Thursday, March 01, 2007

Minimal bloggage lately. I have been working at Big Media and employees are blocked from using web-based e-mail or blogging. Kind of shocking, especially because everyone's computer screen is visible to everyone else all the time, so any serious delinquency would be hard to get away with anyway. There is one computer on our floor that isn't blocked and it sits in a far corner with a nearby bottle of Purell and is known as the Porn Computer.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Discretion is [fill in the blank]'s Right-Hand Man

I'm never sure how much I can say here about Big Media, and I'm not entirely sure why I'm being discreet. Unlike at the Film Festival, my contract with BM never stated that I was prohibited from blogging about my job (oops!). Nonetheless, I sense that they didn't get to be Big Media by leaving stones uncovered, so I'm not going to say anything incriminating.

Those of you who know who BM is, hear this: check for me this Saturday.

It was the hardest [insert low sum of money here] I've ever made, but it's worth it to see my name in [insert proposterously high number here] households this weekend.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Behold the State Muffin

For rizzle, people.

Does every state have a "state muffin"? So far I have only found seven.

Minnesota: Blueberry
New York: Apple
Massachusetts: Corn
Hawaii: Coconut
Washington: Blueberry (!)
California: Poppyseed
Texas: (iffy) Chocolate chip

Texas's state muffin is debatable, as it is not listed on the state legislature homepage; however, Texas's state pastries are (strudel and sopaipilla). Looks like Massachusetts and Washington will be going head to head for the privilege of blueberry. Word to the wise: aronia make a tasty antioxidant muffin too y'all!

Meanwhile, Massachusetts has scooped chocolate chip as its state cookie.

For a complete/unreliable listing for all states, click here.

Ornographic Mysteries of the Googleverse

Sometimes I do not understand the internet.

I did a Google search for "Bulgarian juice" and got porn sites. What I don't understand is why many porn sites have random strings of words attached that look like Dadaist poetry. "Lawless member computerize the accomplishable black bike week booty clips orbs with Bulgarian juice" is what one hit said. Is it to lure in businessmen who are legitimately working, maybe needing to type "computerize" into Google for a business-related search, and then -- whammo! -- they are lured into looking at porn?

But that doesn't explain "black bike week."

(I didn't want to put the P on "ornographic" in the title of my post in case it should lead to spam. "Ornographic" probably means something like "of the imagery of birds" but do not be deceived.)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Bulgarians Are On the Antioxidant Tip

Bought this today at the local Polish deli. It's aronia juice. It's extremely high in antioxidants. This juice cures colon cancer. (Not really!) It tastes like the writing on the box looks. Really Soviet. It tastes like berries in the summertime dust with something like lead paint mixed in. It's nostalgic! If you never had a chance to visit the USSR, you can know what it was like by drinking this Bulgarian juice.

Fun With Auctioneers

Auctioneer champs


Friday, February 16, 2007

Okay, One More Thing

The other night, Tits's companion Mr. Pants (I do not make these names up to be cute; they actually call each other by those names) loaned me a DVD of Werner Herzog's short docs. I'd never seen anything by Herzog before.


Tasty treats, let me tell you. There was a doc about a ski-jumper who jumped such huge jumps that he called himself a "ski-flyer". Great suuuper-slow-mo footage of him leaping into the frame and soaring through the air. He always kept his mouth open because otherwise he said he felt like he would just be "cramping everything up", so you can see his face all wind-tunnelishly distorted, his lips and cheeks just on the verge of flapping. Also lots of footage of ski-flyers wiping out, and I mean wiping out, falling ass over teakettle down these ENORMOUSLY STEEP runs, coming to a sliding halt at the bottom, looking like rag dolls.

Then a documentary covering the 1976 Auctioneer World Championships, held in Pennsylvania. Tons of footage without commentary, just ambient sounds. Tons of Pennsylvania "Dutch" (Germans), in bonnets and throat-beards (not at the same time). And then the auctioneer spiels! Wow.

Finally, this really fucked up project where he visits St. Vincent when it's been evacuated because the huge volcano on the island is coughing clouds of sulfur and looking like its going to erupt. He goes roaming up the mountain with his cameramen. It's definitely his most German project, and he gets in lots of deadpan German-accented exposition about what the apocalypse means to him.

Werner: three thumbs up!
Hey, I hope you all know that the icon I have chosen to represent Tongapup is an actual dog, not some sort of Dark Crystal puppet.

Anyway, I did about three hours of work today and wrote about 500 words, which means I'm allowing myself to blog. And the thrilling theme of this post is, Physical Intimacy in 19th Century Russia. Because I'm reading Turgenev's "Fathers and Sons." (I always need to have a hard-to-penetrate book to read before bed because if I have anything I like too much, I will read it compulsively until it's finished, even if that means staying awake for five hours.) And there is so much embracing and grasping and kissing going on in this book that if the FBI were around then, they'd be all over Turgenev. "He touched his cheek three times with his perfumed moustaches," is one of my favourite lines. Moustaches, plural. You really get the full picture (below): Now those are moustaches! Clearly bifurcated, with lots of initiative on either side.

Why don't fathers and sons do any of that grasping and embracing and kissing any more? It's not just because they don't have big perfumed moustaches. I don't know the answer, but it's kind of sad.

This Is Starting to Worry Me

White girl: So, what do you mean you guys don't have stockings on Christmas?
Hispanic girl: Spanish people's Christmas is more about expensive electronic gifts.
White girl: I just don't understand -- you also use all new decorations every year.
Hispanic girl: Yeah, we don't really do tradition well.
White girl: Spanish people are weird.
Black girl: Yeah, well, white girls smell like potato chips.
--from Overheard at the

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Shapes Fitting Into Shapes," eh?

Nothing makes me feel quite so much like throwing my hands up at Beyonce as when I fix things around the home. Today I fixed both the dripping kitchen faucet and the ever-running toilet tank. It's pretty simple, actually, it's just about what shapes fit into what other shapes.

Thought I'd take it a step farther and help my housemate, Tits, out by replacing the hideous light fixture in her bedroom (yummy hints of Portugal and wagon wheel). I've rewired lamps before so I'm pretty confident, but because the hazards of fcking up include burning down the house and electrocuting self, I thought I'd look at an online DIY guide. I discovered something: electricians operate in a very, very sexy world, a world of hickeys, nuts, nipples and studs. Click on image to enlarge, and see for yourself.

Question is, are handymen horny because they work with these terms all day, or were these dirty terms coined because handymen are always horny?

(Aren't handymen horny all the time? No?)
I work for Big Media, y'all. Yes, I got the job, against my every expectation. And I didn't even lie in the interview (well, not hardly at all)!

I'm starting next Wednesday. But until then I have this article I'm supposed to be finishing for Monday, which means that, once again, I will feel compelled to blog every single theory and thought that pops into my head. Gee, where to start? With the description of how I toast bread even though I have no toaster? (It's not in the oven!) With the news of my completely warm 40-minute dog walk this morning despite temperatures of minus ass (-19C)? With praise for Donovan, who I was listening to yesterday?

I've been meaning for some time now to mention that the staff in the Tim Hortons (that's the official spelling -- no apostrophe! Amazing the stuff you know when you're a Canadian copy ed) in the building of M'Lady magazine is a veritable United Nations. There are West Indians, East Indians and Hispanics working there, and not once have I been "tranged" by any one of them. What is tranging? My friend Thor was late to meet me once and he explained that he had been shopping at the No Frills near his house (in crummy Lower Parkdale) and the cashier, a woman named "Trang," was the cause. She sloooowwwly rang in the purchases of the guy in front of him, and then she sloooowwwly rang in Thor's purchases, looking around very spacily the whole time... "I was Tranged," sighed Thor. Now, this is something I really do not get. If I were her I would be having races with myself to see how fast I could ring everything through. Now, I don't want to attach any judgement to tranging, per se -- maybe she comes from one of those lovely, slow-moving East Asian cultures where people still remember the value of family and friends and are not caught up in our Western rat-race mentality. And I'm not saying it's necessarily healthier to do what I do, which is act like I'm racing everybody out of the TTC station when I get off the subway. That being said, being tranged makes me fucking homicidal. So -- the staff of Tim's -- impeccable. Whatever innate temporal values they may have espoused have been sweated out of them by Fordist stopwatch training.

Speaking of the UN, my viewer-tracker informs me I have readers in Nunavut, Andorra and Bangladesh! Shout outs!

More later, undoubtedly...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Confession: I have always wanted to try modelling. I don't know why. I DON'T KNOW WHY! It's an evil industry that promotes poor self-esteem, but that has nothing to do with the glorious sensation of being the admired focus of the camera's eye. As most of you know, I am not an extrovert, or even particularly vain, so it's an unlikely fantasy. But after watching a few too many America's Next Top Models, my head full of Blow-Up-like visions of writhing around on the floor irresistibly while a photographer in a frenzy of inspiration yells, "Yeah! YEAH!", I signed myself up to the Aveda models' database. Aveda = hair salon, so I figured it wouldn't be humiliating all-over scrutiny, just hair scrutiny. Then I forgot about it.

Until today, when I got an e-mail saying they're having a model call next week! There will be catwalking involved! The thought of showing up to (and competing with!) what must surely be an orgy of toothpick-limbed 15-year-old girls and strutting divas has me both terrified and fascinated. I might also end up with a humiliating haircut, if I make it through to the final show. Yoiks! Do I have the reserves of femininity and self-confidence to get me through this? Should I even put them to the test?