Friday, February 29, 2008
A few weeks (and one post) ago, I ventured into the savage wastelands of Saskatchewan to attend a show by Matt Costa. Upon returning, I played one of his songs for my 5 year old daughter. She absolutely fell in love with it, and has now vowed to someday marry Matt Costa. After listening to the song a couple of times, she committed it to memory and spent the remainder of the weekend singing along. I had little choice but to bring out my trusty camera, and film the results. No, I'm not going soft on you. I didn't film it as a means to look back on the cuteness years from now and fondly reminisce of a time before robots took over the planet. I fully plan on exploiting my little girls talents and good looks for every penny I can. I didn't say I wasn't an asshole.
So sit back, turn the volume up, and enjoy your first peek at the futures biggest star. And years from now, when you see her on MTV, you can look back at this fondly and say "I seen her first ever performance. It was on some blog written by that guy nobody's ever heard of. I think he was a hobo. With an Internet connection". At least I hope that's what you'll say.
Okay, all together now.....AWWWWWWWWWWWW. See, I told you so.
P.S. Did you know that spellcheck suggests you capitalize the word "internet"? Did I miss the meeting where the internet became a country and/or language?
Saturday, February 23, 2008
First off, I guess I should apologize for the lack of updates the last few weeks. I should, but I won't. Fuck that. It's not like I'm getting paid for this. Get off my back already......okay, I'm sorry. I was just so busy eating Mexican Chili Chips, I couldn't make time to write. I now weigh roughly 400 lbs and have a permanent orangeish red five o'clock shadow from chip residue. It's really not a pretty picture. So what's been going on since I posted last? The only thing really worth writing about would be a little road trip I took last week. Guess where I went? If you said anywhere other than Saskatoon, you are officially a grade A fucktard. Or you can't read. But no worries. Even if you can't read, I've got some sweet video action later on in this post. And don't scroll down now and watch it. It will be completely out of context and 50% less awesome.
The first question that you should be asking yourself right now is "Why the fuck did you go to Saskatoon?" Actually the first question you're asking yourself is probably "Where the fuck is Saskatoon?". Both very good questions. Saskatoon is roughly 8 hours northwest from Winnipeg and located in the province of Saskatchewan (A province is like a state, for you Americans out there). 8 of the suckiest hours in existence, if your chauffeur is a genuine anti smoking Nazi. Now I understand that not everyone acknowledges the majesty of nicotine. I can handle that. What I can't handle is being told we can only pull over twice in an 8 hour span so I could freeze my ass off on the side of the road while I slowly kill myself with tasty, tasty carcinogens. It takes me 5 fucking minutes to hot drag a cigarette. What the fuck!?!?! Now don't get me wrong. I was very appreciative for the ride, but come on. Three extra stops would have added a measly 15 minutes to our trip. Apparently this was too much for the anti smoking Nazi. I think she was just trying to be a bitch, something she excels at (Hi Marlee).
My journey to Saskatoon happened due to the fact that my brother from another mother (or my bro from anotha ho, if you want to be all gangsta about it) decided to settle down there with his very cool girlfriend. I never thought my buddy would find a girl that could put up with his bullshit, but this one is made for him. They make a very good (albeit fucked up) pair. And I mean that in a good way. I love my buddy like family, but if I had a vagina, I would slap him at least 16 times a day. That's just who he is, and I hope he never changes.
So the bags were packed (mostly Jack Daniels and condoms), and we were on our way. Here, without further ado... is my review... of Saskatoon...That rhyming scheme would have worked out much nicer if the city was called Saskatoo.
Matt Costa AND roadside drunken wrestling? The trip had just started, and it was already epic.
5 out of 5 old Johnny Cash songs
For some reason, we only ate junk on this trip. More money for booze that way I guess. So I can't base this rating on any fine dining establishments. The best meal I ate while in Saskatoon was actually some homemade lasagna at my buddy's place. His girlfriend's lasagna gets 5 stars. But the chances of any of you getting to enjoy Nikki's lasagna while you're in Saskatoon is fairly slim, so I'll keep my rating based on the food we enjoyed while out of the house. The best meal I had while out of the house were some nachos at a local pub. They were good fucking nachos, utilizing some kind of beefsteak chunks instead of the standard crumbled beef. Mmmmmm. Other than that, we ate greasy franchised portions of dead animals.
But there is one thing that I cannot forgive, no matter how hard I try. One thing that still makes me angry when I think about it. You ever have a craving for a shitty taco? You know there is no nutritional value whatsoever, and its probably just going to make you feel sick, but who cares. Sometimes the situation calls for a shitty 99 cent taco. Well good luck in Saskatoon. There is not a single Taco Bell anywhere to be found. The horizon is dotted with naught but TacoTime.
Fuck TacoTime. If anything could make Taco Bell taste like a 4 star gourmet restaurant, its fucking TacoTime. If you've never had the pleasure, let me paint you a picture. Imagine if you took a baby's shitty diarrhea diaper, rolled it into the shape of a taco, and then firmly wedged it into the fatty folds of a syphilitic sumo wrestler to warm it up. THAT would taste like fucking heaven compared to TacoTime. Fuck TacoTime.
1 out of 5 horrible taco restaurants
Now before you get all up in arms and angry, I assure you the dogs were fairly compensated with belly rubs and scratches behind the ears. We all got what we wanted. The hardest part was actually trying to stop the (male) dogs from fucking long enough to duke it out a bit. So what would you have rather seen? Some friendly dogfighting, or some hardcore gay bestiality? I thought so.
4 out of 5 homosexual mutts
Section 5: Accommodations
This isn't really that applicable, but I need 5 sections, dammit. 4 sections would totally fuck with the flow of this post, if there is a flow. I choose to believe there is, so you get this bonus section. I spent the weekend crashing on my buddy's couch. It wasn't a feather top mattress by any means, but it was actually really comfy, especially after a bottle of Jack. My roommates for the weekend were all great, and I wouldn't have been happier if I had stayed in a 5 star hotel. Plus, I snore like a motherfucker, and no one complained at all, so I didn't have to feel bad about that. And it was free, so again, more booze money. One hell of a nice stay.
5 out of 5 obscure Saskatchewan references
Saskatoon is like a poor man's Winnipeg. And that's fucking sad. Can't say I really have a ton of affection for the town. I mean, its okay, but just okay is not worth an 8 hour fucking drive (almost smoke free dammit). You know what is worth an 8 hour drive? Spending the weekend with a really good friend who I don't get to see nearly enough. For that alone I award Saskatchewan
24 out of 25 warm fuzzy moments
It would have been 25 out of 25, but I can't forgive TacoTime.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Let me tell you a story. A story, at its heart, about how a huge corporation can take the dreams of the little people, and dash them so easily and forcefully against the cold, hard ground. A story about deceit, outrage, and regret. A story about life. This, my friends, is the story of Old Dutch and the Mexican Chili Chips.
The early 90s were a happy, carefree time for many. Grunge music was all the rage, snap bracelets were flying off the shelves in record numbers (who else remembers these?) and everything was painted in bright neon shades of pink, yellow and green. It truely was a Utopia of tastelessness. I was also "coming of age" during this period. You know what I mean. Drinking my first beer, kissing my first girl, participating in my first circle jerk........wait, strike that last one....please. So maybe I have a bit of a glamourized picture of that era in my mind. Doesn't everybody feel that way about their "coming of age". Well, maybe not if you were a total loser, but why would you bring that up? That's just not nice. A lot of people can tell you in vivid detail about their first love, the person they lost their virginity to, or maybe the first time they smoked pot. I can tell you about the first time I tried Mexican Chili chips.
It was a warm summer day in Southern Manitoba. The temperature was a balmy 28 degrees Celcius (doesn't mean anything to you? Learn the fucking metric system already) and I was waiting in line at my local corner store. It was lunch time, and I was doing what all kids in my small town did. Spending my lunch money on candy and all other things that weren't good for me. The corner store was only a few blocks from school, and so it was far too easy to indulge in this habit. I was trying to decide whether I should go for a big bag of penny candy, or if it was more of a Snickers type of day. This is the type of decsion that can make or break your afternoon if you're 11. Ofcourse I was going to get some gummi bears, that was a given. Here's a fun trick for any school age kids that might read this: Suck on a gummi bear and then throw it straight up into the air right over your teacher's desk. It will stick to the ceiling for between 10 minutes and an hour, at which point it will lose its hold, plummet and land on your teacher's desk, or better yet, in your teacher's hair. That never got old. A little riskier, but well worth the effort was to suck on a gummi bear and then put it on your teacher's chair right before they entered the room. About 1 time in 10, they would sit down without noticing. The next time they got up to write on the chalkboard, you would be treated to a view of a gummi bear plastered to the teacher's ass. Cue the giggles from the back of the room.
So gummi bears were a must, but what else? Out of the corner of my eye I noticed the chip rack. But not just the chip rack. I noticed something different about the chip rack. A different color scheme seemed to be popping out from the bottom corner. I moved in to investigate. Sure enough, there was a new flavor. Now I don't know about you, but a new chip flavor (or soda flavor) is a reason to celebrate. The results might taste like refried shit, but the experience of trying these wacky new flavors is a MUST. Take for instance Chocolate Cherry Diet Dr. Pepper. What the fuck, right? Those are flavors that should not be mixed in carbonated beverage form. And sure enough, it tastes like absolute hell. But the first time I noticed it in my local store, I immedietely had to throw a box of it into my cart. How can I continue on with my life, knowing that Chocolate Cherry Diet Dr. Pepper is out there, but I don't have the balls to try it? That, friends, is just not living.
I grasped the bag and slowly read the name. Old Dutch Mexican Chili flavored. Who knew that 5 little words would have such an impact on the next 15 years of my life. It was a defining moment, to be sure. The unopened bag held so much promise. Here was a flavor that my taste buds had no knowledge of. I knew what a Snickers bar tasted like, but this, this could be anything. I really had no other option. My turn at the register arrived and I easily parted with my lunch money. Now I can't be sure, but I think the sun was shining just a little brighter when I exited the store. I choose to remember it that way regardless. Just try and stop me.
I couldn't have been more than 2 steps outside of the store when I ripped the bag open. My nostrils were immedietly assaulted by a strong chili odor. And I mean Liza Minelli on testosterone pills strong. You don't want to fuck with that. I am a man that loves his spicy food, so this smelled like heaven to me. I slowly lifted a solitary chip to my mouth and lovingly placed it on my tongue, not unlike a hit of grade A acid. My tastebuds exploded in a frenzied orgy of flavor sensation. While my vocabulary may paint an eloquent picture of this first experience, I think my actual thought at the time was something along the lines of "FUCK THAT'S GOOD SHIT". By the time I strolled back into the school, my bag was empty and I had a new favorite potato chip.
And all was well, for a time. But then, the impossible happened. Mexican Chili chips became harder and harder to find. Some stores just stopped stocking them altogether. When I was lucky enough to find them, I would buy as many as I could, in a vain attempt to stock up and avoid what I knew was coming. The complete discontinuation of the greatest potato chip ever made. And sure enough, that's what happened. I can't remember the last time I had them, because I didn't think it would be the last time. If I had known, I would have comitted the moment to memory (this is the regret part of the story). I wanted to write an angry letter to Old Dutch, but I was too busy being sticky and smoking behind the tool shed, like all 12 year old boys. How could you do this to me Old Dutch? If you were just going to take them away, why did you even bother in the first place. Is it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all? FUCK NO. Loss hurts. Obliviousness is painless at best. Damn you to hell, Old Dutch.
A few years later they released a flavor called "Southwestern Spice". It had essentially the same taste as Mexican Chili, but was not rippled. The ripple makes the chip. Old Dutch was just teasing me, as if they hadn't already done enough. Oh and there was no racist caricature of a lazy mexican wearing a sombrero on the bag. Ah, Corporate Racism.
And then some years went by. And some more. And nothing really important happened. Life was breezing by with no direction. Every now and then a conversation was shared with someone else who "got it".
"Hey, you remember those mexican chili chips? Those were awesome. Whatever happened to those?"
I'll tell you what happened. Old Dutch is fucking satan in corporate form is what happened.
But the rumblings persisted. People still talked about these chips, even after 10 years. Surely that meant something, right? Old Dutch continued to be apathetic. I was ready to stage a sneak attack on their mascot, but they don't really have one. What the fuck? Unless you count the windmill on their packaging, but how was I to attack a windmill? And wouldn't that cross the line from "playful" crazy", to "slinging my own shit like a monkey" crazy? I'd rather not cross that line, thanks.
And then, a couple of weeks ago, I received an interesting piece of news. Mexican Chili Chips were coming back. After all these years. I could barely contain my excitement, but at the same time, was worried. Would they fuck with the formula? Would they be rippless? This was Potato Chip Satan we're talking about, so they were bound to do anything. I could live without my favorite chip, but would I be able to live with the sullying of its good memory? I wouldn't have to wait long to find out because apparently they were going to be on shelves the first week of February.
And sure enough, there it was....
While the bag was slightly different, they immedietly got two things right. They are rippled (thank fucking christ) and the lazy mexican is firmly in place. Beautiful. I bought two bags and got the hell out of there.
Safely back at my apartment, I ripped open the bag. You see, I was afraid that if I tried these chips in public, the awsomeness would immedietly cause me to blow a load in my pants. This wouldn't do at all, so I waited until I got home. That's just common sense. It was a good thing I waited, because the smell was EXACTLY the same as I remembered. Bright heavenly light may have even poured out of the bag upon opening, although admittingly, I am a little hazy on that part. I was too busy reliving my coming of age, all thanks to the smell of Mexican Chili Chips.
I slowly lifted a chip out of the bag and looked at it for what was probably 5 seconds, but felt like 5 minutes. Here goes nothing....
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like for your tongue to have an orgasm? Well bow down before me, because I now know how that feels. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM....SO FUCKING GOOD. Imagine the best sex you EVER had. Then multiply that by a hundred. Well, the chips not that good, but you get my point. Old Dutch has redeemed themselves. The chips taste ALMOST the same. The only real difference is that they seem to be spicier now. Maybe tastebuds in the future need a little more punch in their potato chips. A friend and fellow Mexican chili chip coinesseur had a quick fix for that though. Dip them in sour cream. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. God, I'm going to be in one of those little gocarts for fat people before you know it.
It seems some stories do have happy endings. Unless Old Dutch discontinues these chips again. If that happens, I will immedietly destroy the first windmill I see. Mark my words. In the meantime, you'll have to excuse me. I have to go roll around naked on a pile of Mexican Chili Chips.
Fuck, I can't wait to see the google hits I get from the title of this post....
Friday, February 1, 2008
See that new box over there under my picture? I know its not sized properly, but HTML is an asshole. The folks over at The Rising Blogger (http://therisingblogger.blogspot.com ) have been kind enough to bestow upon me the honor of "Post of the Day" for my Burger King rant. Now I'm not sure how many people get nominated for these things, but I choose to believe it is THOUSANDS, and I came out on top. Prove me wrong.
Click on that link to check out their site and leave a comment. There's a lot of cool blogs getting pimped (including mine!) so I'm sure you'll find something to interest you.
Now if I could only figure out why none of my hats will fit anymore...
I'm sorry, but I have to start off with some bad news today. I sad to report that my "grandpa" passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. But you know what they say: "If you don't keep your mouth shut, you can't expect to not have your testicles hooked up to a car battery". He's in a better place now.
I'm glad that's out of the way. On with the show. This is (as the title suggests) my quest for gremlins. Now if you're thinking "Gremlins aren't real, what the hell is this guy trying to prove?", you obviously didn't read my earlier post. Next time you should do your homework. If you haven't read this yet (http://mindlessdiversions.blogspot.com/2008/01/i-have-gremlin-envy.html), you MUST not continue. Go and read it now. I'll save your place in line. For anyone else here's a picture to get you in the mood.
All done? Stupid, right? Now imagine if I kept that shit bottled up inside my head. We're all better off this way, trust me. This is my quest for a DVD copy of the movie Gremlins. The movie filmed by god himself and handed down for us mere mortals to enjoy. God's a great guy like that. If you had read my earlier post, you would also know that I have, what some may call, an "unhealthy" obsession with Gremlins. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that I would happily drift off to sleep every night, balls deep inside a Gizmo doll if it was socially acceptable to do so. As it is not, my fantasy remains a pipe dream. Someday Gizmo...someday. Wow, two testicle references in the first few paragraphs. I've got to pace myself.
So here is the problem. Gremlins = awesome. Kris's DVD shelf = no Gremlins. Pretty simple problem, and one that is easily rectified, no? So you would think. But as with all aspects of my life, my arch nemesis (public transportation) would rear its ugly head. As you may or may not know, I am currently without wheels. It is a long and sordid tale, that I will save for another time. For now all you need to know is that I ride the bus. And the bus hates me. Luckily, this quest would not require a bus, as I live within a 10 minute walk to both a large video store, and a large department store. Convenience, your name is city living. I had happened to spy a copy of Gremlins at the video store only a few weeks before and so thought this would be the place to start, and hopefully finish. Run to the video store, purchase Gremlins, retreat back to my cave to watch Gremlins. Short and sweet.
The only thing worrying me at that moment was the weather. The weather update on my computer told me that with windchill, the temperature was hovering around MINUS 40 DEGREES CELCIUS. That is a statement that can only be typed in all caps. I probably should have just stayed in my apartment, but the pull of Gizmo and Stripe and Phoebe Cates was far too strong. I wrapped a scarf around my face and boldly strode (strided?) outside to face my destiny.
Remember when I said that the walk was only 10 minutes? Well even though it was only 10 minutes, I looked like an arctic explorer by the time I got to the video store. Icicles in my goatee and everything. You know what feels really good? Feeling your nose hairs freeze together into one mighty nose hair. I know I live in Canada, but come the fuck on. But it would be worth it. I was only a few minutes away from clutching Gremlins tightly to my chest and exhaling the sigh of a pre-pubecent teenage girl with a crush on her history teacher. Descriptive, right?
I walk into the video store and strut confidently towards the appropriate rack. An occasion for Gremlins is an occasion to strut. Remember that. I scan the rack, but somethings missing. I can't see the angelic glow that usually surrounds every movie rack containing Gremlins. What the hell? I walk indignetly over to the clerk to demand answers.
Excuse me fine sir, but there seems to be a problem with your DVD selection
Clerk: What would that be?
You don't have any copies of the greatest movie ever made is all.
Clerk: What are you talking about? There are tons of copies of Titanic over there.
Whoa whoa there buddy. There's no call for that kind of fucking language! Just sell me a copy of Gremlins and I'll be on my way.
Clerk: What's a Gremlin?
Okay, in the interest of staying out of jail, I'm going to forget you said that. Please just let me give you some money, you can give me Gremlins and we all win.
At this point the clerk clearly thinks I'm insane, but I don't care. There's too much at stake to worry about public perception. He shuffles over to his computer and slowly types it in.
Clerk: Nope, sorry. We're sold out.
You can't be serious. I froze my balls off (that's three, folks) coming here, and I'm going to leave empty handed? That is unacceptable, and I will never return to your piece of shit store again!
Clerk: Oh come on. Don't be like that.
Okay, I'll probably be back, but I feel the need to be indignant right now. Is that cool with you?
I'm glad we agree. Good day to you sir.
And with that I took my leave. Not so successfully, but I think I proved my point. Whatever that might have been. Swing and a miss. Luckily, there was a department store right across the street. Surely in a large department store, there would have Gremlins. Right? Right? Before you answer, you should know that this wasn't any department store. This was fucking Zellers. If you don't know about Zellers, imagine a Walmart, but not as classy. That's Zellers.
I ran across 6 lanes of busy traffic, without thinking twice. The store was going to close in the next 10 minutes. I had no time to wait for the lights to change. Fuck it. I can still watch Gremlins from a wheelchair. I dodged car after car and miraculously made it in one piece. Things were starting to go my way. I entered Zellers, put my Gremlins strut back into use, and made my way to Electronics.
It became apparent very quickly that Zellers did not believe in the value of organized shelf stocking. The place was like a fucking war zone of clearance priced ugly sweaters and discount, no name everything. The DVDs were organized in no clear way that any sane person could have devised. It was like they handed six drunk toddlers stacks of movies and told them to "have at it". This was going to require the help of a cashier.
Hey buddy, I know you're about to close, but I could use your help.
Clerk 2: Sure thing. What can I help you find?
I really need a copy of Gremlins, and I need it tonight. I can't stress how important this is.
Clerk 2: Hmmmmmmmm..........hmmmmmmmmmmm......hmmmmmmmmm
Clerk 2: Did you look in the DVD section?
What? Well...no, not really, but its a fucking mess dude. I figured you could just save us the time and check it out on your computer. You know, tell me if you have any in stock. Because if I start blindly searching through that mess, we're going to be here for a long time. And I don't know about you, but I didn't bring my sleeping bag.
Clerk 2: What are you talking about?
Nothing at all. Can you search your computer for Gremlins please.
Clerk 2: No
........................................................................What the fuck do you mean, no? Aren't you here to make sure my shopping experience at Zellers is top notch?
Clerk 2: What I mean is, we don't have that capability on our computer system.
So you can't tell me what DVDs you sell? You do sell DVDs right? How can your computer system not do the most basic thing imaginable? Why am I asking you so many questions when we both know you're not going to be able to answer them anyway?
Clerk 2: Sir, if you would be so kind as to take your purchases to the front counter, the store is about to close.
WHAT PURCHASES?!?!?! You won't help me find what I want to purchase. I want to see the manager.
Clerk 2: I am the manager
You're like 16 years old though. What the fuck? Let me guess, you personally organized the DVD shelves, right? Don't answer that, please. I'm just going to go.
Clerk 2: Thanks for choosing Zellers!
I walked slowly to the exit, wondering if the automatic doors would even register my presence, since my very soul had just been wrenched from my body and shattered on the floor, like so much cheap, ugly Zellers merchandise. I hung my head and left, in a much less jovial mood than when I had arrived. It's moments like these when I really need some sound effects in my life. Don't you wish your life had a soundtrack? Think of it. When I left that store, all I could hear was the slow, meloncholy rhythms of REM's "Everybody Hurts". A tad melodramtic maybe, but appropriate nonetheless.
I shuffled along the sidewalk, back to my apartment, when I spotted something that gave me hope. But at the same time, filled me with horrible dread. The bus stop. Seeing that bus stop sparked some knowledge in my near frozen brain. By god, there's a Blockbuster Video not 10 blocks from here. I could easily take the bus there, and they HAVE to have Gremlins. It's Blockbuster law. This might actually work! I congratulated myself for a well thought out plan. Now all I have to do is wait for the bus to show up. Sure, I'm getting frostbite, but the bus is bound to get here soon. Right? Right?
So I waited......
And I waited.....
And just for fun, I waited a bit more.
Fuck. It was about 40 minutes into my wait for the bus (in sub Arctic temperatures remember), that I cried "uncle". I couldn't stands no more. My toes were probably turning black inside my shoes, and I needed to get to some warm, but fast. I headed home, defeated at last. As I was rounding the corner (about 5 minutes from the bus stop) I seen something that caused an uncouth comment to spring forth from my mouth. The goddamn bus was driving past me. Have you ever seen someone shake their fist at a bus, while they screamed "fucking cuntrag" after it? I'm sure someone got a laugh out of it, but I was not amused. No amount of running and waving was going to bring this bus to a halt, and the bus stop was too far away to make it in time. I gave up the chase, doubled over and fought to catch my breath. Winter is not a friendly time for smokers, no matter how you look at it.
Fuck it, I thought. I'm going home. I'll just order the son of a bitch off of Ebay.
And I did.