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First World Problems

April 13, 2011

The whole concept amuses me so much.

Especially when I catch myself whinging to myself, and realize how first world whatever I’m complaining about is.

I’m packing, and deliberating on how many pairs of shoes to take with me is the largest challenge associated.


March 21, 2011

Not to pander to my audience, (the vast bulk of traffic I seem to get is on this post about Soap Candies), but I’ve another candy-related anecdote as I strive to reactivate this desolate wasteland of a vanity experiment.

We threw another party in the house the other evening, entitled “Broken Dreams” and entirely themed around “things you wanted to be when you grew up, but won’t be”.

I was Willy Wonka. Man, that dude was awesome. I have no sweet tooth to speak of, but the job would still be the greatest career ever.

Anyway, myself, Rachel, and Adonia were tooling around town getting our costumes together and decided to stop off at Bulk Barn so I could stock up on prop candy.

While there, in their “Easter Special” section, there was a woman in sanitary gloves meticulously picking her way through their bin of knockoff Cadbury Mini Eggs and taking all the blue ones.

I asked her if she needed them for some sort of cake-decorating project and she replied with “no, they’re just for eating”. …Hm? She elaborated that “Well, the blue ones are better. The others taste like the chemicals used to colour them!” …Hm?! She then claimed that the blue ones were the “natural colour” and that all the other ones are recoloured from the original blue.

I politely informed her that a white one had slipped into the bottom of her bag and left her to her mission.

The party went excellently.


March 13, 2011

It has certainly been a while.

I should pick this beast up again, I think.


October 5, 2009

On Sunday night, the lads & I decided that the main things out house is lacking are ornamentation and style.

What key object does this call out for?  Milk crates.

100% awesome, the penultimate poor-college-kid furniture item, we needed milk crates, and lots of ’em.

And so, some drinks into us, we set out to see what interesting things we could come by.  We wandered well across town and behind some shops, where we obtained four milk crates and Keto and I found a half-barrel.  Jethe got stuck carrying our milk crates while Keto and I lugged this damned half-barrel crosstown to get it back to the house. I can be nothing but glad The Blues weren’t out in force that night, two blokes sketchin’ it on the streetcorner, trying to look nonchalant while loitering with a half a barrel on their shoulders strikes me as the kind of thing that might’ve attracted unwanted attention.

And at 2AM, I can’t picture us talking our way out of it “…Uh, see officer, I, uh, bought it on the Internet…?  And, uh, we could only pick it up now?”

“Suuuuuure, son.”

As I said, though, thankfully nosuch occurrance troubled the evening.

We got the first haul home, had a few more liquid warmups, and went back out for more loot.  On the second run, we had the magnificent good fortune to find a streetsign that had been uprooted by other more industrious mayhem-causers than ourselves (also possible: hit by a car) which we decided would make an excellent addition to our collection of odd things.  Again, Keto and I hauled the thing back on our shoulders, making Jethe act lookout and scout ahead to keep an eye out for The Blues or even just locals who might take offence at our procurement of the local signage.

We spent 20 minutes prying signs off the signpost, after which we imbibed further before heading out yet again to continue our original mission of More Milk Crates.  We headed the other way, hid from The Blues on top of a pub for a while (despite having nothing incriminating on us at the time, we merely figured they’d know our evening’s misdeeds on sight and we’d all be immediately Fucked Over should they spot us) before they peaced elsewhere, at which point we lurked on the pub for more time while a few folks resolved some differences in the back lot.  Blues returned, at this point, to tell the folks in the back lot to Knock That Shit Off, Guys; and everyone dispersed and we were able to resume our exploring and stealing.

We hit the motherlode behind a local resuaurant, who had four crates in their little smoke pit (as opposed to the more gradual accumulation of the earlier four), which Keto and I swiped before going looking for Jethe, who we realized had gone missing somewhere between us getting off the pub and getting behind the restaurant.

We found Jethe four blocks away, sitting on a sofa someone had put out to curbside, smoking.  Turned out that he’d become disoriented dismounting the pub, and heard voices he thought were ours in the direction opposite where Keto and I had gone.  Following who he thought was us, he was greatly distressed upon catching up with them to discover that he’d not actually found us, and too afraid calling us might give us away were we stuck hiding again, he opted to chill out on the first comfortable place he found and wait for us to find him.  Keto and I suspect he might’ve sat there all night had we not happened upon him on our way home.


October 2, 2009

Uh.  Long time no update.

I’m in Ontario again, but just visiting for now.  Here for a week.

Plan was Ontario, Rachel, Bender in Ontario, Rachel, PARTY.

Plan is on track, too.

I spent 12 hours in tin cans with lots of people trying to get to Waterloo.  Adventure and a half, if you will.  Booked a flight from YVR to Kitchener, left YVR at 9:30AM.  Calgary for 20 minutes, Calgary – Kitchener leg got us to Kitchener in good time, at which point we tried to land, aborted due to fog, tried again to land, aborted again, and decided to go to the closest safe port of call – Ottowa!  We hung in Ottowa for half an hour – long enough for me to buy a slice of pizza – and then went back to Kitchener ’cause rumour had it that the airstrip had cleared.  We got to Kitchener, strip was socked in again, so we circled for half an hour, tried to land, aborted and went to Toronto, at which point they shipped us to Kitchener by bus.  I arrived in Kitchener airport at 9:45 Vancouver time – almost 1AM kitchener time, well past the 5:45 arrival time they’d been promised.  My (lovely, wonderful and massively awesome) ride Adonia had waited 5 hours for me before eventually heading home, to eventually return when I did make it to the airport.

Just to top all that off, Adonia and I arrived to The Manor looking rather like a sty – so we proceeded to take shots from the 40 of vodka on the table and clean the shit out of the house.  As we were finishing up, the lads upstairs begain waking up and strolling down to join us, before I eventually wandered upstairs and woke Rachel to come hang out.  By the time she made it down, the collection of glasses, drinks, and drink ingredients on the table rendered our cleaning job almost moot, but…  It was a good lasting effort.

Due Care

September 18, 2009

I’m continually mystified by the folks that call in without putting in due care and attention in advance.

Like the people who go to the effort of digging out their card to get our number off the back, then put it away despite the fact that we’ll plainly ask them for the customer number from the other side.  Or, the folks that call in with questions and the like, but have to put shit on hold and go get their card, ’cause it’s in the desk on the far side of the house, or in their car in the garage, or on file in the basement …

…Seriously, we ask you for your customer number every time you call.  Seems to me they should work that out and just have it on hand next time they give us a ring.


September 9, 2009

I finally get to add another notch to my coffee-nerd cred.

I got to have brew coffee off a Clover machine.  The company and their device are touted as the greatest thing to happen to coffee since Gaggia invented the espresso machine – the Clover box is effectively a very high-tech hybrid of a french press and a vacuum pot – intended to allow the operator to manually control with great perceision all three factors that have the greatest effect on the end flavour of the brewed coffee.  The barista has complete control over the quantity of coffee going in, and the machine can be set to any brewing temperature – guaranteed accuracy to something ridiculous like 1/10 of a degreeand the capacity to set the exact temperature to teh 1/2 degree, as well as the means to exactly control the brew time.  According to those that have such luxuries to play with – running a full pound of coffee through the machine and tweaking minor details at each turn will produce variations in the taste of the coffee as details are adjusted – one can find and hold to a sweet spot for any coffee depending on the end desired flavour and the profile available within the particular roast.

AGRO Cafe, my new favourite joint (barring, of course, Re-Entry Espresso) is down on Granville Island; Mother and I have been in a few times and I was thrilled to note their ownership of the Clover machine last time were in.  This time, I went in with deliberate intent to try Clover-Brewed coffee.  My first selection was their “coffee of the day”; meaning they’d mass-brewed it a earlier.  (Mass pre-brewed.  On a Clover.  SACRELIGE.) so I changed my selection to a Mexican so I could get the fresh-off-the-machine brew.

It lived up to the hype.  Utterly and completely.  The various subtleties of the coffee came through majestically, and the whole thing tasted suitably … fresh and clear.  It was something else, in terms of comparison to regular brew elsewhere.

I still prefer Espresso, mind, but the Clover is certainly a close second.

Awful Quiz

July 31, 2009

You all (hah.) know that I hate these things. But this amused me a lot, I wanted to see if I could pull it off with my favourite of favourite bands.

The challenge being to answer all of the questions using only track names from a single selected artist.

Pick your Artist:

Are you a male or female?
Your Younger Man

Describe yourself:
Addicted To Bad Ideas

How do you feel:
With a Good Criminal Heart

Describe where you currently live:
…and Embarked on a Life of Poverty and Freedom…

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
The Devil’s Ball

Your favorite form of transportation:
The Evil Dance of Nosliw Pilf

Your best friend is:
Sweetwater Interlude

You and your best friends are:
Glamour Ghouls

What’s the weather like:

Favorite time of day:
A Night In The Woods

What is life to you:
Zen and the Art of Breaking Everything in This Room

Your last relationship:
The Naughty Little Rat Makes New Friends

Your fear:
The Models and the Mannequins

What is the best advice you have to give:
Tattoos Fade

Thought for the Day:
All of California and Everyone Who Lives There Stinks

How I would like to die:
Me V. The Angry Mob

My soul’s present condition:
Just the Best Party

My motto:
Stay on the Charming Side of Drunk

I was very amused by this. I think “describe your last relationship” couldn’t have worked out better if I’d selected the band just for an answer to that question alone. The only one that’s a real stretch is “What’s The Weather Like,” and I’m willing to argue that one given our current heat wave (34˚? Holy fuck.), though “Form Of Transportation” is a little shaky as well. I’d totally do it if I could, though.

Also, I feel it’s very important to remind you all that this is not a meme.

Awful Things

June 14, 2009

After World/Inferno, Keto and I got a call from the bloke we were supposed to be meeting at the W/IFS show.

“Lets get really drunk, guys, just had the worst night of my life!”

Seems he’d been in holding at a psych eval clinic for the past seven hours – one of the hardcore ones where signing up for the assessment is the same as signing a statement saying “until proven otherwise, I’m too crazy to be sufficiently mentally fit to sign myself out”. As in they have security who’ll sedate you if you try and peace, apparently. Regardless, we met up with him at his room and he cheerfully told us he’d just been diagnosed as one of the varieties of schizophrenic. Despite likely being a very bad idea, we decided that getting very drunk was definitely the best temporary solution.

He certainly joined Keto & I’s ambition of causing mayhem with a gusto, and we set out to explore U of T campus.

We started off at a funny little set of benches next to a path, overlooking a large hill.  There were still pathmaking supplies lying about, and we decided those were much better suited to being at the bottom of the hill rather than the top, and helped them along that way.  We figured that the large manhole cover at near the bottom of the hill would be a perfect target.  Keto and I couldn’t hit shit, but Crazy had uncanny aim with a brick.  The manhole made some pretty amusing “bong” noises whenever he hit it.

We then explored a local construction site and rearranged tools and lumber in more aesthetically pleasing arrangements – “can we make these odds and ends look like a cock?” being the guiding design ethos of the evening.  We succeeded, but against photos for fear that the flash would give us away.

From there, we moved into the Works Yard, where Crazy nearly made Keto and I shit ourselves by climbing into a Bobcat and then playing with the horn; we thought he’d set off the alarm, and Keto and I had made it halfway down the driveway out before the horn stopped and Crazy nigh on fell out of the cab laughing hysterically.

Strolling hence from there, we were immediately entranced by the Athletics Arena at UofT.  We hopped the fence and explored the groups, prowling all over the track and well up the bleachers.   We tried to talk Crazy into shitting on the track but he was having none of it.  We tried to get into the pressure-inflated dome in the middle, bailing out in a panic when we saw through the window in our door, upon trying the handle, all the LEDs on all the other doors around the dome turned from green to red.

We decided the best place to hide – obviously – was the adjacent construction site.  We climbed up onto the under-construction roof and chilled there for a while, drinking more, cracking jokes, and trying to play javelins with the tools left up there onto the lawn four stories below.  (Note: shovels fly well, rakes do not.)  In time we decided security weren’t approaching immenantly, and crept hence from the building.  Crazy played around in some more construction equipment while Keto and I stole him a “DANGER Due To ________” sign.  Crazy caught up, swiped himself one as well, and we kept wandering.  We spent some time tossing odd objects over a fence, Keto and I tag-teaming to get large shit over; and Crazy took off ahead, pilfering one of those silver bowls used as the ashtray top to rubbish bins.

He cut arouna corner while Keto and I launched into a discussion of what our “panic code” was should we run into an ugly situation, settling on “Cheese It” as the best bet while heaving a large metal garbage bin over the fence to an immensely satisfying “BONNGGGGG” noise as it landed.  We ducked around the corner to catch up to Crazy only to find a bloke who was definately not Crazy holding the ashtray dish and the sign, talking into a radio…

“So… I need security to building [XYZ], we got three guys here, fuckin’ around.  Hey you guys – quit fuckin’ around!”

From me, “Sure thing, chief” and from Keto “CHEESE IT!”

World/Inferno Friendship Society

June 13, 2009

These guys have been my favourite or one of my favourite bands for the past two years or so, occationally replaced by a seasonal favourite, but never dethroned overall. I’ve been wanting to see them pretty much since I first looked up their wikipedia page, which went above and beyond the current iteration in it’s praise of their live shows to the point of stating that outside of their “home turf” of New Jersey / New York, the band has a hard time getting bookings because their shows are so over the top that few bars are willing to invite them back.

I figured that’s a ringing endrosement if anything ever was.

Beyond that, they were the last band on my Big List of bands to see live that I’d not seen. (Kaiser Chiefs, Gogol Bordello, and Ghostland Observatory were the other contenders.)

I spent a good two years or so checking their website devoutly in the hopes they were coming to somewhere near me, but no luck. They didn’t seem to ever leave the US, even. When I saw that they had a show booked in Toronto a few months back, I flipped shit. I tried to talk everyone that I knew might be interested into coming, Jaertes hummed and hawed and ended up doing fuck-all to include himself, Jethe was keen but had run out of money … etc. In the end, I enlisted Keto and the two of us devised a plan. Or more specifically, a lack of plan.

Our plan was, literally, “Jump on a bus to Toronto, go to the W/IFS, get drunk after the show and do terrible things in the city.” We decided any more concrete plans than that would destroy the experience of going to this particular show, and might impact our ability to really enjoy ourselves adequitely afterwards. On the busride down, we started lining up one of Keto’s friends as a place to crash, but never got a hold of him ’till much later, and ended up talking his roommate in res into letting us drop our crap in his room before booting it to the show.

Keto and I hit the bar just as the opener was starting, and decided right off the bat that they weren’t worth our time.  Thus, our time would be better spent at the bar, lubricating ourselves for the evening.  After chasing a gaggle of scene kids away from two unoccupied stools (they were loitering, we pushed in and just sat down, then started the most objectionable conversation we could think of) we sat down for a few and continued speculating wildly about the sexual habits of certain friends of ours.

Then … the show started.  Holy crap, what a show.  Leading in with their old classic “Tattoos Fade”, the band did a spectacular set composed of an excellent mix of old stuff and material from their newest album.  They played their full lineup of real classics (Peter Lorre, Devils Ball, Paul Robeson, I Wouldn’t Want To Live In A World Without Grudges, etc) and the crowd was fantastic.  It was a small crowd – between 40 and 50 people, but we were all die hard fans, and other than the midget-y guy who kept crowd surfing and the fucktard who wanted Jack to wear a Leafs scarf, everyone was just there to have an awesome punk dance party.

Danced my way to the front row for a while, partied there, shook Jack’s hand; danced with the bassist after she tried to crowd surf, moshed for a bit, and danced with some sweet folks in the crowd.  I’ve never been to a show that was that cheerfully rowdy, everyone was going nuts, but no one was causing trouble or picking fights.

Both Keto and I met really nice people in the crowd, including one gal that Keto danced with who it turned out had partied in Victory Manor before the lads and I moved in.  By far, up there among the best shows I’ve been to.  Gogol Bordello and Ghostland Observatory have them trumped in terms of raw crowd being nuts value, but W/IFS take it for crowd environment, capacity for interaction between performers/audience, and overall showmanship.  It may not soundly beat any of the other great concerts I’ve been to, but it’s certainly the most fun I’ve had at a show this year.