I’m growing up…

May 29, 2008

Things you eventually end up saying once you become a father:

1. Don’t touch that
2. Don’t touch that either
3. You better believe you don’t touch the BBQ
4. What do you mean you’re done? There’s like three mouthfuls of gristle left!
5. Stay off the lawn you damn kids
6. Damn kids
7. Did you see the price of steak at the Sobeys? $4.39 a pound, that’s like 12c savings right there
9. Honestly, stop fucking touching shit
10. He’s fine, you coddle him too much. He’s not bleeding. He’s barely bleeding.
11. Who left the cap off my goddamn toothpaste.
13. Alright, it’s the blade sharpening guy! Ah… fuck. It’s just the ice cream truck.
14. Nice, 6:45. We totally got to sleep in.
15. <has opinion about school zoning issues>

* Note – names have been changed to protect the innocent


Something like a phenomenon…

May 23, 2008

You’ve probably experienced one or more of these:

The Radiohead phenomenon – You avoid a very popular band simply because they’re popular but when you finally listen to them, it turns out everyone was right, and they actually rule

The Kings of Leon phenomenon – You avoid a critically acclaimed, yet unknown band because if they were any good they’d be popular, but then it turns out everyone was wrong and they actually rule

The Smashing Pumpkins phenomenon – You avoid a band you are pretty sure suck, and then you finally listen to them and it turns out you were bang on

The REM phenomenon – You retroactively hate a band you used to love because their new material is so unbearably awful

The Death Cab for Cutie phenomenon – You listen to a band over and over again and call them one of your favorites because damnit, they should be, but really they’re kind of terrible

The Lowest of the Low phenomenon – You say you like a band based on the strength of one unbelievable CD but really the rest of their catalogue is just mediocre to vomit-inducing

The Usher Phenomenon – You have no opinion on a band because you’re not interested in that genre, although you find Usher’s ab’s intriguing in a non-sexual way.

The Alan Cross phenomenon – You appreciate what Alan Cross is saying about the historical importance of bands from the 70’s / 80’s (Joy Division, The Cure, Lou Reed, Velvet Underground, Morrissey) you just don’t think any of them are any good.

The Garden State / OC phenomenon – This is when you like a band (Spoon, The Shins) long before any of those useless hack posers did, but because of the popularity of tv / movie xxx you can no longer claim that with any authenticity

The Nickleback phenomenon – When you say you hate a band, but then every time you hear any song by them you crank it right the fuck as loud as it can go and you rock out as hard as it’s possible for a human to rock out.  Every song.  Yet you “hate” the band.

The Matchbox 20 phenomenon – Kind of complicated.  This is when you initially love a band that starts with some not bad sounds and has a universally tepid appeal.  Their music quickly disintegrates into something generic but mediocre that everyone thinks is terrible but you don’t jump off the bandwagon fast enough and end up defending them.  Then they eventually DO become terrible but you keep defending them anyway because you’d lose too much face going to the correct opinion of them sucking.

The Avril Lavigne phenomenon – A band you won’t admit to liking even though they’re legitimately pretty good.  Not to be confused with:

The Backstreet Boys phenomenon – A band you’ll admit to liking, but kind of in an defiant way,  with a winking ironic awareness of how “bad” they are which makes it okay to like them since you don’t really “like” them even though you just genuinely like them and they’re actually not that bad.

The Stroke 9 / Nine Days phenomenon – When you love one (or many) bands that casual listeners can’t tell apart and it drives you nuts when they get it wrong.

the flip side

The 3 doors down / Three days grace phenomenon – When you don’t really know two similar bands and you can’t tell them apart.

The Oscar goes to

May 19, 2008

Random dialog from screenplays I’ll never write:

The Sun Shines Down

Gran’pa: You see Billy? The magic was in you the whole time.
Billy: Are you sure it wasn’t the cancer?
Gran’pa: It wasn’t the cancer!

Trust, eventually

TJ: I’ve always loved you Sarah.
Sarah: Even when I was cheating on you?
TJ: Okay, not so much then, no.

The Darkness and the adventures of Jasper Callaway

Jasper: Hand over the Infinity Key, Cragius!
Cragius: I won’t! In fact, I’ll go one further! I’m going to drop the key into the Forever Pit.
Jasper: You wouldn’t dare.
Cragius: Your choice Callaway! Save the Infinity Key… or save Madelyn.
Jasper: <smug> You just made your last mistake Cragius. Madelyn died from massive internal injuries 20 minutes ago.
Craigus: No! Callaway!
<Cue heroic, melancholy music>

Fourth and sacrifice

John Steele: Let me up. I have to play.
Penny: John, Goddamnit. You have a broken arm and you’ve just woken up from your coma. You have brain damage! It’s over!
John Steele: What inning is it?
Penny: <sighing> 3rd quarter, you’re down by a conversion
John Steele: Get me my goddamn tennis racket

The longest Decembers of our romance

Lord Fauntain: It’s over Dee. It’s always been over.
Dee: I’ve always believed in you Lord Fauntain.
Lord Fauntain: The Americans believe in a freedom we British don’t. We can’t win this war. We… we never could
Dee: And what of the Canadians?
Lord Fauntain: … who?

Psychic nightmare

Steve: <waking up> Ahh!
“Shakes” – Damnit Steve! You made it!
Steve: I barely.. made it.
“Shakes”: Is it over?
Steve: I think it is. Shakes. I think it’s over.
“Shakes”: <laughs weekly> I guess we won’t be needing this anymore <gestures to flamethrower>
Steve: <eyes glowing> Won’t we?
“Shakes”: STEVE!! NO!!!

The View of the Damned

<Bobby is waiting in his car by the train tracks as a train goes by.  Welland dressed in pretty typical Redneck gear gets out of his car and walks over to Bobby.  Bobby rolls down the window.>

Bobby: Yes?
Welland: <Heavy southern accent> Hey Boy.  You wanna faght?
Bobby: What?
Welland: Do you wanna faght while this train goes by?
Bobby: <nervous> Well.. no.  No sir, I don’t.
Welland: Them’s faghten’ words!  Lemme jist take off ma faghtin jickit!
Bobby: Umm.. if you took off your fighting jacket wouldn’t that mean you can’t fight?
Welland: <laughing> You college boys crack me up!  Anyone who can take that many knucks to the face is alraght in ma books!
Bobby: To be fair, I never actually took any “knucks” to the face.
Welland: You’re okay fly-boy.  Anytime you need a kick to the nuts, jist gimme a call.  Here’s my number!
Bobby: Thanks?

Songs for a bad mood

May 17, 2008

Good songs for a bad mood:

Monster Hospital (Metric) – Good rage in this song, coupled with inevitable, crushing defeat. I love the concept here – it’s not necessarily that the war won, it’s just that the war won’t stop. I hear ya.
Mending of the Gown (Sunset Rubdown) – A great, crazy, nonsensical song
Anything by the Bloc Party – It feels great when the song is finally over. Like coming out of a really frustrating open-handed slap-beating
Mr. Brightside (The Killers) – Dude is not having fun and makes my problems seem small. His bird is nailing Eric Roberts and not even Eric Roberts circa “the best of the best”. That’s got to hurt. Smug and shirtless is not how you want to run into Eric Roberts.

Bad songs for a bad mood:

Hunger Strike (Temple of the dog) – I can’t believe I used to like that song / date her.
Shiny Happy People (REM) – Weird phenomenon. I find that this song can’t alter your mood, it can simply magnify whatever mood you’re in. If you’re happy, Shiny Happy People is going to make you happier. If you’re enraged, Shiny Happy People will make you knee-beat hobos. If you’re depressed, Shiny Happy People will make you kill yourself. If you’re having a tepid, even day, Shiny Happy People will have no effect.
World on Fire (Sarah McGlocknine McLaughin Mcloaughlyn Mclaughlin)– Jesus Sarah, can you not sing the shit out of just one goddamn song? Also, I get it. While I’m miserable because my computer is lagging when I try to view the hamster dance website, some kid in Africa is trying to find a way to make soup out of dirt. Now I just feel worse. AND red cross always gets my easily-earned $$ after this song.

No impact to a bad mood:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Contrary to popular belief, not Stroke Nine, it’s Deep Blue Something) – This is such a weak argument to get a girl. “Listen, I know we have nothing in common, but we both liked a random movie from the early 60’s. Surely that’s something we can build on – just take my hand.” So where does it go from there after the first date? He should have gone with:

But I said what about
the goddamn Godfather
I nearly lose it
when Sunny gets whacked
And as I recall I think
I won a few oscars
And she said I’m not
That into that

Top fears part 2

May 14, 2008

see Top Fears Part 1

3. Fear that the pile of leaves in the corner of my backyard will somehow resolve into a human form and point at me and say “you”.

I’m not clear on why the limitations of this leaf-man extend to only being able to point and accuse, but I suppose that’s his problem. What does he want from me? Why has he chosen this moment to reveal himself? The real terror with this one is holy shit, if that pile of pointing leaves can say “you” what else can it do? Logically, you’d think the leaf monster would be my friend. After all, if it wasn’t for me thoughtfully raking his disparate parts into one pile, he would have never been able to spring to life.

Fire, I’d suspect. Even if it was a fairly damp pile of leaves, I’m still pretty sure he’d go up quickly. Now you have something to point at you terrifying, leaf-monster motherfucker. Let’s see you point your way out of this one.

Most Likely Scenario
You crap your pants as violently and thoroughly as it is possible for one human being to do. Weighed down by the solid mass of crapping out every single item of food you’ve ingested for the past 10 years, you slump to the ground, eyes never leaving the leaf-monsters face. Is he… is he laughing at you? Oh you better believe it’s on. You filth out of your pants and run into the house to get your emergency gasoline and leaf lighter. 40 minutes later, the fire has spread out of control and the police have some pointed, if not entirely valid, questions for you to answer.

What you can do to prevent this
Obviously, never rake leaves into a pile. And secondly, don’t ever do anything to those leaves that would prompt them to gain sentience and point at you, all accusing like. I’ll admit that I’m not clear on what constitutes actions of betrayal to a pile of leaves. Maybe they weren’t recycled? Okay, let’s go with that. If you absolutely must rake leaves, you should probably recycle them pretty damn quickly.

4. Fear of an infant speaking perfect English, except with a deep, terrifying voice.

Every parent on the planet is in perpetual competition with every other parent on the planet, and speaking is one of the key milestones. Can your kid speak yet? Does he have words? Mine reads the thesaurus. Oh, yours only says “gaa”? Don’t worry, I think Taco Bell still hires retards as long as they can learn where to point the meat tube.

Obviously parents get fairly wound up about this, but this is not the right solution. Imagine you are holding your precious bundle of baby joy, perhaps cooing some vapid kids song at it when it turns to you and with complete awareness in its little eyes says “I fucking hate the Wiggles”.

The worst thing you can do in this scenario is try to reason with whatever horrible horrible presence lurks behind your child’s eyes. You should immediately call your spouse – “Honey! Baby did a huge poopy! And my heart is failing!”

Most Likely Scenario
Your instincts to be a caring nurturing parent war with your instincts to throw the baby through the nearest window, hop in the car and never stop driving. Realistically your parenting instincts win and you put the baby down for a nap (even if it’s early!) and just start drinking. I mean really giving it to that bottle, really exploring the depths of your alcoholism. After several months of this you are able to convince yourself it never happened even though you refuse to be left alone with, or touch, the child again. Eventually your spouse divorces you and you’re left a terrible, shattered wreck. You probably have more time for World of Warcraft.

What you can do to prevent this
I’m going to assume that this one is caused by some kind of demonic possession. Even Einstein didn’t speak until he was three, so you probably can’t use intelligence as a yardstick. Given that, I’m going to suggest you don’t buy a house built on top of an ancient burial ground, you don’t attempt to solve puzzles that open doorways to hell and if you find some kind of portal to the netherworld in your TV, for God sakes, change the channel (unless the only other option is the George Lopez show. If that case, take the portal to nowhere)

5. Fear of turning on the TV and having a face just stare at me.
This also leads into another lesser fear I have, namely that I won’t be able to turn off appliances, even after I unplug them. There’s nothing inherently menacing about that, except maybe that some entity (conservatives?) is forcing me to consume electricity. I’m not clear how that would show up on my hydro bill. When the appliances are unplugged are they still using my electricity? They better not be, the bastards.

Anyway, the face doesn’t really do anything, it just kind of stares at you. And you can’t turn the channel either, which means you miss the season finale of Lost.

Buy a new TV I guess, or read the Lost finale recap on http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com. I don’t think the guy would show up on youtube, so maybe you can grab it there.

Most Likely Scenario
After the initial confusion dims away, you just get plain irritated. Who is this haunting, spectral figure to tell you that you can’t watch TV? Like what makes him so great? You try to read a few books, but the irritation gets to you. If you want to watch TV, you’ll by-God watch TV and you can take that to the BANK! You end up getting in some fabulous arguments with the TV face and make some incredible points about both personal liberties and the Fox Network. The face is unmoved and simply stares at you for the rest of your known life.

You die alone and irritated.

What you can do to prevent this
Nothing. The TV face is more powerful than you, and once he shows up he’s like houseguests before the last of the wine is gone – you can’t ever get rid of him