Yikes

Do you remember, say, five years ago, when that “Octomom” was all the rage? She gave birth to eight kids, and already had six. She was on welfare at the time the kids were born, and then rode the media frenzy, all the way to the bank.

Until, of course, poor life decisions caught up with her. This is something that unfortunately happens to single mothers of six who then decides to have more. “Poor life decisions” seems to be a running theme in her life.

I mean, do the math. She had 1.5 kids a year, for slightly over a decade. And then, to carry on her blitz of questionable decisions, once the money dried up from TV appearances, she did porn and fought D-List celebrities in the boxing ring.

What I’m saying is, this is the person that Republicans wake up from in the middle of the night. She is that of which their nightmares are made. And a poster girl for free birth control.

And now she’s been caught defrauding the welfare system.

What a world we live in, eh?

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Nightclubs

The nightclub has a grudge against me. Of this, I have no doubt.

I’m not entirely sure why this is the case. I have only been to this nightclub maybe ten times in my life, and I would always sing its praises. The best show I ever saw took place in its hallowed halls. I’ve had happy conversations with bouncers once or twice. And, a couple of times, I’ve even been on their privileged “guest list”. Only once – ever – have I had a negative experience there, and I don’t hold it against them. Everyone hosts a show by Rich Aucoin at least once. We all make mistakes.

So I don’t know why they’ve been out to get me. I never peed on their floor, impregnated their serving staff (I wish!), or slandered their good name. I don’t spit on their patrons as I walk by, set fire to their walls, or steal guitars from well-meaning musicians. And I didn’t complain when they parked an RV in front of their building, housing the band who would play the stage later in the week. The RV was there for almost a week, in a no-parking zone, diverting traffic. And I didn’t complain. Not even once.

And yet, they’re out to get me.

I realized this a few months ago, when I was up at 3 am. Their patrons were still out on the sidewalk, screaming at each other, picking fights, and letting long howls out at the moon. Like wolves, they were screaming “woooooo!” at the top of their lungs. At three in the morning. On a Thursday (or, rather, a Friday morning). The nightclub was determined to keep me awake, stage one in their game of psychological warfare.

When a bar is only open twice a week, and one of those nights is a Thursday, something is suspect. Especially when you consider I live next door to the club, and the only day of the week I need to wake up early is on Friday morning…. Yeah. They hate me.

But if it was just that, we could call it a coincidence. But coincidences don’t exist in my world. Just inexcusable grudges.

Last month, while walking home, I saw the massed throngs of suit-wearing douches and black-dress wearing lolitas. I was reminded of nothing more than penguins, getting ready for their mating rituals. The women penguins wanted to show they were already capable of regurgitating food to their offspring, and had indeed been preparing for this, as evidenced by bony ribs and malnourished legs. And the male penguins wanted the women to know that they could clearly rock a suit and do the “tough guy dance” with the best of them.

Unfortunately, I stumbled upon the penguins at the wrong time. One of the women was a little quick on the trigger, and regurgitated on me, slightly ahead of schedule. The males quickly saw this, and began their alpha male posturing, dancing around me while waving their fists. “Come at me, bro!” they chanted in unison. Much like that time Jane Goodall stumbled upon a Chimpanzee snuff film, I had to beat a hasty retreat home and try and forget what I saw. I imagine the head of the nightclub, a man I imagine resembles Claw from Inspector Gadget, pet his fluffy white cat and said “Good, good,” all while watching me on closed circuit television, fleeing a horde of angry douchebags while covered in barskank puke.

I’m on to their sick little game.

Old Work

Some of the stuff on this blog has been taken from past works. I’ve been writing for a long time, and, occasionally, I have written stuff that was actually pretty funny.

So, on those days where I can’t think of anything funny or insightful to write, I just lift from my old work, change a few words here and there, and post it.

Either that, or I write stupid little justifications on why the day’s post is a repeat.

Us Vs. Them

TV appeals to the lowest common denominator, I think most of us will agree on that.  And, as of the last few years, it’s become increasingly worse.  We take average people, and we see what they’d be willing to do for their fifteen minutes and a small cash prize.

This, by the way, isnt’ truly what bothers me – there are a lot of dumb people out there, and I don’t need TV to convince me of that.  What bugs me is how popular these reality shows are.  How there is such a huge market for stupid people eating bugs.  Women competing for the attentions of some mass-market male in the fakest of “relationships”.  And so on, and so forth.

We like watching the dregs of society.  What’s the deal?

I had an idea for game show last night, just before I drifted off to sleep.  It’s called “Us… or them?”  and it’s really pretty simple.

Each episode starts off with two contestants, and each contestant begins the game with fifty thousand dollars.  During each “challenge” (and the challenges vary from fear-factor-esque bug-eating challenges, to trivia questions, to embarrassing deeds), the two contestants compete against each other – and whoever wins gets to take money from the other person’s pool, and add it to their own.  

Here’s the kick, though.  One of the contestants is a celebrity, and is working for a charity of his choosing.  Any money he earns goes towards the charity.  Naturally, this being TV, the “Celebrity” is probably someone long-forgotten, who really wants his fifteen minutes of fame back.  He’s going to do his damnedest to win some cash for those poor starving Ethiopian Vegans who are also members of PETA and believe in free-trade organic “artisanal” coffee.  

The other contestant is not a celebrity, and he gets to keep all the money for himself.  Essentially, he’s taking money that could be going to a charitable cause, and using it for personal gain.  To insure that we don’t get some guy that’s going to take a dive and let the charity get all the money, though, we’ll make sure our non-celebrity really needs the money.  In fact, we’ll frame the show by showing just how desperate “Beatrice the Methhead” is.  If we play this right, the audience could get mad at the celebrity for winning and taking the money away from Poor Beatrice, just to feed some silly Ethiopian children.  

The point of it all is, the audience watches a show where, no matter the outcome, there is no clear winner.  I want to see a TV show out there that makes the audience feel dirty.  Shamed.  

…Oh.  I forgot to mention.  The host is Bob Saget.

Competitive Showering

It occurred to me this morning, during my shower.  Competitive Showering.

Showering is boring.  You stand in an enclosed space, rubbing soap over yourself and usually thinking about random crap that’s going to happen to you in your day that you can’t possibly avoid.  If you’re the self-pleasuring type (I’m on an abstinence vow right now!  “Master of Your Own Domain” and all that cheese), you might unwind a little bit.

But generally, showering is a boring thing.

We need to jazz it up.  

I’m not sure of the rules in competitive showering.  All I know is that there’s a ball involved, there’s a three point line somewhere, there are color commentators, and that it’s not as gay as it sounds.

Well, actually, it probably is.

I quote Oppenheimer… mostly because it’s funny

I have started a war with the woman who lives next door.  

I have never seen her before, though I have heard her talk to her boyfriend as I walk past her apartment. And by “talk”, I really mean “passionately yell”. I know nothing about her beyond her voice – she might not even be a she.  But I’m pretty sure, based on her accent, that she’s french.  Or spanish.  Or maybe italian.  

In any case, she’s from one of those countries historically unable to win wars. Or remove unwanted body hair.  So it was perhaps ill-advised of her to start this little “police action” of hers, but start it she did.  And she began by cooking salmon.

It was a basic smoked salmon, and the miasma lingered in the hallway, twisting in the air every time I opened my door – a hint of the ocean, mixed with butter and a blend of herbs.  It was one of those aromas that makes you remember poolside barbecues, enjoying time spent with your family – while trying to pretend that you don’t notice that your cousin looks really hot in that bikini… to put it simply, this salmon smelled delicious, and just a little sinful.

She followed up the next day with a mystery dish that had a hint of jalapeno and heavy cheeses, a mexican fiesta… sans donkey show.  Later in the week, there was this brilliant french onion stew accompanied with actual Swiss Emmental.

Naturally, I couldn’t let such a challenge pass.  I started baking in response. 

I made the aromatic weapons of psychological culinary warfare – chocolate chip cookies one day, cinnamon muffins the next.  Since I don’t really eat the things I bake, a lot of my results were brought to work – after their delicious scent has faded a bit, of course.  My co-workers have been steadily gaining weight, to the point where we’ve had to enlarge the doors and invest in a freight elevator.

I then made a hearty chili.  Followed by a thai stir fry with enough garlic to kill a ship full of vampires.  I’ve been making a huge variety of omelets every morning. A few days ago, I wanted to make myself a southwest spinach salad, but I decided against it simply because the smell it made wasn’t strong enough.  I made a pan-seared peppered steak instead, with garlic mashed red potatoes and flash-fried broccoli.  

I’m debating buying a mini fan, and pointing it towards my front door, to better waft the scents her way.  One hundred years ago, we used to waft mustard gas over the french countryside.  These days, it’s a well-made hollandaise sauce.  

I call this progress.  

Delicious, delicious progress.  

She brought out the big guns tonight, though – fettucini alfredo, with a pepper boursin sauce.  The fact that I can smell the precise cheese she used, through the very walls, speaks to the sheer power of this woman’s cooking.  And the sheer lack of quality in my buildings walls. She is the culinary equivalent of a sherman tank.  If I want to win this battle, I’m going to have to follow in the wake of my ancestors, and bring out the weapon to end all wars.

It’s time to go nuclear.  

That’s right – it’s time to start cooking with curry.

For today I am become death, maker of samosas.

My heart is a jackhammer

Victoria. City of Coffee.

Western society is one that has been fueled by stimulants, presumably ever since the first Greek (or was he a Roman? Or a Visigoth?) discovered the miracle of fermented fruit. Love of spirits – and the capacity to overindulge – is a trait that has been passed down the human evolutionary chain. Along with vestigial pinky toes, hemophilia, and an aversion to red hair.

Now, I’m no student of history, but I can tell you this – our love of alcohol is what let the West beat the rest. The only reason we beat the Native Americans, the Africans, and the Chinese, was because we were drunker than those people. And also, you know, the Maxim gun and inhuman cruelty… but let’s stick with Alcohol as being the prime reason.

Sometime, however, in the 1950s, we realized that our love of alcohol was getting us into trouble – mostly because we were beginning to operate more heavy machinery around that time. Give a Redcoat a rifle and a mickey, and everything works out for you – worst comes to worst, and your redcoat has violently annexed a neighbour’s land. Give a forklift driver a bottle of rye, and he’s driven into shelving and crushed half your logistics staff.

Changing times, changing stimulants. Enter coffee.

Victoria is a city that always straddles two worlds, the old and the new – a college student that cannot decide whether to focus on beautiful frat boys or soulful professors. Filled with ties to the old world, the mother country, it has its share of tea houses, 1800s architecture, and a distressing number of shops that have names beginning with “Ye Olde…”. On the other hand, it’s a stone’s throw away from Vancouver, the city of constant reinvention and modernism. Hell, I’m pretty sure we even stole a bit of Vancouver’s rain.

Vancouver loves coffee, and so we want to love coffee, too. It’s only a matter of time before a street in Victoria becomes like Robson – with a Starbucks on every corner.

But we still have the old blood, and the old world love of Ye Olde Booze. But slowly, old blood is giving way to new, and even the bars now offer coffee – though maybe with a splash of Bailey’s, to remind one of what was once holy.

Some say the old ways are barbaric and awful. Me? I’m not so sure. Sure, back in the day, women couldn’t vote, we’d hang anyone who had a lazy eye, and Mario only had eight pixels, but, damn it, at least I got ketchup with my fries, and not this aioli nonsense.

It is a fact that for every three people in Victoria, there is one coffee shop. Which is, strangely, staffed by three people. I’m no mathematician, but I can tell you that simple logic suggests that every person in Victoria is a barista. This may explain the behaviour of the middle-aged man in front of me at my coffee shop yesterday. Wearing a suit that had been mended more times than Little Richard and glasses that had seen the Watergate hearings, he analyzed the work being put into his cappuccino and then, looking down at the foam, remarked simply “the foam isn’t thick enough. You should take pride in your work.”

The foam looked thick enough to me – the flies with jackhammers, trying to drill their way to the coffee beneath, would certainly agree. But this middle-aged barista disagreed, and watched dispassionately as the beleaguered barista made another cappuccino. He had to dig out a welding mask and some depleted tungsten to get the foam thick enough.

He looked like he could use a drink.