Monthly Archives: November 2013

What’s On My Mind Grapes

This is the Wednesdayist Monday blog you’ll ever read from me! That’s if I get it in in the next 26 minutes, for then my friends, it will be Thursday. I was struggling to think about what to write, and then the ideas I had seemed vaguely familiar. Like ‘I already wrote that blog’ kind of familiar. So I will bring my self down to the lowest common denominator of randomness which I like to call ‘Bullet Points’.

– When looking through previous blogs, it disturbs me that the Rob Ford thing has been going on this long. Everybody within 50 miles of that sucks! They’ve now stripped him of most of his powers, and he’s now mayor in name only, as well as going out into the world and doing some ‘mayor’ appearances. WAIT A MINUTE…….. Isn’t that the part of the job that he sucks at? The part of being mayor and going out in public? If anything, they should have stripped him of his ability to be mayor and go to these events!! He can embarrass the city just as easily with these limited powers. He still has the power to leave a shit smear across Toronto, and there isn’t money in the new budget to buy enough toilet paper to clean that up!

– Somebody showed me an app today. Just to be clear, I don’t have apps. I don’t know why. I just don’t feel like getting them. I’m sure they’re free and easy. I’m free and easy most of the time, but I’m just not interested. The app that a co-worker was showing me today told you exactly what time a bus was going to arrive. Not by it’s scheduled time, but by the GPS it has installed. So fucking exact!! Then she had an app that would call a cab for you. These things are handy! It provided a moment for me where I thought ‘man…. humans are so close to being redundant, it’s not even funny… and we’ll be the last to know’. Which led me to almost write a blog about robots taking over the world. Then I realized that I already wrote that blog a few months ago. I should take the opportunity to post a link to it here. I don’t know how. I’m sure it’s free and easy.

– I’m gonna make pulled pork tomorrow while I stay home with my 1 year old son who’s sick for the 3rd out of the last 4 Thursdays. He always knows when I have a day off, and he gets sick every time. I’m kind of flattered to be honest. The vomitting, the fevers, the sniffles, the over all sickness….. all of that so he can stay home and chill with his old man on a Thursday. He must know that tomorrow is American Thanksgiving which is cool for Americans because they get the weekend off, but cool for me because I can watch football all day tomorrow instead of whatever nonsense daytime TV programming has to offer. I hope he feels better. He’s too cute to suffer. Can babies eat pulled pork?? How do you make pulled pork? Never mind, I’ll probably just make spaghetti

– I’m eating fish oil pills these days. I don’t know if it’s helping, but it is providing me with and opportunity to almost choke to death at least once a day. After I fight those babies down, I get a feeling of achievement that I can only imagine is like trying to swim across a lake. When you get to the other side, a lot of water has probably gone down the wrong way, and you probably feel a bit like crying, but YOU DID IT!

What Will He Say When He Finally Talks?

My son is 1 year old. How do you say that? That doesn’t sound right. My son is 1 years old. 1 is not plural, and I don’t think that’s right either. Now I finally understand why people use months until the kid is 2. My son is 13 months old. He’s starting to talk quite a bit. Not any language that you or I would understand. He’s developed his own dialect. I’m quite impressed with his commitment to it. As long as he seems convinced that he’s saying something meaningful, then I don’t really care if I can understand it or not. I guess there’s a shelf life for that sentiment, but at 13 months, I’m not sweating it. It’s pretty charming actually, and it got me thinking the other day that it might even be better than when he starts to talk for real. What could he possibly have to say? Then again, who knows? Maybe the thoughts going through is head are completely fascinating. Time will tell.

I did make a list of things that I’m pretty sure he’s tried to say to me already. I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait to give him this list, so he can give it a once over and let me know how accurate it is. It’s just that there have been a bunch of different occasions where I’m pretty sure I know what he was trying to say, even though he couldn’t find the right (English) words.

In no particular order, here’s my list of what I think he wanted to say………..

“Dad, I don’t want to wear a diaper today… be flexible man… I won’t poo man, don’t worry about it. I’ll give you warning if I’m gonna poo. C’mon man, be cool. Dammit!”

“This book has too many words, and not enough pictures….. I’d like you to read me this other book that has the pull-tab that makes the baby walk across the page…… I want to rip that baby’s head off.”

“I really want you to turn that ceiling fan on. Good. No, not that speed, the faster one. No, faster than that. No, slower. Now faster. Can you get that light to go on too? Perfect, now speed up the fan. Actually, slow the fan down and kill the light. Can you get it to go in between those speeds? I’m hungry.”

“Seriously, why have you put me in this high chair? Where’s the food? Why would you put me here if the food wasn’t ready? Seriously, how long for the food? Are you even working on it? What are you doing in there? Where’s my food? I’m really hungry. The thing is, I wasn’t even that hungry, but now that you’ve put me in the chair, I feel like I should be eating, but where’s the food? You’re sending me mixed messages, usually when I sit here there’s food. Where’s the food? Dad, honestly…. are you new? Mom does this faster. Oh my god! Is this a new thing where I sit here and don’t get food? Don’t pass me a toy, we’re way past that, where’s the food? Oh thank god, nom nom nom nom nom….”

“Good morning dad!! I can’t believe I just slept for 12 hours, it was awesome. I barely remember any of the high-pitched shrieking I did right before I went to bed. I totally slept that off, great sleep. Wait, where are you? Oh there you are…. you were hiding, but then you popped out!! Bwahahahaha… Hilarious, do it again! Hahahahahahahaha!! Oh that’s funny, wait…. I don’t see you….There you are! Hahahahahahahahaaaaaaa…. You kill me man!”

“I really like this news channel dad. I love it when the stock ticker goes across the bottom. When’s this Rob Ford thing gonna go away? I’ve spent my entire life watching this stupidity unfold. This guy doesn’t know how to act. I could totally get away with acting like that, but I don’t! I’m 13 months old, and I know better. Dad, did you vote for this bozo? Seriously, did you? It’s okay to say you did. Did mom? Well somebody must have voted for him. Seriously, did you? I won’t laugh. OK, I believe you. I’m hungry.”

The Day I First Heard Midnight Marauders


I found myself on a bus this evening. (Don’t most of my blogs start this way??). It was leaving a shopping mall and it was packed full of retail employees and shoppers alike. I had been waiting a while and was rewarded with a seat, which was a relief for my aching feet. I didn’t have my iPod, so was forced to listen to the ramblings of teenagers while reading Twitter feeds which is often exactly like listening to the ramblings of teenagers. A group of four of them were standing near the exit. Two guys and two girls. I love to watch people and speculate what their situations are. I don’t think these were couples. I think they were just either co-workers or classmates or something along those lines. This girl was speaking with a confidence you can only have as a teenager, because it’s yet to occur to you that you know virtually nothing compared to what you will eventually know. She was talking about something harmless like funny TV commercials, and doing a poor job at explaining why they were funny, but laughing hysterically anyways. One of the guys in the group was trying hard to give positive feedback to what she was saying, probably because he was interested in her, and wanted to keep a flirty dynamic going. They were just excited to be there. I don’t even know why, but I assume it’s because they were probably about 18 years old, and why wouldn’t every moment of your life be that exciting. Most 18 year olds have yet to be beaten down by responsibility, and they’ve got lots of good times ahead. I remember what it was like to ride a bus with some girls that I might have a crush on, and maybe have nothing much to do afterwards except for watch a movie, or play video games, or just getting into random mischief. That was fun.

I switched back to my phone and scrolled down on my Twitter feed to find out the following. My favourite music album of all time was released 20 years ago today. For those wondering, or not familiar enough to grab it from the blog title, it was Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest. I’ll only spend a second telling you why it’s the greatest, because this isn’t a music blog, although I think one day I will start one. All I do is talk about music, so why not just start a new blog, other than I don’t have time? A Tribe Called Quest was and is the greatest thing that ever happened to Hip Hop music. Midnight Marauders was the moment when Hip Hop achieved its true potential, and was never before and never again as pure, exciting, creative, accessible, and lets just say perfect. There will be varying opinions from Hip Hop purists, but not too many would go out of their way to refute this claim. I don’t mean to disrespect any of the great music that came out before this moment, or anything that evolved out of this moment, but on November 9, 1993 Hip Hop hit its peak in my not-so-humble opinion.

It was a Tuesday. I was an 18-year-old high school student. Probably not unlike the ones I saw on the bus. Excited just for the sake of being excited. A lot was going on in my life. I had a girlfriend, who came over to my house after school to see it for the first time. Not that she’d never come over before, but my parents had recently purchased a new house. This house was big. I’d lived in a semi-detached house my whole life leading up to this, but my parents leveraged a really poor real estate market, and got a house (that they probably couldn’t afford) in the same neighborhood, but just bigger. It had 4 bedrooms upstairs, and a swimming pool. I curse the thought of how much time and energy I’ve spent maintaining that pool vs. how much I’ve actually swam in it, but nevertheless, some of my greatest nights involved having friends over while my parents were out-of-town. A great party house! The best part of the whole thing was that there was a bedroom in the basement, which I quickly laid claim to. The basement was straight out of 1972 with its stucco, awful carpet, faux beer keg in the wall, and a small hidden bar compartment also in the wall. It was designed to be a 1972 party pad. This was 1993 however, and the rest of my family thought this basement was an eye-sore, and steered clear of it. Suited me fine. It had just the right amount of privacy an 18-year-old kid would want.

So I was showing my girlfriend around this house, and I was specifically remember that she was only there for a few minutes on her way home from school because I had a 5-close shift at my part-time job that night, which I would have to leave for shortly. I was feverishly calling around to see if anyone would take my shift because A Tribe Called Quest’s new album was coming out today, and I needed to get it…..TODAY! The amount of time that had elapsed between Tribe’s 1991 offering, (and my favourite album at the time ‘Low End Theory’), and the one that came out that day seemed like centuries. These were the days of long summers, and even longer school years! If I’m obsessive about music now as a (usually) mature adult, you can only imagine how unreasonable my longing was for this album to come out. How was I going to get it if I had to go to work? I worked through the book of co-workers phone numbers, and it became evident that I wasn’t going to get this shift covered. I called my oldest friend in the world, also a Tribe fan, and also a co-worker at this particular job to tell him of my plight. He seemed unaware that today was the magical day that ‘Midnight Marauders’ was released, and was on store shelves as we spoke. (Do people really not know about release dates?? Am I the only idiot that would know about this in advance?) In a move that I hadn’t considered, he said he wouldn’t take my shift, but that he was going to drive over to the mall and buy the album while I was at work. This sounded great, but I couldn’t believe that I would have to spend 4 hours at a job while he was in possession of something I’d waited centuries for. This was to be the longest 4 hours ever. I tried to convince him not to listen to it until I got there. He assured me that he would listen to it at least 3 times before I got there, but offered to ‘tape it for me’.

Let me explain what I mean by ‘tape it for me’. Let me start by saying I never really thought I would ever have to explain that. I believe the days have arrived where this term requires explanation. While CDs are not yet obsolete, in the fall of 1993 I was a couple of months short of acquiring my first CD player. I was relatively happy listening to my music on tapes, and sometimes vinyl. While vinyl is making a comeback, I don’t think tapes ever will. The good thing about tapes is that you could record stuff on them, and they were cheaper. So my friend was offering to buy the CD for himself, and tape it for me so I could own it for free, and have it instantly….. that is after my 4 hour shift was over. I agreed, and headed over to his house on my way home from work. I found him asleep on his couch. I asked him for the tape. He had forgotten to make the tape, and once we established that I wasn’t leaving without a tape, he said he would happily listen to the album again while I made the tape. Then he gave me what I can only describe as a ‘Bill Cosby Jell-O Pudding Smile’ and said ‘it’s really good’. I knew it would be somehow. So I started to listen. Every track was incredible. It was simply the best thing I had ever heard. Who knew that would be the last time I ever thought that. 20 years later, and it’s still the best thing I ever heard.

Crack, Alcohol, Dishonesty With A Twist Of Ignorance – A Mayor’s Cocktail

I wish this were reality TV. The thing I like about reality TV is that I don’t have to watch it. I can change the channel, or just not watch TV. If I want to watch the News, or listen to the News, or read about the News, I cannot escape the reality TV that is the Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s life. When someone says to me that the Kardashian TV shows are stupid, I’m always quick to say that I wouldn’t know, because I don’t have time for that bullshit, and neither should they. I want to say the same thing about the Rob Ford saga. I really don’t have time for this bullshit. The only problem is that THIS is the News. I DO have a choice to not watch the news, but it’s a choice to be misinformed, unlike the choice to not watch the Kardashians….. a choice which made properly, I believe salvages some of my intelligence. Rob Ford is in my living room every day. He’s in my living room drunk, belligerent, defensive, dishonest, stammering, mumbling, and that’s just when he’s not allegedly on crack. There isn’t a day that goes by when this isn’t a huge story. I’m really tired of it.

I’m well past the point of caring if this man smoked crack or not. He either did or he didn’t. If he wasn’t representing our city, I wouldn’t even have a problem with it. It’s his life. It’s not about politics either. He could be doing a good job at City Hall for all I know. He says he’s doing a good job, and that must be enough for most of his supporters. A strong group of which don’t seem to care that he’s a walking embarrassment for the city. They were obviously the ones that voted him in. A surprising number of them are still really strong supporters of him too. They feel he’s being picked on. If anything, I think it’s making them relate to him more. I think it’s because there’s the whole Right Wing vs. Left Wing at play here. Of course individuals HAVE to be one or the other (God forbid we actually just voted for whoever we thought was the right person). Everybody LOVES to be on a team. This team is called Ford Nation! Yes, they actually have a team name. He repeatedly claims to be saving money for tax payers, but I don’t think you can save me enough money to compensate for the humiliation I feel when a hack like Jay Leno can make jokes at our expense.

The problem for me is that if there’s one person that truly represents a city, it’s the Mayor. Ours can’t stay out of trouble for more than 30 seconds. He’s only been in office for 3 years and at least 2 years and 11 months have been a shit show. So much so that the rest of the world has taken notice. For the EXTREMELY IGNORANT people who say ‘any press is good press’, let me remind you that he’s not an actor or a singer. He’s the Mayor. Bad press is bad press. It makes us look bad. We don’t need bad attention. The incidents that have occurred both major and minor are increasing in number. Where does he find the time to get into all this shit? It takes a lot of time to get into this much trouble! How does he do it?

I want a Mayor that can look people in the eye. I want a Mayor that can talk like an educated person. I want a Mayor that doesn’t get super hammered in public (just for the small percentage of his life that he happens to be Mayor, but if he wants to get smashed every other St. Patty’s day for the rest of his life, then fuck it, why not?). I want a Mayor that doesn’t smoke crack. I want a Mayor that handles adversity with grace, rather than getting into grade five-esque shouting matches with reporters. I want a Mayor who after causing a city such a heaping amount of embarrassment would have the good sense to step down. Most of all, I just want to be able to watch the news in the morning without having to see this moron, and his ridiculous shenanigans taking up precious valuable space in what’s left of my brain.