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

Friday, January 06, 2006

The straw that broke my lease's back

Okay, so I'm in my apartment today getting ready. It's about 2pm, and I'm listening to music. It's nothing offensive—Death Cab for Cutie, in fact, and it isn't any louder than I've ever played music during the entire two years and eight months I've lived in this building. Suddenly, my power goes out, and then goes on again about ten seconds later. Thinking nothing of it, I turn my music back on and keep getting ready. About five minutes later my power goes out again, and this time stays out. "Shit," I think. "There go those eggs I was cooking for lunch. As well as my pretty hairdo." Then I notice something strange—the lights across the street are still on. Then, something even stranger: the lights in my hallway are still on. I'm in the process of trying to remember where my breaker is when someone knocks on my door. I answer it, waiting for an explanation from this man who is, presumably, the new landlord who moved in in August but who still hasn't made the effort to introduce himself to any of his tenants.

"Hi," I say.

"Hi," he says. "I tried knocking on your door earlier, but your music was too loud."

"Oh, sorry," I say, waiting for him to add, "Anyway, I just wanted to let you know your power might be going on and off today because of [some sort of technical thing that might involve us having to turn off your power]."

"Okay, I'll go turn it back on now," he says, and takes off before I realize what just happened: that prick just turned off my power to alert me to the fact that my music was too loud. I appreciate the fact that I've been lucky to get no complaints the whole time I've lived here, and that it probably was too loud, and that I didn't hear him knocking, but a simple phone call would have sufficed. And maybe turning off my power would have been reasonable if this was the fifth time he'd complained and I'd ignored him every time, but no one's ever said a thing to me, and there are a lot of assholes on my floor who listen to much worse music than I do at least as loudly, so I'm sure they haven't ever had a complaint either. Plus, I pay for my own power! This isn't something that's been kindly worked into my rent, so he has absolutely no right randomly turning it off to make some sort of point. What if I had been working on something important on my computer or something? And my computer wasn't a laptop? What if I was hooked up to a kidney dialysis machine that I needed to live?

Seriously, though, if I didn't have a laptop and I had been working on my thesis or something and had lost three pages just because some asshole decided he has the right to turn off my power everytime he wants to get my attention, I would be, well, even madder than I am right now.

God, I wish I knew who owned this building so I could complain. I figure landlords have a series of rights and obligations (just like citizens in a democracy!), and if those obligations aren't being met (like, for example, cleaning up puke in the hallway less than three weeks after it appeared there), it's hard for them to exercise (or, worse, go beyond the limits of) their rights. This is what I'm paying $680 a month for? Maybe I should consider moving into Chris's place. I can handle the occasional toxic gas leak or hobo living in the laundry room, as long as the halls actually get cleaned every once in a while.

Anyway, blah blah blah. On the brighter side of things, I might have an interview with the Canadian Press's Prairie Bureau next week for a summer internship!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Heeere's Johnny!

As you can see, I'll be benched for any games of Punchbuggy in the immediate future. On Monday I was lucky enough to score this gorgeous Johnny Cash tattoo from renowned ink man Bob Tyrrell. It took seven hours, which may sound like shading needle hell, but actually wasn't that bad. I chalk it up to the resilient power of arm fat. It’s a bit sore but it’s healing up nice.

Not only is Bob one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, he’s also world famous for his detailed black and white portrait work. He did that giant eagle on Kid Rock’s back, for all you cra-zy Kid Rock fans out there. And he’s not adverse to getting really drunk with idiot journalists and singing White Snake duets around the campfire at four in the morn’. Solid. He’s also dating my co-worker Jovanka, so that’s how we’ve got to know each other. Aside from doing numerous horror portrait tattoos for Jovanka – Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, H.P. Lovecraft, Frankenstein’s Monster and Bride of Frankenstein – he’s done a nifty zombie fish for our ad guy Jody and an absolutely stunning Creature from the Black Lagoon for our head designer Gary.

So why did I choose Cash? I never thought I’d get someone else’s face etched on to me, and it’s been probably a decade since I last got tattooed because I couldn’t decide on anything (and/or I didn’t have the dough, of course). But Cash is an exception for several reasons. First, I love not just his music but that dark Man in Black outlaw iconography that he (particularly) embraced when Rick Rubin helped him reinvent himself in the ‘90s. As I’ve listened to more and more of his music and read about him, I’ve only grown to like the whole Cash mythology more and more, so it’s not something I’m going to lose interest in a few years. Since Cash has passed away, it’s not like he’s gonna get thrown in jail for being a diddler or anything. Damn, it’s a good thing I didn’t get inked during my Gary Glitter obsession in the ‘80s. Whew!

So, then there’s the portrait itself. Bob’s work really brings an iconic, mysterious edge to the image. This portrait is taken from a photo, that I believe Bob has in a book, but it’s got a life of its own. And, lastly, after much thought, I decided this is indeed a picture I’d like to have on my ‘til the day I die. Classic, iconic and tasteful, it’ll age gracefully, I believe. I picked the old man Cash because that’s the Cash I identify with the most, and I think it’s a little more intense – I love the texture of the age lines on his face. Yup, in retrospect, it’s probably a good thing Bob talked me out of having a giant speech bubble over his head proclaiming “Whassup?!”

And lastly, it’s pretty fun to roll up my sleeve and go, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash tattoo.”

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Lamest one writes the New Year's outlook post!

While riding the free bus home, sober as a judge, failing to find any rock OR roll on Whyte Avenue (though I did see a woman hit a police officer), I realized, "Hey, this is a lame excuse to be the 'coolest kid on the block!'"
Or, by that, I mean, "lamest lamelord in Lameonia."
So, here I am, talking about myself to myself on New Years' Eve.
My first mistake was obvious: hanging out with people that have kids and don't have babysitters. 12:15: the party is over.
Second mistake: don't try to convince one of them that the other can stay home and be boring, while one of them goes drinking after midnight in the stupidest part of town. Instead, ask them to drop you off on Whyte Ave., thinking you'll find adventure.
Third: Don't find adventure.
Fourth: Forget to bring the book that has people's phone numbers in it, so you can't find out where they're being lame/cool/better than me.
Yeah, that basically sums it up.
Even my parents had more fun than me. I called them when Whyte Ave got boring and lonely, and they said "well, happy new year! We can't talk. We're doing drunken karaoke at your aunt and uncle's and cousins' house with all the other people you brushed off to go hang out with your friends with kids."
Riding home on the bus alone on new years' eve could be interesting; I read a story in the Journal about the time drunk riders threw seats out the windows, and the cops followed behind, picking them up. And the time something else interesting happened. Not tonight. People were boring. "Happy New Year!" said one drunk young girl. How zany. No propositions, no puking, nothing.
And during the three-block walk from the bus depot to my parents' empty house, of course, 'the lames' set in badly.
What am I doing with my life?
What's coming in the next year?
Will I spend the rest of my life on the periphery of interesting/profitable realities? Will I eat from garbage cans and be generally unnotable until grave o'clock? Do I have a chance of making my mark on this world WITHOUT the use of weapons of mass destruction? Will my botany and journalism degrees ever fuck to form a super-degree that lets me write about science? Do I even like writing? Do I like anything more than I like NOT working and going camping/ bushwhacking/goofing off? Are there jobs for young gadabouts who are getting old and don't generally "gad" about? Do I write things that people would read? Do I spend my life fishing for compliments?
Who knows.
So, by the time I got home, I was ready to steal my parents' truck and drive out for some familial Karaoke. No dice. No keys. So I poured myself a 50/50/50 kahlua/vodka/milk White Russian (take a look at canadalebowski.blogspot.com for info on a proposed Big Lebowski festival in Edmonton), and started typing. And here we are.
It's 2006, folks. It's time for something to happen to me. I don't know what it is. I do know that I owe $475 for rent, and $400 for transmission work on my car the day I get back, so whatever's going to happen, if it's alright with everyone, I'd like it to happen soon. I'm bored, I'm getting older, and I'm ready for a change.
Here's to an intersting 2006.