Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Honey, I Know What I Want for My Birthday

One month from today, I turn 30.

On our drive to Brampton this AM to help Sarah's Aunt and Uncle move - a move that was craptacular, part due to my strained neck muscles that are limiting my range of motion and part due to nothing really being packed - she asked me what I wanted for my birthday.

Generally, I'm not really great at answering this question, because since I was about 12, there hasn't been anything that I really wanted that I thought I had any legitimate chance at getting. Not that she wouldn't buy me something I wanted, just we're moving and that's going to cost some serious coin so I doubt she'll be interested in dropping a couple Robert Bordens on a 360 and Rockband for the new condo...

But I might stand a chance with these.

My man Marc Ecko - fashion designer, baseball brander, mogul extraordinaire - has released a new line of gear featuring... wait for it... wait for it...


We're talking Storm Trooper helmet t-shirts that look killer, a red Warrior hoodie, The Gold Bikini tee and my new wishlist topper - a Boba Fett hoodie! The damn thing looks like Boba Fett's gear, right down to the knicks and dings in the armour.

It's either that or the Storm Trooper "Send in the Troops" hoodie.

Or better yet, this can be what Garry gets me and Sarah can still get me, I mean us, a 360 and Rockband.

What? She could play it too...

Continue reading ...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dishonour Roll: Megan Fox

With any good fortune, Megan Fox will become the next Susan Ward.



Susan Ward was a Hollywood "It Girl" circa 1999, when after some marginal performances on classic shows like Malibu Shores and Sunset Beach she landed a role in The In Crowd.

Basically, she was pretty, posed for some scantily clad glossies a time or two and shot to stardom. She hasn't been heard from since, unless you count starring in blockbusters like Who's Your Caddy? or playing Hooker #3 in Just Friends.

But why would I focus this ill will on the future Mrs. Brian Austin Green?

Read her interview in this month's GQ - on news stands now! - and tell me she isn't a walking hypocrisy that you just want to kick in the teeth.

Let's start with "I don't want to be famous right now," a quote taken directly from the article. You don't want to be famous right now? Fine, stop doing 967 photo shoots and giving interviews like this. Simple.

And don't whine about being so anxious to go on stage that you have to pop a Xanax before you do it either or how your entire life has become front page news. Maybe it's because you play bag-tag with your hubby in public and discuss how you fell in love with a stripper.

If you want people to know you through the movies you do, stop playing brainless sexpots and do some real acting. Bending over Bumblebee isn't acting. Playing the sexy young starlet in the upcoming How to Lose Friends and Alienate People isn't acting either; it's called being Megan Fox.

Oh wait... there's more!

"Transformers 2 is directed by Michael Bay."

That was her response to being asked if her character in the upcoming sequel has more depth and development from the original where she was simple eye candy with seven lines.

While I agree that Michael Bay isn't synonymous with character development, shut your pie hole and be appreciative, because without Michael Bay, you're nobody special. Dude made you who you are right now and you slag him about something he lampoons himself about... makes you sound like a spoiled little bitch in my books.

Throughout the interview, she pretty much rails against the sexual double standards that exist in society.

Fair play, but guess what sister? They've been around much longer than your 22 years and will be here for the foreseeable future, so whining about it doesn't do a lot of good.

Disney isn't going to get mad at the douche bag who posted Vanessa Hudgens' naked pictures; they're going to get mad at their cash cow for potentially ruining a million dollar enterprise whether that is fair or not. Same with the whole Miley Cyrus flap.

These girls apologized because they like their careers and the money they make. I'm sure they don't feel bad about the actual pictures, they just know that Disney is a machine that will keep churning out new tween queens whenever the old one wears out and getting as much money and work out of them before getting dumped is a lot smarter than saying things like "Fuck Disney" and watching High School Musical 3 where we suddenly find out Gabriella died over the summer and some new bitch has stolen Troy's heart.

Megan Fox just isn't smart enough to understand that yet.

Or any part of the business for that matter.

Actually, she's just not smart, period.

At least not in my books and that's what landed her here.

Continue reading ...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

10 Things I Learned This Week

1. It's Always Nice to Come Home
Going on vacation is great, but there is something pleasurable about getting back to your own surroundings and sleeping in your own bed. Maybe it's because I've had the same pillow since I was 7... or maybe it's because Sarah and I aren't sleeping in single beds pushed together anymore. Either way, it was real nice to walk through the doors here Monday and crash out for the afternoon in the comfort of our own house.

2. The Dog Owns Us
Before Monday, we hadn't seen the little pug dog in three weeks. Halfway through the last week in Vancouver, we both longed to be home and wrestling with him. Once we got here, we immediately went out and bought him a new toy, as a present for being so good and to apologize for being away for so long. One of us has been with him for nearly the entire time we've been home. He gets our undivided attention. We're totally his bitches.

3. Speaking of Luke...
The inspiration for his name passed away Friday, as Paul Newman - Cool Hand Luke himself - lost his battle to cancer. I wrote about it yesterday, so I won't dwell on it too much here, other than to say again that we lost a legend and he will be greatly missed.

4. Fantasy Phenom
So I had five fantasy baseball teams this year. None will finish worse than fourth, with two battling for titles today. Of my four fantasy football teams, three are undefeated in first place and the other sits in third at 2-1. I'm drafting my first fantasy hockey team today and basketball season is just around the corner too. I know it might make me a super geek to love fantasy sports as much as I do, but I don't care. I'm damn good at it!

5. Next Stop: Kimberley, British Columbia
We've been officially going for a week or so, but now we know for sure where we'll be staying... on the ski hill in a bad ass condo with a fireplace in the living room, slate floors, stainless steel kitchen and a four-man hot tub on our balcony. Sarah will have to commute 30 minutes or so to work - a great cause for alarm to some, but not us - and I will have a 1 km walk to...

6. Kelsey's Here I Come
My new bartender/server gig at Kelsey's Restaurant at Kimberley Alpine Resort. Yes, I'm moving 3,000+ km to do exactly what I do here in London. But here I don't get free golf, free skiing, free lessons and deals on rentals. Or live nestled up next to the Rockies in a quiet little town where I have a hot tub on my balcony. I can't wait...

7. Ryan Reynolds is My Hero!
Always loved his work, now I love him as a person. Why? Because he is Mr. Scarlett Johansson! Homey traded up from Alanis Morissette to one of the Top 5 Sexiest Women on the Face of the Earth... nicely done sir and congratulations to you both.

8. Sometimes, You Don't Have to Make a Biopic
Saw the first trailer for the Notorious BIG biopic that's coming out in January. Gotta say, I'm not a fan. These are legends and icon in the business and the communities they came up in and someone thought it was necessary to make a glitzy refresher course on their lives with a bunch of dudes that don't even really look like them? How is Papa Doc from 8 Mile supposed to be Tupac to me? And Boobie Miles from Friday Night Lights as Diddy. Leave it alone Hollywood...

9. Anne Hathaway Loves Bum Sex!
She says so herself in an interview in the next edition of Esquire. Now this has nothing to do with anything important or useful in the world, but honestly, when a major Hollywood starlet goes on the record about thoroughly enjoying a trip down Avenue B, I feel the need to share that information with the masses. And by masses I mean the 37 of you who read this site faithfully. I love you all.

10. Time to Go Watch Football. Oh Wait...
I can't! Garry is gone for the weekend and while I don't need his presence or permission to catch the NFL, I do need the television receiver that he took with him to Midland this weekend! ARGH! Finally a Sunday where I am not in transit from Ottawa (Week One), picking up Sarah's mom at the airport (Week Two) or enjoying afternoon tea with a monster hangover (Week Three) and I get to stare at the ticker on NFL.com for the afternoon. Booo-urns!

Continue reading ...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman (1925 - 2008)

We lost a legend last night and Heaven gained one of the greatest talents ever to grace the screen.

Paul Newman lost his battle to cancer. He was 83.

If you've never listen to anything I have said here over the months that I've been doing this thing, listen just this once:

Go to whatever movie store you rent from, even if you don't rent movies anymore, and grab as many of Paul Newman's old classics as you can. Make no plans other than spending the day watching greatness at work.

Get Hud.
Get The Sting.
Get Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.
Get The Hustler and Color of Money.
Get Cool Hand Luke.

Pop some popcorn, grab whatever cold beverage you favour and just sit back.

Watching Newman at work, in everything, but especially along side Redford as Butch opposite Sundance and in The Sting and you'll wonder why we have to suffer through the scores of horrible movies Hollywood sends us each year.

The answer, in part, is that they don't make them like Paul Newman any more.

Enjoy a two minute glimpse at greatness here... best fight scene ever.

Thank you Mr. Newman.

Continue reading ...

The Lost Art of Penmanship

I have fantastic penmanship.

I know this because every time someone sees something that I have written, they look at me and offer "you have really great writing, you know, for a guy." I don't even care that the literal translation of that sentence is "you write like a girl."

Writing and printing clearly isn't a difficult task and so it always strikes me as odd that so many people are baffled by my mastery of it. Yeah, I said mastery.

My brother Peter is to thank / blame. Back when we were little, before the days of PlayStations and computer games that kept track of your statistics for you, we did it longhand on ruled paper. Columns were made in red pen. Players names were written in blue ink. If it wasn't up to Pete's standards, I had to do it again.

It wasn't school that taught me good penmanship, it was my anal retentive brother's quest to make the statistics kept for the Kyte Brothers Mini Hockey League that made me write like a girl and I thank him for it.

Good penmanship would have gotten me home earlier last night.

The number three looks like this - 3.
It most certainly does not look like this - 5.

It took me double checking someone's math skills last night around 1:30 in the morning to realize that it wasn't their sums that sucked, but their ability to print numbers they learned in Grade 1 clearly.

For the record - their math skills sucked too, but that wasn't something for me to worry about that late at night and really, if you can't rock some simple mathematics at this point, you're hopeless to me anyway. Especially when you've got a calculator sitting right beside you.

To me, this is the same as speaking properly.

Books are available at the library, not the libary.
You may ask me whatever you like, but you cannot axe me anything, except wood for the fire.

You get the picture.

Scribble notes to yourself, but if your chicken scratch needs to be read by someone else, take two seconds to make sure that they aren't going to need to consult the Rosetta Stone to figure out what you're saying, m'kay?

Continue reading ...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Mass Appeal
Artist: Gang Starr
Album: Hard to Earn (1994)

This is one of those duos that I can't believe more people who claim hip hop don't love. But at the same time, I'm glad people don't appreciate Gang Starr, because it leaves them to me and the people who really know.

Gang Starr was tight.

Long before Timbaland and Polow da Don were making the beats everyone craved, DJ Premier was the man. And before Primo was the man for hire, he was the man on the wheels of Gang Starr. Standing in front of him, gracefully dropping intelligent lyrics was Guru, an MC who goes down as one of the most underrated of all-time in my books.

This track embodies what I always loved (and currently miss) about Gang Starr.

The beat is simplistic but catchy; it's not something you've never heard before, but it's certainly not something you're going to rush to turn off after you've heard it a time or two.

I miss scratching and Premier delivers throughout the chorus and outro of this song.

As a general question, what the hell happened to scratching? It's one of the fundamentals of hip hop, a DJ mixing beats on the turntables, layering them together with cuts and scratches and it's all but disappeared.

And then there is Guru, just talking to you.

He's comes intelligently and even his curses fit, unlike in many songs today where it sounds like someone is dropping an f-bomb or the n-word just because it's on the checklist of Things That Make Up a Hip Hop Hit...

Just like baggy slacks I'm crazy hip-hop
Check one two and you don't stop
Your head'll bop when I drop my crop
of pure bomb, just like the seashore I'm calm
But wild, with my monotone style
Because I don't need gimmicks
Gimme a fly beat and I'm all in it
Word is bond I go on and on
For you it's tragic I got magic like wands
So I'ma end this lecture and I betcha
Those who kick dirt and do time I'm gonna get cha
Cause I be kickin the real
While they be losin the race tryin to chase mass appeal

Gang Starr has been off the grid for some time now; a Best of compilation came out a few years back and neither DJ Premier or Guru can ever provide a concise answer as to whether they'll reunite again or not.

That's part of the reason I have been so onto this song for the last couple weeks - I miss tracks like this and groups like Gang Starr - and if they never do reunite to wreak havoc again, than this track with stand in my playlist as their legacy.

And now you have a chance to enjoy it too.

Continue reading ...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shameless Promotion... and Some Random Thoughts Too

You'll notice over on the right, where we keep The Movie List and The Blog Cellar, that there is a new addition to the posse.

It's a widget for The Love of Sports.

I do some work there.

Actually, I do a lot of work there.

Almost as much as I do anywhere else these days.

That's because these guys are straight knockout artists when it comes to writing intelligent and interesting pieces about sports - all sports - much like the way the B&C Family holds things down on the baseball ends of things on the daily.

I got hooked up at TLOS a couple months back and after getting my feet wet - and dropping off the Epic Carnival Sideshow Tour - I have started doing some regular pieces there, including getting a lot of my MMA addiction out of the way by previewing every PPV, profiling fighters and delivering my own personal Pound for Pound rankings. Those are coming soon...

I wanted to bring some attention to the site because, well, everyone needs traffic and if you like sports and stories about sports presented in a fairly unbiased nature and in great variety, drop by and check us out.

* * * * * * * * * *

'Member a few weeks back when I had Lil Wayne in the Soundtrack and said it was because down the road he was going to be viewed as a pioneer when it comes to digital artists and blending genres?

Seems Weezy is just doing it all these days, as he's now blogging for ESPN The Magazine.

Would you have guessed that the man who reps N'awlins more than anybody would be a Packers fan?

Me neither.

* * * * * * * * * *

Afternoon schmaltz movies are becoming a daily routine around here...

Crashed out and watched Saved the Last Dance today.

Somehow I forgot about it yesterday; definitely part of the Top 5, maybe at the expense of Benny & Joon.

P.S. What the hell happened to Julia Stiles? Where did she go? I miss her. I loved her.

* * * * * * * * * *

Went back to work for the first time in three weeks yesterday... and was sent home before I even started.

Not because I did something wrong; it was just that dead. Probably going to happen tonight too, which is fine, because the season premiere of Grey's is on tonight and I'll be pissed if I miss it.

Yeah, I watch Grey's. You got a problem with that?

* * * * * * * * * *

Speaking of work, it was really cool to get such a great response from everyone at The Cookhouse about our venturing out to BC.

Even though I've only been there for a short time, they're a great group of people and I will miss fucking the dog and avoiding work along side of them.

It's also funny that all of them to a man loathe working there and living in London.

It really isn't that hard to just up and leave people...

We're all still relatively young. Life is too short to sit around hating your job and wanting more. Go out and get more and enjoy life to the fullest.

* * * * * * * * * *

Oh yeah - I fell off the smoke wagon again.

Went the first eight days out west without a single one... ninth day, Sarah's mom came home.

Been smoking ever since.

Time to go have one now...

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Rundown: Crappy Movies We Love

First, sorry about being gone since Friday. The last couple days in Vancouver were jammed with activities and I've pretty much been sleeping and planning our move since getting back. And spending time with the dog. It's insane how much I missed the sock-eating little bastard.

Second, instead of continuing to plan our move to Cranbrook this afternoon, Sarah, Luke and I crashed out on the floor of the basement and watched Kate & Leopold. We were flipping when we sat down for lunch and as soon as Sarah saw the title screen her eyes lit up and a smiling face turned to me and said, ever so sweetly, "Can we watch it?"

How could I say know? Besides, why would I want to? While it's no Oscar winner, it's also a lot better than, say Citizen Kane and that long-winded piece of black and white boredom cleaned up back in 18-ought-4 when it came out.

What I'm saying is that we all have these movies, horribly predictable, cheesy, sappy, smaltzy wonders that no matter how many times we've seen them or how bad our friends tell us they are, we still go back to them.

Kate & Leopold fits the bill for Sarah. The five films that follow are mine.

The Kate & Leopold List: My Favourite Crappy Movies

5. Someone Like You
Kate & Leopold is Sarah's Hugh Jackman movie and this one is mine. There are two main reasons I like this flick: 1) Ashley Judd stars and she parades around in her underwear for a couple scenes and (2) Hugh Jackman's classic line explaining his hickey - "I bit myself shaving." I've used it many times myself. There is nothing cerebral about this flick and you know from the jump how things are going to end up, but still, you can't pull away. At least I can't.

4. Benny & Joon
This one isn't actually a crappy movie; it's really quite good and a lot of people I know thoroughly enjoy it. They're the ones with good taste. I am too.

3. 10 Things I Hate About You
Ah Shakespeare set to teenage high school melodrama, how I love thee... Bonus points to this flick for having a killer soundtrack including "I Want You To Want Me" and "Cruel to be Kind."

2. Love, Actually
Hugh Grant is the Prime Minister of England. Bill Nighy is a washed up old rock star without a censor. Colin Frissell is off to search for women... in Milwaukee! What's not to love about this flick? Of course, there is also the gorgeous Keira Knightley and that guy who holds up cue cards for her at the door telling her how she is perfect to him and the bad guy from Die Hard getting hit on by his naughty secretary. I honestly watch this movie once every three months, minimum.

1. Two Weeks Notice
Yeah, so I have a soft spot for Hugh Grant. It's probably because he doesn't actually play characters so much as he plays a version of himself in every film he does. And Sandra Bullock is just the perfect cute-but-not-too-good-looking foil for any romantic comedy. That's why Miss Congeniality worked so well. The Lake House, not so much, but that's for another day. If you haven't seen this and need a fun night in, go get it. As always, you can thank me later.

Continue reading ...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Crank That Remix
Artist: Travis Barker
Album: None

Okay - this is goddamn awesome.

I don't care how much you hate the original - and I understand people hating the original because it was played to death and every 37 second there was some other pseudo-celebrity YouTube'd doing the Soulja Boy - but this is sick.

The original make an occasional appearance on my playlist because I find any song that has a choreographed dance routine to be a little amusing (and I generally know have the steps because I'm a dork like that) but also because Sarah likes the beat and has no idea what any of the words are and tries to sing along, so I end up hearing "Soulja Boy I tell you what" and proceed to cry from laughing so hard.

I love ya Baby, but you're no rapper... not by a longshot!


Travis is a madman, always has been, always will be.

Love this.

I'm a sucker for a quality mash-up and this fits the bill.

Absolutely love this.

I don't even care what anyone else thinks.

It's badass.

End of story.

Continue reading ...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ellen Page: Forever Juno?

I watched Smart People this morning, the new to DVD flick starring Ellen Page, Dennis Quaid and Carrie Bradshaw.

In truth, I intended to watch it last night, but someone was sleepy but really wanted to watch it, so I turned it off.

Anyway, it's a pretty strong flick and I recommend it to everyone.

One thing both Sleepy McGee and I both noticed though is that no matter what Page's character was doing on screen, all we kept hearing was Juno McGuff, even though the two characters couldn't be more different.

This is what happens when you play a role that becomes a cultural phenomenon; for the next little while, all people see you as is that particular character. In the case of Nova Scotia's finest film export, that character is Juno.

Some actors are very much able to overcome this stigma.

Julia Roberts became more than Vivian the Hooker from Pretty Woman.
Tom Hanks isn't always Forrest Gump.
DeNiro isn't still Travis Bickle or Jake LaMotta.

I know that is pretty heady company to be putting young Ms. Page in, but I think she has the chops to one day earn those comparisons.

Unfortunately, it will take navigating her way around the Junofication of her characters to ensure that happens. Otherwise, she could end up like another Canuck, Keanu Reeves.

Regardless of what he has done since, every time I see Keanu Reeves on screen and I hear him talk, I am immediately reminded of one person: Theodore Logan... Ted from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Keanu isn't the only one in that club either. Not by a longshot.

Ethan Hawke is always Troy from Reality Bites. Even when he was battling Denzel in Training Day, all I could think was "When did Troy stop being a conflicted singer/songwriter and join the force?"

Matthew McConaughey is always Wooderson from Dazed and Confused. Every flick he's in I expect him to drop the line about high school girls or a well-timed al-right.

I mean it could be worse; like I said yesterday, you could just be Julianne Moore.

The next two projects for Ms. Page are going to be important steps in breaking away from the Juno typecasting.

Peacock, a thriller co-starring Cillian Murphy sounds very promising.

Drew Barrymore's directorial debut Whip It! does not. It's about an indie rock loving grrrl who takes up roller derby because she lives in Austin, Texas where, in her opinion, everything sucks.

Great... Juno on rollerskates.

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Rundown: Works Every Time

Last night we sat around with 37 other people thoroughly enjoying The Coen Brothers latest, Burn After Reading.

If your only exposure to Joel and Ethan thus far has been last year's outstanding No Country for Old Men, do yourself a favour and go pick up all their older stuff to get a feel for their brand of funny. It's not slapstick and pratfalls for these boys.

Once you're through with Fargo and O Brother and the rest, go see Burn because it's great.

One of the things that is so great about it is John Malkovich.

What makes Malkovich so great, in general, not specifically to this particular movie, is that he doesn't do a lot of films. He picks and chooses and absolute kills everything he does. That's the way he is. I mean, I would love to see him do more because Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman have shown you can be in all kinds of movies and still be tremendous every time out, but Malkovich is Malkovich. He'd rather sit around wearing ascotts on a daily basis and do a movie every couple years... and that's cool too.

He's not alone in that regard either; there are a fair number of outstanding actors who scarcely show up on screen but deliver every time they do. In fact, I'll run'em down for you shortly. But first, ground rules or at least some understanding of where my mind goes with this.

Consider this the Anti-Julianne Moore List. There is nothing inherently bad about Julianne Moore, it's just that for me, she's in a handful of movies each year and is always just Julianne Moore. She never really overly memorable or complex or creative or interesting to me and everyone on the list that follows is. There is also the Jodie Foster Factor.

A few years back, Jodie Foster would have easily ranked near the top of this list for me. But the strength of films like Taxi Driver, The Accused and Silence of the Lambs have been diminshed greatly by her work in The Inside Man, The Brave One and Nim's Island.

Now that that is out of the way, onto the list...

The John Malkovich 5: Actors Who Are Almost Always Awesome

5. Sean Penn
Think what you want about the former Mr. Madonna, but all I need to say is this: Sean Penn gave us both Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and the titular Sam from I Am Sam. Mix in his shady lawyer in Carlito's Way, Dead Man Walking and his great performance in Taps and you have one of the best actors of his generation.

4. Michelle Pfeiffer
Scarface loved her. Both of The Fabulous Baker Boys loved her. Batman loved her. She is so incredible she even got a bunch of no-studying, broke ass high school misfits to love her. Clearly, I love her too.

3. Sir Ben Kingsley
He's a Sir and they don't hand that shit out to just anyone. In truth, this one is maybe the most debatable because Sir Ben still shows up on screen fairly often, it's just that now he does indie flicks and smaller films and not Hollywood blockbusters. So while everyone gets to see Nick Cage blowing shit up on a regular basis, they miss Kingsley's alcoholic hitman in one of my favourite films of last year You Kill Me. Or an awesome thriller like Suspect Zero. Or Sexy Beast.

2. Meryl Streep
You can't do an awesome every time list without Meryl Streep. You just can't, because she is in fact awesome every time she stands in front of a camera. That isn't an opinion, it's fact. If said to someone that Meryl Streep is just okay most of the time, that someone could very well punch you in the mouth and call you an idiot. When you've been nominated for 937 Academy Awards, you have to be doing something right.

1. Daniel Day-Lewis
C'mon... you had to know he was topping this list. I mean, he basically does a movie every three years, gets nominated for an Oscar and wins 50% of the time to boot. He went five years between The Boxer and Gangs of New York, two more between Gangs and The Ballad of Jack and Rose and then two more before doing There Will Be Blood. He's Mr. Selective and Mr. Awesome Every Single Time.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pack Them Bags...

We're moving to Kimberley!

The hospital in Cranbrook called this afternoon after Sarah got home from Wedding Dress shopping and offered her the position that she interviewed for last week.

First - congratulations to my fiancee for getting the job she wanted on the first try... it's not supposed to be this easy, but I'm glad it has been.

Second - YEAH BITCH!

I'm absolutely stoked about this move for a number of reasons:

  • I've fallen in love with the scenery in Vancouver and Kimberley is even nicer from the pictures I've seen
  • I'm going to learn how to snowboard
  • The golf courses look beautiful too
  • We've already found a condo and the place is aces... and comes with a hot tub on our balcony

Most importantly of all though is that this will be someplace new for both Sarah and I and we get to start building our life together on our own.

Nothing against either of our families and the great friends that we have in various other places we could have moved to, but we both want a chance to do things completely on our own and away from the eyes and opinions of our loved ones. We managed Newfoundland pretty darn well and we're sure we can do this too, even if they aren't...

Thankfully, we didn't unpack all that much when we moved to London, so this one shouldn't be too hard to prep for.

All we have to do now is decide if we're flying or driving...

Continue reading ...

Now This Is More Like It

With all due respect and love to my future wife and everyone I've been spending time with here in Vancouver... Man have I needed today!

Today is the first day in the last two weeks or so that I have been left 100% on my own to do as I please, which in younger years would have meant scouring the Internet for porn, watching all kinds of movies and probably taking a long afternoon nap. But now, after a horrible day yesterday that originally was supposed to be very similar to the day I'm having today, that means sitting here on the laptop hammering out as many pieces as I can for the numerous sites and readers that I have been depriving of my witty banter over the last fourteen days.

I'm not going to get into great detail about yesterday. It sucked, plain and simple and I will never understand why friends and parents cannot fathom that sometimes, just sometimes, people have different opinions and ideas than you and you're not always right. Maybe I'm just spoiled with the close relationships that I have, but more and more I get the feeling that a lot of people don't live in the real world and can't get out of their own way when it comes to friends and family... and that's mighty effing annoying!

But it's not all doom and gloom faithful followers...

Cranbrook has gained steam following Sarah's awesome interview last week and references are in the process of being checked. In fact, the phone could be ringing today with a job offer for the future Mrs. Kyte. And she's not the only one who has found herself a job.

The place we've found to rent is in the ski resort village of Kimberley. The restaurant that operates in the resort? Kelsey's, Montana's Cara Foods cousin and they happen to be hiring a year round, full-time bartender, a seasonal full-time server and a seasonal front of house manager. Can you say shoe-in?

I've applied for the bartending gig as it offers continuous employment for the three years we anticipate staying out this way (at least to begin with) and presents the greatest earning potential of the lot. Ski resort bars are awful busy and being the sports-minded, charming, mildly attractive guy serving up Caesars sounds like a plan to me.

Getting a free ski pass, free rentals and free lessons doesn't hurt either, especially considering that the one time I've snowboarded I ended up concussed and we'd need to buy furniture before I got around to buying a bunch of Burton gear.

Future bartending jobs aside, there is really something to be said about British Columbia. It's beautiful here and while I know we've been spoiled by glorious sunshine and not a single drop of rain since we landed, the scenery and easy-going flow of the city doesn't change with the weather. Much like Newfoundland, this is one place that every has to come at least once in their life, just to see the sights.

It's nice to be back... at least for today...

Continue reading ...

Monday, September 15, 2008

iBlog Will Return Tomorrow


I know I haven't posted since Friday - my 300th post BTW - but shit happens.

All kinds of shit.

Annoying shit.

Frustrating shit that makes me wish I had never come on vacation in the first place or that I was already on the red eye home so I could go to work and have a normal schedule again...

Anyway, this is about all I have time for today and I'm sorry.

But everyone is going out tomorrow and leaving me here, in peace, to finally get some work done, so I promise we'll catch up tomorrow.


P.S. After 8 days without smokes, I'm off to the store... that should tell you where my head is at right now...

Continue reading ...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Artist: Stone Temple Pilots
Album: Purple (1994)

Easily in my All-Time Top Ten.

The first riff of this track comes on and I'm instantly teleported back to Grade Ten when I had no idea of who the hell I was and tried desperately to be able to be a grunge rock guy with STP as my flagship band.

Thankfully, I grew up and out of that stage, figured out who the hell I was and maintained my musical sensibilities because no matter what kind of music you listen to most and what your opinions of Scott Weiland and STP, this song kicks massive ass.

I honestly don't know anyone who doesn't like this song. It is a lot more accessible than "Vasoline" which preceeded it both in release and atop the Billboard charts and also the singles that came from Core a few years before. I wouldn't call it a ballad because, well, it isn't, but it is just a bad ass rock tune everyone who has ever had a crappy relationship sees parallels to themselves in.

And really, isn't that what music is all about?

Unfortunately, as was the case with countless bands both of this era and genre as well as in the past, present and future, drugs kicked the bejesus out of Stone Temple Pilots. More specifically, heroin became Scott Weiland's best friend and newfound muse and the music suffered... immeasurably.

Thankfully, I still have both Core and Purple kicking around the house somewhere to remind me of a time when Scott Weiland was awesome and Stone Temple Pilots made music that I loved.

There isn't a song I love more than this one.

Continue reading ...

The Rundown: Restaurant Recipes

Jumbled in with the 437 other plans and ideas and career opportunities that I have riffling through my head on a daily basis is the notion that one day, when I've got a whack of cash all saved up (because I'm so awesome at saving money) I would love to open my own restaurant.

Actually, to call it a restaurant would give you the wrong impression. More correctly, I would one day love to open my own pub; one with a big old bar in the center of everything with plenty of brass taps and stools to go around and a menu of my own creation.

Yes, I fancy myself a bit of a cook amongst all the other things too.

Anyway, after fixing up a delicious dinner tonight that would certainly be on the menu, I got thinking about how I skipped out on a Rundown yesterday while caught up in my Vancouver Lovefest but now I have a perfect topic for one and so what do you know?

A little background on the idea concept first: open for all three meals of the day since breakfast is my all-time favourite with board games like checkers and chess built into the smaller tables, books, newspapers and a reading area available for people to sit and eat in and none of that tacky bar shit that clutters up most chain pubs these days. Live music three nights a week and trivia night on Tuesdays too.

Now that you have the vision...

Five Future Restaurant Recipes

5. The Breakfast Hero
Besides serving several classic breakfast options, this bad boy would be the secret weapon and people's champ of the breakfast menu. Half a homestyle loaf of bread, sliced in half and gutted of some of the dough so as to make room for the goodness. Scrambled eggs with your choice of additional ingredients (peppers, mushrooms, onions, etc.) one top of two stripes of Irish bacon and topped with sharp cheddar cheese that gets melted down on top of all of it. Served with home fries and lots of ketchup...

4. Avocado, Bacon and Roquefort Salad
This one I stole from a place in England called The Chop Shop, but after making my own variation tonight, it would surely make the list. It's pretty much just as the name says; all those ingredients on top of Baby Spinach with a warm Roquefort cheese dressing. Top be served in both meal and app sizes.

3. Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Wild Rice and Asparagus
Everybody needs a killer chicken entree and this is mine. Nice salty prosciutto wrapped around a boneless, skinless chicken breast, seared before being put in the oven with fresh asparagus on a bed of wild rice. Make a nice little white wine sauce from the pan fried goodness and bon appetit!

2. Angelhair Shrimp Pesto
Gotta have a pasta, but this one won't make you feel all stuffed after three bites. This one will leave you satisfied and wanting more, the way it should be. Fresh pasta with wilted spinach and big, fat shrimp tossed in a nice garlicly, pine nutty pesto with some fresh parmigiano reggiano over top for the final touch.

1. The Ahi Burger
Way back some time ago, I first made mention of this bad boy. This would be the one that really has them coming back. Great for lunch or dinner, this would be my star attraction. Sushi-grade Ahi tuna cut into nice steaks about 1/2 inch thick, marinated and seared on the grill. A fresh Scotch Bap with Wasabi Mayo, sliced avocado and julienned cucumber as garnish with your choice of salad or sweet potato fries as a side. Trust me - heaven in a bun!

There are way more ideas for the menu and I will admit to this - my place isn't going to be the health conscious choice seeing as bacon makes an appearance in almost all these recipes. But in the words of Vincent Vega... Bacon is good!

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Never Coming Back

Arrived in Vancouver today and quite frankly, I'm never leaving BC again.

How did no one ever tell me about this place or try to convince me to come here before now? Actually, Sarah tried to bring me here last Christmas but she went out and had her appendix removed instead...

There is just something about it here that I have instantly connected to and I don't think it's just a case of first day infatuation.

The serene quiet is incredible. I can already envision the pages and pages of writing that I could get done in a place this peaceful.

Natural light is a big thing to me and this place has it in spades. Well, Jane's house does and couple with the above noted silence, this place has quickly started rising up my favourite places list.

Having been a city-dwelling kid for most of my life, scenery like this has never been a part of my daily routine. Yes, St. John's was beautiful, still is and always will be. This place slides right into line next to St. John's on the beauty scale, with the mountains and trees and ocean and everything.

Getting more sports on a daily basis thanks to the beauty of Pacific Standard Time doesn't hurt either.

Bottom line: I don't ever want to leave.

It's a good thing I love it out here as much as I do too - Cranbrook is pretty much a done deal and we may have found a place already too... on a ski hill... with a hot tub...

I'll keep you posted.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why, Because Your Other Career Moves Are Going So Well?

So one of my favourite girls of all-time, the incomparable Lindsay Lohan has apparently turned down a nearly $750,000 offer from Playboy to pose nude for their upcoming 55th Anniversary Issue.

Apparently being a pseudo-closeted lesbian who no one wants to hire because you're box office poison is working out far to well for Linds to jeopardize it by getting paid to do something she has done time and again for free in the past.

To her credit, she has been much more low key since she began dating stick figure Samantha Ronson. Gone is the cracked out, gant looking Lindsay, replaced by the curvy, big boobed girl we all fell in love with, but none of that has helped her land a job, so why not take the pay cheque while you can?

It's not like Heff wants you to do a pictoral with a horse or anything. In fact, the layout is said to be right up Lindsay's "Borrow from the Past" Alley, as she was been asked to recreate Ann Margaret's shoot entitled "Kitten in the Wind" from the 60's.

Recreating Marilyn she'll do, but posing in a pictoral of the person you most closely resemble in cinema history for a monster payday? Never.

Even though she's seamingly straightened up - pun very much intended - I still don't understand this girl...

Continue reading ...

Monday, September 8, 2008

10 Things I Learned This Week

Sorry to have withheld your Sunday staple from you all yesterday, but there is no way to hammer out a post while driving from Ottawa to London. Well, there is, but there was no way that I was going to try to attempt it. Besides, it was the first week of the football season, so I'm sure you had much better things to do...

1. Cranbrook is now 85%
Sarah has a phone interview sometime in the next two days and the recruiter she has been dealing with is all about ensuring she's still interested, as if her desires had waned in the last three days or something. With that being said, our trip out to Cranbrook once we land on Wednesday - another 10 hour journey - could be about finding a place to live and where I can sling some suds as much as it will be about seeing the hospital.

2. Piling Up the Kilometers
For my American readers, kilometers are just like miles, only shorter and we've been racking them up with no end in sight as of right now. We figured this out yesterday during our drive home - from Friday to Friday we'll have put 1,700 on our car this weekend, flown from London to Vancouver and then driven another 2,000 or so to and from Cranbrook. I wish there was such a thing as Road Miles because we'd be collecting them like mad.

3. Pug-less
I never thought I would miss being wrestled from my sleep at 7:30 AM by barking or having half of my bed taken over by a possessive pooch, but since we dropped off Luke at Mable and Dennis' on Thursday, all I've done is miss the little yappy bastard. He's better off out in Damascus on the farm where he can roam around freely and hang out with the other dogs instead of shipping back and forth and staying solo here in his pen, but that means more than two weeks sans Cool Hand and while I enjoy not having my socks chewed to shreds, I still miss my little man.

4. Politicians Don't Like Me
Mostly because I tell them things they don't like to hear. The wedding we were at this weekend was of two politically involved individuals with lots of politician friends. We shared a couple drinks with two of them prior to heading to the reception. During their discussing of Barack Obama and John McCain, I sipped my Guinness and calmly stated that a lot of people don't really care about these two candidates policies and plans and would rather look to a rockstar candidate like Obama to get them to the polls. That effectively ended the conversation. Truth hurts I guess.

5. Speaking of Canadian Politics...
We're heading to the polls again in only 6 short weeks! So many things wrong with this that I don't want to spend too much time on it, but it's always great when everyone acknowledges that we're sure to have another Minority Government and we're given only 42 days to decide who the best people are to represent our country. This again is why Canadian Politics is a joke...

6. Weird Wedding
Everything about Saturday was a little weird. From the MC welcoming the Member of Parliament who was in attendance before acknowledging anyone else in the room to the family of the newly wedded couple joining forces as a jazz trio to entertain the masses, this wedding was left of centre in my books. Instead of wedding favours for all those who came to share in the day, the couple kindly donated to the Ottawa Humaine Society on our behalf. And apparently "buffett dinner" in Ottawa means "serve yourself but you only get one trip to the line before the staff remove all the food." No wedding cake either - just cupcakes. Strange...

7. Speaking of Weddings...
My brother very well could be getting married this coming November. In Vegas. By Elvis. Of course, plans and timelines with my brother change as often as the weather, so this could turn into a Spring Backyard Wedding in the next couple of days too.

8. What Are You Going To Do?
That was everyone's immediate question this weekend when we informed them that Cranbrook was most likely going to be out final destination. Uh, the same things I do here maybe? Wait - they do have restaurants in BC right? And people drink beer? It's not like I'm a Nuclear Physicist and need a high tech lab to operate in; I'm a freelance writer who does the restaurant thing on the side. I can literally work anywhere in the world without much worry. Apparently no one else understands that.

9. Try, Try Again
Since I won't be able to smoke in BC - not because I'm not allowed, but because it will be far too much of a hassle to enjoy a smoke - I'm hanging up the habit for the next two weeks plus and seeing where things go from there. I know I've done this before and whatever whatever, but hey, at least I'm trying again right?

10. Operation: 185 Update
The powers that be have put Operation: 185 on hold until further notice. They acknowledge that there is little time presently to put my body through the work required to drop the 17 extra pounds I am currently carrying and will make an announcement prior to the relaunch of the program.

Continue reading ...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Different Strokes

Everybody appraoches their wedding in different ways and being here in Ottawa for Erin and Nathan's wedding today is showing me that I'm even more excited about the way we've decided to go about things come April.

For one, it's raining here as we speak and while rain is always a possibility wherever you are, at least rain in the Dominican will be amidst warm weather and white sand beaches...

Secondly, night's like last night won't have to happen for us. While it was nice to be invited over to their house to get together and say hi, when you know three people in the room and one of them is the bride, you're conversation options are limited. Now, I'm a social guy and willing to talk to anyone, but uh, it kind of relies on other people engaging you in a small way to get the ball rolling. Instead, our small little crew will mostly all know each other before hand and have ample time to learn more about each other over the course of the week in the sun.

And there will not - I repeat THERE WILL NOT - be a Wedding Day Itinerary itemized and planned down to fifteen minute intervals. When you need to plan out the day and hand out "Here is how the day is going to go" itineraries to everyone remotely involved in the day, you've got too much going on and too much to worry about. I want our wedding day to be the most relaxed and enjoyable day of our lives, not some frantic zoo where we're worried because Rob was supposed to arrive with the flowers 47 seconds ago and the car leaves in 83 seconds.

The other part that has become more and more clear to me is how much I really enjoy that we're going to end up having a small, personal wedding.

Not that either of us wouldn't have loved to have everyone we know and their sisters coming to some lavish event, but really, we're not those people. Having my second cousin that I haven't seen in five years at my wedding simply because they are family doesn't make sense to me. Instead, we've got 20 or so of our closest coming to the resort where we'll be able to spend all kinds of time with each and every person. To me, that is far more enjoyable than anything else.

Of course, the truth of it all is that things like this are completely subjective and what works best for you is all that matters. So regardless of the fact that your parents might not be the biggest supporters of going away or your nearest and dearest don't understand why you're not going away, the only thing that matters is that you're happy.

Our wedding couldn't be more different than Nathan and Erin's and we both couldn't be happier.

Continue reading ...

Soundtrack of My Life

Artists: "Lonnie" and "The Inbred Hillbilly Kid"
Album: Deliverance OST (1972)

I know this one is going to make everyone wonder what in the name of all hell I'm talking about, but don't worry, I'm about to explain.

Today we drove from Midland to Ottawa via the route planned out for us by the fine folks that made the Garmin Nuvi GPS system that was directing us in the car today. Now, being a guy who has family in and around Ottawa, I've been here once or twice and know a couple ways to get here. None of them were the route that that Nuvi was sending us.

For anyone who doesn't have one of these things - save your money.

According to our GPS, the only way from Midland to Ottawa is via East Deliverance, Ontario down a set of dirt roads and rural locales that make the place where the guys from the clip above stop look like a booming metropolis. At one point we went from being on a mid-major highway that goes from Point A North of Midland through Algonquin Park to Point B Ottawa and our fabulous GPS told us to get off that road take some hillbilly highway full of potholes and pig farms only to have us get back on the original route some 45 minutes later.

Thankfully, we didn't have to stop anywhere to get gas, because I was without my banjo and I sure as shit wasn't ready to squeal like a pig...

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Rundown: What I'm Going to Do on My Summer Vacation

My Summer Vacation started today.

For the next two and a half weeks, I get to hang out uninterrupted with my beautiful fiancee both here and in British Columbia and I couldn't be happier. This is the first time all summer that we're getting a good sized chunk of time together without one of us having to rush off to work or having any familial obligations to look after.

What am I going to do?

Glad you asked...

Top Five Things I'm Looking Forward to on My Summer Vacation

5. Sleeping
Luke isn't making the trip West with us, which means there will be no dog walking us up at some early morning hour because he heard a door slam three blocks away. While I'm sure the time shift will take a day or two to get used to, chances are that I'll counteract that with enough booze to help me sleep like a baby.

4. Pints with Timothy
When Sarah's brother was here earlier in the summer, it was another one of those times where one of us (me) had to bail on the weekend full of activities to go to work. That meant that Tim and I got just our day at Wonderland to hang out. While it was a killer time and we certainly hit it off, nothing helps soon-to-be siblings-in-law bond better than a couple pints of Guinness.

3. Exploring the Lower Okanagan
The people Sarah has applied to out West already called her back, so instead of heading to Seattle during our first week, we're heading into Cranbrook and the surrounding area to check things out. Maybe we'll even do a little apartment hunting while we're there, who knows?

2. Writing
There are going to be a few days where Sarah has to go dress shopping and have Mummy-Daughter time, which means I get to kick back somewhere, break out the pen or laptop and work on my book. As much as I have been trying to cut back on some things and focus on it, life keeps getting in the way. So being out West with zero responsibilities and things to do will work wonders for my latest project... I hope.

1. Seeing Where My Baby Comes From
We've been to the places I grew up or at least a handful of them. This will be my first chance to see the places and people and experiences that shaped my future wife and while I'm sure some of you probably just threw up in your mouth a little, I don't care. I love how excited Sarah is to show me different places and that more than anything is what I am looking forward to.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Being Hot Doesn't Mean You Can Act

Two things I most certainly am: a confessed comic book geek and a huge movie nerd.

With those things in mind, I draw your attention to the comely lass to the right.

For those of you without testicles, meet Megan Fox. The boys all know who she is, trust me.

The star of Transformers - outside of Shia LeBeouf and those robots - who used to be engaged to "David Silver from 90210" is being talked up all over the interwebs as the actress that fans would most like to see play Catwoman should she emerge in the next installment of Chris Nolan's Batman.

This is what happens when comic book geeks who have never seen a naked woman outside of a strip joint or porn flick insert their ultimate fantasy into the fantasy world they love the most.

Is Megan Fox aptly named? Absolutely - she's undoubtedly a complete knockout. An Angelina Jolie wannabe, but a knockout nonetheless.

Can she act? NO!

Think of the lineage of Catwoman on the silver screen. You want to follow up Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry with Megan Fox? Even though Berry's Catwoman was a horrible film, there is no questioning her talent or that of Pfeiffer. How could you want to follow those talented ladies up with some non-acting hottie du jour?

You know who looks good in lycra and can act too? Kate Beckinsale. Hello Underworld! Plus, she's age appropriate and I don't mean that in a "suitable for children" way.

Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne / Batman is a much better match with Beckinsale than Fox, just as Maggie Gyllenhall as Rachel Dawes worked far better than Joey Potter.

Should Catwoman become a reality in an upcoming installment of the outstanding Batman franchise, I hope to the Comic Book gods that Hollywood goes with some actual talent and not Megan Fox or any other hard-on enducing wet dream of basement dwelling fanboys.

Continue reading ...

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Bullshit Button: Sex Addiction

I know there will be at least one "Sex Addiction is a real condition and not something to laugh at" comment from this post and let it be known that I am ready for battle.

* * * * * * * * * *

So last week, Fox Mulder himself declared that he has a sex addiction and is entering rehab.

He's nowhere near the first to venture down this road; Halle Berry's ex Eric Benet followed the same path and one of the Reservoir Dogs Tom Sizemore has got the itis too.

I'm calling bullshit.

Nothing against any of these guys - especially Duchovny who I'm a huge fan of - but I just don't buy the whole sex addiction thing. Coincidentally, neither did Eric Benet who later recanted and said he was just a stupid bastard who slept around even though he had one of the hottest women on the planet at home waiting for him.

What defines a sex addiction? I need to find out because for all I know, I could have one too.

I mean, it's not like these guys were holed up in a hotel for the last six months with porn on 24/7 humping everyone who came to the door or anything like that. Well, Sizemore maybe, but still. Duchovny has been busy making one of the best shows on television, Californication, where he plays, you guessed it, a writer who is a sex addict.

Thing is "Sex Addiction" isn't something clinical or scientific. The Holy Bible of Disorders and Addictions, the DSM, doesn't have a page you can turn to for causes and symptoms of Sex Addiction.


Because a sex addict is just someone who has a high sex drive and wants to do it all the time.

By those standards, a good chunk of the population of this planet can rightfully claim sex addiction, myself included.
"Honey, it's not that I just like looking at porn all day and having sex with random people, I have a sex addiction. Help me. I'm sick..."

Back in the day there was another name for Sex Addiction... grounds for divorce.

Continue reading ...