Sunday, January 20, 2008

Signs of the northern climes

Random thought time. Here's a few words or phrases that will identify someone who lives in a northern climate every time (kind of a "you know you're a redneck..." theme, but in this case "you know if you're frostbit..."). Here's a few phrases that will always identify a northerner (strangely enough, most to do with driving conditions).

"What's the windchill?"
"Did you plug in the car?"
"I need a boost"
"I bet I can make it through that snowbank if I just give' er"
"I hope my command start will work from here"
(This one's old and not really relevant any more, but I still like it): "Nuts, the frost shield has a crack in it"
"Oh great, my coat broke" (not torn.....broke)

I think people who live in northern climates take a kind of perverse pleasure out of telling anyone who will listen about the extremes they work through. To tell the truth, I kind of like many parts of winter, except the -40C stuff, which makes me want to call in sick until may and try to live off of "Chicken Delight" delivery. I have to admit, the long nights and endless putting on and taking off of boots, parkas, mitts, touques, scarves and polar fleece get very tiring after a while. What makes it all worthwhile, however, is how you feel when you get the first warmish day of spring. When you step outside and realize you don't have to hunch your shoulders against the cold....birds are singing, snow is melting in rivulets down the street. It's still probably -10C, but you don't care, because by comparison it's semi-tropical. The charge you get out of realizing that winter is over is what it must feel like to get out of jail, or maybe an Adam Sandler movie. It's pure bliss, and everyone and everything you come into contact with is the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. Spring. Forget what the calendar says, in this neck of the woods it's only 3 and a half months away. What's that number for Chicken Delight again?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jive Talk Part 2

A few months ago when I started this blog, I included some references to a 1940's era giveaway called ther Hepcats Jive Talk Dictionary! I posted some of the references, and said I'd post some more...well, here we go. Enjoy!

Abercrombie- a know it all
Artillery- baked beans
Barbeque- a beautiful girl
Beagle- a frakfurter
College- jail
Crunchy- the pavement
Dickeroo- a policeman
Dreambox- your head
Exodust- to flee
Eye- a detective
Feelers- your fingers
Flippers- your ears
Gammin- to strut
Goola- a piano
Headache- the wife
Homey-someone from your home town (see, it's not that new!!)
Icky-conservative person
Ivories- dice or piano keys ("tickle the ivories on the Goola, Jack!")
Jackson- form of salutation
Jiver- hepcat who knows the ropes
Kicks- a pair of shoes
Kong- an inferior drink
Leaky- one who talks too much
Lip- an attorney
Make-to win the affections of the opposite sex
Muggin- to make facial gestures/ or attack
Napoleon- one with grandiose ideas
Nurse- a stingy person
Oats- enthusiasm
Oiler- a fighter
Package- a girl
Phoebe- a five on a pair of dice
Righteous- perfect
Roscoe- a gun
Saw- a mean landlady
Smackeroo- a kiss
Tickeration- strutting exhibition
Tin- small change
Uncle- a pawnbroker
Upstairs- blue sky
Vine- suit of clothing
Vocalovely- pretty girl singer
Wolf- a male who stalks women
Wolverine- a female who stalks men
Yam- to dine
Yank- a dentist
Zowie-exclamation of approval

That's all for now-I'll do more again in a while!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Blarfier Than Awesome

Ok, this one has me stumped. Has ANYONE ever heard of a game called "Blarf?" I know, it sounds like the greatest game ever (even though it sounds like the result of a college frat party). To be honest, before my girlfriend purchased this, I had no idea this thing existed! According to the box, "Blarf" included the "challenge of Chess" with the "simplicity of checkers" and a "super dash of Fun!!" (Not just a regular dash, mind you. That's for wimpier games. "Blarf" demands no less than a "Super" dash.)

Now you're reading a blog of someone who watches old toy commercials for fun. I can sing the "Trouble" jingle backwards and forwards ("wait, don't run!")I still play Monopoly with old original wooden hotels, houses and tokens (anyone remember the egg cup? the milk bottle?) But I have NEVER seen or heard of "Blarf" before this weekend. The troublesome thing is, The name is so darn catchy, I find I am seeing and hearing "Blarf" everywhere. Smokey Robinson singing "Blarf Machine". Reading Stephen King's "Needful Blarfs". Watching "Blarf Trek" on TV. And I thought the Smurfs were bad

Better Than Awesome: co-op story writing

Want a great way to fill part of an evening in a creative, and potentially twisted way? Write a co-op story with one or more people. This isn't a really new idea, but it's a heck of a lot of fun. Each person writes a paragraph of a story, the next person only sees the final sentence and writes another paragraph, and so on. You can end it whenever you want and two or more can play. Here's a bit of weirdness my girlfriend and I created this weekend. When an author alternated, the text goes bold (I started the story, so you can see my girlfriend has all the writing talent). Each paragraph ends with the single sentence the other author saw. Hope you enjoy it!

Strongathan the strong man sat pensively. He read the pamphlet again, for the fourth or fifth time, but the words never changed. The Strawberry Girl was returning. A small salty tear traced it's way down his mighty cheek. The last time he had seen Strawberry girl was when she was stepping aboard the train with the Blue Man. Strongathan recalled the ache in his heart in watching her board the traing.

And he remembered the faint surge of hope as his eyes met Strawberry Girls one last time.

But, that time was meant to run out eventually, and it did. Time does, you know. But his skin was tingling, and he knew it was time to move on. He was a mover...and a shaker...and a rattler... a rattlesnake. A real snake in the grass, all right. But yet, his love for Strawberry was genuine enough. Her sparkling eyes set his heart aflame....but he was afraid of fire...

...yes, afraid...

And yet, he knew his wits and nudity saved him in the past. He would need to rely on them again. Picking up a branch of a tree that had been struck off by a recent lightening storm, he crept through the undergrowth that surrounded the theatre. Using his psychic powers, he willed the lock on the stage door to open, and with a creak of rusty hinges, the door opened.

Clutching the wet branch, he stepped into the darkness.

His apprehension only served to heighten his desire...for her. The darkness wrapped around him like a cloak. He made his way further and further into the darkness, and memory. Memories of happy Strawberry times, times of lightness and delight. But now, however, he had to stand in the dark and immerse himself in the darkness of his very soul. He slapped himself in the face a few times with the wet branch, in order to keep his concentration sharp.

For he had a promise to fulfill...

Packing his suitcase, he boarded the next Transatlantic flight to England. he cleared customs with little difficulty, but at some point, he misplaced his duty-free bottle of gin. Inquiries at the information desk yielded blank stares and shaking heads, which infuriated him more. "Bloody English", he thought. Still, he couldn't wait for his first breakfast of fried bread and baked beans. Calling for a cab, he sat silently as he was whisked towards London. The cabby was mercifully silent, and the ride uneventful.

Until he smelled smoke filling the back of the car.

With David Bowie warbling on the radio, he began to roll down the window, but his strength was ebbing. "Fame..." David uttered, but our hero was on the verge of unconciousness. A sweet blackness like dark chocolate, like Iman....he was beginning to hallucinate. If only he could get the window to open. Perhaps he could chew it open? Or use his unusual powers.

His powerful mind powers....

Inexplicabley failed! The women were all still wearing their clothes. Without missing a beat, he stripped off his shirts and yelled "Drop 'em ladies, your love sheik has parked his camel!" Amid the flurry of flying clothing and the shrieks of delight, an unwelcome shape rose up behind him. It was Strongathan! Looking for vengance! "Now I have you", the cross-dressing beast shouted, "and I'll show you what happens when you try to mess with a union member!" Reaching out one massive hand, he extinguised the light.

I the darkness, he waited for the end to come.

A single drop kept dripping, over and over in the corner. He attempted to align his heartbeat with the rhythm of the drip...when suddenly, david Bowie burst onto the scene, having buzzed a hole in the wall with a chainsaw. "Surprise!" he cried.

The scene evaporated in a rainbow of smootches.

As you can see, it's usually pretty silly but great fun-try it out!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Better than Awesome moments

If you ever want to feel "Better Than Awesome", try this: dancing to the Smokey Robinson/ Miracles hit "Love Machine" in your living room, with the blinds open and the lights on. If anyone can get you into the "who gives a toot" mood, it's Smokey.


Further to: annoying songs. I unfortunately remembered the "hit" by songstress Patsy Gallant, "From New York to LA" here's how it started:

In my mind there's a face
On my lips, there's a name
In my life, there's no place
For the man that I love
'Cause I'm livin' my life
Just to sing and be free
From L.A. to New York
From New York to L.A.

I suppose what makes this song less than Awesome, is the fact I remember a Canadian Content TV show on CTV that featured the one-dimensional and strangely-faced Patsy singing her "hit" at the start and finish of EVERY SHOW!!!! At the time, of course, she was neither a star in New York, L.A. nor even Medicine Hat. I still shudder at the hideous vision of somewhat boney Patsy strutting across a sound stage in Toronto, feebly trying to convince the viewers that she was "hip" and "relevant" in her sparkley disco gowns, while the rest of the world was listening to The Clash.

Ever a reason to destroy brain cells....Patsy Gallant singing "From new York to L.A."

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hot News!!

For those who may enjoy my witty musings, you can now wear them on a T-shirt! Just go to: see my selection-it's not much to start with, but stock will change and the site will get better all the time! Thanks for having a look!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Madness inducing songs

Everyone at some time has had a song stuck in their head. It's often a maddening tune that you didn't pay more than a passing attention to initially, but that has flitted endlessly in your mind, like some kind of psychic border collie, drooling and leaping, saying "look at me, look at me", until you are forced to give it your full attention while it stops to inspect it's psychic privates. If you are at all squeamish about this kind of thing, I'd advise not reading further.

HOWEVER, if you have a clueless friend or aquaintence that thinks it's amusing to endlessly discharge their false teeth in public, or perform their armpit version of Ave Maria whilst visiting the Vatican, and CAN'T TAKE A HINT THAT NO-ONE IS INTERESTED....then dropping one of these musical depth charges may be the cure you are looking for. Sing the song, hum the tune, heck even just mention the names of some of these tunes, and you'll send the listener on a veritable Love Boat cruise of practical agony. Sure, it may seem a little harsh, but extreme situations call for extreme measures. Here are some of my suggestions:

The Rainbow Connection-Kermit the frog strums, we groan
The Candyman-can he?? I wish he wouldn't
The old Rice Krispies commercial-ok, this is pretty obscure, but there was an old commercial featuring the three elves singing a jazzy little number about how "Pop" makes the world go round-snappy the first time you hear it, until it's repeated for about the 400th time
The Wedding Song-by Joey Gregorash
Moody Manitoba Morning-"nothing ever never does"

There are plenty of others, so I thought I'd ask anyone who happens to read this to contribuet their own suggestions. remember-the only way to get rid of these things is to pass them on to someone else!!