Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Junos...take that!

I hate to say I told you so Junos...but I told you so. Take that, Junos! The news today is hilarious. The Junos were moved because there were so many other shows, American ones, that people might want to actually watch. Yet, the ratings are out, and the Junos were beaten out by all the American shows, AND...a Canadian show. A Miss Marple made for TV mystery on CBC! The Junos managed to grab about 900,00 viewers, which means that nearly a million people felt obligated to do their civic duty as patriots and plunked themselves down in front of the tube to watch three excruciating hours of CTV Sunday night. A truly honourable self-sacrificing effort from a few overly proud nationalists. Go Canada! Perhaps they waved flags and sang songs about sea to shining sea during commercials. I'll never know, because I won't make much effort to find out.

But in the end, it was all for naught. Miss Marple and her octegenarian brand of Canadian frontier justice trumped our National Music Awards. As did a show about kids saying clever things, a rerun of Goof Troop and two different spelling bees. So perhaps they should listen to me, and put the show up against less-stiff competition next year. at 9:30 a.m. on a Tuesday. That way, they would merely have to beat the World's Strongest Man competition on TSN, the A&E Biography of Edward James Olmos and a cartoon about robots fighting in space. Or, they could do it at one a.m. on a Wednesday. Maybe get Ed the Sock to host, that way perhaps he would cancel his OWN show, and you'd get at least HIS viewers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

More Junos...

I watched about eleven seconds of the Junos. I saw Blackie and the Rodeo Kings - three amazing Canadian musicians - Tom Wilson, Stephen Fearing and Colin Linden, presenting an award for best R&B or Soul album. Before presenting the award, Tom Wilson congtratulates Stephen Fearing, making mention of the fact that Fearing won a Juno the previous night. The non-televised night. For what? We don't know. But it's likely a category I may have cared about. Knowing Fearing and the rest of Blackie, it was likely a category that required it's nominees to write their own songs, play their own instruments and have some sort of musical importance. But no. Instead, they announced the five nominees in this category. Four people I had never heard of and one I had. Keshia Chante is a name I know. How? Because she has some tenuous connection to Ottawa, and therefore we are extremely proud of her and her accomplishments here. But she didn't win. Some weiner with stupid hair took home the award.

I could watch no more. Apparently the rest of the show was dreadful, Nelly Furtado was ridiculously bad as the host, yelling at people and being angry most of the time. My mic's not the right colour! And of course the now-famously botched car giveaway. Canadian "luminaries" performed. Billy Talent played. I don't know where these guys came up with the name for their band, but I sure hope they got the "Billy" part right. Because the rest is off base...Nelly Furtado herself, the host, and the girl who recently sold out completely to go with the slutty culture that embraces half naked chicks who can't sing more than it accepts chicks with clothes who can, picked up FIVE. Stompin' Tom boycotts the Junos. So do I. Of course, he could GO if he wanted to, I just boycott my TV.

The big issue this year was that CTV might have to move the Junos, or bump them down so they could still show the full episode of The Amazing Race, a show people might actually enjoy. I say there's an easy solution to all this. CTV can have all the Junos they want. Televise them every year, go for it! But don't do them on a Sunday night, when there might actually be something GOOD on TV. Have the Junos on a Tuesday morning at 9:30. That way all you have to worry about is pre-empting Mr. Dressup and Maury Povich.

Smacks of Canadian.

How lame is this? The Junos are in hot water because Farley Flex, a man who smacks of Canadian, got it wrong when he erroneously told a couple in the audience they had won a Pontiac Solstice. Apparently, they had not won the car at all, but rather the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit in that car. Granted, it was on stage at the Junos, but come on. Tell me this isn't the ultimate statement of why Canada needs to get a lot cooler, a lot faster. Of COURSE he got it wrong. When they explained to this Canadian Idol judge backstage what he was going to be giving out, live on National TV, how could h possibly have thought, even for a second, that they meant just to sit in it. If the Junos think they're big and important, and they obviously do, it would stand to reason that the ONLY reason to have a car on stage would be to give it away. Even that should not be big enough for an event like this, but it would make sense if it was.

And therein lies the problem inherent with the Junos. On the one hand, they think that their event is such a huge deal that a couple would be thrilled just to sit in a car on stage for the event, and maybe appear on TV as they walked to that car. There are hundreds of chances to be on TV. And yet, the Junos are also of such a small-time mentality that they don't think it makes sense to give away that car. We're not big enough for THAT! Only Oprah can do things of that nature. The Junos are a bigger production than Toys For Boys. More money goes into their production, the awards are witnessed by (slightly) more people than T4B, and it's supposed to showcase the talent of the musicians who inhabit our nation. But this giveaway was akin to CHEZ presenting Toys For Boys, but the winner gets to drive the CX7 for a day. Then she can go to Sub Zero and sit in their hot tub for a day, in their showroom, while she looks at all the beer and someone cooks her a steak on the barbecue set. Then she goes home. Oh, and that ten thousand dollar bathroom makeover? Yeah, that's just a coupon that gives you a ten grand discount on purchases over 80 thousand dollars.

What kind of program bows to their sales people this badly? Did the Juno organizers really say "geez, Pontiac offered us 150 dollars to put two people in their car for the show and make it see like a prize. We'd better go along with it." The Junos got it wrong, but who can blame them? They smack of Canadian. Farley Flex got it wrong, but who can blame him? He smacks of Canadian. And tomorrow morning, one of our lucky winners on CHEZ will get to sit in our parking lot and listen to CHEZ in MY car for a half hour. Then go on to work. We'll probably get that wrong too. But who can blame us? We smack of Canadian.

House For Sale!

My mom is selling her house. I am surprised to find that this doesn't really bother me much, that the house in which I grew up will be gone. Perhaps I'm becoming jaded. But I have the task of going through and grabbing all the things I want from the house. In doing so, I realize how my mom was somewhat of a master at keeping things in order, in appearance if not in actual function. Today I am going to pick up an Inuit sculpture that doesn't stand up on it's own, a grandfather clock that has not worked in several years, a set of encyclopedias that were already out of date by 1970 and some paintings that I don't know where to hang. These are the things I remember.

My sister is coming down this weekend to go through the house with me so I don't take a bunch of stuff she wants. But whatever it is I end up with, I have no place to put it. MY house no is rather small. It looks big because it's jammed wall to wall with stuff, the bounty I have accumulated through several years of plundering my way through Ottawa, couch to couch, apartment to apartment, friend's basement to friend's basement. In fact, this was the first time I have ever been able to break out all my movies, records and CDs without leaving two thirds of them in storage. I'm not quite there yet, I still don't have a room where I'm allowed to put up my Led Zeppelin posters, Alice Cooper album covers and Johnny Cash and Humphrey Bogart memorabilia. THAT stuff is still in boxes in the basement, and will have to be moved to make way for paintings, sculptures, encyclopedias and grandfather clocks.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Has anyone seen my organizer?

There is a certain amount of irony inherent in the statement "I lost my organizer". The REALLY ironic thing about me losing mine is that I had made backups of my phone numbers and schedule. And I had kept those WITH my organizer. So now I have no phone number book, no daily planner and no business cards, which I never used anyway. I'm certain I have about four charity events and four live commercials coming up in the next two weeks. But I have no idea where, when and for whom! And I don't know who to call or email to find out. So I'm a moron. Have you seen an organizer?

Have I mentioned how much I hate Tyra Banks?

I can tell Doc reads my blog. The reason I know this is that I was scrolling down the Fun Page today, I was thinking...hot...hot...hot...hot...Aaaahhh! Tyra Banks! The caption reads "host of Eric's favourite TV show!" I realize now that I must like a woman for her mind and morals as much as I do for her more tangible qualities, like fantastic boobs or a firm behind. Because I actually recoiled in horror. Tyra Banks is now ugly to me, thanks to her irritating TV show. I can no longer look at her as an object of desire, since I dislike her so very very much. As I moved down the page, I started thinking, is this the same for me with everyone? I think Hilary Swank is the hottest chick in the world. (With the exception of my girlfriend, who also reads my blog. You're super, babe.) Is that because I think she's one of the best actresses ever? I think it probably is. Maybe she's not actually that hot, I just think she is because I have respect for her work.

So I was upset. I started thinking, has it always been like that? Am I wrong about so many things? Do I find Rita McNeil unpleasant to look at simply because her music bothers me? Does the fact that I find Rosie O'Donnell obnoxious and lousy contribute to my opinion of her as less than attractive? What about Roseanne, Sandra Bernhardt, and Bette Midler? Are they actually attractive and I'm all wrong about this? Maybe Charlize Theron, Jodie Foster, Audrey Hepburn and Diana Rigg are actually ugly! But then I realized that's all wrong. My perspective is not as skewed as all that. I think Eliza Dushku is nearly as hot as Hilary Swank. And my girlfriend. And I think her acting is average at best. I LOVE Kathy Bates. But I don't think I would ever, even with the worst beer goggles, call her pretty, or purchase a bathing suit poster of her for my kitchen wall. No, I'm going to be fine. I'm doing OK, my eyesight is normal, and my affinity for talent and intellect is merely enough to push me over the edge one way or another. Thank God! I can continue to hate Tyra Banks and fantasize about Kathy Bates.

Some of the worst things to do when hungover.

After Doc's wedding, Jason, our promo guy, Jackie, our receptionist, and Carly came back to our place for more dirnks, which left me fairly hungover on Sunday morning. Which I expected, but I had a long day on Sunday. I went over to the Spectrum Sound and Vision studios to edit the footage we shot at the Asspirations Of An Intern exhibit. Editing is a long and boring process. Two cameras, each one shot an hour's worth of footage. Also we had a minidisc recorder that recorded sound directly from the speakers, so that was an additional hour. So there was three hours worth of stuff to put on the computer before we could even begin the editing itself.

There is nothing worse than doing tedious work, staring at a computer screen for six hours, when you have a hangover. And I wasn't the only one whose head was pounding. Both Trevor and Dave were in the same boat I was, and it made things tough. The screen was blurry, the images ran together, and the whole thing probably took twice as long as it should have. But the worst part was what we were watching. My naked ass, being splattered with paint as a pretty young girl spanked me with a canvas. Two hours of fat naked behind is daunting enough, without the added gag factor of being hungover. And my own naked behind is, without a doubt, unpleasant to look at. Although the final product will be great, it will also be hard to watch, like a train wreck or one of those facelift operations on the Discovery channel.

In the end, we finished the portion of the event where we did the actual painting. Now, there remains eleven total hours of film to go through - the butt painting at home, the interviews at the event, the before and after stuff, and the auction protion of the night. I think this may require four or five more hours of editing. Seven or eight if we're hungover again. Which I don't plan to be. The prospect of watching my own nakedness for that length of time again is something that certainly could drive me to drink. So I figure I'll fix the dilemma by drinking DURING editing, rather than the night before. I recommend that if you deceide to watch the video, when it's finally finished, that you do the same while watching it.

What actually happens at an awesome wedding.

People drink. People make merry. And people do hilarious things, sometimes with cardboard cutouts. The ceremony itself, being so short, left plenty of time for consumption of beer and hand shaking all around. Despite Doc's insistence on "no speeches", the best man somehow got the microphone from the DJ, and made the only speech of the night. My concern, and apparently that of everyone else, had been that Woody would end up with the mic. Woody has a tendency to be, as the French say, "impossible to shut up". I was prepared for that. I had assigned myself to "keeping Woody's speech manageable" duty, and I had burned a CD of that music they play at the Oscars when a speech goes over time. I was going to surrepticiously skip it to the DJ during Woody's long-winded soliloquy, we'd all have a laugh, and disaster would be averted. But then the invitation SAID "no speeches", so I didn't bring it with me.

The best man's name is Scott, and he's one of those super guys you meet over the course of your life, who comes in and out of that life on several occasions. I suspect that at some point later in my own career, my path may in fact cross with his again. Apparently Doc's career has done so many times. And it took Scott eleven hours to detail those various meetings. It was such a long speech, that at one point Doc actually had to ask Woody to take the mic from Scott! And, because Doc and Terry had not thought about the value of having plastic cups, there was much clinking afterward. At one point, that clinking occurred when I was over talking to Doc, and the natural thing to do was plant a big fat kiss on him. I caught him a glancing blow, as he managed to turn his head just in time. Oh well, next time.

I normally never dance. Under no circumstances will I go out on the dance floor on my own, and when I am dragged there, I do my best to really suck at dancing, so that the person who dragged me there knows for sure that they have made a poor decision in selecting me to shake my proverbial tailfeather. My girlfriend was dragged bodily onto the floor by a variety of people, but she enjoys dancing, so she was happy enough. Even during a rather bizarre and not entirely by choice two-girl dance to the tune of Paradise By The Dashboard Light, which has somehow now made that song worthwhile for me. Doc and I were dragged onto the floor by his personal trainer, Isabella, who is likely the hottest personal trainer in Ottawa. Before long, she left us to take up with the cardboard cutout of Doc's absentee brother, and Doc and I were oblivious to the fact that we were dancing with each other, until, in a moment of clarity, we looked at each other to roll our eyes at the song Copacabana. Oh my god, we're dancing together. A few masculine shoulder punches and elbows later, we went back to our respective ladies, none the worse for Barry Manilow.

This wedding gave me a great insight into Doc's psyche, however, when I relaized how he selected his personal trainer, and the woman who married he and Terry. He just goes for the hottest one. An unusally attractive woman performing the ceremony. A personal trainer so hot that I can't imagine how Doc can concentrate on things like lunges and squats. How effective can a workout be when you have to do it blindfolded? Although, I suppose we all do this to some degree. Who among us doesn't select our grocery store line based on the girl working that cash register, rather than by the length of that line? Or is that just me? We all know, based on the Fun Page, that Doc enjoys attractive women. And now, he's even married one! (I'd never tell him I thought so, because then I would have to deal with that whole "stay-away-from-my-wife" thing.) Way to go Terry. And Doc.

Best wedding ever.

The prize goes to Doc for Best Wedding Ever. For a few things. Number one, proving you don't have to have a ceremony inconveniently held in the Bahamas in order to have people sipping drinks during the vows. No, you can do that right here in Ottawa as well. The main problem I had was that the ceremony was so quick, I barely had time to finish my beer! Eight minutes, in and out. Boom! On to the mingling and drinks. And none of that crappy driving three miles away from some church to the reception and dinner. Nope, walk three feet to the bar, and another six feet to your table. The toughest was smoking. It was twenty feet to that door.

Perhaps the only suggestion I would make is that if you have a wedding at a golf course, you may want to do it later in the season and earlier in the day. Maybe 9:00 in the morning. Then the guests go out, play a round, and the dinner and drinks are five hours later. But then it IS tough to improve on perfection. Another super idea was Doc's plan to have "no speeches". This avoids the inevitable liquored-up Grandmother grabbing the microphone and going off until the appointed bouncer in the wedding party forcibly wrestles her to the floor twelve and a half minutes in, wrests the microphone away, and passes it on to the drunk uncle, and the same pattern is repeated.

One more super idea - Doc did not do this, although perhaps he should have. Plastic cups! There should have been plastic cups! Is there anything more obnoxious that people clinking their glasses with their dessert forks in an attempt to see the bride and groom kiss yet again? Little morsels of half-eaten carrot cake flying off the end of the fork with every clink, bouncing off the bright yet dirty lapels of Cousin Something-or-other, who hasn't cleaned his Wedding Suit since the last Family Event, and the carrot cake will mingle with the existing cheese cake stains until, six years from now, that suit jacket will be a veritable mosaic of desserts, a smelly tribute to the styles and flavours of wedding cakes past.