft Choice by Tampa Bay in 1999
  • Injuries put him on the sidelines where he turned to tattoos and drugs
  • Multiple suspensions from MLB
  • Crack Addict
  • October 2005 - Quit drugs, found God
  • 27-year-old Rookie last year in Cincinnati
  • Leading MLB in RBI in 2008
  • Insane display in Home Run Derby during All-Star Festivities in New York
That certainly does not cover every base or all the ups and downs that have transpired in the life of Joshua Holt Hamilton from his start as a high school phenom to a Major League All-Star, but it gives you the gist. I'm not here to trumpet his return anyway.

I'm bringing this B&C story here to iBlog because of the rash of comments and criticism Hamilton's story has gotten in the last few weeks, not only when myself and fellow B&C writer Andy Lenartz went back and forth (and back again) over his standing - not to mention a hilarious new post by Lenartz that even I can laugh at - but from the mass media in general and the difficulty I have with some people's take on the situation as a whole.

Let me start by saying that everyone is entitled to their opinions; I don't expect everyone to agree with the things that I say on a daily basis, just so long as they don't try to convince me that my POV is incorrect.

That being said, I don't get why so many people want to shit on the Josh Hamilton Story.

Two recent comments on the story by a dude calling himself "36" have me back on my soapbox about my favourite former crackhead.

One quick thing before getting into the meat of my frustration - when you can't spell struggle (two g's homey!) or despite (not dispight), you automatically lose credibility, Maybe that's just me though.

"36" tries to make Hamilton's past as a crack addict analogous to a child molester and wonders if the public would welcome said sexual predator the same way that some have taken to Hamilton, but the two are not even remotely comparable.

Hamilton ruined his life and those of his family and friends for the most part. He tried to kill himself five times by his own admission. He smoked crack like cigarettes (also something he has been quoted as saying) and fucked up royally.

But that isn't nearly the same thing as being a pedophile, is it? Hamilton hasn't abused any children, circulated child porn or heard the words, "I'm Chris Hanson with Dateline NBC's To Catch a Predator."

Call it rose-couloured glasses or the fog of my admiration for Hamilton, but being a child molestor and being a drug addict aren't the same for me.

The other part of it is that Hamilton isn't just the recovering addict who lives next door and works at A&P - he leads Major League Baseball in RBI, has an outside shot at the American League Triple Crown and is doing all of this after being away from the game for nearly five full season mired in drug addiction.

Getting his life together and making it through each day bagging my produce and baked goods wouldn't warrant much fanfare outside of his own familial unit, yet alone in the Mainstream Media, but this kid is at the pinnacle of his profession - a profession that is hard enough to achieve in the first place - and people want to say that he's not worthy of the attention and admiration? For me, that doesn't make sense.

I would honestly like to challenge all the Josh Hamilton haters out there to stop doing what they do for a living, spend millions of dollars on drugs and emerse themselves fully into the lifestyle and culture of being an addict for the next five years or so and then try to return to their lives as accountants or teachers or whatever it is they do.

Getting a job at A&P would be an achievement and I very much doubt that any of them would ascend to the top of their profession of choice at all, if they could continue in that field in the first place, not to mention in less than three years.

The media is littered with negative stories everyday and have latched onto Hamilton as a positive story. Is that really all that bad?

* * * * * * * * * *

All the above being said, the one thing that doesn't escape me in all this is the hyprocrisy exhibited when it comes to athletes, actors, musicians et al when they struggle with drug addiciton compared to everyday people.

If Josh Hamilton couldn't swing a bat as well as he does, chances are he would simply be the guy packing my groceries at A&P or pumping my gas at Petro Canada, the same way that Robert Downey Jr. would have been serving jail time instead of making movies over the last fifteen years for his numerous drug offenses.

I'm sure there are people out there who have recovered from deeper depth than Downey or Hamilton or any of the other celebrity addicts over the years that do not recieve any attention at all for their battles. While that is a damn shame, it's also the world we live in.

We're a celebrity and entertainment driven culture and society, so the exploits of the known garner far greater exposure than the equally, if not more compelling stories of the unknown, and on a large scale that is never going to change.

Did Josh Hamilton deserve another chance? Maybe not, but he got it anyway and now he's making the most of it and then some.

Isn't it better to hear about someone succeeding rather than failing?

Continue reading ...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nothing To Do But Write


Turns out that the message that has been annoyingly popping up on our ExpressVu every 30 minutes or so for the last month and change said something along the lines of

"Hey Fuckers - if you don't get a new card soon, you ain't going to have any TV to watch!"

Thirteen seconds ago is the new definition of soon.

Came home from walking Cool Hand Luke, sat down to watch some SportsCentre, saw Chipper Jones pull up lame (shocking, I know!) and then BLACK, followed by a nice little message that we didn't have authorization to watch TSN.

Or The Score.

Or CBC for that matter.

Every channel is now off limits, except for the ExpressVu info stations which are about as exciting as watching paint dry, outside of the "New to ExpressVu Adult" channel, which, not surprisingly, we're also not authorized for. Not that I would watch it in the first place.

The irony of it all? I live in a house with a man who works for Nielson's Television who gets all this stuff through work.

Be sure to check back frequently, as I'm sure to be here even more frequently than before now that I'm short one major procrastination tool.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Rundown: Celebrities in Playboy

Tennis "star" Ashley Harkleroad's Playboy pictorial hit newsstands yesterday.

Harkleroad is a US tennis player ranked somewhere between 50 and 100 in the world rankings - #61 to be exact - has won a grand total of zero WTA events in her career and is nowhere near the top of anyone's list of female tennis players who should be posing for Playboy.

In case you were wondering, that list is:

1. Ana Ivanovic (pictured)
2. Daniella Hantuchova
3. Maria Sharpova
4. Nicole Vaidisova
5. Jelena Dokic

Anywho, her being in Playboy got me thinking and not about which female athletes should dare to be bare in the pages of Playboy (Ivanovic, Sasha Cohen, Danica Patrick, Natalie Gulbis and Jennie Finch) but about which "celebrities" should have definitely kept the clothes on and let us never, ever see them naked.

Top Five Worst "Celebrity" Playboy Models

5. Deborah Gibson (March 2005)
Not that she was unattractive, but Deborah Gibson was Debbie Gibson to me and a million other kids who grew up in the 80's. She was Teen Pop Royalty long before the Britneys and Christinas came around and seeing her who-haas in Hef's mag just sullied the lasting image of crappy dance moves burned in my head from her Electric Youth video.

4. Shannon Doherty (March 1994 and December 2003)
Double points for Brenda for getting her naked ass in the pages of Playboy twice and nearly ten years apart at that too. But here's the thing: I guess some people find her attractive, kinda in the same way that some guys like Butch-looking chicks who can bench 650 at the gym and drink nothing but protein shakes. Personally, if I wanted to see that much pasty white skin, I wouldn't have to shell out for a magazine - I could just take off my shirt.

3. Carnie Wilson (August 2003)
This one is bad to me on a couple levels: One, regardless of what she looks like today, Carnie Wilson will always and forever be "The Fat One" from Wilson Phillips, the same way that Jerry O'Connell will always be "The Fat One" from Stand By Me. Actually, now he's "That goofy motherfucker that somehow managed to marry Rebecca Romijn," but whatever. The other reason I don't like this one is the message of "Hey, now that I had thousands of dollars of surgery after eating myself near death I'm proud of my body and want to show it off." You know, not stuffing yourself full of Ding Dongs in the first place would have worked too...

2. LaToya Jackson (A long, long time ago...)
She's related to Michael which instantly makes her creepy. Couple that with the fact that it's not Janet, it involved a snake if I remember correctly and she spent time extolling the virtues of The Psychic Friends Network and you have a trifecta of terrible.

1. Chyna / Joanie Lauer / Chyna Doll (November 2000 and January 2002)
Another double up, whatevershescallingherselfthesedays earns top spot for a number of reasons: (1) she's that Butch-type I mentioned earlier and that's a little creepy to begin with (in my books), (b) there were a whole host of hot chicks in the WWF/E at the time that I would have much rather seen naked (that came later though...) and furthermore she has a gigantic clitoris that looks like a little penis and seeing it scared me for life. Trust me - you want to take my advice on this one. Do not go looking for the pictures on the Internet. If you do, you only have yourself to blame.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Really? Nelly?

The smoldering pile of long legs and technicolour gorgeousness to the left is Joss Stone.

She's a British Soul and R&B singer who has been nominated for a couple Grammy Awards. Maybe you heard her remake / cover of The White Stripes "Fell In Love with a Boy"...

Anyway, I'm a huge Joss Stone fan and have been since day one, not just because she is real easy on the eyes but because she's got some serious pipes on her and belts out soulful tunes like no little white girl has in a long long time.

So you can imagine my dismay when I was scouring the rags as I often do and came across the news that Ms. Stone has a new Mr. in her life... Nelly.

Pimp Juice Nelly.
Grillz Nelly.
Band-Aid on my cheek Nelly.
I was relevant and hot in 2000 (Country Grammar) and 2002 (Hot in Herre) Nelly.


Of all the men in the world, the only one out there that fine-ass Joss Stone could date, the only man she can find is Nelly?

This makes me very, very sad.

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I Beg You - Don't Do This!

Yeah, that's Pete "Maverick" Mitchell you see above giving you the thumbs up.

Am I the only one who thinks this should be the lasting image we have of the character?

Apparently, no one in Hollywood agrees with me because hot off the successes of Indiana Jones comes reports of Tom Cruise being in discussions to reprise his role from 22 years ago, this time with Maverick as the older, attractive flight school instructor and some hot-shot female fighter pilot doing his old routine.

Here, in my opinion, are all the things that are wrong with this idea:

1. Tom Cruise isn't cool enough to be Maverick anymore.
Sure, in 1986 when Top Gun came out, he was the greatest thing since sliced bread - cool enough for guys to like him and the star of many females fantasies - but now, he's creepy Tom Cruise the Scientology guy who auditions wives, settles on Joey Potter and gets the same haircut as she sports.

2. "You've Lost That Loving Feeling"
Easily one of the most memorable moments of the movie, all the pilots standing around singing this classic as Mav serenades Kelly McGillis' character. Well, we've lost that loving feeling for Top Gun. Not the original because it's always going to be awesome in a "Remember when Tom Cruise wasn't a freak?" or "See, I told you the guy from ER was in Top Gun!" kind of way, but you can't wait 22 years to dust off the old characters (or character as it would likely be) and expect people to love it. That's why Indiana Jones wasn't as successful as Hollywood would have you think. Everyone I know who saw it said it blowed... Top Gun II would too.

3. Ken Loggins Doesn't Want to be a Part of This Crap
Now I don't know if that is true at all, but I tell you what - if Loggins doesn't want to write another song for the film or re-record "Highway to the Danger Zone" for this sequel, they shouldn't do it. That song kicked ass!

4. Did I Mention Tom Cruise is a Freak Now?

5. If You Want to Make Garbage, Make Original Garbage
Don't make some bullshit sequel that pisses on the grave of an iconic 80's film for the sake of cashing in on the name and hopes that guys like me who grew up wanting to be Maverick for a minute or two get all jacked up for more Tom Tom at Flight School. We won't. We know he's a weirdo. Hell, I'd rather see Top Gun II: The Mis-Adventures of Ice Man starring Val Kilmer than whatever they're proposing right now and Val Kilmer is one freaky dude in his own right.

As I scower the rumour lines and learn more about this development, I'll keep you posted. Now I have to got to Rogers and rent Top Gun...

(Yes, I do my movie renting at Rogers Video now... I can't walk into a Blockbuster without feeling dirty and sick to my stomach!)

Continue reading ...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dishonour Roll: Steven Page

"Hey, I know I great idea - hows about I get busted with some blow right as we release Snacktime, our first kids album, and are scheduled to appear at a huge Disney-backed Kids Music show?"

While I'm sure Steven Page never really uttered those words, that's pretty much how things have gone over the last week for the co-lead singer of Barenaked Ladies.

Last week, New York State police arrested Page for possession of a controlled substance. As always, Page, the label, his bandmates and everyone involved immediately said his innocence would be proven. Except it won't.

According to the Canadian Press, Page flat out admitted to the Staties that he was snorting coke. Kind of hard to prove your innocence when the cops can simply read the statements you made as they were clamping the shiny, silver bracelets on you.

Now I'm no boy scout and no where near naive - rock stars and drugs... Who would have thought? - especially when it comes to the a guy who wrote a song with a chorus containing the words "Another postcard from chimpanzees," but the timing couldn't be worse.

Making this situation suck further is that these guys are one of the biggest Canadian bands around and one of the few I'm proud to acknowledge as actually being from Canada - "Celine Dion? No, she's from France I think. Nickelback too." - and this dickfor has to go out and get busted with some nose candy.

I find it somewhat ironic that the guy from the goofy, funny band gets busted for blow while Adam Gontier, the guy from the hard rocking "look like they'd use drugs" band Three Days Grace, went out, got clean and toured detox centers for their last album. Maybe it's just me...

At the end of the day, I guess we all know what Steven Page's craving when Snacktime rolls around.

Welcome to the Dishonour Roll douchebag!

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

10 Things I Learned This Week

1. Josh Hamilton Smashes Home Runs
What a display on Monday night! I took some extra pleasure in watching it happen as I have been a huge Hamilton supporter since he started on his road back last season. Dude is killing it and I, for one, think it's outstanding.

2. But Not Everybody Does

There are people out there who don't think Josh Hamilton is a good story or an inspiring story or a story worth telling at all. Well pfffffft to them! He's overcome a crack addiction to make it back to the Majors. Beyond that, he's clobbering the baseball. In our world where we're hit with so much bad news and so many horrible stories, can't we just enjoy this one without picking it to shreds? Get the latest B&C take on the situation here and here and here.

3. Why Did I Install PokerStars?

Seriously, I have done pretty much nothing other than play poker during the spare minutes of my days since I installed the stupid thing. I even stayed up until about 4 AM the other night playing some Free Money tournament for a good three hours. I could see if I was winning money, but it's actually just a great big waste of time... and still I play!

4. Engagement Party Update
This little shindig is about a month away and it can't get here soon enough. Not because I'm super excited for it, but so that it can be over. Don't get me wrong, I'm really looking forward to seeing the people who are coming and it's going to be a nice day, but for a party that someone else is throwing for us and that we didn't ask for, it sure is causing us a lot of goddamn headaches.

5. So I Bought Me a Medicine Ball...
Not those giant ones you had in Gym Class growing up - one of the four pound ones that is like a weighted basketball. It's the newest wrinkle to the Training for Warriors program that I am undertaking. Lemme tell you how insane using this thing is? You want an arm workout? Forget lifting weights, buy one of these things and fire it off the wall in 8-10 different positions and whole whack of times. And don't forget about the crunches, figure eights, pushups and everything else you can do with it...

6. Yeah Me!
It's two weeks into this and I haven't quit. That in itself is an accomplishment. Mix in the fact that I'm still eating right and it's a success. So what is it when you add the fact that I haven't bought a pack of smokes in nearly three weeks and have had about four in the last two weeks? A small miracle and a major victory.

7. Oh That Silly Lohan Family
So the latest, if you didn't already know, is that Linds is a lesbo and living with Sam Ronson, DJ'ing sister of one of my favs Mark Ronson. She (Lindsay) seems happy and hasn't been making any bad news since this relationship started. What's the rest of the family got to say about it? They're all in denial! Supermom Dina and little sister / Lindsay clone Ali swear they're just friends. Yeah, friends who like to go down on each other!

8. I'm So Pumped for The Dark Knight
There hasn't been a movie that I have been this stoked to see in ages. I can't even tell you the last thing that I was so excited about going to the theatre to see. Maybe nothing. Ever. Everyone I know who has seen it is raving. Now all I need is a night off with Sarah so we can take it in.

9. Anderson Silva is a Bad Motherfucker!
Watched UFC Fight Night last night with great anticipation of seeing Anderson Silva, the best pound-for-pound fighter on the face of the Earth, take on James Irvin, a dude with scary punching power. I thought Silva would win. I didn't think it would be as insane as it was. 1:01. That's it. Caught his leg on a kick, right hand, over. 8 more punches landed before the ref stopped it and Irvin was gashed bad under his eye. There isn't fighter on the planet that I wouldn't take Silva over right now.

10. Operation: 185 Update
Starting Weight: 204
Last Week: 201
This Week: 201
This isn't a setback - you never lose as much in Week Two as you do in Week One - and I'm writing this before getting in a workout or heading to work, so chances are that by the end of the day that number will be lower. Even if it isn't, we're good. With the addition of the aforementioned Medicine Ball, there are a whole bunch of other exercises I can do to continue dropping libs and toning my flabby physique into the rock-solid sculpture I'm gunning for for next April.

Have a great week everybody!

Continue reading ...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Questioning My Coolness

I don't know if that is happening or has happened to anyone else, but I've been questioning my coolness recently.

Not that I was ever the complete epitome of cool, but I like to think that there was a time when I had my finger on the pulse - I knew the trends, the fashion, the music, the style, everything - and did my best to represent that. These were also the years, looking back, where I was know to have sported the D-bag Uniform a time or two as well, so what does that tell you?

Nowadays, my finger is far from the pulse and truthfully, I'm really fine with that. What's cool these days is absolutely retarded. That's why the cartoon batting leadoff on this post is so damn funny.

And that's why My New Haircut has nearly 2 million hits on YouTube.

I walked through the mall the other day with Sarah and had no inclination whatsoever to go into stores like American Eagle or Aeropostale because they sell the exact same crap - frat boy garbage that has their name splattered all over it for ridiculous prices. If I'm going to pay $35 for a golf shirt, I don't want it to be one that I already saw fourteen kids walking around in - collars popped of course - that says American Eagle.

That's not to say that I don't care about style and fashion and looking good anymore - quite the opposite really - it's just that my style and sense of what looks cool has grown up and been heightened.

A really well cut, good fitting pair of charcoal pants and a crisp white button down is my new "Going Out" attire, a great departure from the days of jeans and printed t-shirt with sneakers.

I guess I've gotten to the days where I can actually say, "I don't understand the kids these days..." and tell you that I think Huey Lewis was right all those years ago when he said, "It's hip to be square."

P.S. If you think citing Huey Lewis makes me a total dork - peep Pineapple Express and see who they got singing the theme song... Huey Lewis and the muotherfuckin' News baby!

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Up All Night (Sleep All Day)
Artist: Slaughter
Album: Stick It To Ya (1990)

Why Slaughter?

Besides being totally rad when I was in like Grade 6, this song is the perfect theme song for my house right now.

Both Luke and Sarah do a pretty good job of living this song to the fullest, just like Jeff Sanislo and I did that one night I slept over at his place and we played Nintendo all night while eating candy from the Beckers around the corner from his house.

And then there is me.

It's 3:03 AM and I just started a tournament on PokerStars. Sarah's at work, Luke is roaming around the house randomly barking at anything and everything and my eyes are bugging out of my head from staring at this screen for the last (doing mental math) three and a half hours of poker-y goodness.

Up all night tonight, sleep all day tomorrow.

See? It fits.

(P.S. Fly to the Angels still rocks to this very day...)

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where Is My Money?

Did I miss a newsletter or something when I started doing this freelance thing?

Is there some guidebook that I didn't pick up that explains how getting paid pretty much is never going to happen, because it sure as shit seems that way.

Passion Magazine is now 100% officially tits-up without every having put a dollar in my pocket. Three issues, four articles, some 6,000 words amounting to zero dollars and zero cents. I know there is the exposure of having a byline in a national magazine, as well as a picture in one, and the clippings are great for my portfolio, but none of that puts money in my hands.

On the heels of Passion's non-payment comes the situation I currently find myself in. All the spots I write for, save for one, have yet to pay me for some very good work I have done and I'm starting to get more than a little concerned.

I'm wondering if my lack of cents comes from a lack of sense. Should I have known it would be like this?

I filed my article for Trot Magazine a couple months ago, after several hours of interviews and work, plus a rewrite to better express the tone and voice the magazine was looking for with the piece.

As it hasn't been published yet, this one doesn't have me as worried, especially because I actually get emails back from my editor, which is more than I can say right now about Canadian Sports Magazine at the moment.

Same story as with Trot - interview done and put together, complete with additional pieces should they want to make the piece larger, invoice sent and...

Nothing. Not even a reply to acknowledge they got my invoice.

Most nerve racking of all is Bugs, simply because I've never run into this situation there before.

It's July 17th and I haven't seen our June numbers yet.

Normally this wouldn't matter much to me as I tend to make around $1.87 a month. But last month was a banner month for me, complete with an SI Extra Mustard link and some serious pub thanks to my on-going tete-a-tete with the Drunk Jays Fans.

Not that I'm expecting millions, but this could be a hundred dollar month and a guy could really use a hundred bucks right about now.

Instead, I'm left checking my Gmail account thirty times a day to see if I've gotten the email yet, only to be disappointed time and again.

I know the Bugs thing will work itself out - I have the utmost faith and respect for my boss over there and he's never given me any reason to doubt him in the past.

Just, when everyone who owes you money stops returning your emails and phone calls, you start to get a little paranoid.

And broke.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Rundown: Summer Jams

Last year, it was Umbrella ella-ella-eh-eh-eh.

Who could forget "Steal My Sunshine" and creepy, way-too-close brother and sister from the video?

Every year there is that song that is the soundtrack of the summer and since we haven't really had that song yet this year - at least as far as I know - why not look back at some classic, at least in my books.

All-Time Top Five Summer Songs

5. "Summer Girls" - LFO
Yeah, it's super cheesy and the fact that the group is called Lyte Funky Ones makes it even more horrible. All that being said, everyone knows the words to this song and was singing it (rapping it?) while cruising around town in '99. Best line? "There was a good man named Paul Revere / I feel much better baby when you're here." What the hell does Paul Revere have to do with picking up tourist chicks in the summer? Priceless.

4. "Summertime" - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
This one we've touched on before, as it made an appearance in Soundtrack of My Life a few weeks back now. Still to this day, I hear it and think of being a kid riding my BMX around the streets of Chatham, Ontario, trying to convince Jennie Bishop and Shannon DeWolff that I was the coolest kid the neighbourhood.

3. "Big Pimpin" - Jay-Z feat UGK
In 2000, Big Pimpin became the soundtrack of our Wednesday night ritual when me, Pauly, Tommy, Fisk, Stu, Irish, Cori and Dre would get together at the house, make some dinner and watch the first season of Survivor. At least two of us always did battle to see who could finish their Colt 45 first. And yes, we drank it from the brown paper bag it came it too. There isn't a more bouncy, summery jam in Jay-Z's catalogue than this one. Rest in Peace Pimp C.

2. "What I Got" - Sublime
If this song doesn't make you think of summer and hanging out drinking a few beers with your closest firends, I don't know what would. The really crap part of this song, of course, is that lead singer Bradley Nowell overdosed before the song and album came out. Still, the catchiness of this song and the memories it envokes for me reminds me of good times and really, that's what you want in a summer song.

1. "No Diggity" - Blackstreet
I remember when this song came out, seeing the video for the first time and instantly knowing that it was going to be the biggest song of the year. For the entire summer, every mixtape and CD we made featured this song. Hell, some of the mixtapes I still make now feature this song and I used to drop it unexpectedly to huge cheers every so often back in the Sha-Na-Na's days. An absolute classic.

What's on your list?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Now Can We Do Something About Darfur?

Earlier this morning, I read something that made me very excited.

The President of Sudan, Omar Hassan al-Bashir has been charged by the International Criminal Court's Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo (pictured) for crimes against humanity, murder and genocide.

I know that may sound like an odd article to get excited about but this is something that has been a long time coming and could possibly serve as the first act that moves some of the world leaders and global powers (cough USA cough Canada cough) into action in the war-ravaged, deathlands that are Darfur.

As is usually the case in situations like this, the accused is proclaiming the accusations as politically motivated, unjust and unfounded.

Hopefully, those charged with the duty of reviewing the evidence that will eventually bring this man to The Hague to stand trial for these crimes do not overlook the hundreds of thousands of dead bodies that populate the landscapes of Western Sudan.

Or the generation of babies and children known as "Janjaweed Babies," a name they've been given as products of rape at the hands of the government back militia whose name (janjaweed) literally translates to "Devil on Horseback."

Or the entire section of the movie Darfur Now in which Ocampo builds the case that has now become these indictments against al-Bashir.

Maybe now - now that an independant court of last resort that deals only in atrocities has issued indictments for genocide, amongst other things - will the rest of the world get off it's ass and do something about the situation in Darfur.

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There are a whole host of links in the Sites I Frequent section you can visit for mor information about Darfur and how to become involved.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Back At The Table, Digitally Speaking

I don't know what it is, but I'm back playing Hold'em at PokerStars again.

Every couple of months I just get this urge and all I want to do is sit down and play tournaments one after the other. The fact that it's all Play Money makes it a little easier to swallow.

So instead of getting any work done so far today, I've spent the past two hours playing poker and winning a tournament - 300/20 buy-in of 27 people. Got some good cards, but made some good plays too.

I think it's the competition angle of it - trying to outfox some random person on the other side of the world when you've got K-8 off suit and you want to make your stand.

The funny thing is that the competitive side of me wanes after a few hands of people sucking along and catching a flyer on the river. Sure this happens in real poker every once in a while, but the zero money invested aspect of and those like it sometimes leads to really crappy poker being played.

Much like my writing - and pretty much everything else I do in life - I play poker to the best of my abilities and always want to do it the right way. For me, that means no sitting in with 2-7 off suit hoping to catch another seven on the river to beat someone. I know the money doesn't matter, but it's just bad gamesmanship really and I have no time for that.

Which is why I don't mind wasting some time over the next couple days bug-eyed at the computer, clicking away at the mouse. I know in two or three days I'll be so sick of bad beats and bullshit calls that I'll uninstall PokerStars once again and get back to wasting my time with Baseball Mogul 2008 and the 43-7 Toronto Blue Jays.

Or I could always just do some writing...

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

10 Things I Learned This Week

It's been a strange and beautiful week, so let's get right to it, shall we?

1. Holy Shit I'm Outta Shape
If you've been here at all in the last seven days, you know this week was the kickoff of Operation: 185 and my foray into the Martin Rooney Training for Warriors program. Sweet merciful Christ I was sore on Tuesday and Wednesday. Turning the pages made me sweat, that's how out of shape I am. But so far, I've pushed through and haven't skipped a day yet.

2. I Don't Care for Brett Favre Anymore
D'you know who un-retires? My mom. Every May, she announces her retirement from the working world, spends the summer on the boat and then September rolls around and she's back looking for work. Both my mom and Brett Favre need to make a decision, one way or the other, and stick with it. This flip-flopping is just annoying.

3. Luke: Cool Hand, Iron Stomach
Not only is my dog indestructible like Matthew Good, but he can and will eat anything, literally. Except celery. Am I the only one who likes celery? This week, Luke has eaten half of his black blanket, a quarter of his white blanket, two pairs of socks (entirely), a bunch of rope and some newspapers. I'm torn between seeing what else the little trash compactor can eat and not wanting to be the guy that killed his dog by feeding him a pop can...

4. Garry Has a Girlfriend
I can't explain how beneficial it is to my life that my eventual father-in-law / current landlord has found himself a lady friend. Combined with his four day weekends every week between now and September, it means that the bulk of Garry's time will be spent in Midland. While I enjoy his company a great deal and we get along really well, we're too alike on too many things and that makes for random tension and no one needs that.

5. Welcome New Readers!
There is a possibility that some of the folks from Montana's will be stopping by this here site in the future and I figured I should welcome them to the fun. Anything to keep pumping those daily numbers - and my closely linked self-esteem - higher and higher.

6. Customers of the Week Update
I think karma kicked me in the ass last night at work, because after penning (keying??) yesterday's post on my awesome customers from earlier in the week, I had even more superstars last night. I got shutout again, had two tables of German traveler who I'm pretty sure thought the tip was included in the bill (read: I got peanuts from them too!) and someone complained about me for no real reason. At one point, I had delivered $110 worth of food and been rewarded with $1.00 in tips. Stupid karma...

7. Who'd Like to See a Movie I've Written?
Well it could be a possibility down the line as I began work this week on my submission for the Canadian Short Screenplay Competition. First prize is your movie getting made and some cash, but getting the movie made would be worth way more than any monetary sum. The deadline for submissions isn't until December, so this one is a long-term investment of time. As with everything, I'll keep you updated.

8. Polk-A-Roo Strikes Again!
So my friends Shelby and Mark have taken to calling Sarah Polk-A-Roo, since they have yet to meet her in the ten weeks that we've jointly resided in London. Then we found a perfect way to make it happen; we were going to join Shelby, Mark and her parents for dinner in Port Stanley before taking in the play she's directing that night. A really nice Thursday evening, I must say. Too bad Sarah can't go. Turns out this Thursday is the only day in the next two months where her "Four On, Five Off" Rotation at the hospital isn't in play. Damn that Polk-A-Roo!

9. Where Has The Year Gone?
It's July 13th.
When the fuck did that happen?
How have I been back in Ontario for three and a half months already?
The weeks honestly just fly by in a blur now...

10. Operation: 185 Update
When I started this last week, I weighed 204.
My current weight? 201.
It's been as low as 197.5 this week, but that was after a seven hour sweat-fest at Montana's with no dinner. Regardless, three pounds in the first week is pretty solid and very encouraging.

Continue reading ...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Customers of the Week

I've been doing my fair share of working at the Cookhouse over the past couple weeks.

According to my review, I am a welcome addition to the group who is always very engaging and outgoing with customers and delivers outstanding service.

See Sarah - I'm not just full of myself...

Which makes these two sets of clowns even bigger douchebags in my books.

Last night, I got $0.00 from an older couple. I know the host didn't accidentally throw my money out - one had done so earlier in the night - because it was near the end of service and I was clearing my own tables by that point.

Now, I admit that their relatively small bill of $27.00 and change doesn't warrant a million dollar offering, but nothing? How brutal is that?

Not as brutal as the guy who was kind enough to take the tip money that his friend had left on the table off of the table - in front of me - on Monday night.

To my credit, I didn't drop what I was doing and rip his throat out with my bare hands, Roadhouse style. I should have. The police would have understood.

He was with a party of eight people in their mid-20s who couldn't decide how to split their bills.

Note: if you don't have friends who you can just say "I got this one, you get the next one" with on a $15 bill, you need new friends.

So after splitting the three pitchers of Keith's 7 WAYS and getting all eight people individual bills (and suckers), our hand-held debit machines started acting up. Basically, it told me the total left on the table was less than the actual amount remaining, so I had to deal with that.

It took about three minutes, during which time I apologized twice. As I was walking over to finalize the last transaction, fuckface looks me in the eyes, reaches over and picks up the money - a stack of coins, so maybe $3.00 - and slides it into his pocket.

Where I come from, that's cause for fisticuffs. I just stood there fuming...

Thankfully, there have been some actually great customers this week and I've been doing alright.

That being said, Saturday is usually the night of the cheapskates. This should be interesting.

Please tip your server...

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Flake
Artist: Jack Johnson
Album: Brushfire Fairytales (2001)

Is there an artist who makes you think of the beach and summertime than Jack Johnson? Not for my money there isn't.

Probably has something to do with the fact that Jack is a former professional surfer and his brand of acoustic, mellow rock automatically puts me sitting in the sand with a Corona on ice whenever I hear it.

There are any number of Jack Johnson songs I could have chosen for this week, since "I celebrate his entire catalogue" as John C. McGinley said in Office Space.

"Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" would have worked except Beast borrowed that CD from me four years ago when we were living together and I haven't seen it since. He did, for the record, take me to a Jays game as an apology.

"Upside Down" is a pretty cool little number too and gets bonus points for it's Curious George affiliation. Teaming with monkeys always impresses me.

But here is the thing that made "Flake" the choice: it's song #1 in the Jack Johnson Anthology. This is where it all began for Jack, at least on his own, and where I first got on board with the surfer boy from Hawaii who likes to kick it with Ben Harper and G. Love, two cats my university friend Tommy was trumpeting as must-adds to my musical collection before I removed my head from my ass and discovered their greatness.

Lyrically, the song is outstanding as well, with the chorus echoing a sentiment that pretty well everyone can agree with:

It seems to me that maybe,
It pretty much always means no
So don't tell me you might just let it go
And often times we're lazy
It seems to stand in my way
Cause no one no not no one
Likes to be let down

Additional to the killer atmosphere this song sets and the intelligence of the lyrics, I threw in a little extra treat with the link, as instead of the music video version of the song, we're going live performance with Ben Harper riding Steel Guitar shotgun for this bad boy.

Put on your board shorts, go bask in the sun and crank up the Jack... it's summer time baby!

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Having some font difficulties this morning... hopefully this doesn't look too bad.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Rundown: Happiest Places on Earth

Last week's installment trumpeted the awesomeness that is Wonderland.

As I stated in 10 Things this past Sunday, it was everything I expected and more, easily topping the All-Time Wonderland Trips list.

Wonderland made me think of Disneyland / DisneyWorld, the latter of which I have been to. These places bill themselves as The Happiest Place on Earth if I'm not mistaken, but all I remember of my Grade 4 March Break Vacation to Disney World was that Space Mountain was overrated and The Tea Cups nearly made me barf. What's so happy about that?

There is nothing happy about feeling like you're going to yak, but there is happiness contained in the list below, at least for me there is...

Top Five Happiest Place on Earth
Note: I'm sparring everyone the sappy and sentimental "Anywhere as long as Sarah is there" and "Lying next to Sarah while she sleeps" mentions because #1 isn't always true and #2 doesn't happen anymore now that we have a dog. Luke sleeps between us...
5. O'Neill's Pub in Earl's Court, London, England
O'Neill's is like the Firkin Group of Pubs here in Ontario - a chain that doesn't really feel like a chain - and this one in Earl's Court became my watering hole on my first excursion to Jolly Old. Whether it was just relaxing with a pint and the paper after a long night out, watching Champions League Football with a room full of Liverpool supporters going insane or Monday Night Pub Trivia with Big Dave, this spot quickly found a place in my heart.

4. Along the fence on a Picnic Table at Any Ontario Harness Track
Chirping with friends as they jog by during warm-ups. Getting a close-up look at the longshot I like in the 8th during the post parade. The thundering of hooves as they charge out from behind the starting gate. The crack of the whip and whistles from drivers as the field charges for home. If I wrote a list like this when I was ten, this one would have been there.

3. Chapters
Not all the time - sometimes a trip to Chapters is just a run in, grab something and run out event. I'm talking about the days when you just lose yourself in the store. Hit the Starbucks for a Venti Komodo Dragon with room for dairy, find a big comfy chair somewhere and just lose track of time, either reading or working on something. Sarah and I used to do this fairly regularly in St. John's and we need to get back to doing it again... soon.

2. Middle Cove Beach in Newfoundland
This place has been on my mind a lot lately with the hot and humid summer that has hit Ontario. How I wish I could just take a twenty minute drive out to the ocean and climb along the rock faces to hear the crashing of the waves. I'd even welcome an unexpected splash from the water below. Luke would love it out there too; tons of sticks to crew on, chasing the tide in and out, all kinds of other people and dogs to antagonize...

1. Right Here
Not just sitting at this computer, but sitting here in my home, knowing that Sarah is somewhere in the house with our dog, fully supportive of what I am doing even though it means less time with her. It was the same when "right here" was in the spare room on Crosbie Road in St. John's, in our bedroom in Portugal Cove or in the living room on Wexford Street too and I'm certain it will be wherever we end up next too.

Pictured: That's about what I see my home office looking like in the future...

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Where Was This When I Was Growing Up?

Horse racing - be it thoroughbred or standardbred - has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. One of my parents' favourite pictures of Pete and I was taken sitting in a box in the Fort Erie Grandstand. I couldn't have been more than five.

Until I learned what all those jumbled up numbers and symbols and letters in the program meant though, I had no interest whatsoever in going to the track. It was all foreign to me. No matter how diligently everyone tried, you couldn't make horse racing fun and interesting to me.

There needed to be something like this.

OHHA, the Ontario Harness Horsemen's Association, launched a harness racing website not that long ago and it's absolutely awesome. As someone who has spent countless hours trying to explain the finer points of the industry to friends and family alike, a site like this is a welcomed tool. Seriously, where was this when I was growing up?

Get Sulky provides some history, general information and contact points, as well as a chance to win $10,000.


You read that right - $10K. All you have to do is play a game where you bet on the horses. How sweet does that sound?

Besides the opportunity to potentially win a mint, the game is also a great way to familiarize yourself with betting on the ponies. Not only do you learn for yourself, but you also stop asking fiends like me 3,000 questions while I'm scouring the program trying to find the longshot that's going to help me make my millions...

As someone who grew up around the industry and makes his living in the ever-growing world of the Internet, it's nice to finally see the old school sport of harness racing taking a step forward into the technological age.

Now I'm off to play the ponies...

Pictured Above - My good friend Jody Jamieson guiding Tell All to victory last year in The Little Brown Jug.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

You Have To Want It

Yesterday was Day #1 of Operation: 185, my quest to shed some extra pounds and get into better overall health not just for next year's big event, but life in general.

Pictured to the right is my new bible. Note the lack of capitalization so I don't get struck down for blaspheming or anything like that.

Martin Rooney's book is a comprehensive training program not just for the body, but also for the mind and contains everything from motivational sections to dietary plans, both of which I am taking advantage of throughout this effort.

The biggest thing I have already learned from my one day journey is that doing something like this - exercise and eating right - has to be something you truly want to do.

Like most people, I've had gym memberships before and started out with the best intentions. Four times a week for the first month, then twice a week for a couple weeks, then something comes up and you haven't gone in a year and a half, despite the fact that GoodLife Fitness still gets $50 from you every month.

Unlike those times, I actually got out of bed yesterday looking forward to feeling stiff and sore today from my first workout in years. Surprisingly, I'm not that stiff and I'm also still really geared up about following through with this program.

Groceries today was all about good stuff - fresh fruits and vegetables from SunRipe Market, snack foods are now Melba Toast and Granola Bars instead of chips and dry roasted peanuts and beverages are pretty much either water - I'm drinking about 5L a day now - natural juices or V8 so that I get some extra veggies in there.

I know it's early in the efforts and things could very easily change as I step up to the higher intensity workouts and feel twice as sore tomorrow - second day is always worse, right? - but as of right now, things are great and that makes me excited.

As hokey as it sounds, there really is truth to the adage that "You have to want it."

I've found the things that I want, now it's time to keep after them.

Continue reading ...

Monday, July 7, 2008

You Might Have Banged Madonna, So What?

There has been all kinds of coverage as of late about the possible affair between New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and the Material Girl.

Earlier today, Alex's estranged wife Cynthia filed for divorce, citing the Madonna thing as the last straw.

My question to all of you is: Is banging Madonna really that big of an accomplishment?

See that picture to the left? The one with Madonna's exposed breast? Recognize that dude feeding her from behind?

It's Vanilla fucking Ice! Go White Boy, Go White Boy, Go indeed...

The truth of the matter is that while Madonna is a pretty damn fit fortysomething, she's seen more shaft than an elevator and should we ever be surprised when one celebrity cheats on their spouse with another celebrity?

And don't feel all that bad for Cynthia Rodriguez either; she's been getting consoled by Lenny Kravitz, though she failed to mention that in bashing her soon-to-be ex-husband.

Continue reading ...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

10 Things I Learned This Week

1. We're Not Meant to Have a Car
Or at least, not a used car. Why? One, we're not smart enough to remember to turn off the lights, meaning the battery gets drained and we need a boost about once a month. Two, the three times we've called for a boost from CAA, we have jumper cables in the back all along. Looking would have been too easy. Three, we blew a tire Thursday night heading to Midland. That means that every time we've gone somewhere meaningful in the two months we've had this car, something has happened. It's just not worth the hassle. Oh yeah - that exhaust issue from our trip to Beamsville? $360.00. AWESOME!

2. E. Spencer Kyte, Tire Changer
Sarah didn't think I could do it. I didn't have any doubts in my mind. Never underestimate the power and skills of an angry-as-fuck smokaholic who is forced to change a tire on the side of the 400 Extension at 11PM. A few thousand curse words, a little elbow grease and a we had that tire off and changed in no time.

3. Best Wonderland Day Ever!
Thursday at the theme park was wicked. It ended up being a bright, sunny afternoon, we rode every single ride, literally, and had a killer time. Behemoth was as advertised - there is something really weird about slowly climbing up a hill at an obtuse angle that makes your heart race and your bum-hole pucker... and then you drop. Highlight of the day: My girth helping me win the Crazy Carpet Waterslide Race... I knew being chubby would come in handy one of these days!

4. Cool Hand Luke: Indestructible Dog
Luke spent the afternoon in the Kennel at Wonderland - a cool setup where you pay $6, can visit all you want and we're not forced to risk leaving him at home for 13 hours. He was on the second tier of the kennels and he was so excited when we went to pick him up at the end of the day that he didn't wait for us to grab him and place him on the floor. He jumped. Head first. Into the concrete floor. Man it was a loud thud. Luke, he bounced right up and continued being super excited as if nothing had happened. My dog is invincible.

5. Shaved Head + No Sunscreen = OUCH!
The funny thing is that I covered every other part of my body with SPF 167 so that my pasty white skin would stay pasty white. Do you think I considered running a layer of sun-blocking goodness over my freshly shaved cranium? Of course not. Now it's bright pink. And a little sore. I'm a genius.

6. I'm Not Big on Fireworks
More correctly, I'm not big on large, assembled masses of mouth-breathers collected together in a small area oohing and aahing over colourful explosions in the air, which is what I got the joy of experiencing Tuesday night for Canada Day. Adding to the misery were the geniuses who tried telling people not to stand in certain areas as they could not see - it was a giant parking lot... not reserved seating - and the dueling idiots who (a) try to back the car out amidst all the crowd and (b) the young people who feel the need to antagonize the driver even more by cursing at him, giving him the finger and standing in front of his car. Needless to say, I won't be in attendance next year.

7. My Brother-in-Law is Aces
I finally met Tim on Thursday and while we've only spent one day together, I can say without question that I will have an awesome Brother-in-Law come next April. Besides our shared interest in Guinness and soccer, our personalities work well together and our sense of humour is about the same. While it sucks that I could only spend one day with him on this trip, I'm really looking forward to getting out to Vancouver in September to hang out some more. Then we'll work on convincing him to move to Ontario...

8. Rampage versus Forrest - Can't Wait for the Rematch!
The Main Event of last night's UFC 86 card was better than advertised. These two dudes - both of whom I would put in my Top 5 fighters - went at it for five five minute rounds with Forrest Griffin coming out the new champ. Both landed some wicked blows and a rematch is an absolute must. Other than Josh Koscheck slipping loads of Chris Lytle's blood all over the Octagon was the other highlight.

9. Is It Just Me...
When I do business, I tend to be extremely diligent in my dealings with other people. If they email me, I email them back almost immediately. No one likes being left in a lurch. This week, I've been left hanging a couple times and I have to say that it drives me insane. Here is the problem - I've fulfilled my end of the arrangement but now I'm at the mercy of someone else and that, as we know, isn't a position I like to be in. As I've asked before, is it really that hard to send someone an email?

10. Operation: 185 Starts Tomorrow
Currently, I would be victorious if I was beginning Operation: 204 tomorrow, but I'm not. That means I have 19 pounds to drop to get to my ideal weight. My plan? It all starts with eating properly - not dieting, just eating properly - including all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Step Two is that MMA Training book I mentioned yesterday. Daily workouts, never skipped, no matter. Step Three is sleep. A lot can be said about the benefits of a regular sleep pattern, including how valuable it is to weight loss and better overall health. The best part of all is that I won't be alone in this effort, which is a big plus for anyone trying to get in better shape. Sarah's on board as well - not for the MMA workouts, but everything else. I'll keep you posted here in the 10 Spot from week to week. Wish me luck...

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

MMA Rules My Day

It's 10 AM and I'm sitting here watching MMA Live on

Once this is done, it's off to Chapters to buy an MMA Training Workout book "written" by Renzo Gracie.

No, I'm not looking to become the next George St. Pierre and start an MMA career at the ripe old age of 29; I'm looking to get my chubby ass in shape and MMA training combines all the elements necessary to provide the best fitness workout you can get. I've got a beach to stand on next April and I don't want to be the pasty white guy with man-boobs and a boiler...

The afternoon is going to be spent catching up on some writing and MMA is involved in there too.

While Epic is getting a CFL post - No, I'm not kidding; the CFL is actually pretty exciting, despite it's strange rules and giant field - The Love of Sports is catching an Old School Love post about "Iron" Mike Tyson because boxing and boxers are now miles behind MMA in terms of athletes and recognition and "Iron" Mike was the last fighter who drew the oohs and aahs MMA fights get now.

Then I have to go to work. 4:30 - 8:30, which means I should be out of there around 9:30, which is just perfect.

At 10:00, I'll be sitting in my basement with some food and a drink staring at the TV.

Tonight is UFC 86 and features Quinton "Rampage" Jackson versus Forrest Griffin in the Main Event and I am absolutely jacked about this battle between two of my favourite fighters. The undercard is pretty solid too.

I'll keep you posted on the training, in case you care...

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Rundown: Wonderland Baby!

Tomorrow is shaping up to be altogether awesome!

First, I'm FINALLY meeting Sarah's brother Tim for the first time. It might take place tonight if he somehow manages to make it through Customs, to the ticket booth and onto a plane in roughly 90 minutes after he lands in Ottawa.

Like I said, I'm meeting him tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it. We've talked a couple times and we have some similar interests (Guinness, soccer) so it will be great to get to hang out and get to know him after nearly two years of dating his sister.

And what better place to bond than Wonderland! Nothing can bring you closer together than being strapped in to the Extreme Sky Flyer as you're forced to pull your own chord and plummet towards the ground shrieking and laughing.

With that in mind, why not celebrate all that is great about Paramount Canada's Wonderland in today's installment of The Rundown...

Top Five Things About Wonderland

5. Funnel Cakes
Do I need to explain?

4. Overpriced Games
One word: Whack-a-Mole!

3. The Water Park
We're fo' shizz hitting up the Water Park tomorrow, as it will be sweltering hot and everyone needs a float in an inner tube down the lazy river after packing back as much food as humanly possible at the All-U-Can-Eat BBQ lunch we're getting. I'm also a huge fan of speed slides and water slides too.

2. Old, Wooden Roller Coasters
The Great Canadian Mindbuster is one of the best roller coasters ever. Not stylistically, not technologically. Hell, even the name is kind of crappy. What it does have going for it is the all-wood design that rattles and hums the whole way along, making you think that at any minute, you're going to be the guy who was on the ride when it finally broke. With the super-harnesses that they strap you in with on rides like Top Gun, you need to feel the frightening experience of sliding back and forth in your seat with nothing but a metal bar that doesn't quite sit low enough as the only barrier between you and death.

Have you seen this thing yet? Have you heard about it? $26M of awesomeness and I can't wait to give it a whirl. Or two. Or three. The first drop is 85 degrees at a top speed of 77 mph. Plus they have these new "Open Air" cars where there is no box for you to sit in; it's just you, safety thing jammed into your crotch and away you go. I just might shit my pants...

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Oh Those Silly Christians

Pictured to the left is American sprinter Tyson Gay.

The former Arkansas Razorback is the reigning Gold Medalist in the 100m and 200m and a member of the champion United States 4 x 100m relay team. A year or so ago, he starred in his own Adidas commercial during the "Impossible is Nothing" campaign.

Over the weekend, Gay posted some crazy-fast times at the US Olympic Trials, notching a 9.77 in his qualifying heat and producing a wind-aided 9.68 the following day to register the fastest time ever record regardless of conditions.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Well, Sunday morning, the headline at - who bill themselves as providing "Your Latest News from a Christian perspective" - had a headline reading "Homosexual eases into 100m final at Olympic Trials."


Turns out, in an effort to not use the word "gay" anywhere on their website, the fine folks at OneNewsNow have a filter set up that automatically changes the word "gay" to "homosexual" whenever it is encountered.

That means the Memphis Grizzlies best player is Rudy Homosexual.

For joint and muscle pain you should always use Ben Homosexual.

The Flintstones were going to have a homosexual old time.

The site has since corrected the erroneous automatic substitution, but the really funny part of all of this to me comes from the following line from's explanation of what they provide:

At, you will get your news from reporters you can trust to give the latest news without the liberal bias that characterizes so much of the "mainstream" media.

Wouldn't want any of those liberal biases...

You know it's them liberals that are the twisted, perverted bastards that let them homosexuals run races in the first place!

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