My favourite thing to happen to me while driving home tonight was getting rear-ended by some drunk fuck. Drunk enough to get in the car, barely sober enough to know he didn't want any cops around, but fucking asinine enough to still drive around and include the back end of my car as one of his destinations.
Thanks to Jameel for bringing this to my attention. I can only hope Tim's housewarming (that I regretfully cannot attend) leaves him this way.
The finest description of a hangover in English literature is accredited
to Kingsley Amis' wonderful campus novel Lucky Jim:
"He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab
on the tarry shingle of the morning. The light did him harm, but not so
much as looking at things did: he resolved, having done it once, never to
move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene
before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by
some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the
night, too, he'd somehow been on a cross-country run and then been
expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad."
Two things I came across today.
The "new" Nirvana song is bouncing around the internet. You may have heard about this as a serious bone of contention in the lawsuit over the Nirvana box set. Anyway, it's called You Know You're Right, and I like it.
The first single and title track for Audioslave's upcoming album Cochise is now available to be streamed from here at Yahoo. This is the new band with Chris Cornell fronting the former members of Rage Against The Machine, known as Civilian until recently. As you might expect, they sound like Chris Cornell singing with Rage Against The Machine, which is what I was hoping for. The cd is due out on November 19th, a date that seems firm (it took them a long time to come up with one, though).
The following is an article from the campus newspaper here, The Sheaf (get it? It's a homonym . . . I hate you people). Reminds me a bit of the 432 back when it was fun to read in class: not polished, but entertaining. Mind you, this paper is paid for by everybody, not just wacky Science students, so they are much less likely to print the word "fuck". Anyway, thanks to Adam for pointing it out.
Creed Changes Their Name to Pearl Jam
The gross-looking singer of Creed announced to reporters Sunday that the band had officially changed their name to Pearl Jam. “We’ve been in court for months trying to get rights to the name,” he said. “We discovered that there is actually another band somewhere with the same name, oddly enough.” The gross-looking singer of Creed spoke of the relief when the court battle was over and they finally claimed the rights to the name. “I was starting to get worried, thinking we’d have to change our name to Pearl Jam-X.” In related news, the gross singer of Creed is in court changing his name to Eddie Vedder, “I like the sound of it, I like how it rhymes with ‘better’. Vedder is better, teehee teehee.” He has a single due out next Friday - it’s a cover of Last Kiss.
I officially entered the lifestyle of a sports gambler this weekend with my $2 Sport Select bet on the NFL. Imagine my surprise to find out that I am pretty good (read: lucky) at this, and all of my games yesterday ended in wins (the team you choose has to score at least four points more than the team they beat), albeit in the last minute of play in all cases. In case you are interested, I was pulling for San Diego, Green Bay and New Orleans.
Tonight, my favourite Tampa Bay Buccaneers helped the Rams continue a sad, sad start to their season. And I win $60 for their efforts.
Today was E-Plant day here on the University of Saskatchewan campus. This is one of the big events during "Hell Week", the week of engineer events.
The two most visible groups of students on campus here are the Agriculture students who sport blue coats, and the Engineering students in their red jackets. At some universities, I understand that the engineers are the only noticable bunch, but the Ag program here is large enough to provide somewhat of a foil for them.
During Hell Week, some member of the Ag Student Society Executive (often the president) is kidnapped and boozed up by the Engineers. On Friday at noon, the victim is duct-taped to a large "E" on top of a red pole (see below). The geers march to the small rise just in front of the historic Thorvaldson building (it's maybe a 3' elevation, a hill by Saskatchewan standards) and "plant" the pole in the middle of the hill. Hence the name, E-Plant. The geers proceed to link arms and bunch around the pole, chanting all of their three or so songs.
The Geers prepare the "hill".
Meanwhile, the ags are painting themselves blue and finishing up plans of attack. Their task is to liberate their fearless and drunken leader from the pole. Once ready, they march across campus from their building to the site.
The Ags part the crowd.
The Ags now have 20 minutes or so (there are some sort of official rules . . .) to try to get their exec member back.
And when I say try, don't think that I imply any measure of success. In all of the years they've been up to this, the Geers win every time. Consider: they have the advantage of higher ground, and often soak the hill in dish soap to make it very difficult to run up. They are also strong as a group, while the Ags can only try in small groups. And the Ags never win, despite creative efforts like throwing mattresses on top of the crowd to climb over. This leads to acts of frustration like throwing buckets of manure on the Geers during the attack (the Ags do have access to such things, though the throwing of animal feces was eventually declared illegal in the rules . . .).
To quell the concerns of several audience members, I would like to point out that I was not an active participant in the squirrel-beer-cozy-turned-wedgie-wrestling-match incident. I was there with some other friends, and we left when things got their ugliest. Of course, they got uglier later when one of the people involved grabbed the first scrap from the atomic wedgie and put it on as a bandana.
Really, that is enough about other peoples' underwear for one week.
So, to repeat, I was not involved in any skinning or other modification of any squirrel.
Antiflux users will likely be well-acquainted with the lovely fortune message at every login. It is how I came upon this Saskatchewan-themed limerick a few weeks ago:
There was a young man of Saskatchewan,
Whose penis was truly gargantuan.
It was good for large whores,
And for small dinosaurs,
And was rough enough to scratch a match upon.
One of my favourite "it happened to me in Saskatchewan" stories occured a couple summers ago.
There is a national park called Waskesiu about two hours north of Saskatoon. Parents of a buddy of ours had a cabin up there, and (when they weren't around, of course) we would go up and basically get drunk for a whole weekend at the lake (which incidentally is not an atypical Sasakatchewan experience).
One weekend, a couple friends and I arrived early in the evening to find a few people already at the cabin, including a guy that ran a local shop and two guys who were working/toking all summer in Banff, and had just driven in stoned earlier that day. We caught the three of them enjoying the results of what they termed "Project Squirrel".
The guy staying in Waskesiu happened to be fairly woodsy, and led the team in trapping three squirrels, making one apiece. As it turns out, if you skin the squirrel and kind of scrape out the inside, but leaving the neck and head intact to have sort of a squirrel version of a bear rug, you can duct tape the pelt together in such a way that it wraps around a beer bottle with the neck of the bottle sticking out of the squirrel's mouth.
This squirrel shouldn't be drinking;
it should be insulating.
The successful crew were already putting their new beer cozies to use, and the ensuing conversation was something like:
Them: "Hey, try this out! The whiskers tickle!"
Us: "Dude, this thing kinda smells . . ."
Them: "Yeah, we didn't have time to cure them or anything."
Us: "Uhhh . . . I'm going to go wash my hands now."
After this bizarre display of Red Green gone wrong, we proceeded to drink into the night. The show later involved the same guys in from Banff and our host, atomic wedgies, and force-feeding of underwear pieces from said wedgies. Which our particular crew kind of bailed for (anyone female had already cleared out based on earlier antics). But that is another story, I suppose.
To the many friends I've made out in BC and elsewhere, my repeated visiting and even mentioning of Saskatchewan has been met with (at best) confusion, and (more commonly) ridicule. What is my fascination with this place?
Among other things, I was born here. When I'm talking with my parents about recent goings-on, they'll throw in a memory every once in a while that occured at the same place as I was. Every once in a while, particularly at the university, I wonder what life was like for them here. It was a different time, to be sure, but I'm the same age as they were in the middle of their time here, going to the same school, buying beer at the same offsales, and freezing through the same winters. Well, I think it's interesting.
After some time spent in tiny Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan (it's a town, not the large body of water in this case) and Olympic host Calgary, Alberta, I had acquired a couple siblings and ended up living here for what turned out to be some curcial years of social development. Nothing particular happened, but I made friends that have lasted since our move to BC ten years ago. I made a point of visiting at least once a year, and then took the opportunity to work here for a summer during my time at UBC. Three summers later, I was back here for a Master's, and I've got maybe another year left until the next big move.
So what's so great about this place, anyway?
It's big enough that it's got all the things you need for a city (not everything you might want, like say big concerts that aren't limited to Elton John, but that is another matter), but small enough that you can get anywhere quickly and often see people that you know around. There are maybe ten high schools here, so when you meet someone near your age, there's a good chance you'll know somebody from their school, or at least enough about their school to make fun of them.
If you're looking for serious clubbing, this is not the place for you. Peronally, I'm happy with the local pubs (I'd recommend The Black Duck or O'Shea's if you happen to be downtown), since that is more my thing. I've also been known to check out the local music scene (Stonemason, anyone?). In my experience, though, when I mention Saskatoon and somebody came here for a conference or some other unintended visit, they say they had a great time.
Hmmm . . . what else . . . as noted above, there is a univeristy here. The campus is pretty, and the school is well respected in a few major areas, like vet med, and the big one, biological/pharmaceutical research, which will only improve in scope with the opening of the Canadian Light Source. The math department here is a little low on grad students (They have trouble attracting Canadian students from outside the province; I am the first in a few years), which means that I've got a supervisor all to myself and plenty of office space.
Well, that's enough to get you started. I'll try to think of some Saskatchewan stories for another time.
What better way to finish off music week than by mentioning my favourite band (of all time?), Soundgarden. This will come as no surprise to anybody who has known me for any length of time.
This is a picture of Sound Garden, a sculpture in Seattle which inspired the band's name. I was fortunate enough (my detractors would disagree with this statement) to visit with my brother Brian when we were down in Seattle to see Pearl Jam a few summers ago.
The sculpture is designed to make noise when it gets windy, which you could maybe see happening. It was a calm day when we were out there, so no such luck.
I would recommend checking these guys out, too, but as you may know, they broke up about 5 years ago . . . still, you never know, right?
Guys . . . ?
I hate you.
It would be remiss of me not to mention some local music. And I'm also friends with the guys in the band. And live with the drummer. And have recently taken over managing their web site, which I'll keep in the list of Links from now on.
I would expect that most people reading this (i.e. both of you) will not have heard these guys before. They've got kind of a Headstones flavour to them (if you know who that is . . . as a side note, I first saw the Headstones live a couple months ago, and they are excellent: they play all the fan favourites, and Hugh Dillon spits and flicks his cigarette butts into the crowd just like you would hope). They haven't been playing much lately, but are recording a second, shorter cd at the moment. I'm sure you'll hear more about that here in the months to come. For now, there are a couple sample songs on the web site.
To continue in this week's music theme, did I mention I'm off to see Tool in a few weeks? I will be joined at the Edmonton show by the illustrious tim, his roommate Ugly Bob, and some friends of mine from Saskatoon. This will be my second chance to check them out on this tour . . . the show in Vancouver last fall was unbelievable. I'd definitely recommend it if they're coming anywhere near you.
Not sure what the big deal is? The best Tool information sites I know of are toolshed.down.net and the official band site, www.toolband.com. I'm sure there are plenty of fan sites kicking around as well, but these update earliest and pretty much directly from the band.
You may now return to listening to your Jimmy Eat World cd, ble-otch.
By way of further introducing myself, I present to you this quotation from the host of MTV's Total Request Live and his own show. If it's new and it's trendy and it's in the music world, he's probably all over it.
"It's like I'm a bartender. Someone wants a Zima, and I might think it's kind of an iffy drink, but - you know what? - I'm gonna give it to him in a cold glass and hope he gives me a nice tip."
- Carson Daly
Yes, ladies and gentlmen, this guy is fucking clownshoes. On a slightly related note, I discovered recently that it is pretty tricky to find a picture on the internet of a person drinking Zima. If you can find one (if you Google and get to www.amishabuse.com, you've made it as far as I was willing to go), send it in and I'll post it here.
Anyway, for a less hospitable take on the music industry, check out Buddyhead, which used to be a lot easier to read before they framed it all up. Basically, they are an indie label with a hate-on for The Strokes, Fred Durst and all things emo. Consider, for example, this review:
"Ever wonder what would happen if you crammed Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, Vanilla Ice, 311, Korn, Snow, and the Kottonmouth Kings into your mom's blender and set it on liquify? No need to wonder anymore kiddies, because it looks as if someone over at Warner Brothers already tried this and they got a thick and milky diarrhea shit shake called Linkin Park. Turntables, one guy raps, one guy sings, the rest of the dudes bob their heads and play wack yo! metal. This is the worst shit ever..."
- Buddyhead on Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory
which crytallizes nicely the way I feel about Linkin Park (sorry to all the fans I couldn't get a backwards "n" on that one).
So I lied about not writing anything. My plan to sit around the house changed tonight when I was invited to the Bif Naked show on short notice.
We made it in time to check out Theory of a Deadman, whom I was curious about. Their set ended up kind of as I'd expected; they have the kind of sound that I liked three or four years ago when I first saw Nickelback. The lead singer even sounds like Chad Kroeger, and does that move where you lean back really quickly and flail your guitar just as you finish singing something and hit a chord. You know the one I mean. They also had a bit of a Days of the New flavour to them, for anyone who remembers them. Anyway, if you're into these guys (and while I'm at it if you're American and have only heard Nickelback circa Silver Side Up), I'd recommend checking out Nickelback's The State; whatever you may think about them now, that album kicks ass.
As for Bif Naked, this was something like the fifth time I've seen them over the last few years. Always a treat. It might be because the sound kind of lost its polish later on, but I think the best song of the night was "I Died" (the french fry song) while the band and the crowd was still fresh. And I will definitely check these guys out again (they seem to be on a perpetual tour at the moment), despite the fact that they continue to close with Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It", which is godawful by any band, including of course Twisted Sister. Oh well, the kids seem to like it.
And we'll keep our fingers crossed that Bif brings liveonrelease with her next time.
Good evening, and welcome. If you're lucky, there will be something to see here at some point.
But not tonight.