Sunday, March 30, 2008

A really random thought on the nature of the music industry

I stumbled across this the other day and it reminded me of a thought I had when I first watched the Live 8 thing a few years back. Why is Robbie Williams not a big star in North America? I mean he's huge in the U.K. and pretty much all over the rest of the world, yet he's barely even known on this side of the pond, despite numerous (failed) attempts to sell him over here. I don't get it. He's handsome as hell, radiates charm, is a fine singer and totally knows how to work a crowd. Case in point, just watch the performance of "Angels" below. It's his only semi-hit in the U.S. and in fact even Jessica Simpson's awful cover version charted higher. I really don't get it. Oh well.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

No more essays ever! Seriously, EVER!!

Ugh, now Scott Rolen is hurt? For up to six weeks? Plus they dump Reed Johnson in favor of Shannon Stewart in left field. I'm not liking this. Usually I approach each new season with a sense of optimism and the hope that the Blue Jays can finally make a real run at the post-season. But this year...well, I just have a bad vibe about this year. Then again I have a bad vibe about everything, so I really hope I'm wrong on this one. I hate finishing in third place every bloody year.

One sign that the world has totally gone topsy-turvy: the French leader is the one with balls. A couple of days ago French President Nicolas Sarkozy (who I've spoken in favor of before) has floated the idea of boycotting the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing. Not the Canadians, nor the Brits, nor the Germans, Japanese, Australians or even the Americans. The FRENCH. Now I know that no one is going to boycott the entire games and while I've always thought giving Beijing the Olympics in the first places was a colossal blunder, I know that that's not realistic. But even a boycott of the opening ceremonies would send a message. I've liked this guy from the get-go and here's another reason to. He seems like a no-nonsense guy. Plus he has a really hot supermodel wife. Good for him! I'll still never forgive Nixon for recognizing the government in Beijing over Taiwan, but I guess that was like 35 years ago, so what's done is done.

It's looking fairly likely that the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) will go on strike when their contract expires on April 1, effectively fucking over the entire city of Toronto. While I do have a car, driving around Toronto is a nightmare as is and would only be magnified tenfold if this happens. See, I do take public transit despite the fact it's unreliable, smelly, crowded and inefficient. I just think it would be great if they privatized the whole thing. Not only would it be instantly more efficient, I guarantee it would turn a profit within a year or two. Get rid of union goons, get rid of so many problems. But this will sadly never happen, especially with Toronto mayor David Miller, a union butt-boy if there ever was one. Hell, they even struck illegally a couple years back with zero notice, paralyzing the city and NOTHING came of it. Each and every person who went on strike that day should have been fired instantly. Air traffic controllers tried to pull the same shit back in the 1980s in the States and what did Reagan do? He gave them 48 hours to return to work and when they didn't, he fired them. All 11,00o of them and banned them from federal service. That is a real leader, one not afraid to break a rogue union.

As an aside, said air traffic strike came up in my American history lecture yesterday and my professor (who could barely hide his contempt for Reagan) talked about how all those people were put out of work and how organized labor was dealt such a blow in the 1980s, while neglecting to mention that their strike was against the law and against public safety. He's a good lecturer, but the liberal bent is sometimes too much for me to take. Yes this is the same fellow who is the son of 'Wayne' from Wayne and Shuster.

Finally, while I think that Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man is great casting and that the trailers are pretty boss, is it wrong of me to just want the entire movie to be him flying around and blowing shit up while "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath plays in the background? For two hours? I'd probably pay twelve bucks to watch that. I think I actually would.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Holy crud, two posts within a couple hours?

Yeah well, it's a long weekend. I have the day off tomorrow, don't have anywhere to be (surprise), am sort of drunk (bigger surprise) and am catching up on internet reading. So a few more things.

Please, PLEASE Lord, don't let this be anything more than a minor setback. I don't want to finish in third place again this year. We need B.J. Ryan back sometime before his contract expires.

This article describes me pretty damned well. I am often embarrassed to use coupons, feel the need to buy designer label clothing, wear expensive scents, drink expensive Scotch, stay in nice hotels (back in the day), spend lots of money on strippers, pick up tabs that I can't afford and in general maintain the illusion that money is of little concern to me. Basically all because I am simply terrified to let on that I could ever be in a financial pinch. What would people think? I'd rather actually go hungry in private than appear so in public. Perhaps if I had anything else going for me I'd be able to get away with it, but....well, you know.

Finally, I'm really having trouble staying awake when it's most important. Of course it's now 1:30 in the morning and I'm wide awake. But in the middle of the day I can't bloody well stay awake, even after a decent night's sleep. For instance last night I got a solid eight hours sleep and it wasn't restless so far as I could tell. I did actually have a very odd dream but I don't care to go into it. I dreamed about someone and something I don't believe I've ever dreamt about before. It was really quite vivid and in some ways disturbing, though it didn't actually disturb my rest.

Sorry, I digress again.

Anyways, it's really bad. I'm trying to get some reading done in between classes and I can't fucking stay awake. I fall asleep while on the subway or in class or just while surfing the internet or watching TV. If I'm home when this narcolepsy hits me, I usually go to take a nap. I set my alarm to wake me after a half hour or so, but I inevitably hit the snooze and by the time I finally do wake up from it, it's spiraled completely out of control, me having been asleep for several hours. It's brutal. Why am I so fucking tired all the bloody time, even after I should be sufficiently rested?

Anyways, I'll leave you with the one funny side-effect of this. As I said, it often strikes me whilst in class and trooper that I am, I still attempt to carry on with my note taking. I showed this to my mother once and she thought it was a riot. It's probably funnier with me narrating as you read it, but my totally illegible sleep-notes are pretty funny. Enjoy kids and please excuse any potential spelling errors. I have added some commentary in blue

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I sorta miss the Cold War

During my recent research on the Cold War, I stumbled upon something I found to be rather remarkable. For some reason (don't ask why or how) I got to looking at a list of the biggest lakes in the world. Let me just stop here that I think it is beyond stupid that they now classify Michigan and Huron as one lake. Idiocy. Like declassifying Pluto as a planet.

But I digress.

Way down at number 15 was the Aral Sea in the former U.S.S.R. Now I seem to remember always looking at old almanacs and such when I was a kid, I always liked geography. I seemed to remember it being quite bigger than that! Well, it was. MUCH bigger. Due to colossally ill-conceived irrigation project on the part of the Soviets, the Aral Sea, which had a surface area of 68,000 Square km in 1960, now has an area of 17,000 Sq. Km!! For proof that the Soviets really and truly were incompetent, one needn't look any farther than here. Ugh.

This somehow also reminded me of Ronald Reagan's favorite Soviet joke.

Man in the Soviet Union works long and hard for many years. It's long been his dream to own a car. So eventually he saves up the money and goes down to the Lada dealership. He plunks down his pile of rubles and tells the man working there that he wants to buy a car. The dealer tells him "Okay, but you do realize there's a ten year wait, right?" The man says, "Fine, fine I just want to get my car". So he fills out all the requisite forms and paperwork and when he's finally finishes the dealer tells him to come back in exactly ten years and his car will be ready. As he's about to leave, the man asks if he should come in the morning or afternoon. Incredulous, the car dealer looks at him and says "It's ten years from now! What difference does it make?!" To which the man replies, "Well, the plumber is coming in the morning".

Hi-larious. Anyways, that's it from me for now. I have a bit of a reprieve from essay writing, though not much. I'm also thoroughly depressed (again), this time over the fact that there are just so many really good looking girls at U of T. It does me no good because none of them want me or anything to do with me. And now I'm pretty much done. And I've wasted my time there, like I wasted going to an arts high school with a girl-guy ratio of like 3-1. This is why I drink, why I am drinking right now.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy birthday, Bobo!!

Though I'm rather pressed for time today, I have to wish Bobo a very happy 13th birthday!! Of course I've already given him many birthday kisses and given him his present, but I just wanted to make sure to note it on here. His birthday last year wasn't a very cheery one at all, seeing as he was viciously attacked just a couple of days earlier. But now it's been over a year since his accident and Bobo is doing as well as ever (minus one eye, of course). Anyways I need to get back to research, but happy birthday Bobo, love you lots and lots!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lots of trouble typing... the hiccuping doesn't help.

The answer to the trivia question from the previous post is "One Night in Bangkok" by Murray Head, from the 1986 musical Chess, though the song was actually released before the musical opened.

Again I had a simply miserable day today (yesterday, whatever). I work one day a week at the stupid Rona and while the pay is actually decent enough, I leave there every Saturday in a thoroughly miserable state. Part of it has to do with the fact that I have nowhere to go afterwards, whereas I'm sure most of my co-workers actually have lives and such. My Saturday night involves me sitting at home, drinking myself into an absolute stupor (which I'm in now), watching COPS (!!) and eventually passing out.

It doesn't help that there are many very attractive ladies who work there as well (surprisingly enough). Hot paint girl is on the top of the list, though she's actually in another department now....indeed there are probably several who are purely better looking, I just find her so sweet and so gorgeous and I love her smile, even though she has a bit of an overbite. It's such a moot point though. I'm nothing to her and never will be....fudge.

I am so incredibly beyond lonely. And it just keeps feeling worse every day.

Also I'm giving very serious consideration to shutting this blog down, do to lack of interest and the fact that I'm not sure if I have anything worthwhile left to say. Also I'm drunk, but I already mentioned that.

Friday, March 14, 2008

$4300? A bargain if you ask me.

Man, if that Governor Spitzer dude had just come out and been all like

"Yo, okay, so I likes hookers, all right? So what? Who doesn't? I'm just like, uh, stimulating the economy (and my cock!) and shit like that. Plus, have you seen that ho? She's fucking hot, dudes? Am I right or am I right? Yeah, y'all know what I'm talking about. Anyways, no further questions. Oh wait, I didn't take any. Never mind."

then I think it would have been cool. I for one would have totally understood. But now his life is ruined. Oh well.

Speaking of politics (!?) I was (as usual) digressing heavily from my assignment the other night and came across some cool sights that allow you to test where you stand on the political spectrum. I'm sure most of my regular readers can guess where I stand, but it was still fun to take some tests. Check out the World's Smallest Political Quiz, The Political Compass and The Nolan Chart. The images below show where I place on each of them respectively. I encourage you all to try them out (at least the Smallest one) and let me know where you all scored just for fun!

Finally, here's an interesting trivia question for everyone. As some of you may be aware, Broadway musicals used to be really popular not only on the Great White Way, but also on the pop charts. South Pacific was the best selling album of all-time for a while there and not only did original cast recordings used to be huge on the charts, so too did individual songs. While it's sort of hard to believe, many of the big singles back in the day were from musicals, stuff like "Hello, Dolly", "Some Enchanted Evening", etc. even after pop/rock had become big. But that hasn't been the case anymore. But what song is often considered the last big pop chart single from a Broadway musical? I read this somewhere once before and thought of it today as the song came up on my iPod whilst on the subway. Let's see if anyone can guess without google-ing it. I was a young lad when it came out, if that helps any.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Zombie Reagan in '08!

I'm not dead (sadly), just been really swamped with schoolwork. Right now working on a 3500-4000 word essay that was due yesterday, I'm cautiously optimistic I can finish it tonight (this morning, whatever). Have another due next week, then two more the week following. Ugh. At least this one is the most intensive of the two, but it's still going to be a rough haul for the next fortnight or so. But soon enough I'll be done for good and can enjoy the rewards that a University education will bring me (i.e. unemployment).

Anyways, here's a rare book recommendation from me based on something I'm reading for research. I find The Reagan Diaries quite fascinating and along with all the other stuff I'm reading on him, it just makes me admire the man more and more. Here's a man who "won the Cold War without firing a shot" and quite possibly the greatest human being of the 20th Century. If they could dig him up, reanimate him and find a cure for Alzheimer's, I'd strongly argue for him running for President again. I'd move to America in a heartbeat if it meant that I could cast my vote for him. Them terrorists wouldn't fuck with Zombie Reagan, that's for damned sure. Truly the world would be a better place.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

My prof's name is Michael Wayne. This is your clue.

Sometimes I really start to lose faith in my country. Now I know that Canada has always been more liberal and easygoing than out neighbor to the south. In some ways I actually think it's a good thing (believe it or not). I was thinking about this the other day while watching television. The fact that we understand that graphic violence is far worse than the occasional naughty word or showing of a breast is a good thing. But a lot of the time, I think we're too damned accommodating. Case in point with the recent case in Ontario of a fellow who was issued a ticket because he was not wearing a helmet (which is the law) while riding his motorcycle. Now this guy is a devout Sikh and as such, wear a turban. This makes the helmet rather problematic. But our laws are in place for a reason, whether or not you like them or not, which admittedly I sometimes do not. But they apply to everyone, regardless of who you are. I'm a big believer that everyone is equal under the law and I hope you believe that as well. The fact remains that the law states that everyone operating a motorcycle in this province must wear a helmet for their own safety. I believe this to be a very reasonable law. While I'm sorry that this prevents people who wear turbans from also wearing helmets, to make any exceptions is, in itself, discriminatory. This is why I am extremely happy to see that not all judges in this country have lost their way, so scared to do what is right in the name of political correctness. Thank you James Blacklock.

In further defense of Canada (unusual for me), here is another sign of political correctness spiraling out of control in the United States. Give me a fucking break.

A school chum told me about this ad from China that he saw on youtube. It is quite hilarious and I wish I had seen it first before having been told about it.

Finally something very cool that I found out last night. I was sitting in my American History class and my professor was talking about the baby boom and post WW2 commercialism, stuff like the birth of television and rock and roll. He was talking about Elvis and how controversial he was. He mentioned how everyone watched Elvis when he appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, which "aired every Sunday night at 8:00 PM on CBS". He casually mentioned that he of course remembered the time slot, as his father appeared on this show 67 times! It took me about 2 seconds to figure it out, with the same information (see post title) I have given all of you. The first person to guess right wins a lock of Bobo's hair, with a certificate of authentication signed by Bobo himself.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Allow me one political post this week. Thank you.

Well, it is now official; John McCain will be the Republican candidate in November and is hopefully one step closer to becoming President of the United States. His comeback was really pretty amazing, as was the whole Republican primary season. Rudy Giuliani runs one of the worst campaigns in history, Fred Thompson takes his sweet-ass time to enter the race and then doesn't seem to care and two previously obscure former governors do rather well. But the Republicans really have picked the best candidate, the one who absolutely gives them the best chance at winning in the fall. Much of the problems many conservatives had with him seem to be evaporating and it looks like the party is doing well to unite behind Senator McCain. I never understood what their problem was anyways. Here's a guy with a solid conservative voting record, hawkish stances on foreign policy and defense, a strong pro-lifer etc. I think it always just boiled down to his (refreshing) willingness to follow his own principles, even when they didn't gel with the majority of the party (i.e. campaign finance reform, immigration) and the fact he's always been one to work with the other side to achieve results in the Senate. Sort of like the disgraceful way the Democrats treated Joe Lieberman, though certainly not as extreme in this care. What they did was nothing short of disgusting, basically running him out of the party after many years of loyal service because he didn't agree on them with one issue. You can tow the party line on every other issue, but if you don't agree with us on Iraq, you're out. How closed minded, though coming from liberals that shouldn't be a shock.

But for all the talk (mostly from the liberal media) of how 'fractured' the Republican Party is, they have their nominee. It's now looking very likely that the Democratic race is going all the way to the convention, something that is great news for Republicans. The longer their race goes on, the more time McCain has to focus on the general election. Just when it seemed as if Obama was going to pull far ahead, Clinton storms back. It looks like a clear case of buyer’s remorse, with a lot of Democrats starting to wonder if this guy really has what it takes. Surely Hilary's attack ads had some effect, but I think people are beginning to wonder if there's any real substance behind this guy. I mean he certainly is a very fine speaker and at least sounds presidential. But he very well may be another Gary Hart, someone who looks good and sounds good, promising a lot of 'change' and 'new ideas'. But I'm beginning to to suspect that "Where's the beef?" might ring true here as well. Plus the fact that he's even to the left of Ted Kennedy is somewhat disconcerting. I was remiss in mentioning a great line he had a few weeks back when he said something like "George Bush won't be running again in November" (applause and pause). "My cousin, Dick Cheney, won't be running again in November!". Very funny line. Whoever wrote that deserves a raise.

At any rate, the election should be a lot of fun, much better than any scripted television out there (which have returned, though I don't care). One thing that struck me as interesting was the fact that the turnout for Democratic Primaries has been consistently much higher across the board. But one of CNN's (very hot) political analysts, Amy Holmes, pointed out that the same thing was the case in 1988 and we didn't have no President Dukakis. So there is hope yet!

Even though I would have thought so, it doesn't look like there's a federal election likely to happen in Canada, though that certainly could change. The Conservative Budget has passed, so if the minority government is to be brought down, it will be over something else. In a way I sort of want an election, seeing as I'd really like to get more involved than in the past and of course I'd love to see Stephen Harper with an increased majority mandate. But it looks like the people of Canada are fairly content with the current state of things and don't want another election. As minority governments go, this one really has been around for quite a long time, something I attribute to the fact that the Harper government has done a very good job of working across party lines and achieving compromise. Granted, this is something which would likely disappear with a majority. It still boggles my mind that the polling usually places the two big parties pretty even or the Conservatives with a lead, but not a huge one. I really do think this country is so fucked up when it comes to voter sensibility. We have a government that's doing a very good job, has lowered taxes, kept OUR economy strong, cleaned up Ottawa and yet there's a real danger they could be turfed by a Liberal party that's led by a total dud (who doesn't speak English!) and just came off a major corruption scandal. The Conservatives could discover the cure for cancer and find a way to spin straw into gold and still people would be ambivalent towards them. Why don't people here realize that we have more than one political party? This isn't communist Russia, though if we're not careful we might just wind up to the left of them one day.

And no, I'm not even going to give any consideration to the ridiculous accusations that (then opposition leader) Harper tried to bribe independent M.P. Chuck Cadman by offering the terminally-ill man a $1,000,000 life insurance policy in exchange for his vote in helping bring down the (then) Liberal minority government. Cadman's widow has denied that Harper knew anything about it and the whole story defies any logic. Would any insurance company in the history of time grant a man dying man a $1,000,000 or even $100 life insurance policy? There's as much to this as there is the disgusting N.Y. Times McCain-Lobbyist thing. What amazes me is not that this is America's most read newspaper, but that it even calls itself a newspaper. It has almost as much credibility as the The Onion. And I thought The Toronto Star was bad.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I wonder if any of the Mormons will continue reading? Likely not.

Anyways, it seems as though my brief encounter with Mormonism (probably the closest I'll ever get) is over, so we can return to business as usual. Today is another typical Sunday for me that I'm spending in solitary misery, already rather tipsy and it's not yet dark out. At least I managed to wake up before noon.

I read this story and thought it was simply hilarious. Really just read it, it speaks for itself. It needs no further commentary.

Something just recently occurred to me, one thing in my miserable life that I will not have to worry about. If I ever get married or engaged or even find myself in a long term relationship (all highly unlikely) I'm not too worried about what my significant other's mother will think of me. All older women (i.e. over 40) seem to love me, think I'm just the nicest young man, all that jazz. All my mom's friend's think I'm just swell for instance. The trouble is, their daughters do not. I don't know if it's a case of them (women my own age) not liking me simply because their mothers do, but I think it's probably deeper than that. For instance, at work yesterday I realized how all my female co-workers my own age think I'm a weirdo or a jerk or from outer-space or a loser generally treating me like shit. On the other hand I get along swimmingly with anyone a generation older (or more). This is very depressing and has been the case pretty much my entire life.

Finally, I neglected to mention (in a previous post) the true highlight of the Oscars, that being the unbelievably gorgeous Katherine Heigl. When I saw her on the red carpet, I almost died and was actually making all sorts of weird noises to myself. She is seriously, incredibly beyond stunning and seeing women like her makes me morbidly upset for obvious reasons, seeing as I will never even touch a woman 1/10th as good looking as she is. Also she's married to some dude whose level of chest hair exceeds Robin Williams levels, something which makes me even more depressed. It's really nasty. Anyways, she may just be the most beautiful woman in the world, I don't know. Seeing as I love lists, I'm tempted to make another one, not having done a "Top Ten Hottest" for over two years. But again, it might just make me more depressed. God I'm lonely.
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