Friday, February 27, 2009

Soundtrack of My Life

You Found Me
Artist: The Fray
Album: The Fray (2009)

I really don't care that critics kick the shit out of The Fray. I like them.

There first album was pretty well received and while this second album doesn't boast a whole lot of changes, there isn't really anything inherently wrong with that if you enjoyed the other one, right?

This song is similar to their two earlier hits "Over My Head" and "How to Save a Life" which received heavy play a few years ago, just as this single is now.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for a singable track and these guys deliver that.

Are they edgy and stylish and flashy? Not in the least, but the music is earnest and well put together and I'd rather have a band that delivers quality every time out than some flash in the pan who falls off the face of the Earth before I get to their second single.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Rundown: Since I've Been Gone

Here's a pleasant surprise for you - I'm actually writing a blog post!

Sorry about being gone for so long; this editing thing and working at the restaurant a great deal have been sapping my desire to do more than necessary and that means you folks have suffered. Or not. Whatever.

Anywho, a great deal of shit has happened in the nearly two weeks since we last spoke, so I thought I'd go over a couple of my favorites...

Top 5 Things That Have Happened Since My Last Post

5. New Column Debuted

It's pretty cool picking up the paper and seeing my name in it. What's even cooler will be picking up today's edition and seeing it there again. And next week. And the week after that. The best part, I think, is that I don't have to curtail my style or passion or attitude and it's only 400 words a week, so I can bang it out in no time and just be myself.

4. Joaquin Phoenix is now a total joke

You know you've lost your shit when you become the centerpiece of a gag at the Oscars. Loved Ben Stiller's Joaquin impression and for those who didn't see the original - Joaquin on David Letterman - I suggest you track it down. Unintentional comic gold.

3. Speaking of The Oscars...

I haven't seen either Milk or The Wrestler, but something tells me that every other award ceremony that has been held this year didn't get it wrong. Mickey Rourke deserved the Oscar and got jobbed because he's Mickey Rourke. The irony, to me, is that Sean Penn got hosed a couple times in his career too, only to get one he didn't really deserves (Mystic River) and now this one.

2. House has overtaken Grey's

There is a new #1 medical drama in my house - or at least on my list - and it's House. I've always loved it, but Grey's had a place in my heart. Now, it's sliding... fast. Starting to near "Jumped the Shark" territory with me. They need to figure it out fast.

1. Less Than 2 Months

Monday was the "It's two months 'til our wedding" date. We've got our week-long stay in Ontario planned out and now it's just a countdown 'til fun in the sun and the big "I Do!" Getting pretty pumped...

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: My Life Would Suck Without You
Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Album: All I Ever Wanted (2009)

I'm pretty sure you're all smart enough to figure this one out...

It also doesn't hurt that I love me some Kelly Clarkson. Bucky knows what I'm talking about...

Happy Weekend People!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Rundown: Actors I Hate More Than Nicolas Cage

I've actually had conversations about how much I hate Nicolas Cage.

Seriously. It was a fairly regular conversation in the Blockbuster days and seems to be somewhat universal across the male demographic, provided they have some taste in movies.

See, for every good movie Elvis' former son-in-law has done (Raising Arizona) there are two horrible movies (Ghost Rider, Bangkok Dangerous) where you think about carving your own eyes out so you don't have to see any more awful Cage acting.

What is all the more remarkable, at least to me, is that Cage doesn't even top my list of actors that I downright loathe. I present those people to you today...

Top 5 Actors I Hate More Than Nicolas Cage

5. Christian Slater
Kind of follows in the same lines as Cage, in that there have been good turns (True Romance) but more often than not, there have been bombs like Broken Arrow and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

4. Kevin Costner
Speaking of Robin of Locksley... man this guy drives me insane! Honestly, I can't remember the last movie of Costner's that I actually enjoyed. Everything for the last ten years has been crap. I can't believe this is the same guy who played Crash Davis in Bull Durham. Swing Vote? Are you kidding me?

3. Ryan Phillippe
ARGH! Not only is he a douche bag for cheating on Reese Witherspoon, but for all the people who bag on Keanu Reeves for being all monotone and shit, I present this chucklehead. He wants so desperately to be a big-time serious actor that he hasn't figured out he's nothing more than talking eye candy. Him trying to be all gripping and raw nearly ruined Stop-Loss for me. Thankfully, Joseph Gordon Levitt made it all better.
2. Paul Walker
I loved seeing his mug on the cover of Bobby Z, the direct-to-DVD gangster flick that served as his last starring role because it gave me hope that he was going the Val Kilmer route and falling off the face of the mainstream Earth. Then comes this summer's Fast & Furious, the ingeniously titled next entry in the The Fast & The Furious line. Dammit!
1. Julianne Moore
What? You thought I was going all guys? If you've been following iBlog over it's entire existence, you know how I feel about Ms. Moore. If you haven't, allow me to get you up to speed: She is the same character over and over and over again and forever ruined the character of Clarice Starling from Silence of the Lambs with her awful turn in Hannibal. Watching Next is like torture to me... Cage & Moore, together... yikes!

By the way, this wasn't a completely randomly generated idea... these guys got me thinking about it...

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Man I Miss Dave Chappelle

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to take a little break from writing and working on the website to sack out on the couch.

No couch time is complete without something in the DVD player to listen to as you fall asleep, so I popped in Season 2 of Chappelle's Show. I ended up watching the entire thing.

This show was brilliant and I doubt that I am the only one who misses it dearly. There hasn't been anything like it on TV since and I doubt there ever will be and that makes me sad.

Now, I'm not going to speculate on what happened to drive Dave to Africa and quit the show because there is no answer good enough to make me accept that at the peak of it's popularity and following the incredible second season, this gem simply stopped existing.

I miss Samuel L. Jackson beer ads and game shows like "I Know Black People."

I even miss people saying, "I'm Rick James, Bitch!" and that was real annoying for a very long time.

It's time for Dave Chappelle to return. Maybe not to TV with a show like this and not in crappy movies like he was doing before the show skyrocketed him to stardom, but in some capacity.

Dude was too smart and too funny to be gone already...

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Monday, February 9, 2009

A Day Late...

But certainly not a dollar short... Here's the Ten Things I Learned This Week!

Everyone is booked and confirmed for the Dominican. While this was also the case a couple weeks ago when the carrier pulled out, I'm trying to stay positive and believe that we're all good to go now.

2. A-Rod Cheated
Just like so many other baseball players did during the same span, Alex Rodriguez used Performance Enhancing Drugs. I don't know why this was a surprise to me at all, but it was. I will say this: even though his interview with Peter Gammons was rehearsed and full of half-truths, kudos to Alex for getting out in front of this now and taking whatever lumps may come his way.

3. Found a New Favorite Restaurant
The Old Baurnhaus is just down the hill from our place and is awesome. It's the quintessential sit and relax for a two hour dinner kind of place that I love and the food is incredible. To put it into perspective for you, I ate beets. I hate beets. I never eat beets. But the way the Baurnhaus did beets, I ate every last one.

4. Tougher Than I Expected
Being one of the editors for The Love of Sports is a harder job than I actually thought. We're currently publishing about ten articles a day, three of which I write myself near the end of all the sporting events of the day. On that pace, we're looking at around 300 articles a month, give or take or as Sarah pointed out, about less than 50 cents an article. It's fun just getting started and making no money...

5. Some People Get It, Some People Don't
I work at a ski resort and fully expect the weekends to be a complete madhouse from the time we open the doors until I am told to go home. I know I need to come in ready to get slammed by customers all day long. Unfortunately, some of my colleagues still don't get this and come in hung over to the gills, uninterested in doing any work whatsoever and just generally pissy and it makes me want to choke them.

6. So I Got Me a Weekly Column
While it's true that I'm not getting paid to write said column, I personally don't care. I also don't care that it's in the smallest newspaper known to man. It's still a weekly column and it's still something I can cut out and add to my scrapbook. Relaying the Message comes to the Kimberley Daily Bulletin starting next Wednesday.

7. Chris Brown is the New Ike Turner?
Not to make light of a possible assault or anything like that, but I never would have pegged Chris Brown as the type to get booked on assault with a deadly weapon charges. And I would have bet less money on Rihanna playing the part of Tina...

8. You All Failed Your Homework Assignment!
A couple weeks ago, I asked for some book suggestions. Newt told me he's been reading stuff I most certainly had already read (and I had BTW) and no one else said boo. You all fail. Big old F's all around... and I'm calling your parents too!

9. I Missed the Grammy Awards
Do you know how long it's been since I missed the Grammy Awards? Well, it's only been a year, but the Grammy's used to be a staple on my Awards Show viewing schedule. For the most part, I've stopped caring because the winners are generally crap to begin with and I just don't care about most of the music being made right now. Outside of a handful of acts, it's garbage...

10. That Being Said...
M.I.A., Kanye, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and T.I. absolutely killed "Swagger Like Us" last night. For all of you who still have no clue about M.I.A., you need to go find out... she is insanely good.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Fall For You
Artist: Secondhand Serenade
Album: A Twist in My Story (2008)

This song is everywhere right now and I can't escape it, not that I want to or anything like that, but man...

Two awesome things I love about this song:

  • Musically, it's wicked with the piano and the quiet into the rocking of the chorus and all
  • It's a re-release which means we all slept on it entirely when it first came out over a year ago and now it's burning up the charts and making a name for John Vesely.
I won't stay and beat you over the head with how incredible this song really is or how much I love music projects like Secondhand Serenade or Neverending White Lights.

All I will say is that these next few weeks on the Soundtrack will be about tunes I'm really feeling right now, so clear some space on your iPod E and get ready for a music lesson or two.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Rundown: Just a Pilot?!

Remember those Halls Fruit Breezer commercials from a few years back, where the guy dressed as the candy ripped anyone with just one job to shreds because he did two things at once and he did so with a Jamaican accent?

Fruit Breezer Guy: What does your boyfriend do?
Female: He's a pilot.
FBG: Just a pilot?! I got two jobs!

Well, that guy can kiss my ass because I'm juggling five jobs right now. Yeah, you read that right, FIVE JOBS! For those who don't believe me, I've decided to detail them in today's Rundown.

The Five Jobs of E. Spencer Kyte

5. Proofreader, Fight! Magazine
Spencer Kyte - Grammar Police. They send me the file, I make sure everything looks good.

4. Freelance Writer
Bugs & Cranks now pretty much falls here as I haven't posted anything in over a month, in part because the Jays have done nothing, but also because, well, I'm too effin' busy. There are also the little side gigs I've been approached about here, like writing a story on my friend Luke's Heli-Golf Tour company...

3. Media Representative, Kimberley Relay for Life
The newest addition to the squad, this one, like most jobs I've taken that involve writing, pays the base salary of $0.00/hour with monthly bonuses of $0.00. But I'll be writing a weekly column in the local paper, doing some radio and local TV promoting the event and well, it makes me feel good to do something productive instead of bitching about Britney Spears.

2. Server / Bartender, Kelsey's Restaurant
Considering the temperature here is above freezing and we've gotten exactly one day of snow in the last six weeks, it's a testament to my skills in this role that I come home with $100 every night. It also doesn't hurt that I have no shame, will suck-up to just about anyone and always volunteer to be the guy who stays latest.

1. Editor, The Love of Sports
I have a serious Love/Hate relationship with this job and it's only been one real day in the role. Time consuming as shit, an organizational headache and full of new things I need to learn, the plus side is that I get to help build the site, improve my skills as a writer and editor and see some return for my efforts down the line.

There you have it... FIVE JOBS! Think about that next time you're bitching about working that Sunday shift at Blockbuster or relaxing on your couch after a tough day at the office.

I would, but I'll be busy working!

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Live in the State of Flux

It's seems like nothing is settled in my life.

The wedding plans are almost sorted, but not quite. Work is generally good, but the odd day is really craptacular. Website redesigns are screwing up my daily routines. Company is coming on Friday to further screw up my flow.

See - I live in a State of Flux right now and I hate it.

I need regularity.

I crave consistency, routines, schedules, plans.

This idea of things changing regularly being good for you is a lie; things changed a whole bunch of times for me from the time I was born until I turned 27 and it ultimately sucked.

Sure, there were positives and I met new people and saw new places etc. etc. etc. but I could have just as easily stayed where I was, kept the friends I had and things would have been fine.

It wasn't until I stopped flying by the seat of my pants and started to actually take stock of things and figure out where I wanted to end up that my life started going the way I wanted it to.

Now, I have the pieces all laid out before me, but I can't get them all in place just yet.

Too many balls in the air. Too many daily changes and adjustments.

One of these days though, it'll all fall into place...

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Monday, February 2, 2009

When Did Customer Service Become a Bad Thing?

Over the last couple weeks, my experiences as a customer have been horrible. Not everywhere, mind you, because it's hard for the grocery store to make your experience miserable, but for the most part, it's been bad.

By now you all know the Marlin Travel situation. For those who don't, the Cliff Notes:

Four months of planning went out the window because our original agent couldn't get things done quick enough and without errors. Then the new agent came on, got things organized and ready to roll only to have the carrier pull out three months before our wedding.

Now, some eight months after we started the process, we finally received confirmation that all the rooms are booked and we are in fact getting married when and where we wanted. Of course, there are still hiccups like getting two different quotes for deposits, having three people giving us three different answers and all the while we're the ones being made to feel like assholes for caring so much about our wedding.


Experience #2 comes in the form of one of my favorite TV channels, The Score, who owe me a prize pack from back in October.

Long story short, I answered a multiple choice question on one of their shows, was proclaimed the winner of a prize and have yet to receive anything.

I've called, emailed repeatedly and called again.

Last week, someone finally emailed me back saying they'd look into it.

Today, I emailed her back again asking if she was planning to look into things any time soon.

What kind of response did I get?

First, I had to detail when and how I won, which I did since I have a sick memory for thing like that.

Secondly, once she did confirm my winning, I was asked for a mailing address where my prize could be sent. Being as I live in a tiny-ass town without home delivery of the mail, I gave my PO Box.

That wasn't good enough. I actually received an email that said, "We can't send prizes to PO Boxes."

Well that's all I have, so unless you're FedEx'ing it to my front door...

(That is exactly what I said in my email too!)

Now, I'm in the service industry and have been for years. If at any point along the way I was to make my customers experiences as annoying and challenging as these two organizations have made things for me, I would have been back in the Unemployment Line.

Maybe I'm an anomaly. Or maybe these people absolutely suck at their jobs and should get out of the Customer Service business.

With the warm, glowing personalities they have, a career in mortuary science would be a perfect fit since they all seem to hate living, breathing humans.

* * * * * * * * * *

Note: I understand the irony of posting a second piece on the same day as I wrote a "things will be becoming more sporadic around here" post. This is what happens when I get down to work early in the day and don't sit on the couch playing Fight Night or watching Food TV.

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Here's the Thing...

I think my posts here are going to remain a little sporadic for the next little while and I apologize in advance.

In starting my new gig over at The Love of Sports, a lot of time and energy has to go into the job that is actually paying me to write and do work and something then suffers. Unfortunately, that means iBlog and you, my faithful 15.

Not that I won't be around at all, just that it'll be quick hits some days like this one today, but I will still try to hook up the regularly scheduled favorites like The Rundown and Soundtrack and 10 Things...


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