Of Bosom Buddies and Doppelgängers (Audio Post)

It's time for another audio post on Passion of the Dale so please travel all the way over to my sidebar to hear it. I felt it was high time I spoke my mind on one of the most important issues of the my day.

In the audio blog, I mention the wanted by Hollywood passport photo story and so here's a link to that. The vanity involved in me telling that story at the dinner in the audio post may have had more than a little to do with what happened next.



Rainy Days & Wednesdays

Having weathered the shock of seeing the words fuck and fucking show up in the Metro newspaper recently, I was nearly asleep again until someone turned the volume way up.

In the review of Serj Tankian’s solo album Elect The Dead, mention was made of his touring band, the Flying Cunts of Chaos (FCC). Now that I’ve seen the word cunt in a widely circulated daily newspaper, I feel I can move on with my life.

Taking over the top spot in my outrage will now be something I wonder about every time it rains. Why do people carry umbrellas roughly the size of a four man tent especially when they're not super sized themselves? Apart from the potential danger to passersby, they look ridiculous. Side note to Rihanna– the word umbrella has only three syllables.

Bonus thought for the day: People are like antibiotics, best taken in small doses. Or is it massive doses with antibiotics? It's no secret why I'm not paid to think.


Save The Dales

Now that the food displays at work have finally been dismantled and possibly distributed, it has now become my pleasure to walk by the hordes of Christmas trees already adorning the lobby at work. What’s that song called -- the 36 days of Christmas? Sure, there’s the mitten drive to look forward to but something tells me the kids would rather have an iPod to warm them, those silly kittens.

While I'm feeling all Grinchy, I might as well shift focus back to where it belongs, on the Korean Bagel Lady.

Several weeks ago, a co-worker offered to get me coffee and when she mentioned it was for me, the Korean Bagel Lady gleefully told her, I put bleach in it. I guess that explains my radiant smile and upset stomach. When I mentioned I was on to her plot to turn me into a bleached Dale, she said Oh no, now I put C.L.R. in you coffee, it better for you. Doesn't it just warm your cockles and other parts to know there's someone so concerned about my well being?

When she told me a while ago that her husband would be coming back to work at the bagel stand, I asked how they would fit all those people behind the counter. She lowered her voice and said She will not be working here any more and she motioned toward one of the girls in the back. She leaned in and whispered I fire her! and did that hand across the throat sign that means your number's up. As she rose to her full height of nearly 5 feet, she looked pleased with herself at the proclamation.

The day soon came that the lady being 'let go' told each customer in line that she’d been fired. I wished her well and kept moving. Later, the Korean Bagel Lady said to me People are making my head crazy! That girl tell everyone I fire her and they tell me I shouldn’t do that, I should pay her more! They don’t know! She was stealing from here (she pointed at the cash register) and from there! pointing toward the back (either bagels or washcloths were missing is my guess). I asked my poor lady if maybe she’d feel better by poisoning my coffee with something new and she smiled and sent me on my way.

I look forward to new adventures that will no doubt feature my old nemesis and the new one, Mister Korean Bagel Lady even though he's definitely a humourless sort.


The A / V Club Presents Another Audio Post With Visuals

I recorded a new audio post a few days ago but forgot to post it or mention it, inexcusable for an A.V. geek but I have forgiven myself and moved on. The audio link is in my sidebar.

The post is about food and food banks. To help you follow along, here are a few visuals, some of which are related to the post.

The CN Tower

A Can of Red Bull
Vampire Teeth
A toaster that looks more or less like a toaster
A Running Shoe
A Can Opener
A Can of Beans

A warning sign I always heed

Jerri Blank

A nice drink


And Now A Word From Coaster Punchman

Dear Gentle Readers of Passion of the Dale,

Dale has generously offered to host this week's episode of "The Mama Gin Files." I was unable to post it on the front page of Coaster Punchman's World for fear of retribution by Poor George, who forbade me from publishing the video. However, since the trials and tribulations of living with Mama Gin is my story too I feel altogether entitled --- at least as long as I don't get caught.

Click here to experience Poor George trying to practice his bass clarinet in the face of Mama Gin's daily dose of harassment.

Google Video has been acting really weird lately, so it may take several clicks on the "play" button before you actually get to see the video. (It might tell you it's "unavailable" a bunch of times - something Google is trying to iron out.)

And if you aren't amused by crazy Chinese ladies harassing their gay sons, there are also some cute cats in the video. Maybe that will make up for it.


Coaster Punchman


The Answer My Friend... (Audio Blog)

There's poetry everywhere, much of it lost on me but from time to time, something gets through. Is eighty-six seconds enough to capture it all? Only the audio post on my sidebar knows for sure.


Eight Is Enough

Since I couldn't attend Jacy's dinner party complete with Gifted Typist and Tanya Espanya, I thought it was high time I took on Wapantake's challenge to answer some questions related to dinner parties.

“The idea is to work your way through the eight phases of the dinner party, answering all of the questions on the way - being as honest and creative as you wish. Once your homework has been completed, please nominate any number of bloggers to host their own.”

First off, let me say that if I'd ever stopped to think that there were eight phases to a dinner party, I'd certainly never attend or throw one. It sounds like a lot of work.

1) The Dinner Party Theme
You have decided to hold a dinner party. When writing the invites you clearly state that fancy dress must be worn. Assuming that cost is no issue, who or what would you dress up as, and why?

I think I'd dress up as me, only a much more refined version of myself. Since expense isn't a factor but my ego is, I'd head for Harry Rosen or Walter Beauchamp Tailors and get myself into some made to measure clothes. Throw in some new cuff links and shoes and a watch from A. Lange & Sohne and I'd be good to go. I suppose that since it's a special occasion, I could put on clean socks and underwear too, you know, just to be sociable.

2) The Invitations
This dinner party is for 6 people (including yourself), you are allowed to invite any 5 other people (either past, present, real or fictional), who would you invite and why?

Since my last party with the movie folks was a hit and then Amy Sedaris and I became best friends, I'm confident that mixing up the guest list won't cause any unsightly blemishes.

On most occasions, it's easier to contact the living than the dead but for one night only, I think that resurrecting Anne Bancroft would be worth the extra effort. She'd be funny, charming, have great anecdotes and be flirty. I'd originally thought of Helen Keller but I hate repeating myself over and over and there's always the chance that if she's having an off night, it's food flying everywhere and that's just no fun for anyone.

Who else? I wonder if Jesus would come? No, forget him, once he starts with the party tricks, it's impossible to shut him down. Oh I know! Kathy Griffin! She's said things at least as outrageous as Jesus and would have everyone laughing and talking long after the party had wound down. I don't know anybody who can say Suck it! and mean it quite like Kathy.

Paulie Walnuts from The Sopranos would be fun to have along as well for his hair alone. I'm pretty sure his alter ego, Tony Sirico would provide that fish out of water squirmy goodness that can be fun at a party. It'd give me a chance also to find out just how the hell he came to work on the upcoming Elmo's Christmas Countdown and to give me some inside dirt on his old HBO gig.

Aaron Eckhart would nicely balance out Kathy and Tony and I think it'd be fun to hear some of his Hollywood stories too. We could talk about his film choices and also whether Julia Roberts bugs him as much as she does me. I'm not sure why but he looks like the kind of guy who knows how to mix a mean drink too. Yep, he's in.

To add a little more estrogen to the mix, I think singer songwriter Jenny Lewis would round things out wonderfully. If we were lucky, she might get up and do a number or two and fill us in on why she didn't just go ahead and make a second great solo album instead of doubling back and helping Rilo Kiley put out half a decent one. It's also fun to have people of various heights in the same room.

3) The Starter
You are preparing the menu, which dish(es) would you choose as the starter, and why?

First off, as I'm not very skilled in the culinary arts, I'm hoping that having the whole affair catered falls under the 'preparing the menu' heading. Most of my friends know how to cook well but I didn't even have the courtesy to invite them so I guess I can't rely on them. I think the way to go might be with trays of tasty appetizers, some hot and cold, some on crostini, others in and out of puff pastry and maybe some little soup shooters. I'd also have smoking hot staff to serve them so if the food was lame, there'd at least be eye candy to munch on.

4) The Main Course
Okay, now for the main course? and what drink would you serve with it?

I think I'd opt for a nice and simple but tantalizing prime rib with carrots, potatoes and whatever other vegetables my guests might enjoy. I'd have to rely on whoever the wine expert in the crowd was to suggest something, because once again, I'm hopeless. Is there a wine that has a delicate yet playful undercurrent of gravy? Now that I think of it, I probably should have invited prominent conversationalists and mixologists Bubs and Coaster Punchman to ensure a top notch evening.

5) The Sweet
Finally, the sweet. Which would you choose, and why?

I had Blueberry Lime Cheesecake the last time I was in New York that was quite heavenly so I think I'd have Gordon Ramsay whip some of that up for everyone. It was delicious and just the right amount (still room for more drinks after).

6) The Entertainment
The dinner party has gone swimmingly, everybody has had fun, conversation and drinks have been flowing all evening. At the end of the meal you announce that everybody should perform their ‘party piece’ (no matter how strange or pointless). What party piece would you perform?

I'd like to do the treadmill dance perfected by Ok Go but I generally try to avoid personal injury and embarassment when in mixed company. Instead I might do a reading from my high school variety show that was a hit at the time. It was the story of Little Red Riding Hood but a sort of bass ackwards version. It was funnier than it sounds and was done at the behest of my Geography teacher who was directing the show. He later became the principal and was promptly arrested for shoplifting a dog collar at a local store (an honest mistake he claimed).

7) The End Of The Evening:
The party is over, everybody has gone home, the house suddenly feels empty and quiet. Your eyes fix on the hi-fi in the corner of the room. You search through your CD collection to put on some music as you want to listen to one more track before your retire to bed. Which track would you play?

I don't think the term hi-fi has been in broad use since the 70s has it? I also stopped buying CDs a while ago so instead as I lingered in front of the iPod sound dock, I might cue something up from a nice mix that Mellowlee made for me a while back. It might be After Midnight by JJ Cale but it could just as easily be any track from that mix. It has all sorts of love on it from Feist to Nina Simone to John Lee Hooker, Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens and some tunes I'd never heard before but still enjoy.

8) The Dinner Party Nightmares
Okay, so the “virtual” dinner party is over. Now for the real thing. Have you ever been to or hosted a dinner party during which something has gone wrong (either with the food, a guest or something else)?

While I've never had anything on a par with Mary Tyler Moore's Veal Prince Orloff incident, there was that one time...

My lovely friends Laurie and Tanya who had met only once before ended up seated across the table from each other at a small gathering. Laurie was providing instructions on the best way to eat some particular dish we were having. Without provacation, Tanya shouted at her 'Stop bossing everyone around and telling them what to do, we know how to eat'. This led to a deliciously awkward silence that was eventually recovered from but not before everyone's blood ran cold a moment. To avoid repeat performances, they are no longer contractually obligated to appear at the same functions.

I tag everyone to play along but first, be honest, do I look fat in this gravy boat?

**Edit - I always do this - I meant to invite Tina Fey but now she won't return my calls so she's up for grabs.


Something To Talk About

It's been a rough few days for me and I've had a hard time concentrating. I tend to shy away from writing about personal issues although from time to time, that has happened.

This is one of those situations where you've heard people say "I never thought it could happen to me" and you take stock, realize how lucky you are and move on with your life thankful that it wasn't you.

It's different now. I've become one of those people. I never thought it could happen to me. My first thought was Isn't this something that is supposed to only affect women? Well, now that I've had treatment and done a bit of research, I realize that's simply not the case.

I fretted my way through Monday and Tuesday feeling sorry for myself and thinking about how this would change the way people view me and decided today, I had to bounce back and try to move on with my life. I might as well just go ahead and say it, loosen the powerful grip it's had over me. My name is Dale and I had static cling.

My pants spent the better part of the day trying to ride up my legs and a good half a can of Static Guard did absolutely nothing to solve the problem. I feel better getting that off my chest, almost as good as when I pulled those wretched pants from my legs. Maybe things will work out after all.


The A / V Club Presents: An Audio Blog With Visuals

I can't sing you to sleep but I could probably talk you to death. I've done another audio blog that can be found on my sidebar.

Here are a few visual aids to help things along. Yes, now that I'm relying on pictures, the end is nigh.

Madame Sousatzka

Tom Hulce as Mozart

Mary Wickes

Al Lewis

Larry King & Aaron Brown: Hair Wars

A rocking horse you can cut out and colour


You're Soaking In It

Several years ago, I saw an ad in a magazine for a new adult diaper that was made to look more like one of those pull ups things all the leaky kids wear.

Being one to support great advancements in all aspects of life, I picked up the phone and dialed the get a free sample! number. I left my pal Tanya Espanya’s name and address.

Flash forward several months and there I sat at a Tanya family gathering when she recounted how a pair of ‘big underwear’ had shown up in the mail out of the blue. Big underwear? I asked having forgotten about my good deed. Yeah, some kind of incontinence pants shaped like underwear!

I confessed that I was the good Samaritan who’d sent them. I don’t think anyone laughed so hard they peed but if they had, she really could have been a hero that day instead of a victim.

It’s Tanya’s birthday today and although she’s temporarily blogged out, I wanted to remind her not only of the special moment we shared that day but also that she’s not getting a new gift until I have proof she’s used her special pants.