From the monthly archives:

February 2010

Jay Peaking

by Dave on February 26, 2010

in Heartwarming,Sporty

ski-crash No Quizzlet today, kids. Far too busy with a real estate reckoning. I’ve had to remain tight-lipped for the last month, and it’s been tough, but today my sister and I are driving to Vermont to close on the Jay Peak ski condo we’re buying.

There. I can finally say it and it feels great. Here’s to silver linings.

Incidentally, tomorrow will see me on skis for the first time in 17 years. If I don’t make it back to Ontario in time for the hockey game Sunday night – you’ll know full well why. Watching the Olympics has taught me half a dozen new ways to fall, slide and crumple. Wish me luck, and if you ski we can’t wait to have you to the Peak for a weekend.

{ 4 comments }

Crazy Heart is a bit schmaltzy. A bit sappy. The May-September romance between Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal is tough to buy into. Colin Farrell as the biggest country star in the world (and the hideous accompanying ponytail) is even tougher. Someone slap that casting agent on the back of the hand and make them work at the WB for a year as punishment. But the film’s music, oh the music.

I am a fan of “Classic” country but don’t give the time of day to “New” country. My opinions have been solidified in this respect having lived the last 2.5 years in rural Canada where I cringe every time one of the local 20-something girls stumble towards the jukebox at Duck’s Roadhouse. The songs on the Crazy Heart Soundtrack are new in the real world, but are meant to be the protagonist’s old standards in the realm of the film. And they sound old, and they’re awesome.

Leonard Cohen meets George Jones meets The Dude.

My favorite is “Brand New Angel”, a very sad, mournful song as you would probably expect after contemplating the title for a split-second. Someone has died, hence… right. The chord progression, minor/major back-and-forth coupled with Bridges’ own solid, booze-soaked vocals make for a real unexpected treat. It could just as well been called “The Whiskey Waltz” and kicked off a 30-year-old Kris Kristofferson record. Written by Greg Brown, the song accurately reflects the musical influences producer T-Bone Burnett suggested Jeff Bridges draw from when developing the character:

“In fleshing out Bad’s background, it was decided that his influences should extend beyond the country genre and that he should have an eclectic taste in music. T-Bone made a wonderful graph for me of the music that Bad might have listened to. Leonard Cohen was one of the guys we thought of.” – Jeff Bridges

jeff-bridges-crazy-heart Have a listen, see what you think and then seek out the movie. It gets a solid ‘B’ from little old me. The quality of the toe-tappers, coupled with Bridges’ convincing turn as the wedding and world weary Bad Blake, ensure you’ll be glad you did, partner. The soundtrack also features performances by Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall – and you can purchase an MP3 of "Brand New Angel” or the whole shebang right here: Crazy Heart: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Deluxe Edition) .

I wouldn’t be upset if Jeff beat out Jeremy Renner for best actor, and it’s definitely going to come down to the two of them. Morgan Freeman did little more than a great Nelson Mandela impression, Colin Firth is Colin Firth. Clooney’s performance in Up in the Air is as inexplicably overrated as the film itself. If Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett, who produced the soundtrack and composed “Weary Heart”, (the official theme from Crazy Heart and another solid tune), lose out to Randy Newman – I’m liable to swig back a fifth of Wild Turkey and find a truck stop waitress to impregnate/beat mercilessly. No one wants to see that happen, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, so do the right thing.

{ 0 comments }

Losing Your Boner

by Dave on February 23, 2010

in Television

Andrew Koenig I’m going to employ one more play on words and then I’m done. Gee, Valentine’s Day sure is an tragic time to misplace your boner. That’s what Chekov’s been thinking, anyway. I’ll explain. Walter Koenig, of Star Trek, has a son. He is none other than Andrew Koenig, a.k.a. “Boner” from Growing Pains – he is missing and has been since Valentine’s Day. Due to him refusing work, being depressed and selling belongings prior to his disappearance his friends and family are fearing the worst. Has Boner shuffled off this mortal coil?

“Don’t you ever think that getting by is getting old?” – Not sure what that means, but I’m sure it’s pretty deep, whoah.

andrew-koenig It’s not just crewmembers of the Starship Enterprise concerned for Andrew’s safety. He’s apparently quite well-liked in comedy circles and everyone from Sarah Silverman to Doug Stanhope have been Twittering away in the hopes of finding him.

The last tangible clue police have is that his cell phone received a text message in the middle of Stanley Park in Vancouver two days after he was last seen, and he never made it back to his home in California. Something unfortunate is afoot, and I hope Richard Stabone’s mortal vessel is found safe and sound. A great character from the canon of 80’s sitcoms, and apparently a decent guy to boot.

{ 1 comment }

sky-blu-rapper-romneyThe unidentified man who assaulted Mitt Romney on his recent flight back from the Winter Olympics has been identified. As a rapper. Shocking. And for the curious, here’s a photo of the little darling. Click it for a larger image. Seriously. Look at this clown. I’ve never listened to LMFAO, but this guy looks like someone I’d need little excuse to wanna throttle. I’ve read a few articles describing the incident now, which in the internet realm makes anyone an objective expert in no way influenced by anyone else’s spin, and I gotta tell ya, I have to side with Mitt on this one.

Not shocking: the “musician”, who calls himself Sky Blu, denies any wrongdoing. I’ve been in the same situation numerous times – namely stuffed into an airplane seat which is way to small while some inconsiderate arsehole flings their seat backwards, crushing my kneecaps -  and in this case it wasn’t even Mitt on the receiving end… it was his wife. I don’t know many people who would even try to somehow turn the tables on an incident like this if a woman in her 50’s were involved. I’d apologize profusely and then sink back down into my seat for the rest of the flight like I were born without a neck.

sky-blu-naked-cardHave un autre look at this silly bastard. So the seat flies backwards, Mrs. Romney takes the brunt of it and Mitt finds himself having to ask some twat, who has named himself after a brand of cheap vodka, to please behave like a civilized human being. Mitt is ignored, so he taps Mr. Absolut on the shoulder and has his hand soundly slapped away and another swing of the fist follows but doesn’t connect. The future-Beethoven is then escorted off the plane by authorities after the captain returns it to the gate. Not true, claims the frizzy fool – Romney started it. Not only that, but he claims the former Governor of Massachusetts used a Vulcan grip. And I suppose Deval Patrick’s office is infested with Tribbles.

Sky Blue was very lucky that Romney is a) a public figure and b) gearing up for a serious run at the 2010 Republican Presidential nomination. There’s also a slim chance he’s a gentleman traveling from an important international event with his beloved, no less. Most plumbers would say to themselves “Keep cool, Sully. Not the right time. Get him later near the baggage claim.” So who is more likely to be telling the truth here? I mean, besides all of the witnesses backing up Mitt’s version of events?

sky-blu-lmfao Oh my God, look at him! It’s beyond easy to predict the eventual evolution of Sky’s defence in this matter. It will either have something to do with his race or he’ll complain that the only reason the airline made a big deal about the incident was because it involved Mitt Romney – and that’s absolute bullshit. I read about people being ejected from commercial flights regularly and it makes me smile every single time. You wanna fly? Learn how to behave on a means of transportation that has to be fiercely regulated lest hundreds, nay, thousands of people a year be inconvenienced or even killed. Wanna act like an irrepressible, obnoxious frigtard? Prepare to be slung off the plane like a cheap piece of luggage, with polite society’s blessing. Better yet, go to a LMFAO show.

If that were my wife being whacked on her perfect knees with a seat, the only part of Blu being escorted off the plane would have been his hair stuck to my bloody palms. The rest of him would have exited unceremoniously somewhere over Vancouver Island, covered in that blue toilet water. Geronimo, joker. Where’s Frank Horrigan when you need him?

{ 2 comments }

subway-fart Although I no longer have to ride the “T” (Boston’s subway system) back and forth to work everyday, many mental – and nasal – scars remain. Five years and one month since today’s Throwback was written, on January 20th, 2005, I’m older, wiser and with car. My six plus years of blog posts are strewn with T experiences, but I came across this one today, it made me laugh and I want to share. For those of you still sentenced to the insane daily events on our fair city’s rapid transit system – I apologize if this sounds at all snooty. I did my time, however, and feel like I’ve earned the right to cast scorn down upon those who do unto others with their inconsiderate morning egg farts. You bastards.

Once upon a T, on a particular January morning, there was a “perfect storm” of sorts during my commute. My disgust with fellow riders who felt it perfectly acceptable to bust off in a crowded subway car reached an all time high and I simultaneously witnessed what I thought for a moment might be an escaped Ted Kaczynski. I’ll leave it there and you can have a gander if you so desire. Or maybe just a silly goose.

{ 1 comment }

I professed my love of the Magnetic Fields in a post about a different song a couple of years ago, and I don’t care to repeat that level of gushingment. I am prepared, however, to make up words. Click the link above for my analysis of Mr. Merritt and his team as today I’m just going to get right into their song Fear of Trains which is probably my favorite. I also chose the MagFields today as they recently played Boston and I was shocked to see this particular ditty on the setlists of both their shows at the Wilbur Theater.

Fear of trains, railroads or anything related to train travel is clinically referred to as Diderodromophobia and must be a real bummer for anyone living in West Yorkshire. My quick explication is that the song describes a Native American woman who has developed a literal fear of trains because they’ve been harbingers of unfortunate events throughout her entire life.

Cover version. By Lisa Loeb’s Stalker. A for Effort.

It was the army train that took her daddy from her
It was the bible train that took her momma too
And that high loud whistle made her horse run away
But the straw the broke the camel’s back was you
It was the government train that took away her childhood
It was the KKK that took away her past
It was the white man’s will that hers be broken
But that barefoot girl could run too fast

I don’t have time today to dig into Wild West history references, but the theme is pretty clear. “The straw that broke the camel’s back was you”, is obviously a veiled reference to Thomas the Tank Engine. And is there some hidden chapter of the KKK’s evil past that we don’t know about? Maybe they were originally train spotting hobbyists whose club rules got a little out of hand? Intrigued, I looked for more information on several “song meaning” sites and found the same basic conjecture as my own. No one caught on to my TTTE theory though, so you heard that here first.

Live with Claudia on lead. Please seek out the original recording!

It’s my habit on Wadio to embed several easy-to-watch/listen to videos so you can see what all the my fuss is about. An original version of Fear of Trains is sadly absent from any of the big vid sites, so we’ll have to take what we can get. I’ve featured a reasonable cover of the song by some enthusiastic emo chick with a mini-harp. There’s also a live video above but the female “field”, Claudia Gonson, is the one belting it out and effectively ruining the… effect for me – you have to hear it with the original recording’s guitar picking and Merritt’s deep, dead pan vocals bemoaning the tragedy. What to do, what to do?

Well, if you’re a user you can listen to Fear of Trains on Last FM. You can also shell out the wisest $0.99 of your young life and Download Fear Of Trains from Amazon. I promise you – it’s extremely unlikely you’ll be sorry unless you’re also deaf. If you know the song, or seek it out as a result of this post, please share your thoughts and comments. Until next week, Wadioheads.

{ 2 comments }

Shepherd has a Licking Problem

by Dave on February 16, 2010

in Animalistic

boston-terrier The award for all-time best licking problem obviously has to go to Charles. But Charles only ever seemed to lick ghosts, air, drafts or whatever. You never see him licking the sweet Christ out of his owners in the famous video. You never see him licking the floor, furniture, light fixtures or anything else that might cause some sort of domestic offense – just his own damn self. No harm, no foul, no rash on the back of your hand.

On the other hand, my Boston Terriers Shepherd, Rhubarb and Pixie will lick anything that isn’t nailed down. Let me rephrase that – they’ll lick absolutely anything. And they won’t stop. Ever. Until Sarah Connor is dead. Obviously they aren’t Terminators, but if someone were to suggest that possibility to me I’d seriously consider it – because it makes no less sense than watching Shepherd do nothing but tongue a couch cushion for the lion’s share of an afternoon.

Pixie and Shep have a licking problem.

I knew there was a problem, or at least a trend, when I started sitting down on furniture – my bed even – and finding myself smack dab in wet spots. And not the fun kind. They are not large animals so the time, concentration and saliva required to soak half of a comforter is considerable. Spellbinding, even. But don’t take my word for it. See the little weirdos in action for yourself above. And for the love of God, will one of my old Vermont Academy friends please send me a box of salt licks, stat!

{ 3 comments }

matt-carkner-goonblog Me and Matt Carkner of the Ottawa Senators. I don’t have a joke for this – just wanted to brag. See our exclusive interview with Carkner over at GoonBlog.com

{ 0 comments }

Appetizer: If you had the choice of sitting on the bench while your team wins the Stanley Cup, or playing a regular shift on a team that stinks, which would you choose? – Chris C.

mike-the-situation-abs Is there such thing as a Stanley Cup Ring that I can wear to bars in the interest of going home with whomever I choose as a result? Because that would seriously influence my answer. “Your breath smells like a dead skunk.” I couldn’t agree with you more, Snookie. Have you seen my Lord Stanley Ring? “Do you promise to sleep in the wet spot?” No. “OK, let’s go.” You know, that sort of situation. See what I did there?

Soup: What is the biggest challenge in being an international man of mystery (the Boston/Portland thing)? – Kate L.

boss-cat-in-sink I actually have a real, practical answer for this. It’s my cats. Everyone remembers Boss but I also inherited my parent’s cat, Spud, a year ago and I now have two of them. If anything ever happened to Spud, or I gave him away, Bonnie would find a way to kick my ass from the hereafter – so I’ll be a cat owner until they both expire and that’s going to be at least 5 years by my math. When I was a “cat person”, I used to say that one of the huge advantages to having them as pets was their independence. You can leave them alone for long periods of time. But I was wrong – see a dog you can take with you, just about anywhere. So they tag along when I head to the States. But the cats have to be looked after by someone. Currently my friend and neighbor, Sam, has moved them in with him. That, however, is a lot to ask and won’t last forever. So yeah – the biggest challenge to my border-hopping lifestyle are my two furry friends. Love ‘em, but it’s a concern. Especially since we’re considering renting the lake house for half of the summer. And not to Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.

Salad: What is the best way to inadvertently annoy Alexa B. using Facebook? – Janet P.

There are a few tangible and effective options here:

  1. Refer to everyone as “Mase” – except her.
  2. Complain on her wall that her annual Christmas swap isn’t exclusive enough. Then, show up shitfaced wearing smeared clown makeup.
  3. Pee the bed. With her in it. You can’t really do this via Facebook, but I can guarantee you that it works.
  4. In the comments under a picture of Fox, write “When are they going to add the option to DISLIKE something?”
  5. Create a group called “Cato is Hung Like a Budgie” and get a minimum of 1,000 members.

Main Course: Do gay men hit on you incessantly when you walk your dog(s) with their stylish couture? – Greg W.

Greg, I assume your question stems from my recent upload of this:

My Daddy’s big with the gays.

I don’t think there’s much chance of me being admired in Charlestown. I’m not sure any gay guys even know where Charlestown is. Were I walking the dogs through the South End, however, there’s a good chance I’d wake up slung over a see-saw in Peter’s Park.

Dessert: Do you find yourself having more intelligent conversations with your dogs than you do people these days? – Sarah G.

Absolutely not. If anyone were to ever place a hidden camera or digital recorder in my house they’d be able to capture some of the most non-sensical gibberish ever uttered by a human man. But what’s a statement like that without an example? I may regret this. Here is a song I reworked out loud until I got it just right over the course of my unnecessary snow day on Wednesday:

pixie-closeup My dog is Pixie,
Pixie is my dog.
It’s uncanny she resembles,
A retarded bullfrog.
I love my little Pix,
She likes to pick up sticks.
And soon she’ll help me pick up some hot chicks.

If any of that classifies as “intelligent” in your book, then the answer to your question is a resounding “yes”. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve really got to get started dying alone.

{ 8 comments }

“They say hip hop is dead, nah it’s up North with me. I can do this all day cause it’s part of my routine, but suppers almost done and tonight – POUTINE!” – Classified

This was sent to me today by a Canadian friend of mine – as I’ve been way out of the loop for a month and a half down here in Boston – and when I realized what I was about to watch I cringed. Probably visually. A pro-Canada song, by a white rapper from the East coast, just in time for the Winter Olympics… I mean, surely it must suck polar bear sack, right?

Classified’s tribute to Canada… Kinda fuckin’ rules, buddy.

I love the fact that he’s not standing around with a bunch of black guys and wearing a ton of tacky jewellery for “street cred”. I love the fact that he only mentions pot to remind the rest of the world that it’s legal. I love his line referencing “90’s hip hop” and subsequently the song sounds a heck of a lot like just that. He doesn’t refute the stereotypes – he embraces them. Was that Mr. Lahey? Did he just give SCTV a shout out? What the frig is this?

Anybody else think maybe Maestro Fresh Wes, Snow or the Swollen Members are feeling a little left out right now? This kid is good and I’m going to hit the nearest record store (wink) and get myself acclimated. It’s probably, like, my friggin’ duty or something too, eh?

{ 8 comments }

… Let me count the ways. Much to my sister and her boyfriend’s chagrin I brought my PS3 down from Canada with me and have been thoroughly enjoying it most nights after we all return to the Charlestown house from our respective jobs. Sometimes I can get it to function as a media center, wirelessly streaming the many movies I have on my laptop and playing them through the gaming console. It’s quite cool. But more often than not it skips too much to be watchable… so a gaming console it tends to remain. On these occasions there tends to be heated discussion on who gets to do what, but if I have to sit through the Real Housewives of Orange County a couple times a week, Janet and Damo can surely suffer my ongoing rivalry with the Portland Pirates a time or two.

The reason I brought the Playstation 3 with me is because, well, I’ve loved video games since the first time I ever played one, probably 32 years ago. To say I was an early adopter would be a major understatement. I was playing Adventure on a terminal my Dad had hooked up to a 7-foot-tall mainframe in his workshop at the age of 4. I remember a campground in the very early 80’s that had an arcade with Space Invaders, Defender, Sub Hunt and a few other pioneering hunks of fun. My friend Oliver wins the prize for the first home system I ever played, which was a combination of pong and a light gun target game with abysmal accuracy. The Atari 2600 and Commodore Vic 20 came along soon afterwards and pretty soon my obsession turned to Pitfall and the text adventure games of Scott Adams, The Count being my favorite, even though I never managed to finish it.

Fast-forward another year and I was writing my own games on my Vic using basic and well… you get the point. Considering the era in which I grew up, and who my father and Uncle were, I think that if I didn’t still have any affinity for video games – there’d be something far more wrong with me. That’s what I keep telling myself each morning when I wake up next to two Boston Terriers, at any rate.

Time has marched on mercilessly, as it does, and my current pixelly fascination is the latest version of Electronic Art’s juggernaut, NHL 2010, or NHL10 as it’s been branded. 16 years ago I beat every kid in Mills Hall at the University of Guelph in an NHL ‘92 tournament that someone set up. We chose to use 92 as opposed to 93 or 94 because more kids were familiar with it and I went through my competitors like… I should probably wrap this post up about now while I still might sleep with a woman again someday. My point is, I have a long history with the franchise.

Marco and I enthusiastically trying out the new first-person fighting feature the day of the game’s release back in September 2009.

So this post isn’t a complete informational bust for folks who may have found it via a search engine, here are my favorite bits from NHL10 – all of which have to do with the new “Be a Pro” mode.

  • In “Be a Pro” mode you start on an AHL team (currently the Providence Bruins for me) and have to prove yourself in order to make it up to the show.
  • At the conclusion of every shift your coach provides bullet points in a popup window of what you did well and what you need to work on. “Good positioning out there. Keep firing them at the net. You picked a good time to start a fight and get the team’s energy up but you have to hold your own.”
  • Speaking of fighting, it’s in first-person perspective for the first time ever and it’s a heck of a lot of fun. I’m getting better, and win the odd fight, but it’s been hard to master thus far.
  • I love the fact that if you set the style to “Authentic” if you’re in the penalty box, or even just resting on the bench, your viewpoint switches to first-person and you have to turn your head back and forth to keep your eye on the action like you’re at Wimbleton.

A super game, and well done to Electronic Arts. Who else has played it? With the strength of EA’s offering this year, is it even worth renting the competition’s 2K10? Sound off, my hockey nerds of the evening. I know you’re out there.

{ 2 comments }

57035641 
Although David Caruso backed out of the Superbowl halftime show at the last minute – Pete Townsend was still happy to sport the famous shades for him.

{ 1 comment }

Florence and the Machine's Lovely Bottom As the credits rolled and the highlight reel spun at the conclusion of Friday’s 10th and final series of the UK’s Celebrity Big Brother, a song which played overtop really, really caught my attention. After some research that song turned out to be Florence + the Machine’s You’ve got the Love, as I’m sure you’ve already surmised. I have enjoyed BB and CBB (The Davina McCall created Channel 4 versions only) for at least half of the decade during which they’ve helped define British television and the moment was a sad one for me. Perhaps that’s why I was susceptible to this particular ditty, but susceptible I was. Nearly a week later I am still so enamoured that, in the first instalment of Wadio since early August, I’d like to share.

A quick note to my readers who don’t usually share my taste in music – do yourself a favor and watch the video anyway, as Florence has a truly breathtaking hiney. If spectacular buttocks are what it takes to convert a new F+TM fan, then so be it. She put them on full display for a reason.

Florence has the love. And a legendary rump.

“I want my music to sound like throwing yourself out of a tree, or off a tall building, or as if you’re being sucked down into the ocean and you can’t breathe,” – Florence Welch.

florence-youve-got-the-love-ass-video-bum Florence says she writes her best music when drunk or hungover because that’s when she finds herself “most lucid”. As she’s from South London, I’m sure there were lots of opportunities to be lucid whilst growing up. The “+ the Machine” half of her stage name stems from the fact she’s backed by a revolving door of musicians and DJs, the focus remaining on her alone. Likely as a result the music press frequently compare her to Kate Bush. Regardless of how she got here, Miss Welch is making a huge dent on the music scene and I’m glad I finally noticed the bandwagon careening past. Did I mention how absolutely enraptured I am with her hindquarters?

There’s also a great “Live from Ibiza” version fans of the song should check out. Her stage presence is impressive. As this year’s 3rd place CBB winner, the almighty Vinnie Jones, was prone to say in the house: “It’s been emotional”. So, yeah, my initial reaction to the tune was inspired by a bit of sad melancholy – but the song fits the mood. Praise and thanks be to Davina and Florence.

{ 3 comments }

And the Boston Accent Award Goes to…

by Dave on February 2, 2010

in Boston,Movies

One of the reasons I thoroughly enjoyed watching Mel Gibson’s new flick, Edge of Darkness, last night was that his Boston accent is frickin’ impeccable, dood. I mean it – you’d think he grew up on East Broadway as opposed to Sydney, Australia. I for one am glad the Gibber is back after a 7.5 year acting respite which was undoubtedly due to his drink-driving and comments about the chosen people. Talk about a bad night out. Badmouthing Jews in Hollywood will end your acting career quicker than stink-palming one of the Weinsteins.

martin-sheen-accent-departed The fact that Boston has been a hot movie location for the last few years can not be debated. There are many more Beantown-based flicks in the pipeline, too. That’s probably a separate post but I think we can breakdown the whole accent topic a bit further this evening. There have been some good Boston accents lately – Mel Gibson, Ed Harris (Gone Baby Gone), Alec Baldwin (The Departed). There have been some abysmal Boston accents lately – Tim Robbins (Mystic River), Cameron Diaz (Knight and Day… I’ve seen the trailer. Brutal), and the golden statue for worst Boston Accent evah in a feckin’ film goes to… Martin Sheen (The Departed). By a country mile, bruthah!

Affleck and Dicky school some high falootin’ Hollywood prick.

Am I wrong? What good or pathetic Boston accent attempts can you remember? And if anyone mentions Ben, Matt or anyone with the last name Wahlberg I’m gonna have your head examined for being a frickin’ retaaard.

{ 12 comments }

ipad-steve-jobs “It comes with 16 GB for $499. No, 3G is $130 extra. Yes, I know it’s on the large size and doesn’t do anything the iTouch can’t. Who the fuck let me walk out here thinking this was a good idea? You know I’m on a shitload of meds.”

{ 0 comments }