Tuesday, September 30

CB was so bored last

CB was so bored last night, with no electrical power for the devices that entertain him, that he willingly agreed that it'd be okay if I played my guitar and sang songs. He fell asleep somewhere between my rendition of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Lipstick Sunset".

The main thing I disliked in regards to the lack of electrical power was the annoyance of no working plumbing. Everything else was quite tolerable.

Sunday, September 28

I perfectly understand why people

I perfectly understand why people don't like Formula One racing, and call it the height of boredom. Each race consists of somewhere around 70 laps of cars going around a track, sometimes with nary a pass or any noticable action. Checkered flag, and wake up.

I understand that. However, I find that I cannot miss a race.

I find that, to enjoy an F1 race, you have to allow yourself to get excited by the potential of what could happen. You have to find a way to get on the edge of your seat thinking about the possiblity that the lead car will break down, or something out of the ordinary will happen. This despite the fact that in a season of F1 races, such things happen maybe a handful of times. To enjoy F1, you need to ignore the kinetic energy of lap after lap of the routine of no change in standings and embrace the potential nature of the sport. If you are able to do this, an F1 race can be almost entertaining. I've been hooked for about 10 years now.

Today is the US Grand Prix in Indianapolis. It's the second last race of the season and there's a close battle for both the driver's championship and constructor's championship. To many it may end up looking like a parade of cars running around the track, but I'm suspecting that I'll be totally enthralled by it.

Yesterday, the Karoberon and Keaton

Yesterday, the Karoberon and Keaton (CB's friend) went to Moncton in a celebration of CB's birthday, which is next week. We decided that, rather than a party, we'd let CB take a friend to the Crystal Palace, and let them rule the day in Moncton. That meant no parental side-trips to shop for boring clothing, or browse boring electronics. It was their day to waste. Arriving at noon, their first inclinations were something to eat and toy shopping. Both were accomplished at Champlain Place. CB got (after searching a couple of different stores to find his hero, Legolas) two LotR action figures, Keaton got 'an amazing' John Deere backloader type toy.

Shopping and salivation satiated, the next item on the agenda was The Crystal Palace. A bracelet on each wrist and away they went. K and I took turns away from the noise and din by escaping to Indigo. After three and a half hours, and confident that they'd exhausted all possibilty of fun from the place, they were ready to leave.

Next on the agenda was supper (or dinner, if that's what you call it). They didn't care where we ate. I took this as an opportunity to point the Lumina in a homeward direction and proposed the Big Stop Irving in Aulac. All agreed.

The BSIiA is amazing to me. It's restaurant is perpetually packed, often with a lineup a dozen deep. The wait-staff is the peak of efficiency and friendliness. They have perfected the art of hustling people in and out of the place without giving people the sense that they were rushed. People always seem happy and contented as they leave.

No lineup when we arrived but only one table was available. The moment we sat down, I noticed a lineup of about ten or so, and growing. How did that happen? "Motor coach" said K.

After dining, we headed home. Keaton soon fell asleep on route, and CB played with Legolas.

Not a great day for the sacrificing parents, really, but a top-notch day for the kids. So, it was a great day for the parents too.

Thursday, September 25

Yeah, I know...lists. Anyway, here

Yeah, I know...lists.

Anyway, here are 5 lovely songs from 5 men.

- Ingrid Bergman, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Mermaid Avenue

- Johnsburg, Illinois, Tom Waits, Swordfishtrombones

- Hallelujah, Rufus Wainwright, Shrek soundtrack

- Lebanon, Tennessee, Ron Sexsmith, Ron Sexsmith

- For What It Was, Roddy Frame, Surf

Next time, 5 songs from 5 women.

The recent post re: the

The recent post re: the Carriage House, combined with a recent (real life) conversation in which some people were reflecting on their favourite personal moments on stage, made me think about my favourite moments of the Carriage House production of Annekenstein.

My absolute favourite moment of the season only happened once, during one night's performance of a sketch called "The Boyce". The premise is that two typical Island hockey boys, 'big dog' and 'bull-kid' (played by myself and Ed Rashed) are dragged by their girlfriends, one named Tammy, the other Tammi (played by Nancy McLure and Laurie Murphy) to see Anne of Green Gables, the Musical. At the end of the sketch, the boyce have been moved to tears by the touching story. One night Laurie was sick and we had to fill in her roles as best as we could. Dave Moses decided he'd do her Tammi role. That'd be interesting, we thought. No rehearsal, into the sketch we go. Dave plays it perfectly straight, we stick to the script as it was written, and there's no explanation to the audience why one of the boyce is dating a guy named Tammi. Anyway, shortly into the sketch, all the performers start laughing at the absurdity of situation. We got through the sketch, but every line for all of us was a trial and hardship due to the laughter it would get from all of us. I think the audience might have enjoyed it too.

So that's my favourite singular moment from that season, but my favourite moment that regularly occurred in each performance is this: We did a sketch that was an infomercial on the benefits of the then-under construction 'fixed link'. It was hosted by Paul Gianallia, head of the construction (Dave), with Laurie playing a souped up motivational expert. A running gag through the sketch was that Gianallia's name would be mispronounced (much like I'm likely misspelling it here). At one point, audience questions and concerns re: The Bridge were to be addressed. Ed and I were in the audience to ask questions. I always enjoyed the moment when I'd ask my question, which always started off "Yes, Mr. Gilooly...", and I'd always stretch out the "Gil-ooooooly" and dripping with sarcasm and mockery, then go into an improvised flaky concern I had. Gillooly was a reference, if I recall correctly, to the guy who was accused of bombing that Atlanta Olympics, or he was the guy who got his dick cut off by his wife... anyway, for no reason in particular, I always liked that moment. Especially when it was followed by Ed's character's question, which started off "Yes, I have a question for Mr. Genitalia..."

Tuesday, September 23

So, a number of years

So, a number of years ago, Annekenstein had a relatively successful summer run at the Carriage House at Beaconsfield. We were, to my knowledge, good, respectable tenants. We really enjoyed the performance space.

Apparently, though, the neighbours didn't enjoy the Annekenstein experience as much as the people who came to the shows, and when we looked into the possibility of another run the next summer, we were told something about theatre no longer being allowed in the Carriage House. Something about, since it was a historical site, there needed to be some sort of Island/historical relevance in order to have performances. This rule, it was intimated, was brought into effect after a few neighbourly complaints.

Now it's a number of years later and I notice that theatre has been occurring at the Carriage House for quite some time, and in fact there are advertisements for a 2003/2004 theatre season. I can't help but wonder what Island/historical relevance was contained in this summer's Green Eggs and Ham kids show.

I wonder what's the difference between Annekenstein theatre and the theatre that's been allowed shortly after we left? Has the rule been turned over, or have the offended neighbours moved away, or died?

Saturday, September 20

Sometimes I catch myself doing

Sometimes I catch myself doing stupid, pointless things. Like in the past, I've spent minutes at the mirror trying to perfect my 'Sean Penn' eyes. Sometimes when I squint, I think my face, particularly my eyes, look like Sean Penn. Now, I wasn't sitting on the couch, or anything, and then thought "I should go practice my Sean Penn eyes." It's just something that evolves from nothing.

Last night was another one of those moments. I was sitting in the bathroom, and the thought struck me: How hard would it be to say, in a realistically dramatic way: I'm rubber and you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you. You know, like in a really intense scene in a really intense movie, the bad guy is calling our hero all sorts of terrible things, then our hero says the rubber/glue line.

So, I spent the next couple of minutes, sitting there, lost in this little world, where I came up with movie scenarios where I'd have to say this line. I really had to sell the line, dramatically. Of course, it being late at night, I was whispering so as not to wake anyone or have anyone think I'd lost my mind. The whispering was helpful, but I was eager to really try it out loud, in a proper setting.

After a couple of minutes, I sort of had a third-person moment where I saw the idiocy of the situation (man on toilet, saying the rubber/glue line over and over again, a la Clint Eastwood, a la Al Pacino, etc) and that stopped it for me.

Still, it'd make a good improv challenge. Without the toilet, of course.

Friday, September 19

On a related note, my

On a related note, my mother may not have been talking like a pirate, but chances are she was swearing like a trooper 38 years ago today. For that was the day I was born.

Yet, since I was her fifth trip to the delivery room, perhaps the labour wasn't tough enough to require salty talk from the old girl.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Mom.

It's "talk like a pirate

It's "talk like a pirate day", apparently. A day where we're all supposed to speak like pirates.

I'm doing my part. However, the pirates that I choose to emulate speak better than your average avasting brigand. There's no rule that says a bucanneer can't have graduated from university with an English major and a modern appreciation for proper grammar.

Wednesday, September 17

In the previous post, those

In the previous post, those Columbos amongst you might have detected the reference to a broken fridge. Well, our well-respected appliance man told us that it's not worth the money to keep the old girl frigid (insert nun joke here). It had been breaking down for the past number of months, then working again. This time, though, it doesn't seem to want to work again. (insert EI joke here) Our man is sure of the problem (from a past visit) and said he could come and tell us in person, but he'd save us the service charge and just tell us over the phone: It's time for a new fridge. Well, the thing is over 30 years old, I think, and it's yellow (insert, I don't know...racist ethnic joke here?). Time to go.

So, K, having the day off today, was gallavanting with her mother to various appliance stores. It's now close to quitting time for me, and I have no idea of the results of their appliance quest.

In the "Isn't this exciting, getting a new major appliance!" respect it's kinda like Christmas. In the "Isn't this expensive, getting a new major appliance!" respect, it's kinda like...Christmas.

In an earlier post (if

In an earlier post (if I was smarter, I'd figure out how to include a link to it), I challenged the Karoberon to go the whole month of September without bringing fast food into the house. Well, we upped that to 'no fast food at all for a whole month'. That was just crazy, though, that claim, and we broke down twice so far, once going to Harveys and once to Wendys. Still though, this is much better than our usual habit. Still, we haven't brought any fast food into the house.

Until last night.

But if there was ever a time to break down it was then... Let me explain: I got home from work vowing to cut the grass. I reheated a previously barbecued hamburger for CB. K was working until after 8pm, and would be dining on lobster supper. I had a choice: reheat two sausages and then cut the grass, or just go ahead and cut it, then eat. I chose to dive into grass cutting. Two hours later, totally wiped and sweaty and near death, I came into the house. The fridge was broken. That took away any desire for me to prepare myself a meal.

So, I cleaned up, waited a bit, then we went to pick up K. On the way, we passed by KFC. I knew then that on our return, I'd be stopping in and driving-thru. With heavy heart and shame from failure, I ordered the greasy chicken and took it home and ate it.

But today, we start again! No fast food in the house for the rest of the month!!

Monday, September 15

I just emailed the following

I just emailed the following to Peter at The Buzz, and thought I'd post it here as well:

Hi Peter, and all those associated with The Buzz.

I imagine that you’ve likely received some flak from people in regards to Michael Oliver’s “negative” review of The Twelfth Night in your latest edition.

I just wanted to let you know that I was so very happy to read this review. Not because of its content specifically regarding that production, but because of its honesty, criticism (both good and bad) and straightforwardness.

As someone who’s been involved in the PEI theatre scene for a number of years, I am well aware of our island’s unwritten rule of ‘flattering reviews only, please’, and have been the recipient of my fair share. And however nice it is to read such kind words, it somehow begins to ring false or less genuine. They are akin to the mandatory standing ovation at the end of all productions at the Confederation Centre. They become meaningless. And while nobody involved in a production likes to read reviews that are critical of the production, or of their performance in the same, critical reviews are nonetheless valuable in that they can help us (performers and audience) from accepting complacency. Reviews that are only positive and, seemingly, written by friends or associates of the production, give us all something of a The Emperor Has No Clothes syndrome.

So, again, thanks for publishing the refreshing review.

Saturday, September 13

CB is 9, almost 10.

CB is 9, almost 10. I'm at the point now where I'm having some difficulty in choosing movies to watch with him. He's at an age now where 'kids' movies are getting blase, and he's more often interested in more grown-up films, but I'm not really sure what he should be watching. For instance, I've been on a horror/thriller/suspense kick lately and I don't know what movies are appropriate for him to see. Just as a 'for instance', Is "Halloween" going to scare him - overly -, I wonder. It's been quite a while since I've seen it, so I can't recall specifics of scenes, only the general mood. He's probably ready for "Jaws". I'm pretty certain that The Exorcist is too intense for him now. I have no idea how he'd react to something like Evil Dead 2.

I don't worry about him getting scared (that's the point of such movies), or seeing boobies and such (those are also the points of such movies). In fact, I don't have near the problem in having him see sexual scenarios (to a point, of course) as I do having him see horrific images or scenes. I don't want to rush him into movies I want him to see, only to have him start having sleepless nights and such.

On a related note, my favourite movie is "Lonesome Dove". I own the DVD and watch it at least once a year. I just recently watched it with CB, his first viewing. He really enjoyed it. He was somewhat confused as to what a whore is, and why would someone want to ask one for a poke. He didn't seem too impressed with my explanation.

Friday, September 12

Check this out. I love

Check this out. I love the live-matrix effects.

Six feet high and rising

Six feet high and rising

Listen to "Folsum Prison Blues" (or "San Quentin") and "Cry Cry Cry" and "Delia's Gone" and "Sam Hall" and to your own favourites

Watch the video for "Hurt"

Feel good

Thursday, September 11

The most common topic of

The most common topic of the day is September 11, 2001. There are those who choose to commemorate it in large size, those who choose private reflection, and those who have become somewhat jaded about the whole thing.

Me, I choose to turn down the noise of the world, and listen to Bruce Springsteen's "My City of Ruins" once and let that be that.

Peace. Even if it sounds corny.

Wednesday, September 10

I don't trust dentists. For

I don't trust dentists. For no particularly valid reason, I place dentists below mechanics when it comes to expecting that they're fleecing the customer with seemingly unnecessary expenditures. Preventative medicine I believe in, but don't necessarily follow. Preventative dentistry, however, I see as the dentist's cash-cow and I stubbornly refuse to fall prey to their serious-sounding predictions of potential gloomy-gums and dental-disasters years down the road. I also refuse to follow, like cattle, their demands of yearly check-ups. I think that once every couple of years is probably enough.

I say this, not because of any recent or upcoming visit to the dentist. Only because I have a tooth that, lately, is sensitive to temperature changes.

Don't trust these teeth-pirates!!

Tuesday, September 9

On the corner of Queen

On the corner of Queen and Water is a sign that says "Take a walk down Water Street" and it points in the direction of Great George.

Shouldn't it say "Take a walk up Water Street"?

Now, I haven't studied this to the point that perhaps I should have, but in a purely geographical sense, one would be walking *up* the street if one were to follow the pointing-arrow advice of the sign. However (and this is the part of the study in which I am perhaps failing), I wonder if the house-numbering in that direction goes in a downward direction, and therefore "Take a walk down Water Street" would be correct enough.

One thing I do know - I won't sleep tonight.

Sunday, September 7

Leastlink I told you. Didn't


I told you. Didn't I tell you? That Eastlink goob who took my NFL Sunday Ticket subscription screwed up. Pre-game time today, I turn to the appropriate channels, nothing on except the "call this number to subscribe" image. I call for Customer Service and, of course, it being Sunday, there's no answer. I call for repair and talk to a very nice and helpful guy who tells me it's not showing as being part of my service. I explain that the doofus told me I was connected and ready to go. After some investigating, he figures out how to get me connected, then tells me I'll be billed in three easy installments. But, I say, doofus already took my credit card info and confirmed that I paid for the whole service upfront. Nice Guy politely and professionally informs me that he, being in the repair department, cannot check that out, but asks if I could call back the service department tomorrow to confirm the status. The Sunday Ticket now showing up on my TV, I happily agree and thank him for his quick and courteous service.

Bad news, though. Dolphins lose to what is supposedly the worst team in the NFL.


Saturday, September 6

The Big Election At another

The Big Election

At another site, someone asked what the difference between a conservative and liberal is. I replied that a liberal is the guy who will buy beer for everyone at the table. A conservative will buy buy beer only for his friends. Both will leave the bar without paying the tab. Someone else then posted that the NDP is the guy who orders beer for everyone in the bar, but expects the bar owner to pay for it.

In other election news, CB asked me who I was going to vote for, Wayne Collins or Gordon MacKay. I said I haven't decided yet, but who did CB think I should vote for. He said Wayne Collins would be the better candidate. Why? Because there's a Wayne and there's a Colin on Whose Line Is It Anyway. WLIIA is his favourite 'non-cartoon' show.

Me, I'm waiting to see what kind of beer they're offering.

Friday, September 5

Not So Smooth Cycle Speaking

Not So Smooth Cycle

Speaking of Smooth Cycle, here's the story so far: I've heard nothing but great things about the service and staff at Smooth Cycle, and in fact, have had excellent service there in the past. Which just adds to the frustration of this particular episode.

Two weeks ago, the chain on CB's bike broke. K took it to Smooth Cycle to get repaired. She was told to come back in a coupla days. A coupla days later, she goes back, is given the bill for the service, pays it. The bike is rolled out. No chain on it. Apparently it wasn't fixed, as the chain had to be ordered. Come back on Tuesday. She does and is told that there were problems getting the chain. Because of the Labour Day weekend, the order for the chain had been cancelled. Huh? Don't you mean 'delayed'? No, cancelled. Huh? Anyway, the chain'll be in soon, come back on Thursday. Give them an extra day and I come in today, Friday. Bike on hook, no chain. I do notice a cobweb on it, though. Chain'll probably be here later today. "So, I'll come in tomorrow to pick it up?" Only one guy working on Saturday. "But he'll be working on my bike, right?" Hard to say, could I come back on Monday? The guy sees and hears my disappointment and frustration as I go on to explain the absurdity of two weeks to change a chain. He gives me a quarter-hearted "Sorry 'bout that." as I walk out.

Dromedarian Straw Just off the

Dromedarian Straw

Just off the top of my head, here are things, both big and small, that have bugged and frustrated me lately:

- Our fridge keeps malfunctioning. Every so often, the compressor stops working and it causes the fridge to lose its ability to freeze for a number of hours. Things get defrosted, and eventually the fridge will work again for a number of days. Can't trust it though.

- The bathroom troubles: tub faucet broke. toilet bolt broke and soaked our floor. Pipe to toilet broke and re-soaked our floor. Have since had it all repaired.

- The tv broke. Still shows a picture, but the colour is screwed. The screen is now a series of rainbow-rings of colour.

- The cassette player in our car broke. Seems to have seized and won't play cassettes.

- The driver's side door power-window seems to be broken. It won't go down all the way. Something must be obstructing its path.

- Having a hell of a time getting a simple bike repair job done at the usually reliable Smooth Cycle. Two weeks and counting on a chain-replacement that should take 2 days.

Thursday, September 4

The Gods Of Moisture By

The Gods Of Moisture

By the gods of moisture, I have been spared. Firefighters Challenge cancelled due to rain. Too bad, 'cause I woulda nailed that competition. I'd have beaten them all. No, wait, I mean I'd have been nailed into a coffin.

Now that I have this second chance at life, I'm gonna live it to the fullest. Starting with nachos and cheese during tonight's opening game of the 2003/2004 NFL football season.

Tuesday, September 2

A-Maise-ing! Sunday, the Karoberon (KA-ryn,


Sunday, the Karoberon (KA-ryn, ROB, camERON) went to Albany to check out the recently-featured-in-the-Guardian corn maze. If you didn't see the article, some guy created a maze out of his corn-field. We got there and the parking lot (first of all, I was impressed there was a parking lot) was pretty full. Maybe 20 cars. The place was abuzz with people. The barn where you paid your admission had a popcorn machine with great smelling popcorn, other concessionary type purchasables and other assorted corn and/or touristy related items. I was told that this was the busiest the place had ever been. Way to go, Guardian!

Driving up I kept trying to figure out how much it'd cost. I thought it *could* be free. You know, just a cornfield with a half-assed maze within it. I thought a coupla dollars. When I got there, and realised it was a *thing*, I knew there'd be some charge. In the barn, the sign (I thought) said adults $1. Very reasonalbe, I thought. Even low. Turns out it was adults $6, children $5. Hmm, well okay. 20 dollars after taxes for the three of us. For a corn maze. Corn.

And the maze? Well, I'm a tall guy and the few mazes I've been to, I can usually see over them. Not so with this one. Nice and high. The mazes I've been through usually have the 'correct' path worn down much more than the false routes. Not so with this one. All routes are equally treaded, so you can get no clues from that. And the corn is more than sufficiently grown so that you can't see others on the 'other' side of the corn-row. You can hear people nearby you, but unless they're directly in view on your path, they are usually invisible. Another nice feature. And the maze itself was big enough and long enough so that sometimes when you went down the wrong path, you'd walk for quite a ways until you came to the end.

So, in you go. You're given a coupla sheets of paper. One has corn or potato info questions on it. When you come to a numbered choice of direction in the maze, you read question of the corresponding number. Get it right and you go in the direction it tells you. Get it wrong and you're sent in the wrong direction. A great idea. The other sheet has ten lines to write down ten 'treasure hunt' items. Throughout the maze are ten numbered sticks, each with something written on it. Find all ten, write them down and you can enter your name to win some type of prize. It was actually quite challenging to find all ten.

Over all, I was quite impressed with the maze. A couple of times we got lost, a coupla more times we had difficulty finding the next treasure hunt item. In all, it took us about 30-40 minutes to get through, and it was a pretty fun time. The last 10 minutes or so was kind of "let's just get to the end". AFter all, you're surrounded by corn.

Congratulations to the people who created the maze. Obviously a lot of thought went into the design and implementation. If the corn hasn't been harvested yet, I'd recommend you go to Albany (it's on route 1-a) and check it out.

The Case of the Over-stressed

The Case of the Over-stressed Organ

It may be the end of me. Seriously.

There is a Firefighters Challenge coming up this weekend in Charlottetown. It's described as "the toughtest two minutes in sport". Firefighters, in full firefighter gear, compete through a course of various challenges. Fastest wins. GO! Carry a pack up 5 flights of stairs - then pull a rope with a coiled hose up those same 5 flights of stairs - then run down the stairs - then use a heavy mallet to knock a heavy object a certain distance - then run an obstacle course - then pull a charged (ie, ready to squirt, much hearvier) hose a long distance, then turn it on to hit a target - then dead-man lift a heavy dummy another long distance over the finish line - then collapse and hope you aren't dead. In about 2 minutes. I've been to them before and they are quite entertaining, and look physically exhausting. I mean, it took me about 2 minutes just to type that description of the challenge. And it winded me.

It may be the end of me. Seriously.

The radio station has decided to enter a team into the Thursday 'corporate' part of the competition weekend. I volunteered to be part of the team. Of course, we'll each take only one segment of the challenge, and we won't be in full gear, but still it may be the end of me. Seriously.

Of the challenges that were remaining when I was asked to join the team (read: when everyone else was asked and had refused), I chose running up the 5 flights of stairs. I think I have to carry 40 pounds. The other option was pulling the hose up using a rope. Now, I know what you're saying. Running up 5 flights of stairs isn't that difficult. And you're right. What you don't know is how out of shape I am. What none of us know is what my heart will think of all this...what's it called? Exercise?

I believe it may be the end of me. Seriously.

The reason I didn't choose pulling the rope is this: I know I can climb 5 flights of stairs. It may take me an embarrassing amount of time, and I'll more than likely throw-out my university-recreational-basketball-injured knee, but I know I'll succeed. I'm not so sure I can guarantee success in pulling the rope up 50 feet. I question my upper-body strength. To the point of risking popping my knee.

So, Friday, keep an ear out for the funeral announcements: "...suddenly, on the 4th floor of a temporary scaffold... in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the What-Was-I-Thinking Foundation.

Update to come.

Monday, September 1

Hairbrushes and Headaches Every time

Hairbrushes and Headaches

Every time I brush my hair (that'd be about once a day), I open up the medicine cabinet to get the brush, which is always right there, conveniently on the middle shelf. However, what's not convenient is that right beside it, touching it, is a bottle of Tylenol. To get the brush, I have to carefully extricate it from said shelf without hitting the bottle, otherwise the bottle tumbles into the sink below. I don't know why I've never tried to better organize the medicine cabinet. Perhaps it's because most of the stuff in there (apart from the brush and a little bottle of after-shave gel) belongs to my wife.

Anyway (and the reason for this post), today as I was getting the brush, I noticed the Tylenol and realised that I've not taken any Tylenol for a long, long time. In fact, I went on to realise that I've not taken any medication in a long, long time. For that, I am thankful.