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

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The cats just keep coming!

It's been a while since I checked, but lo and behold, I've found yet another instance of our blog's name out there in the webbosphere, this time popping up in a thread written by idiots about whether or not creationism (or its bullshit-sciencey cousin, intelligent design) should be taught in schools. Apropos:
Now there are different types of the same species. That leads into different types of birds altogether. Evetually genetic mutation will completely change their genome, meaning they can't mate with each other at all. This means that there is a new species. But they could still all the feline (for example, since we see cats everywhere).

Some cats are bigger than others. Some choose to hunt big game, while others choose to catch mice. Those that are better suited for big game are the bigger ones. And if a small cat takes a try at big game, it will either starve to death, or be trampled. Eventually only the big cats remain. Down the road, the bigger cats survive better than the smaller. (hence the Darwin awards.... kill off the weak)
Also, check out that guy's prospector undershirt in the photo. Why couldn't that lion be alive?

And Neal: I hope you're kidding about moving to Saskatchewan. Yee.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I hate newspapers

This one is a serious one.

Ok, folks, when I'm not puking through my hands into a keyboard, I can do a pretty mean piece of research.. I've got blisters on my ears, eyes and brain from spending an entire day writing two news stories; one I didn't give a shit about, and which didn't take any more than 40 minutes to write, and a second one about a growing problem in my neighbourhood: swarmings. That's what police call it when three or more youths from the rough area (areas in Halifax can be less than a block squared, so there are a lot of different areas in this little town) attack someone from the equally poor but less delinquent "Neal Zone." It's got them in a kerfuffle, most recently because a former student of the art college here and a freind of hers were KNOCKED OFF OF THEIR BIKES by a 4x4 piece of wood TO THE FACE. That's serious. Like to the point where they had to have pieces of the frames of their glasses surgically removed from the brigdes of their noses.
So, I spent my day talking to everyone I could possibly think of . When it was aall said and done, I had 3500 words of notes, and a pretty good idea what the story should look liike. I forgot the fact that I write for a paper equal in format, and even lower in quality, to the Edmonton Sun. That meant I had a little less that 400 words to nurture, birth, and raise a feature magazine article. Needless to say, what came out was a stillborn bastard piece of garbage. Sure, someone with a super-tight writing style might have been able to do something with the space, but I couldn't. I'll post the Story as a comment after I'm done this so it doesn't interrupt this rant.
Seriously, I've YELLED more than 400 words in a row, and that was twice-drunk on a 2-litre bottle of coke mixed 50-50 with rum on new years' eve in Edmonton when it was -40 after working for 10 hours straight. Writing 400 words? I've sucker-punched a keyboard and accidentally written more, and it made more sense that time. I don't like it. I want more room to write.
It's t the point where I cringe at the idea of researching stories, and, though I know my research skills are atrophying, there's nothing I can do. I don't usually have time to research anything because I have 4 300-word stories to write. That's a little easier, though, becuase uyou can just type out the FUCKING PRESS RELEASE, and then get a token quote from the dipshit named at the bottom of the fax printout.
Yes, it's depressing. It's like writing for Hitler while the devil laughs and kicks you. Oh, and you get paid shitty, too. And if I write anything I'm interested in, like science, or nature, it usually gets cut for "hard news:" which equals, knifing, shooting, politicians hwo get AIDS, and, ironically enough, girls getting hit off their bikes with a fucking piece of wood. But we'd never go find witnesses, we'd just type out the press release from the cops.
One night, I rolled a press release up so tight that it would fit up my pee-hole, jammed it in, then let it unwind a little. Then I took a hammer, bashed the paper until it stabbed my kidneys, and smiled because the pain blocked my mind from thinking about how fucking useless it is to work at a tabloid newspaper. Then I took the hammer and bashed the keyboard 400 tiems, and sent that to the copy editors. Ironically, they couldn't tell the difference.
I'm moving to Melfort, Saskatchewan to be a radio reporter. You get even fewer words on the radio, but at least someone listens to what you say.

Photographic images!

Not that you'd likely be able to figure out what the hell is going on in this photo by looking at it, but this, my friends, is a Todd MacFarlane-approved Wayne Gretzky action figure (minus his left hand, which fell off while I was trying to cram his little stick into his premolded grasp), getting ready for a little faceoff action on a table in the Black Dog's basement. Normally, as I'm sure most of you are aware, I'm not much for the whole action-figure thing, but I won this dapper little fellow in a game of Oilers trivia after the game last night by correctly answering which current Oilers defenceman was selected first overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1992 supplemental draft (you won't care if you don't already know, so I'll spare you the answer), so I'm proud of him all the same, even though his black, lifeless eyes haunt my dreams just a little.

Anyhow, this was not the photo I intended to post; you see, after watching Calgary kick the poo out of Edmonton on the big screen in the basement, Kristine and I left the Dog in a fairly inebriated state, which was likely responsible for our decision to use some black hockey tape I also won at trivia (this time by correctly identifying who holds the record for the most games played in a Flames uniform, and again, you won't care) to spell out 'boobs.' in fairly large script on someone's garage door in the alley behind my apartment building. Sadly, my cameraphone doesn't have a flash (hence the shittiness of the Gretzky photo), so we couldn't take a picture of what we instantly thought was the funniest thing in the world, but I promised myself that I'd get up first thing and run back to take a pic. Equally sadly, by 10am it was already gone, ripped down in its prime by a no doubt bleary-eyed suburbanite who cursed "those fucking kids" for making him late for his job at Epcor.

BUT! Tonight I'm hoping to go back and write "boobs" on the same door again, except this time in all caps with an exclamation point instead of a period to really drive home the force of our conviction when it comes to stating our appreciation of boobs. Because, well, this is what you do when you live in Edmonton and you don't have any friends. Anyhow, photos to follow. Fuckas.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Infinite cats!

For those of you who haven't read the Globe and Mail article on the relationship between cats and blogs that can only be described as "humpy humpy" (posted by Leah in the comments section of my last post), check out www.infinitecat.com. It's cats looking at cats looking at cats looking at cats, and on into infinity. This photo brought tears to my eyes:



Also:

The last days of suburbia (The Walrus, November 2005)

Young patriotic fervour
Ideological warfare
Behind the cotton curtain
A tribute paid to reason

The second-last corporate retreat
Do the math
Warm fuzzy justice
Hubris in paradise

Wait, that sounds like an actual poem. That's what I get for reading the Walrus, I guess.

Fun is where you find it...

So, I've spent the last hour hanging out at the Library at Dalhousie University, and there are two points being strongly driven home here. Firstly, I hang out with some pretty attractive people. And, as an aside, I'm not shallow, and I don't really concern myself with people's looks. But this library is lookin' pretty damd hott.
I think it's safe to say that the lecherous (sp?) old man gene has kicked in, because, well, as the fucked up kid in American Beauty said, and this is a direct quote "flying bags are fucking beautiful, aren't they, teenaged other girl in the show?" I think he actually said...

Wait. There are about 300 people in here writing term papers due in 15 minutes, and there's a custodian shoving a completely fucked, rattly, smelly, wobbly, squeaky garbage cart through the computer area.
Wait. He's dead. Two female undergrads just finished him off by gnawing off his neck. The glares he got from everyone else knocked him unconscious, anyway, so he didn't feel a thing.

Ah, the old school library. It seems like just decades ago that I was sitting here, writing text-based telnet e-mail on monochrome monitors with PCs that rivalled the power of graphing calculators. Yep, this September was the 11th anniversary of my entry into the halls of higher failing. And looking around this place is like looking back in time, because the people are all the same (though a little younger and more attractive). There's the nerdy poser girl with stupid glasses who will end up being my roommate for two hellish years.
There's the two nerds talking about math while only the language of love (Chinese) passes between them. And there's some girl with huge earrings. But she's not from my past. SHe's from my FUTURE. BWAHAHA...? Huh?

So, like I said, two points in the library are being driven home. First: people are hotter when they're younger (Ah, there's a little Dan Lazer over there, just thinking about feelings and how gross he's going to look in a year when he wears a child's "Jar Jar Dinks" costume to a University Newspaper Halloween party --- and this isn't hot, no, not at all, but I saw it at the wrong point in this post, so here's where it will stay), and secondly, I think, point #2 has evaporated.

So, in conclusion, I'm thinking of coming to Toronto next week, because I don't work enough to give me any reason not to. Maybe there's a nice publishing job there that I could (Jesus! someone's got too much fucking perfume on) walk right into and revolutionize by being fired within 45 minutes of downloading massive amounts of animal-based porn. None of that Japanamation crap, either. Just hardcore donkey on pig action, with no download time and ... $45,000 per year.

So, in 45 minutes, I would make.... $11.68. But that's assuming I worked 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Which I promise to do, if I'm hired. Really.

Well, as you may have guessed, I really didn't have anything to say. If somecats was a hotdog, I'd like to think I'd be the lips and asses that gave it that "I wonder what that aftertaste is" taste.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Headline Poo-etry


Last month I was on a particularly tedious flight from Winnipeg to Toronto. The good news: free newspapers; the bad news: all they had was the National Post. But hey, they were free, so I got my shot of right-wing sensationalism for the day at no charge. But having quickly reached my fill of slanted reporting and inane weekend filler, I started simply scanning headlines.

This proved more entertaining than I’d thought it could be because the Post had some hilariously surreal and attention-grabbing story titles – all made much better without context. So I made a list of my faves, noticed some thematic similarities, and arranged a bunch of them into a “poem” of sorts. Then I picked one for a headline that I thought fit. Like I said, it was tedious flight.

So, the result is below. Each line – they’re taken from a variety of sections – represents an entire headline from that Sept. 17 issue. It seems like a better use of both the Post and, well, poetry in general, and I like that it not only gives the flavour of a particular rag (in this case by decrying societal decay with an air of condescension), it also makes you wonder what the hell some of the stories were about.

I’m sure this idea isn’t new by any means, but I may be the first shmuck to do it tens of thousands of feet above Manitoba, so there.

Without further ado…


‘These are not utopian dreams’


Can you keep a secret?

One in 10 Canadians just can’t live without a good striptease act

Vice, gaiety and spangled pasties in Old Montreal

A red G-string glazed with Pina Colada

Good, bad and hideous

Soft addictions are the worst kind

Let me fix you a drink

Brown bag it

Another miscue from the Ethics Czar

No time for the minutemen

We’re not in Yokohama anymore, Toto-san!

(National Post, Sept 17, 2005)


I wish I could recall what the hell that last story was about. Anyhow, I’m gonna try to post one of these regularly, at least until I get bored with ‘em or something more exciting happens to me, like I get audited or have a really bad fall. I’m hoping y’all will give it a shot too and post ‘em here and/or in the comments section. Seems like a reasonable way to be retarded... together. Almost any newspaper should work but I suggest the less levelheaded and more sensational ones like the Post or the Sun. To keep it interesting and challenging, I’ve worked up a set of rules:

Guidelines for Headline Poo-etry

1) Each line must be comprised of an entire headline – no partial headlines, multiple headlines or lines comprised of two partial headlines stuck together.

2) Headlines can come from anywhere in the paper except ads.

3) Only headlines, no subheads.

4) Work must be comprised of headlines from a single edition.

5) Each work should have a title also comprised of a headline (this makes for unusually appropriate or entertainingly non-sequitur titles).

6) Punctuation and quotes should remain intact (in the title too).

7) The paper and date of publication should be noted at the bottom… for posterity, beeyotch!

Word Nerd powers: ACTIVATE!