Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Foreign Beer

That's A Foreign Word. I Am Not Stupid.

Last night, I caught the Keane concert in Toronto. While there were some keen fans (had to use that awful pun), there were several suspect individuals that happened to be in the queue; their dialogue produced several Kill Me Moments®.

I'll focus on the two fiftysomething sisters (I'm being cruel) in front of me:

I can't believe Keane would play in some hole-in-the-wall in Toronto.

The Mod Club is in Little Italy.
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The Mod Club is also directly across a bar that had umbrellas emblazoned with beer logos:

Stella-- . Stella Ar-- . Stella... What does that say? Stella Ar-toe.

Give me a ledge, please.
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A cart of flags passed by the Mod Club:

-Is that England's flag?
-Yeah.


This exchange would have been all right had there actually been a cross of St. George flag on the cart. The flag these two knowledgeable Keane fans were identifying was Australia's.
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Thankfully, the music was far better.

--Czobit

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Anger

The Emotion Most Underrated

I've written about my weekends at work mostly consisting of watching sports for two seven-hour shifts. Today, the least entertaining sporting event I saw was the Queen's Plate horse race; this is an achievement for the horse race, because I also watched most of the Montreal Grand Prix. The Queen's Plate is like having sex without an orgasm; unless of course you've successfully bet on the race, then the event might be worth the minute-long yawn it induces.

I also told today that I'm critical of everything and I probably don't like anything in the world. I'm sure that's actually a compliment. When you come to work to find that a celebrity wedding is leading a newscast, how can you not be critical? When you see commercials reminding us dumb Canadians that Canada is a nice place to travel, how can you not be critical? When anger is your favourite emotion, how can you not be critical?

I can't remember the last time I wasn't angry. When I feel joy, it's not joy, it's less anger. Some might say that's a bad thing, to be so angry. Anger is a tiring emotion. When you take it on as a full-time job and pastime, anger can be exhausting. But it does have it's moments of reward.

--Czobit

Saturday, June 24, 2006

At Late

To The Remaining Readers

I hate to get philosophical. (AN ASIDE: there's nothing more annoying than listening to someone talk about his own philosophy for an indefinite period of time only to realize that he's drunk, and the tears aren't from his emotions, but from his allergy to ragweed.) But I'll get philosophical.

A couple of weeks ago I spent three days working at the Canadian Press Ontario desk, which is a step up from the lowly, disrespected and ridiculed Online desk. (AN ASIDE: At work, I overheard someone talking about how she was a journalist. Makes sense, right? You work in the Canadian Press newsroom, so you're journalist, right? No. Actually, fuck no. She isn't a journalist, she's a hack. If she was a journalist, then a person who only knows how to pump tires is a mechanic.) I think I mentioned it earlier here; I'd look it up, but even I don't read this blog any more.

Now that some time has passed since my short stint on the Ontario desk, I've had time to assess my time there. It was a failure. No mark made; nothing good to speak of today. The failed opportunity was expected. Lately, my creativity has been non-existent; I can't even fill this page on a regular basis. And when I do, it's useless drivel; another meaningless conversation.

So I blew the opportunity, what do I do about it? I could feel sorry for myself, curse myself, beat myself up about it, or I could move on. Take the failure, learn from it, fail again, learn from it, fail again, learn from it and... Someday, it won't be failure.

I had three days to do something and I did, but it wasn't enough. Hemingway wrote, "A man can be destroyed but not defeated." That has to be true. It sounds like it is.

--Czobit

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Next Post

Talking Without Saying Anything

I've reconsidered my bashing of the Edmonton Oilers throughout the playoffs. I think I should justify it. It's not the team I hate; it's the fans. Wait, that's a lie. I also hate the team.

So, that explains nothing...

The NBA finals are finished--huge ratings in Canada. Now we're down to few sport events for the summer. After July 9, the World Cup will be history and there'll only be baseball and the CFL. This might be a boring development, but it also means less work for me at my desk job.

Speaking of which, it appears I have struck a deal to take a six-week leave during my internship--the one which I still know nothing about.

--Czobit

Monday, June 19, 2006

Post-Game Post

A Time To Gloat And Act Like An Obnoxious Jackass

One question: how's the view from the bandwagon now? Not looking so rosy. But faux-fans can heed the fact that tomorrow when they wake up, Edmonton's loss tonight to Carolina for the Stanley Cup won't register. It means nothing. Memories? Ha. I wonder how many Oiler jerseys will show up on eBay tomorrow.

The game went like Edmonton's season. The Oilers weren't effective in the first 40 minutes, but made a late push in the third. But in the end, like in their season, the Oilers came up short.

The Oilers and their real fans should be proud of what was accomplished this season. They beat out great teams to make it the final and they took the eventual champion to Game Seven.

...

Ukraine wins 4-0; they need another win Friday.

...

Excuse me now, time to bathe myself in the tears of Edmonton's fans. Cheers!



--Czobit

Pre-Game Post

The Dream

Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. Edmonton. Carolina. Overtime. And the Oilers win. They celebrate, cheer. Their goalie Jussi Markkenan wears a white shirt and a cap that reads, "2006 Stanley Cup Champions." And then, the goal gets called back. Ryan Smyth was in the crease.

I wake up.

That was my dream. First, why the hell am I dreaming about the Stanley Cup Finals? It's hard getting around that. But there's a couple of problems with the dream. First, the person I identified as Markkenan was actually Jarri Kurri. I must have substituted Kurri for Markkenan because I've never seen Markkenan without his mask. Second, the crease will was abolished a few seasons ago following Brett Hull's infamous toe play in the 1999 Finals.

Third, and lastly, a 'dream' where the Edmonton Oilers win the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs is technically a nightmare.

...

Ukraine plays their second game of the World Cup in about an hour. If they lose, they go home or to their mansions in and around Europe. If they win, well, they'll still have to win another.

...

The Toronto Star's front-page has a photo of Paris Hilton at the Muchmusic Video Awards, making the Star, officially, a rag.

I'll be back after the 'Canes, I hope, raise the Cup.

--Czobit

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday Post

Up, Up and Away

It's past midnight and I'm back from the Arctic Monkeys concert at the Kool Haus. Definitely a cool show, with a solid opening band, We Are Scientists. A good time was had (common phrase). It's the second time I've seen the Monkeys, but the first time I had seen them in a small venue. The band is better in a more intimate (obvious word choice) setting.

I don't return to work until tomorrow afternoon, which means I could sleep in if I choose. I'm not sure if I will because I already feel I've wasted my summer months. The high school kids finish classes in the next few days. This of course means there are only about two months left before my classes start again.

It's like this every summer: I plan things to do and do few of them. At this point, it's all but hopeless that I'll accomplish anything before summer turns to fall. The best I can do is sit here and type these important thoughts.

... ...
... ... ...
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Oh, by the way, would Edmonton please lose Monday night? Thanks. I don't want to have to go into hiding.

--Czobit

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Post

In Minutes

One of the things I'm able to do because of my job is to watch a near unhealthy amount of sporting events. I probably watched 80 hours of the Winter Olympics at work and a bit at home. I've seen most of the NHL playoffs, parts of the NBA playoffs, and many Major League games. Sometimes, watching sports is all I can recall doing at work.

And now in the past seven days, I've watched roughly 40 hours of soccer. Some has been good, some has been awful--namely, the two hours it took for Ukraine to embarrass themselves against Spain.


...

Last week, I spent three days working on the CP Ontario desk, which was drastically different than working on the CP Online desk. I wrote two stories; one may still be floating around on the Internet; the story was heavily edited, but with my byline. It's good to have that out of my way.

...

I saw The Da Vinci Code on Tuesday. A bit too long, but I expected it to be worse. I don't remember much about the movie other than some things were changed to make the film PG-13, and Robert Langdon of the movie is not Robert Langdon of the book.

I also remember using the soap in the men's washroom. The scent was Grade 4 Vomit. The theatre must have ran out of better-scented soap.

--Czobit

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Internship Info

New But Very Little Information

I've found out that instead of the late Winter slot I had asked for, I'll be interning in the late fall.

There are pros and cons with this change, but it does mean that if the position exists, two others and I have the chance to be the first managing editor of Ryerson's news website. Oh, the excitement.

--Czobit

World Cup

Ukraine, Baby

Tomorrow, when Ukraine takes the pitch, I will be wearing my country's colours.

I hope team captain Andriy Shevchenko has fully recovered from his knee injury. And I hope Ukraine surprises Spain.



--Czobit

The Gym

Thirteen, Good Day

Went to the gym this morning and I saw this written on a whiteboard:

Kickboxing class with Ultimate Fighter "Alex" starts June 12...

First, 'kickboxing' is a bit much considering the class is more cardio than technique.

Second, 'Ultimate Fighter': do they mean like this?



I have my doubts.

Third, why is Alex in quotations? Is that an alias? A stage name? A stage name for a kickboxing class?!

Related (okay, unrelated), Slate has a story about football players that go by one name.

--Czobit

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Yearbook

Looking Up a Name

I got this email from a friend this afternoon:

Look at the list of (suspected) terrorists they busted in Toronto, and look at Asad Ansari. Check your year book (our grade), and look up his name. You will find a nice surprise.....


Undoubtedly, Asad Ansari, one of the suspects arrested, went to school with me for several years. I don't remember much about him. We had mutual friends and so, we had at least a few conversations. I do remember he was smart, but his marks could have been better; I also remember friends would joke that Asad would be a terrorist one day.

I guess some things in life are just a matter of time.

--Czobit

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Terrorist Cell

Much Ado About Something

CSIS arrests 17 people. I'm sure you've heard here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Also today, Stephen Harper said, "God bless Canada."

Is there anything more to say?

Nope. Not much from me for awhile, at least.

--Czobit

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Articles

Click Here

Acutally, there's nothing to click above, but you can click below.

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I'm in the middle of The Da Vinci Code. One of the organizations Dan Brown writes about in his novel is Opus Dei. In today's New York Times, Paul Fortunato, an Opus Dei member, contributes an op-ed piece that gives some more information about the group.
For the record, I do wear a spiked metal band on my leg for a couple of hours a day just like the movie's murderous Opus Dei numerary, Silas (that's always the first question). But I do not wear a robe, except at graduation ceremonies. I'm an English professor at a state university and am finishing a book titled "Modernist Aesthetics and Consumer Culture in the Writings of Oscar Wilde." So much for stereotypes.


No word whether Fortunato is also an albino.

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The Toronto Star's front-page today had a story about a macaque named Maggie who correctly predicted an Edmonton-Carolina Stanley Cup final. The amazing thing is that many hockey commentators predicted differently.
Maggie's picks are something less than scientific. She spins a roulette-type wheel, with the competing teams on it, to make her selections.


Spinning a wheel is the only reason a person or a macquie would pick an Edmonton-Carolina final. Edmonton has consistenly over-achieved in the playoffs, and most commentators thought that the team's play would not continue. But I've given up picking against them.

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From the Needs Mental Help file:

Plattsburgh, NY (AHN)-A Plattsburgh man is facing felony charges for allegedly striking his mother in the head with a sharp object hooked to a bicycle chain after she made a comment about "American Idol."

According to Plattsburgh City Court records, 24-year-old Cory K. Favreau was discussing the television show "American Idol" with his mother, Jan M. Chagnon, on May 24 at about 10:15 p.m.

According to the PressRepublican.com report, after Chagnon told Favreau that a particular contestant, Katharine McPhee, was going to have a successful career despite losing to another contestant, Taylor Hicks, Favreau allegedly stood up, made a malicious comment to his mother and struck her in the head with a sharpened, cross-shaped object attached to a bicycle chain.

Favreau was charged with second-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was sent to Clinton County Jail, where he was still being held Wednesday for lack of $5,000 cash bail.

Chagnon had told City Police she did not want to press charges because she said her son did not intend to hurt her. However, police can press charges themselves in cases where they feel it is warranted. He is scheduled to reappear June 5 in City Court.


Link here.

--Czobit

Thursday, June 01, 2006

NHL Playoffs

Stanley Cup Final

This season my prediction record is abysmal. But I'll give a quick stab at picking the Stanley Cup winner.

Edmonton beat Anaheim with ease in the last round, and because of that, the team might be overconfident going into the Cup final. Another thing to be considered is Dwayne Roloson in Edmonton's net. Despite playing the best hockey of his career in the first three rounds of the playoffs, Roloson is still a potential problem. I doubt whether he can continue to play beyond what he had shown to be his ability.

similarly, Carolina's goaltending situation is suspect. I don't think Cam Ward or Martin Gerber have the ability to win a Cup. But Ward has consistently proven his critics wrong.

I could go on, but I'll get to the point: Edmonton in six.

--Czobit