Saturday, November 29, 2008

How Does This Happen?

Real life isn't Beverly Hills 90210.

You shouldn't actually accidentally shoot yourself a la David Silver's best friend Scott Scanlan who managed to do so with a house full of major characters during that one season.

How do you accidentally shoot yourself anyway? Someone needs to explain this to me. I have my FAC - that little card that let's me purchase and keep firearms - and know all about safeties and trigger locks and keeping the clip empty and on and on and on...

So how in the fuck does Plaxico Burress shoot himself last night?

Who thinks it's a good idea to be sitting around on a Friday night fiddling with your gun, safety off, fully loaded?


Oh - did I mention this happened at a nightclub? What the fuck kind of nightclub is okay with letting their patrons - regardless of how famous - come into their establishments packing loaded weapons?

These are clearly not the kind of bars I've been to during my lifetime.

What makes it even crazier to me is that it's not like this is a totally freak occurence either. Shit like this happens on a semi-regular basis.

Former NHL'er Clint Malarchuck did the same thing a couple months back, though his seemed a little more sketchy than Plax's faux pas last night and rumour has it some guy came into the Cranbrook hospital recently having accidentally shot himself in the head... with a crossbow.

Honestly, I'm a little frightened to bring kids into the world, what with all the mouth breathers accidentally shooting themselves all over the place.

Continue reading ...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Move
Artist: Q-Tip
Album: The Renaissance (2008)

Remember when you were little and you'd be driving around with your parents and a song would come on the radio that got them all excited?

They'd tell you how that was their song back in the day or they listened to that particular artist all the time and how they had forgotten how much they loved him or her...

That's what this is for me and the best part about it is that it's like Rhymefest and Kanye... Brand New.

After way too long a layoff, Q-Tip has returned with the critically acclaimed The Renaissance and this is the first single. To prove to you how much I have been dying for this album, I'm planning on buying it Saturday when I go into town. I haven't bought an actual CD in nearly two years.

Tip brings me back to when hip hop was important and meaningful, long before the days all the bullshit claiming to be hip hop that pollutes the airwaves now.

What adds to it is the Old School music video - attached above as always - riffing on Michael's Rock With You and coming pure 80's style...

Not that I expect all the nonsense to fade away overnight, but seeing the return of one of my hip hop idols and knowing that a supergroup with Common called "The Standard" is in the works gives me hope that I won't need to be making mixed CDs of quality Old School Hip Hop for the rest of my days.

Maybe I'll be able to just turn on the radio...

Welcome back Tip!

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Rundown: Six Month Crystal Ball

I just got back from taking Cool Hand for a big long walk around the back nine of the golf course down the hill from us. I know... me... walking... about 3 kilometres... I know!


Walking those holes got me looking forward to Spring, breaking out the sticks and playing several unsuccessful rounds of Whack Fuck at this beautiful course.

Thinking about golfing got me thinking about other things I'm looking forward to in the next six months, so I thought I'd run them down for your reading enjoyment here today.

Top Five Things I'm Looking Forward to in the Next Six Months

(Note: New Record for Longest Title to a Rundown! Congratulations!)

5. Ski Season
Not so much for my attempts to learn how to snowboard and the concussions that are sure to follow and not solely for the increased traffic at the restaurant, though that will be nice too. Mostly, I'm looking forward to living out here at a destination for our friends and family to come and visit. We've already got a couple people in line for a little visit in the new year some time and the reservations list is open for anyone else who is interested.

4. The Continued Growth of The Love of Sports
I'm really pumped about this to be totally honest. I truly believe that in the next six months, this site is going to take off in a way that I know I didn't expect when I came on board six months ago. Everything is going really well over there and I know there are bigger and better things planned for the future, so I'm thinking in the next six, you might know this site for more reasons that just my mentioning it here.

3. Golfing Trickle Creek (and every other course I can play)
Just walking this course today gave me some chills and not because it's cold out. The view from the 10th tee is the most incredible view I have seen maybe ever. It's that incredible. Once I find the camera I'll grab a picture to prove it to you. Some of the holes are still green as can be and look like you could play them tomorrow if you wanted. I may stink at golf but it's still gonna be fun.

2. Our Solo Week in Samana
Yes we'll have to do some planning and organizing in preparation of the week that follows, but for the most part, it's just going to be me and Sarah doing things we want to do (read: sleeping in, lounging by the pool, getting a little tipsy) and figuring out what activities we'll have to do with the fam once they arrive.

1. Wedding Day
We passed the five month mark just a couple days ago and seeing as I'm still new at Kelsey's, I end up talking about it fairly regularly. One of the most FAQ is "Are you excited?" Just so everyone knows, if you ask this question, you deserve to be slapped because of course I'm excited! It'll be the best day of my life, hands down and it's less than five months away...

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Since When is the NY Post So Behind?

In today's New York Post, Page Six asks the question, "Is Paris Over?" after the heiress was mercilessly booed before she even took the stage at some designer's daughter's Birthday celebration over the weekend.

Memo to the New York Post: Paris Was Over A Couple Years Ago!

I never much cared for the talentless tramp, but there is no denying that there was a period of time when she was without question the most widely known and discussed member of the Pop Culture pantheon.

The Simple Life was a surprise smash for Fox.

She started "acting" in movies.

Her image was everywhere.

Like it or not, Paris Hilton was relevant, at least in a "Who gets the most media exposure?" kind of way.

But that was a couple years ago, before she became "a singer" and started dating guys named Stavros and Paris and long before she broke up with whatever Madden she was dating.

Her show on MTV, Paris Hilton's My New BFF epitomizes how over Paris truly is.

For starters, the term BFF is passe seeing as it made appearances in cell phone ads.

The ratings are horrible and more importantly there are new reality television "stars" that people have been flocking to much more fondly than Paris over the past number of years. The Heiress can't hold a candle to the cast of The Hills.

Personally, I think Paris should welcome this downturn in attention. Without the cameras constantly in her face, maybe she could spend a little time finding a career or a hobby or something other than being rich and famous for absolutely nothing.

Look at her little sister. I haven't heard word one about Nicky Hilton in ages and I betcha she's doing just fine thankyouverymuch...

The basic rule is that when you have to ask if something or someone is over, you've already answered your own question.

Paris Hilton is over. May she disappear into the sunset, never to be heard from again.

Continue reading ...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

10 Things I Learned This Week

In all honesty, this week was pretty quiet. No real uproars, no real breakthroughs, just a regular old week of edumication and experiences.

Let's get to them, shall we?

1. One Down, Countless More to Go
Sorry about yesterday folks, but goddamn Guitar Hero is crazy addictive. Round One of being a bass player is complete, which means there are only three more levels to go. Plus four levels on guitar. And four on vocals. And four more on drums once we buy a drum kit. Maybe I need to change that "this is the year I write my book" statement from a few months back...

2. Just Kidding
I actually got started on that there project earlier this week and I did so instead of picking up Bunny (that's my guitar's name...) and things are starting out smoothly. The objective is to get as much done in the next couple weeks before the Ski Season kicks off and I get busy at work (or so they tell me) so that I can focus on work for a four month stretch before focusing on the book once we get back from our little trip down South.

3. I'm Getting Married in Five Months
Exactly five calendar months from now, I'll be a married man. Everything is sorted out and the invoices even went in the mail earlier in the week. Now we just need to make some final selections with the people at the resort. With the weather starting to turn cold - although there is no real snow - thinking about the sun and sand in Samana warms me up.

4. Furniture in 4-6 Weeks
We scored a few pieces this week already, including an awesome stack bookcase. But in a couple more weeks, our bedroom set will get here and so will the killer high-top kitchen table with U-shaped connective booth-like stools. If you can't picture it, don't worry - there'll be pictures once it arrives. Now all we're missing is a coffee table.

5. Gettin' Paid to Write... Regularly
I mentioned a little something about this earlier this month, but now that it's official, I'll give you the full scoop. Every week, provided I submitted ten pieces to my people at The Love of Sports, I'ma get paid. Nothing that breaks the bank, but a little something something that provides incentive and encouragement to keep doing what I'm doing. And like my man Gerrit at TLOS said earlier this week, if you think filing ten pieces a week is tough, I had that number made... by Thurdsay.

6. They Tell Me It Snows Out Here
But so far, I don't believe it. London caught 70 cm earlier in the week and here I am living on a ski hill and all I have is the hum of the snowmakers running 24/7 a month before the resort goes live sot that it at least looks like you could use a snowboard or skis around here. If it don't snow, I ain't gonna make any money... and I like making money. C'mon snow!

7. Great Quote of the Week
Watched Strombo interview Russell Peters on The Hour this week. Peters is a huge hip hop head who used to spin before his standup career took off. So he's sitting in his chair in a corduroy suit when Strombo asks him about his love of hip hop and Peters delivers something along the lines of, "I don't look the part, but I am. I mean, you eventually have to grow up and stop dressing like an idiot." I couldn't have said it better myself. Just because my pants aren't around my ankles, doesn't mean I don't still love my hip hop.

8. Kids These Days...
I work with a lot of 16 to 21 year olds up here at Kelsey's. All they ever do is bitch about working, talk shit about one another and discuss plans for getting drunk and stoned. This is going to make me sound like the crusty old man, but what in the hell is with these kids these days? How can you be so brash as to call your weed hookup from the hostess stand, have a screaming match with the chick working Expo while standing in the In Door and show up to work so hungover that you spend 95% of your shift in the bathroom puking while I make my own drinks? We were bad, but we weren't this bad... were we?

9. Congratulations Abound
Congrats to my cousin Jamie and his fiancee Brianne on finding out they'll be having a beautiful baby boy five months from now. Yeah, they're due the same day we'll be getting hitched. Kinda cool if you ask me. And congratulations to Amanda Buchanan, the little sister of my man Bucky, who got married today.

10. Opening My Own Place in the Future Keeps Looking Better
Not just because I get real pissy working for other people - and I do - but because if Kelsey's can do the business they currently do in spite of the challenges I see then I could make myself some money with a cosy little bistro somewhere that is run correctly. Oh, I could serve the delicious Spicy Thai Soup with shrimp that I made yesterday too...

Continue reading ...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Come Back Tomorrow...

I'm busy playing Guitar Hero!

Continue reading ...

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Fuckin' in the Bushes
Artists: Oasis
Album: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (2000)

You know when you're pissed and just feel like closing the doors to the world, telling everyone to go fuck themselves and doing your own thing? This is the song I put on at those times and today is those times.

Work blows.

As much as I try to convince myself that the busy season is coming and it's going to get better, it's only going to take a couple more 3 hour shifts on a Friday night where I make $40 and there's way too many staff on before I just throw in the towel, lock myself in this office and write from sun up 'til sun down.

When the day comes that I actually do finish the book, walk into wherever I'm working and quit, this song will be playing in my head.

There are a couple reasons why I love this song so much despite it's lack of actual lyrics:

One - it's reminds me of the university days with Pauly and Tommy and Stu and getting blasted at The Bomber, the height of my "fuck what everybody thinks I should do" stage of life. As much as I was a colossal idiot, I loved those days and wouldn't change them for the world.

Two - it plays in the final fight scene of Snatch and it's awesome and I'm totally going to watch it tonight now.

Maybe it's just the general "like we give a fuck" attitude of Oasis that makes it even better.

I don't know really.

I just know that the minute I got home from my bullshit shift tonight, this song got turned on and cranked up.

Now all I want to do is just smash out page after page of the book so I can quit and be done and move on and hear this song play in my head as I walk out one last time...

Continue reading ...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wait... It's Thursday? This Too Is Jimmy Fallon's Fault!

How is it Thursday? When did this happen?

Obviously, it happened at 12:00 this morning but you know what I mean. I was positive that yesterday was Tuesday which is why I dedicated this space to blasting Jimmy Fallon for making The Roots his house band as opposed to delivering my Wednesday staple, The Rundown.

Damn you Jimmy Fallon! You made me let down my 19 loyal readers!

Since things are always pretty free form around here though, there is nothing to say that we can't make up for Fallon'ed time and get to The Rundown today.

In fact, today's Rundown will actually be in honour of the future late night TV host.

The Jimmy Fallon Five: The Unfunniest Comics Around

5. Horacio Sanz
If we're doing the Jimmy Fallon List then it's only right to include Fallon's Comic Sidekick Sanz. No one person in the history of sketch comedy has ever broken character as much as Sanz; the guy couldn't get through the most simple delivery without laughing, which basically means he repeatedly failed at his job. I don't remember a single character Sanz portrayed in his time on SNL. All I remember is him laughing the middle of a skit and me wanting to jump through the TV and strangle him. Apparently Tracey Morgan felt the same way too.

4. Steven Wright
Wright may in fact be one of the funniest people around, except I wouldn't know it. I can't get through four words before the look of the guy just creeps the bejesus out of me. Not only that, but his trademark lethargic, deadpan deliver makes me fall asleep where I then proceed to have dreams about being chased by creepy looking Steven Wright.

3. Larry The Cable Guy
Rednecks were funny in 1993 when Jeff Foxworthy first started with his whole "You Might Be a Redneck" bit. Now, even Foxworthy has moved on and cut off most of his mullet, leaving the throne to an "actual" Redneck. Problem is, nothing this guy says is funny. He's a walking incarnation of people laughing at you, not with you.

2. Kathy Griffin
If "funny" means "annoying and obnoxious" than she's the funniest lady on the planet.

1. Dane Cook
What? You were expecting someone else? He's still a douchebag and I'm still not a Frat Boy, so the opinion hasn't changed. In fact, it's become stronger since I keep seeing him show up in movies playing the same super-douche character (outside of Mr. Brooks) to very unfunny results. My Best Friend's Girl was basically Good Luck Chuck with Cook not being a dentist. To think anyone would buy Dane Cook as a dentist, now that's funny!

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dishonour Roll: Jimmy Fallon

This one has been a long time coming.

I can't remember ever liking Jimmy Fallon. Not ever. He's just not funny to me.

He wasn't funny for the years that he couldn't make it through a skit on SNL without cracking up and the only thing funny about his movie career is how horrible movies like Taxi actually were. Not to mention that he absolutely bastardized Nick Hornby's outstanding Fever Pitch by making it about the Boston Goddamn Red Sox!

But none of that ever landed him on The Dishonour Roll because I could simply choose to ignore the moron and live my life as if he never existed.

Then I heard a piece of news today that made me want to kill the bastard.

Next year, Fallon takes over for Conan O'Brien when the Ginger takes over for Leno. Still with me?

Now Fallon getting his own late night gig is old news, so that isn't the cause of the displeasure either.

Reports that The Roots have stopped touring to become JIMMY FALLON'S HOUSE BAND is another story.

This fucker is going to rip The Legendary Roots Crew away from the world so ?uestlove can serve as his own Max Weinberg? The greatest hip hop band on the face of Planet Earth is going to play side stage to Jimmy Fucking Fallon?

Mayhaps I should be directing my anger towards The Roots, but let's be honest, if you threw enough money at me, I would do just about anything, so I can't totally blame them.

What lands Fallon on the list is that you know NBC is giving him their full support which means even if (when) he sucks balls, he's still going to be around because someone has to have the late night slot after Leno.

In turn, that means that if these reports are right, The Roots will be tied up being Jimmy Fallon's House Band for the foreseeable future, instead of touring the countryside delivering bad-ass shows to legions of fans.

So not only will the number of retards on late night TV increase, but I'll also lose one of my favourite bands of all-time?

I hate you Jimmy Fallon.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Everything Really Is Coming Together

It's weird how two or three days can really change your outlook on things.

Not too long ago, I was worried about the hours I was getting at the restaurant, not having any furniture in our condo and if spending as much time writing for the various sites and publications I write for was actually worth the time I invested, seeing as the pay is always minimal.

Now, I'm sitting here fresh off spending a whack of cash on home furnishings that are awesome and eclectic and exactly the style of pieces that Sarah and I have been looking for, have adopted the outlook that hours away from the restaurant are great for writing and have gotten an opportunity with one of the sites (The Love of Sports) where the effort I put in will potentially be financially rewarding.

I've always said that I don't do what I do - the writing that is - for the money... yet and that is still the case. I would write at all these places regardless of pay, but getting the chance to see a small financial gain for the efforts that go into writing, submitting and publishing ten plus pieces a week on the site makes a huge difference in the old cheque book when you're a Minimum Wage Warrior like myself who relies on the kindness (and generosity) of others to keep a little change in my pockets.

It's not a life altering windfall by any stretch, but like I said Sunday, it's a start and whenever there is a start, it means there are more things to come and that is all the incentive I need for right now.

Three days ago I was looking for new jobs on the Internet and wondering when, if ever, we'd get all the DVDs off the floor in the living room.

The bookcase comes tomorrow and the best opportunity of my young writing career started today.

Funny how that works...

Continue reading ...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

10 Things I Learned This Week

1. The Kyte Family is One Person Bigger
I'd like to start off by welcoming Brooke Smith to the Freak Show on a full-time basis. On Tuesday afternoon in Vegas Baby Vegas, Brooke and my brother Peter were married. Congratulations to both my brother and my new sister-in-law!

2. It's Official
Sarah is officially a nurse! She passed her nurses exam (as if there was any doubt) and is now a part of the workforce 100%. Congratulations Baby... enjoy the next 40 years of work!

3. As A Present to Herself...
Sarah purchased an Xbox 360 with Guitar Hero World Tour and two guitars last night. That's the best present that I've ever received and it wasn't even for me! After five hours of button mashing madness last night, we finally shut things down around 1:00 AM due to exhaustion and freshly forming callouses.

4. Interestingly Enough...
I'm off Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. I won't, however, be shredding on my guitar all day long. I'm starting the book Tuesday morning, in hopes of getting a good chunk of work done so that I can send a portion out for feedback and to gauge interest. After a couple months of making notes and scribbling in the idea book, it's time to get down to work.

5. Brock Lesnar: UFC Heavyweight Champion
Not only do I love Brock's win from a fan standpoint of watching the future of MMA at his beginning, but I love this win from a writing standpoint too. I've spent a lot of time writing about MMA lately and predicting this fight correctly - as I did in two pieces at The Love of Sports this week - shows that I know what I'm talking about. In fact, I got the four biggest fights on the card perfect including my man Demian Maia submitting Nate Quarrey.

6. Getting Closer to the Goal
An email this week from The Powers That Be at The Love of Sports has potentially brought me one step closer to my goal of being able to sustain myself solely through my writing. Basically, the more I write, the better chance I have at getting what I want is what it boils down to, so as much as I'd like to practice up on the video game axe during my downtime, time writing today is going to mean time staying home in the future, so Guitar Hero will have to wait.

7. Polygamy is Effin' Crazy!
Sarah is watching the TLC Forbidden Love special on polygamy and just overhearing some of the crap these chicks are saying is nuts. You have to be some kind of whack job to be okay with your husband having seven other wives. Could you imagine? "Hey Honey, I'ma marry this one too and we'll all live together. Tonight I'ma sleep with you, but tomorrow, I'ma sleep with her. Kay?" How does that make you feel loved?

8. I Should Have Kept Playing Baseball
Why did everyone just let me walk away at age 12 like I did? How come no one told me to keep playing, get better and make it to the Majors? The money these teams are throwing around free agents, even a no stick, no mitt, no wheels guy like me would be able to pull in a couple million a season...

9. This Is Where I'm Meant to Be
Now that we've been out here for a month, it's fair to say that the infatuation stage of things is over. That's why I know this area - or at least BC in general - is where I'm meant to be. Everything about the area still makes me smile - the snow-covered mountain peaks in the distance, the friendliness of everyone in town, the fresh air and peaceful surroundings. I never thought I would be able to live away from "The City," but it's really not hard at all. In fact, it's better.

10. One Month, Three Smokes
Not bad for a guy who has been smoking since he was sixteen if you ask me...

Continue reading ...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Can I See My Job Description?

Because I'm positive that in the job duties and responsibilities section for "Bartender" there is no mention of cleaning windows, replacing light bulbs, standing on ladders fixing ceiling grates or any of the other bullshit that dominates my days at Kelsey's as of late.

I shouldn't be that surprised though, seeing as I haven't been a bartender once in the three weeks since I started.

It truly is amazing to me how easy solutions slide right by people and they make the worst possible choice time after time.

Instead of having three servers and a bartender all start by 12:00 when we've had a combine 67 customers since Monday, have two people sit on their asses and read a book in the bar, "On Hold" as everyone here seems to like to say and only start them if they're really needed. Saves the company money and saves the servers the frustration of being asked to wash windows and find work to keep themselves busy.

You know what kind of work I'd like to do? Serve customers food and drinks... that is what I was hired for after all.

Couple that with the restaurant's incredible ability to have the left hand be completely in the dark about what the right hand is doing and failure to ensure that even the most basic of supplies are in stock - what restaurant runs out of tomatoes... on a Thursday? - and the situation starts to look a little grim.

Fortunately, I worked Tuesday night and for the first time since I've been here, I actually worked. I had a whopping five tables... all at once... WOW!

I kid because, well, it stops me from slitting my wrists with a butter knife every day that I stand around desperate to do a little work that falls under my job specs and instead spend my afternoon dusting and slugging a ladder around.

Everyone keeps telling me things get better once the ski season starts.

My response to that?

Hurry up and snow goddammit!

Continue reading ...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Sweet Child O' Mine
Artist: Guns N Roses
Album: Appetite for Destruction (1987)

Thank the ridiculous number of ads I've seen for the long-overdue and very underwhelming arrival of Chinese Democracy for reminding me about how goddamn awesome Guns `N Roses used to be back before W. Axl Rose went all wacko.

And if you're going to talk about GNR, you're going to talk about Appetite for Destruction, the album that single-handedly ended the lives of countless craptacular pop acts that were ruling the charts in the late 80. Steve Winwood's Roll With It replaced it at the top of the charts. Steve Winwood...

For me, no song encapsulates the greatness that was Guns N Roses and this album better than Sweet Child O' Mine.

Easily one of the most memorable opening riffs from my lifetime of music.
Lyrics you still remember to this day.
The Axl Slither.

Hell, a bunch of you could still probably tell me the name of the supermodel Axl was dating who inspired this song.

This track encompassed everything that was potentially awesome about Guns N Roses and as a kid who was heavily into the craptacular pop music that was dominating the charts before Appetite's arrival (I had that Steve Winwood cassette...) that is really saying something.

While loads of people loved the loud, raw energy or the taboo topics and curse words that drove their parents crazy, I was starting to become a musicality guy then and this song had everything which is why it stands up so well today.

Guns N Roses have become a joke over the years since Lose Your Illusion I & II, if not before that. I mean, they employed a guy who wore a KFC bucket on his head for a while for chrissakes!

Still, Appetite is one of the Top 20 Albums ever and this song will always get cranked up to 11 whenever I hear it.

Besides, me, Jeff Sanislo (Axl), Joel Richardson (Slash) and Jason Morris (Steven Adler) rocked a killer air band of Sweet Child O' Mine in Grade 7 (I was Duff) and I'll never forget it. We may not of had an Izzy, but we ripped it up anyway!

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Rundown: I Love Arguing

Watching TV the other night, I realized that I've become that guy who yells at the TV, as if the people talking through the picture tube can hear me or would even care what I was saying if they could.

Monday night it was the UFC 91 Preview Show that got me going. The sixty minute show served as a 45 minute build up of Randy Couture with 15 minutes given to Brock Lesnar and since I've on Team Lesnar Saturday night, I tried to argue with the pre-taped show that was on my screen.

After I laughed at myself, I got to thinking: I really do like to argue. As Newt said in a comment last week, one of the things he remembers from one of the two times we've hung out was getting into a "discussion" about the merits of a certain Seattle Grunge band I dislike.

Hung out with him twice, he remembers an argument. Sounds about right for me.

And so the topic for today's Rundown was born...

Five Favourite Arguments

5. Nirvana Was Overrated
This is the one Newt remembers and one that I also mentioned again on the Foo Fighters Soundtrack piece Friday. To be honest, I just don't get it. It's not like they were the only band coming out of that area at the time and for my money, Pearl Jam was better from Day One, not to mention the whole longevity issue... To me, Nirvana was that band that the media held up as Grunge because Kurt Cobain was always in the spotlight, dating Courtney Love, marrying Courtney Love, OD'ing in Rome, etc. etc. etc.

4. Greatest Movies Ever
We can do it by genre, we can do it by era, we can do it by actors, whatever. I love this argument because I'm also a bit of an asshole and am willing to be the guy who says things like, "No way! Summer Catch is easily the Greatest Sports Movie Ever!" Note: it's important to remember in this argument that your favourite movie and greatest movie ever are two totally different things, unless your favourite movie is Godfather Part II.

3. Pick A Sport...
I'll argue with you about it. Even if it's soccer. Whatever you want to fight about in the world of sports, I'm game. It doesn't hurt that I really am a walking encyclopedia of random sports knowledge and trivia. I'm like a thinner, less ESPN-employed version of The Schwab.

2. Those Taboo Issues
Religion. Politics. Race. Sexuality. You name it, I'm up for it because I think that we live in a time when we shouldn't be afraid to talk intelligently about these issues and no matter what position you take on any of them, you can always learn something from another person's views. We may not agree, but I guarantee we'll each walk away having learned something and that is the important part.

1. Anything to do with the Toronto Maple Leafs
Leafs fans are awesome to me; so loyal, so faithful, so intense and so passionate about such a crappy team. Every year is the year and no matter how much evidence you have to prove Mats Sundin isn't one of the Top 25 players in the NHL, they don't want to hear it. It doesn't hurt that I'm a Red Wings fan either...

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Will It Ever End?

How many spoof movies have to come out and fail miserably before the people in Hollywood realize that nearly ten years have passed since Scary Movie was funny and novel and a really well executed idea?

I ask this because the Wayans Brothers - Shawn and Marlon, not the actually funny ones like Damon and Keenen - will bring Dance Flick to theatres sometime soon, lampooning films like Save the Last Dance, Step Up and You Got Served.

For the record, my dislike of this idea has nothing to do with the fact that I own several dance infused films and everything to do with the fact that Scary Movie 2 through 96, Date Movie, The Comebacks, Superhero Movie and the rest of the useless spoof garbage that takes up space on shelves at Blockbuster absolutely suck.

Adding to my early morning frustration with the fine folks of Hollywood is a report that a Karate Kid remake is in the works too... starring Will Smith's son Christopher.

1) There will never be another Daniel LaRusso
2) There will never be another Johnny Lawrence
3) Mr. Miyagi died some time ago, so the whole "wax on, wax off" thing is out the window too.

Basically, my ultimate question of the day is this: How damn hard is it to come up with an original idea in Hollywood these days?

I know movies have been around since Christ was a cowboy but you can't tell me there aren't smart people out there penning quality scripts or adapting entertaining books.

Why must we suffer through remakes and rehashing over and over and over again?

Continue reading ...

Monday, November 10, 2008

When Are These Bitches Gonna Learn?

Here's the thing: if you're young, remotely famous and have a successful franchise on your hands, what in the fuck are you doing taking naked pictures of yourself and leaving them on your laptop?

Yet again, we've got another Disney starlet who has popped up with porn pics of herself that have shockingly gone missing from her formerly stolen laptop.

Adrienne Bailon - part of the Disney Cheetah Girls collective - is all over the Interwebs today, both bashing the bastard who stole her laptop and baring her backside in pictures taken for her boyfriend, Rob Kardashian of the Reality TV Kardashians.

Now this isn't as bad as the Vanessa Hudgens picture scandal because (1) Cheetah Girls is no HSM and (2) Bailon's 25-years-old as opposed to Hudgens who is only now 20.

Still, you have to know that Disney is going to be some kind of pissed that another one of their pre-fab poptarts is playing picture time in her birthday suit...

Haven't these tramps heard of Polaroids?

Continue reading ...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

10 Things I Learned This Week

Another week in the books. Time to find out what I figured out over the last seven days...

1. It's All The Same

After two weeks as a Kelsey's employee, this much I know for certain: it ain't no different than being a Montana's employee. Servers bitch about being slow and making no money, managers hide out in the office, guests are mediocre tippers and large groups think the world revolves around them. Actually, Montana's earns the victory because we never ran out of beer... or milk.

2. Mind-boggling Move
Our landlord came to collect his belongings this week and I'm at a loss for words. Granted, everything he took was his, but truthfully, a bunch of it made no sense at all. Left us the barbecue that comes with the condo, took the barbecue tools. Took the garbage cans from the bathroom, left the garbage on the floor for us to clean up. Took the deck of cards and cribbage board, left the instructional booklet for the complete rules of cribbage. Amazing!
3. Sarah & Spencer: Ghetto Fabulous
Right now, we're the height of Hobo Chic! Our dining room is made up of the outdoor furniture that doesn't need to collect snow on the balcony all winter, our living room consists of a futon and a rubbermaid bin turned table and our mattress rests all alone in our bedroom... on the floor... because we don't have a bed frame yet. Like I said, Ghetto Fabulous!
4. My Man D to the Rescue
I've made an instant friend at work. Dave, or My Man D, is about the same age as me, spent some time in The Hammer and is just an overall great dude. I thought this before he told me about all the household items he is ready to pack into his van and drive up to our condo for us so we don't have to remain Ghetto Fabulous. The deck furniture can go back on the deck, as he's got a kitchen table set we can use, the futon can move into the office where it's meant to go because he's offering up a couch and the small ass TV we're watching far too much of these days can go to hell because he's providing a 32" Sony Flatscreen for as long as we need too. I owe this man some beer...

5. Time to Press Reset
So, we're here and all the landlord's stuff is out. The interruptions and annoying things are done and over with, which means it's time to get settled and get started. Same as this summer, working at a restaurant affords me a great deal of time to spend here at this computer, so I need to get into the swing of things. I've been missing days left and right here (sorry...) and have really fallen off the Bugs wagon as of late and that isn't what I want. Since the newspaper here hasn't decided to get back to me (surprise surprise) focusing on the things I do have before me becomes even more important, starting today.

6. I've Got The Best Girl
How do I know? I came home from a crap afternoon at work yesterday, tired, frustrated, all that and what did she say?

"D'you wanna just take some time off and work on the book? They obviously don't really need you right now and if you get enough of it done, you could send it out to see what people think."

That made everything better, along with the homemade chilli and Okanagan Springs Pale Ale and reminded me that I really did luck out on this one. You're the best Baby!

7. Anything Can Happen Inside The Octagon
Just this week, two of my Top 10 Pound for Pound fighters were beaten. While word on the MMA Street is that "The Fireball Kid" Takanori Gomi was robbed of a decision in his fight in Japan, the undisputed best featherweight in the business Urijah Faber was knocked out cleanly by Mike Brown. This is why I love this sport.

8. Oh Right, We're Getting Married Soon
Not that we forgot, but amidst all the moving and unpacking and buying all the little things that you need everytime you move, we've gone a month without talking to our travel agent. Not that that's completely horrible, but apparently no one has gotten any information from her yet and seeing as the date is getting closer by the day, we're thinking she shoudl probably get on that. That means, tomorrow we get on her.

9. Speaking of Weddings...
I'd like to congratulate my brother Peter in advance for tying the knot on Tuesday to his fiancee Brooke Smith. They're off to Vegas for a week or wedding fun and Sarah and I are both bummed that we couldn't make the trip. I'm sure there'll be lots of pictures and we're getting to spend a week with them in the Dominican, so we'll celebrate again then.
10. Did I Mention History Was Made This Week?

Continue reading ...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Times Like These
Artist: Foo Fighters
Album: One by One (2002)

I absolutely hated Nirvana. I was one of those people who just didn't get it. In fact, I think I still don't. I can understand the cultural impact of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" but the song was named after a woman's deodorant and the band as a whole was wholly overrated in my books. That's why I had it in for Foo Fighters when they first appeared on the scene. Doesn't it feel like forever ago now?

Understandably, they were billed as that band Nirvana's old drummer is fronting and that made me a little leery. What no one knew, myself included, was that Dave Grohl was and still is totally awesome. We all knew he could pound the skins with the best of them, but who knew all the other talents that lay behind that boyish face and long hair?

While I enjoyed the first couple albums and the singles that everyone now knows, I didn't really really like the Foos until this album with a lot of credit for that belonging to this song.

I love that there are two versions of this track. The featured in the link above - the rock version - is trademark Foo Fighters rock without any of the silliness of a track like "Learn to Fly" and the acoustic version - find it yourself! - well, you know how I feel about really great acoustic tracks already.

Another of the things that really draws me to the song is the overall message and idea that it presents. Simply put, the chorus is a reminder of what can come from hard times, however they take shape in your life.

It's times like these you learn to live again
It's times like these you give and give again
It's times like these you learn to love again
It's times like these time and time again

Then there is the irony of one of the uses of this song.

Back in 2004 when George W. Bush was running for re-election, he used this song in his campaign... without the consent of the band.

Note: that right there should tell you how dangerous it was having this guy in charge for eight years...

Once Grohl found out, it served as a call to be more politically aware and active for him and his bandmates and they took up the cause... of Democratic Candidate John Kerry.

With the political connection this song has and the fact that we're moving into a time right now of incredible change and opportunity, this song only seemed fitting.

Besides, the Foo Fighters kick ass and you can never have enough kick ass music in your life!

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Just When You Think We're Moving Forward...

You read that California voted Yes on Proposition 8 yesterday, reversing the legalization of Gay Marriage in the state.

I'm warning you now - if you don't like this issue and don't want to hear what I have to say, come back tomorrow, because I'm livid right now after reading this and need to jump on my soapbox and rant...

Personally, a law like this is an absolute joke to me, especially coming on the heels of the monumental achievement of Barack Obama's election last night. The election of the first Black President is something they will teach in history classes until the end of time, as I said yesterday, and now I hope that the archaic beliefs about sexuality and the institution of marriage held by 52% of voters in the State of California (and all other homophobes throughout the world) can be the next major change.

Honestly, what gives any other person the right to say who can and cannot be married? And how can you make it illegal for two men or two women or two transgendered individuals to get married? Illegal. Two dudes who love each other getting married is now against the law... same as murder and theft and selling crack.

Those in favour of this newly passed bullshit cling to the notion that marriage is at the "fundamental core of how society is organized" and that marriage should be "between a man and a woman" to "establish a family unit."

Where do I begin?

First, claiming that marriage is at the fundamental core of how society is organized is ridiculous. If marriage truly is the fundamental core of how society is organized, why do we allow people to enter into marriage flippantly and have a divorce rate hovering around 50%? This isn't my grandparents era where marriage truly was a lifetime commitment and the core of the family unit. I would wager everyone knows ten people who either are divorced themselves or have parents who are divorced, unlike even when I was a kid and I knew one kid and it was a big deal.

As for the second part - "between a man and a woman" - you've got to be kidding me. What in the name of all things holy is the difference between two men being in love with each other and willing to commit themselves to one another and a man and woman doing the same? The answer is nothing, accept that homophobic and fundamentalist belief that being gay is not acceptable continue to exist in large numbers in our world.

Harsh as this sounds, I always think about what someone who helped passed this law would do if their child came to them with a same sex partner. Then what do they do? Do you cast aside your child because of your beliefs or do you cast aside your beliefs because it's different now that it affects you personally? I count myself lucky because I will never have to make that decision. Gay, straight, bi or whatever - my kids are my kids and they can be whoever they want to be with the knowledge that they will be loved unconditionally.

The final little blip from the LA Times piece that marriage is about "establishing a family unit" is also faulty on numerous levels.

One - not all married couples have kids. Some can't, some choose not to, some just don't get around to it.

Two - why is a man and a woman adopting and "establishing a family unit" that way any different than two women doing the same? Again, it's not.

Three - all that matters, really, in the establishment of a family unit is love. Two dads, two moms, two dads and two moms or one of each, as long as those parents love their child and do everything in their power to provide for them, that is the only thing anyone should truly care about.

Beyond being an issue about marriage, this is an issue about human rights.

Because you're gay you're not allowed to get married?

How in the fuck can anyone say that is just and how is it any different than saying because you're a woman you can't do this or because you're Latino you can't do that?

I'd love to hear the difference between the two because to me there aren't any and I look forward to the day when who you choose to love is no longer an issue.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

History in the Making

Down the road, when we're all parents and our kids are bitching about the history test they have at the end of the week, one of the dates they'll be forced to memorized will be November 4, 2008.

On that date, they'll learn, history was made in the United States when a black man was elected President.

Then you'll tell them where you were on that day, just like you'll share with them where you were on 9/11.

* * * * * * * *

Being as I'm Canadian, some might wonder why this US Presidential Election has been such a regular topic here on iBlog over the last nine months, seeing as the results seemingly have no direct impact on my life.

However, that is not the case.

The results of this election, which final polls forecast as a sure win for Senator Barack Obama, impacts each and every one of us, regardless of nationality, age, gender and, perhaps most importantly, race.

Think about what is happening.

This time tomorrow, the next President of the United States of America, the most powerful nation in the world, will be a black man.

Forty-four years ago, segregation was still viewed as a valid practice on a wide scale in the United States.

While I certainly admit that the issue is one that still exists in our world today, the scope of this event taking place over the course of the day today should not be discounted.

A black man is going to be President and that gives me hope.

Hope that we're finally realizing that the man is more important than his skin colour.

Hope that we're deciding that the best man for the job should be in charge regardless of which side of the aisle he sits on.

Hope that those who still see Barack Obama as a black man with a Muslim sounding name come to realize that he's the one who is going to lead the United States out of the dark ages they've been stuck in for the last eight years.

Hope that one day my children won't think of a Black President as a historical achievement.

Continue reading ...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Highly Recommended: American History X

Flicking through the channels last night, I saw American History X was on the History Network. There was no way that I was missing this movie.

I know I recommend a lot of movies here - some good, some bad, some dance oriented. For anyone who has not seen American History X, do yourself a favour and go get this movie. Don't get it on a day when you're not wanting to pay attention and think or when you're looking for a laugh though. It's not that kind of movie.

It is, however, an outstanding movie and probably one that gets unfairly passed over when discussing the best movies of the 90's and one that I have mistakenly left out of my All-Time Top Ten... until now.

While movies are certainly meant to entertain, this one not only does that in spades, but it also discusses some very important and powerful topics and should not be missed.

It also marks the end of Edward Furlong's actual career.

Remember Eddie Furlong? John Connor from Terminator 2?

Dude was all set to become one of the best young stars of the moment after following T2 with this outstanding film and his quality performance as Edward Norton's kid brother. Instead, he made Detroit Rock City, drove head first into drugs and alcohol and now lives in the Direct to DVD bin at your local Blockbuster.

Regardless of the failings of Eddie Furlong, he was terrific in this movie and Norton very much deserved the Oscar nomination he garnered for his performance. Perhaps the best performance of all, in hindsight, was that of Ethan Suplee who plays dim-witted oaf Randy on My Name is Earl. The Neo-Nazi ball of hate and anger you see here is nothing like "The Big Dummy."

All I end with is this: if you haven't seen it, go get it and if you have, watch it again.
* * * * * * * * * *

Highly Recommended will appear periodically whenever something awesome stumbles into my life that I feel the need and desire to share with all of you. Books, movies, music, that kind of stuff...

Continue reading ...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

10 Things I Learned This Week

1. You Can Call Me a Liar If You Like...
But you'd be dead wrong because I ain't smoked since our plane touched down here in BC. Not one dart, not even for my birthday or anything. In fact, I've even turned down smokes while at work this week. Yeah, I'm patting myself on the back again...

2. Slow Doesn't Quite Cover It
I'm pretty sure that we would be okay at work with just one person, that's how quiet things are up this way right now. I'm on days and days are generally quiet this time of year, but having four people on shift to cover four tables over the "Lunch Rush" is pretty silly. That being said, I rocked two hours solo today and finally made a little money.

3. I'm Not The Same Spencer
It's funny how many people imagine that I'm the same alcoholic retard they knew during university even though that was a long time ago now. Lots of people expected me to be going out and getting blackout drunk, even though I know exactly three people in this town.

4. Johnny Domestic is Coming
Slowly but surely, my alter ego Johnny Domestic is starting to make his mark out here. Vacuuming, dishes, laundry, dog-walking - I do it all. And let us not forget cooking because that's actually where I'm at my best. Two years from now, Johnny Domestic will have taken over...

5. Zack & Miri
Rolled into Cranbrook last night to catch Kevin Smith's latest and were not disappointed. Without spoiling anything, I'll say there were a bunch of laughs and Craig Robinson needs to be in more movies because he was awesome. So was Tisha Campbell-Martin who used to be Gina on Martin back in the day. Weirdest part of the flick - Jason Mewes. Dude looks so different now that he's off the junk. That and he's pretty close to naked for most of the movie, so that there's that too.

6. Two Days Until History is Made
On Tuesday night, the course of history will forever be changed and I am so excited about it. Barring something insane happening, Barack Obama will win the US Presidential Election and we'll witness the first black President of the United States. Expect something later on in the week about this and why I think it is so important to us as a people and a culture, regardless of where we live.

7. Stuff is Expensive
It's easy to plan and budget for big things, the items you know for sure you're going to need. That part is simple. What you never think about is all those stupid little things that you take for granted because they've just been around forever. That stuff adds up. We've spent more money on little things like that in the last two weeks than we have on furniture, entertainment and dining out combined. Stupid can opener and cheese grater...

8. Two, Maybe Three Days Tops
If everything goes according to Hoyle, the landlord will have all his things out of here by Wednesday night at the latest. That means all the boxes that are piled up in front of the window will get unpacked, the new desk (my new desk) will get assembled and my computer - my precious, precious computer - will be back up and running before the weekend. As much as we're going to look super ghetto for the next little while - what with one futon and a foam mattress on the floor being our only furniture - at least it will all be ours and we can start building.

9. Welcome Back Basketball!
Nice to see the NBA back in business and even nicer to see the Raptors out to a 3-0 start thus far. Chris Bosh is playing like a man possessed out of the gate and I truly believe that a healthy Jermaine O'Neal makes the Raps a legit contender in the East.

10. Withdraw Symptoms
I don't know what I'm going to do. There isn't a Chapters even remotely close to us. There's Starbucks and I wasted a great deal of time there on Monday waiting for Sarah to finish work, but it's no where near the same. The only bookstore I've seen so far is a tiny little Coles in "The Mall" which is better described as a shopping center. Malls have lots of stores that you want to buy things in; the biggest store in this "mall" is Zellers.

Continue reading ...