Friday, February 13, 2009

And one more piece of insanity...

Nikki Sixx, it turns out, in case no one was aware of this, is a douche. Here is a video of him from a concert a few nights ago. (Great video, by the way - the guy filming spends the first half of it focused on two random gorgeous blondes in the crowd. Why else would someone attend a Motley Crue show, anyway?) Nikki Sixx gets a water bottle thrown near him. It makes him enraged. He finds the water bottle thrower, and spits on her. (By the by, this is the same water bottle Nikki Sixx has just thrown into the crowd.)

Parental advisory: Explicit verbiage and douchebaggery.

A fantastic website

This is also on Breaking Rock News, but I thought I would throw it up here too - a terrifically plausible website selling burgers "endorsed" by KISS. Actually, it goes even further and suggests that the burgers come from beef grown on the KISS-brand ranch, and so on. It's plausible because it is written with the cheesiest and lamest of double-entendres, a Gene Simmons specialty. Check it out:

Now, Gene Simmons claims that this is all just a hoax (and Rolling Stone actually investigated, finding out that it is, indeed, a hoax). But it is so fantastically plausible, since Simmons has so many products with the KISS faces and logos and whatnot on them that it is entirely conceivable that he can't keep track. Was that a coffin deal? Or a bathroom tile deal? Or was that the condoms-and-lunch-boxes-and-parrafin wax deal I was working on? Oh, right. It was the burgers. A great website, hoax or no hoax.

Just too weird not to post.

We were talking about this on the show yesterday, and I had to check out the full clip. It's just too bonkers to describe. Joaquin Phoenix, who dropped everything - all his acting jobs and his career in film - in order to grow (as Letterman upts it) a Unabomber beard and embark upon a rap career, which by all accounts has been terrible. Then he gives this bizarre, yet hilarious, interview to Letterman.

I firmly believe that this is not for real. It is easy to hide behind sunglasses and make the world think you are stoned out of your mind, even if you aren't. Casey Affleck, another superstar actor, has been following Phoenix around, videotaping his every move as he does this "career 180". Phoenix has dropped his agent completely, cut ties with everyone in the film industry, all except for Affleck. And I think this will end up being a gigantic hoax. A terrific, hilarious, fascinating hoax, but a hox nonetheless. Notice how Phoenix just makes himself look ridiculous in the interview, but never says anything that could actually get Letterman in trouble, and he never says anything offensive. He's just loopy and crazy and "totally stoned". I have no trouble believing that he is completely stoned for the interview. Perhaps that's what was called for in the hoax, and he is playing this thing to the bone.

And maybe I'm just crossing my fingers. Because if this isn't a hoax...oh Good Lord.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The worst mega-show ever?

Or...the greatest? I have a CD at home which is one of my prize possessions. It's a compilation from the early 90s called Back2Back Hits: MC Hammer & Vanilla Ice. I can't bring myself to ever listen to it, but I display it proudly next the the rest of my ironic music - Milli Vanilli, Savage Garden, Sarah Brightman, Yngwie Malmsteen. I just plain love the fact that it exists. MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. Together on the same CD. Magnificent mediocrity! And the time has passed, that day has gone, and we will never see the likes of those two chart-toppers again.

Or...will we? I really wanted to put this on Breaking Rock News, because I love this story. But then, it really isn't rock. Or news. Most people would not think this is news. But I have a highly-developed sense of irony, a splendid sensitivity to all that is aggressively mediocre, and this is huge Breaking News to me. Vanilla Ice, purveyor of such dreadful classics as "Ice Ice Baby" and "Play That Funky Music", will be teaming up with MC Hammer, creator of such timeless material as "U Can't Touch This" and "2 Legit 2 Quit", for a one-time, one-place, one-off show! It's not exactly a reunion, and it certainly isn't a tour, but this is a musical event that, in it's own way, is bigger than Zeppelin at the O2 arena. I can't believe this isn't more widely reported!

For those of you with way too much money, no idea how to spend it, and a highly developed sense of ironic ineptitude, the show takes place at 8:00 p.m. sharp, February 27th, at - get this - the McKay Events Centre in Orem, Utah. Whatever that is. I am crossing my fingers and hoping against hope that the show goes well. Because unlike Zeppelin, you know that success at this event might mean a tour for these guys. Oh - one more thing, to sweeten the pot. Apparently Vanilla Ice is showing up alone, having lost his entourage and posse in 1992. But MC Hammer is bringing...Twenty-four dancers and a full choir. Book your tickets now!

Will this be the worst TV show ever?

Yes, it will. Usually, the previews for a TV show or a movie show only the funniest, zaniest and craziest parts of that show. Or movie. If these are the funniest parts of the new Osbournes reality show, then one can only assume the show itself will be a giant pile of suck. Watch them suck here:

And now, never watch that show. Ever. (And I will give you the kids - they are at least smirk-worthy.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Creepy photo

Got this sent to me today. Definitely creepy. Zeppelin always did like that Lord of the Rings stuff, didn't they? Robert Plant does his "my precious" impression, all the while looking just like that Aqualung dude...

This is why I'm fat...Losing Weight Through Brute Force, Week 3

I'm in first place! In the office pool, I'm up by about three pounds over my closest competitor. He is apparently not excercising, but rather is eating properly and well. And he's doing very well - kudos, Andy. I, on the other hand, am not eating well at all, but instead excercising my butt off. This is the ultimate showdown, I think - which works better? We're the two guinea pigs in a test-controlled lab situation. Yesterday another competitor, Mary, brought me some incredibly delicious eclairs and pastries from Dirienzos. Trying to sabotage me, you see. But I showed her. I only ate three of the five. I'm eating less McDonalds, and drinking less Pepsi, but that's about the only change I'm making diet-wise. It could all fall apart for me, however, should I decide to change my diet to something like this:

Hey...Andy...check out this's full of great, tasty and nutritious food ideas to help you with your plan!

So very sad. The final nail in the coffin of modern baseball.

In retrospect, I should have been a Ken Griffey Jr. fan. I was a Frank Thomas fan at around the time Jr. started putting up his great numbers and being the best all-around player in baseball. I resented the perfection that was Griffey, and I wanted to dance to the beat of my own drummer. I was one of those little kids who was too cool to like Ken Griffey, just like there are little kids who are too cool to like the Beatles. Although, at the time, I thought Frank Thomas would end up being the greatest hitter ever to play baseball, it is clear that (at that time) the smart money would have been on Junior. Frankly, I don't really regret my choice of Frank Thomas, but I'm thinking about Griffey now that A-Rod has been outed for steroids.

Here's a guy who had integrity. He hit all those homers, early in his career, because of a sweet, perfect swing. He made all those amazing outfield catches because he was naturally blessed with the instincts to do so. He truly was the best player in baseball for several years, and talk began rather early about the possibility of him breaking that hallowed Hank Aaron record - 755 home runs. But then injuries, age and a lack of steroids seemed to catch up to him. He was no longer the player he once was when he moved on to the Reds from the Mariners, and he has become one of the forgotten old-timers. And how easy to forget a guy like Griffey when McGwire and Sosa are putting up those ridiculous home run totals. Or when Griffey is on the downside of his career, like a regular human, while Roger Clemens seems to get better and better and more powerful with age. And who talks about the what-might-have-been with Griffey, when it has already happened - Hank Aaron's record has fallen to the basketball-headed Barry Bonds.

But here's what drove it home for me - Alex Rodriguez. I remember a few years ago there was a discussion of steroid testing in golf. I can't remember who it was, but there was a PGA pro who had a great line - I'm all for steroid testing, he said. It's pretty easy in golf - all you have to do is test one guy. And he was, of course, right. If Tiger Woods is clean, who cares if Phil Mickelson or Vijay Singh or Mike Weir is injecting himself? They could be cramming in steroids between holes and it wouldn't matter. As long as Tiger is clean, that sport is clean. Baseball was a different story. Every major star was NOT clean. Every MVP, every Cy Young winner, was under intense scrutiny at all times. And most of them tested positive and had to admit their steroid use. Even those guys who had already been blessed with stellar careers, who seemed destined for the Hall of Fame anyway, took the drugs toward the end of their careers to get that little bit extra.

And that brings me to A-Rod. The one guy who maybe could transcend the whole mess. Virtually unanimously considered the best player in baseball, the highest-paid player in history, and so far untouched by the steroid scandal. He spoke to Katie Couric and said he had never used steroids, never needed to do so. In fact, he went on at great length about how he had never done so, in what turned out to be a monumental series of lies. I had been crossing my fingers. I had been holding my breath and hoping against hope that A-Rod was clean. And that he would break the home run records, and that he would once again restore a little bit of class and legitimacy to baseball. He was the only man who could do it. Albert Pujols is great, Manny Ramirez is spectacular, but only A-Rod had a chance to be the Greatest of All Time and be clean.

I was never an A-Rod fan. Much like my distaste for Griffey when I was a kid, I spent much of my later life being too cool for A-Rod. But he was the beacon to which I hitched my hopes and dreams of recapturing the magic of baseball. And now, he has driven the final nail into baseball's coffin. Every stat, every record, every momentous occasion baseball has had over the past fifteen years must now be ignored. Nothing important has happened without the aid of performance enhancing drugs, and nothing will until Bud Selig starts becoming more than just the owners' buddy. Bud - wipe the record books clean. Hank Aaron is still the home run champion. Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux still have the most Cy Young Awards. Roger Maris' still has the single-season homer record. Barry Bonds retired in 1995. There has been no baseball at all, in fact, since 1993, there has just been another game masquerading as baseball. Let's start over. Let's so some serious testing, and then play the 1994 season this spring.

That way, Ken Griffey Jr. might still have a shot at 755. And wouldn't that be a good eraser for the black mark that is baseball?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Operation Go Home.

OK, it's that time of year where I get preachy again, only this time I'm preachy with more of a purpose. For the past three years I have done Operation Go Home's 24 Hours of Homelessness challenge just off Rideau Street in that Sugar Mountain - Scotiabank mini-mall. I can't remember what it's called. We'll be back there this year, doing it again. In the past, we have solicited minor donations from passers-by, but it has mostly been an event to raise awareness of Operation Go Home as they kick off their fundraising drive for the year. This time, we want to raise as much money as we can on that first day, to get the ball rolling on what hopefully will be a major fundraising campaign. The event takes place from Thursday, February 19th at 4:00 p.m. to Friday, February 20th at 4:00 p.m. Hopefully this year won't be like last, where it was -25 and my sleeping bag came apart. With any luck it will be -10 and not snow.

This is the point of the event, however. It's supposed to be cold, it's supposed to be unpleasant. This is the life for many kids in the Ottawa area, kids who live on the streets. And there are lots of them, make no mistake, this is a problem in this region. There are no shelters for kids. There are just homeless shelters for adults. Kids are allowed to go there, but they never do. It's too dangerous for them, and the threat of violence and other horrible things is all too real. So if they can't find a warm place for the night, they are left with no recourse but to sleep outside. We'll be doing it for 24 hours, but this is a reality that could happen for these kids on any given night of the winter time.

Operation Go Home is a charitable organization, with no government funding whatsoever, that seeks to get these kids off the streets. Their mission statement is basically to help the homeless kids before they become homeless adults. Over the past three years, I've seen their operation in detail, and I have met many of these kids. They are out on the streets for a variety of reasons. Some of them just hated living at home, and the streets seemed glamorous. Others became addicted to drugs and wound up homeless and broke. But most seem to have fled from home to escape abuse. OGH tries to reunite kids with their families across Canada as much as possible. Those who can go home, hopefully will. And for those who can't, the drop-in centre provides them with some education, a few meals a day, and help getting back on their feet.

For a homeless kid, that is harder than it seems. Most don't have any ID of any kind, not even a birth certificate. Which means they can't become employed, which means they will never be able to afford an apartment. OGH helps them get the identification they require, helps them set up job interviews and helps them get apartments to get them off the streets before it's too late. This year, the fundraising season kicks off today, and I'm putting the link up here so people can make donations if they so choose. There are ads running on CHEZ right now, talking about the event, and they say to go to to make a donation. I think that page will be up fairly soon, but until it actually exists, here is the link:

Here is the link to their website, which explains everything OGH does in the community:

Any amount helps, any amount is greatly appreciated. Last year, people came up to me for months after the event, giving me five dollars here, two dollars there. Including one very sweet little boy who brought me a loonie and some nickels at a concert event. Of course, I'm happy to take donations in that form and deliver them to Operation Go Home at the next event. But hopefully this pledge form will make it easier, and you can always stop by and see us at the William Street Mall. There - I remembered what it's called!

Two out of three ain't bad

Two things I like: Baseball and Pearl Jam. One thing to which I'm indifferent: U2. Put them together, and you get this bizarre but pretty cool video of Eddie Vedder singing karaoke U2 at a Chicago Cubs fantasy camp. Strange, but...had to put it up. Yes, Eddie Vedder was attending the Cubs' fantasy camp. As a camper. Are they called campers when they're all over 50? Anyway.