Saturday, February 28, 2009

:: Truck? What Truck? ::

Me: So you bought that truck for sure, then?
Bucholtz: Yeah, but don't tell anybody. I don't want to help people move.
Me: Nobody's moving. Who don't you want to help?
Bucholtz: Anybody. Especially that Ian.
Me: Well, alright, but you realize you can't exactly hide a truck that big, right? It's an F350 - not exactly stealth.
Bucholtz: We see about that.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

:: What kind of day it's been ::

For the third time in a matter of weeks, my office computer has completely crapped out.

It's nearly March and – after a week of pretty gorgeous weather - it's fucking snowing (hard) outside, again.

And today it was announced that Steven Page has left the Barenaked Ladies, one of my favourite bands since I was a kid. Sadly, though it affects my life the least of the three, it's the music news that bums me out the most.

Today sucks.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Christene: My phone bill for December had $155 in text message fees. That was before I had a data plan.
Me: I can't help but feel partly responsible.
Christene: Of course you're responsible!

"Pregnancy is one big camel toe." - Kristyl, on ill-fitting pants.

"It actually feels like you're masturbating if you have sex with a black chick in the dark." - Sean, as politically correct as ever.

"I quit smoking weed for awhile, but then I was like, 'Hey, I enjoy being stoned.' So now I smoke weed again." - Sean, again.

Watching some '80s movie on TV...
Me: That guy looks like Judge Reinhold.
Christene: It was the '80s, everbody looked like Judge Reinhold.

"There's a lot of lesbians in Blaine." - Jolene, a co-worker. She said this at lunch, completely off-topic and unprovoked.

Speak first, think later...
Me: I want to go to Australia.
Kristyl: Me too, but I don't think I could handle the drive.
Me: uhhhh...
Kristyl: Flight. I mean flight.

"We saw a lot of sights. We didn't neccesarily go into many of them, but we drove past a lot on our way to a pub." - Kristyl again, reminiscing on the trip to Ireland her and Christene took a couple years ago.

:: And the award goes to... ::

Because it's Oscar Night, I've decided to put on my best tux (actually a stained wife-beater and some fleece sweat pants) and hand out some awards of my own.

Best attempt to out douche-ify Randy River: Old Navy, which is currently selling a shit-ton of board shorts with skulls on them.

Raddest Facebook admission: My cousin Steve, who admitted in one of those 25 Random Things About Me lists that he once "was so high I made a platter of sandwiches for people I was talking to on the phone."

Best Way to Spend a Sunday: Me, lazy fuck that I am, for waking up at 8 a.m. but not getting out of bed until 2:15.

Best Way to Get Out of Household Chores: Me again, a two-time winner. On Saturday, by coincedence, I popped by my parent's house to say hi just as my mom and dad were out washing their cars. So of course, mine ended up nice and shiny, too. I helped....sort of. Also, on Sunday, I had a bunch of shirts I needed to iron for work, but my iron sort of crapped out (it sucks on the best of days. I'd buy a new one, but it's a fucking iron, so who cares?). So I brought a bunch of my dress shirts over to my parents' house when I went there for dinner, fully content to, and planning on, ironing them myself (really). But my mom did it for me without me even knowing, because she's my mom and this is what she does.

The What a Shocker Award: Heath Ledger's Best Supporting Actor Oscar win for his role as The Joker. Not saying he wasn't deserving - he was amazingin The Dark Knight - but c'mon, they've been hyping this since last summer, obviously he was gonna take it. Even Stevie Wonder saw this coming (*rimshot*).

Best Dressed: The guy I saw at the Walnut Grove Pub Friday night, who was wearing a black T-shirt with "Spitters are Quitters" printed large across the chest. Classy buddy, classy.

Best Idea: Jenna's pre-purchase of Mariners/Padres tickets for our first night in Phoenix. Fuck I am pumped - and less than a month to go!

Best/Most Terrifying Realization That We are Getting Old Award: Christene and me, watching Kids. When you watch the movie as a 15-year-old, you think "Wow, these kids are bad ass - drinking, fucking and wandering around New York. I want to be like them (minus the AIDS)." When we watched it on Saturday, as quasi-responsible 27-year-old adults, we both said the same thing at the same time: Where are these kids' parents, anyway?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

:: Not that funny ::

Just a friendly word of advice. If you are a brown guy, in his mid-20s, with an fashion sense that I can only describe as "G'd up from the feet up" (ie: douchey), and you find yourself in a parking lot, exiting from an $80,000 Porsche Cayenne alongside two other young brown dudes, do not make any jokes when you hear police sirens in the background.

When you look at your pal/accomplice - and me, standing right beside you - and say, "Ha, sounds like somebody else got shot!" you aren't that hilarious (even if you might be right).

No, considering your car, your age and your general appearance, you do not sound funny at all.

You sound guilty.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

:: The Definition of Douchebag ::

Saw this BMW parked outside Boston Pizza last night. Needless to say, it did not have a "Handicapped Parking" pass hanging from the mirror.

I was as shocked as you.

(I apologize for the grainy photo, but it was taken on my BlackBerry as I was walking swifty. I would've stopped, but this was an expensive car with nice rims, and I therefore gave it 10:1 odds that the owner of said vehicle was a gang member. And I did not want to get shot. I'm sure you understand.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

:: A case of the Mondays ::

If you've ever read Christene's blog, you may have noticed that she is not a fan (to put it lightly) of Friday office banter. You know the type – the herds of people who come by your desk throughout the day saying things like "TGIF!" or, "I'm sooo glad it's finally Friday!" as though this week somehow took longer than any previous week since the Egyptians created the modern calendar.*

*I actually have no idea who created the modern calendar, and a Google search proved inconclusive, so I decided to credit the fine folks of Egypt. They seemed like smart people, after all. I mean, have you seen the pyramids?

(editor's note: If you haven't read Christene's blog, you really should, because it's usually funnier than anything you'll find here. She's in the process of becoming a professionally trained comedienne, and I'm just a hack with an attitude problem)

But anyways... back to my original point: people should shutup about Fridays. But as much as that bugs me, too, I've decided that Monday office banter is on an equal footing, if not worse.

I cannot count how many times today I had to have a "Monday conversation" with someone.

This is how one of these conversations is typically supposed to play out:

"Hey, how's it going?"
"Pretty good I guess...for a Monday."
"I hear that!"

It's at this point that the two people engaged in said conversation usually high five, so pleased with themselves and the fact that they've found a kindred spirit who shares their view. Either that, or they slink back to their desks and slug their luke-warm coffee until the caffeine numbs their tortured souls until the clock strikes 12:01 a.m.

Here's how that same conversation went with me today, when approached. (I'm the second person, if you couldn't tell).

"Ugh, I really hate Mondays, don't you?"
"About the same as I hate Tuesday, or Wednesdays."
"Really? Monday's are waaay worse."
"Because it's Monday!"

Good argument. Way to back up your argument with real fact-based analysis. This is equivalent to the elementary school, "Because I said so" defence.

So, you can probably see what I'm dealing with here. And though I admit that this obnoxious banter is not that different from the TGIF nonsense, there is one thing that makes it worse: On a Friday, I know that I am, potentially, mere hours away from drinking away all recollection of this "witty" water cooler talk.

But on a Monday, not only do I have to put up with it, but I'm four and a half days away from the sweet, sweet memory blackouts brought forth by jagerbombs and vodka. (Unless of course, I decided to bring back Kelsey's Drunk Tuesday tradition, which isn't entirely out of the question.)

Ahhh, sweet alcohol, it eases the pain.

Friday, February 13, 2009

:: Not much, not much at all ::

I don't have much for you guys today, because what limited ranting ability I could muster this afternoon was spent writing a piece for my actual job, for which I get paid and therefore takes priority. Sorry.

However, I do present to you a handful of things that have crossed my mind over the last couple days. So, in no particular order...

1) I really hate man-purses. (This may or may not have been the focus of my earlier column writing).

2) Why are Nintendo's video game icons referred to as the "Super Mario Bros."? I'm not disputing that they are, in fact, brothers, but only one of them is named Mario. Shouldn't they be called the Super Lastname Bros. instead? And, speaking of which, how come they don't have last names?

3) Does anybody actually live in Tsawwassen? And if so, where are their homes? I drove out to the ferry terminal late last night to pick up a friend, and while I saw enough vehicles to suggest the area is habitated, I saw little else to support this claim.

I drove down Ladner Trunk Road, and saw dark, farm fields and one old Ford Tempo, left abandoned at the side of the road. Then I turned onto the four-lane Hwy 17, which is essentially one long, straight journey to a dead end (the dead end being the ferry terminal), and all I saw were the lights of Robert's Bank; plenty of billboards for the Rick Mercer Report (Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in case you were curious); and a odd scene at the side of the road in which three old trucks were parked at odd angles, and a handful of men were circled around a small bonfire. I just assumed they were burning the contents of their meth lab, but I didn't stick around to get a definitive answer.

But my point is, I didn't see much. It had been a long time since I'd made that drive, and it was very, very eery.

4) For those of you who work in an office setting, I dare any of you to be on a speaker-phone conference call with numerous other colleagues and not burst out laughing when one of your IT people, when discussing your company website's online presence and statistics, makes reference to "viral penetration." It just cannot be done. It was the best That's What She Said moment ever in this office's history (And God knows there have been thousands of opportunities).

Have a good weekend, folks. Happy Valentine-ing. Don't eat too many of those delicious, delicious cinnamon hearts. And try not to get an STD either (Which is good advice anytime, not just on Cupid's Big Day).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

:: The Answers ::

Well, my attempt at music trivia didn't go so well - as you can see, only a few of the 25 songs were identified - but that's mostly because a lot of the lyrics were pretty obscure (Thanks a lot, iTunes' random mode). However, with song titles coming up in the first lines of a few of the songs, I expected a few lucky guesses. Good tries though - and good for everyone for not cheating (except Lanette). But, just so we can move on to other things, here are the answers:

1. Neil Young, Sugar Mountain
2. Bon Iver, Blood Bank
3. Pearl Jam, Corduroy
4. Tom Petty, Free Fallin'
5. Crash Test Dummies, Mmm mmm mmm mmm
6. The Black Crowes, She Talks to Angels
7. Matthew Good Band, Haven't Slept in Years
8. One Day as a Lion, If You Fear Dying
9. Pink Floyd, Time
10. 50 Cent, Window Shopper
11. The White Stripes, Offend in Every Way
12. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Knock Me Down
13. Van Morrison, Into the Mystic
14. Led Zeppelin, Over the Hills and Far Away
15. The Academy Is..., His Girl Friday
16. Pilate, Barely Listening
17. The White Stripes, The Hardest Button to Button
18. Ray Lamontagne, Trouble
19. Live, The Distance
20. The Black Crowes, Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution
21. Jay-Z, Can I Get A...
22. Vampire Weekend, A Punk
23. Motion City Soundtrack, 1,000 Paper Cranes
24. Green Day, When I Come Around
25. The Tragically Hip, Ahead by a Century

So there you have it. As an aside, you should all download some or all of these songs. They're good.

Monday, February 09, 2009

:: Trivia Time ::

The following is one of those mostly annoying lists that is floating around Facebook at the moment, but I decided I'd post it here too, because, well, because I felt like it. Also, it's a nice break from me bitching and moaning about stuff.

The following 25 things are the first line(s) from 25 songs that came up randomly on my iTunes last night. There are a few that are easy, plus some that I can almost guarantee nobody has heard. Either way, leave your answers in the comments, and for the time being, try to avoid Googling everything you cheatin' fucks.

1. Oh, to live on sugar mountain, with the barkers and the coloured balloons.

2. Well I met you at the blood bank, we were looking at the bags, wondering if any of the colours, matched any of the names we knew on the tags.

3. The waiting drove me mad. You're finally here and I'm a mess.

4. She's a good girl, loves her mama. Loves Jesus, and America, too.

5. Once there was this kid who/Got into an accident and couldn't come to school.

6. She never mentions the word addiction in certain company. Yes, she'll tell you she's an orphan after you meet her family.

7. Make me your animal, make me your freak, and I will pack them in.

8. The bastard son I spit non fiction, in exile for a while now with raw friction.

9. Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day. You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.

10. Oh, the top feels so much better than the bottom... so much better.

11. I'm patient of this plan, as humble as I can. I'll wait another day, before I turn away.

12. Never too soon to be through, being coool too much too soon.

13. We were born before the wind, also younger than the sun.

14. Hey Lady, you got the love I need - maybe more than enough.

15. If you knew what you do, when no one's in the dark room but me and you, a brilliant disguise.

16. I lie awake on this phone call, she's dreaming of better days. Flowers lie on the counter, remind her of better days.

17. We started living in an old house. My Ma gave birth and we were checking it out.

18. Trouble, been doggin' my soul since the day I was born.

19. Let him come into the city, let him find his lucky penny, let him put it in his pocket and shake it all around.

20. Cut a rusty engine outta sawdust town. Better deal with the man who shook 'em all down, so put a little grease on my axle now.

21. Can I hit it in the morning, without giving you all of my dough? And even worse if I was broke would you want me?

22. Johanna drove slowly into the city, the Hudson River all filled with snow. She spied the ring on His Honor's finger. Oh-oh-oh.

23. I thought that you knew her. I thought that you cared. But what am I do do at four in the morning?

24. Well I heard you cryin' loud, all the way across town. You've been searching for that someone and it's me out on the prowl.

25. First thing, we'd climb a tree, and maybe then we'd talk, or sit silently and listen to our thoughts.

Friday, February 06, 2009

:: No Laughing Matter ::

Of all the people I know, there are only a few I would consider genuinely hilarious people – these are people who consistently make me laugh. I'd put Jeremy in that group, Bucholtz and Christene, too. My cousin's ex-boyfriend, Dave, was also a funny, funny dude. And of course, Chris makes me laugh, but that's usually because he's drunk and yelling at someone, and Kelsey makes me laugh because she's usually done something stupid – like injured herself eating lobster.

That's not to say the rest of you don't have your moments, too - nearly all my friends make me laugh numerous times, which is why they're my friends, I guess. (This is my disclaimer so I don't get 50 messages from you idiots, mad that I didn't list you by name).

And not to build myself up too much, but I know I'm a pretty funny guy, too. I didn't once win columnist of the year by writing about the Israeli peace talks, after all.

But what's more troubling is that, increasingly, I have been running into more and more people who think they are funny, but whose "jokes" are so lame or dated – usually both – that I just cannot take it anymore (Hence, me posting about it).

My biggest pet peeve is the people who purposely misspell and mispronounce words, effectively ending up sounding like a live-action lolcats poster (And as many of you know, there is nothing I despise more than those goddamn lolcats). This is not funny. It may have been mildly entertaining four years ago, but that was a simpler time, when funny was harder to find. So we settled for mildly cute and amusing instead. That time is over.

The worst part is, rather than calling these people on their lack of originality, cleverness or humour, equally unfunny people are encouraging them. Recently, someone I know posted online some quip about being a champion of procrastination. Fair 'nuff. Valid point. End of story.

But then somebody else, a friend I assume, commented that they would dethrone this champion of procrastination, but they were "too lazy."

Gee, I don't think that joke has ever been made before. How clever. This is the same person who probably still goes around asking people "Is that your final answer?" and wearing Hammer pants. But it gets worse...

A few comments later, after about as much witty repartee and one can stand, somebody else chimed in with something along the lines of "OMG LOLOLOL You guys just crack me UP!!!"

Yeah...thanks for coming out. Go back to your Springer reruns and "Idiot's Guide to Growing a Mullet" handbook, jackass.

We just can't be encouraging this behaviour. These are the kind of jokes you expect when an Autistic Day Camp take a field trip to Open Mic Night. (Wow, that was offensive, even for me)

I also cannot stand the people who, while not straying into LOLcat territory, instead regurgitate the same phrases, comments and jokes we did when we were in high school. That was 10 years ago, times change! (editor's note: 10 years...fuck).

Nobody says anything is "the bomb!" anymore, and not everybody's "mug" is hilarious. Sure, there are ugly, goofy people out there, but not everybody. And while I'm bitching, lets update the ol' music collection from Marilyn Manson's Beautiful People and DMX, aiight?

These are just examples, but there are more. For starters, some amateur "artist" with a ballpoint pen and computer paper dropped off to our office today a comic strip he thought we could run in the paper (forgetting, obviously, that our publication has not once, since its inception in 1976, ever run comics). The comic was titled "Wang, Dang and Doodle" (editor's note: OK, the title is mildly hilarious if you are 7. or 27). It was about, apparently, three duck-like characters. Each piece of paper was supposed to be one frame of the strip.

Frame 1: Giant scribbly head of one of the characters (probably Wang?), saying "OH NO, MY WIFE LEFT ME."
Frame 2: A different giant scribbly head asking, "OH NO WHAT HAPPEND (sic)?"
Frame 3: Head #1, explains "SHE LEFT ME FOR THE MARCHING BAND."

Ohhhhhhh burn! I see what you did there. The man vs. men thing, because it was a whole band. I get it – very clever. Good work.

See people? This is the kind of mind-numbing shit I've been bombarded with lately. And it baffles me as to why it's suddenly occurring. And why were are encouraging them.

Do these people think they are actually hilarious, worthy of their own hour-long Comedy Central special? I mean, common sense says you update your shtick – nobody does TV dinner jokes anymore, do they?

Let me break it down in an analogy for you. I'm not good at running, so I don't enter marathons. But if I was absolutely convinced that I should do that anyway, I would practice. I would go to the gym. I would get running advice and hone my craft. Or at the absolute bare minimum, I'd buy the proper fucking shoes to at least give myself a fighting chance.

Now, for these wanna-be comics, I suggest just giving it a rest. You are good people with (presumably) many awesome qualities – you don't have to be funny, you're fine without that skill set.

Or if you're determined, it's not that difficult to improve. Just turn on a TV. We have sophisticated, clever comedy now like The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm and 30 Rock, among others. Not to mention reruns of classic episodes of The Simpsons, which is the cleverest, most satirical show ever produced.

We can do better than fart jokes and lolcats, folks.

A little effort – that's all I'm asking for.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

:: Awkward moments and Coke-fueled explosions ::

Couple things from today at work...

From experience in high school up until, oh, probably this morning, I have become something of an expert in awkwardness. Awkward clothes. Awkward conversations. Awkward baseball slides into third base. Awkward situations with the opposite sex.

You name an awkward situation and not only have I probably experienced it, but I've also probably made it more awkward (awkwarder?).

Today, in light of these wonderful economic times, I have something new to add to the list: The run-in with a former colleague who, after being laid off by your company, is serving you coffee in order to pay the bills.

The conversation goes something like this:

Person with job: Oh...hi! Nice to see you.
Person serving coffee: You too!
Person with job: So....what's new? Working here eh?
Person serving coffee: ...yep....sort of a career change.
Person with job (over enthusiastic): Well that's just great!
Person serving coffee: Yeah...take your fucking change.

On another note, I learned this week – by virtue of my boss telling us about his son's Grade 4 science experiment – that when you take mint-flavoured Mentos and drop them into Diet Coke, it creates a geyser of cola that often ends up shooting up and hitting a fellow student square in the face, knocking his glasses off and soaking him from the waist up.

Apparently it has to be the mint-flavoured Mentos and not the fruit ones, and it has to be Mentos, not some other kind of mints. Also, regular Coke does not work – must be the Aspertame or something (which is reassuring for those of us who drink the stuff).

Armed with this knowledge, I (obviously) went out this afternoon and purchased a package of peppermint Mentos and would have bought Diet Coke too, had the store not been out of stock. Tomorrow, however, I will come to work prepared, and we plan on running our own experiment in the back parking lot.

Yeah, we're model employees.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

:: Server sympathy ::

Christene, who has worked at IHOP for a number of years...
Christene: I'm wearing an "I'm in training badge."
Me: uhh, why?
Christene: I'm hoping for sympathy tips.

Hey, we're in a recession. Gotta do whatcha gotta do.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

"If there was a letter higher than 'A' that would be me and Kristyl." - Christene, discussing who among her friends and acquaintances had earned A-List status.

"I used to think that maybe I had a learning disability, but it turns out I was just really lazy."
- Kristyl

"I hate the term, "fake boobs." If I can feel 'em, they're real."
- Dan

Ian, reminiscing about the last time Blue escaped from the yard...
"I just remember that I came out of the bathroom and said 'Where's the dog?' Then somebody said that Jeremy had taken him for a walk, and I said 'A walk?! But Jeremy's the drunkest one in the house! And Blue's leash is still here."

:: Repeat Performance ::

You may recall (because I brag about it often) that a year ago I won some North American-wide awards. Well, not to toot my own horn or anything, but, well, I won one of them again.

First place this time, instead of third actually, if we're keeping score (and we are).

Normally, I'd suggest this would be cause for a big, fat raise - or a barrage of better job offers from competing companies. However, my company is bracing for a recession (read: being cheap) and the major competition is currently in a "hiring freeze" so the best I can hope for is that this saves me from being laid off.

Whatever, I'll take it.
:: Helpful tip ::

If your co-workers decide to walk somewhere for lunch, but you are out on an assignment so instead decide to drive over and meet them afterward, be sure not to walk back with them, thus leaving your car in the restaurant parking lot.

It saves you time, among other things.