Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Gateway's 95th

Neal's post made me laugh, and then it made me cry a little bit, because I have no exciting stories to tell. At least not exciting like that. So I'll rely on something that happened a long time ago to keep you amused:

A scant two Fridays ago was an evening full of drinking, a limited amount of debauchery, and, uh, old people in the early stages of senility rambling about their pasts. No, not Christmas; the Gateway's 95th anniversary dinner! The evening started out with plenty of awkward small-talk, followed by a surprisingly decent buffet dinner, courtesy of the Chateau Lacombe. All happily full and semi-drunk off free wine by this point, we turned our anticipation (and by "anticipation" I mean "eyes") to budding novelist Todd Babiak, who was to deliver the keynote address. Several harrowing tales, most of which involved him making his little brother shit his pants, later, old-timers were invited to come up to the mic and reminisce (probably a terrible idea, looking back on it, but everyone was feeling dangerously good-natured at the time). And boy, let me tell ya, there sure were a lot of old-timers. In fact, there were 95 people there all told (creepily enough), and at least two editors from every decade from the '40s on.

The speeches went well enough, with everyone present nostaligically reflecting on their pasts at the Gateway, the friends they made, the careers it had launched, etc., until the oldest guy present (I can't remember his name, but he was EiC in '40/'41) took the stage. This started off interestingly enough, until he got distracted from talking about the Gateway and turned to totally unrelated ramblings about women at university having to participate in military drills ("There was a man there by the name of Darling, and every time I called out his name, every girl would answer, 'Yes dear?'"), the poor life choices of French Canadians ("The most important thing the Quebecers at the conference learned was just how much happier you could be if you didn't have 14 children"), and the difficulties of educating Jamaicans. (As an aside, I just asked Chris if this was libel. He said, "He doesn't even know what a computer is!")

Anyway, despite the exchanged nervous glances this tirade led to, it didn't get too out of hand (he suddenly seemed to realize how uncomfortable everyone was getting, and abruptly stopped talking and sat down), and the rest of the night was a lot of fun, culminating in further drinking at the Savoy. I bet you all sure are sad you missed it.

In conclusion, here are some photos of people you guys know:

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Adventures with Jenny

Wintertime is a long way off here in la belle Provincee. Like other provinces in the world, our winters are still a few long weeks off, and so, with all the joy and forsight that comes with bad decisions, we decided to... uhhh... I really don't know what I'm talking about. The following is a mathematical formula that will introduce this post.

Car + gas + driving = getting somewhere to steal from the bounty of Nova Scotia's agricultural breadbasket.

WHat am I talking about? Well! Sit down and shut up, because it's story time!

After a long, frustrating drive, listening to poorly-recorded mix-tapes interspersed with snippets of boring interviews with the Halifax Regional Police Watch Commander ("we haven't had anything interesting happen, actually. We're glad you called."), we finally drove into Wolfville, home of Acadia University, the only mandatory-laptop university in the galaxy (right?) and the place where so many different types of food are grown that you need a second colon just to digest them all (if you were to eat them all at once, anyway).
But the joy of our journey truly began as we toured the beautiful, tree-lined streets of one of the oldest settled areas in Canada, looking along the roadside for abandoned furniture and appliances we might intersect with the front of our vehicle at highway speeds.There were many candidates, but as the cover of a barbecue flew over the grill of the car, bouncing once on the roof, and rolling to a stop in the ditch, I slammed on the brakes. As the biblical Adam, I turned my heart to pure evil when I saw a tree completely full of forbidden fruit. Nay, this was not the fruit of knowledge, inasmuch as it would turn us smart when we mushed it up in our burger-holes, but rather a forest of privately-owned apple trees, poorly guarded, and deliciously delicious. Out from the car we rolled, screaming our glee reservedly to avoid drawing too much attention to our upcoming evil. As my shirtbottom filled with apples, I ran back to the vehicle, and we looked at our score. Apples. Duh. We already knew it was apples. But one taste, and we realized-- evil tastes best straight off the tree. Man-o-man, can you ever taste the evil in stolen tree apples. Jenny tried to tell me it was the freshness of the apples, but I preferred to believe it was the evil that made them sweeter.

With joy, we drove unneccessarily fast away from the tree place, and up the street. As full garbage bags hit our car and covered our windshield with filth and shredded porn, Jenny's sharp eye caught sight of more bounty: pears! And pears, unlike apples, taste much better when they're on top of a steep-mud covered hills. So, in sandals, I slinked (slunk?) up the hill, like some kind of fat fox with sandals on, rubbing my hands foxily at the fox, fox foxy metaphor that was already boring me.

Jenny said "pears."

The we took them. I fell down the hill, dropping pears all over the place. Then my sandal fell off, and I stepped on some kind of porcupine or needle factory. Once back in the car, we realized that the car was getting muddy. We drove off onto a dirt track that went far out into this cornfield. Lots of old, over-ripe corn. Bad for eating, great for throwing. Arms loaded, we returned to the car, which then smelled like rotten corn (and still does), planning our throw-tactics. That night, we had popcorn for supper. But this is a non-sequitor, since we threw all the stolen corn at stopsigns and othersuch townsfolk. But I did throw an apple at a man selling pumpkins (no I didn't).

Speaking of pumpkins, they were also up for the stealing. In a field well-muddied by the feet and pants of tractors and men, we found the remnants of what must have been a pretty good patch-o-pump. Little gourds, big pumpkins, part of a german shepherd; it all went into the grocery bag. But in a shameful misstep, my foot sank into two feet of shit-coloured mud, and I completely lost my right sandal.
"Let it go!" yelled Jenny from our car, desperately trying to roll up her broken window. "That guy in a truck is coming to get us!"
With fear in my loins, I tripped onto all fours in the mud, sullying my already filthlike clothing with filth. Pumpkins once clean and free were now dirty and free.
The truck approached. Fear grew. Managing to stand, I was far too late to escape the horrors that would befal a theiving city-dweller caught in the act. His window rolled down slowly. His arm raised from its armrest.
"Hi! Need a hand with those pumpkins?" said the brute, waving his open palm at me threateningly. "You look right stuck."
"Not so much, my good man," I said in my city language, lifting one foot far enough to fall over. "I'm quite at home here in my native town of ... this pumpkin patch."
Looking confused, he managed to grin and drove away. Without shoes, I walked back to the car, threw the pumpkins in, and ate an apple. Then I also drove.

Well, there isn't much more to tell, I guess. We took some zucchini from an abandoned greenhouse, took more apples from a house that had an RCMP car in front of it, and then realized, "hey. Nobody gives a shit about what we're doing."
Apparently, the seasons were all over for all the stuff, and, as for the apples, it costs 18 cents a pound to grow them, and they sell for 13 cents, so the farmers would rather fuck a dog than care about apples, anyway.

So, I suppose the moral of the story is, the next day, I ate four apples, and got SEVERE diahareareah. LIke, we went to the beach, and I had to run off into the bush and make applesauce, because the bathroom was too far away. Needless to say, wiping with reciepts from the grocery store is about as effective as you think it would be. So, the real moral: stealing is fun, but throwing is funnier. Eating leads to pooping. But that's also usually the case. Hmmm...

S'up, fools?

So, a blog, huh? How new-fangled! I was in Winnipeg this weekend for a delicious turkey-eating marathon with the big-haired guy I like to call my boyfriend when word of Some Cats Are Bigger Than Others came down the interweb pipeline. Trevor and I did a little soul-searching about whether the title was a clever metaphor for a group of people, you know, doing things, and thus Chris thought some of us “cats” were “bigger,” i.e. doing things, bigger than some others who, like, work at Pizza Hut or something. It hurt my brain a little, so I decided it was just a reflection of Chris’s love of cats. His pillow is actually a sac of cats, you know.

Anyway, on the topic of “doing things,” here’s a rundown -- in handy point form -- on what I’ve been up to for those who I’m too much of a jerk to keep in frequent contact with: I went to a flamboyantly gay psychic who told me I’m going to be giving birth to a baby boy and moving to France in the next year (he told me to bring a sweater); I ate the shit out of two Thanksgiving dinners and a wedding dinner; pretended to know the names of about 200 of Trevor’s family and friends’ names; decided once and for all -- after seeing a body bag being pulled out of a downtown hotel, observing approximately 3,571 rotten-toothed hobos stumbling into and/or attempting to mate with inanimate objects, and over-hearing a shirtless man in a truck mistake a big outside display of painted polar bear statues as “mooses” -- that Winnipeg is the sketchiest place in all of Stabtown; got hung up on by the singer of the Dandy Warhols; ate steak with Billy Corgan; asked Franz Ferdinand which one of them takes the longest to go to the bathroom; bowled my best game with a score of 137; fell down a couple of times; and, after writing this list, came to the conclusion I’m hopelessly uninteresting and disastrously unfunny. Neat!

Now, I leave you with a photo of Trevor wearing a helmet that was bolted down to some posts outside the reception area of the last wedding we went to, which we stole after getting so sloppy drunk that it was decided he required the helmet to avoid hurting himself. If you think this was the most embarrassing that happened groom that night, however, think again: on the way home, while his mother was driving him and his new bride to their hotel, the best man decided it was time to profess his undying list for mom. The story, as I’m told, is that he drunkenly insisted the groom’s mom “pull the car over” so they could “do it right here.” Awesome. ''

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

“Do you know what’s gayer than same-sex intercourse?”

No, (debatably) not these chaps – you’ll learn more about them below.

The answer is: “One thousand boys wearing neckerchiefs.”

This was John Stewart’s take on the fact that The Boy Scouts of America doesn’t allow any of its members to be gay. Last Friday Stewart was in Toronto to do 90 minutes of stand-up at the beautiful old Massey Hall, because apparently he’s, like, not busy enough doing The Daily Show. The tickets Alana scored weren’t cheap, and we were so far up in the nosebleeds there was a decompression chamber halfway down the exit stairs, but fuck, we were lucky to get tickets (the show sold out in minutes) and Stewart was on.

Content-wise it was what you’d expect: heavy on hilarious right-wing social/political/religious/Bush criticism, with a dash of pop-culture references and some pointed words for the left, as well – but with more naughty words, sex and stories about his dog eating garbage, getting diarrhea, eating the shit, puking it up, then eating the puke and barfing again, etc… . Other topics included the frustration of dealing with smarmy teenage salesmen when upgrading his Mac, and knowing that everything was back to normal in post-9/11 New York the morning he caught a homeless guy in a trench coat whacking off on his front stoop. A-material.

Then we were off to a bar called the Bedford Academy (seriously), where we met up with Christie, Kris, Mike, Garnet, plus Mari Sasano and boyfriend/musician Paul Bellows, who arrived from Edmonton on a giant Slip ‘N’ Slide covered in Alberta crude. Much ribaldry ensued that eve at ye olde Bedford Academy [lights cigar, uncorks brandy decanter, pets basset hound].

The next morning Alana, Christie and I drove to Buffalo, just for something to do. Although it’s right on the Canadian border, you really feel like a foreigner. Buffalonians (Buffaloans? Buffalites? Bufflets?) have a distinct accent that’s sort of a light variation of the Boston tongue. Everything’s covered in stars and stripes, and there are a creepy number of overweight couples wearing gold and sports team sweatshirts. We saw several of ‘em at The Anchor Bar, which is the place Buffalo wings were invented 41 years ago. The food is unhealthy as hell, but tasty like there’s a party in your artery and all the fat kids are invited. Of course, the best part of the place was the gift shop, which features rubber Buffalo wing-shaped hats. Couldn’t justify the $25 USD, but the picture contains plenty of foodwear hilarity.

Next stop was the art gallery for a cool exhibit on abstraction, then Target, which is the classier version of Wal-Mart with more clothes and better quality crap. You know you’re at Target and not Wal-Mart because the Bush-Cheney stickers in the parking lot are attached to SUVs. I bought a pair of flannel boxer shorts with cowboys on ‘em, and discovered that apparently a “Large” at Target is an “XL” in Canadian sizes. Gotta be extra careful the steer doesn’t escape the corral I guess.

Regardless, Buffalo is recommended alone on the strength of its cheap, delicious beer. We found a nice divey local bar for $2 pints of (good) beer. Went to another street full of low-key pubs later, met some friendly folks and got drunk on affordable liquor. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The nest day we went to the tourist supernova called Niagara Falls (the Canadian side). Hadn’t been there for years – since a grade seven class trip – and it’s really been developed over recent years in a Vegas family fun kinda way. The crowds were huge, the Falls still breathtaking, and now Clifton Hill is insanely crammed with wax museums, haunted houses (will did a travel piece on them in the current issue of Rue Morgue) family restaurants, garish gift shops and various other attractions that actually make the bills in your wallet jump out and run away screaming into the neon abyss (that said, I managed to only buy a tube of delicious Twinkie-flavoured lip balm). Despite all the stuff I hadn’t seen, I insisted on revisiting The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum, which is a Mecca for things weird, lurid and inane. Medieval torture instruments? Check. Two-headed taxidermied animals? Check. Lock of George Washington’s hair? Check. Giant picture made out of dryer lint? Check. Actual shrunken head? Check. Picture of a chicken smoking? Fuckin’ check!

For a radically different atmosphere we drove to Niagara on the Lake: the Hamptons of Southern Ontario. Basically it was a lot of pudgy white guys in wool sweaters walking around a very upscale Disneyfied main street. We found a pub that had been there since before the war of 1812, ate some pub food, drank some pub draft, and got the hell out of there.

On Monday we lazed around until meeting up with other former Edmontians for the first annual Displaced Rednecks Thanksgiving Day Japanese Dinner, at Ho Su restaurant downtown. Wheatniks/former Gatewayers in attendance were myself, Alana, Christie, Kris, Mike, Garnet and Leah. Nothing like raw fish and politically incorrect jokes about… well pretty much everything. Good to be among like-minded friends when you’re missing home.

Last stop for the weekend was at the theatre to see Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man documentary about Timothy Treadwell. Treadwell wad a ballsy but clearly insane hippie who lived among the Grizzly bears in Alaska and taped himself interacting with them, until one of them ate him and his girlfriend. Not a perfect doc by any means, but touching, hilarious, tragic, and full of jaw-dropping footage of a deluded nature nut with a Prince Valiant haircut walking up to giant bears and having conversations with them. How he went that long without getting eaten is a mystery up there with the Caramilk Secret and Ben Mulroney’s hair-cap. I think it makes the strongest case yet that it would be better to fight a gorilla than a bear.

Not being a huge fan of being eaten by a grizzly to begin with, the film also gave me crazy nightmares last night. I don’t remember this, but Alana said I woke up gasping and babbling about a nightmare. I recall being chased across field by giant scary-ass bears, which, as far as nightmares go, could only be more frightening if one of them was being ridden by Freddy Krueger. That said, Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Bears would kick a lot of dick. Or Bears Vs. 1000 Boy Scouts in Neckerchiefs.

Shit, that was a long post. My first one and already I’m one of those wordy dickhead bloggers. Oh well.

Over and out in Ontario.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

This is the best day of my life

Well, that was probably actually that day I cried so hard that my mom finally caved and bought me the Gund stuffed cat I was tantruming about, but this is a close second. And why, you may ask? Because my life is so uninteresting these days that starting up a team blog with "friends" (that's what they're called, right? It's been a long time) makes me feel irrationally happy.

Anyway, in case you're all still upset about the demise of the original Some Cats, let me explain. See, when I got back from Quebec, I kept running into people and getting all excited to talk to them about my trip. Then, half a sentence later, they'd be interrupting me and saying, "I know. I read your blog." I then had an epiphany: blogging has made me into an incredibly boring person. And then I stopped writing so I'd have stuff to talk about, but I stayed boring because I wasn't doing interesting things anymore. Chris has since explained to me that I shouldn't treat this like a personal journal, because no one cares. And I said, "You're right!" Then I punched him. Next, I started to reflect: what in the fuck was I going to write about if I wasn't giving an unnecessarily detailed play-by-play account of my day? Well, things that interest me, I guess. And what interests me more than anything else in this world? My apartment!

So tell me: how is it that, on a 14 degree day in mid-October, the inside of my apartment is 28 degrees? (And that's exact, because my alarm clock has a thermometer on it, jerks.) That's twice the temperature outside. I mean, sure, I made the grievous mistake of leaving my blinds open all day, but I figured that it's probably late enough in the year for me to safely do that, especially when my windows are wide open too. I tell ya, it's unnatural. I've actually developed a theory that my neighbours on both sides turned their thermostats up as high as they would go as soon as it started getting colder, and then they both died. Now, the heat (and smell) is encroaching in on me from either side, and there's nothing I can do about it. Except suffer. And possibly complain.

Uh, yeah. Other than my apartment being hot, not much is new. To replace the empty void in my life left by the Gateway, I got elected as the director of internal relations for the History & Classics Undergraduate Association, where I try to organize bar nights with the lamest people imaginable. Also, I'm a full-time student now. It's busy. And kind of lonely. So for fuck's sake, keep posting.

Monday, October 10, 2005


Yes, so, then, it was a fine yesterday night when I walked over to my friend's house for our hippie-laden community turkeyday feast. One person made turkey, one made chicken-simulating chicken McNuggets (something to do with tofurkey or tofu or bean curds or hugs) and I made about 45 cents worth of potatoes and carrots, with a delicious onion soup base. Delicious.

SO, for most of the day, let's just say, I was in a delicate state. Issues of love, life, and feelings had come to the forefront, excaspberabated (HUH?) by a severe case of fatigue brought on by a somewhat absurd cocktail party the night before. It was a brilliantly planned and executed party; I came dressed as a 1970s newspaper editor, with ugly tie, vest, and dress pants, and inappropriately-matched shoes. They were the wrong colour, I guess. But being not gay, I failed to notice. But, like many parties in my life (currently, I think the number is 99.994 per cent), I left frustrated at my ability to be funny without achieving willing participants for sexual intercourse. This information, also, dwells outside the realm of information relevant to why I was crying at supper.

Mostly, yesterday, and for the second time since moving here, I had an overwhelming sense of belonging and community. I also cried because I didn't want to go to work, but that was because I was sad that I wouldn't get to stay for the whole supper with my pals.

So, my friend Andrew, who has a guitar, wrote a toast for the thankgiving dinner. I can't remember what it was, but it went something like this:

We've got turkey, and we've got plates
I think I'm richer than Bill Gates.
I've never seen him masturbate,
It's turkey time again.

All my greatest friends are here.
We'll be drinking lots of beer
I won't punch the token queer
It's turkey time again

OOooooh, turkey for my friend Rosin,
and for Neal and Jenny, too.
Turkey for Laura and Marissa and Louisa and Lilli and someone else ... blah blahh blaaaaahhhh....

I'll make a toast to a great year
Neal can't drink all the beer
because he's getting out of here....
It's turkey time again.

Anyway, I think they were all easy chords to play, but regardless, at the end of the real, much more sincere version, I had a full breakdown at the table, and got really weepy because I liked having turkey with my friends. That made my cousin Jenny cry, and then Laura cried a little. Rosin didn't cry because she went home to get something. And I didn't really care what everyone else was doing because I was crying at the table. Then I ate a lot of turkey and failed to produce any meaningful literature at my four-hour Newspaper, Inc. "job" where I basically cecked my e-mail until my retinas burned through.

So, in conclusion, don't make friends ever or you'll cry at the turkey table just because a song has your name in it. Or something.

It's back! As if anyone cared!

Yep, hello everyone, and welcome to the new, somewhat improved though almost identical-looking Some Cats Are Bigger Than Others. As you can tell from the contributors list, this is going to be a team effort from here on in, featuring Kristine and I in Edmonton, Dave and Heather (and probably Mikey) in Toronto, Superdude from Halifax, and maybe—just maybe, our pal over at Covered in Oil, Randy from Medicine Hat, will be popping in to lend a helping hand and dole out a few tidbits of homespun, southern Albertan wisdom. Will there be wordy, self-reflexive action to be observed? I should fucking think so. If not, everyone's fired. From life.

So yeah, it'll be rad. A couple people have suggested doing some group thematic stuff, so that might be cool, and I know I plan to use my camera phone a more (and I've finally figured out how to post mp3s, I think, so there'll be a lot more of that, too). Sound EXCITING? That's because it is, dinkwallets. That's because it is. So stay tuned.

Oh, and the accompanying image is from a site called Spamusement, where this guy draws little single-panel comics based on the subject lines of the spam he gets. This one is based on some Nigerian scam spam entitled "THE LAST WISH OF A DYING MAN." It's now my wish too.