Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jenna (looking at a menu): I want some food!
Chris: You're looking at a menu..See all the words? Food.
Jenna: But I want food - I don't want any weiner, pussy-ass shit.

Jenna: Can I get the clubhouse sandwich, with only two pieces of bread. I can't get my tiny, little mouth around such a big sandwich.
Sean: Chris must have a small sandwich.

Well folks, Mexico calls in less than a day, and I figure I better enjoy it because when I get back, and have to return to work, I suspect things will have taken a mighty turn for the worse while I've been gone. And then I'll have to decide whether I want to stay there or not. But that's a worry for another day. For now, it's Mexico time.

I will, however, leave you with one un-Mexico-related note. Go watch this movie trailer right here, called No Country for Old Men. It looks pretty fucking awesome/creepy. I especially like the line right in the middle of it, when one guy, after sawing off a shotgun, says to a girl in the room, "If I don't come back, tell my momma I love her." The girl replies, "But you're momma's been dead for years."

"OK, then I'll tell her myself."

Good, chilling stuff.

Monday, October 22, 2007

"Grolsch? That beer sounds evil - like a beer Hitler would drink." - Me, after yet another one of Ian's "let's-try-a-new-beer" episodes.

A-Scrams: Would you ever propose to me?
Buchs: I don't get enough butt sex to propose to you.

"Woo! I just about fought two raccoons out there." - Chris' excitable-but-random comment, after coming in front the front of Jeremy's house.

"This totally just adds to my metrosexuality." - Jeremy, liking his new Snap-On Tools hat while at the same time wearing camo shorts and rocking one helluva mullet.

:: In defence of SI ::

I have a big manilla envelope somewhere in my house. In it are Sports Illustrated stories and columns I've read over the years and felt compelled to keep.

There's only a few in there, because my standards of what constitutes great are pretty high. I know many people who say they don't like SI because they don't care about things like college basketball, or tennis, or any of the things that dominate the American sports landscape. They want hockey, a little football maybe, and baseball playoffs and that's it.

Fair enough, I guess, although - without sounding too snotty - I like SI on a much different level. I honestly don't care what the subject matter is, I'll read almost anything because I appreciate writers, words, and all that stuff that, to be honest, most people either don't get or don't care about.

Whereas most people just want to read about Sidney Crosby or Peyton Manning, I can appreciate a phrase, an ending, or the way a sentence flows - likely because I'm a writer. I've read 8,000 word epics on scrabble tournaments, for Christ's sake. My boss likes to recommend movies or TV shows to me that he says most people don't appreciate or like. "You'll appreciate it as a writer," he always says, and he's usually right.

Same goes for SI, I guess.

I decided to start the envelope years ago, long before I went to school and studied journalism and writing. When I was a teenager, I read a backpage feature in the magazine - far from the cover, which was likely graced with a flavour-of-the-month college football star. I can't remember the details now, but the story was about a high school cross-country team something in the United States. All members but one were killed in a horrific bus accident, and the story focused largely on the one who survived. The story was about the guilt he felt for being the only survivor, and about how, long after the funerals and the lost season, he ran the same route he used to run with his team. Over and over, by himself.

I lost the issue, and have had no luck finding it online, mostly because I have zero details. I can't even remember what year it was. After I had no luck rediscovering it, that's when I decided I should start keeping some stuff.

The articles in my envelope aren't just good, aren't just mildy interesting. The only things that makes the cut are things that I wish I had written. Once in awhile, I'll re-read some stuff if I come across the envelope in a drawer someplace. Mostly I read it because it helps me when it comes time for me to write something.

Most people probably think it's pretty nerdy, but whatever. I'm cool with that. It's a popular opinion amongst writer-types that the best writers/journalists in the world are sports writers, for whatever reason, and it's a pretty solid argument.

By now, if you are still actually reading this, I'm sure you're wondering just what the hell I'm telling you all this for. The reason for this long-winded defence of the world's most popular magazine (Which, I suppose needs no defending, since it really is #1)?

I just added another thing to the envelope. It's long, but if you've got 2o minutes or half an hour to spare, go read it. If I ever wrote something this good, I'd quit writing on the spot, knowing full well that I'd never do any better.

And to think, if my dad had never wanted a free shoephone back in 1992, I likely would've never subscribed in the first place.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

:: An Ode to October ::

The summer may be over, the day's cooler and the nights longer, but there is one thing about October that makes is one of the best months of the year (Or at least in the top 12): Sports.

This is, without question, the best time of the year for sports fans. The hockey season is just starting, both the NFL and CFL are in full swing, and most importantly, it's also baseball playoffs.

Yes, baseball playoffs. I can hear the collective yawn now.

In the past two weeks since playoffs hit the field- begining with the Padres/Rockies wild card tiebreaker that I now count as one of the best games I've ever witnessed - and I've watched many a game. And no matter where I watch it, I always hear at least one person say the same thing: Baseball sucks.

I even met a guy the other day who said he didn't like watching baseball because it was too slow, but he instead preferred watching soccer because "there's always something going on."

"Are you fucking kidding me?" is all I could spit out, so baffled was I. I'm sorry, but watching soccer is like watching me go for a run - sure, there may be brief moments where you're impressed with the speed of the action, but for the most part, it's pretty repulsive to watch.

Which brings me to my point - the people who say baseball (especially playoff baseball) is boring and slow are uneducated on the sport. All they see is a guy throwing the ball to another guy with a big stick, with long moments in between.

But many of us know better. There's so much more to cold, October baseball than one guy with the ball and another with a stick. Baseball is the battle between the pitcher and the hitter. It's the hitter messing with the pitcher's rhythm by calling time to knock dirt off his cleats. It's the infield playing the David Ortiz-shift, because they know it's going to right field. And it's the sheer cleverness shown when Ortiz shocks everyone with a bunt to third base.

It's the lefty vs. lefty matchups. It's pitchers coming in from the 'pen only to throw three pitches before hitting the showers, their job done for the evening. It's the hit-and-run and walk-off bombs. It's extra innings. It's Dave Roberts stealing second base even though everyone in the stadium knows that he's running. It's a changeup on a 3-2 count. Or the manager pinch-hitting with a pitcher, not for a pitcher, because it's the 13th inning and his bench is empty. It's Schilling's bloody sock, catches at the wall, and the 6-4-3 double play.

It's 60 feet, six inches to the plate and 335 to left; it's Steve Bartman, and Homer, Ozzie and the Straw.

It's the god-damn playoffs.

Boring? You gotta be fucking kidding me.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Two old quotes I found written in an old notepad file that I almost deleted. I'm assuming they're both from Bucholtz, likely from our famed but now largely defunct Friday Afternoon Drinkathlons.

Buchs: Ahh, nudity, my second favourite word in the English language.
Me: What's your favourite word?
Buchs: Poltergeist.

"Hey Nick, want a degree in shutting the hell up?"

Canucks tonight. Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. Football Sunday. I have half a pizza and a few cases of beer in the fridge, so if anybody wants me, I'll be on the couch.