Thursday, March 19, 2015

TV Theme Songs

Something about TV theme songs really appeal to me. It might be because they're short, usually have memorable lyrics, and conjure up whatever good feelings I might have associated with the show. Bojack Horseman (on Netflix) features an instrumental opening that is currently buzzing through my brain. Here's an extended version:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

This Headline


A number of days ago, this headline had me laughing every time I thought about it. Even without any context or knowing what the rest of the story is about, it just sums up what a couple of 12-year-old boys would come up with on a hot summer afternoon and it somehow becomes news.

Intentionally or not, it also has the cadence of a headline from The Onion.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Excerpt from Chapter 12 – Why Couldn't It Have Been Tequila?

The text below is from a novel in progress. First draft so there's still plenty of editing that will need to be done before it's "ready."
“This leak, Roy, you gotta do something with it,” his mechanic had told him. “I know you keep topping it up but that ain't gonna keep you going for much longer. I'll give you a break on the labour. Or how about you pay me in instalments?”
Roy cocked his head, winked at the mechanic. “I'll be just fine, mon amis. Not to worry.”
As he leaped out of the car to snap the hood open and restart the car with force of will and a wave of profanity, Aloysious muttered, “I knew we should have stopped at that last gas station to get some water.”

A large semi-trailer zoomed passed them and the pair were left in an eerie wake of silence.

Well, silence as allowed by Roy's incredible barrage of profanity.

It was close enough to noon for the sun to be almost directly overhead. And it was hot. Not the kind of swimming humidity of Toronto, but hot. Baking hot. Humidity or not, suddenly stranded in a desert wasn't how Aloysious thought this trip was going to end. Maybe something spectacular, like a blood-red mushroom cloud and a shockwave of energy blasting out nearby windows, but not this.

“Mechanic told you to get that leak fixed,” Aloysious reminded him, unnecessarily.

Roy paused. “You want to try doin' something useful, boy?” He shouted. “Get up on the road and get us a ride to the next gas station. Tow truck or something, maybe.” He trailed off, popped the hood, and strode out to bellow at the engine block.

Aloysious stowed the camera in the trunk, next to a stack of Reds. His eyes narrowed just slightly.

He peeled off some of the plastic wrap and pulled out a six pack.

There was a muffled, “What the hell, boy?” from the front seat of the car as Aloysious snapped open a can.

“Maybe this'll help,” Aloysious said. “Get the camera ready, I guess. Maybe I can get us outta this with some Red power.”

Roy stood beside the car now, looking at Aloysious. “Leave the naming and catchphrases to me. Red power? What the hell. That's almost as lame as Shazam.”

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Little from Chapter 9: Things Begin Horribly Wrong

The text below is from a novel in progress. First draft so there's still plenty of editing that will need to be done before it's "ready."

It was like some kind of spilled gold that coated his mouth, his throat; he could feel his skin begin to unfurl. The basement lit up and Aloysious could see the skeletons of Sal and the Raspy Man; he could see beyond the walls and floor and saw more bones tangled together. Amid the sudden cool power of being three cans in, there were voices twisted together. Cries of pain, anguish. Sobbing.

Aloysious dropped the empty can.

The walls started crumbling and something cracked along the floor. The bones started vibrating.

Through a veil of mist Aloysious missed the finer points of what happened next, especially every fax machine, cell phone, television, and computer within a twenty kilometer radius spewing out an address. Even car radios were affected. A reassuring feminine voice intoned the address over and over, no matter what station was playing. He also missed the skeletons reassembling themselves and pushing aside poured concrete like a shower curtain and climbing from the earth like voles. The past victims of Raspy Man and Sal grabbed hold of the stunned pair and dragged them to the main yard.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dad Tip #31

The best way to embarrass your teenage daughter will take some planning and possibly aerobic exercise.

The first step is to learn what music she listens to and memorize the lyrics, especially the refrain because those are the moments you'll want to sing loudest.

It's especially relevant to note that volume is of higher priority that being able to carry a tune or knowing every single word to the song. In fact, it might be best to intentionally make up some phrases that are close enough to the words to sound correct but are completely wrong. Or random insertions of "LA, La!" and clapping.

This should bring about an embarrassment level of a 6 out of 10. You know, for those times when you're driving your daughter and a group of her friends to a movie or soccer game or wherever. Whatever song comes on the radio you must be ready!

For true mastery, you'll need some space to execute specific dance moves that more or less (go for "less") ape the dance moves from the video as you sing loudly to a song that you only know 3/4 of lyrics to. This is where the aerobic exercise comes into play.

If you've ever wanted to see your daughter actually phase-shift to another dimension -- dimension 22 where there is no Time and only Embarrassment exists -- a properly executed (i.e. fumbled) dance routine in time to the latest Miley Cyrus tune (or whatever tunes your daughter enjoys) will allow that kind of inter-dimensional travel.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Compost

After Esi Edugyan's "Half-Blood Blues" I've started reading a book about composting.

Really, it's a logical leap. After the experiences of a group of black musicians trying to wade through Nazi Germany, why not read up on a composting method seemingly popularized in Japan that uses fermentation to create compost rather than piling the organics in an aerobic mix that may or may not result in compost months later?

"Bokashi" composting... well, it actually has my interest piqued. And it sounds so simple. At least on the face of it. Plus, we may actually be able to use some of the massive 50lb bag of bran that we inexplicably wound up with over the weekend.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Before we call the meeting to order, I'd like to bring your attention to the whiteboard. I hope that by following these basic principles we'll have a civil meeting. I won't pretend that I don't feel the animosity in this room but there are many items on our agenda that need to be reviewed and we only have two hours. Squabbling and pettiness, have no place in this acronym as you see.

First "R." The "R" is for Respect. In part, respect is defined as "the condition of being esteemed or honoured." And there's been some amount of ink spilled about respect being earned rather than given but this meeting will go much smoother if we give each other some respect. We don't have time to earn it this time, but you will have my respect if you provide some for your fellow Council members.

The first "E" stands for "Energy." We need to exude positive energy. Without some positivity, our judgement may be clouded by personal grudges. With that positive energy we have to make sure the rest of the owners are being served in the best way possible.

Now the letter "S" which our comic book friend from Krypton wore so proudly, stands for "Spaghetti" because I couldn't think of anything that fit with this acronym or whatever this thing is called. A mnemonic, perhaps?

"P" is for "Pleasure," pure and simple. That's what we will all gain from this meeting should we stick to these principles. I mean aside, from "spaghetti" because spaghetti isn't so much a principle as it is a delicious pasta dish.

The second "E" is excitement. The moment we leave this meeting, we should all be excited for the possibilities of the future, the potential opportunities your decisions will lead to. A better tomorrow? Well beyond that! It will be a better month, a better year.

Join with me in Clapping for the letter "C." If someone makes a good point, offers respect to another council member or just feels happy show your approval with a round of applause. Let's bring Tinkerbell back to life with our affirming and polite clapping!

Lastly but maybe most importantly, we should all keep in mind, "T." Without this letter we will be here all night trying to move through this agenda. I want to keep things Tight. Like comedy, timing is everything and without a tight and wary eye on the clock, this meeting has all the potential to descend into tragedy, particularly if we do not heed this acronym: RESPECT!

Now, the time is 7:05, the meeting is called to order.