Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Heavy Rotation

Kanye West's sophomore effort, Late Registration, is out in stores now. Quick summary if you don't want to read anything else: Go get it.

Hip-hop has really never matured since its inception. Too many albums speak exclusively about money, drugs, cars, bitches, violence. In one respect, listening to hip-hop is like watching classic gangster movies: Scarface, Goodfellas, The Godfather -- Sometimes you like to root for the bad guy. And imagine living that kind of life: cars, women, jewelery, everything you've ever wanted. But eventually, you want to watch more than just gangster movies.

Kanye West is the breath of fresh air in the fog of monotonous rap artists. Very few artists have been able to create a unique sound, speak about more than material possesions, and gain mainstream success. Kanye has done just that.

What makes Late Registration so appealing is that Kanye is sharing his personal life with all of us. In "Roses", he shares his family's fears of losing their grandmother. In "Hey Mama", Kanye recounts his mother's role in his upbringing. The album explores his anxieties and triumphs: The story of the underdog that was always told he'd never make it, but went ahead and proved them wrong.

What's more, he does it with his usual wit and humour. From "Roses":

I asked the nurse "did you do the research?"
She ask me, "can you sign some t-shirts?"

Accompanying the lyrical content is solid Kanye West production. He wasn't joking on his first album when he says he saved all the best beats for himself. The big singles, "Diamonds from Sierra Leone", and "Golddigger" are a testament to that. You are hearing a mesh between hip-hop, gospel, live instruments, and sampling from 70's and 80's classics. It is the new hip-hop.

Nas is featured in "We Major." I've always dreamed about Nas on a Kanye West beat, but figured we would never see it because of beef between Nas and Jay-Z. Although Nas' verse isn't the strongest, the possibility of the two collaborating again is enough to get me excited.

This is the only thing I've been listening to for the past two weeks. Well, that, and Tearria Mari, but you guys don't need to know about that. Let's stay focused here -- Kanye West. Late Registration. Hot shit. Cop it now. It's the ROC!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

2 movies for the price of one!

So we go to watch The Aristocrats last night. Garbage. Absolute garbage. The last time I wanted to leave halfway through a movie was The Hulk. But now The Hulk can lay claim to the second-worst movie I've ever seen all time.

Leaving the theatre overwhelmingly unsatisfied, we look over and see that The 40 Year Old Virgin is just starting. Theatre hopping? It seems so unsavoury and dishonest. Besides, it's already late, and I have to go to work tomorrow. But we collectively felt like we took $10 each, pissed on it, shit on it, puked on it, got our dog to piss on it, then started fucking our dog while rolling around in the piss, shit and puke we just created. What do you call that? The Aristocrats ... get it? No, well neither did the entire audience. But I digress.

The 40 Year Old Virgin is the comedy of the summer. Period. Please watch this movie. I'm laughing right now as I write this, because I'm thinking back to some of the jokes.

Oh yeah, and when you go to watch the movie, skip The Aristocrats. And take the elevator down to the first floor of Paramount, instead of the escalator. Oh punk.

Monday, August 22, 2005

40 Year Old Virgin

Is this movie about Jon? Friday night was good times, but my coworker (and trusted movie critic) said that 40 Year Old Virgin was the funniest she's seen in a long time. We missed out son! Alright, now that Jon got his liquor on, we're going to watch this.

On a slightly separate topic, Ruby calls me that night at 1:00AM. WTF?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Reminisce

Do you remember Team ID, before we were called Team ID? Those were good times...

I miss (in no particular order):
  1. Watching a Raptors game, and trying to come up with the next day's newspaper headlines ... "Nets make Raps extinct" ... "Raptors cool Heat" ...
  2. Pushing triangles
  3. Getting together for "general loafting"
  4. Guaranteed attendance on Friday for "Friday dinner"
  5. Friday dinner
  6. Rob Fernandes
  7. Basketball outdoors
  8. Starcraft until 5AM
  9. Tobogganing
  10. Deflection punkage - Al: "You suck, Chin" ... Chin: "in order to deflect this punkage, Jon is gay" ...
  11. Sacrificial punkage - Al: "You suck, Chin" ... Chin: shrug ...
  12. Distraction punkage - Al: "You suck, Chin" ... Chin: "Hey look at that hottie over there ... what were we talking about?"
  13. NBA 2K2 in Chris' basement
  14. My pager - 416 SWIPEJR

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I miss my wife

I miss my wife, aka "Hopefully I can get the food stains off the wall before you come back..."

I miss you bay! I threw out all of the leftovers from the fridge. I thought Jon was coming over, and the last thing I want is that guy getting sick on account of week old leftovers. I guess it would be his own fault, but I'd still be responsible for getting him to the hospital, and he ain't worth that much effort.

I miss you a lot. I've got a picture of you as my desktop wallpaper. I hope you're having a good time. Keep taking pictures, but not of any Barbados men. That will just throw me into a jealous rage.

I'm keeping the house tidy, but have not done the following: Mopping, dusting, vacuuming, or cleaning the washroom. At least I did laundry!

I'll see you soon!

Random

Did you know that people are selling their Gmail invites on Ebay? Check it out ...

I got 50 still! I'm sitting on like $50! I even read an article that said invites were as high as $30 each at one point. What can't you sell on Ebay (and who are these people that buy this stuff anyways)?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Sunday, August 14, 2005



Pictures from the 2005 United Way Great Neighbourhood Race are available on the United Way's website. Until next year!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A week without my wife

For my wife's birthday, I bought her a plane ticket to Barbados, so she can visit her friend Marsha. She leaves this Saturday, which leaves me with the house all to myself ... for a whole week. What's a pathetic, utterly dependant husband to do?
  • Go to the laundromat and pay someone to do the laundry. Or better yet, just let it pile and wait for the wife to get back and do it herself. Hope I have enough underwear.
  • Eat Kraft EasyMac. Or Stagg Chilli, straight out of the pot. I don't need to wash it neither, cuz it's the same thing for tomorrow anyways!
  • Play video games like mad. There's no more competition for the TV. Fuck you Oprah!
  • Clean the day before my wife gets back. Nobody will be the wiser.
  • See if I can get away with going to work without showering. That means I can wake up at 8:45AM (*).
*bonus points

Hope you have a great time bay! I love you!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Poker Tourney

I held my second multi-table poker tournament on Saturday, an evening filled with the joys of Texas Hold 'Em, as well as the stress of organization. Let's reminisce, shall we?

I sent my first email 3 weeks before, and get a lukewarm response. I was scraping just to get 14 players. Begging people. To add insult to injury, Four players tell me that they can't make it ... a week before the tournament!

So now it's Saturday. I get a call from my friend Rob. "I got four more players." Then I get a call from my friend Kev. "I've got one more player, is that cool?" Then Shaun calls, and Dooch calls him a pussy. "Fuck that, fine, I'm coming." My brother calls with 2 more players, and voila, in one day I make up for the lost players and then some. 24 players, right where I wanted it.

The game was supposed to start at 7. 7:01, I have four players. 7:30, I have maybe 10 players. What's wrong with you people? we start maybe around 8:00. Sheesh.

My plan was to keep the three tables balanced throughout the night. That means that as players get busted, people have to move from one table to another. What a disaster: I have 6 people yelling at me, telling me what to do, and I'm freaking out.

Despite the stress, everyone had a great time. Suprise of the night: My wife, who held chip lead for most of the night. I can't take credit for that, she doesn't listen to anything I tell her! Not so surprising: Shaun amassing a huge chip lead, only to squander it. Reckless!

How did I do? Well, I finished second. Not bad, not bad at all. Made some new friends, and it was good to see some old ones. Already have the wheels in motion for my next tourney, probably in October.

Thanks to my wife, Joy, Sara, and whoever else cleaned up in the kitchen.

See y'all next time! Make sure you work on your game, my wife has a read on all y'all!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Simpsons Season 6

I can't wait -- Simpons season 6 is on DVD August 16. I checked out a site with a Simpsons episode guide, and some of my favourite episodes are here:

Itchy and Scratchyland: "Where nothing can possi-blie go wrong"

Bart vs. Australia: "America, Australia, America, Australia!"

Lisa's Wedding: "I met a really nice exotic dancer the other night at Hugh's bacherlor party" ... "We had one in his honor" ... "I had one in his honor" ... "I went to a stripclub".

The PTA Disbands: "Purple Monkey Dishwasher".

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Holy player movement Batman!

I love this time of the year. NBA free agents can officially sign with teams, and teams can make trades. In the first day alone, there were 15 transactions!

http://www.nba.com/transactions/current_month_transactions.html

The (c)raptors? No moves yet, other than signing their first round picks. But I'm not a bandwagon jumper, I'll see you on opening night!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Rounders ain't that good

I heard a lot of good things about Rounders, a poker movie starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton. Rounders is a poker movie + I like poker ... sounds good right? Wrong. Rounders is a horrible movie! Why?
  • Your full house 9's over Aces is nice, but you didn't think for one second that he might be holding pocket Aces?
  • Is this movie trying to tell me that breaking promises I made to my girlfriend, and lying to her, is okay? That it's right?
  • The law professor gives a speech about how we should do what is right for us. So Matt Damon should quit law school and become a degenerate gambler. Nice.
  • Why is Matt Damon leaving a girlfriend and an education to bail out his stupid friend (Norton) who racked up a gambling debt in his name? And who continues to make stupid gambling decisions?
  • You play one freaking hand against Johnny Chan, and you think you're ready to play for high stakes in Vegas?
Maybe I should have watched the movie before I learned the ins and outs of Texas Hold 'Em. From now on, if I want drama and Poker, I'll watch the World Poker Tour on TV.