Archive for December, 2009

Christmas Round Up

Posted in Uncategorized on December 29, 2009 by moegreeb

So judging by the sea of candy wrappers and the piles of crap around here that haven’t had time to accumulate dust yet, It would seem that Christmas has come and gone. What a strange flurry of activity that was. I kind of whirlwind of over indulgence and dangerous amounts of social interactions. Fortunately it is possible to alieviate some of these problems with moderate to massive amounts of alcohol consumption. I’m not going to subject anyone to family horror, frankly everyone has their own stories and most of them are probably far more horrific then anything than I could relate. I’m just going to share some of my swag with you.

Busting Makes Me Feel Good

I got freaking Ghostbuster comfy pants. It is a well known fact that Ghostbusters is the funniest movie that has ever been made. I know this, you know this, even my couch knows this and it’s inanimate. Now I can show my appreciation for Ghostbusters even when I’m lying around on my ass not doing a damned thing. These pants are freaking awesome. I hate wearing pants in general so if I have to wear pants they better be fucking comfy. Now I just need to find a nuclear accelerated proton backpack and I am freaking set.

Does Your Coffee Kick Ass?

I like coffee. Coffee is really quite wonderful. Coffee is a magical beverage which upon consumption helps reduce the urge to destroy the world and see everyone within it burn. Destroying the world can actually be quite counter-productive. So I was given a couple of bags of coffee beans of Kick Ass, which is made by the company Kicking Horse. So far it has been effective. Not once have I destroyed the world.

Some Quality Viewing

Wow…I suspect that my wife really knows me well. Complete Futurama (not including the DVD movies) and both Bill & Ted movies. All you need to do is add a bit of Scotch and you have yourself the recipe for one amazing night. Futurama was a show that was tremendously underrated and Bill & Ted is a wonderful coming of age movie that teaches us that anything is possible as long as you never give up on your dreams and you own a telephone booth that is capable of travelling through time.

Awkward call

Fred. Fred is quite simply a fucked up game. The whole point of this game seems to be see how far you will go to win a game. The game is played by pulling a card and completing the dare that is written out. Sometimes you get a point for the dare sometimes you don’t. If you don’t do the dare though you are removed from the game. Some of the dares are standards: Run around the building in nothing but your underwear. Other dares are a little tougher: Call a respected friend of your parents and ask them for advice on Herpes. Wow. First person to get 4 points wins. I think the point of the game is just being the last person who hasn’t dropped out of the game.

My BibleThe Encyclopedia of Immaturity.

Interesting that my Mother in Law would think that this was an appropriate choice for me. The thing is that this is a great book. With this book I can learn to how make it look like I have chewed my own finger off (the trick is to chew on ice to simulate the bone crunching) or how to spin a pencil around my thumb. Everything I could ever need to remain completely incapable of being a fully functional adult is contained within these red covers. Sorry ladies…this sexy guy right here is taken already. Its okay. You’ll get over me.

Low Budget Kama Sutra

This is one of the weirdest things I’ve received. This appears to be a book that details all the various ways that animals go about reproducing. It is a fascinating read that educates as well as entertains. Even though this is really a book for kids, I can say without doubt that I am now an expert in the matters of all things procreational. Score it.

So anyways. That’s a few of the things that I have received over Christmas that stand out in my mind. I hope that everyone out there has had wonderful holidays and may your New Year’s be Happy and safe. Cheers my friends.

Open Letter To The Douchebag That Stole Xmas Gifts From My Desk

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2009 by moegreeb

Dear Douchebag.

Ok. Let me just start off by saying that I feel that I should take some of the responsibilty for all of this. It was foolish of me to assume that just because I had left a bag on my desk last night, that was filled with gifts I was intending to give to my wife on Christmas, that they would still be there this morning when I arrived. Seriously, that was a poor move on my part.

Here is my problem, Mr. Bag…sorry. Mr. Bag sounds so formal…do you mind if I just call you Douche? Here is my problem, Douche. It is Christmas time right now. I don’t know if you had noticed this but the malls are absolutely stuffed with people scurrying around right now to get last minute presents. The gifts that are in that bag represent my own personal victory over those other schmoes. They said “Hey, I don’t need to be spending time out there with you chumps cause I got my shopping done already.” Now I’m in the awkward position of having to return to the throngs that I have been mentally snubbing.

My real question to you, Douche, is was it really necessary? Did you have someone to cross off you own shopping list or did you just have a burning desire to have your very own iPhone protective case and a Flogging Molly baby-t? If so…ok. I’m sorry. I thought this to be just specific to my own needs but I stand corrected.

So, to wrap up: You are a fucker. Asshole.

Love Chris.

My Favourite Books

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2009 by moegreeb

Someone asked me the other day what the first book that I can remember reading and having my mind blown away by. The book that I first thought of was Ishmael by Daniel Quin. It is a philosophical book that tries to argue that decline of mankind started with agriculture. That once we started living separate from nature we started ourselves down a path that will only lead to our own downfall. Amazing book…a bit strange that the protagonist in the book is a talking gorilla…but amazing still. The power of the book over me faded with time though. I started to pick apart some of the arguments and found flaws. The book blew my mind but only for a time. It did start me thinking though about the books that I keep going back to. The ones that I read and reread and just absolutely love. Here are my 5 favourite books (in no particular order).

  1. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood FriendChristopher Moore. This book is one of the funniest things that I have ever read in my life. The book is exactly what it claims to be. A narrative from the point of view of a boy named Biff, who grew up as Jesus’s best friend. The book covers the years that are more or less missing from the bible. What happened until Jesus was 18. The book is well written, thought provoking, and side spittingly funny. Many people will take issue with the book and denounce it as blasphemous but that is not what it aims to be. It is very tactful and I think respective of Christian beliefs. Well worth the read.
  2. A Brief History Of Time Stephen Hawking. Wow. This book is just incredible. I’ve always been interested in the physics of our universe. I love learning about the fundamental laws that govern how the cosmos work. If you are at all of the same mind then this book is essential to read…though chances are you have already read it. This book takes the science of the stars and makes it surprisingly accesible to everyone. It is really quite an astounding feat when you think of it. This book manages to take the most complex theories and fomulae and break them down into something simple and beautiful. Read it and marvel at the wonder that surrounds us.
  3. Soon I Will Be Invincible Austin Grossman. It might not be a well kept secret but I’m a bit of a geek. I’m a nerd. I like stuff about superheros. This is a book about superheros. The story is told through alternating perspectives. One is a female hero and the other is a super villain. This book uses every cliché that exists in stories about people with powers. Secret identities, plans for world domination, epic battles. The really strange thing is that this book seems to take these outlandish devices and gives them a sense of legitimacy. I picked up this book expecting it to be a funny and silly book.I put it down and then had to go think about it for awhile. There was a poignancy in those pages that I had not expected. Its a book that I keep going back to and rereading and one that I never really get out of my head.
  4. The God Delusion Richard Dawkins. Though Dawkins is probably better known for his books on evolution this book is his argument against religion. I’ve always been fairly sure of my own athiesm. To me, the whole concept of higher power just doesn’t mesh with facts. This book though burned away any of the last lingering doubts that I might have still had in my mind. Dawkins from chapter to chapter, marshals his arguments against religion as an idea and asks why it is necessary when science is available to as a tool that can be used to explain life and the universe. If I do have a complaint about the book it is that Dawkins can come off as a bit heavy handed. Still, this was an amazing read to me and one that I know I shall be reading again.
  5. If Chins Could Kill: Confessions Of A B-Movie ActorBruce Campbell. This book is just plain fun. The book is an autobiography of Bruce Campbell who rose to cult fame by playing Ash in the Evil Dead movies. The book is a hysterical recounting of his youth and introduction to the world of acting and cracks me up every single time I read it. It offers an interesting insight into the world of film making and does a good job of showing just how seriously Mr. Campbell does not in fact take himself. Awesome.

So there you have it. Those are 5 of my hands down favourite books. If you are ever looking for something to read you could certainly do worse than those.

    The Language of Music

    Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2009 by moegreeb

    The other day I overheard someone ask a simple question and one that I have heard several times. The question was how come a singer can speak with an accent but when they sing the accent disappears? Now in this particular case the singer was Ozzy Osbourne. When he speaks he has an English accent yet when he sings he sounds like any typical American singer. Now…there are probably quite a few of my British chums that would hasten to point out that there accent sounds nothing like Ozzy’s…due in large part to the fact that they haven’t spent years eroding their ability to articulate with heavy drug use.

    It is something that we are fairly accustomed to by now. We can listen to bands like Black Sabbath , or U2 on the radio and if it weren’t for the fact that we already knew from which countries they originated from we would think that they were just another band from North America. What I find interesting is that there is an underlying assumption here that musicians sound North American when they sing.

    It doesn’t take us long for our brains to start separating accents. As we learn our languages we form our neural pathways in the brains. Our language becomes hardwired into our brain. This is why it is easiest to learn a new language when we are younger than when we are older. Not only is is the words themselves that we are learning though, it is all the idiosyncratic elements that are indigenous to our countries or regions. We learn to talk one way because we are immersed in that language. We can hear other people speak and our brain hears those subtle or not-so-subtle differences in pronunciations and immediately sends the flag that we identify as accent. What we often fail to remember is that we also have accents. We become so used to hearing the people around us pronounce things the same as we do. This becomes our baseline with which we compare to everything else.

    The same thing happens to us with singing. We grow up listening to music and singing to music and this becomes our musical baseline. Our brain makes those same neural connections and tells us that this is the norm that we will compare other ‘musical dialects’ to. Our mistake is that we we take these two baselines (our spoken and our musical) and assume that they are the same just because they sound right to us. The truth of it is that these are not the same at all. When you think of how we sing and compare it to how we speak it becomes apparent that these ‘accents’ are quite different. When we sing we constantly change our pitches. When we speak we tend to stay at about the same place. When we talk our vowel sounds are consistent. When we sing the vowels are constantly held at different changing lengths. When we sing our words and phases are slurred together somewhat. If we did that when we talk people would assume that we were ‘three sheets to the wind’. What makes it even more complicated is that from one song to the next, hell from one line to the next in the same song, the enunciations change. This means that our musical baseline has to be even broader to accommodate the scope of variety.

    Unlike spoken languages, singing language seems to be pretty universal. No matter where we are raised we hear a song and the way that it is sung is familiar sounding to us. It fits within that giant template we have in our heads. Whether we are American, Irish, Australian…when we are singing in English we sound alike. We are all sharing the same accent and this accent doesn’t really care where we come from at all.