Tuesday 27 November 2007

Middle Age

Mortality is real stoker of the mind. I was spinning in emotions when Marc died, see previous post, and I'm at it again as I face another funeral this week.

A lot of people say things like "she was nice" - "she was a good person" - so it is hard to convey, and sound truthful, when I say Jen was nice and good and she was literally the funniest person I knew. She was a polished comedian that could fire off a rehearsed joke or rip you with a one liner. Simply awesome, and a true and terrible loss.

Time is linear from the perspective that we sit in; be mindful of that. I work in a field where my clients stay young, as I get old. It doesn't help that my hair is falling out, going grey and migrating to my ears. So, I'm reminded daily of these aspects of life. Aging is a bitch...no?...is mortality? Aging is rough, but hey it beats the alternative.

So thanks for Jen, a person of great value: a nice person, a good person and great comedian. You will be missed as I pass your empty classroom.

And remember: you never know when you are middle aged.

Friday 17 August 2007

Patrick and the Aesthetics of Modern Music

I was preparing some lessons on modern music for my media class (watching music videos ) when Patrick, a nice young lad in Kindergarten, says: "whata doing"?

I replied: "watching videos". Patrick listened for a few seconds to Amy Winehouse sing Rehab, and then he provided this critique: "well that sounds terrible".

He wandered over and took a look at the young star and added this comment: "well she's ugly".

This is fantastic - kids cut through all the pretentious bullshit of music commentary. Amy Winehouse is ugly and sounds terrible...that about covers it. Kids just give it to you straight. None of the usual concern over how your opionions will make you look to others.

My other son still has this ability as well - we saw an ad with Sarah Jessica Parker and he asks me: "why did they choose an ugly girl"? This is just one kid's opinion, but it sure cuts through the usual politically correct paradigm. We can't do this all the time (unless you want a divorce, a break-up, a punch in the nuts or a firing), but every once in a while it might be good to just to toss out the goods minus the politically correct trappings: "Amy Winehouse is a coke fuelled bitch who sings re-tooled soul - and she's fugly".

Raising kids can be a tough and scary haul, but these little blasts of insight are cool.

Hey - and some people love Amy Winehouse - look at this dude - he's got his own view and if he has drugs...a new client.

Tuesday 26 June 2007

Should I get a Pet?

This posting may seem a little banal, but it may prove invaluable. Someday you may find yourself in a pet-store alone, or worse yet with your children. You will then ask yourself if it is a good idea to purchase a pet, or a little mini-you will be asking (read nagging). This means it is time to go to another store.

I've been in this situation and I've said yes: five times! I have said yes to two dogs, a cat, a rabbit and a Guinea pig. At one point I even seriously considered getting fish, and my wife has mentioned birds. I needed a plan.

I know I've got a problem as I sit here in my mini-zoo. I knew things were getting really bad when I was in a state of bliss when the Guinea pig died. I happily dug a hole in the backyard and dumped in the awesomely named : Fruitopia Spider-Girl. I was thrilled to have started my own pet-cemetery. Morbid.

Here is my insight - SAY NO! You really don't need a pet...but...

This won't always work, so here is my new policy: Never buy/own an animal whose eyes are on the sides of its head. This type of animal is really 'effin dumb! These creatures were put on Earth to be eaten by the more cunning animals that have eyes in the front of their skulls! Think of the number of pets this eliminates: rodents, fish, birds, horses, pigs and fighting-cocks! Excellent.

Rabbits and other varied rodents piss and shit at an ungodly rate and they have no personalty. The Rabbit that I own (Mr. Whiskers) will walk around the room once, go back into its cage lay 27 pellet dumps, piss in the corner than take a nap. The only difference between this creature and the Guinea pig is that Guinea pigs shit a more elongated nugget and it does this anywhere - even where it sleeps! Fucking nasty, and the cage oddly spells like a mini-horse stall.

Just follow my simple rule: check the position of the eyes. It is a simple test that will improve your life.

Monday 25 June 2007

Old Friends and Exploding Liquids

There is one key benefit of having old friends - as in people you've known for a long time - that benefit is that you can talk about current events and then back-track to tell some shared whoppers from the past.

I was sitting with the Human Paradox , Van Helsing and Crouchy - we ran the gamut from events of the day to debauched tales of our youth.

Six hours passed away with only one really awkward moment.

VanHelsing was mixing a triple shot of Dutch breakfast when he yelled: "We have a problem in here". He blew the entire contents of a large bottle of mix all over the Human Paradox's kitchen. It was showering down in a sticky waterfall form every surface. He swore that he did not shake it. The bottle just spontaneously exploded with volcanic thrust.

I've figured it out . Al kinetically charged the Coke with his mutant power. Next time you see VanHelsing have him perform this trick. Not only is Al an old friend, whom I can share the delights of an inside joke from years past, he can also cause liquids to explode with the help of his x-factor gene.

The Human Paradox is not a big fan of mutants.

Ollie Out

Friday 22 June 2007

Marc McCormick

My best memories of Marc McCormick:

1. Whipping empty cans of Coke at Chris Pare while he was sneaking a smoke outside of Derby.
2. On a visit to St. Paul's: teaching me how to look like I was praying, while sleeping in church. The key was resting your head on a hymn book.
3. He was a master brogger - he organized some kick ass games of brog at Iawah Boys Camp: Chapel Point to Mosquito Island!
4. Running into Chapters to snag a "book about Mars and Venus" after a tiff with his girl friend.
5. Rocking out - "Cruising in the Fargo"...the brakes don't work there's no reverse. "I work for Phil Now" was another great tune.
6. His elaborate skits that would bring down the house. Marc was a natural comedian.
7. Graduating from the Marc McCormick school of program directing: sleep a lot, take a nap - create and run a wicked game or event - do a prank and chase a few girls /start the cycle again.

Marc sure put some fire into my summers back in the eighties and early nineties . I'm blessed to have such great memories.

Marc was just a guy that embraced life. My wife made a great comment about Marc: "I never saw Marc when he wasn't really living". I love that insight.

Marc was awesome - all those St.Paul's folks were lucky to know him longer and better than me.
Maybe it is true: "Only the good die young".

Fire me your insights - I need 'em.

Ollie Out

Thursday 21 June 2007


Happy first day of summer. This is a picture of a fine group of dads and sons. Notice the two hams mugging for the pic. This is the first day of summer - (go pour yourself a cold one). It is also Leif's birthday. So it is pretty whack, as the kids say today, that I've been a dad for 8 years.

It has been rough - eight years of action figures, video games, sports, comics, and late nights of playing lego. Leif has been excellent in releasing my inner-nerd. Being a dad for eight years has been a pretty damn good gig. If you have the means I highly recommend it - to quote Ferris.

Maybe someday I'll recognize the mystical - spiritual bond of son and father - I think I did when he was born - but right now I'm loving the x-box games, the one-one in the driveway and even the 7 am skate tying at the rink.

So I'm loving the day to day - again happy summer, and maybe some of my Christian friends can sound forth on the son- father bond on a holy level - DEEP.

Fire me your insights.

Ollie Out.

Wednesday 20 June 2007

Greetings and Salutations

Billy Corgan Hears me on this One!
I've always had an issue with saying good-bye; and hello can be a bitch as well. I don't mean like "g'day lad" - or "how's she going?". I got that gig nailed bro. It's the formalized greeting or formalized parting of family member or colleague that makes me nervous.

You know the deal: your fat aunt is coming in for a kiss/hug/hand-shake - you don't want to accidentally slip her a sloppy one (Unless you're from Lanark). Here is my system:

Dude: shake hands - be firm.

A wicked dude: quick manly hug (does that sound gay?)

Chick - kiss/hug - go for the cheek.

French Chick - kiss both cheeks.

Hot French Chick - tongue...when in Rome...

Dutch Chick - three cheek kiss! Gotta love the Dutch!

Fat Aunt - Hug - avoid the mouth area - seriously - sorry Lanark.

Okay so my system is still in development. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Last point:

I work with this guy that has the best fucking salutation ever. He say on parting: "I'm going home to make love to my beautiful wife."

Holy Shit - what can you say to that?

Ollie Out.