I'm a...roCKETman

Stewie Griffin interprets Elton John's classic.

Based on William Shatner's rendition.

(courtesy of milkandcookies)



I wanna wreck homes like Angelina Jolie

Strange clip of Arcade Fire singing with kids

Free and Legal MP3s (with obligatory Suicide Girls ad)


Mad linkage

Some things for everyone to play with...

Ever wonder who would win a fight between Wolverine or God? No? Well we may never know the answer, but we can animate a fight between their Google counterparts with Googlefight.

If you're dying to find out when Dweezil was at the height of name popularity, now you can (well actually you can't because only the top 1000 names are catalogued). But if you have a halfway normal name (sorry Hari) you can see a beautiful graph of its ebb and flow at Baby Name Voyager.

Do you have the artistic vision to make a One Second Film?


How the years go by

It was about a year ago that I went to Chicago to visit some friends I had met online. That trip was easily one of the best I've ever taken. In honour of the friends I made and in rememberance of good times, here is the blog entry I wrote on my return.

A Short History of Chicago
or All Your Buildings So Tall
by Thomas

The large man next to me is fighting with his seat. Back and forth he goes, like the bird with the red water tail. Now up and down, side-to-side, sucking in his gut and puffing out his cheeks. He drops something on the floor and I cringe. The chair feels a little snug on me, so I can only imagine what it must feel like for him to be wedged into its restrictive confines. Such is the price you pay for chasing the cheapest ticket. I want him to leave the paper on the ground but he is determined to retrieve it, sweat beading on his forehead, arms tense as he pushes back back back for leverage and then folds at the waist, compressing his tremendous stomach, cutting off all breath. I figure he has ten, twenty seconds tops before his head explodes. He paws fruitlessly at the ground. Then, when it looks like he might just pass out, the paper magically finds its way between his fingers. He sits up triumphantly. I turn back to my book. Four hours to Chicago.

Brewing the perfect cup of tea is an art form. The temperature of the water, the material of the vessel, the quality of the tea leaves – all of these factor into whether you have the nectar of the gods or the hotdog water from 7-11. Even with substandard ingredients, a passable cup of tea can be made with a little patience and a little love. Unfortunately I have neither. Waking up a full half hour after my alarm first sounded, I put on a display of haste and clumsiness worthy of the Keystone Cops. As the fifth revised deadline when I must absolutely have left the house comes and goes, I stare at my bag wondering what I am forgetting. Toothbrush? Underwear? Passport? Tickets? The kettle boils silently and just as silently shuts itself off. Twice. After the water’s third boiling I decide to pour it over far too much tea and create a kind of brown, acidic water. I throw my bags into the car, pat my pockets for some reason, and place my travel mug into its holder. The tea tastes horrible but at least it’s hot. I burn my tongue.

Lok is tall and quiet. These are two things I am not expecting. I also don’t expect him to swear so much, but that is neither here nor there. I’m sure the things I don’t expect could drown a whale. Alejandro and I meet him at his hotel. I’m still not sure what I want people to think of me; part of me wants to play everything very cool, but I know my tendency is to babble incessantly – furthermore, I didn’t fly all the way from Vancouver to be quiet. I wonder – should I slouch more? Have gotten a haircut? Bought new clothes? I so wear myself out with thinking that I have no time to posture. When Alejandro picks me up from the airport I explode with words. I say dude a lot. I want him to think I know stuff but not too much stuff. I want to be cool. Alejandro is concerned about the time we are having. Very concerned. He asks what I want to do, want to see. He apologizes for making me sleep on the futon in his room. He sleeps on a lazy boy with the TV.

The large man sells fibre optic cables to the military. They fly him economy, ha ha, because his company likes to save money. He doesn’t want to work for other people all his life. No sir. He doesn’t need someone to tell him how to buy real estate with no down payment, fix it up and sell it for a profit. He can do that himself. He knows all about buying real estate with no down payment. I slip my headphones on and turn up the volume on my mini-disc player. The steward hands out complimentary drinks. He hands out cheddar snacks and biscuits. I offer them to the large man and he shrugs his shoulders. Why not he says. I feel bad. I feel like I am killing him. I want to give him a low-carb Echinacea fruit shake. I don’t want to work for other people all my life he says, fishing cheddar bits out of the cellophane packet. I nod and turn the volume up.

Alejandro lives in a nice house with hardwood floors and two roommates who are artists. They paint beautifully and talk about porn. Have I seen the one where the girl inserts the dildo in the man’s penis they ask me. No I have not. Alejandro’s roommate loves video games. He has two Dreamcasts. He has an Xbox. He has a Playstation 2. He has a GameCube. He plays a fighting game and when he fights the female characters he mumbles encouragement to his fighter. Take it to the wall bitch! You like that taste? Eat it bitch! The first night we meet we discuss art instruction. Is it necessary to have formal training in order to be a great artist? Would Picasso insist on formal training? They show me pictures from inside the computer desk of a young woman dancing. She wears various dresses. She looks very happy.

When we go to pick up Eoin Alejandro suggests we play a prank (which will become a theme for the weekend). He calls and says we are in the purple Escort parked in front of us. The Escort starts up. Alejandro wants to ask it to wait. It drives away. He calls Eoin to change the prank. My phone rings and I pick it up. He has called me by mistake. I feel I will not have to worry about practical jokes.

As we leave Lok’s room we meet a young women in the elevator with a British accent. Alejandro asks if she is here for the interviews. She is. He asks her what department and she says media studies. We look at Lok. Lok is silent. She asks if we are here for that as well and Alejandro points to Lok. We, on the other hand, are Lok’s bodyguards. She looks scared. When the elevator doors open she walks ahead of us. As we exit the hotel we can see her running down the sidewalk, her legs and arms swinging at her sides at awkward angles.

I meet Selmin outside of Lou Mitchell’s, a Chicago institution. I am standing around the entrance when I am seized by the idea that I am wearing the wrong clothes. I look in the glass. My clothes look the same as they did that morning. I consider putting on my hat, but decide against it. When Selmin pulls up in a car with her friend I am a mass of nerves and can’t think straight. I wonder if she can notice. I eat sausages, eggs, and butter with some toast; Selmin sips on a cup of tea. Within a minute of meeting her I feel totally at ease. She has that kind of effect. We decide to walk around the city and head in a direction that seems to lead into downtown. We talk about our families. We talk about our schooling. We talk about the building that looks like a church has been stuck on top of it. She wonders why people spend so much money on the tops of buildings when no one can see them. Inside a mall that looks like a spaceship we hear the governor of Illinois. It is black history month. A woman sings the Negro national anthem that goes on for five minutes and has about twenty verses. She is standing in front of a Taco Bell. I want to ride the elevator. Selmin laughs at me. She laughs at me often. The elevators lead to government offices and we cannot ride them. Inside Marshall Field’s she eats a very bad chicken salad; all of the salads have chicken in them. The older women are wearing leather newsboy hats.

Eoin and I eat White Castle hamburgers which don’t taste like hamburgers and have onions that don’t feel like onions.

Alejandro has gotten us tickets to see the Blue Man group at 10:00. Lok cannot join us; he is tired. Selmin informs us that this might not be all that there is to know about Lok and his fatigue. Eoin, Alejandro, and I go to a Chinese restaurant. Eoin says Thomas. I say yes? He says You’re wrong. We order three dishes and two beers and then realize we will not have enough time to eat so we get the order to go and read our fortune cookies with in bed added at the end because we are clever like that. We eat the food in the car, Alejandro steering with his knees, boxes of food passing back and forth. The car fills up with sesame oil and garlic. Eoin and I bundle out of the car to meet Selmin while Alejandro parks the car. We stand around inside wondering what the Blue Man Group will do. Do they play music? Dance? None of us seems to know. While we are waiting one of the employees comes over and asks if we have tickets; if we don’t we will have to wait outside. We walk out muttering, me shaking my head. Like we wanted to stand in your lobby just for fun. When Alejandro arrives he reveals the surly employee is his friend – he asked him to kick us out. The joke bandit strikes again. After the show we learn that the friend comped us the tickets.

The show is amazing and made surreal by the mentally disabled young woman two rows in front of us who shouts comments at the stage at inopportune moments. She waves her hands over her head and screams, laughs, implores. Throw it to me, she says. Oh yeah. I’m going to read the big one. I’m not sure what’s crazier – her comments, or how angry she makes the people around her. A huge man sitting in front of Eoin looks ready to kill. He yells Shut up. She says, you shut up. He says, no you shut up. Such is the level of discourse.

While Alejandro is working Eoin and I take the train to his friends. Luis, Joanna, and Loki live in a beautiful two-floor apartment with Mia and Mark. As soon as I walk in and Loki learns my name he leads me to his cars and shows them to me one by one. Loki has a micro-cassette recorder and tapes random bits of sound. I record him making Bruce Lee moves. I record him pretending to be Michael Jackson. I record him singing a song about a clown with a rabbit on his head. Later on I film him beating up Eoin. I tell him, Eoin has an empty head. Hey Eoin, he says. You have an empty head. We play poker and eat chocolate chip cookies.

On Saturday night we go out as a group.

At 4:30 in the morning we go to the Hollywood Grill which is packed with post-club revelers. My head feels like a block of wood. Everyone else looks fresh and clean. As we are waiting for our food a man walks by in a black dress. He is not an attractive man. Alejandro sketches caricatures. He draws my nose like a fist on my face. Eoin looks like an evil Jay Leno with David Letterman’s eyes. Lok looks like an alien. Selmin looks like a lovely young lady. An old man with no teeth stands chewing gum behind Lok. He rolls the gum out and stretches it over his upper lip. This freaks Lok out. We eat apple pie and eggs Benedict and fries. I want the night to go on forever, even with my wooden head, even with the ugly men in dresses and the toothless men chewing gum. I want the night to go on and on and on and for someone to write epic poetry about it.

As I am waiting for my plane I call Lani. I miss her. I realize I have missed her all along and this makes me glad. The plane is mostly empty and I can sit in a row all by myself and most of the other passengers flying alone decide to do the same thing. It starts to rain. I pull out a book but cannot read. I pull out a pen but cannot write. I sit back in the chair and close my eyes and suddenly I am asleep, flying away from the windy city with its buildings so high and its people so lovely and I think I will come back again.

Eoin, Alejandro, and I hit the town at 1:30. We go to the Borderline where they are playing Alien on a screen and the average age is 35. The biggest man I have ever seen is ordering drinks with a fistful of twenties and wearing Birkenstocks. We stand at the wall along the bar and yell at each other. Alejandro goes Zen and zones out. Suddenly two disastorous looking blondes are rubbing up against us, laughing and spilling their drinks, looking over their shoulders. I must look sick. Alejandro wears an expression of agony filtered through a smile. One girl has breasts the size of Eoin’s head he will later remark and enough make-up for a Tammy Faye rally. Her eyebrows are angry marks on her forehead. Time passes. Alejandro leans towards me and says, a 9.25. What? A 9.25. No man. Not a chance. She’s nasty. He tells me we can be friends because we have different taste in women, and I am about to explain that no friend of mine could have such poor taste when I realize we are talking about a different woman. The particular object of his fancy is dressed like an office worker and talking to a schmo in a cowboy hat. Eoin indicates this drops her about 1000 points but still places her fairly high.

We see the same woman again at a different bar the next night. We decide she is a prostitute.


Law Revue - A Review

"Is the Dean Emiritus gonna have to slap a bitch?"

Last night I ventured to the Norm theatre to partake in a night of the Bard as law students and professors humiliated themselves in various stages of lunacy. Actually, the shit was pretty tight. Ryan's sketches in particular were of TOP QUALITY, but, alas, were also a little too high brow for the drunken, rowdy crowd. One particularly good sketch involving pirates (what good sketch doesn't?), was all but ruined by a stupid fat fuck who couldn't shut his intoxicated pie hole. But I digress.

The acting was actually fairly decent, with Keith being a notable standout as Trump (I'm gonna Trump kill ya) and some other guy as Dean Curtis and Alex Trebek. Low notes included a misguided impersonation of a certain rambunctious first year - this may or may not lead to the impersonators death. I am undecided as of yet.

The lowest note had to be the musical numbers. The band, it must be said, was entirely competent. And the group numbers, although not very good, were at least done in a who gives a shit manner that made them forgivable. However, the "satirical" songs that took hit tunes and changed the lyrics so they were law related told a different story. To begin with, the singer who inexplicably did every song could not sing. I don't mean that she sang off key, although she did, or that she sang off time, although she did that too. No, I mean that her singing could be used by the U.S. government as a siege device. Her singing would bring about instant and unconditional surrender. It wasn't enough that her voice was like a million cat orgy - she had to yell into an already jacked up mike like she was play calling for the Superbowl. At the end of the song she even did a little jig, as if in acknowledgment of her mind-boggling suckitude. The most baffling part was the way people cheered and clapped whenever she shrieked another missed note, or yelled another forgotten phrase. I can only think of two reasons for this - that she is extremely popular, or that she is sleeping with everyone.

If the songs had at least been funny, the horror of her performance might have been overlooked. But the songs were straight versions of the originals, with the word "law" interspersed willy-nilly. She even sang with her eyes closed.

Missed the Superbowl ads because of a crappy Canadian feed?

Fed Ex



And the winner is...

Torts is...
a yummy dessert.
a class you take in law school.
a cruel form of torture, involving mind-numbing exercises.


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Stick that in your pipe!

The man or woman has "decorated" some 2,000 to 3,000 piles of puppy poop in a city park with little American flags.

"Maybe someone is protesting the war in Iraq or just trying to let people know that there are too many dog droppings in the park."