Estella's Revenge

Andi and the gang over at Estella's Revenge have come up with Issue #2 of their webzine and it's about time!

I thought Issue #1 had effectively answered all my questions on life, sex, death, and meatballs. But now I find myself with new questions and a strange itch. And there they are!

Read it, live it, contribute to it!

Giving Maya The Finger

I love reading about Chelene's excursions through glorious NYC. There is bliss.

Today she went to a book store. She had some interesting things to say about how she chooses her next reading targets.

She also mentioned renowned poetess Maya Angelou. There is bile.

Whenever anyone mentions Maya, two things happen. I remember that she said this:

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!

Um, Maya? We don't need another she-roe.


I think of David Allen Grier years ago spoofing her on SNL in a commercial parody for Butterfinger chocolate bars. If you've heard Maya read any of her poetry, this will seem funnier no doubt, read on:

The wind. The rain. The fire.

The Butterfinger.

Did the Caveman know your delicious goodness?
Did the Mayan Priest exhalt in your buttery crunchiness?
Did the slothful Mastodon, upon his extinction, declare,
"Don't lay a finger on my Butterfinger?"

Oh, you finger of butter!
You proud confection!
Sugar brown roasted peanuts,
fructose, glucose, sucrose, lactose,
partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil.
Crispity, crunchity, peanut buttery--

I... give... myself... to... you.


Glad mantle of golden chocolatey hope upon my breast.

From: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/96/96kangelou1.phtml


It was either a pill or a piece of candy. Those were my options.

The firm but non-threatening voice coming from the speaker box behind me next to the door I'd been led through {click} offered me a simple choice: Would you like a pill? Or a piece of candy?

I'd volunteered my Saturday away for a couple hundred bucks. I'd been hearing the radio ads for a long time. You know the ones - Are you under 30, male and a non-smoker? ReoVeen Labs is conducting short term clinical trials and we want to pay you for your time and opinions. Call today for more information.

Finding yourself down on your options can sometimes make some things seem more like an opportunity than a risk. A phone call and a signing trip through a passel of disclaimers and here I am.

Alone in a small room barely able to contain the small white table and chair, the couple of unblinking corner mounted eyes and me.

It's so quiet in here. Someone is waiting for me to make a decision. This seems simple.

Candy, I break the quiet with. Half a moment passes and then a small panel I hadn’t had time to notice fssshts open at my left. I can easily reach in and retrieve the single pastille without getting up.

The only sound I am aware of beyond my breathing is of the wrapper as it says goodbye to its raison d'etre.

As I place the candy in my mouth, I feed the wrapper back into the white space.

The panel closes as my lips meet each other again.

Now I add the noise of hard candy clicking against teeth as my tongue forces acquaintance.

This butterscotch somehow reminds me of the warmth I feel when I drink a good cup of coffee. It’s like a warm all over reward you might get after mastering exquisite timing --

you hustle into a cafe seconds after a sudden summer downpour’s begun. You’re a little damp but not a disaster, your friends are there, you hadn't expected it and couldn't have planned it better. You shake off the few drops that have found you and you’re ready for anything. It's a day to sit, laugh, and sip.

It’s like a commercial only it’s your life. Everything is good.

I’m thinking about this and how good it made me feel.

Funny how I rarely drink coffee anymore, there’s so much other choice when it comes to beverage. Plus, if you don't know how to pronounce all the new words for small, medium and large, even the process of getting one can be daunting.

This whole coffee culture that's sprung up around me amuses me. Do people really believe they can’t function without the stuff? We all know better.

The voice comes through the speaker again. I’m told that I can now sign out and collect my earnings. How strange, this has to be the easiest money I’ve ever made. I’m soon on my way.

I step out into the sun and begin walking toward the bank. It’s amazing how a few simple zeroes can change your mood so quickly. Stepping lively, I'm already forgetting that I’ve spent mere minutes fleeceing a large company out of a large amount of cash for nothing.

You know what would be great right about now?

Gymnopedie #1

Here's a link to a flash presentation of a musical piece by Erik Satie with words by Kathryn Rantala I saw on Robert's site.


Unfinished Business

My recent confession about the number of unread books surrounding me here at the manse has led me to realize there are other matters also wanting my attention.

There are newspapers to peruse, magazine subscriptions to ignore, films to watch, yardwork to do and piles to go before I read.

There is so much music for me to absorb or absolve myself of. I download, buy and preview a lot of music. No harm there. But, apart from the many songs I know very well, there are at least 402 songs on my iPod which are but mere acquaintances and friends of friends. Will I ever get to them and decide if I actually like them?

Did I mention also that I'm behind in my film watching? When I am book ordering, I tend to accidentally add a movie or two to the mix, you know, to make me more well rounded and to get that free super slider sno-skate shipping.

Super slider sno-skates? Apart from the catchy name, I remember these from my childhood. They would fit over your winter boots, laced up pieces of moulded plastic. Plastic that would help you hurtle down a snow covered hill at speeds too dangerous for city streets. I never dared lace a pair on feeling the sliding sheet of death known as the Krazy Karpet fulfilled my terror fantasy needs.

Back to my regularly scheduled blog entry. I presently have 3 blog posts sitting in my Draft file. They may or may not be approved for consumption.

I'm woefully behind on disagreeing with Adam and Sam over at Cinecast, weeks behind. I know how to use my entertainment delivery system, what the hell is wrong with me?

My own analysis of the situation tells me that I procrastinate and that I like to have things to procrastinate about.

I feel that some day, I may end up as a small news item buried in the back pages of the newspaper: His lifeless body was found surrounded by dvd packaging, novelty items from the 70s and one gnarled hand still gripping the mouse mid-transaction at Book Closeouts.

I would worry about this but now is not the time. Now is the time for the potential gripping the mouse jokes.


5 Songs

If you can't find something to like about these 5 songs, I'm breaking up with you. I don't care who you are*.

Twin Cinema byThe New Pornographers

Can't Stand It by Wilco

Human Behavior by Bjork

Wild by Poe

Mornings Eleven by The Magic Numbers

Empire by Sinead O'Connor (Bomb the Bass)

*Some restrictions may apply


My City Was Gone

Walking along this afternoon to the train station, I'm doing that thing where you're listening to music on headphones but you're trying not to walk too jauntily in time to it in case you look overtly ridiculous? I'm also doing the thing where you don't mouth the words to a song nobody else can hear. I never ever air play anything either. It's these fools that draw the most scorn from me.

So I'm minding my own business, one two stepping down the sidewalk, mouthing the words to Sing Me Spanish Techno and intermittently wailing on my air Jew's harp when I spot her coming from half a block away.

She's got a paper in her hand and looks like she wants directions. Nobody's biting. Including me. I'm not getting sucked into her tractor beam. I'm halfway past her and tasting victory when she makes it personal.

She reaches out and touches my arm. I cringe at being asked for directions as half the time I don't know where the hell I am, let alone where someone else wants to go and plus, I'm in the middle of a performance.

I have to now remove at least one headphone to find out what she wants. She asks gesturing at her handdrawn map, can you tell me where 1 University Avenue is? This is a cinch. She just walked past it and I'm about to do the same but in the other direction.

I gesture toward the building about 15 feet away from where we stand.

1 University Avenue? It's right there.

No, I don't think that's it.

Yes it is, it's that building right there.

No, I don't think so.

See the sign? The one that says 1 University Avenue?

No, I don't think it's that building.

You're on your own.

And she was.


Faster Sharper Ouch

I'm excited to hear that Augusten Burroughs has a new book out on May 2, 2006. It's called Possible Side Effects.

His website has been redesigned and has some pretty decent content including the first chapter of his new book and the trailer for the upcoming film based on his excellent Running With Scissors.

He sounds quite thrilled with the way the film turned out so that's hopeful news. I'm sure it can't be easy to let a book leave your mind and jump up onto the big screen.

I'll go finish obsessing over the website and then maybe go write a book or two.


The Way They Were

I admit that I was a little concerned about how Andrea Bocelli and the kids from Americal Idol would get on. I expected footage of Andrea feeling everyone's faces and necks to see how they shaped up. But nope, David Foster came along for the ride and was in awesome bitch slappin' form. No big love for Mr. Foster but he got those yappy kids to shut up and listen for a minute.

A few sour notes (Hi Paris!):

I'm colour blind and think that I could have done better than that inflammatory one/two pink/blue shirt/tie combo Ryan. Amping up the colour volume did not restore Andrea's sight and to boot, I think I'm a little blinder now so, thanks.

The Idols filed in behind the piano as Andrea sang and I will always treasure the does he know we're here looks on their faces.

Katharine - Nice Polly Pissy Pants dress there. Ditto on the panty lines and squished in boobs.
I thought you did a good job but I may have just been confused by the dress.

And can't your stupid father stay at home and cry? I hope he's on the disability so he doesn't have the shame of going back to work and trying to figure out how to keep that soggy head of his up.

Elliott - Way to go snagging all that camera time and kicking the shit out of that song. This was your night. Once you make small 's' stars like Kevin Nealon tear up, you're golden. Best singing of the night.

Best breakdown of the night? Who could top a tear streaked Paula Abful declaring her love for you on national television? Whoever signed her up for 3 more years of crazy knows what they're doing, she's thisclose.

Unchained Melody - unroll that corn cob out of your harr and stop singing this shit if you can't sing this shit. You figure Sela Ward's gonna spot for you? Let me know how that goes.

Paris and Joely Fisher up a tree F-A-I-L-I-N-G. Picture this, you, on a turntable, with a car, singing Volare but in a really pitchy ear splitting way.

Ladies and gentlemen, the role of the Velveteen Rabbit will be played by Taylor Hicks.
The role of Tori Spelling will be played by parts made up of the old Tori Spelling.

I don't know if it was my HD or what but there was either dandruff, lint or some low grade glitter on Taylor's shoulders. Smooth.

Chris - David told you you needed to use your diaphragm, not your hooker wife's diaphragm. Hate your warble and hate that you look like a really intense tall Mini Me.

I can't wait to see if they keep up with the mood lighting and blind guys theme next year.

This Little Light Of Mine

If I download gospel music without paying for it, does this mean I'm going to hell for Jesus?


All Gassed Up And No Place To Go

On the weekend I noticed that the price of gas fluctuated here a fair bit.

At the highest I noticed, it hit $1.08 per litre. Sad faces all around the pumps but hey whaddayagonnado?

On Sunday, mid-afternoon, I was alerted by the sounds of screeching tires to a dramatic dip all the way down to $1.04. Wow, they're practically giving the shit away!

Cars clamoured and jostled for a taste. There was even an ambulance that ended up in the fray.
I swear I saw someone in the back begging to be let out to fill up their i.v.

Now when I go out for a ride with my buddies, who's laughing?
Nobody Motherfuckers!

My Man Gadfly

You know the old tenet that you should dress for the job you want and not the one you have?

Well, here I sit looking as much as I can like the well heeled cad I aspire to (part time basis only).

Why then, does everyone around me look like they’re dressing for unemployment?


Owls In The Family

Today I saw a Canada goose walking across my street. I live in a city so it was a little bit of a surprise. Generally the only wildlife I see up close is my creepy neighbors across the fence.

Said goose was padding across the street from in front of the house two doors away and was just making it to the sidewalk. He meandered along hopefully into the park and then field not far away. I just kept my distance as they can be rather nasty creatures.

In the house the goose seemed to be leaving lives a gentleman of perhaps 40 years of age. He lives there with his mother who is perhaps 65. Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64? Yes, and then some Mum. He has never left home. Or if he has, somebody's brought him right back.

On occasion, he can be seen wandering the area hauling a child's wagon through the neighborhood loaded down with groceries. Other times the wagon is filled with cardboard or bottles and cans. He's looking for redemption but he's a few recyclables short of salvation if you ask me.

Rather than a front lawn, the odd couple has cultivated quite a sanctuary for birds and other small animals. There are lots of trees and shrubs almost obscuring the front of the house and the lawn is actually more made up of a flowering ground cover rather than grass.

Because mowing my own lawn feels like it's beneath me, I am thinking it may be thyme for me to follow suit with the ground cover idea. Thanks neighborhood wagon man.

So why did the goose cross the road after leaving the yard of my peculiar neighbors on this wet and wonderful Sunday afternoon? Perhaps a piece of the bird's natural habitat had found it's way onto the wagon and the goose was just settling accounts?

Now that I think of it, I haven't seen either of the neighbours since I saw the goose.

Well, what's good for the goose is just fine by me.


Must Be Luff

If I love reading so much, why do I have so many unfinished and never started books piling up around me? Huh? Well? Oh, and I just ordered more.

I'd ask the Amazon whore for some wisdom but looks like that's me.

Senses Working Overtime

I miss the smell of books and the stores that use to rent space to them.

Where is the music of promise created by footfalls on warped floorboards beckoning me toward an unexamined stack? The Strand will sing to me again.
Magic both light and dark still awaits discovery. It is just rarely found anymore in a wonderfully haphazardly piled arrangement.

I must seek out grander examples of the hallowed halls I miss and that are worthy of such memories. Munro's will help me in my quest.

Three F's and Two 3's

Before you consider that I must be worth keeping alive, take a closer look at me. Lying here, inert.

Yes, I'm still breathing and I can hear you but this shell now houses function, not life. You'll hurt less, faster if you let me go now.

You know if I could, I'd sit up and say something idiotic - 'if they can muffle a car or a gun, why the fuck can't they do something about the noise from these Darth Vader breathing tubes!?' I can't and I won't.

Picking up that pen will help you write an ending to this story so you can start a new one when you're ready to start reading again.

Do it. Sign it for both of us my love. At least consider it.


The Agony And The Ecstasy

There’s not much to do in Canada when we’re not picking up litter. Since Chelene now has me afraid of Anna Wintour and her evil powers, I’m thinking of turning Margaret Atwood in for causing me to see her twice in a short span and for crimes against the clothing industry.

Maggie’s at it again folks, standing on street corners, talking, gesturing, behaving like a human being. I was walking from lunch with Jessica when we nearly ran over her yesterday at the corner of University & King.

If she was going for a coat that was way too long, helped make her look even shorter, and did not match the weather, she nailed it. I do applaud the courtesy she showed to passersby in keeping that hair under wraps. It was encased in a floppy velveteen hat that any 5 year old girl would have been proud to wear at the first Easter parade she clearly remembered attending. One more sighting and I'm getting a restraining order.

I used to see another Canadian celeb, Jackie Burroughs, frequently when I worked at Yonge & Bloor. She would always be rushing through the concourse that fed my office tower.

You may remember Jackie from such ventures as Road to Avonlea where she played someone. I couldn’t tell you who as I never watched the show, I just know that it had a following, she was on it and it's where Sarah Polley got her start.

Let’s get this over with right now. Other celebrities I have been stalked by –

Doris Roberts (Lorena & I were half following her - a slow adventure - when she turned around and asked us for directions back to her hotel - very crafty Doris)

Rob Lowe with his wife (years ago in Yorkville – no video camera in sight)

author Pierre Berton (no, not back from the grave but I’d see him downtown occasionally – he was about 100 feet tall and always with the bow tie)

Malcolm McDowell (filming here on the Danforth several summers ago - a long way from A Clockwork Orange)

Diane Keaton (shopping in the Toronto's since departed Tower Records – wearing fierce witch pointed boots)

Gabriel Byrne (walking in NYC)

Matt Damon & Andy Garcia (filming a scene from Ocean’s Eleven in Bellagio in Las Vegas)

Daphne Rubin Vega (Central Park – singing her Mimi song from RENT ‘Take Me Out’ for an Aids Day benefit)

Who else? I’m sure I’ve missed a few but will add them as they re-enter my brain.

And then...

Catherine O'Hara having lunch with her swingin' singin' sister Mary Margaret in Hazleton Lanes in Yorkville -- I still love Mary Margaret's Miss America, one of my all time favourite 'albums'

Ben Stiller & Jack Black filming a scene for Envy in Rome on the Via Condotti

Paul Giamatti in the airport lounge at LaGuardia

Kim Cattrall being ushered into first class ahead of the rest of us peons on a flight to NYC. Now I understand why everyone should have their own hair and makeup people at all times.

Barbara Walters talking to Debra Roberts in front of Radio City before the Daytime Emmys

Another Radio City sighting was walking by the premiere of one of the Harry Potter movies - saw Professor Snape, Hermione, Ron Weasley, Hagrid but alas, no H.P.

Seen at various shows in NYC - Lainie Kazan, Jane Krakowski, Margaret Colin, Dina Merrill but none of them even gave me the time of day.


I'm Washing My Hair That Day

I’m a little conflicted over the idea of a clean up day here in the city.

I do my part in recycling, I don't litter and I’ll generally stop to pick something up that a lesser mortal has thrown to the ground rather than just walking over it.

I do wish everyone was as perfect as me but you know how that goes.

So, during this polyphonic clean up spree, where will all the city workers who were hired this job the rest of the time be? Do they all get the day off in recognition of a job poorly done? Or will they be busy lodging grievances over how their work is being taken over?

Just curious.


Still Diggin' Graves

I can't help it. Shutup. I watched it again. Shutup. American Idol.

The best part of this episode was seeing that beautiful baby Alistair that Rod Stewart had with that fembot cheerleader Penny. We get it Rod, your junk still works.

What was with the rosary you were sporting around your neck? Forget your garlic necklace at home? Never hurts to cover all your bases. Or your age spots.

Chris the bald guy was wearing a cravat. Plus Randy played guitar for him. He did pretty good considering when he goes back to UPS they are gonna kill him for wearing that outfit.

Paris sounded like she'd done a little smack with Aunt Paula before the show. Nice return of the hairpiece. Whinnnny.

Taylor - I love ya but I always feel like when you start dancing someone should be holding your tongue so's you don't swallow it.

Elliott - wow. You even made Paula scratch her nuts there when she critiqued you.

Kelly - wow. You're sorry.

Ace is an uber creepy fuck. He can now join that group Il Gayo. He said about his slicked back hair - I didn't cut it. Say that again.

Catherine - you're so Posh Spice but with posh pipes. You fit the suit. But you're not as good as they say.

First featured celebretard in the audience - Marilu Henner.
Hiding in plain sight and from Scientologists - Mimi Rogers.
Debra Wilson from MAD TV who plays Oprah in Scary Movie 4.
Michael Crapaport and some other nuts and bolts.


My psychic mind control finally worked -- see you Ace!


When you’re a corporate shill, your duties may include finding new ways to sell the same old thing and making it sound new and improved. From time to time, you may be forced to think up new ways to use old words to do this. You may then promote the use of these words until everyone has adopted them and then find new ones to push.

For the record, I am not a shill nor a lackey and this leaves me squarely in the centre of things.

A few years ago, the word in the halls here was pushback. Say it with me boys and girls – pushback.

Our company was going through some changes and pushback entered the local lexicon through a particularly impassioned speech given by our CEO.

Pushback, rather than feedback, allowed us the impression that not only could we provide ideas but that they now might actually be considered before being deemed too logical and thrown out in favour of setting up a committee to study the problem.

Within moments of this word having been uttered by such an enlightened being, it seemed everyone found a way to work it into conversation. That scared me a little.

It still gets bandied on occasion although we’ve since realized that our pushback is in fact going straight to a suggestion box that someone long ago lost the key to. That’s okay, I Am Joe’s Apathy.

Following a recent regime change, there has been a spate of new terms provided for everyday consumption, digestion and general pot lucking.

One such example is that the division I once worked in has been rezoned into a cluster. When I think of cluster, candy comes to mind but sometimes also, clusterfuck pops into my head. I don’t know if this is a real or imagined word but I plan to look it up.

Another choice example is now, rather than simply forwarding important email communiqués to others, we are encouraged to cascade them. I’ll get right on that chief.

I would cascade my fear and disappointment in this useless behaviour to senior management but I’m afraid they’d find a job for me as a reimagineer.


Baby It's Cold Outside

One of my favourite essays is by Clive James. It's called A Blizzard Of Tiny Kisses and it deals with...well, just read it. If you don't find it funny, I'll give you back your money.

Thanks Swagy for reminding me about Clive as I'd lost touch with him.

Jamie Foxx Gives Me Worms

Except in Ray. And on In Living Color. Everything else - worms.


I came across a radio station on the weekend that seemed to be featuring a couple of rarities - old tyme country music (which I grew up on and pretend not to like) and something of a unique deejay. By unique, I mean, one that stammered, stuttered, generally mixed things up and said I'm sorry several times. This hapless creature did not seem capable of getting the songs she was announcing to play after she'd announce them. She would therefore subsititute another song and talk over it as it played to apologize for the mishap.

During the news and weather, she decided to insert some jokes she said she had 'left over' from the morning in between poorly read items. The 'jokes' which were actually riddles had nothing whatever to do with the news.

Her crowning achievement I think, was to announce in her most optimistic tone that the early morning fog we were experiencing was expected to dissippitate within the next little while. I'm still looking for that one in the dickshunary.

On first listen I thought she might be new or nervous. It was humourous but also a bit perplexing. After I'd had my fill of laughing at her in between song banter and antics, I thought I should as a public service track her down and fire her myself for the greater good.

Just as I was approaching her from behind, she announced that the station I had come across was completely run by volunteers. If any of the other non-hired help were as good as this dolly, I think the apt label would be voluntards.

But...being the giving soul that I am, I forgave her instantly and thought, how nice that someone in this day and age allows something so obviously not overproduced but made just for the sheer enjoyment and love of doing it to go out over the crowded and clouded airwaves.

To you, fair maiden of the corn fields -- Sah-lute!


This is Pop?

In honour of the torture that I put my mother through each Easter, I have spent many seconds composing something worthy of her ire:

All around the burning bush
The heathens chased the Jesus
They tacked him up but three days in
Pop! goes the Jesus

Poor Mothra. Every year she falls victim to my retelling of the same old jokes, never remembers the punchline and is suitably horrified when I relate the following:

What did Jesus say while he was up on the cross?
Get my flats, these spikes are killing me.

And on and on.

I am a bad son. I'm good with that though.

The N Word




And Margaret Atwood.

Norma was such a great closer to my little opera season and a relief overall.

For the first time in many a show, there was a spontaneous and full bodied ovation after the performance and not just one of those half assed justifying the price of my night out ovations from a smattering of people. I don’t care who you are – if you suck, I ain’t standing and I ain’t clapping.

I didn’t have to worry about any of that as the performances were all excellent. When June Anderson in the title role and Marianna Kulikov as Adalgisa (Hi Analgesic) blended their voices together in those lovely arias, I had to choke back the tears. And Zdenek Plech as Oroveso and Attila Fekete as Pollione were very powerful as well .

It’s nights like this that make my spirit remember why it takes me to the opera. When everything comes together, there is no other force like it.

The popsicle sticks that made up the majority of the set I guess were to signify something - maybe the tenuous grip on morality that Norma and the rest of us all have? The lighting was good and the sets unobtrusive actually so I'm just being mean.

Swerve. It must be my week for sighting authors. Sitting two rows ahead of me was literary giant and walking nest Margaret Atwood. She hasn’t dragged a comb through that hair since the time that dinosaur bone she was using broke off and she gave up.

Sporting what looked like a bad home perm and a blonde feature softening rinse, she politely smiled at everyone who spied her magnificence at intermission.

This is why people like Maggie are rolling in the dough, it's all that money saved from pricey haircuts. National treasure indeed.


Sadness Abounds

Looking over my last few posts, I'm so screwed: Garth Brooks, American Idol, shit and opera.

Maybe I'll change things up and do something on the Care Bears?

Or maybe I'll just watch this until I know all the words:


This Better Be Good

I'm counting on Norma tonight to restore my faith in what has been something of a rocky season of opera this year.

The website encourages me:

Norma is arguably the greatest female role in all opera, made famous by the popularity of the divinely beautiful aria, "Casta Diva."
We shall see.

You Can't Spell Pool Without Poo

The hotel I stayed in last weekend had a pool. They still have it I guess if you want to get technical.

Because there was a hockey tournament in town, there were scores of children and families in the hotel.

On Sunday, someone shit in the pool.

This meant it was closed for cleaning the whole day. That must have been some turd.

So. Extreme or not, I think the punishment meted out should have been the entire family lined up and is shot. With shit guns. And then real ones.


Queen For A Day

I like Queen.

I also like the way the Idol hopefuls don't seem to have any idea who they were or are now. Because it's meaner to pretend I don't know their names, let's just say everyone including me should have been frightened by the sight of the faces and hair choices of the main 2 Still Alive Crew.

They bitch slapped Ace pretty hard by telling him they wouldn't play his arrangements. It's cool to see people who formerly had integrity tell someone with none how it goes.

I also enjoyed the way the bald guy had his hooker wife pencil in some extra stubble this week and how he wore extra eyeliner for Ryan. Speaking of beards, how's Teri Snatcher doing Ryan?

Bad song choice bald guy, one only an ardent fan would know and one Queen had never performed live. If Freddie Mercury didn't think he could pull it off, what makes you think you could?

As I think back on the show, apathy washes over me (and not soon enough). Although entertaining to a point, I'm glad I'm going to miss the vote off show due to loftier committments.

And that's that. I'm lame and boring, just like the show.

This One Time At Band Camp?

Having someone say this about my post on Garth Brooks' ex-wife and her kidnapper: I heard the guy was her boyfriend. Which, from the looks of her, is a job.
reminded me of the time that a large and in charge lady at work said she was going on a warm weather vacation and someone pulled me aside and said:

That's a lot to ask of the sun.

The Importance Of Being Earnest

If you’re like me or want to be like me, then the following may apply:

While waiting to board any flight, it is essential that you scan the waiting area and pick out the people you think are worthy of sitting next to you.

Then you pick out the people that will probably end up seated next to you.

Once you’ve successfully passed the cursory glance at your passport station, you quietly and efficiently take your seat. Then the dangerous game begins.

You hold your breath as the trolls drag and thump themselves down the aisle toward you and thankfully past you and your lovely window seat.

Oh man, look at this one! There’s no way I could possibly put up with this. If he stops or makes any movement toward that middle seat next to me, I’ll signal one of the freshly scrubbed flight attendants and they’ll immediately spot the mix up and get rid of him.

Ah, he’s gone past. I’m safe.

But wait, it seems like he can’t read or follow the complex sequential row numbering system. He backs up and harumphs his way down beside me.

Without exaggerating, he was a lovely mix of both Hagrid and the homeless guy I try to dodge every day on my way to work. Anything 7 feet tall and sporting a bushy beard is a hard sell for being attractive. The good thing was that he smelled like a man half his size.

Wouldn't a lummox like this would feel more at home in the cargo hold? A petite young thing sat on the aisle seat and we both nestled into the caverns of his armpits.

I earnestly began avoiding even sideways glances at him, one because I couldn't see around him and two, I was scared I might spot signs of new life in his beard. This strategy worked wonderfully and got me home without any further incident.

Oh, and when he slopped bits of chicken sandwich? It was all over the poor girl’s leg on the other side of him and not on mine.



Clap Roll Bapsi

It's not every day you hear someone on a phone say "hi Sandra? It's Bapsi."

Did I hear that right? Bapsi?

Thankfully, there is a seat between us on the plane. On this seat she has placed her purse. From her purse, her boarding card can be seen. I can see one name but not the other. The name I can see is Bapsi.

This is before takeoff.

Bapsi yammers away to her friend looking for all the world like an Indian Edith Piaf only Edith I'm fairly certain never appeared in public in a grey sweat pant.

The cell discussion continues until after the rotund stewardess has twice asked her to end the call as the flight will be taking off.

The flight takes off.

I turn my attention to my reading, a humourous book by Iain Levison called A WORKING STIFF'S MANIFESTO [A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit, Nine That Fired Me, and Three I Can't Remember].

She starts in on a regular sized bag of nacho Doritos. She leans over and offers me one. Being the anti-human that I am, I politely give her the brush off and continue on with my reading.

She's eating those Doritos at the rate of one Dorito per minute. This drives me to distraction. Tiny nibbles from each of the corners, several chews per nibble and on she continues. Everyone knows that's not how you eat them. Jeez.

After she gives some chip dust the brush off from her hands to her lap and onto the floor, she takes out a book.

She puts it down after a while between us. The book is called Water. The book jacket says that it's based on the film Water by Deepa Mehta, a film people tell me was very good.

The book jacket says that it's author is Bapsi Sidhwa. Hmm, two seperate Bapsis in one day?

Now I'm curious and want to talk to her mere seconds after having thought maybe I could have her parachuted off the plane for abusing the Doritos that way.

I feel like an idiot. Hi, I couldn't help listening in on your phone call and also looking sideways at your boarding card poking out of your purse and refusing your offer of Doritos but are you....? There's no easy way to do this.

I wait a bit. She flips through the book. She's not actually reading it. Could be that she is the author and is going to do a reading? Seems logical.

I go back to my book and since it's a short flight, toward the end, I say to her How is your book? which, if she did happen to write it, is a loaded question.

She smiles and says it's quite good.

I ask if she enjoyed the film.

She says oh yes, it was very good, have you seen it?

I say that I haven't seen it yet but hear only good things about it.

She then starts asking me something about the weather and then it's pretty much time to go.

Now that I'm home, I look her up and yes, it's her. She is an internationally known author and the photos of her online show a more cleaned up version of her.

I guess I can't fault her or anyone else just because I insist on going formal on these short haul flights anymore anyway.

The most ridiculous part of this story is that of course, because I like to pretend I'm a writer, when she first got on board, I was jotting down a few notes.

I entered her into my note taking because during her phone call, you'd have thought she was at home. She was sitting there with one leg up on the armrest of the person's chair in front of her and swinging her leg, having a grand old time.

I thought to myself who does this chick think she is?

Maybe some day I'll wear grey sweat pants on a flight and confound someone.


This Is How You Remind Me

Seeing a woman sitting ALONE and quite apart from anyone else in an airport lounge reading

reminded me of the time on the subway I saw a woman fast asleep, mouth agape, with this on her lap


Stop, Oh Yes, Wait A Minute Mr. Post-Man

Hey, I made a long weekend. And just before the one next week too! I'm livin' the dream people.


Poor Little Thing

Tricky tricky America.

It was crystal clear that it was Paris or Bucky's turn to go but they zapped Mandisa instead. Sure, she sucked hard but I'm pretty sure the other two were sucking and blowing at the same time. Paris was so relieved she forgot to turn on the waterworks.

Kenny Rogers looking like he may have had even more plastic surgery since last night's show treated us to a heartstoppingly mediocre song. I bet he couldn't even get a babysitter to marry him at this point.

Suggestion - give up the God thing and marry Vin Diesel just so I can call you Mandisa Diesel or ManDiesel for short. Or something like that.

Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song

Because if I’m going to lose my job, it should be while making fun at the expense of others, this just in:

Garth Brooks’ former wife was kidnapped by someone who was wanted on an outstanding warrant. It was noted that he was an employee of hers but in what capacity, I don’t know.

All I was hoping for was that the ransom of never hearing another Idol hopeful do one of Garth’s insipid songs on the show had been paid.

The news blip said Sandy Brooks was forced at gunpoint to drive several miles before she stopped the car and fled into a convenience store.

What happened to the guy with the gun?


They Killed Kenny!

It's official - Kenny Rogers is now a Gabor! And such a bang up job he did coaching the kids this week on American Idol. Nice of him to help most of them suck just as bad as ever.

Since I don't like to unnecesarily pick on anyone or be judgemental, I'll try and limit myself to constructive criticism.

If anyone really liked Ace, they'd push on his diaphragm until his balls dropped and then we might get a song out of him. The only thing he seems to do well is get Paula stuck to her chair.

Ryan did mention though that Ace is single! He's only single because Ryan broke up with him and is dating Teri Snatcher. Love that man stubble she helped you grow.

Catherine looked great, Chris did a good job and Elliot caused Paula to feel he showed careless reckless abandon. In a ballad. Paula Paula Paula. When you do fall ass over tea kettle off that chair and hit your head, I hope I'm watching.

Everyone else was sucky. Although the Pickle had red velvety boobs. And Mandisa had a Navajo caftan. And Bucky wears a felt cowboy hat. And Taylor dyes his brows. And Paris is gonna get the shit beaten out of her by both LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood. And maybe America.


Oi Oy Oi

There's a new show that starts sometime this month on TLC about a real life Rabbi who helps families solve their problems. They're calling it Shalom in the Home. How long before somebody calls this guy Dr. Gefilte Phil? I think I just did.

Sometimes When We Touch

This morning in the elevator lobby at work, there was a new addition to the family. No, there was no live birth right there for all to applaud but rather a lovely and new hand sanitizer dispenser hung by the chimney with care.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this stuff does not taste good. But putting it on your hands, I’ll go along with that.

People have actually made fun of me just because I have a bottle of this gloopy magic sauce right on my desk. ‘Real men don’t sanitize’ and the like.

I tend to find it useful to have a bottle nearby after such non Olympic sports as picking my nose, scratching my ear and sneezing into my hand and looking at it to name a few.

One of the several hundred reasons I'm an advocate for using hand sanitizer is the people I work with. Some might describe this group as business professionals. It would be truer I think to characterize them more as filthy bacteria laden death carriers but that's just me.

Several of the upstanding citizens I'm forced to work in proximity of do not wash their hands after anything they've done in the bathroom. I mean these are the people in my neighborhood damn it!

I'm sure they're in your neighborhood too. Why there's one now telling a funny story and touching your arm in a non threatening work appropriate manner!

Hey, another one just held the door open for you, awww, chivalry's not dead!

Thanks for hitting the elevator button for me, and for wiping your face and then shaking my hand. Don't get any on me is all I want to scream at them.

Having done my part by pointing at the signs that teach you how to wash your hands posted all over the bathroom and telling everyone else your name and dirty little secret, I'd like to say this.

When we all drop dead of the bird flu, look for me. I’ll be the guy with the smug look on his face and all the Purell frequent flyer points. Oh I’ll be dead too but at least my hands will be clean.

Me, Myself and Aiiiieeeee

I was 8 years old when The Thing With Two Heads was released. I remember seeing it at the movie theatre and since I’m ancient now, this means a telephone had not yet rung inside a darkened theatre nor had a giant tub of nachos and cheese food product found it's way in. You had your basic slimline box of popcorn, flattened the box when you were finished, threw it at the screen and you were done with it.

This Ray Milland / Rosey Grier masterpiece movie was memorable for many reasons. It was the first time I remember hearing the song Oh Happy Day which as it turns out was performed by the never heard of them Mike Curb Congregation. Maybe this was the (forgive me) genesis of my love of gospel music.

Other things the movie had going for it – smoking, mad scientist, death row convict, motorcycle and car chases, bigotry and racism and oh yeah, a guy with two heads.

It’s always kept a tiny part of my brain from moving on to other things and so I thought I’d mention it.

I see it’s available to love or loathe on DVD now.

While I'm on it, another movie I saw that I never forgot was a horror flick that creeped me out and changed my eating habits for quite a while - Island of Terror. I shuddered for years.


The 3 Effs

Disease? I suppose you could call it thatbut I would say that it's more of a gift really. To stand among so many and affect lives this way, yes, I'll say gift.

I hear the whispers, feel the derision, and know the scorn you feel when I brush past you. You're glad you've been spared when I accept your dismissal.

You fear exposure to me and keep me as far away as you can but now and then, I get close enough to make your heart race.

I might keep you from crossing that line, from going too far, or I might just keep you awake a little bit longer tonight. That's the nature of my gift, your disease. Shame.

Remember The One About The Paintah Pants?

I'm not sure if I love it or hate it when the commercials are more entertaining or memorable than the programs I'm half watching on television.

An ad I saw the other night began with a concerned looking laydee saying to me When I saw a little pink in the sink...

I immediately went to the place in my head that wonders what the hell you're doing with your noonie in a sink in the first place.

Is this a commercial about a whore's bath gone horribly awry? Well, no, it's a commercial for gingivitis. The lady continues on as though gingivitis is as serious a problem as subluxation, the silent killer.

This puts me in mind of another commercial that was either for toilet paper or the national sex offender registry.

A little girl was upset and holding a teddy bear that had been injured, possibly in some freak sexual experimentation that had happened just before the cameras started rolling. She sobs to her very warm and caring looking mom 'Teddy's hurt'. The mother caresses Teddy's ass or something with the toilet paper, they all smile and nobody ends up in court.

I hadn't really paid much attention to the ad until a friend of mine pointed out that the little girl actually sounded like she was saying 'Titties hurt' through her sobbing. The next time I saw/heard the ad, I burst several blood vessels laughing as this did sound exactly like what she was crying about.

My laughter was short lived however when I noticed the Dad being hauled away in handcuffs in the background.


Pamela Anderson is going to be hosting the Juno Awards tonight and will be using the opportunity to speak out against the seal hunt. I wonder if she'll be wearing her good tits?

Just Do It

I got up at the crack of whatever time it is today and thought, it looks like such a nice day that I'm going to go for it. I'm going to haul the treadmill outdoors and go for a walk.

The radio said it was 1 degree and sunny with a slight chance of irritation should I encounter anyone in my travels. I bundled up a little and headed out.

I'm walking along at a pace just hard enough to make my heart remember what it's for when this guy jogs past me. He's wearing those little nylon running shorts that are cut high with the built in panties, a tight tank top, those creepy ankle socks and of course running shoes.

He looks like he should be more covered up based on his body type (trying hard but keep trying) and the relative outdoor temperature. If you're wearing an outfit like this in 1 degree weather, I don't care who you are, man or woman, you better be hot enough to make me run after you or just leave that shit at home.

It's no worse I suppose than all the fat people who wear athletic branded clothing like they understand what they're doing. I'm sure there's nothing NIKE wants more than to see their logo blown up to XXXL across someone's ass.

I walked for about an hour and went back inside, brought the treadmill in and wondered why that guy would just jog through my back yard like that.


4 Bites More

I read in the newspaper this afternoon that they've gone and made another one of those significant life changing advancements that will benefit us all.

Ladies and gentleman, the square watermelon. The cost for one of these babies is between $60 and $100. And they're selling out.

The article said that the novelty fruit was originally designed to free up shelf space in Japanese refrigerators. I'll say that it's all those triangular oranges they keep trying to stack that are hogging all the room.

Anytime people start playing around and modifying food like this, I get creeped out. If you're going to throw something at me, I'd prefer your garden variety tomato and not one of those nuclear hothouse frankentomatoes. And please don't serve me a chicken breast that's larger than my head. It just ain't right.

I Could Have Slept All Night

I went last night to see the Canadian Opera Company's production of Berg's opera Wozzeck. This was territory I hadn't trod before - an opera clocking in at only 90 minutes. What of the marathons I've become used to scratching my cultural itch with? You know, the 5 1/2 hour Wagner epics?

With great power comes great responsibility and with a very atonal score comes a very difficult evening out. From the announcement before the show that bass-baritone Pavlo Hunka was battling laryngitis but would still perform, we had confirmation we were going to be traveling a fair distance. With no intermission due to the brevity of the piece, we, Deborah and I, submitted to our fate as prisoners of the arts. Luckily, we had sated ourselves pre-show at Springrolls which was tasty.

The set and costume designer Michael Levine did a bang up job. I think some of the office window sets may have been left over from the terrible job he did on Gotterdamerung's sets but they worked here. The only other nice thing I can say is that the image of the solitary child playing at the end was very arresting. Could we not have just started with that, made a brief announcement that although 15 near incomprehensible scenes had been planned, it just made more sense to say that it all ends badly?

The libretto made no more sense even following along with the Surtitles. This lovely and necessary innovation which is now used worldwide was created and promoted by former director of the opera company Lofti Mansouri who directed last night's enchantment. It was prescient of him to know I'd be coming and wanting to read along but just rude of him to subject me to this.

Question: How can 90 minutes seem longer than 5 1/2 hours? Answer: Guess.

Which Jerri Are You? Onk Onk