Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Back to Basics

Happy New Year everybody!

Forgoing running with The Rundown today as I've been gone for a minute or two and wanted to just close the year out with a more personal post.

2008 has been the most eventful year of my life in every aspect. From getting engaged and moving across the country (again) to breakthroughs in my work and losing my grandfather, it has been a crazy year. I know I said a bunch of this stuff earlier in the month, but sitting and taking stock of things these last couple days has really reminded me that this year has been bonkers.

It has also been extremely educational and that is what I want to focus on today.

I've learned this year that no sum of money equals how rewarding it is to find your passion and work at it on a daily basis.

I learned that when you find the right girl (or guy) you tell them how much they mean to you every day and do whatever you can to keep them by your side. No matter what... and you don't go to bed angry.

I learned that some people will just never figure it out. It's never their fault or their problem or their responsibility and they didn't know how important it was to you.

I learned that there is life outside of the city and it's actually much more enjoyable.

I learned every city needs to have a Chapters and those that don't are seriously lacking.

I also learned that I have a serious Chapters addiction and I don't know what to do about it.

Most of all, I learned that I can do the things that I want to do and still be the responsible man I need to be. It takes work and time and energy, but in the end, it's all worth it because the sense of fulfillment I fell right now at the end of 2008 is incredible...

And 2009 is only going to be better!

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

iBlog On Hiatus

Just until tomorrow though...

Busy entertaining the In-Laws and working at the bar.

Sorry for depriving you of your favourite blog.

Continue reading ...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

10 Things I Learned This Week

1. Exactly Why I Love MMA
I may have had my predictions for last night's UFC 92 card and those predictions may have been wrong 7 times out of 10, but in truth, that's why I really love Mixed Martial Arts. While I had my picks and still have the guys that I follow and cheer for, never really knowing what is going to happen is what makes MMA so appealing to me and all the other fans out there. You can't say that about most other sports.

2. Work Isn't So Bad
Turns out I just needed to get through all that time before ski season for this place to turn into a place I could really enjoy working. We've been pretty busy all week long and the average day has gone from two hours and $30 to six hours and $100. I could certainly handle three more months of this.

3. Visits Delayed
Garry and Theresa were supposed to get here last night. Weather out of Toronto made them fifteen minutes late for their connection in Calgary, but you would think Air Canada would hold a connection flight to Cranbrook when there is only five people on the plane. You would think, wouldn't you? Not so much... Garry and T got shipped to Vancouver for the night and will be touching down around the time I start work.

4. Cold Outside, Hot Inside
We really do have good luck when it comes to apartments and heating. We never turned on the heat at Crosby Road in Newfoundland and barely did so on Wexford as well. Out here, the heat was on for maybe a week when it was -30 outside and no one else was living in the building. Now that there is a full house, our place gets to be sweltering at night and we haven't touched the thermostat.

5. New Opportunities
My people at Lovin Life Media (the guys responsible for The Love of Sports) are set to launch a couple more sites in the next week including one I will undoubtedly be a part of - The Love of Movies. Could there be a better site for the former Blockbuster employee? I don't think so. I've also got an angle on freelancing a piece for Inside Golf Magazine through a colleague at work. I'll keep you posted on that one once I get more info...

6. Luke Has a Love / Hate Relationship with Snow
When it's crushed up and run over and just under his paws, he loves it. Loves to run on it, loves to eat it, loves to smell it and pee on it. But when it's all thick and fluffy, perfect for running and jumping in (or skiing), count him out. We have to encourage him every three or four bounding steps to keep going.

7. We're Witnessing History in Detroit
No, not with the automotive companies or even my Red Wings; we're seeing history with the inept Detroit Lions. They are bound to go winless for the year as they play in Green bay this afternoon, a place they haven't had a victory this decade. Even when they finish cleaning house after the season, there are still a number of holes and flaws in this team, which could lead to continued losing into next season.

8. Wedding Update
So we're waiting to hear from an agent in town to let us know what kind of deals she can find for us down to the Dominican so we can dump our freak show of an agent back home. Even if we can't get anything better out here, chances are the London-based agent is going to way of the dinosaur...

9. Mr. Top Five
I've had five Fantasy Football teams this season and today marks the final game of my last league. With four complete, I've got two silvers, a bronze and a fifth while I play in the finals today against my man Bucky. I also finished in first place in the regular season with three of those five teams. If only there was a way to make money playing Fantasy Sports...

10. Dammit! It's Almost Resolution Time
Three more days and I have to start trying not to smoke and working out again, not to mention ensuring I put extra time into writing my book and building the portfolio. Where did 2008 go?

Continue reading ...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Christmas Has Arrived!

UFC 92 takes place in Vegas tonight and I can't tell you how pumped I am about it, even though I won't be sitting in front of a TV screen watching it live.

As odd as this may sound, I've been waiting for this night for quite some time now, as there are a number of fights that I really want to see.

I want to see the Light Heavyweight Title match between Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans.

I want to see "Rampage" Jackson returning to the ring to take on Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva for a third time. Hell, I even like a couple of the undercard fights a great deal.

But the fight I like the most is the battle for the UFC Interim Heavyweight Title, pitting The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 coaches Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira against each other. The reason I can't wait to see this fight? I hope "Minotauro" breaks something of Mir's...

Mir comes across as that guy who thinks he is the greatest at everything. He's the guy that always has the better story. You made a hole in one, he made two. D'you know what I mean?

So all through the buildup to this fight, Mir has been going on about how his ground game is better than Nogueira's and he's going to break his bones and blah blah blah blah blah. The best response - and most accurate one too - that I've heard to Mir's over-confidence came from Sarah the other night when we were watching the Countdown show on Spike:

He got run over by a truck and didn't break any bones!

In the words of Kurt Angle, "It's true, it's true!"

When Nogueira was a kid he got run over by a truck - it mangled some of his insides and left him in a coma for six days, but no bones were broken. Doctors didn't think he would be able to walk properly, yet alone be an athlete...

"Minotauro" has never been knocked out and he's never submitted to anyone. He's 34-4-1-1 in his career and those four defeats came at the hands of Fedor Emelianenko (twice), Josh Barnett and Dan Henderson. Mir is 3-2 in his five fights since returning from a horrific motorcycle accident and dropped a fight to the recently dropped (though re-signed now) Brandon Vera.

Some will say, "Well he beat Lesnar," referring to current UFC Heavyweight Champ Brock Lesnar and while it's a valid statement, Mir got totally bull rushed to open the fight and managed to get a leg when Lesnar got careless. While I doubt that would happen again if the two were to square off, I know Nogueira isn't going to make those kind of mistakes.

Bottom line: it's gonna be a helluva fight and a helluva card.

For a full preview of the card, check me out at The Love of Sports.

Continue reading ...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dishonour Roll: Bro - Anything!

Before getting all surly, lemme wish you a Merry Christmas!

With that out of the way, let us begin, shall we?

The term bro is quite possibly my least favourite colloquialism in the entire English language. As if someone other than Peter Kyte or perhaps Francis Santos calling me brother wasn't bad enough, we had to go and be all lazy, shortening brother to bro, in the process creating the worst word ever.

GQ rightfully called out the word "bro" a bunch of months ago as being the most annoying and obnoxious thing one guy could call another.

Pictured is Brody Jenner, who obviously starts out with a -1 because his name contains the word in question.

What helps Brody fall even further into the negative is his new MTV series that is set to premiere any day now... Bromance.

As if he wasn't already the closest male approximation of Paris Hilton around, Brody is now following in Paris' reality TV foot steps by searching for a new friend to add to his entourage in the most ridiculously named series in the history of television.

Yes, Bromance is worst than Game Show in My Head, but not by much.

You know things are bad when I'm calling you out; I mean, I'm the guy who has confessed his man crushes and openly cops to being metrosexual without batting an eye, but Bromance? C'mon.

If I ever said to my boys back home that our friendship was a bromance, I would be looking for new friends. Anyone with halfway normal guy friends would be and rightfully so.

D'you know you uses terms like bromance?

Guys with popped collars.
People who still wear visors and still have them cocked to the side a little.
The "My New Haircut Guy" from YouTube.

No one likes any of those guys, except for maybe the guys he's bromantic with...

There, do you see how stupid it sounds?

Don't be a douchebag - just say no to bro!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Rundown: Christmas Classics

There is no other time of year where I have to watch certain movies.

I don't have a list of Thanksgiving movies or Spring movies or any kind of close approximation to an Easter movie collection.

What I do have, like so many others, is a group of Christmas movies that make their way onto my TV at one point or another over the holidays.

Working at Blockbuster last Christmas confirmed for me that I am not alone; it also reaffirmed that I have far superior taste to many of the mouthbreathers out there who couldn't wait to get their hands on Deck the Halls or Christmas with The Kranks.

They needed a list like this.

All-Time Top Five Christmas Movies

5. A Christmas Story
God Bless TBS for their 24-hour A Christmas Story Marathon every Christmas Eve. I'll watch it at least once tonight...

4. Home Alone
Too bad Macaulay Culkin went right down the well-traveled road of the Child Star because he was so much fun in this movie. I remember going to see Home Alone in the theatre... twice. Fun and sweet and charming and cute and everything a Christmas Movie should be.

3. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
D'you know why I don't buy a real tree for Christmas or go cut one down myself? This movie; I'm scared a fucking squirrel is going to jump out at me and go all crazy inside my house. Christmas isn't Christmas without The Griswold's.

2. Bad Santa
Not exactly your typical holiday flick and that's why I love it so much. Lauren Graham is awesome. Tony Cox is awesome. The Fat Kid that loves sammiches is awesome. And Billy Bob Thornton is fucking perfect as a drunken redneck conman masquerading as Santa, probably because I'm certain that's exactly what he'd be doing if people stopped putting him in movies.

1. Elf
Will Ferrell has fallen off dramatically as of late, but Elf is still classic Christmas cinema. Yeah it gets all syrupy and schmaltzy at the end, but before that it's just plain old fun. I've watched it twice already this year and recite the "You Stink" speech to the dog about four times a day.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dear God, Please Don't Let Me Have Daughters

Moving to a small town only reaffirmed for me that in no way will I be capable of dealing with a teenage daughter in the future.

I mean, sure, she could turn out perfect and I would do everything in my powers to teach her positive values and how to appreciate herself, but I'm pretty sure the parents of the skanky little 17-year-old Puck Bunnies I work with would tell you they've tried their best too.

For those who have never lived in a town centered around hockey, a Puck Bunny is a girl who lives to be with a hockey player, even if they are merely a 16-year-old kid playing Junior B. hockey in a ghost town like Kimberley.

To put this in perspective, I spent some of my formative years in Chatham, Ontario, a smallish city where hockey is everything. The Micmacs - now back to being the Maroons - were gods amongst mortals. D'you know how many of them amounted to much of anything on the ice? About three over the five years I lived in Chatham.

That's the same level of hockey the Kimberley Dynamiters play here in town and these little tramps I work with are all over them like they're the next Sidney Crosby.

While I've been forced to come to grips with the whole "16-year-olds showing up to work with their tits hanging out for all to see in stretchy pants" thing, hearing about the previous night's exploits makes me want to puke.

All I can think about is that one day, this could be my kid and I would go ballistic if she was out doing half the things these girls are doing on a weekend by weekend basis. I'm not saying you have to be a Puritan or anything like that, but have some self-respect.

It wasn't like this in my time.

When I was their age - you know, when they were 3 or 4 - there was one slut to every eight or ten regular girls and everyone wanted the regular girls.

Now, that ratio is flipped and the number of wannabe sluts vastly outnumbers the regular girls. What makes it worse is that it seems like with each passing year, the age for skankdom kicking in keeps getting lower and lower and lower and lower.

And do you know what the worst part of all of this is? The dirty old bastards that I work with who stand around soaking it all in, feeding into the systems, re-enforcing that dressing like sluts, going out and getting bombed every weekend and working your way through the third line of the local Junior B team is perfectly acceptable behaviour for a bunch of 17-year-old girls.

So I've taken to ridiculing the fuck out of the Puck Bunnies and throwing out High Fives to the normal ones...

It's okay to not be a skank!

This has been a public service announcement from ESKimo Enterprises.

Continue reading ...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hugh Jackman? Really?

I know it was announced a handful of days ago, but I'm a little slow on the uptake and been focusing on more important things... like Fantasy Football.

Seems that the super geniuses at the Academy Awards have hand picked People's Sexiest Man 2008 Hugh Jackman to host the Oscars this year.


See, this would be awesome if it were, say, Wolverine Hugh Jackman, adamantium blades extended, chomping on a cigar. It'd even be okay if it were Someone Like You Hugh Jackman, man-whoring his way around the stage with gigantic hickeys on his neck from where "I bit myself shaving" as he would say.

But no, this is Australia Hugh Jackman...Tony Award winner Hugh Jackman... Pretty face that won't do anything interesting Hugh Jackman.

And of all the years to have someone wicked hosting the show, this is what they give us.

This is the year that Heath Ledger's demonic Joker earns a posthumous Oscar and Mickey Rourke's mangled face will sit in the first three rows thanks to his killer performance in The Wrestler.

This was a year where some really, really good movies were made and people actually went to see them, as well as some really bad movies a lot of people went to see that need to be made fun of *cough* Indiana Jones *cough* and Hugh Jackman isn't the guy to do those things.

Don't get me wrong: I'm still going to watch them, but every time Jackman misses an opportunity to do something funny or get a laugh, Sarah's going to hear "Man, Timberlake would be killing this crowd!"

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

10 Things I Learned This Week

1. People Love Albert!
While some people clearly aren't very perceptive, the Albert being mentioned in comments this past week is Einstein, the regular picture that comes with your Sunday dose of iBlog. Love Albert all you want, but you still can't call the future wife "that broad in a hoodie" no matter what... thems fightin' words!

2. About the Dominican...
We're still going, it just might be with an entirely different provider. We're doing everything we can to get away from Marlin Travel and recoup some of the money that we've already shelled out for their craptacular service and have a local agent looking into things for us from this end. Words don't fully convey how angry I am about all this...

3. So Work Sucks
Back in September when I was hired out here, it was as a full-time bartender. Here is what that means to me: 30-40 hours a week predominantly behind a bar. Here is what it actually means: anywhere from 7-20 hours serving, occasionally in the bar. Ski season kicked off in earnest yesterday and while I worked a solid 4.5 hours, the $30 bucks I brought home in tips wasn't worth it.

4. Changing Directions
Yesterday being so crappy and the hours / tips ratio being what it's been out here got me to doing a lot of thinking last night. What I came up with is that all my spare time, every waking moment, has to be devoted to making money from my writing. That means an even stronger presence on The Love of Sports and a focus on my book and less time, unfortunately, some of the other places, this blog not included. I couldn't deprive you of your daily Spencer fix...

5. In the Words of Dr. Evil...
It's Frickin' Freezing! We've been getting slapped upside the head with a killer cold front for the last ten days and the temperature hasn't climbed above -20. Let me put it to you this way: when I take the dog for a walk, my fingers still get that burning cold sensation in them even though I have monstrous snowboarding gloves on. On a positive note, we still don't have much heat on in the condo and it's not that cold in here...

6. Speaking of the Condo...
She's pretty close to finished! Purchased our couch on Tuesday, they drop her off on Friday and we're all re-arranged and setup the way we like and it looks good. Pictures coming soon to Facebook.

7. Thursday is Christmas?
Where the hell did December go? Did we really move out here more than two months ago? 2008 is just about over? Was I in a coma for part of the year? How it's already been a year since the Bambi Incident is beyond me...

8. For All the Bitching I Did...
I really miss my crew from Montana's. I've stayed in touch with a bunch of them and now that I'm working in a similar enviro with different people, I realize how awesome it was to go into work with people you enjoyed seeing and hanging out with. Not that I don't like a couple people out here, but as a whole, the Montana's Crew kicked some serious ass!

9. By The Way, I Fell Off the Wagon
But I'm guessing you all knew that as soon as I stopped bragging about how well I was doing with the smokes. What can I say? I love to smoke... cough cough cough cough cough

10. 2008 has been the Best Year Yet
In every aspect of my life, this was the best year of them all. I got engaged, got a dog, got some great opportunities and met some great people. Here's hoping the pattern continues and 2009 turns out even better!

Have a safe and happy holidays everyone!

Continue reading ...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Womanizer
Artist: Britney Spears
Album: Circus (2008)

Try and tell me this isn't the most infectious song of the year, maybe of the last couple years. G'head... try.

My utter disdain for Ms. Spears hasn't changed, but sweet merciful jebus this track is permanently etched in my head, to the point that it came on at work yesterday and without even thinking I was singing right along, word for word and had to actually stop myself from breaking out into the dance moves...

That's how stuck in my head this damn thing is, so why try to deny it any longer?

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Dishonour Roll: Marlin Travel

I'ma kill somebody!

We're four months away from our wedding day and everything - literally everything about our trip to the Dominican is fucked.

After months of hassling our Travel Agent, she finally got around to sending out invoices last week, a good five weeks after asking me for all the addresses I had previously forwarded to her and after she took her last two weeks vacation for the year.

Now they turn up today and half of our guests are booked for the wrong week...


Bad is us having to get on her case about sending the invoices.

Worse is knowing that with the economic collapse that we're paying far more than we really should be.

Un-fucking-believable is what happens if this shit can't be sorted out?

Sweet suffering fuck I want a cigarette...

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Rundown: 2009 Wish List

First of all - there is no referring to my future wife as "that broad in the hoodie," even if you're joking...

Secondly, for the couple people who're wondering exactly who Albert is, track back a couple Sunday's and tell me what constant you find on each 10 Things post...

Now that the general housekeeping is out of the way, onto today's business.

Somehow, 2008 is nearly over. It's been an insane year for me and one I will surely not forget. It was the year I got engaged and adopted a sidekick, my brother tied the knot and my writing improved by leaps and bounds, but it was also the year I lost my grandfather, my great uncle and a couple close friendships took serious hits too.

Thinking about the past, as it often does, got me to thinking about the future and the things that I want to see happen in 2009.

You won't find things about the wedding here, not because I don't have hopes for that day, but because I know everything is going to be wonderful...

Instead, you'll find... well... why don't you just scroll down and read them yourself?

Wish List 2009: Top Five Hopes for Next Year

5. Sarah Settles In
It's been a crazy eight months for my future wife. At the start of April, she was off to Labrador for her first work placement ever, then came engagement, more work, wedding headaches, a monstrous Nursing exam and then into the Working World. Top that off with relocating once again and it's been pretty turbulent and at times traumatic. But there are few people I know as strong and as talented as Sarah and I hope that 2009 brings some stability because the woman deserves it.

4. Johnny Domestic Become an Everyday Thing
There really is something calming and enjoyable about spending my days around the house. I get all the housework done, get to cook great meals (and bake delicious cakes and cookies!) plus hang out with my sidekick and write as much as I want. While I don't dislike my current job slinging drinks and taking orders on the Ski Hill, making a change to permanently being around the house post-wedding would be real nice...

3. Visitors Welcome!
The one thing that actually sucks about being out here is how far we are from our families. We both love the opportunities we've found out here and wouldn't change our decision to come here for anything (I think...) but we'd also love to see some familiar smiling faces out this way over the next twelve months. And the Dominican in April doesn't count either... you got to get yourself to Chateau Kyte here in Kimberley for it to be official. I mean, seriously, who doesn't want a vacation?

2. Sticking to Those Resolutions...
You know the ones I'm talking about. The same ones I'm always talking about. No smoking, eat right, exercise, blah blah blah blah blah. Some have gone better than others over the last few months, but really, they're all important and something I really want to work at. Honestly. Stop laughing. I'll show you...

1. Continued Growth of the Portfolio
This year brought me to The Love of Sports and Fight! Magazine, both incredible opportunities that I hope will continue to flourish in 2009. There are two other projects on the go that I have high hopes for as well; the first being my book idea that has once again taken a backseat to blogging and TLOS and everything else in life and the launch of the website Newt and I have been working at for the last bunch of months. It's starting to take shape and shouldn't be too much longer before we unveil it and my hopes are that having a centralize site for all my work presented in a professional way helps take me from writer who waits tables to pay the bills to writer who waits tables simply for the free golf all summer...

Continue reading ...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Just a quick post today to wish the wife Happy Birthday...

Presents have been opened, we're having a little dinner at the house and relaxing together for the next few days including finally buying our couch so that we don't have to lounge around on the futon anymore.

The best present she got came from work - today starts seven days off in a row... and with the ski hill opening this weekend, maybe she'll have to dust off the ol' snowboard and get in a couple runs.

That's it for today though - Happy 26th Baby!

P.S. Sorry about yesterday - when you're as hungover as I was, thinking is far too taxing a task...

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Evel Knievel Has Come Back From the Dead!

His spirit has clearly taken over the body of my canine sidekick Cool Hand Luke.

Early on in our ownership of Luke he displayed some daredevil qualities, including his leap from the second tier kennel he was staying in at Canada's Wonderland which resulted in a thunderous face plant on the concrete floor below.

While he has reduced these tendencies as of late and resorted to just plain being stupid - chasing after cars, antagonizing deer, running head-first into walls because he can't stop as well on ice and snow - the proof of his being the canine host for the spirit of Evel Knievel came this morning and left Sarah on the brink of tears.

Little man loves the snow - like, adores the stuff. He gets outside and bounds through the collected powder that stands about as tall as he does.

So we let him off the leash so he could have a little early morning run around and playtime post-poop when he decides to check out the building across the way from us.

No big deal - he's been over there before and no harm has come from it. Until today.

While our building starts on the ground floor and only goes up, the place across the way has a lower floor too. As such, their stairwell, which is surrounded by a three foot high stone wall, goes both up and down.

And I'm betting you can guess what Evel Knievel decided to do...

Yup, he climbed onto the stone wall and jumped.

It took a second or two for it to register with Sarah and I until she looked at me with the most worried look I've ever seen and said, "That goes downstairs!"

As we ran over towards the steps down, guess who comes prancing up the steps like nothing had happened?

100% unaffected and wondering what all the commotion was about, Luke shook off some accumulated snow and proceeded to waddle over to our steps, ready to come inside for an early morning treat.

I can't tell you how thankful I am that our balcony is enclosed...

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Dear Mr. President
Artist: P!nk
Album: I'm Not Dead (2006)

It's no secret that I love P!nk. Love her. Insanely. She's forever awesome in my eyes.

Songs like this are a big reason why.

While mainstream radio blares catchy, funny tracks like "Stupid Girls" and "So What?" - both songs I find entertaining but tire of fairly quickly - not many people seem to realize that the spunky girl with the sometimes pink hair has some very important things to say in her songs from time to time.

While this track is pointed straight for George W. Bush, there are aspects of it that can use questions that should resonate with all of us. Though most of us haven't "come a long way from whiskey and cocaine," there are loads of issues brought up in this song that each and every one of us can spend a little time thinking about.

War, homosexuality, abortion / reproductive rights and homelessness all come up in the song, all with thought-provoking questions attached to them.

Part of why I chose this song today stems from a link my man Deuce sent me yesterday. It was of Jon Stewart interviewing former Arkansas Governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee and discussing same sex marriages.

My feelings on this issue have been stated a couple times in the past here at iBlog, so without getting to far into it, it just baffles me that there are still people who have these cast-iron beliefs and views about poignant issues like this and the ones P!nk addresses in this song.

I'm not saying we all have to have the same views and they have to be the ones that I believe, but I think we're at a stage in our existence as a people that being close-minded and so stringently opposed to issues like these is ridiculous.

Now that I'm off my soapbox, click the link, listen to the song and enjoy.

I promise, next week will be some harmlessly fun Hip Hop track with very little soapbox preaching from me...

Continue reading ...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No Room for Errors

The old adage is true: the squeaky wheel does get the grease.

In the real life version, I'm the squeaky wheel and the grease is an opportunity to work for Fight! Magazine.

Just as I had told you I would do earlier in the week, I sent Tuesday's post attached via email to the Editor-In-Chief of Fight! Magazine explaining my frustrations with purchasing a publication that continually puts out stories containing errors.

Mr. Craig emailed me back later in the day and told me to call him.

The following morning, we had a nice conversation about my email and frustrations and came to a very awesome solution:

My complaining ass is going to get an opportunity to step up and deliver as Proofreader for Fight! and there might be an opportunity to get involved beyond that moving forward.

Regardless of the possibility to potentially contribute online and in print, this is still a killer break for me and one that I am very excited about. Not only will I be getting paid to read MMA stories, but my foot is jammed in the door going forward and a strong display on the proofreading front with continued excellence at my usual gigs (Bugs, TLOS, here) could mean a break into the business for real.

"For real" meaning writing things that I actually get paid for in the end. You know, the opposite of Passion Magazine.

Don't expect any breaking news on the MMA front to come out of this opportunity; I may be a complaining bastard, but I'm also one who knows all about confidentiality and you ain't getting no scoops from me.

What you can expect, however, is for their to be less mistakes in the up coming issues of Fight! Gone are the days of Fabric Werdum, Gabriel Gonzo and Ricardo Aroma. They've been replaced by Fabricio Werdum, Gabriel Gonzaga and Ricardo Arona... and E. Spencer Kyte.

Of course, it also means I have to step up my game here and publish error-free copy, but c'mon, how hard could that bee?

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Rundown: That's My Motherfucker!

NBC was showing Shrek last night instead of my usual 8 PM episode of Law & Order: SVU. Needing something to watch for an hour before House came on, I flipped through the guide and came across something even better than SVU on AMC.
Samuel L. Jackson: An American Cinamatheque Tribute

Can I just tell you how much I love Sam Jackson? Is there a cooler man on the face of the Earth?

While he's made a few poor choices in his cinematic career - Amos & Andrew, The Man - there isn't an actor who hasn't. What Sam has also done is create some of the best characters of my generation and deliver some of the best lines and performances during the time I've spent being a total film junkie.

In honour of the man that has made the word motherfucker a term of endearment, I thought we'd take a look at my favourite Sam Jackson portrayals in today's Rundown.

Top Five Samuel L. Jackson Characters

5. Gator Purify - Jungle Fever
Do The Right Thing made me a Spike Lee fan (Clockers and Crooklyn made it a life long deal...) and so watching this movie was a given. Personally, if it wasn't for Sam's portrayal of Crackhead Gator Purify, I would lie like a rug if I was asked if I ever saw this flick. Welsey Snipes as a romantic lead... puh-lease! Still, Sam was incredible. In fact, he was so damn good, the Cannes Film Festival invented a new award just to give to Sam. How many actors can say that?

4. Mitch Hennessey - The Long Kiss Goodnight
Geena Davis as a killer turned housewife turned killer aside, Jackson steals this flick with some classic Sam Jackson deliveries:

  • "I'm earnest and frank in all my dealings with women. In New York, I'm Earnest and in Chicago, I'm Frank."
  • When asked if he's tender and gentle when sleeping with a virgin: "I usually just sock'em in the jaw and say Pop Goes the Weasel!"
  • There is also an extended speech where he uses the term ass-fucking more times in five minutes than I've said it in my entire life.

3. Elijah Price / Mr. Glass - Unbreakable
He sucks you in and makes you feel a little bad for him and then BLAM! Turns out he's been the diabolical arch villain all along. Extra points of course for getting mentioned in a Kanye verse too - "Unbreakable, whatcha think they call me Mr. Glass?" from the song "Through the Wire" off the album The College Dropout

2. Jules Winnfield - Pulp Fiction
Bet you thought the verbose hitman would top the charts, didn't you? That would be too easy. Still, you can't question the awesomeness that is Jules Winnfield and if you do, I'll be showing up at your house to read to you from the Bible. Ezekiel 25:17...

1. Carl Lee Hailey - A Time to Kill
Yes, Hollywood over did it with all the John Grisham novels being turned into movies. We all could have done without The Pelican Brief, I agree. But this bad boy right here was excellent. Sure, McConaughey was typical McConaughey and Sandra Bullock was typical Sandra Bullock, but Sam? Sam was out-fucking-standing as the angered father of a raped child accused of killing the Redneck KKK boys that did it. Eleven words: "Yes I killed them and I hope they burn in Hell!"

Honourable Mentions go out to Jackie Brown and Resurrecting the Champ and I think we can all agree on the greatest Samuel L. Jackson quote of all time...

I'm tired of these motherfuckin' snakes on this motherfuckin' plane!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Always Thought Editing Was Important

This may come off a little "Pot Calling the Kettle Black" but let me quell those comments right off the bat.

I don't get paid a red cent for what I do here. I know, it's a travesty...

While I certainly have the odd spelling mistake, I am but a lowly blogger slugging out pieces on a daily basis in an effort to (a) improve my abilities, (b) entertain an average of 30 people a day and (c) pad the old resume.

The Editorial Team here at iBlog consists of me re-reading everything I write before posting it and then having Sarah double check things when she gets the chance to sit down and read the nonsense I've written for the day.

On the other hand, Fight! Magazine has an Editorial Staff, headed by Editor-in-Chief Donovan Craig and collects copious amounts of money from MMA fanatics like myself that drop $5 a month on their publication, not to mention the cash they cop from advertisers and sponsors.

You would think that with the money they have coming in they would do a better job of fact checking and editing their articles.

Each month, Fight! has a handful of pieces with words missing, improperly spelled names and general bad grammar and it drives me insane!

The current issue - on sale now and featuring Frank Mir on the cover - is the worst offender in the last three months. Within the Editor's Letter from Mr. Craig alone there are two errors inside the first sentence.

How is this possible? Someone needs to answer this for me. I'm hoping Donovan Craig himself will, seeing as I've emailed him my thoughts and a link to this entry.

I ask this question not only as a disappointed fan and struggling writer looking to make it in the business, but as someone who will most likely be assuming some editing duties of my own down the road through my work with The Love of Sports.

Nothing is concrete yet, but as the site continues to expand, I'll be taking on a more active role and part of that will include editing.

I know that I won't be able to get away with spelling athletes names wrong or leaving out words that help form cohesive sentences, so how can a publication like Fight!?

I'll continue racking my brain about this and keep you posted on any responses from Mr. Craig... and any developments with The Love of Sports too.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Discovering a New Species

I'm no anthropologist, but I do believe I discovered a new species while at work yesterday:

Cheapis Bastardus Voucherificus.

Commonly known as Cheap Bastards that use Vouchers when paying for their bills, they are only seen in a restaurant setting and strongly resemble regular people until it becomes time to settle their bills.

At this point, they produce a small ticket that entitles them to $13.00 worth of food where no remaining funds are able to be transferred to the individual looking after them.

The strongest of the pack is notorious for ordering nearly twice as much food as the small ticket covers and leaving without covering the cost of the rest of the bill, leaving the poor, defenseless server to incur a loss.

Incidentally, their actions are not limited to food, as they tend to behave in a similar fashion when they are simply enjoying liquid refreshment as well.

Instead of ingesting nourishment along with the rest of the pack in the middle of the day, some of the Cheapis Bastardus Voucherifici choose to wait until later in the day and use the little ticket for beverages only, something that isn't technically allowed, but whatareyougonnado?

Most impressive is watching the pack disband, as members of the collective slowly make their way to their own dwellings, offering to cover just a small segment of the pack's intake and leaving no extra reward for the individual who has been shouted at repeatedly for more refreshments.

Finally, when the last of the group is set to leave, they are forced to put out more monies than originally anticipated because their fellow Cheapis Bastardus Voucherifici have left them more than they bargained for, the only moment of pleasure for the uniformed individual who has spent the afternoon as their humble servant.

And still, not a penny extra is left.

Let this be a warning to all you in the service industry:

Be on the lookout for a pack of CBV in your establishment and avoid them at all costs.

Interaction with this species will leave you tired, frustrated and questioning whether you want to remain in your current vocation.

* * * * * * * *

Seven hours worked, $1100 in sales, $70 bucks made... including the $30 left to me by a table of Yuppies from New York...

Stupid Cheap Bastards!

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Honestly - I'm Not Retarded

While it wasn't quite as bad as twenty hours of eLearning about how to greet a table, but my training shift on the bar tonight came awful close.

What part of "I have been bartending off and on over the last eleven years including at two bars that I managed and another Cara Foods establishment" suggested to our Bar Manager that I would need to spend a night learning the ropes?

I can pull on a draft handle. I make a mean Caesar. Opening bottles of wine isn't a challenge for me.

Regardless, there I was tonight, spending three hours behind the bar as Troy's bitch, doing all the work while he yakked it up and made all the money. I can't be mad - I'd have done the same damn thing too.

What makes it even better is that (a) I was hired as a full-time bartender and this is the first time I've been behind the bar and (b) they must have some confidence in my skills without this training since I open on Monday and am slotted to work New Year's Eve.

Never fails though: the new guy shows up and everyone thinks he's a retard. At least it only took two months to convince them I'm not...

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Yellow Ledbetter
Artist: Pearl Jam
Album: B-Side to Jeremy (1992)

I don't have the foggiest idea what Eddie Vedder is actually saying for a minute in the song, but I've always loved it. It's one of those songs that mellows me out and I could use a little mellowing out...

It's not very often that you get to be around for the entire lifespan of a band like Pearl Jam. Lots of bands have come and gone from the time Ten came out until now and many more will before the boys call it quits, I'm sure.

While my interest and support of Pearl Jam has ebbed and flowed over the years - from complete adoration during the Ten / Vs. / Vitalogy years to just a general appreciation since - there is no denying the impact they have had on the music industry, other artists and millions of kids who were in the mid-teens like me when they dropped into our laps.

They are the last true survivors of the Grunge Explosion and the Seattle scene and don't really show any signs of stopping. They've slowed down, but the band formerly known as Mookie Blaylock will be be around for a while still and even when they're gone, we'll have completely indecipherable tracks like this one to remind us of them...

Just for fun, today's link is the Misheard Lyrics video and it's pretty entertaining.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Sean Avery Saga

I've written a piece on the Sean Avery drama that'll be coming out soon at The Love of Sports, but I just wanted to bring it here too since this is where we've discussed pretty much everything that has crossed my mind in the last year and change.

For me, it shakes down like this:

What Avery said was sophomoric and crude and classless.
He's a jackass and probably yapped his way out of playing in the NHL this season.
But was it worthy of a suspension and all the uproar and attention it's gotten in the media?

In a word: No.

Access fucking Hollywood was waiting for Avery outside the NHL Offices in New York today, where he met with Commissioner Gary Bettman. While I'm sure this isn't the attention Bettman necessarily wants for the NHL, tell me the last time anything related to hockey was on Access Hollywood?

And for all those people who are climbing up on their soapboxes saying how disgusted they are with Avery's choice of words and the message it sends and blah blah blah blah blah, please tell me how this is even remotely as bad as Plaxico Burress toting a loaded weapon in a nightclub?

Bottom line: I can't wait to see what the NHL does here because if they suspend him for any length of time, they're showing they're more worried about PR than players and I'll have me a field day with that.

Random Note - I sure did use a lot of colons in this piece... weird...

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Rundown: Book It

In looking back over the numerous Rundown's we've shared together in the year and change I've been writing them and you've been reading them, I realized that I have skipped out on one major, major Rundown.

My Favourite Books.

See, I consider it major because reading is what turned me on to writing. I was always decent enough at it in school and once considered pursuing an English degree in University, but that never happened and entry into the working world involved shaking hands and settling disputes, not writing essays on the character interactions in King Lear or my views on abortion.

But that foray into the world of customer service did provide two important components that led to where we are today - a bunch of disposable income and fairly decent amounts of time off to lay around the house doing nothing.

In my case, nothing often meant playing PlayStation 2 and watching movies, but sometimes it meant reading.

One of the books I read during those years changed my life and started me down the path we're on together today. The gentlemen pictured above who looks like a Gap mannequin is to blame...

Top Five Books

5. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
I know it was partially fabricated and Oprah hates him, but I'm not a suburban housewife so I don't have to do everything that Oprah tells me. Outside of the controversy, this is an incredibly powerful work. The way it's written in disjointed sentences, more staccato than prose and the violent, vivid images that Frey creates for the readers hook you in to the point that you don't want to put the book down for a minute. The book about overcoming addiction becomes your addiction. At least it did for me.

4. Thank You For Smoking by Christopher Buckley
The movie also made my Favourite Movie list a while back, so you had to know that I was a major fan of the source material. This one goes along with the longstanding belief that the book is always better than the movie. As outstanding as the film was - and don't kid yourself, it was outstanding - the book is even better in delivering more background on protagonist Nick Naylor, his insane boss B.R. and his relationships with his family, his friends and a back-stabbing bitch that never really showed up in the movie. This one got me through my stint at the Marine Atlantic Ferry Terminal.

3. The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green by Joshua Braff
I actually read this book because I love the author's brother - Zach Braff, he of Scrubs and Garden State fame. Thankfully, incredible talent is a trait both Braff boys hold (as does their sister...) as Joshua crafts a beautiful tale of a young Jewish boy growing up with some truly unthinkable thoughts. As I write this, I'm eagerly awaiting Braff's next effort because if it's anything like Jacob Green, it'll be on the next incarnation of this list.

2. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
This is the fictional version of "That's me!" Hornby's Rob Fleming - later turned into Rob Gordon and dumped in Chicago by Cusack & Co for the outstanding film version - encompasses everything that I am and everything that I was at the time I read the book. He has no idea what to do with his life, I had no idea what to do with my life. He was a moron with women, I was a moron with women. In the end, it worked all worked out... for the both of us.

1. Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
This is the non-fiction version of "That's me!" Everything Klosterman put down into words in this collection hit on something I had thought at one point or another in my life. And we're not talking brilliant, Earth-shattering developments here either, we're talking shit like, "How are there so many naked housewives in the world?" and "Is the Sim version of me happier than the real me?" I own everything the man has ever written now, having gone back and read what I had missed and bought everything that has come after it, save for his crappy fictional effort...

So if you need to blame someone for getting me started down this path and making me think I could one day be a real, live writer, blame Chuck Klosterman.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It Sure Took A While...

But we're in the midst of our first serious snowfall of the winter here in Kimberley and I couldn't be happier.

For one, I don't have to shovel. Like never. Maybe the odd time here and there when Sarah has to work days and the plow hasn't come around at 6 AM or something like that, but even still, it's only enough to get her out the driveway and on the way. Not like I have a driveway to do or anything.

Secondly, snow equals money and I could surely use some of that stuff!

As the powder piles up, the vacationers and locals who frequent the Kimberley Alpine Resort start to flock in and with them comes added business for Kelsey's. Added business for Kelsey's means more hours for me, as opposed to the 11 I managed over the course of four days last week...

It also means a chance to start down my path to snowboarding stardom, or at least the ability to remain standing for extended periods of time without injuring myself and others. As much as I'm looking forward to the money, there is a small part of me that is equally looking forward to the challenge of a new sport, even if I'm 0-1, having suffered my sole loss via vicious TKO at Blue Mountain a few years back.

I won't be chronicling my alpine exploits here though - seeing as it's a sport and I fancy myself a bit of a sports writer, you'll have to tune into The Snowboard Chronicles at The Love of Sports for the regular updates on my progress or lack there of.

Have fun shoveling suckers - I'm going to sit in the hot tub!

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Stupid People Make Me Angry

Why are some people complete morons?

Can someone answer that for me please.

You have high profile idiots like Plaxico Burress (read the piece below if you're unaware) or Sarah Palin or Paris Hilton, but there are stupid people everywhere you turn in everyday life too.

We live above one.

Since we moved to Kimberley, the guy who drives the white Dodge that lives in the lower left condo - our building is like a Tic Tac Toe Board and we're the Center Square! - has parked in the first space on the right in the lot for the unit next to us that is currently 100% empty. We've generally parked just offset from the stairs up, next to the guy who lives below us' truck. It's worked out perfectly.

Until the other day.

We went out to get groceries and do some running around after I got home from work and when we came back, to our surprise, there was the white Dodge in our parking spot. Not a huge deal as the parking area isn't assigned or anything like that, but when you do something the same way for 42 days, you expect Day 43 to be the same, right?


We parked where he normally parked, unloaded and thought nothing of it. We're flexible, a little change isn't that big a deal.

Then today happened.

We did some running around and when we turned down our street, I noticed the white Dodge rolling in behind us and told Sarah.

We both had the same idea: park in the spot and see what he does. We're flexible, but we're also pains in the ass who like conducting social experiments evidentally.

So as we rolled towards the lot and I signalled my turn into the spot, the strangest thing happened...

Super Genius pretty much drove up behind me as if he too was going to turn into the spot, stopped and then begrudgingly backed up and parked beside us. It's as if we had offended him by taking the spot he had parked in for one night.

We were up to our level by the time he got out of his car which was probably good as a verbal confrontation would have invariably taken place with me using the words "Ya fuckin' moron" at least once.

I don't get it, people: Six weeks, same spot, no problems. Then all of a sudden, homeboy decides to change things and thinks we're the morons for parking in the spot we've parked in since we moved here.

Some people's children... I tell ya!

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