Wednesday, November 30

A Week And A Day Away

Sketch22 Christmas Poster 2005
Originally uploaded by The Annekenstein Monster.

The Sketch22 Christmas show is only a week away.
We've been asked a lot: "Is your show going to be sacrilegious?"
I usually start to ask: Can you define sacrilegious?, but end up just saying: "Yeah. Probably."

Sunday, November 27

My Music - A Snippet

From Steverinoland, comes this somewhat interesting survey of one's own music library:



first - 'Til The Money Runs Out - Tom Waits
last - Zoom Zoom Zoom - Nissan TV/Radio Commercial Music


longest - King of Rock (Charlie Chan Megamix) - Run DMC - 15:50
shortest - This Is Stupid - The Bloodhound Gang - 0:10


first - !!! - !!!  (the band's name is "!!!", and their album is called "!!!"  The song is "Intensify")
last - Zulu Workers Choirs In South Aftrica - King Boys - song: Just A Closer Walk With Thee


1. "Swamp" - Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense - 7 plays
2. "See The Constellation" - They Might Be Giants - Apollo 18 - 7 plays
3. "Rubber Biscuit" - The Blues Brothers - The Best of The Blues Brothers - 6 plays
4. "Take Me I'm Yours" - Squeeze - Singles: 45's and Under - 6 plays
5. "Do You Wanna Dance" - The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations - 6 plays  (this one surprises me)

"Puritans" by Dear Leader, from the album:  All I Ever Wanted Was Tonight  (a song, by the way, that I have never heard.

find “sex.” how many songs come up?- 87 (most are from Ron Sexsmith, though)
find “death.” how many songs come up?- 40 (mostly from the Pixies album "Death to the Pixies" and a couple of Death Cab For Cutie albums)
find “love.” how many songs come up?- 310

A Very Christ-y Sketchmas

For the past couple of months, we, the boys and girl of Sketch22, have been feverishly preparing for our brand new production: a Christmas-themed show of all-new material.
Yes, if you've ever wondered, or cared, what five mostly-atheist comedians have to say about Christmas, this is your chance.  We give the whole Birth of Jesus story a good-old Sketch22 re-telling, and we've got some pretty funny sketches on Modern Christmas too.  You know, the Christmas that revolves more around Santa than Jesus.  Of course, what would a Sketch22 show be without video?  We've got a handful of new videos which will make you laugh, and one which may very well make you cry as you laugh (please note:  Neither laughing nor crying at video is guaranteed.  I mean, we can't anticipate everyone's personality and likes and dislikes who come to our show, right?  And who's to say that you plan to come to the show, full of laughter and ready to use it, and then, just before you go, you learn that your Uncle Bud passed away, and then you go to the show all sad, and don't laugh once because all you can think about is Uncle Bud?  But Uncle Bud wasn't so close to you that his passing would make you cry, so you don't cry either.  Really, it's not Uncle Bud's passing that preoccupies you while at our show. You know, you only met him maybe seven times, and one of those times you are pretty sure he tried to hit on you.  No, it's not Dead Uncle Bud that keeps you from laughing and/or crying.  It's the whole notion of death and your mortality.  You're getting up there in age and there is still so much left to do.  What have you done with your life, really?  A job you really don't like, but you feel you're stuck in it because you got to make money.  And, shit, all those Christmas presents you still have to buy!  Where's the money gonna come from for those?  Surely to God it's not gonna be another year of giving out white t-shirts with some stupid iron-on stencil, is it?  Well, at least you don't have to buy for Uncle Bud this year.... Hey, there's a show on here!  Forget about your sad life and look at the funny sketch and/or video!  Why aren't you laughing? Or crying?  What?  Are we supposed to anticipate everybody's frame of mind, and create a show that appeals to the great unwashed majority?  We're not freaking Air Farce, man!... so, yeah, laughing and/or crying is not guaranteed).

The rehearsal period has not been without incident.  (only two of the following incidents are true)  First of all, while shooting our opening credits video, Graham fell down the escalator at the Confederation Court Mall and broke a bone in his "piggy went wee wee wee all the way home" toe.  He's been hobbling around ever since and has been pretty grouchy.  An interesting side-note:  Every time we've filmed opening credits for our shows, at least one of us has been kicked out of the Confederation Court Mall.  Second, well into the rehearsal period, Andrew (with tears in his eyes.  Seriously.) tells us he can't be in the show because he's moving to Saint John for a few months.  As a replacement, our very own Jason Rogerson is adding "actor" to his current Sketch22 resume which already includes Writer, Producer and Masseuse.  Third, Dennis has had strep throat and has only been able to communicate at most rehearsals through navy signal code (which he learned, he told us, during a stint in the Canadian Navy).  It took the rest of us quite a while to learn the flag and lights language, but we can pretty much decipher his petulant wants and demands now, so all is good there.  Fourth, I have been on jury duty (maybe I shouldn't say this, but I'm one of the Saddam Hussein jurors!) and making it to all the rehearsals has been tricky, what with all the attempts on my life by Husseinites.  And fifth, Josh has been living in Toronto and, suffice to say, he hasn't made the daily commutes to rehearsal (I mean, the city's new bus service is only so good, right?)

Despite all these rehearsal setbacks, we've come up with what I think is going to be a kick-ass show.  Lots of funny stuff.  And like Nils told me once:  I know funny.  Yeah, it's probably sacrilegious, but only to the point where we question whether the birth of Jesus actually happened like it says in the bible, and you know, whether God would be brought up on rape charges, were he to impregnate a modern-day Mary.  If that's sacrilegious to you, well, then come to the show and allow yourself to be infuriated.

Sketch22's Christmas show runs Dec.8-Dec.11, and then again Dec.15, Dec.16 & Dec.18... basically, runs two weekends:  Thursday, Friday, Saturday Sunday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday...

Hey, we'll also have a Sketch22 DVD for sale at our shows.  Believe it or not, a Sketch22 DVD makes the perfect stocking stuffer.

Tuesday, November 15

I'm 24, Going On 41

I've often thought that I behave younger than my "real" age. In my mind, I'm still a young guy, even though my physical body tells me otherwise.
Well, now it's official. According the the scientific computations based on this test, I act as if I'm 24 years old. I think, though, that this low number has more to do with me answering "Spongebob Squarepants" than anything else.
Those who know me, what age do you think I exist at?
What age do you act?

You Are 24 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Friday, November 11

Fun To Be A Habs Fan

Has it been 12 years since the Canadiens have won a Stanley Cup?  My goodness, I'm starting to know what it's like to be a Maple Leafs fan.  This could be the year that Montreal surprises everyone and wins it all!  Not so for the Leafs, I don't think.  Their team is, right now, as good as it's going to get this year, and that's not good enough.
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with the new NHL.  The rules, and enforcing those rules, seems to be making a difference.  It's a much more offensively oriented game now, it seems, and that's always fun to watch.  Especially after a decade of The Trap.
Has there been a more exciting team to follow than the Canadiens?  Every game, it seems, comes down to the wire, with the Habs pulling out another tough win after another.  Last night they lost to the Penguins in a shootout, but I can't be too upset when Crosby is the guy who scored the winning goal.  The difference I notice between the Canadiens and the teams they play against is the hustle.  Game after game, shift after shift, play after play, the Montreal players seem to be simply beating the opponents to the puck.  They have a very fast, agressive style that seems to work in this new NHL.

I'll say it now, Dewey-like:

Habs Win Cup in '06

Thursday, November 10

TSN Turning Point

Was watching a bit of the RedWings v. Kings game last night on TSN.  At the end of each hockey broadcast, they offer their TSN Turning Point.  The moment in the game where the momentum switches from one team to the other, I suppose.  Last night's Turning Point, they decided, was the winning goal.  Okay, except the winning goal was scored in overtime.
Now, I may be wrong, but I don't think the sudden-death winning goal can be considered the turning point in a game.  Wouldn't that be the Ending Point?

Sunday, November 6

"No Show" Jones

I'm a pretty big fan of George Jones.  Truthfully, not much of a fan of his later (past 15 years) stuff, but I love his 60's, 70's and early 80's songs.  Frank Sinatra once said of George Jones (paraphrasing): He has the second best voice in America.
So, back in the spring, when I was working at CFCY, and I heard that CFCY was presenting George Jones' performance in November in Charlottetown, I put out feelers for free radio station tickets.  I got lucky as the station's new Promotions Director, who, unknown to anyone, was going to quit the next day, gave me two tickets.
Not really knowing anyone else who was much of a George Jones fan, I asked my father if he wanted to go with me.  He said he wasn't a huge Jones fan, but he'd go with me if there was nobody else who would rather go.
Making the date, I put the tickets in my wallet.  This was in the spring.  Over the summer I had thought of, and looked forward to the concert, quite a few times.
Last night at about 11:30, I heard a country-ish song on some TV commercial which reminded me of George Jones.  That made me think the tickets in my wallet.  "Hmm", I thought, "that concert is in November sometime?"  I go to my wallet, get the tickets and see:

George Jones, November 5 -  8pm -  Charlottetown Civic Centre

I missed the show!  I'm an idiot!
I wonder if it was a good show?  I didn't hear anything about it.  I even wonder if it took place?  I assume it did.

Thursday, November 3

Cletus Dunn Thinks Big

More out-loud thinking like this, please.  I have no idea whether his suggestions are viable or cost-effective, but Alberton/Mimigenish MLA Cletus Dunn should be commended for being willing to be criticized for such grandiose thoughts.
I particularly like elementary school being grades 1-9.

TV Guide - Unsubscribe

TV Guide is a, ahem, magazine that we've always just subscribed to.  Used to be, it was invaluable for tv listings.  I've realised recently, that over the past few years, I've been relying on TV Guide less and less for listings information.  Partly this is due, I think, to my watching less television, and knowing precisely when the shows I do watch are on.  Occasionally, TV Guide will hip me to an interesting show that I might not otherwise have known about.  More than ever, it's now simply the magazine I pick up and read when in the bathroom.
The articles in TV Guide have been bugging me for quite some time.  I dislike the, ahem, journalistic approach they seem to favour (very too much fluff and very pro-CTV Global programs) and do not agree with their opinions very often.  And it's very much a female-oriented magazine, with far too much emphasis on fashion.
I've been thinking, for a while, of cancelling my subscription, but never got around to it.
Now, with this week's edition, I have the reason to do so.  This week, TV Guide presented to the people of Atlantic Canada (and Ontario and Quebec), their new "Eastern Edition".  Now, all listings are presented in Eastern Time zone only.  That means that we in Atlantic Canada now must convert the times listed to our time zone.  Sure, this is fairly simple, by adding an hour to all the listings, but it really bugs me that we have to do that.  It bugs me because they're implying that this change is somehow an improvement to their customers.  Obviously, to us in Atlantic Canada, it is not an improvement, and obviously, this is a cost-cutting measure.  But it is a pain in the ass.  A slight pain in the ass, but, principly, a pain in the ass, nonetheless.
It bugs me enough to email TV Guide and cancel the remainder of my subscription, and that's what I did on Monday..  So far, I haven't heard back from them, but I'm interested to hear how spin this.
I'll post their reply if a) I ever get one, and b) it's interesting enough to post.