Friday, October 29

It's All About Perspective

This from an preview of Monday's Dolphins v. Jets game:

The Jets and Dolphins are meeting on Monday Night Football for the first time since Oct. 23, 2000, when they played one of the best games in the history of the program.

Miami had a 30-7 fourth-quarter lead at the Meadowlands before New York scored a team-record 30 points in the period to force overtime. The Jets ended up winning 40-37, the biggest comeback victory in their history.

The game, voted by fans as Monday Night Football's greatest game

I watched that game. As a Dolphins fan, I can assure you I did not vote this game as the greatest MNF game.

By the way, you may have noticed I stopped posting my weekly football picks because, well, really, who cares?

M-O-O-N Spells "Bush"

So a well-respected image analyst, the same guy who is currently studying the images of Saturn's moon titan, has decided to apply his expertise to the photo of POTUS in the first debate.

He stakes his scientific reputation that "...Bush was wearing something under his jacket during the debate," he says. "This is not about a bad suit. And there's no way the bulge can be described as a wrinkled shirt." (on a morning television program on Wednesday, Bush had said the problem was "a poorly tailored shirt")

Interesting article, available here. (It's Salon, so you'll need to watch an ad to get the free one-day visit to Salon Premium)

So, when will Bush be forced to state: "I did not have electronic intercourse with my staff"

Thursday, October 28

Libby Oughton's Rug

I see on the ARTS Guild marquee, during my walk to lunch today, this:

Libby Oughton's Rug Exhibition

While I am slightly curious as to what makes her rug so special that it deserves to be displayed, I thought there was a provincial law that forbids public displays of genitals. Maybe pubic hair doesn't count?

Still, even with these mental images swirling in my brain, I managed to eat some lunch.

Wednesday, October 27

5 Questions of Numbers

Five global questions that need answering:

1) How many people in the world have read the word "coincidence" at the same time you just did right now?

2) How many people in the world, right now, are wearing short skirts and no panties?

3) How many people are, right now, eating their snot?

4) How many people, at this very second, died?

5) How many people bothered to read all the way to this fifth useless question?

Tuesday, October 26

Sasa Lele

I have a friend. Her name is Sasa Lele (pronounced Sass-ah Leh-lay). She is from Africa.

Okay, not really. But I have been inventing, bit by bit, a background for a fictional character named Sasa Lele. Where did the name come from, you ask?

On Quxxn Strxxt, there is a store called Hxxe Axxents. On their window, for quite some time now is a hand painted sign that says:



Well, not quite like that, because the L's fall under the S's and the E's fall under the A's. For the longest time (months, I'd say) I read it as Sasa Lele Sasa Lele. I figured it was a brand name. Then one day it struck me. It's saying "Sale Sale", only in an unclear way. Anyway, since that revelation I've decided that Sasa Lele is the name of some person.

Feel free to add some elements to her background.

Monday, October 25

Where There's Smoke...

...there's a guy waiting to see if the smoke problem returns.

I was driving my '91 Chevy Lumina the other day and we're stopped at an intersection. For no discernible reason, smoke starts billowing from the neck of the steering wheel. Okay, so maybe not billowing. Maybe more like that first stream of smoke when one initially touches the hot-knife to the hash.

So, for like 10 seconds, the smoke is hot-kniving out of the neck of the steering wheel. I did not inhale, but I could smell the familiar scent of burning electrical wires. I began to imagine the car bursting into flames and exploding in a fiery ball of flames. Only after we ejected ourselves from our seats, of course. My wife started to ask if there was enough time to make it to a service station. As I watched the smoke plume, I dismissed all kinds of courses of action. In reality, I was only hoping to make it home. Our son sat bemused in the back seat.

Then, as soon as it started, it stopped. The smoke went away. The intersection light turned green, and off we went. I did the official test to see if anything was broken: I tried the directional blinkers and turned the steering wheel back and forth. My rigorous testing showed no difference than before the smoke. So, we drove home and did what, I think, most people do: we ignored the problem.

I am now waiting for the next smoke alarm before I take any serious action like taking it to a mechanic.

Wednesday, October 20

Heads or Tailspin

I don't know very much about the implications of politics on a global scale. But I'm worried that Bush will get re-elected. I honestly do not understand how common-sense people can willingly vote to give him another four years. Perhaps I'm buying too much into the liberal media spin over the past three years, but I don't think so. I really think there's a fundamental difference in his opinions of The Right Thing To Do, and my opinions, and in the last year in particular, I consider his opinions dangerous to the world. For a while I've given him the benefit of the doubt because, well, he's the President of the United States of America, and I'm, well, a nobody who doesn't know very much about the implications of politics on a global scale.

I have a feeling that, if Bush wins, a great number of people who voted for him will, the moment the results come in (or get pronounced in court), have that sense you get when choosing between two things you thought were equally appealing (or unappealing, as the case may be).

You know, like when you say "I don't know whether to eat the salad or the cheeseburger. I'll flip a coin and if it's heads I'll eat the salad. Tails I eat the cheeseburger" At the time, you may honestly think you don't have a preference between the two. But then, when you flip the coin and it comes up heads, you immediately realise that it was the cheeseburger you wanted all along. So you flip again, hoping this time it'll be tails.

Only in the US, it'll take four years before they can flip the coin again.

I expect the people of the US to come to their senses, and vote for Kerry in such numbers that there's little question as to the country's opinion about Bush policies.

I expect that, because I need to expect that. I'm also getting ready for a great disappointment.

Holiday Hump Day

I am in the middle of a week-long vacation. So far, it's been a perfect vacation. Lots of video game playing, some reading, sleeping late, going to bed late, cooking meals that don't get cooked when I work, doing unimportant things on a whim, etc.

I had planned to do a few things around the house, but so far, except for a half-afternoon of beginning to clean out the basement, I've done nothing. And I don't feel guilty at all.

I've barely thought about work, which is the best part.

Now, though, it's hump day, and I fear my head, from this point onwards, will be more and more filled with countdown-to-work thoughts.

To counter that, I'll just have to play more GTA: Vice City.

Base-a-ball Has Been Berry Berry Good

Some random thoughts on baseball:

- This season, I've watched this much baseball: game 5 of Yanks/Sox from the bottom of the 6th onward, and game 6 of the same, from the 2nd inning onward. Both were great games. I'll watch tonight's game as well. I find myself cheering heartily for the Red Sox. I'm not sure if that's because I want them to win, or if I want the Yankees to lose.

- My cheering for the Sox has got me thinking: Now that the Spose are no more, which team will I passively cheer for during the regular seasons, without really watching any games or paying attention to the standings? I've always been a National League guy (it must be that preposterous DH rule in the AL that keeps me from cheering that side of the league). Back in the 80's, when I was an avid Expos fan (there was a time when I'd listen to regular season Expos games on the radio, if I could find a station [there was a time when I'd try to find baseball radio broadcasts anywhere on the dial]), I did find myself secretly cheering for the Pirates. But I think that was more about the audaciousness they had to wear those ridiculous too-tall prison uniform caps.

I've always had a soft spot for underdogs, so maybe I'll start actively-passively cheering for the Cubs and/or Mets. Dunno, that doesn't feel right, yet.

One thing for certain, I cannot bring myself to cheer for the Jays. I've never been able to cheer for any Toronto based team in any sport.

There's no need to force a team upon myself. I'll let it occur naturally. I'll allow myself to discover my new team gradually, over time, as I more-or-less ignore the regular season next year.

- My choices for the name of the former Expos, now situated in Washington: The Washington Lobbyists, or The Washington Irvings, or The Washington Citizens Should Never Forget That Lauria And MLB Conspired To Destroy The Expos Thus Creating The Unfortunate And Unforgivable Circumstances That Snuffed Out The Love Of Baseball In Montreal And Brought The Team To Your Region (or the Washington Citizens, for short).

Saturday, October 16


It's spreading all over the internets, but I thought I'd point to it so that those of you who rely solely on me to get your news and entertainment stories will be sated.

John Stewart was on CNN's Crossfire recently and took the opportunity to call out the hosts on what a terrible job they (and the media) is doing in covering the news. It's a fascinating bit of television. I appreciate Stewart more than ever for having the balls to maintain his agenda. I know I wouldn't have the guts to do what he did, even though it so needed to be done.

Here's a link to a page that has video links of the event.

It really is worth seeing.

Friday, October 15

Enemies: Wrapped Up

So, last night was the final night of this year's Enemies. What did you miss, if you weren't there?

-what I am sure is the Segway's first appearance in any theatrical production on PEI. I would even guess the first time a Segway has appeared in a theatrical production in the Maritimes. (I am more than ready to be corrected on this)

-at least three too many jokes/references to the penis and/or testicles.

-me, chewing pubic hair.

-a discussion as to the meaning of the word 'reap'.

-a detailed instructional on how a man might possibly be born with a gun in his hand.

-the introduction of the Benny Hill Show theme song to a whole new generation of Islanders.

-mis-firing pistols

-a real-live alien on stage (okay, an actor pretending to be a real-live alien).

-more drool than was necessary.

I found directing this year's episodes to be a very Jekyll-Hyde experience. On the one hand, you want to make sure the actors know what they were supposed to do when they were on stage. We had plot points we need to reach in any scene, and it's rather vital to the outcome of each episode that those points are actually achieved. Yet, on the other hand, you also want to keep the improvisational intent of the series. It's improv that drives the excitement and entertainment of the shows, and if the actors have too much familiarity with what happens in each scene, then it becomes much harder to maintain that improvisational aspect.

I think, in hindsight, I guided the rehearsals with the intent that the improvisational qualities remained in the forefront, and focused much less (than last year, for instance) on hammering home the various plot points. In so doing, I probably didn't afford the actors as much comfort and familiarity with the scenes as they probably wanted. Sometimes, for all of us acting in the show, this resulted in us looking a little lost at times on stage. However, it also created many hilarious moments of improv that simply wouldn't have happened had we known the plot backwards and forewards.

Wednesday, October 13

My Team Is A Laughing Stock

My beloved Miami Dolphins are winless in their first 5 games this season. Not only winless, but not-even-close-less.

The colossalness of their ineptitude has even made them the butt of a Jay Leno monologue joke. Having the team I support be the butt of Leno jokes hurts more than the actual losses, which, truth be told, are somewhat entertaining in a 'the trials of Job' kind of way.

I am now wondering when head coach Dave Wannstedt gets canned. Last week, popular opinion was that he'd be fired the day after their final game of the season. I say, assuming the losing continues (and there's absolutely no reason to believe it won't continue) that he'll be fired the day after the game before their bye week.

And while prognosticating, I'll say that Osama Bin Laden will be 'found' before the end of October. Also, there'll be a major terrorist strike on the US before Nov.3.

Law & Order: Suddenly Very Uninspired

So far this season, Law & Order:SVU has been pretty disappointing. The writing has fallen off the bridge and is very much lacking in subtlety. I still don't watch L&O:Sunday Night (Criminal Intent?), because I never liked the writing and contrivances on it. Perhaps the wirters of CI have moved over to SVU. Certainly, there is some reason for the degradation in scripts.

I haven't really watched the top of the heap Law & Order, this year with Dennis Farina. Seeing the quality of SVU drop off so much, now I'm a little nervous about doing so.

Tuesday, October 12

We're On The Road To MonkeyTown

Last Saturday, my wife and I played the role of Bing Crosby (minus the reported child abuse) while Cameron and his friend Jordan played Bob Hope as we travelled in the second annual birthday party trip to Crystal Palace in Moncton.

Left our driveway at 8:50am, drove back in our driveway at 8:47pm. In between there was this:

-a 40 minute wait at a used computer games store in the Champlain Place Mall, as we inch-by-inched our way to the Bethlehem that was customer service, so Cameron could buy a used game. Two registers, one of which was totally bombarded by two kids who kept buying and buying and buying. The other register was manned (sorry ladies, for that gender-specific term, but it was a guy) by a nice-enough guy, but after a 40 minute wait, nobody is friendly anymore.

-Three hours and fifteen minutes in the echo chamber called Crystal Palace. Constant loud droning of amusement noises, intermingled by the rolling roar of coaster and screams of fearful children.

-Zombie-walking through a mall (or was it two malls? or three?) searching (unsuccessfully) for a winter coat for my wife. I'm sorry, but I cannot be counted on to make a coutoure decision when all I want to eat is brains. Or, is it "are brains"?

-a drive to the BigStop in Aulac where I had a decadent dinner - The Day and Ross Special. Basically, poutine. But the first time I've ever eaten poutine, so... hurray for me!!

-Then home.

Cameron and Jordan had a great time, it was their day (except for the hunt for winter wear), and therefore, I had a great day.

I think, though, that this will have been the final annual birthday trip to Crystal Palace, since Cameron has pretty much outgrown most of the rides. Yes, next year we're gonna take him to a brothel, coincidentally enough, called Crystal's Palais.

And, yes. Cameron bought a monkey. In fact, two.

Enemies - Into Final Episode

I understand that some people are planning on coming to see this season's final episode of Enemies this Thursday night, and are not familiar with the proceedings so far:

This may help you get up to date:

Dr. Shelley Lugosi, imprisoned on PEI for various and sundry sex/science crimes, has sent redneck bounty hunter Bubba Fett to Las Vegas to track down and return Shelley's clone-of-himself, Kenny, so Shelley can happily bask in the thrill of having sex with himself. Kenny has been kidnapped to Las Vegas by one half of the separated-at-the-shoulder siamese twin, one-armed Butch, and Shelley fears her hard-lovin' ways will ruin Kenny forever.

In Las Vegas, Bubba meets up with uber-religious good-guy, Gabe, who is attempting to rid Las Vegas of sin and debauchery. To aid in that, he's bought out a casino and turned it into a house of the Lord, where there's never any need to gamble. With Gabe is his psychic girlfriend, Britney, who cannot understand why Gabe spurns her psychic abilities, especially her magic Lobster Claw, which still has one good wish to offer. Sadly, their relationship seems doomed. Especially when Acadien singing sensation Sabine suddenly appears out of retirement and hooks up with Gabe's crusade.

Also in Las Vegas are Cassidy and Ludwig. Cassidy is the armless half of the Butch-Cassidy siamese twinning. She, the poster-child for Abused In Relationship, is girlfriend to Ludwig, a poster child for Relationship Abuser. Ludwig (and Cassidy, but mostly Ludwig) is trying to find fame and fortune in Las Vegas and will do anything to achieve that lucrative Celtic-Rock record contract.

Kenny soon escapes from Butch and hooks up with Gabe. Because of Kenny's high-impact pheremonic scent, he is easy to fall in love with, and Gabe falls head over heals in love, but won't admit it. Moreso in love with Kenny is Cassidy, and because her love is an unselfish love, Kenny falls for her too.

Through a series of events, Ludwig falls under the spell of one of Bubba's alien contraptions (Bubba claims his parents were abducted by aliens when he was a child, leaving behind an assortment of alien devices)., called a Noggin Walloper The Noggin Walloper puts Ludwig under the physical command of Bubba, and Bubba uses Ludwig to help in the hunt for Kenny (he also takes great pleasure in forcing Ludwig to embarrass himself often).

Last week, Sabine got shot dead by a mysterious one-armed bandit. Kenny, to the surprise of all, has the ability to revive the dead, and so revives Sabine. Later, we see him restore both of Cassidy's arms.

During the big Talent Showcase, Bubba goes too far in embarrassing Ludwig, and the Noggin Walloper breaks, causing Ludwig to now have the ability to control everyone else.

Tune in this week as:

Dr. Shelley gets impatient with Bubba

Bubba finds it difficult to hunt for Kenny when he's physically controlled by Ludwig

Cassidy enjoys the ability to scratch her own nose

Butch meets her match

Kenny comes to understand his powers

Britney regrets Lobster Claw wishing for Gabe's Casino-Church to fail

Sabine realises who her true love is

Gabe resorts to his alter ego, Altar Boy, in an attempt to save the world from Ludwig

Ludwig relishes the ultimate power that the Noggin Walloper provides him.

Eggs! Eggs! Eggs!

This via Boing Boing

There's an easter egg to be found in the latest Tony Hawk video game. It features the Star Wars Kid showing some of his moves. I think this is pretty cool.

Does anyone know what affect all this attention has done to the kid? I hope he is reaping some sort of benefit from it.

Thursday, October 7

Enemies - So Far

Episode 4 of Enemies was performed last Thursday. This Thursday is Episode 5.

In case you missed all the action last week and are planning to see the show tonight, here's a recap:

Ludwig, the arrogant, selfish musician, has been noggin-walloped by Bubba Fett, the bounty hunter who's arrived in Las Vegas, looking for the immoral Dr. Shelley Lugosi's simple-minded clone Kenny. A noggin-walloping means that Ludwig is, physically, under the control of Bubba Fett, who commands Ludwig to do his bidding. Ludwig is not pleased about this constant embarrasment and bother.

Dr. Shelley, through holographic communications with bounty hunter Bubba, keeps demanding Bubba work quicker, and bring back Shelley's sex-toy/son/clone to where Shelley can do as he pleases with Kenny.

The armless Cassidy, Ludwig's girlfriend, has fallen in love with Kenny and is not sure how to tell Ludwig.

Kenny has fallen in love with the Lord, and then, with Cassidy. There's seems to be a pure, untainted love.

Gabe, also in love with the Lord, is denying his new-found love for Kenny, whose pheremones cause everyone to fall in love with him.

Gabe's girlfriend, the psychic Britney, is tired of it all and only wants she and Gabe to be happy together. To achieve this, she's willing to use a wish on her magic Lobster Claw. Gabe refuses pagan help, though, and quickly becomes infatuated with formerly retired Acadian Christian folk-singer Sabine Dijon. Britney does not like being two-three-and-four-timed by Gabe

Butch, Cassidy's one-armed twin,and the sensually vulgar woman who kidnapped, from Dr. Shelley, Kenny to Las Vegas, is upset that her hard work in brainwashing Kenny into her sex slave has been for naught, since Kenny has gone off with Gabe to learn the ways of God. She's rabidly on the hunt of Kenny herself, and will stop at nothing to get him back. Even if it means killing him.

Just as Bubba and Butch are about to fight over which of them gets Kenny, Gabe stops the proceedings with news that Kenny is now off-limits, now that he's in the religious sanctuary of the church Gabe newly purchased, formerly known as the Xanadu Casino, now known as the Xanadu Holy Roller Disco Experience and Church.

What will happen this week? Come find out tonight at the Arts Guild.

Or don't.

Sunday, October 3

Busy Beaver

I've been a pretty busy lad the last couple of weeks, hence the lack of postings lately. Days have been very busy with work, and nights have been filled with rehearsals and/or preparations for Enemies.

Then, to cap it off, I've been working all week as an actor on a short film that's being produced, hopefully in time for the next Reel Island Film Festival. So, yesterday, for example, I showed up at 8:30 for the film shoot. Did that until 4:45, then rushed, late, to a 4:30 rehearsal which was supposed to go until 6:30. Then back to another location at 7 for another hour of shooting. (Un)Fortunately, the rehearsal got screwed up and it only lasted until 5:30, so I actually had time to go and eat something.

After 8, I came home and got to work on preparing the music cues for the next episode of Enemies. That took me to 1:00am.

The last few days, hours like that have been the rule, not the exception. Luckily, the stuff I'm doing (except for the Work work) is fun.

Still, looking forward to getting back to a more leisurely paced day.

And, to once again posting more consistently, in terms of frequency.

Walter Johnson

Boys, this game isn't any fun if you don't get a hit once in a while.

I forget where I read it, but I saw Walter Johnson's name somewhere in reference to baseball at the beginning of the 20th century. It reminded me of the great song about Walter Johnson, performed by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers. I really only know about Walter through Jonathan's song, but, based solely on that, he seems like a pretty interesting fellow. I love the idea of a pitcher purposefully allowing opposing players to hit the ball, so that they'd enjoy the game a bit more.

I'm an occasional fan of Jonathan Richman. I like a bunch of his songs, but can't really listen to many of them in a row. His style and talent wears on me when there's too much of him, I think. When a Richman songs comes on in a random rotation, though, it's always great to hear it.

I remember where I read it. A sports article about the Expos moving to Washington. Walter Johnson played for the Washington Senators, back one of those times when there was a Washington Senators team.

Check out this song. I bet, like all of baseball, you'll come to love and respect the player.

Download Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - Walter Johnson.mp3 (3404.0K)

Friday, October 1

The Perfect Formula

I am so confident that I have tweaked my system to perfection, that I am guaranteeing 10 of 14 correct.

Here are this week's picks (winner in all caps):

CINCINATTI at Pittsburgh - This is one of those close picks where I pick opposite to whom I think will win. The Bengals will surprise... wait, does that mean I think the Bengals will win? Should I really pick the Steelers? One pick in, and I'm already confused. Remember the guarantee, Rob. Remember the guarantee. Yes, I think Pittsburgh will win, so I pick Cincinatti.

INDIANAPOLIS at Jacksonvilee - see using last week's plan (picking only the opposite to what I thought) I'd have to go with the Jags on this one. But this time I'm using a distilled version of last week's plan, combined with my good old absolute certainty. I am certain the Colts (they'll be this year's SB champs) will win.

NEW ENGLAND at Buffalo - Oh how I'd love the Bills to win. But they won't. Pats win (damn them to hell).

New York Giants at GREEN BAY - Green Bay will win. Giants have already peaked for the season.

Oakland at HOUSTON - This is one of those inverse picks. Too close to call, so I go against the team I think will win. See, it's simplicity itself, my plan.

PHILADELPHIA at Chicago - Another no-brainer. But watch for the upset, Rob. Nope, not this week. Eagles win.

Washington at CLEVELAND - I'm confused again. I expect the Redskins to win, so I pick the Browns. However, I will not be surprised by a Cleveland upset, which means perhaps I should pick against that eventuality... No, I pick Browns to win. See? Simplicity itself.

Atlanta at CAROLINA - I don't care at all about this game. I'm not even gonna try and figure out my plan on this game. I'm just going with the home team. Whatever. Is anybody reading anyway?

New Orleans at ARIZONA - This is the pick that propels me into double-digit correctness this week.

Denver at TAMPA BAY - Denver wins, so I pick Tampa Bay.

NEW YORK at Miami - I always pick Miami, right, but with the Opposite Day pick I should pick the Jets. But if I really pick the Jets to win, then I'd be picking the Dolphins. See? This week, I actually think Miami is going to pull an upset and win. So, I go with the Jets.

Tennessee at SAN DIEGO - Do you think I'm picking the Chargers because I think they're a shoe-in to win, or because I think the Titans will really win and it's an opposite pick. If you follow football, you know the answer to that, don't you.

St. Louis at SAN FRANSISCO - For a second, I convinced myself that the Rams were sure to win this game so I was ready to pick them. But then I realised that the Rams will never be sure to win a game this year. Even over the pathetic 49ers. So, since I think the Rams will likely win, I gotta go San Fran.

Kansas City at BALTIMORE - I fully expect KC to come out of their slump this game and win it. But not enough to waste my pick on them. KC wins, but I pick the Ravens to win.

There, a guaranteed double-digit correct pick this week. Guaranteed.