March 31, 2006

Conversations With Greatness LXXIII

March 30, 2006

Seen On Promontory Belonging To Net



…Conveniently, if you eat them all at once, you will die!

--

I was watching The Daily Show on the Montreal CTV affiliate the other night, and during the commercial break was flabbergasted to see that none other than the Concordia undergraduate society had bought advertising time to encourage Concordia students to vote! That is genius! If I learnt anything at Emerson College, it's that media arts students replenish their energy not through eating and sleeping, but through taking off their witty, graphic print t-shirts and exposing their nipples directly to the glow of Jon Stewart's televised face.

Not that, you know, I approve of stereotypes or anything. Oh, no.

March 28, 2006

Tabernac!

So, I finally got my replacement keyboard for my iMac, today, and it's working just great (as the presence of all these spaces and apostrophes will attest to). There was one, slight snafu on my part, however.

See, I'm living in Canada, bought my computer in Canada, had to create a brand new Apple ID based in Canada for the support process-- so when it came to selecting what type (no pun intended) of new keyboard I needed from the drop-down menu on the website, I naturally chose 'Canadian'. Unfortunately (as I probably should have guessed at the time), to an American company like Apple, 'Canadian' means 'French'-- so now I have a slightly funky-looking keyboard with an 'É' key instead of a '?' key, an 'È' instead of an apostrophe key, and pictograms on all the non-character keys.

Now, none of that is really a problem because I can touch type so it doesn't matter what is on the keys as long as they're all in the same place. But they're not! So not only can I not touch type perfectly, when something doesn't work properly I need to open up my keyboard viewer so I can work out what key I'm supposed to be pressing.

This might seem like acute story, but really it was a grave mistake on my part. Nyuk nyuk.

March 26, 2006

Fat Wha?!

From AskMen.com: 6 Ways To Tell Your Girl To Lose Some Weight

ERROR! ERROR! WARNING! SYSTEM OVERLOAD!

Interestingly, this article is written by AskMen.com's "Relationship Correspondent," but I hope for the sake of all women that Chris Lumsdon is not and will never be in an actual relationship.

So, what are the six "craftiest" ways to tell a woman she's fat without making her stop sleeping with you?

1. "I don't like the way that outfit looks on you anymore". Essentially, tell her that her favourite outfit— her back-up plan, the one thing she knows she can always wear and feel comfortable in— looks bad. Then, once her self-confidence is completely destroyed, presto!, she'll barf herself thin.

2. "I can't get over how fat I feel." See, if you say that you feel fat, "she'll become fat-obsessed by osmosis". Because we all want the women we love to be fat-obsessed.

3. "Your friend isn't nearly as attractive since she gained that weight." Now, the beautiful thing about this one is, not only will it make it clear that you don't dig fat chicks, but it will also let her know that you think her friends are attractive! It's a win-win situation!

4. "I have a new female trainer at the gym." And we DO IT, every night, because she is SOOOO THIN!

5. "The saleswoman said it was for smaller women." Ipso facto, if it doesn't fit, your girlfriend must need to lose weight. And it won't fit, because the article specifically advises you to buy something "a couple of sizes out of her reach." A couple! Buddy, if you think your girlfriend is a COUPLE of sizes too big, you should not be allowed any element of control in the lives of other people.

6. "Let's help each other lose a couple of pounds?" Because your own health and fitness is only important insofar it can be used to bag skinny girls.

It doesn't seem fair that I'm single, while a world full of fat-obsessed douchebags have girlfriends.

March 24, 2006

Conversations With Greatness LXXII

March 22, 2006

Faux Toes

It's been a while since I delved into the entertaining world of captioned photojournalism. So...

The President is presented with a bowl of shamrocks by the Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern ('taoiseach' is an Irish word meaning "They're after me lucky charms!").


Meanwhile, has anyone noticed the difference between 11-month-old Lokman Hakim Mondol and the syntactically challenged Jedi Master Yoda?


Prince Charles wows an audience with his impersonations during his royal visit to Egypt.


And, finally, in Kabul, a small merchant regrets not signing up with Amazon.com.

March 20, 2006

Dancing Gene, Feel The Beat...

From Netscape Men: Surprising No. 1 Way to Attract Women

And this month's prize for the most poorly written media article about a scientific study goes to...

"Guys, you just have to learn to dance, and the women will be flocking to you! it's almost a guarantee.

Men who know how to dance will not only attract more women, but also more desirable women . . . Why? It turns out that a man's dips, spins, twirls and glides may be telegraphing to women their genetic superiority . . . This latest study is the first time the effects of dance on human courtship have been verified by science."


By SCIENCE! Well, the article says 'science', but it was done by a professor in the anthropology department at Rutgers, and we all know that anthropology isn't really a science, ZING!

Also, I don't know about genetic superiority, but men are definitely telegraphing something to women on the dance floor, DOUBLE ZING!

"Using motion capture technology, the researchers were able to isolate the movements of 183 Jamaican teenagers . . . Teens were asked to choose a romantic partner based on his or her dance moves.

The results: The teenagers chose partners who were the best dancers and as it turned out, these people were also genetically superior."


Whoa! They were Aryans?! Jamaican Aryans?! That is WILD!

I'm feeling very silly today, can you tell?

March 17, 2006

Conversations With Greatness LXXI



Apologies for tardiness today (Blogger was on the fritz) and lack of material in general this week (my iMac's keyboard is on the fritz).

March 14, 2006

Kapkaesque

From The Boston Globe: Kerry to put hold on Bush nomination for top highway job

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Why do I find the issue of who will be the next head of the Federal Highway Authority so amusing? Because Bush's nomination, Richard Kapka, used to be head of the Big Dig!

The Big Dig, if you don't know, is Boston's white elephant of a 'solution' to traffic congestion downtown. It started, if you can believe this, in 1982 (almost twenty-five years ago!!!), with the goal of taking Interstate 93 from the surface of downtown Boston, and putting the entire thing underneath downtown Boston, instead.

(It continued a rich history of retahded construction projects in the city, including a multi-storey downtown carpark that was designed and built without taking into account the weight of all the cars that would be parked inside it; and, of course, the creation of half the city by filling the bay with dirt instead of, I don't know, expanding into the interior of the newly discovered, completely undeveloped country on the back doorstep.)

Anyway, the Big Dig has become the stuff of local lore, because, as I said, it's been going on for a quarter of a freakin' century, has cost oodles of billions of dollars, and is, in general, the most poorly planned and problem-ridden piece of civil engineering in the history of the universe. Kapka's reign over the project spanned my first year at Emerson, during which the following foul-ups occurred:

•Some of the tunnels open, finally! Then they're closed again because they leak and the roof occasionally collapses.

•It's revealed that the stretch of road that is supposed to connect the underground portion of I-93 to the brand spanking new Zakim Bridge (which carries the highway over the Charles river) had been planned to go straight through the Fleet Centre (where the Bruins play), because, OOPS!, the planners forgot to draw the Fleet Centre on their maps. So there are some hasty revisions and some really sharp curves added.

•One of the tunnels is accidentally built with an extra curve in it, and now leads directly into the bowels of hell.

Okay, so I made that last one up, but still: they want to put this man in charge of ALL Federal Highways?! My God, that would be like appointing an ambassador to the UN who is completely undiplomatic!

Oh. Well. At least they didn't send Kapka to Iraq. Yet.

March 13, 2006

Andrew's Patented Blog-Like Rants, In Print!

I sent an irate letter to the McGill Tribune last week, and was tickled a manly shade of pink to find, today, that it had been upgraded to a 'Guest Soap' article in the opinion section. Check it out here.

Ah, this takes me back. Back to my pre-blog days (yes, you heard) when I restricted my rants to twice-monthly columns in Emerson College's Berkeley Beacon— still immortalised, for all to see, thanks to the magic of the internet. Par exemple... "Yuppie Bitch Woman".

It was all about the story, back then. The story, and, uh... the women and drugs. (And, yes, by 'women and drugs', I mean quesadillas and root beer from the diner above the Beacon's "meeting space".)

--

Edit: Yuppie Bitch link should work now.

March 12, 2006

Insufferably Intellectual Humour

I am writing what is tantamount to a cultural studies paper for my Italian Lit class right now, and am therefore compelled to make the following joke:

Q. What is the technical term for the mindless repetition of the words of a semiotician-cum-novelist?
A. Ecolalia.

--

Man, how metatextual is it that 'metatextual' isn't in my dictionary?

--

You guys better hope that I don't get into the English program at U of T, or you will have to put up with another two years of this.

March 10, 2006

Conversations With Greatness LXX



Toronto for the weekend-- 12 degree weather, my cousin doing a show at Sneaky D's, dim sum, and, of course, my uncle and aunt's TLC. Woot!

March 09, 2006

Self Indulgence Through Song

Well, folks, I have been damn good about not using my blog as a place to vent the emotional farrago going on in my head since my break-up. So today you're going to have to deal with a little bit of shameless introspection. Sorry.

I was in TravelCuts the other day renewing my ISIC card, and there was a couple in there, first-years, planning a trip together. They had this beautiful eagerness in their eyes, that I recognised, kind of, like finding something you wrote as a child. It made me feel oddly better.

What has really struck me about the whole experience is the way familiar things, things you've seen and heard for months (years, even) without thought, suddenly jump out at you as if brand new. Song lyrics, especially. There are two that have really been stuck in my head for weeks, and I suspect that they will give you a pretty good idea of my current state of mind.

"The saddest part of a broken heart,
Isn't the ending, so much as the start."


"We all make mistakes and then
Life is the art of
Learning to live with it
Through time."


Oh, God, I'm such a teenager. Sigh.

March 07, 2006

Hang A Right

Found this in my inbox this afternoon...



No human rights this month! I thought I was feeling a little more oppressed than usual.

March 05, 2006

Posh Spice

I had planned to write an entire post about my day trip to Victoria, but realised, after writing about the Royal BC Museum, that we didn't do much else. So apologies if this isn't too exciting.

Dustin and I took took a ferry to Vancouver Island that could only be described as bitchin'. Comfy seats, big windows letting in the sun, nice decor, flat panel TVs, and, yes, a Starbucks onboard. It actually arrived into Swartz Bay, which is about 45 minutes on the bus from Victoria, but I didn't mind-- it was a double-decker bus, which reminded me of home, and the drive was a scenic one. On the ferry, Dustin had picked up a 'Map Free of Victoria' (thankfully only a name, or it wouldn't have been much use), so we tried to pick a few things to do during the afternoon. Unfortunately, Victoria doesn't have a whole lot to offer except the museum, Miniature World (a museum of dioramas), and The Original Christmas Village (a four-storey, year-round, Christmas ornaments store), none of which sounded too appealing. We asked ex-McGill Improv member Alex, who lives in Victoria now, what there was to do there that's fun. He replied that it depended what we meant by fun. Perhaps this gives you some idea of what the town is like.

Alex met us off the bus and took us to lunch at some popular local diner-ish place, where the food was huge and the staff creepily friendly (the waitress referred to all three of us, collectively, as 'babe'). It had a whole lot of crazy crap on the walls-- a strange mixture of sports paraphernalia, movie posters, pictures of celebrities, and a giant Malcolm X poster. My favourite part was the captions on the pictures of celebrities (as if we don't know who Arnold Schwarzenegger is), including this printed underneath the photograph of David Beckham: "English penalty kicker." Not 'English football player', or even 'English soccer player'. I couldn't work out if they thought all he did was take penalties, or if it was a bitchy jab at the fact that he totally missed a crucial penalty kick at Euro 2004.

After the museum we strolled around a little, browsed through a wonderful independent bookstore, spent some time warming up in a coffeeshop, and finally hit up Victoria's "Chinatown" for dinner (quotation marks used to suggest that 'Chinablock' would be more appropriate). Dustin and I were both pretty exhausted from our early start to catch the ferry, so we decided to forego Victoria's rocking nightlife and instead took some beer back to Alex's apartment and played games until I fell asleep on the couch.

I think this will be all I write about my trip. Snowboarding was fun but uneventful, and I doubt I could write a whole post about Dustin, much though I enjoyed seeing him. Suffice to say, we drank a lot of beer, had a lot of fun, and probably got mistaken for a gay couple at least once (I mean, really, who other than gay couples have brunch in a Cuban restaurant while sharing a newspaper?).

So, this week, back to my pithy editorials on obscure news stories.

March 03, 2006

Conversations With Greatness LXIX



And now, my final Vaganza. With a cough. *sniff*

March 02, 2006

A Totem Eclipse of the Heart

When you're seeing a place from a tourist's perspective, it's hard not to end up in a bunch of museums. Thus was my trip out west.

My first 'museum' was the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre, an unassuming, by-donation educational centre about a twenty-minute drive from the city. Lynn Canyon Park is a pretty little bundle of waterfalls, dotted through a forest of inconceivably tall trees; but its main attraction is the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge, strung swayingly across the canyon like something out of an Indiana Jones movie (although, way more structurally sound, obviously). As you leave the park, you're directed by signs to the ecology centre, where you can peruse a sizeable gift shop and learn about the dangers of consumerism to the environment (Dustin did a computerised quiz and learnt that if everybody shared his lifestyle, we would need 4.2 earths to sustain the population-- after that, I was too scared to take the quiz myself).

Pretty much every museum in BC seems to have either an exhibit about environmental conservation, or about totem poles. Many have both. To wit: the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, which has both a massive exhibition of Northwest Coast art and culture (including a real-life, reconstructed-in-the-museum, Kwakiutl house), and, one floor down, a video of Rick Mercer telling us to take better care of the planet.

Actually, though, the Royal Museum was my favourite out of everything I saw. The exhibits were wonderfully detailed and carefully maintained, and were interesting enough that they kept my attention, even after a week of learning about totem poles and the environment. They also had a fantastic temporary exhibition of Linda McCartney's photography-- my favourite part was a photograph of a black entertainer who had run for President in the 70s, on the platform of "painting the White House black".

Back in Vancouver, I also visited the Vancouver Art Gallery, which had a nice blend of contemporary exhibits and classical paintings (and paintings of totem poles); the Museum of Anthropology at UBC (almost entirely totem poles); and the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park, where I saw a beluga whale for the first time, and watched a dolphin pee (and learnt about the importance of environmental conservation-- see what I mean? There were also some totem poles outside).

And, on that note, so ends another instalment of my trip to BC.

--

Because everyone else is doing it:

Friday, March 3rd, at noon: come to VAGANZA VI, McGill Improv's annual 24-hour comedy show! It's on the second floor of the Shatner building, 3480 McTavish Street, runs straight through until noon on Saturday, March 4th. Admission is $3 for students and $5 for non-students, and all profits will go to a local charity.

March 01, 2006

The Two Lowest Forms Of Wit



Whoa, whoa, whoa-- there are two Ushers? Now that is one dance-off I would like to see.

--

Gil's post over on Sillytech reminded me of an article I read in the Vancouver Sun over the weekend. It was an opinion piece by one Pete McMartin, about how the word 'fuck' dominates our society, especially among the younger generations (well, I assume it was the word 'fuck'— whatever it was, the Sun has a policy of printing only 'f---'):

"Profanity free-wheels through the Internet, has become a staple of comedy and— as for being literally part of the fabric of Western culture— is now even the stuff of T-shirts, where you wear the swear. (Consider, too, one clothier's logo, whose use of the sly acronym "FCUK" is, I would suggest, a hip wink...)"

Oh, you would suggest that, would you? Gosh, Pete McMartin, you are such a canny observer of the culture of 'the youth'! You have broken into our inner circle, discovered our deepest secrets, ransacked our Temple of Doom!

Good God, he's only one tiny step away from discovering that we're sometimes sarcastic. What are we going to do?