Let’s just save everyone some time

June 22, 2008

Once you become a parent and have 12 minutes of free time a week, it gets tougher to go out to those events your friends invite you to.  I’m going to start using this form letter and save myself some time.

Dear <name of friend>

I am unable to attend your <event name> on the night of <dd/mm/yy> for one or more of the following reasons.
<please tick all that apply>

__ <Video game> time commitments
__ <name of spouse> will not be home; need to care for <name of child>
__ too <emotion> to go out
__ I got <too much / too little> sleep last night, as a result I am <quantification> tired
__ I can’t go out on <insert day>
__ I have to wake up tomorrow at <time> so I can’t be out late
__ I already have plans to <insert fabricated excuse here>
__ <name of wife> will kill me if I don’t stop <insert addition here>;  tangentially, I will likely be too busy <insert addiction here> to attend <name of event>
__ Truthfully, I never really liked you.
__ Too busy writing <descriptive> emails
__ Did you ever read <book>?  Well, I’m right at the <part where something exciting happens> and I really need to see how it turns out

<closing salutation>,



June 16, 2008

I just got this forwarded to me from a friend of mine (G. Howard Throckmorton IV).  Chilling.  Chilling and eye-opening.  FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW

If you dine in the Downtown Toronto area you MUST READ THIS!!  My wife and I were breaking our evening repast last night at a charming local eatery (ByMark – the Chianti is humorously indifferent to flights of whimsy) when we had an experience that very well may change the way we sup.  As we were waiting for Jarvis to pull up with the limo, a man approached us who claimed to be “homeless”.  At first we couldn’t understand what he was saying (did he mean he had no home equity?) but eventually the chilling truth was forced on us.  This man claimed to have no home.

Shocking.  Shocking enough that my manacle popped 2 feet from my wealthy eye socket, a distance heretofore unimagined in these modern times.

As we reeled from this most heinous of stories, the ungainly gentleman of questionable odor then went on to further query “Had we, perchance, any extra coinage” (I paraphrase!).  My darling wife was rendered into near-unconciousery by this most forward of inquiries.  Only the quickest thinking on my part and the judicious application of her most favorite of salts (smelling) to her previously fop-scented monogrammed handkerchief saved her from an immediate fainting spell.

Bludgeoned into insensibility by the uncouth mannerism of this man who was apparently comprised entirely of old garbage and excuses, I stood up as any man would, ready to defend my wife and my very way of life.  Yet, as I was peeling my pristine, white dining gloves preparing to deliver the sound thrashing this fellow no doubt deserved, his next flatulent words reached my superior ears.  It turns out he needed this currency to purchase food.

Well gracious!  While I am a man prone to instantaneous fits of horrific, cultured violence, I am not immune to the plights of the hungry.  Perhaps it is a moral failing, yet I once recall having to wait an extra 16 minutes for a late dinner.  I can only too well recall the feeling of your stomach, only partially full, digesting the remains of its meager contents while waiting for a slovenly Mexican to bring you your hard-waited for dinner.

My friends, I was overwhelmed with pity, and rather than thrashing this fellow into insensibility for having the temerity to even approach me, I did as he requested.  I bequeathed his empty, pleading hands with the “spare” change he desired. (I, of course, had no actual change, nor am I even sure what he was referring to, except in the abstract.  I did offer him use of my credit card, however he was unable to produce a card swiping mechanism.  He told me to “fuck” myself ((I think he must have been Dutch)) and eventually left empty handed.  Nonetheless).

Here is the horrific part – upon relating this incident to the local constabulary in the interests of public safe-havery, I was informed that the money (had he procured it) would likely not have gone to that which is the most life-giving of sustenance’s, food, but rather to that which is the the most high-giving of drugs, crack (whatever that is)

Fucker was a crack addict.  I was super-pissed.  PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!  If you are approached by “the homeless” (may not exist) and they are asking for money for food IT MAY GO TO CRACK.

Our life is not a mixed CD or maybe

June 13, 2008

Relationship issues superfluously, and unnecessarily associated with mixed CD issues:

1. The “I can’t believe I used to date her”
This is when you throw an “old classic favorite” on a CD, but then when you listen to it you’re stunned you actually thought you once liked the song.
Example: Everything ever released by Everclear.

2. The “Drunken fuck-buddy with no strings attached”
This is when you throw on an “old classic” song to fill up the CD because you’ve run out of good material. You do it kind of at the end of the night, and you don’t think much of it. It neither improves nor ruins the mix.
Example: Early U2

3. The “Drunken hook up”
This would be when you think you love a song when you’re partying so you throw it on a CD but then you listen to it in the car the next morning and you’re ashamed you even thought about it.
Example: Hobo Humping Slobo Babe

4. The “Parents just caught you making out in the basement”
This would be when you put a horrifically offensive song on what is a relatively neutral CD that you never expect anyone to hear, but then someone walks in while you’re listening to it and gives you a really funny look
Example – Anything by M.O.D. or more recently “Superman” by Eminem

5. The “She was awesome until my friends met her”
This is when you hear a song in isolation and you’re pretty sure you’re in love with it so you throw it on a mixed CD, and then when you play said CD for your friends you realize the song is terrible and you’re kind of humiliated
Example – Every song by Garbage or Matchbox 20. You win this (and every future) round Butch Vig.

6. The “Humiliating Public Display of Affection”
This would be when you make a relatively good CD ruined by one or two songs, then it gets played over the office loudspeaker while your name is being broadcast as the author. I appreciate this won’t happen to most people. My issues remain my own.
Example – Backstreet boys, but man, they rock. I’d make out with them again.

7. The “Rebound that doesn’t work”
This is when your favorite band puts out a miserable CD, so you put on a cover song of one of their old tunes but eventually realize it’s not quite as good as the original
Example – Beth Orton, Fall on Me

8. The “Rebound that works”
This is when your favorite band puts out a miserable CD, so you put on a cover song of one of their old tunes but eventually realize it’s not quite as good as the original but she gives unbelievable blow jobs
Example – Beth Orton, Fall on Me

9. The “Cheating on your girlfriend”
This is when you throw a band to your mixed CD that you know is the enemy of your favorite band. It doesn’t matter if people know about it, you feel guilty every time you hear the CD
Example – Megadeth if you like Metallica

10. The “Threesome”
This is … I can’t actually think of a mixed CD equivalent of a threesome.

11. The “Shit, she was a dude?”
This is when you put a song on your CD and you refer to the singer as a girl but she was really a guy. Or vice versa. I appreciate this won’t happen to everyone, but holy shit, is the lead singer of Wide Mouth Mason a girl or a guy?
Example: Wide Mouth Mason

Wherein I spend too much time thinking about Johnny Depp…

June 11, 2008

Johnny Depp – why it’s okay to like him now.

When we were first introduced to Johnny Depp it was as viscerally as possible.  Apparently his body holds 60 gallons of blood and that’s what came shooting at us as Freddy eviscerated him from the comfort of his own bed.  Given that he was a bit player in Nightmare on Elm Street, none of us thought much of it.

Fun Nightmare on Elm Street Fact – This role was originally supposed to go to Davis “Fat Bloody” Marco – the only known human with greater than 8 pints of blood in his body.

Johnny Depp wouldn’t appear again until 21 Jump Street, a show about 46 year old police officers who would go undercover to bust pot dealers at local high schools.  This was what passed for a drama in the 80’s before the invention of Law & Order.  It was during this time that he would establish himself as the pretty boy of the group (stiff competition what with the doughy Peter Deluise acting beside him) and would become the “go-to” actor to measure your own masculinity against as in “At least I’m not as gay as Johnny Depp.”  This was somewhat mitigated with the addition of Richard Greico to the cast, who was made entirely out of eyeliner.

Once 21 Jump Street ended, he was discovered by Tim Burton, who at that point was only known for looking almost exactly like Albert Einstein.  They teamed up and made Edward Sissorhands, which caused a generation of males to say “huh”?  He quickly followed this up with “What’s eating Gilbert Grape”, “Benny and June” and “Ed Wood”.  At this point, the best you could say for Johnny Depp was he was that weird guy who starred in weird movies that weren’t particularly watchable, but at least your girlfriend would be crazy horny after they were done.

Turning it around
None of us were prepared when he showed up in Donnie Brasko.  “What”?  we all said.  “This isn’t a bizarre movie that explores flights of whimsy!  This is a real movie, with a realistic script and tight, measured acting.  How the hell did Johnny Depp get this role”?

Regardless of how it happened, this movie was his tipping point.  He quickly followed this up with “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and all of a sudden, it wasn’t humiliating to like Johnny Depp.  It might be a tough argument if you said you liked him, but you wouldn’t get dragged outside and beaten with a wet stick.

Now that he had some credibility, he followed this up with some of the worst trash to ever hit the screen – The Ninth Gate, The Astronauts Wife, Sleepy Hollow.  Ah Johnny Depp, you don’t disappoint.  You’re still awful.  We were able to breath a collective sigh of relief.

Then some crazy shit started to happen

Kicking ass?
Once Upon a Time in Mexico.  He plays an FBI agent who gets his eyes torn out, yet still manages to handle two guns.  Blow.  He plays the biggest coke dealer in US history all while putting the log to Penelope Cruz.  From Hell.  An Alan Moore film.  Chocolat.  He..  uh… you know what, the less said about that, the better.

The final move for Johnny Depp was Pirates of the Carribean.  No one expected this movie to hit.  Not only was it based on an Amusement park ride, it starred the awkward, stilted Orlando Bloom and included a made-for-the-previews screenplay (“Try wearing a corset!”).  He carried this movie on his back.  He carried it through a nonsensical plot.  He carried it through bad acting (“Try wearing a corset!”).  He carried it through 2 sequels.

With all this behind him, it is now officially okay to say that you like Johnny Depp or would see a movie because he’s in it.  He’s actually hit that point.  I don’t know how it happened, but I assume it involved his agent giving away several hundred pounds of Columbian-grade heroin to various Hollywood producers.

Good for him.

Fixing the world, one inbox at a time

June 4, 2008

Everyone has trouble organizing their email. The nice thing about writing a statement like that is there’s no way to verify it, yet just by saying it, I’ve positioned myself as somewhat of an expert. I’ve also presupposed that you have trouble. Boundless assumptions all over the place and really, who do I think I am? King Email? Now that’s it’s been thrown out there, yeah. I am King fucking Email and that’s how you’ll address me from now on. King Email. All hail the King baby.


Everyone has trouble organizing their email. Thankfully, King Email is here to help you with some of your more common issues. Problems with sorting and keeping track of your emails can be separated into 4 basic categories. If you find you are having issues that fall outside of these categories you are either:

a) Doing something fundamentally wrong or
b) Doing something fundamentally right.

The key is to recognize the difference – an important, somewhat critical topic that I will not touch upon or even sniff around.

The Inbox
This is where the money is. It’s where the magic happens. The inbox is the basic extension of yourself, and I don’t think it’s too forward for me to suggest that your basic personality type can be derived from its contents. If your inbox is filled with hundreds of unread emails, is totally unsorted, and contains junk you’ll never get to, I think you’re probably a serial rapist, but a horrifically unsuccessful one. What I mean by that is you’re either already in prison for having attempted, and subsequently caught at, your first and only serial rape, or you are unable to sustain an erection and therefore cannot rape. If you are a woman, just replace the word “rape” with “murderer”. FYI – Women need spiritual erections to murder.

If your inbox is clean and organized like mine, you are a fantastic person, you have a great body and most of your jokes are solid winners. Now that we’ve cleared up any issues with the inbox, let’s dive right into the next category.*

The Sent Items
This is also where the magic happens, but mostly this is the sort of magic that Gob Bleuth would be known for – it’s accidental, if it happens at all. The sent items is your safety net of the email world. It’s where you, by default, save all the emails that have gone out, saving you the trouble of actually classifying any of them. And assuming you have no restrictions on your sent box, every email you’ve ever sent will just sit there.

There is one popular school of thought for organizing sent emails, and that’s based on time. People** will tell you that any email you sent four months ago can be safely deleted. If you follow that crock of shit rule, you’re probably not even employed right now. I’m going on record as guaranteeing that you’ve already been fired for some type of gross or negligent incompetence. No, the only safe way to organize your sent items is on trust. If you trust the person you sent the email to, you can safely delete it, regardless of content or recency. And really, that is the only rule.

Go through your sent items and the ones you hesitate to delete are the ones where you’re not sure if you’re going to need them in the future. The only reason you’re not sure if you’ll need them? You don’t trust the recipient. I currently have 256 emails going out to one person, some as old as a year and a half, that I will never delete. Trust baby. This person can’t be relied on to take accountability for their problems and are always trying to shift the blame. Boom. I don’t delete emails to them. Friends on the other hand? Yeah! Auto-delete those, you’re golden.

The Deleted Items
This is the last refuge of the hopeless and the incompetent. The delete box is like the loser email do-over. You deleted something, but you didn’t really delete it, you just kind of sort of deleted it. Holy crap man. Commit. It takes real guts to delete from the delete box.***

This area is the real life equivalent of the storage closet. You don’t really have any use for the item, but you can’t bring yourself to throw it out. There’s only one rule for dealing with the delete box. Throw it out. Get rid of it. Routinely clear your delete box. It’s a crutch and you don’t need it. How will you ever get to that next level of email savvy if you don’t take this step? You won’t, that’s how.

I’m not touching folders with a 20 foot pole. Folders are like all three boxes rolled into one, so if you have crap in here, you’re like a failed serial-rapist / murderer who used the wrong criteria to get rid of emails and who can’t bring yourself to throw out your 2-decade old collection of Mad Magazine.

The only caveat to this rule is if you’re not at all like that and you use folders quite judiciously, with foresight and intelligence. Good for you.

Now you have all the tools you need to organize your email life. To sum up:
Inbox – Rapists
Sent Items – Trust
Deleted Items – Pathetic half-men
Folders – Tricky, multifaceted issue

I don’t hope that this was a help to you because I know for a fact that it was. Next up – organizing your book collection, and I how I blow the lid off the “alphabetical by author” theory.

*The truly astute among you (read: non-serial rapists / non-serial murderers) will notice I didn’t actually provide any tips to improve the quality of your inbox, I instead just took pot shots at rapists and murderers. Well I think that’s a philosophy we can all get behind, don’t you? Who’s with me!

** Idiots

*** Because I’m an email pro, I actually SHIFT+DELETE from my Inbox. Yeah, I’m that advanced. It’s not for the faint of heart

Rocking in the Q Zone

June 3, 2008

Hi music fans, this is Stan Rockway and you’re listening to Q108.1 – the Q-zone baby, where rock comes to live and roll comes to die.  Here’s what’s making headlines for June 2, 2012.

Sting fans – hold on to your hats because the Tantric one has finally set a release date for his new CD.  He’s shooting for Christmas of this year, and he’s excited.  He was quoted as saying “I’m delighted with the way this album has gone.  In some ways it’s a departure from my earlier material, however Timbaland and I have really worked well together and I think the results speak for themselves”.

I can’t wait to get a hold of that one.  Speaking of release dates, U2 has their new CD out this week and it’s a doozy.  Personally, I’m partial to the title track, U2ME2 feat. Timbaland, but many fans are responding to what could be called their first proper balled – Love of the Locked Heart (feat. Timbaland).  U2 is set to start touring in support of the CD this month, pending Timbaland’s availability.

Bad news for soul-rocker John Mayer.  Not only has he lost Jennifer Aniston in that messy divorce, his record label has announced that he will be collaborating with Timbaland on only 7 of his 10 songs for his new CD.  Accordingly, his next CD will feature 7 songs.  Guess which ones.

Speaking of Timbaland, his latest hit, Baby 2 Baby (feat. Timbaland / Timberlake) has officially hit a world record – 76 weeks straight at number one.  And with that, let’s recap the top 10 hits for the week.  This makes the 19th week in a row that 7 songs have occupied the number two slot.  Let’s get to the list.

1. Timbaland – Baby 2 Baby (feat. Timbaland / Timberlake)
2. Miley Cyrus-LeBeouf – Since you’ve been songed (feat. Timbaland)
2. Usher – You work my abs for a change (feat. Timbaland)
2. 3 Doors Down – Superman (reprise) (feat. Timblanad / Kanye West)
2. P. Diddy – Puffsucker (feat. Timbaland / Biggie (posth.))
2. Cory Heart – How on top (feat. Timbaland)
2. U2 – U2ME2 (feat. Timbaland)
2. Enya – Galish Beatrock (feat. Timbaland)
9. Nickleback – Pure
10. American Idolbot 8.0 – Song (feat. Kelly Clarkson)