Saturday, November 24, 2007

One more reason to turn in my manhood.

Doc let me borrow Romeo Dallaire's book about the genocide in Rwanda, Shake Hands With The Devil. A fantastic book, well-written and thoroughly informed. But I have taken a very long time reading it, partly because it is very tough to read. I can only get a few chapters in before I have to put it down, because it's so heavy. And I have had to stop reading it on the bus, because I noticed a girl looking strangely at me the other day from a seat across the aisle, and I realized there were tears coming down my face. She thought I was crying. Then, I realized that I WAS crying. You can't look cool when you're crying on a bus. So now I read it at home, and in waiting rooms. At least then you can say you're sad because your car is broken, and that seems a little more manly. I guess.

It might be time for me to turn in my testosterone.

In the pursuit of objectivity and fairness, when doing cynical cinema, I rent everything, and not only the movies I want to see. This means that occasionally I find something great that I ordinarily would not have seen. And, more often, it gives me the chance to rip apart movies I hate, and all reviews can't be good reviews! Then again, every so often, it makes me staggeringly embarrassed.

Right now, I am having one of those moments. I feel my testicles shrinking, desperately trying to hide inside my body as they rebel against me. No! They said. We can't be associated with someone like you! We're leaving to join forces with Brett Favre's testicles, where we will not be mocked by others! And they are right to want to leave.

You see, I am currently watching Hairspray. Singing, dancing, and John Travolta in a fat-chick suit. And I am liking it! I really didn't want to watch this movie, so I put it on in the background, while I did some work around the house. But then I found myself actually stopping the work, and watching the movie. There is something awesome about Christopher Walken dancing that I absolutely love. No one else makes me happy when they dance, ever. But Christopher Walken somehow transcends all corniness and lame-assery. That man is just the coolest guy ever to be on a movie screen. Well, him and Cagney. So yes, look for a masculinity-compromising review of Hairspray coming soon to Cynical Cinema. Estrogen included.

A comedy of errors. Only, less Shakespearean.

I was invited to attend one of these dress-up, fancy affairs at the NAC last night. It was Operation Go Home's end-of-year gala, and there was a dinner, and cocktails, and dancing. It was much like my work Christmas party, except that I like everyone. We had planned this for a long time, and my girlfriend had spent the better part of a week picking out the right clothes, the right skirt, the right shoes, the right "top". Apparently, you don't call the things women wear above their waist "shirts". They are "tops", since shirts is a word that is too specific. I'm not wearing a shirt, I am wearing a camisole...or the cath-all word is "top". That is fine. I don't mind this.

What I did mind Friday morning, however, was being forced into the car when I got home, and having to drive her to work. I just wanted to leave her the car, and go to sleep. I was going to be at this event until 11:00, and if I didn't sleep, I would pass out very quickly into my soup. But no, I had to go to work with her so she could "do my hair". Now, being a guy, I don't care what my hair looks like for an event like this. My suit will look nice and clean, my face will be shaved, sure. But my hair? It will be washed. That's about it. This, however, isn't good enough any more. Now that I am with a hairdresser, my own hair reflects upon her abilities, and therefore I can no longer show up at these things unkempt.

So, sour and irritated, I brought her to work, got my hair done, and went home to sleep. I knew this time I was going to have much less time for napping, since I was also going to have to pick her up now. I got maybe three hours of nap-time, and then headed back to Barrhaven. I got there half an hour late. She normally gets off at 3:00, I was there at 3:30. But she was still working on her 2:00 client, dying, or highlighting, or something. She said she was going to be at least until 5:00! I guess she had done the whole thing, the highlights and then the haircut, and all that, at which point the woman decided that in fact she wanted something different, and wanted to be more blonde now. So she had to go back to the beginning, and even more so because now she has to take OUT all the colour she has put in, before adding colour AGAIN. This turned what should have been an hour or maybe 90 minutes into a FOUR hour process. (My girlfriend still charged the same price. I said I would have charged an extra 200 bucks. But then, I would not be able to do hair to begin with.)

So now there is no way I can wait until she is done. If I do, we can't make it back home, get changed, shower and shave and all that, and still get to the NAC in time. At this point, she is going to be at least three hours late leaving work. I have to go home and grab her clothes now, so she can change at work when she's done, and I have to shave and shower and get my suit on, and even then, time will be tight. I was commissioned to bring back some aspirin as well, since by this time she had a splitting headache. I said sure, and sped off home once more. At this point I could no longer be irritated with her for making me take her to work in the morning, since had I not, we would never have made it to this gala thing.

I ran in the house, desperately doing everything as fast as possible - shaving, showering, finding my suit, choosing a tie, and all that. On my way out, I grabbed the shoes I thought she wanted to wear, but just to be sure, I grabbed four other pairs and threw them all in the car. I grabbed what I thought was the skirt and the tights she had chosen the night before, and threw them in the car, along with eleven shirts, because I just wasn't sure which one she was bringing. Now, to be fair, I had actually "helped" her choose her shirt...sorry, top...a couple of days before. But that was really just a decidion between "this" and "that", and I had chosen "that". Of course, at this point I could no longer remember what "that" was, and although I grabbed eleven tops, I was still wrong with every single one. I also forgot the Tylenol. Which was needed more than ever, now that I had got all the clothes wrong.

In the end, things worked out. My girlfriend wore her work clothes, I wore my suit with gel in my hair, and the event was pretty great. I was expecting one of those NAC dinners where they give you two beans and a stalk of celery. But it was big enough, and the entertainment was fantastic. Irwin Barker, a comedian whose big claim to fame I think is that he's one of the writers for the Rick Mercer report, did absolutely the funniest stand-up routine I have ever seen in person. This guy is terrific. Of course, no one from Operation Go Home has ever seen me in regular clothes - most of them didn't recognize me at all, without my wig and fishnets. It was a great event, celebrating, among other things, the devotion of Kim Chadsey, who is moving on to another job and leaving Operation Go Home in the hands of new management. All well and good, and we got home and fell asleep straight away. It was only this morning when I woke up that I realized how hectic yesterday really was. I was sleeping on stacks of clothes, just about every outfit my girlfriend owns was out on the floor of our bedroom, and there were pieces of suits and socks and underwear scattered all around the rest of the house. Today is clean up day.

OK, I just read all this again. I now realize this is an incredibly boring story with very little substance. I apologize, but I am too lazy to delete this post. For all of you who read to the end, I am sorry this was more than two paragraphs.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The snow has arrived. NOW you can shop for Christmas.

I kind of missed the snow. It looked just amazing coming down outside my house as I left for work at 3:00 yesterday morning. I got on the Queensway, and I cursed the snow once again. For the first three or four exits before I get into the city, there are no streetlights. And when it's pitch black outside, and there is a snowfall, that means the only thing you can see is your headlights reflecting off the snow itself. It's a tough go until you get to about Bayshore where the lights begin. But I am pretty pleased with the snow, and I hope it is here to stay. If it is, then it means I have successfully managed to avoid both leaf-raking AND lawn-mowing entirely, since I bought my house in October!

Tabasco fiasco. Kids, don't try this at home. I am a trained professional. Well, a professional, anyway. Well..just don't try this at home.

The Guinness Book of World Records has become obsolete. It is no longer interesting. That guy who did the handcuffed swim a couple of years ago told me that in order to get Guinness to verify your record, you have to pay the people at Guinness at least 500 bucks. That is because the only reason Guinness still exists is that people are still trying to break the records. So the only way they can make money at all, and stay afloat, is to make money off the actual record attempt itself. Someone says "I'm going for the Guinness Book", you think oh, that's cool. But you still don't buy the book. The only time anyone buys the Guinness Book of World Records now is as a cop-out, I-can't-think-of-anything-better Christmas gift. And why? Because the only people IN that book are those who went out of their way to get IN that book! It is no longer anything cool. Now it's records for "most hot dogs held in one's pants while singing karaoke", and "most people stuck together at one time". No disrespect, Glue Magazine at Algonquin, but the only people who buy the Guinness Book to look at your record are your friends and family. (Maybe that's who buys most of the Guinness Books!)

But the main reason no one buys the book any more is that they have gone politically correct. No longer do they include the records that could be considered harmful or dangerous. Which is fine in some cases. I want to see the fattest man ever. Yes I do. But I don't want to see the guy who made an actual effort to be the world's fattest man so that he could get into the Guinness Book. I want to see the guy who ate and ate and ate and never got out of bed until one day he woke up the fattest man who ever lived. Whoops! Now THAT's interesting. But all those records they took out are like that now. Fastest and biggest weight loss, most rat poison consumed without dying...people did this just for the record, and it wasn't fun any more.

Which brings me to tabasco sauce. If you want to prevent people from harming themselves to get into your book, shouldn't you frown upon the massive and sudden consumption of something like Tabasco sauce? But then again, who in their right mind would even attempt something like this? Oh, right. Me. And some other guy. Doc insisted yesterday that I would never forget this guy's name now, he set the record. Well, I have forgotten. Devo somthing I think. This guy drank 5.5 ounces of tabasco sauce in 30 seconds. I don't know what the relevance of the 30 seconds is. Really, what you don't get in one shot is not going down!

So Doc managed to find approximately 5.5 ounces of tabasco for me to drink. Randall authenticated it, tested it first (and frankly, after someone has dipped their finger in something, I'm less than enthusiastic about drinking it). He approved, it was certainly hot enough, and I gave it a go. I made a huge mistake, however. Had I thrown it all back at once, I might have had a chance. But I decided to do it in two big gulps. After you do the first one, the second one seems awfully unappealing. Either way, kids don't try this at home. As it turned out, I came fairly close! I finished what we figured was about five full ounces in the 30 seconds allotted, and it burned. But it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, in the sense that I didn't need water desperately. I just threw the stuff straight down my throat, bypassing the inside of my mouth, and therefore it wasn't like my tongue was on fire or anything. It just burned a fair bit.

After a while, I began to feel light-headed, like I was on serious painkillers. A scientist called up and said that was because my brain was releasing endorphins in response to an intense pain, and...something and something. That made sense. I could hear my gut making all kinds of angry noises at me, but I was in a bit of a fog, and I just looked at my gut in amazement and said nothing. You remember that Simpsons episode where Homer eats the hot peppers and talks to the Space Coyote? Like that, but on a smaller scale. Soon, however, the euphoria passed. And my stomach was still seething, turning inside out and upside down. I was afraid to move, since I felt like any sudden motion on my part might be interpreted by my stomach as some kind of stimulus, signalling that it was time to void my bowels. So I sat almost perfectly still on my chair, waiting for it to pass and then running to the bathroom.

Some of you might have heard me in the bathroom this morning. Although the boys listened in on me during the entire length of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire (of course, Ring of Fire. I get it.) I must say not much was actually happening. I won't go into great detail, but although my body was desperately trying to evacuate, and the sweat was absolutely pouring out of my body, I could not complete the evacuation procedure. It's like I got my boat to Dunkirk, and then the English Channel dried up, and I had to walk back. After much grunting and groaning and trying my ass off (pun intended), I had managed to purge just enough that Ring of Fire was justified. Wow. Painful. But nothing compared to when I got home and did the BIG purge. I was burning, flaming, bleeding and hurting on both ends. I was in there for an HOUR. I think my previous record for time in the bathroom was 41 minutes or so, when I had food poisoning and I had to run from toilet to sink to toilet to sink.

Kids, I do not reccommend this. It is unpleasant and awful. Do NOT try this at home. Or at school or a friend's house or the park. Just...don't. Say no to tabasco.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pay no attention...just talkin' football...

OK. I have beena t the Broadway in Barrhaven this afternoon since noon. It is now 5:30 and I am avoiding both Josh Groban AND Oprah at the same time, and I am a little bit in the bag. It occurs to me that I have made excellent football picks while tuned up before, and so I will attempt to recreate this scenario now. I went to my girlfriend's place of business, took the car, bought a plunger and a shovel, then went to the bar. Here come some football picks.

Green Bay - Detroit: That's right, football fans! Make your picks early, because there are Thursday games! And this one will go to the Packers. Green Bay IS as good as they seem, and the Lions were shown to be the bottom of the playoff-cusp teams with their loss to the Giants last week. Packers all the way!

New York Jets - Dallas: Why is this a Thanksgiving game? Is this some kind of long-standing rivalry I'm not aware of? Whatever. Jets surprised the Steelers in a huge way last week, Dallas will wake up. New York will not surprise the Cowboys. Dallas by a lot.

Indianapolis - Atlanta: Another long standing Thanksgiving tradition...don't read too much into the squeak-by win over the Chiefs last week. The Colts are still for real, and they are still FAR better than the Falcons.

New Orleans - Carolina: God! Both teams are starting a serious slide again. I was wrong last week in taking the Saints and thinking their loss was a blip. This time, I will take them again, but only because I think the Panthers are worse, and they have been absolutely lousy at home.

Tennessee - Cincinnatti: Um...both teams on a downward slide right now. The Titans should have beat the Broncos, the Bengals should have beaten the Cards, but neither did. I will take the Titans because they still have more for which to play. Like the playoffs.

Minnesota - New York Giants: The Giants are pretty darn good, that loss to the Cowboys notwithstanding. The Vikings are pretty darn bad, that win over the Raiders notwithstanding. Take the Giants.

Seattle - St. Louis: Sure, the Rams have won two straight, but so have the Seahawks. And Seattle is just plain better. Take the Hawks.

Washington - Tampa Bay: Two middle-class teams, but the Bucs are better than the Skins. Tampa looked pretty great last week, the Skins looked pretty weak. Take the Buccaneers.

Oakland - Kansas City: KC looked pretty great in their loss against the powerhouse Colts (and yes, they are still an elite team despite the injuries), and Oakland lost to a broken, rudderless Vikings squad. Take the Chiefs.

Buffalo - Jacksonville: The Bills are much better this year than last year, but they are not beat-the-Jaguars-at-home better. Jacksonville in the second straight laugher against poor Buffalo.

Houston - Cleveland: I feel bad for the Texans. They catch every team right when they are getting hot. Then again, they have come through and put out some of those fires. This will not happen against the Browns. Cleveland is for real.

San Francisco - Arizona: The Niners will not win again this year. You want to win an eliminator pool where you can't pick the same team twice? Just pick whoever is playing San Fran for the rest of the season!

Baltimore - San Diego: Two Jeckyll and Hyde teams. Two almost-good-enough-for-the-playoffs teams. I will go ahead and say that the Chargers are more Jeckyll than Hyde, and the Ravens are more Hyde than Jeckyll, and based on that I will take San Diego. But this could easily be a 45-0 game for Baltimore.

Denver - Chicago: More Jeckyll and Hyde. I will go with the Broncos here, simply because they seem to have put something together of late. The Bears could still beat 'em up at Soldier Field, but they could also lose by 20.

Philadelphia - New England: Um...Patriots.

Miami - Pittsburgh: There is no way, after starting 7-2, that the Steelers are going to lose in back to back weeks to teams that had a combined ONE win going into the games. Worst thing that could have happened to the Dolphins for this game? Steelers losing that last one.

Bonus: Winnipeg - Saskatchewan: Bombers have lost their starting QB. Their backup will be making his first ever, career, CFL start in the GREY CUP. And I am picking Winnipeg, against conventional wisdom. Partly because there is absolutely no way one can guess how a rookie will play in a situation like this. It just plain doesn't ever happen. And also partly because the Bombers are my team. Go Bombers!

An open letter of apology.

I am writing this here, because I am disorganized. Badly disorganized, it turns out. I was supposed to go to visit Pierre and Francine and Michel on Sunday for the Nascar race. I went there last year, and I was unable to stay for the whole race, but what I saw was impressive. These guys do it up in a big way, like I do for the Super Bowl. Everyone in attendance is wearing their favourite Nascar gear. The Jimmy Johnson fans are wearing their Jimmy Johnson watches. The Kurt Busch fans are wearing his sponsors' jackets. The Jeff Gordon fans are combing their hair. It's a tremendous event, and they raise money for the Doc and Woody Fund, which is terrific as well. Last year, they gave me a yellow-strip "race rookie" T-Shirt, that I still wear every now and then. I was very excited for this year's event.

However, I am disorganized. And not only did I not remember that the event was this Sunday, I had not written it down anywhere. I lost my organizer for a while, had to replace it, wrote everything down again, or so I thought, and I hadn't missed anything yet. I also no longer had the contact information to call and say "sorry, I forgot". I wasn't doing anything. I was sitting at home watching football. But I pay so little attention to Nascar that I had no idea the big event was going on. And since I don't have that contact information any more, I am writing an open letter of apology in my blog. Guys, I am sorry. I was truly looking forward to the Nascar party, because I was finally going to get a chance to spend the whole day watching an event, and maybe finally understand the appeal of car racing and the pursuit of other cars around a track 500 times. As it stands, I will now have to wait until the next season begins to figure out what makes the Nascar fan tick, and again, I apologize. Michel, Francine, Pierre, I hope your event was terrific, the Doc and Woody Fund and the operating rooms at CHEO thank you, and I am an ass.

More smarts from my house.

My girlfriend is obsessed, much like many others I know, with Guitar Hero. Which means that she was incredibly excited when Guitar Hero III became available for the Wii. (We have a Wii, but no X-Box or Playstation, so until now we could never play Guitar Hero.) And she was even more excited when her 13-year-old wanted it for Christmas. Fantastic! Well, it proved more difficult than we had thought to track one down. One of the hottest items right now is the Wii Guitar Hero. And no store had them. So we ordered it, put our name down on lists, and finally, through her ex-husband, tracked down a game.

So now that game is in our house, and of course she can't wait until Christmas to play it. She rips the package open, and the kids aren't there, so away we go, right? Of course we do. (Some great songs on this new one - Dead Kennedys' Holiday in Cambodia, The Stone Roses' She Bangs The Drums, The Seeker by The Who.) And we play for about six hours, until we pass career mode on the "easy" setting, and head to bed, bleary-eyed with a headache. But the kids are coming the next day. And he can't know Guitar Hero is in the house, because then he would want to play right NOW! And if he knew WE were playing it now, it would be fairly hypocritical to make him wait until Christmas. (Although my mom always did that. She would buys something while she was out with me, and I would see it when she bought it, and I would know it was there, but I would have to wait until Christmas to get it. And that way, by the time I DID get it, the whole thing had been killed for me, and I didn't really care.)

So before we went to bed, we had to hide Guitar Hero. I packed it all back up in the box, carefully making sure that none of the pieces were left over. Anything that looked like it came from that box was destroyed, or at least buried in the recycling. There was NO evidence left. We had done an exemplary job of covering our tracks. Except we hadn't counted on one thing. That kid knows video games and their systems and so forth better than I know anything about anything. And you know how you can go on the computer to check up on your kid (or boyfriend) to see if he's been looking at porn, by going through the history? Yeah, apparently video games have one of those also, so you can check up on your parents. And he did. And now he knows. Not just that we played Guitar Hero III, but that we played for six hours, and we beat the Easy level, and our score was this and our rank was that...I think the cat's out of the bag on this one, and we'll have to bust out one Christmas gift a little early. Also, I really want to beat Tom Morello in another guitar battle!

Xmas is a four-letter word.

I had to go Christmas shopping yesterday, and I expect a certain amount of Christmas decorations to be in stores. I am prepared to be irritated before I go. But my girlfriend wanted to get some stuff for the kids while it was "on sale", so we have to get out there early. I like getting the shopping done early, because it avoids all that obnoxious crazy-Christmas stuff. But in the Zellers at Hazeldean, I was pretty stressed out, and I couldn't figure out why.

It was not the fact that my girlfriend was buying more decorations than she was presents. Even though she just got a gigantic box full of decorations from her mom's house a few days ago, this just means that we need hundreds more, to complement the existing decorations. We don't have enough white, you see. We have too much blue. (Upon returning home, we discovered that having purchased a lot of white, we now have too MUCH white, and we now need more blue.) But no, I expected that. And that's not what bugged me. I still couldn't put my finger on it.

It wasn't the fact that the Christmas stock, the tree-balls and the stars for the tree-top and the garlands and lights and so forth, was "on sale" and "marked down". I thought, marked down from what? If this stuff is available for only six weeks a year, then how can it be "marked down"? It isn't any cheaper than it was last didn't even exist last week. Not that I'm accusing every department store in the world of misleading through their advertising, because I am sure this is not the case. But I would be curious to find out exactly how these items were chosen for Sale Status. They must be last years' stock. But that wasn't it.

It wasn't the fact that her thirteen-year-old had made a small list of the things he wanted this year, and everything on the list was over seventy dollars. Video games will kill you. 70 bucks? Get real! Perhaps if everyone in the family gets him a gift certificate to the same place, he can put eleven of them together, and purchase one of the cheaper games. This will be our new suggestion. And shopping for the other people on my list was no less difficult. My girlfriend kept pointing things out that I could perhaps get my mother, and she was mostly right, but there was always something just a little wrong. Like, no, my mom can't stand things that are scented. But she would love that otherwise. And she hates flavoured coffee, but she would like that dad? Nothing. I haven't a clue. Her parents are easier, she already had their gifts picked out in April. My sister and her husband are tough too. But I chalk this up to being a guy, and just generally being poor at choosing gifts. And so that's not what was bugging me.

And then it hit me. I know why I'm furious after three hours of shopping, and it isn't even the fact that I have spent three hours shopping! It's the music! Really soft, inobtrusive music being pumped into the store from above. Just soft enough that you aren't conscious of it, but just loud enough that it gets into your brain and nags at you. Christmas music! It's mid-November, and I am listening to Christmas music! Sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling too! I hate it when they jingle, even more when they ring-ting-tingle. And now that I notice, I can't sit still. I can't stick around while we pick up a video game and a movie. I have to go. NOW. My brian is not wired to handle this.

So that was it. Chirstmas music drives me nuts. The main problem with Christmas music is that it is a genre of it's own. It's the only holiday in the world with it's OWN music. There is no radio-friendly Easter music, or Ramadan tunes (that I know of) or Victoria Day songs. The only "holiday" that cries out for it's "own" music is Valentine's Day, and people just cop out by playing love songs all day. So why Christmas? And most people just cop out when it comes to Christmas songs anyway. I mean, what makes something a Christmas song? Well, it's just a song recorded by someone obnoxious, like Boney M or Celine Dion, that comes from that approved list of tunes that are written for Christmas. Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, The First Noel, We Three Kings...there are really only twenty Chirstmas songs, just seventy-eight versions of each one. And every single one of them drives a nail into my brain. Until December 20th.

My family of geniuses. As led by me, Head genius.

There are a lot of things that never occurred to me when I purchased a new house. Things I ought to have around the house that I never remembered to buy. One of those things was a toilet plunger. I really ought to have a toilet plunger. After I peed yesterday, I flushed, which is a standard practice. The toilet, for some reason, was plugged up and it overflowed. So my bathroom floor was covered in water and my pee. I asked my girlfriend to come up and help me, mostly to tell me which towels I was allowed to use to soak up the water. She came up and provided me with towels.

Then she did something that made me laugh a lot. She took the tank off the back of the toilet. I said "it's not a problem back there, it's just plugged up, we need to plunge it." She said "let me just see something", and grabbed the lever. Flushing the toilet again. At which point the toilet overflowed again. And it wasn't just a little spillage. This was full-on, monster spillage. By the time we were done flushing over and over, there was about an inch of water and pee on the bathroom floor. This made me laugh, since it was a very bizarre way to respond to an overflowing toilet. "Really? It's plugged? What did you do, flush it? Well, let's try it again." Huh? So now I have to do more Christmas shopping today, in order to get a plunger. And a shovel.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oh, and one more football thing.

Thank God the green Riders took down the Lions. Now the way is paved for Winnipeg...and who would have thought, in a league with 8 teams, that this was the first time the Bombers have faced Saskatchewan in the Grey Cup? I know, I know, the Bombers used to be in the West, and if things weren't so weird in the CFL they would be...and all that could be solved by putting a team in Halifax...whatever. Go Bombers!

I think I'm doing OK. Ignore this, non-football folk!

Despite the call I heard this morning from a disgruntled Pro-Line player, I think I did just fine this week. OK, I got the Pittsburgh game wrong. Please, tell me, who out there picked the Jets in this one. Anyone? Anyone? Hello...yeah, I thought so. Got the Bengals game wrong was close, but Arizona is playing better. I also picked wrong with Minnesota-Oakland. In a game of Who Cares vs. Don't Bother, Don't Bother came out on top. And my New Orleans "stab in the dark" didn't pan out. Which makes me 11-4 on the first 15 games. That is OK by me. Now for the ones I got less wrong:

OK, I said the Patriots would beat the Bills by 50+. I was totally wrong. They won by a mere 46. I also said the Browns would win a very tight contest over the Ravens. And they lost. Oh no, wait, they tied. No, wait, they won! By three. I said the Packers would win in a rout. Two touchdowns is not a rout. It is just convincing. My apologies. The Cowboys did NOT destroy the Redskins. They just beat them. Again, I am sorry. Tampa beat Atlanta big. Philly toughed out a win over the Dolphins. And the Rams eked out their second win, this time over the Niners. The Giants beat the Lions and the Seahawks took down the Bears, and Jacksonville held off the Chargers. In all six cases, I predicted the outcome, but did not predict the exact final score, and for this I apologize. I said the Colts would hammer the Chiefs. OK, on this one I was actually quite wrong. Indy looked awfully shaky in barely squeaking out their victory.

Now all that remains is Monday night. Should the Titans win, I will be 12-4 on the week, and I will beat Doc and Woody in the CHEZ pool. And I like those numbers. Should the Broncos win, I will lose to Doc and Woody, but I will still be 11-5. And that record gets you into the playoffs. (In point of fact, if you play in the AFC West or the NFC South, 8-8 could get you into the playoffs.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Last-minute pro line help.

I thought I would help some people out as best I can at the last second. You see, ever since my Red Sox won the World Series, I have been a poor prognosticator, but my teams are doing very well. Even though the Senators stumbled last night, (against the Leafs? Shutout? hell has either frozen over, or Axl Rose is about to release Chinese Democracy. Check stores on Tuesday) they are still the hottest team in hockey, off the the best start in history. My Packers - off to their best start ever. And my Bombers? Playing for a Grey Cup berth this afternoon. So, if I am right, and all of these teams winning are doing so simply a result of me being a fan, then pick Winnipeg and Green Bay on Pro Line this weekend!

Bon Jovi!

Although I had no real desire to partake in the festivities that were Bon Jovi, there was no getting around the fact that my girlfriend really wanted to go, and I was going to have to accompany her. Upon arrival at Scotiabank Place, I realized I was not the only one in this predicament. I was sitting beside Robin Harper, who had brought his own girlfriend in a similar situation to my own. I looked over to my left, and there was Doc, clearly gritting his teeth and toughing it out with his daughter-in-law. All three of us were in a similar situation, pretending we were really enjoying the show while simultaneously attempting to ignore the fact that it was Bon Jovi. I must say, I did a fairly good job of feigning enjoyment, until "It's My Life" began. You know how when you hate something, there is one song that sets you off? For example, My Heart Will Go On by Celine is hundreds of times worse than any other Celine. Afternoon Delight is worse than any other Starland Vocal Band, and anything by Nickelback is worse than anything else ever recorded.

So I did OK, I thought. Robin and I ran into "all meringue, no pie" guy in the bathroom - he now refers to himself as "all meringue" guy, and in person he speaks the exact way he does on the radio. So on and so forth, and so on and so on, and buried deep in there is a small kernel of substance. Very entertaining though, I must say! Robin suggested that Bon Jovi was kind of like a woman at the bar, whereby you might really enjoy yourself at his concert after a certain number of beers. I left long before he did, so you'll have to check his blog to see just how many beers it took! We also came to the conclusion that when you go to a show that's specifically guy-oriented, ie; The Who, Springsteen, Black Sabbath, Metallica - the crowd is much different than when it's specifically girl-oriented. Ie; Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi. The women are much more INTO the show than are the men. And I don't mean INTO like they care more about the music. Far from it, in fact. No, they care more about the performer himself. I suggested that it was a similar phenomenon to strip clubs. Like this:

When men go to a peeler bar, they are there to watch the show. They want to appreciate the show, and although some of them make noise, they usually do it merely to show appreciation for a great move, or a terrific performance. When women go to see men strip, they are interested in the show itself, but they go NUTS. Far different. You see, the women love the show, but they need to scream, to yell, and to become a PART of the show themselves. Just watching is not enough, they need to put themselves IN the show as well. Same goes with concerts. You don't see "marry me Pete Townshend" signs at Who concerts, but you sure do at Bon Jovi! (Although the woman in question may have been a bit confused. Pete Townshend is not in Bon Jovi.) Which means that it really is a pretty good time when you attend one of these all-women shows. There is a certain infectious energy that can distract you from the lousy music. In most cases, the women don't even know the music sucks. They may not even listen to the music ever. I believe in the case of Bon Jovi, the women who attend this show are the same type who hear the opening chords of "Always" on the radio, and immediately drift off into a dreamland where they picture Jon Bon in the video, and by the time their reverie is over, so is the song, and they don't remember it well enough to remember that it sucked.

Although I must say, although I left the concert hating Bon Jovi music more than ever, I also brought home a new appreciation of Jon Bon himself. I think I like him, in a way. It occurred to me in watching him that he GETS it. I think he realizes that his music is not very good, that it's culturally irrelevant, and that the women in attendance are more enamoured with his pretty face than they are with his new album "Lost Highway". He clearly made the decision early on in his career to go the sappy chick-rock route, which was great for him, because he gathered legions of female fans, barely had to put any effort into his music, and had lots of free time to appear in movies and listen to R.E.M. and go golfing. It's a sweet gig, and it appears as though Bon Jovie understands that and revels in it. He seems to have a bit of a half-smirk as he goes to the front row to touch the hands of the thirty women who paid 300 bucks apiece so they could have a group cry after touching his jacket cuff. He looks like he's ready to roll his eyes a little before he turns around and shakes his oh-so-perfect ass at the crowd, and of course he knows this will produce a bigger cheer than any Sambora guitar solo or drum break.

So in a lot of ways, a trip to a Bon Jovi concert is a lot like a trip to the strip club, and not just because of the eye candy. Oh yeah - the eye candy. Sidebar - before I forget. The eye candy at a Bon Jovi concert, like at an Aerosmith show or a Brad Pitt book signing, if he ever writes a hit-and-miss. It seems strange that women would show up to a Bon Jovi concert skanked up. You are not going to Bon Jovi to pick up a guy. I mean...come on. So, the only reason you would skank yourself up is the misguided hope that perhaps some roadie will pick you out of the crowd and you can be waiting backstage when Jon Bon gets off. Off stage I mean. And although I saw about seven thousand women dressed up skanky, clearly thinking they had a shot at this dream, I would say only about four of them really did. I mean, there were three hundred good enough for the rest of the men on earth, but I'm sure Bon Jovi can afford to be as picky as they come. And there were at least ONE hundred women who were just damn scary. Especially a couple we passed, wearing Rocky Horror fishnets over Addams-Family pale skin and Beetlejuice makeup. Ugh!

So anyway, the strip club. Not only are there scads of hotties walking around in their underwear parading their fake boobies, but there is also the atmosphere that makes one think a riot could break out at any time, with Jon Bon Jovi (or maybe Ritchie Sambora) as the unlucky target of a clothes-tearing, flesh-ripping frenzy of female exuberance. Which means it's fairly entertaining, even for those among us who have good taste in music!