Archive for October, 2009

When I’m Rich

Posted in Uncategorized on October 29, 2009 by moegreeb

Like just about everybody else in the world I often wonder what it would be like to be rich. Not just wise-investing, smart spending wealthy mind you…full blown using $100 bills as kleenex rich. Most people, I think, picture themselves in the lap of luxury in this fantasy. Set up for life, travelling around the world, living life to its fullest. These people are chumps and lack imagination.

I want to be rich enough that I can go batshit insane. Completely crazy in a consequence free environment. The possibilities are near endless.

  1. Buy a village An entire village dedicated to my every whim. If I have visitors and I want them to read Mark Waid’s amazing comic Kingdom Come but can’t find where I left it…Bam! My villagers will act out of every one of Ross’s beautifully water coloured panels. If I have a craving to drive around the streets at 200mph in my car…So be it! No one will stop me. It is my freaking village. Every street that runs North-South will be called Chris Street and every street that runs East-West will be called Angel St. Why? Cause I freaking can. \oh yeah…I’d also outlaw use of the letter ‘k’.
  2. Have Nickelback hurled into the Sun If you have enough money, anything is possible. This is actually a fairly simple plan. First I tell NASA that I will fund their next couple of missions if they just fire one payload directly at our friendly neighbourhood star, Sol (the Sun). Then I tell Nickelback that as part of some crazy new promotional idea, to boost the sales of whatever new shitty album they have released, they are going to be playing live from space. I will pay for their training. I will pay for whatever accommodations they need during this time. I will cover their food, their health, and whatever else they want. I will get them into space and then I will have them hurled into the sun. I realize that the sun is 8 928 000 miles away. I am aware that it will take them years before they get. As long as the final outcome is Nickelback impacting the Sun.
  3. Tons of Skittles Since you are alive I can safely assume that you have at one point been inside an IKEA (don’t worry, I can feel your pain). You will also remember the ball room. Don’t act like you don’t. That room that you wish you were still young enough to be allowed into. Now picture having that at your own house. An entire floor of the house dedicated to swimming and playing in Skittles. I will eat so many Skittles that after only a short period of time my jaw will be strong enough to chew through a Chevy Impala. I will also pay someone to come in and remove all of the purple ones. I don’t care for purple. As a colour or as a taste.
  4. Open an Inconvenience Store The store will only be open Sundays and Wednesdays from 3a.m. – 4:36 a.m.. The store will only carry single ply toilet paper, Tizer, and Anne Rice novels. All other items shall always be on back order. Only the very top shelves and the bottom shelves will be stocked. Just thinking of this makes me giggle.
  5. Buy Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez They will follow me around as my personal servanst. They will be my “Yes Men”, they will be my chauffeurs, they will be my butler, they will re-enact scenes from the underrated movie Men at Work. They will also fight the occasional orphan for me…for no real good reason. In addition to this, 4 times a day Charlie Sheen will make a live televised appearance and apologize for ‘2 and a Half Men’. Man that show is terrible.

These are just the options that spring into my mind when I think of having money. If I sat down and planned things could get really scary.

The Songs That Made The Man

Posted in Uncategorized on October 19, 2009 by moegreeb

Today, much like every day, I was walking to my car at the end of the day and listening to my MP3 player. A song came on and suddenly I wasn’t on that leaf covered street any longer. I was suddenly just a teenager listening to that song for the very first time again. It was a sense that was akin to vertigo but much more pleasant.

I don’t know when it was in my life that I became so obsessed with music. I started taking piano lessons when I was 8 but I know it wasn’t then. When I was 13 I started guitar while in high school but I don’t know if that was when it began either. All I know is that it took hold at some point and wouldn’t let go. At any given moment I have music in my head. There is always a song playing.

This obsession pushed me to study music in University and led me to do pretty much nothing for a few years but play at bars 4 or 5 times a week. Music had become all encompassing. It is sad to say that this passion has died a bit for me lately but there it is. I can’t help it. That being said though, there are still some songs that every time I hear them drive me back in time to the very first time that I heard them. Each time I hear those songs I can remember the impact that song had on me.

I have the songs listed below. I should let it be know that I am not defending these songs. I am not claiming that they are amazing pieces of art. All I can say is that these were songs that I felt were life changing for me. This was the music that me see everything differently.

Once – Pearl Jam (from the album Ten)

I was 14 years old. I had spent the day shopping with my mother in Kingston (Ontario, not the cooler Kingston in Jamaica). That day I purchased Ten. Up until this point in my life my musical experience had mostly been shaped by my parents music. Easy listening pop type stuff. I had listened to a few other things while in school of course. I dug Metallica and Def Lepard but it wasn’t stuff I listened to extensively and certainly was nothing that I owned myself. The edgiest CD I had at that time was Bryan Adams – Waking up the Neighbours. Pearl Jam was the first CD I bought myself. That night I unwrapped that CD put it into my portable CD player, turned the lights off and laid back on my bed. The song Once started playing. It was indescribable. It was fury. It was raw emotion. I had never heard anything like it before. This was magical. There was that odd rythmic drone that started the whole song and then these guitars launched out of nowhere. Suddenly Eddie Vedder was screaming into my ears and music was never the same for me again.

Aqualung – Jethro Tull (from the album Aqualung)

For most people my age, introduction to ‘classic rock’ began with Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd. Not so with me. For me it was in my friend Adam’s basement when I was 16 years old. There were a few of us hanging out and Adam put on his father’s Jethro Tull CD and the first song was Aqualung. The riff was catchy enough. There was an odd edge to it that I was able to appreciate. It sounded much like what I thought music of the early 70’s was supposed to sound like. Then the bridge of the song hit. Suddenly the electric guitars and drums that had been driving the song disappeared and were replaced with the sound of Ian Anderson’s heavily compressed vocals and his ¾ guitar with the capo on the 3rd fret. It was jarring and it was incredible. The song had taken me somewhere completely different then where I was moments before. The piano came and then the walking bass and the drums. Finally Martin Barre and his electric guitars returned and the song was restored to its original heavy dirty state. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I couldn’t figure out how the song had taken me like that. I then proceeded to piss everyone at Adam’s house off by playing the song over and over and over again.

Street Spirit – Radiohead (The Bends)

I was in the basement of my girlfriend’s house. I was 17. I was watching Much Music. For my American friends Much Music is our version of MTV. Like MTV it used to play music videos and now just plays crappy tv shows. At the time though it was playing Street Spirit. I had been aware of Radiohead at the time. I had heard Creep and had no problems with it. It was decent enough. Street Spirit was different though. When that riff in A minor started ringing out slow and haunting I was captivated. There was sometime about it that caught my attention and held it. Then came Thom York’s strange ass voice. I would never say that Thom York was a great singer. His voice is not once that is soothing but this song was not about being soothing. It was about reaching into you and making you feel chilled and humbled. This was a song that was making me feel something. At that time I remember there being so few songs that made me feel anything. Oasis was around then with the beginnings of what I now think of as douche rock. Collective Soul had emerged and were also choking the air waves with their uninspired sound. Nothing made me feel anything other than that I was waiting for something. Radiohead showed me then that music could be powerful and captivating and could make me scared and comforted at the same time.

Forty Six & 2 – Tool (from the album – Aenima)

I was riding shotgun in my friend Erin’s car. I think she was driving us to get ice cream. She had Tool playing over the stereo. It had been background and I wasn’t really paying attention instead we were just chatting inanely about whatever the hell it was we chat inanely about. Then the bassline started. That warm and rich and hypnotizing bassline. It was inescapable yet simple. Then you could hear Keenan’s insane mutterings overtop of it. Nothing that could be made out. Just enough to feel that there was something he urgently wanted you to know but couldn’t get across. Then he started singing. I still remember how powerful that moment was when I was lured into the song further by his voice in the verse and then how I was blown away when the chorus came and he showed the power that he had been holding back. That voice sounded angry, and pure, and controlled. It was incomprehensible to me at the time. How could he do that? How could he sound so gentle at the beginning of the song…almost sad and regretful and then unleash that fury in the chorus. Even this was nothing compared to what happened closer to the end of the song. Suddenly I was introduced to the drumming of Danny Smith. Danny is possibly one of the most proficient drummers to ever sit behind a kit. His rythym, his attack…it was chaotic and it was controlled. It shouldn’t have been possible. That song more than any other changed how I listened to music forever more.

Like I said…these are not necessarily great songs by the standards of most people. They are not even my favourite songs still. These are, however, the songs that inlfuenced what music I wanted to listen to the rest of my life. We all have these songs. Everyone of us has those songs that they can still remember the first time they ever heard and every time they start playing we are once again that child listening for the first time and marveling how something as intangible as music can make us feel like that.

I Might Be A Nerd

Posted in Uncategorized on October 17, 2009 by moegreeb

I got some mail on Tuesday. It was awesome. Usually my mail consists of harassing pieces of paper from people who seem to feel that they are entitled to my money solely because they provide services to me. Not Tuesday. Tuesday was special. Tuesday was mail from freaking NASA day.

Look! Space stuff! (and hell no I'm not shwoing you my address you freaks)

Look! Space stuff! (and hell no I'm not showing you my address you freaks)

I should probably explain a bit. No, I’m not on some sort of NASA mailing list. As far as I’m aware they care very little about me and my going ons. Nor do they seem to be concerned with my attempts at building my own space shuttle out of bubble-wrap, cardboard, deck chairs, and goats. I do, however, happen to know somebody though that works at NASA as an Astronaut wrangler (her Twitter is @tracyvanhorne for the interested). I’m not sure what her job is exactly but I assume it involves making sure that Astronauts don’t drive cross country to confront and kidnap people whilst wearing diapers. I hope she is better at her job than the last person. Sorry…what was I talking about? Oh yes. I was having a lousy day at work and was asked by Tracy if stickers would make my day better. I replied yes they would and that I have just the place for stickers.

My sticker holder.

My sticker holder.

This by itself would have made my day. Honestly, just about anything that has to do with what lies beyond our planet is enough to give me raging geek wood. I like stickers. They make me happy. I take them and I put them on my guitar case (the one for the 12-string Washburn. I don’t care if you don’t care about that). Stickers from NASA though? This is one of the few organizations that have successfully launched actual living people into space. This is the group that have sent remote control cars to another planet. These are the people that bombed the fucking Moon! Stickers from these guys aren’t just cool they could probably be used as a form of currency in prisons (I must remember that. I have some doubts as to the legality of my home made shuttle).

This be nerd gold

This be nerd gold

You can imagine my surprise on Tuesday when the package arrived and there was so much more than just stickers. It was like the El Dorado of space nerdiness all contained with a yellowish envelope. The promised stickers were there but there was so much more! Stickers, patches, signed photographs, and a pin. It was a shmorgasborg of awesomeness (admittedly, awesome in a dorky way). As long as I can remember I’ve loved everything that has to do with outer space. The envy I feel at those who get to see our planet from the outside is not quite murderous yet definitely enough to make me hate those guys a bit. To be able to have a little memorabilia to commemorate man’s achievement in moving off world? Yeah…that’s cool

So now my guitar case has a few more stickers on it. I don’t care what you say. Its cool dammit.

Do you think they realize that they were signing those for a 31 yr old dude?

Do you think they realize that they were signing those for a 31 yr old dude?

In The Army

Posted in Uncategorized on October 8, 2009 by moegreeb

The other day my good friend Quincy was rambling on about something. I have no idea what because, honesty, that girl talks so much if you were to listen to everything she said you would be forced to throw you underwear on your head and just start running down the road screaming. At one point though she did mention something about the Army and that got me thinking (she actually could have said ironing. Those words sound somewhat similar don’t they?). What would my life be like in the Army. Was this something that I could consider a worthwhile venture? Only one thing to do. Draw up a list of Pros and Cons. Then I decided that was a stupid idea. Really all I could think of were Cons. So here is my list of reasons why I should not be allowed in the Army.

Uniforms:

I gotta admit it. I like the colour scheme. It goes well with my skin tone and hair. Makes me look sharp. I’m not sure though if I’m a fan of wearing the same think as everyone else. I mean the other day I passed a dude on the street who had on the same shirt as I did and I spent the next 30mins breathing into a paper bag trying to get my breath back. I’m also not sure how well all of my piercings would go over. I’m fuzzy on the details but that seems out of their comfort range for acceptable dress.

Training:

Ok…I like my exercise. I really do. I find Zen moments in workouts. There is a limit though. I’ve seen enough movies to get the general gist of it. Training seems to be a grueling physical ordeal designed to weed out the weak. On the upside though, unless Hollywood has been lying to me, there would be the crusty drill sergeant with the heart of gold who had been secretly rooting for me the whole time and who had pushed me knowing that I had it in me to be the best army type person guy ever.

Guns:

Do I even really need to spell this one out for you? I am not a person who should ever have access to a gun. EVER. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to a tendency towards the clumsy. In University I had to miss a piano exam due to a sprained wrist I incurred whilst trying to change out of shorts into pants without taking my shoes off. I broke my nose once sticking my head out of the car window. I fell down the stairs once while trying to take my pants off. I am not the type of person that should be given a piece of equipment like a gun. That just doesn’t make sense. Plus I would probably lose it. I do that as well

Taking Orders:

I gotta say, I don’t do well with orders. Not just because I don’t want to carry them out, also because I don’t listen really well. My ADD acts up on occasion and I tend to get things confused or distracted. Honestly, if I’m guarding something or standing watch it would take no more than for someone to bring me a puppy or even a clicky-top pen and I’m done. You might as well just saunter past me now.

Occasionally Having People Wanting to Kill Me:

Really, when does that get fun? Cause I don’t get it. Now sure, this doesn’t happen all the time but it is a hazard of the job. If you are in the army sometimes people will want to kill you. It is the same as if you choose to become a spy, a policeman, or a Walmart greeter. Sooner or later somebody is probably going to want to see you dead. This doesn’t sit well with me. I’m a friendly guy. I just want to get along with people. Hell, I feel bad if I’m beating someone in a game and they are getting upset (that is a lie. I love fucking people over in games. It’s what I do). I’m not sure I could handle knowing that I was in a position where someone wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. It would probably be even worse when I grab my sidearm and discover that it is actually the remote to the TV and my gun is on the coffee table So.

I only have a few reasons. I’m sure if I thought of it some more I could probably come up with other things that bothered me about it. These 3 things seem big enough to me. So sorry Army. Looks like you’re going to have to get by without me.

LEGO Building Day…kinda

Posted in Uncategorized on October 3, 2009 by moegreeb
Kristy working on the Sphynx. She's a nerd like me. But with a much better rack.

Kristy working on the Sphynx. She's a nerd like me. But with a much better rack.

So, all yesterday I had been looking forward to going to the Ottawa Museum of Scienece and Technology to build a fucking space shuttle out of fucking LEGO. Why you ask? Cause I’m a fucking nerd.
 
It had been advertised that they was going to be a LEGO display there and that the building of the shuttle would be open to volunteers. Kick ass. They had a lot of LEGOs there. My wife and I started recreating landmarks out of Egypt. 
There is no way that I'm not going to be able to climb onto this thing.

There is no way that I'm not going to be able to climb onto this thing.

 

I quickly did a tour of the exhibit and found tucked into the corner a race car. It was pretty awesome. I really don’t see how I had a choice in the matter. I was destined to sit in that car.

Me, not having a choice.

Me, not having a choice.

My enthusiasm at all of this was short lived though. There was a large piece of information that was left out of the information handed to the public.
The crushing realization of how old I am.

The crushing realization of how old I am.

Apparently there was an age limit on who was allowed to volunteer on the construction. Those facist fuckers. Fotunately I have a wife who will egg me on in these matters. And by egg on I mean, she will tell me to just jump the velvet rope and go play with LEGO whilst she snaps pictures of it.

Seconds before being asked to leave quietly

Seconds before being asked to leave quietly

It seems though that they do pay attention to who is helping with
Busted

Busted

the building. Either that or the one 6 foot tall person towering over the 6 year olds stands out a bit. Personally I think it is a form of profiling.
 
So, having been asked to vacate the immediate area I wandered around the rest of the museum to see what type of shenanigans I could get up to.
I have no idea what this thing is supposed to be but I will swing from it.

I have no idea what this thing is supposed to be but I will swing from it.

The musuem is a fairly cool place in general. Lots of fun gadgets and such to play with. And swing from apparently.  Fortunately all the staff seemed to be occupied with the LEGO and didn’t much care for people doing things they clearly weren’t supposed to be doing.

Yeah. Nice try 'No Climbing' sign. Nice try

Yeah. Nice try 'Do Not Climb' sign. Nice try

What is Wrong with the UN Head?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 1, 2009 by moegreeb

This is 2009 isn’t it? Hold on, I’ll go check. Yup. Still 2009. Ok, that being the case how the fuck is that that we live in a world where the head of the United fucking Nations gets away with quotes like this:

“It is a very thorny argument. As a Muslim, I do not agree with it. I believe it is not acceptable for most of the world, and it is totally unacceptable for our tradition and religion”.

This was in response to a question asking his stance regarding the “Declaration for the Universal Decriminalisation of Homosexuality”. Um. Ok. I will concede the point that he is clearly stating that he is influenced by his religion. I have problems with religion as well but I won’t delve into those here. Let me just analyze what he has stated. He doesn’t believe that roughly 10% (which is probably a rather conservative estimate) of the world’s population are entitle to the same rights and freedoms that the rest of the world should have.

How the hell does that work? It is the United Nations. This is supposed to be a union that works for the benefit of all mankind right? How is it that the head of this organization can adopt a stance that condemns so many people based on something they have no control over. It is as absurd an idea as saying that he finds the Welsh to be totally unacceptable. How is this something that they have any choice in? The thought is absolutely foreign to me.

By this point in our history shouldn’t we have progressed beyond such close-minded thoughts? We fight for equality on a world wide scale battling inequities that exist across genders and skin colours. Most of us see this as not only a just and noble cause but the only logical course of action. This is why it is so repugnant to me that not only do people still say and think things such as this…but that these people are in such massive positions of power.

This is not something that should be open to debate. By declaring it as immoral it implies that there is a choice. The flaw in this screams at me. Do you love someone…is there someone in the world that you give your complete thoughts and affections towards? Yes? Good. Now…did you make a choice to love them? Probably not. How could you? That isn’t how we work. We fall in love based on a myriad of things. Sure…we might find ourselves predisposed towards one gender or another but that doesn’t completely close off all other options does it? I have absolutely no problem that I have found myself physically attracted to other men. Why the fuck should I? I don’t feel that it is wrong. It is not something I chose but something I have felt.

I don’t think that sexuality can be viewed as a light switch with one position being heterosexual and the other position being homosexual. It is more like a dimmer switch where this an infinite amount of variance. We all fit onto that scale somewhere and when the gradient is that small how can we possibly judge someone else?