Sunday, April 25, 2010

On Being Routinely Random

I have noticed a trend to my posting. As I don’t have a Wednesday Whine or Friday Fish Post (patent pending), I employ a random posting method to my blogging.

At least, I thought it was random.

I thought I was just posting whenever inspiration struck (inspiration is interchangeable with a ceaseless masochistic urge based on whether you're the writer or the reader) but after a quick glance over the previous few weeks of posting, it seems the majority of my scribblings are published either on a Tuesday or Thursday. It's a significant comment about my life that even my randomness is entirely predictable.

It's the blogging version of the Minority Report. Somewhere tucked away on Blogger is a tiny dwarf dressed as Tom Cruise  (it could even be the little entertainer himself in there, he's been quiet recently) seeing my every action before I complete it. But instead of precogs like in the movie, there's just a balding guy in overalls, holding his newspaper, who glances above the folded page of his creased sports section only long enough to say "Eh, Tom, it's Tuesday/Thursday, must be time for another blog post from that guy."

I'm selling the movie rights as we speak.

My only routine event is that of the weekly quiz night at the local pub. Every Monday night from the hours of 8.30pm to 9.30pm EST, myself and a few friends compete with about 7 other groups, of varying ages for the one of the fabled Grand Prizes (usually a t-shirt).

Of course, trivia in all its forms is inherently biased against younger people and so my debates with the quizmasters on whether indeed it was Fleetwood Mac the band or Stevie Nicks alone who released a certain song, are rarely decided in my favour and wouldn't be even if Stevie Nicks was on my quiz team. (My friends now randomly blurt out "Quite frankly, I don’t believe Fleetwood Mac ever existed, " mimicking the manner of the quizmaster on that fateful day.)

The very thought of me missing quiz night brings shrieks of displeasure from my friends, who protest that they will greatly miss my inglorious attempts at solving the simplest of mathematic questions on the quiz - "Rob, what are you doing? We've already solved that question. The equals sign means we got the answer."

It is in fact rare, despite the lack of success, that I miss the event which has sadly taken pride of place in my otherwise empty social calendar.

Although I've been making a concerted effort to be completely unpredictable, it seems that I have failed admirably but miserably. As with my Monday nights, my blogging has been curiously plagued by the regular schedule fairy. See you on Tuesday, for my next random post. Unless I wait till Thursday. Rebel..

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I've Adopted A Vice

Well, it had to happen eventually. The cell phone I had been using for 4 years met a predictable yet untimely end last weekend when it threw itself off the shelf and onto the floor, thus ending our relationship together in a cataclysm of shattered plastic and strange buzzing noises. It was a shocking event, as you can imagine.

But I jumped right back onto the cellular horse and bought a Samsung Vice. The ability to take pictures and create videos is so new and facinating to me that I haven't even been responding to calls or text messages. Sorry if you've been trying to get a hold of me, Mom.

God knows what else this contraption can do. I half expect to press a button and have some sort of digital genie to appear and grant me three wishes, the way the girl at the Virgin Mobile store described the phone. All I understood was 3G (translation - faster downloads) and cheap mobile internet (translation - friends hate hanging out with me. "I don't care if you want to talk about your problems, this cat walks on two legs, LOOK!").

Just like the beginning part of most of my relationships, there has been a lot of swearing and confusion, ("We're dating?") but hopefully this could be the start of something special.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Movie-going and Movie-staying

Last night, a friend informed me via text that they had just walked out on "literally the worst piece of shit I have ever seen at a movie theatre." After a brief conversation back and forth confirming we were talking about a movie, I questioned him as to why anyone would pay $15 and not watch the entire showing.

I have never once walked out during a movie playing at the movie theatre. I often wonder what motivates those that do. Are they saying that their time is so precious that they simply cannot afford to waste another moment watching this film? "Get out now. Enjoy your life, while you have it", they say to themselves as they leave a human-shaped hole in the movie theatre wall, in too much of a hurry to stop and locate the exit.

Sure, there are movies that I have thought about walking out on. Like the moment you step out of your vehicle, take a sly glance at your blind date through the restaurant window, and see her dressed head to toe in Nazi SS Uniform, the movie “Knowing” with Nicholas Cage was practically begging for me to seek a quick and defiant exit. But I stayed. Two hours and who the f knows minutes later, I left my seat safe in the knowledge that I had sat through what I can only assume was some sort of crude joke being played on the motion picture industry by Nicholas Cage's hairstyle, which has now brilliantly taken on a life of its own.

Perhaps I just don’t see enough movies to have ever walked out on one or perhaps this is yet another in my blog's continued series depicting my veracious laziness? It could be the thought of hey, at least it's a free place to sit for the next 2 hours, that might be playing a small part in my commitment to the movie-going cause. I feel like going to a movie is similar to going to someone's dinner party, and leaving the movie is like jumping out of the window before the meal has been served. You've brought the booze, you've agreed to go, you may as well put up with the 2-hour conversation about cacti of South America. You may even enjoy it.

To those who were unwillingly dragged to see either "Daddy Day Camp" or "The Informant!", you had a very hard choice to make. I, however, sat through both. (movie-style slow hand clap).

But don't go and see “Clash of the Titans” - my friend says its shit.

Hmm, I don't like ending my writing with a swear word so let's go for a question in the rather arrogant assumption that others will comment; have you ever hated something so much that you've walked out halfway through? (And NO, this blog doesn't count.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Proposal For Future Technology AKA : The Reason I'm Poor

Google has come up with some brilliant inventions to help us navigate web.  Few of these Google creations come close to the "translate this page" button for simplistic brilliance. For what has the internet era been about if not bringing people around the world together to form one giant amorphous multinational blob of Justin Bieber fans? My proposal to Google is this - change the "translate this page" function to include different forms of speech.

For example,  I would love to read an article on the BBC site that reads as if it were written by a drunk guy at a bar : "Dude, wait, dude, Obama's speech, man, on Healthcare.." Or an article written using valley girl language: "Like, Obama announced that he would be insuring more Americans, and the Republicans were all 'Like I'm SO sure." Or as if it were written by a drunk valley girl : "Like wait, Obama's speech on heathcare was .. totally awesome (BBC reporter breaks down in tears)".

Make it happen, Google! Otherwise I'm giving this one to Steve Jobs. And we all saw what he did with my giant Iphone idea.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Exorcising My Exercise Demons

In an attempt to force my lethargic self to exercise, I went out and bought a basketball last week. Basketball and football (soccer for those of you residing in North America) are the only sports that I’ve ever enjoyed playing and since I have a basketball area within 100 feet of my house it seemed like my ideal choice.

(Surely it's a sign of how lazy I’ve become that the walking distance to the activity area is the main factor in my choice. My self-created mixed UFC/Yoga sport didn't quite take off. Otherwise I would be 40 feet away from my backyard , where I would be exercising by punching opponents indiscriminately in the face while balancing on one leg, draped head to toe in neon yellow lycra and trying to find the path to higher consciousness. )

Anyway, back to the original point of this post. I will now be exercising more, which will add balance to my current lifestyle of sitting, eating and napping. So, if anyone here lives in Burlington, Ontario, you can wander by and either laugh, join in, or just stare in amazement at how a grown man can be so unskilled at the simple act of throwing a ball through a hoop.

I'm off to watch the best basketball documentary ever made - Space Jam.

As I was writing this entry, and this isn't really related to my exercise regime at all, I just received a delightful spam message via Skype:

- FREE Live Video and Audio Chat 24/7

- 1000's Of Hot Members Joining Daily

- Anonymous Email System For Member To Keep You Safe & Secure"

Now, all I can think in response to this is; if it can use an email system, I think you should put it to far better uses than that.

Those exclamation marks do make the cheating wives!!!! sound enticing though.. hmm.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Version of the Troublemaking Days

In my younger days, I considered myself to be a well-behaved kid. Although I avoided doing homework like the plague and then pretended that I somehow caught that plague to avoid gym class (or PE as us Brits call it), I rarely got into trouble at school. But when I did there was usually some sort of ridiculous story behind it - with that in mind:

Somebody had written "Rob (insert last name here) is hot" on one of the giant tables in the school library. According to the Librarian on duty, the only possible reason for this ungodly announcement was that I myself  had pronounced it to the world, in thick black marker, on the library's oak table. This bizarre assumption led to a conference call between the teacher in my next class and the Librarian, on speaker phone which detailed "my" deed for my classmates to hear and then look at me with the same sort of disgusted confusion people have when they see limbs being lopped off by a crazed psychopath in a horror movie.

I trundled off down to the library where again people I knew greeted me and watched as I furiously scrubbed off the offending material. I never did find out who wrote that on the table. My theory: the Librarian did it.


Earlier still in my educational internment, there was a science teacher called Mr. Wood, who for some reason completely despised me; the way one would despise someone who had murdered their entire family and who had then sent them a flip book every two weeks, depicting the murder taking place.

His irrational hatred spilled over one day in the classroom. As I previously noted, I rarely completed homework. But on this particular occasion, I had finished all my work the previous evening and so came to class prepared for the mundane onslaught of science that was my High School biology class. However, my friends were not.

Usually, my friends were the sort to get things done on time and to a good enough standard to maintain decent grades - so, I took advantage of this opportunity to help them out, and allowed them to quickly use my homework as a guide for them to scribble down some notes on some silly little science study that comprised our homework. We were assigned some nonsense textbook work during class so that Mr. Wood could put his feet up, relax and mark our homework. I knew as soon as he started looking at me over those ridiculous reading glasses of his there was trouble brewing.

The tiny bespectacled man called my friends and me up to the front of the class and when we got there he separated us, the two of them on one side, me on the other. And then, in classic Mr Wood style,  he against all the odds somehow managed to locate the wrong end of the stick :

"Why am I not surprised that you've copied your friend's work, Rob?"

The response in my head was bouncing back and forth between "because you have the mental capacity of a tree" and "What..The.. F!!??.".

In spite of my protestations and some fairly honest mea culpas from my friends, I was forced to redo the night's homework (this time in "my own words"). I was also forced to explain in an essay why "flagrant plagiarism" has no place at school. I copied most of the plagiarism essay from an article in a magazine. We cheaters never learn.