June 2009


You may be surprised to learn that the Counting Crows are still a band back on tour. I certainly was.

I was also excited. Not because I plan on seeing them, but because I really wanted to do a “Punchable Faces of…Adam Duritz”, and the fact that they are touring makes it seem like I am reacting to the news, rather than trying to make a post that would have seemed dated two years ago appear marginally relevant.

It’s tough to pick out what irks me most about pop music’s resident man-muppet. Is it his voice, with its spastic shifts in pitch and volume that make him sound like Bobcat Goldthwait’s slightly more melodic brother? Is it his paid-by-the-word approach to lyric-writing (average time per Crows song during which Duritz is not singing: 3 seconds*)? Is it the fact that he dated Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox, but not struggling musician Phoebe Buffay, which makes him seem like an asshole for snubbing the one female Friend whose career he could have helped? Or is it that I can’t reconcile my annoyance with the fact that I still know every single word to August & Everything After (damn its hypnotic jangly melodies!)?

Actually, the thing that bugs me most was summed up nicely by the man himself in an interview he did with Rolling Stone last year. On why he has so many haters:

“My life looks perfect, and I’ve been whining about it for years…I could have said at the very beginning, ‘I have lost my mind. I am mentally ill. I have to take all these medications that make me fat.’ And then everything would have been different.”

Yep, that’s got to be it. We just needed to hear more about how difficult it is being Adam Duritz. Because five studio albums and countless interviews where you discuss almost nothing but isn’t enough. We need, nay, demand, a minimum three-volume autobiography (perhaps with authentic reproductions of childhood finger paintings showing that, even then, you had a predisposition towards the colour blue), a five-part Oprah interview, and an entire album’s worth of atrocious Joni Mitchell covers. Then and only then will we understand the horrors of growing up the son of two doctors, reaching national stardom at an age when you were far too young to handle the pressure (August & Everything After broke when Adam was at the tender age of 30; suck it up, Britney), and being “left in shock” at the pressure of being “hailed as the new Nirvana” (an actual Duritz quote).

Or maybe we just need to vent a little early-week frustration with an (unquestionably) timely piece that in no way can be considered kicking a man when he’s down. Yes, that’s the ticket.

And speaking of tickets – if you happen to be in the Sarnia, Ontario area on July 9th…I’m told that plenty are still available.

* Source: Elias Sports Bureau.

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The “Wants You to Guess What The Matter Is”

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The “This Next One Goes Out To All My Sexy Guitar Players’ Wives Out There…”

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The “Failing the Roadside Sobriety Test”

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The “Paul Reubens Redux”

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The “Startled That the Midget Could Talk”

(more…)

As everyone in the Free World is no doubt aware by now, the economy is in the crapper (or “le crappier”). I refer, of course, not to the so-called “Global Economy”, but rather the Quebec agrarian-based economy. It would appear that Quebecois farmers are having trouble finding love, thus posing a threat to the future of Quebec’s farming community.

Experts are baffled by this shortage of French farm-boy lovin’, though many are chalking it up to general populace’s confusion of the Quebecois with the less-appealing European “surrender French”. Rest assured, ladies, that they are not one and the same. Below is a pictorial illustration of the fundamental differences:

Quebecois:

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Euro-French:

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However, this cultural confusion alone cannot account for the recent down-turn in Quebecois agrarian love. At the risk of blaming the victim, we feel that the fault lies at least in part with the Quebecois farmers themselves. Perhaps if they made a little more of an effort to attract their true love, they wouldn’t be in this predicament.

So what’s the solution? Well, as with most things in life, the answer can be found on the internet. More specifically, at this website. For if history has taught us anything, it’s that posting a list of insane demands in a stream-of-consiousness blog post is a sure-fire way to meet the perfect gal. After all, that’s how the four of us met our respective “ladies”…

But don’t take my word for it! Let’s go straight to the source (Mark) for some tips on how to find the perfect goddess. Here are a few key lessons:

1) Keep It Simple. Always start your search for love with something simple, like a “Global Vision”. In so doing, remember to remain modest and grounded. You don’t want to scare off any prospective suitors (suitettes?). Here’s Mark’s straightforward approach:

“I  am on the brink of a large-scale financial success that many people believe will escalate me, over the next decade, from member of the middle class—to billionaire. I am the inventor and developer of, and control the majority interest in, a patented new technology that numerous well-credentialed experts agree can, quite literally, re-define the entire computer industry. We need about one more year to complete implementation of our first product release (hopefully in early 2010), and then the computing paradigm will begin to shift….

However, I am much more than a computer scientist. I am a Global Visionary, and my desire and intention is to utilize my anticipated computer fortune to create fundamental changes in the systems, institutions and traditions on this planet: from darkness to LIGHT. In contrast with my computer technology which is likely to succeed (at least to some significant degree), my broad global vision is a gigantic LONG SHOT. With God (and if my karma proves good enough), I will find some degree success with my huge vision. If not, I will at least have enjoyed the adventure of daring to go for it.

Why am I sharing this Global Vision with you? Because it tells you a whole lot about who I am. I am a man who DARES to dream the impossible dream, and who DARES to devote his life to realizing it. I am seeking a woman who LOVES my vision and WANTS to be my intimate partner in the adventure of going for it, whether we succeed or fail.

2) Be Clear and Concise in Your Demands – Remember that you’re looking for true love. Now is not the time to be vague and imprecise about your desires. Tell the woman what you want her to be, and she will be it. It’s just like Field of Dreams, only with fewer ghosts of dead baseball players. A shot list of reasonable likes and dislikes will usually suffice. Once again, Mark provides an excellent model:

She is extremely attractive. She’s HOT. She turns heads wherever she goes. She is sexy. VERY sexy. She is beautifully dressed and beautifully groomed. She has excellent posture. She has a trim waistline. Alternatively, if her waistline is ALMOST (but not quite) trim, she is willing to trim it down for me and keep it trim for me. No exceptions. Her hair is her own and at least TO HER SHOULDERS. Alternatively, she is willing to grow her hair long for me and keep it long for me. No exceptions. Her voice is not low or raspy. (Alto is fine; baritone is not.) She is in excellent health, although she may have some minor health issues she is working on.

3) Give Yourself Credit – Too often men sell themselves short. When looking for true love, you cannot afford to be modest or bashful. You have to sell yourself!! That said, try to avoid arrogance. A balanced statement of your accomplishments and your “assets” should suffice. Mark, how would you describe yourself?

Gallant. INTENSELY romantic. Perfect gentleman. Flamboyant! 6-1, 185, 58. Deep, sexy voice (women LOVE my voice). Extremely brilliant. Extremely creative. Well educated. Renaissance Man. Wise.

4) Close With A Religious Diatribe – Nothing is sexier to a woman than a man who has found God. Literally. If you are looking for love, some sort of religious rant is an absolute must. Mark?

Glory to God! Om Namah Narayanaya! Om Namah Shivaya! Om Sri Ganasheya Namaha! Jai Laxmi! Guru Om! Jai Sri Sri Ravi Shankar! Glory to Buddha! Glory to Jesus! Glory to Mary mother of Jesus! Glory to Mary Magdalene! Glory to Allah! Om Namo Bhaghavate Vaasudevaya! Jai Yogananda! Jai Mata Amritanandamayi! Jai Gurumayi Chidvilasananda! Jai Muktananda! Jai Guru Dev! Nam Myoho Renge Kyo! Amen! Om Shanti Shanti Shanti! 

May each woman who replies to this ad be PERMANENTLY surrounded by Angels of God and a Shield of Light that admits only Light, Love, Beauty, Joy, Wisdom, Truth, and Divinity into her body, mind, heart and soul, and that reflects back and ABSOLUTELY PROTECTS her from anything that is not of God regardless of how “well intended” or “spiritual” or “common sensical” its source may appear to be. May SHE, and may ALL her thoughts about me, and may EACH AND EVERY aspect of her interactions with me (including all electronic, software and database systems by which we communicate), be ABSOLUTELY PROTECTED from any intrusion or interference or obstruction whatsoever (directly or indirectly or through a “well meaning” person) by anyone or any “entity” or any thing that is opposed to God.

Well, farmers of Quebec, there you have it. If you follow these four simple rules to matchmaking, you are guaranteed to find love before the next harvest!!

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No matter how bad things get, you can always trust Corey Feldman to grieve with dignity.

In tribute to Michael Jackson, I am wearing a nine-year old boy.

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General Tao [16:15] Yup, still dead.

[...wonders whether this was a good idea for an ironically-titled "live" blog]

“Shit. Shit. Shit. Now there’s no way we are ever going to have another “Victory” tour. Oh, man. How the hell am I going to pay the loan on my van?”

- Tito Jackson

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Last night was the first night in over a decade Macauley Culkin slept peacefully without the raging demon of albino stick-man rape screaming in his dreams and memories. Rest easy, Macauley. You are now finally Home Alone.

I have nothing but sheer ambivalence over Michael Jackson’s death. Yes, I owned “Thriller”. Yes, that’s also my nickname with the ladies (I am extremely well-endowed and I constantly wear one sparkly glove — it works both ways). Yes, I have a giant replica of a Michael Jackson “History” statue in my backyard (it scares away crows and twelve year old boys). Still, it’s been 15 years since he had any cultural importance that was not of the freakish surgery or “Jesus Juice” variety. Also, I had pretty terrible taste in music when I was a kid. I am not going to be digging out “Bad” for a re-listen any time soon.

The worst thing to come from Michael Jackson’s death are the mawkish tributes and lyric quotes that are now popping up on my friend’s Facebook pages. Those people should have their fingers cut off and fed to wolves. NO MORE TYPING, ASSHOLES!!!! There is no profound commentary on Jackson’s death that can be found in the fucking lyrics to “Man in the Mirror”. He had a fucking heart attack. The man in the mirror had exactly the same heart attack if Jackson was standing in front of it at the time. Also, someone cleverly commented on the death: “it’s Human Nature.” No, it’s actually physiological function. Fucking retards. My Michael Jackson tribute will be an angry mass de-friending.

 

Blue Menu [22:00EST]:     Wow.  Just heard that Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest.  I guess you can only handle so many younger lovers before your heart finally gives out.  A nation (and the Association of Epaulette Manufacturers) mourns the day the music stopped.  The only question now will be whether he dances through the pearly gates or moonwalks down to Hell.  Too soon? RIP MJ.

Blue Menu [14:05EST]:     Speaking of deaths, I would like to announce the death of this live-blog.  And the death of my friendship with the rest of the bloggers on this site.

Blue Menu [14:27EST]:    I just read Butter Chicken’s update above.  Scratch my 2:05EST post.  I could use a drink.

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(Monday. 2:30 in the afternoon. Two men sit at the bar in a pub)

Man 1: Bartender! (points to glass) One more, please.

Man 2: Make that two. This one’s on me.

Man 1: Cheers.

Man 2: Bah. Misery loves company.

(A third man walks up and grabs a seat at the bar)

Man 3: Bartender? Can I get a a screwdriver?

Man 1: (to Man 2) Rough day out there?

Man 2: Brother, you wouldn’t believe it. I had three interviews lined up. The first two thanked me for showing up but told me they could no longer afford to hire. And the third place was shuttered.

Man 1: Brutal.

Man 2: No, what’s brutal is still being laid off with two teenagers and a mortgage. I’ve been out of work for three months now.

Man 1: I can’t imagine.

Man 3: (to bartender) No, with Grey Goose please.

Man 2: I tell you, it’s depressing to keep showing up to these fucking things.

Man 1: This god damn economy. What field are you in?

Man 2: Sales. How about you?

Man 1: I-banking.

Man 2: Rough times there.

Man 1: Don’t I know it. These last few weeks, I can’t even get an interview. So, sad as it is, I’ve just been showing up at firms, riding in the elevators and handing out business cards.

Man 2: No shame in hustling. Man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

Man 3: (to bartender) Say, you mind changing the channel to EastEnders?

Man 1: Not that I’m blameless. I was making really good money when I was working. But I spent like crazy. Stupid shit, you know? I barely saved anything. But it was my first job, and times were so good there for a while, it seemed like it was never going to end.

Man 2: You only need to learn that lesson once.

Man 1: Let’s hope so. It sucks being 31 and back living with my parents. I haven’t earned a dime in two months. But hey, you don’t need to hear my sob stories, you got kids.

Man 2: It’s all relative, sport.

Man 1: Anyway, cheers.

Man 2: Cheers.

(Both down their drinks)

Man 2: One more round, then we pound some pavement?

Man 1: Works for me.

Man 2: Fill ‘er up, bartender, if you don’t mind. (to Man 3) How about you, fella?

Man 3: Huh?

Man 2: You on the job hunt, too?

Man 3: Nope.

Man 2: Cheers to that, then. Glad to see someone’s still able to earn a living.

Man 1: Amen.

Man 3: Oh, I don’t have a job. I was let go eight months ago.

Man 1: Eight months? Jesus, how are you holding up?

Man 3: Great! I love being funemployed!

Man 1: Excuse me?

Man 3: You know. Funemployed. I’m not working…and I’m having the time of my life!

Man 2: Come again?

Man 3: You haven’t heard about it? It’s all the rage! Not working has allowed me to do the things I’ve always wanted to do, but could never find the time for. I go to underwater yoga three times a week, I’m on two ultimate frolf teams…

Man 1: …

Man 3: …oh, and today, I was just mucking around in my lettuce garden when I thought, “you know what? I’m going to go have a drink at a bar on a Monday afternoon, just because I can!” Neat, huh?

Man 2: …

Man 3: (looks at t.v.) Oh, that Roxy is such a minx. Stay away from Jack, hussy!

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Man 1: So, you’re independently wealthy?

Man 3: Oh, God no.

Man 2: Your parents taking care of you then?

Man 3: Hardly. My tightwad old man cut me off after seventh year undergrad.

Man 1: Then how can you afford to be off work?

Man 3: E.I., baby! Plus, I usually eat lunch at the soup kitchen.

Man 2: YOU MEAN to say you’ve been on E.I. for eight months, and you’re not even looking for a job?

Man 3: (smiles, brings finger to lips) Shhhhhh. Actually, you’d be surprised at how comfortably you can live on unemployment when you are smart with your money. And as a bonus, it’s allowed me to “temporarily suspend” (winks) my child support payments.

Man 2: (squeezes glass; it shatters)

Man 3: (to bartender) Another Grey Goose please. Oh, and can I get one of those fancy ice cubes? I like the way the drink swirls around it.

Man 1: (cracks knuckles)

Man 3: I mean, don’t get me wrong, fellas, I’m going to get back in the workforce some day. But I’m taking this time for me, you know? To find out what the universe wants me to do and…say, where are you guys taking me? Bartender? BARTENNNNNDDDDDERRRRRRRRR!

***

(The next day)

Man 3: Where…where am I?

(Nurse enters room)

Nurse: Oh good, you’re awake. Ready for your lunch?

Man 3: Lunch? I sure am! (scans tray) Oh boy! Fruit cup!

Nurse: Let me fluff that pillow for you.

Man 3: Say…I don’t suppose that television gets EastEnders, does it?

Nurse: I believe it does.

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Man 3: Ha! What recession?

Last week in the Globe and Mail, there was an article on ways to preparing cheap meals using items that are on sale in grocery store flyers. That’s some hard-hitting journalism there, folks. Anyway, one commenter, Mayor Miller’s Lost Weight, pretty well cinched the Commenter of the Year award for our national newspaper:

Once a week, I make a point of eating things that most ordinary humans would not consider edible. For example, the other day a raccoon was hit by a car across from the park near my home. I wrapped him in tinfoil and strapped him to the engine block of my Prius and drove around for 30 minutes. He was piping hot and the meat just slid off the bone. Cost? $2 worth of gas. Of course, now I have a bad case of worms and my car smells terrible, but still. The week before that, I noticed my neighbour grilling up a bunch of pork chops slathered in bbq sauce. After he took the chops inside, I ran into his backyard and gnawed at his grill. It was just like eating ribs except they were made of metal. Also, they were really hot and burned me extremely badly.

Sully, MattK, rusrus, SLC — the gauntlet has been thrown down. Try to step up, OK?

A critical look at the headlines that shape our world

It’ll Be Jon Minus Kate Plus Eight Minus Mealticket Equals Move Back In With Parents

If I remember my order of operations, the parents cancel each other out and what you’re left with is eight kids.

North Korea Warns World to Stay Out of Its Waters; ‘And You’re Not Getting That Frisbee Back Either’

And if I see you on my driveway again, so help me God I am taking away that skateboard, South Korea.

Two Nasa Space Probes Near Moon; Neil Armstrong Shakes Head, Continues One-Arm Push-ups

In other news, scientists pushing deep through the wild South American jungle have discovered a primitive settlement named ‘Rio de Janeiro’, where inhabitants dance around in wild costumes and stab each other for Zippo lighters.

700 NYC Teachers Paid to do Nothing; Union Stewards Worldwide: ‘And?’

For God’s sake, won’t somebody think of the children?  And the pensions?

7000 LCBO Employees Prepare to Hit Picket Lines

If today’s post seems a little thin, it’s because I’ve been  driving all over the city this morning buying up the remaining 24s of Zima Light. (To our American friends, yes, it is true that we can only buy liquor from a state agency that controls the brands on the shelves and sets base prices for all products.  Please pray for us.)

Zoo Says Gorilla Didn’t Intend to Start a Knife Fight But It Sure As Hell Intends to Finish It

Aha! The tides have changed, haven’t they, Ozumba! For it is now I who has the upper hand!  Prepare to… Ooh! Is that a yellow rubber ball? Ooh! Ooh!

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