Friday, February 03, 2006

Classic Michael Appleby

Right now there is only one thing that I want to ask you

And the telephone is an atlas and an encyclopedia away.
And I don’t want to say this room reeks of loneliness because that would be too desperate.
And I want to tell you that all I smell right now is jasmine from the incense burning atop my bookshelves and when I shamble by them I am really burying myself deep in the mess of hair atop your head and looking for a suitable spot where I can sleep.
And I want to tell you that John Coltrane is playing “Blue Train” and it’s still upbeat and lively in here while his saxophone tumbles down notes that disappear, fall from their longitudinals, dropping out of sight
And it’s all so lovely because the bass strings your skin and I am the bass player and I’m thumping along, keeping up clumsily, dreaming I’m playing you, strumming you; find a rhythm and slither down in heat, beat, push pulses down to the tips of our toes.

Do you dance?
I want to ask.

And I’m tired of being maudlin, it’s one of the worst drug habits a junky like me can ever hope to find; prop your head up against a fire hydrant, drunk, throw out your love blithely and hope that some of it comes back to you.
And the operative wish right now is that I will find you in bed with me in the morning and it’s the operative wish because I know that when I wake up I won’t wish I was somewhere else and I won’t wish I hadn’t just finished making a mistake.
And I want to tell you that all I want is to find that right thing, the thing that feels right, the thing that doesn’t fill me with regret, the thing that just is because it was meant to be. That’s some thing.
And I don’t even know if you could listen to this music or read these words or smell this smell, walk these paces, trace this face, know my name and fall into it
And I want to get up to walk across the world in 276 pages, across the accumulated knowledge of species summed up tidily in 26 volumes I never have the patience to read.
And I want to get up.
And I want to get up
And get to that phone and dial your number and even if it’s really late and I have to wake you up for art.
And even if it’s really late and I have to wake you up for art I still want to ask you for a dance because the drum rolls through “Locomotion” and it’s calling me and I’d like to believe it’s calling you.
And I’m still in my house-slippers and it’s okay. I’m still in a bathrobe and that’s just fine. I’m still waking up as an antithesis to the rest of the sane little world.
And the atlas makes the world seem like a great big place. 276 pages big.
And the encyclopedia is huge, it’s everything that we know.
And if I could just get up right now I know I could walk past it all to call you and ask:

Do you dance?

And there are cabbies who are practically bedding down in their taxis tonight; it’s getting late.
And somewhere far off I can imagine the midnight janitors mopping away wolf whistles, black sky in copier toner; picking up the pages of the written words tossed confetti down the linoleum hallways of our workaday world.
And the incense is burning down to thin stick; the ashes are accumulating.
And I wish that tomorrow wasn’t a part of the financial scheme.
And I wish that “Lazy Bird” drifted along ad infinitum.
And it was you and me and these dying snare drum hits that roil against death, sound out.
And it was you and me and the tumbling and the ease and I want to ask you, if you please:

Do you dance?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Four Things

Since it would appear that I've been tagged by Adam in a recent post to his blog I guess that means I'm it...

Four Jobs I've Had
1. Labourer in a soft drink bottling plant. We bottled mostly store brand soft drinks. Mostly I ran machines that either prepped bottles and cans for filling or machines that packaged full bottles and cans for shipping.
2. Labourer in a juice bottling plant. It was the same company that owned the soft drink plant. In this factory, though, I had a chance to run every machine on their assembly lines at least once. Most of the time, though, I worked as a filler operator. That's the machine that actually puts the juice into the bottles.
3. Sales associate at Mark's Work Wearhouse. Retail is a thankless environment in which to work.
4. Manager in a small-time casino. Probably one of the most colorful jobs a person can have. Long hours and lots of interesting stories.

Four Movies I Can Watch Over And Over
1. Fight Club
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
3. 40-Year-Old Virgin
4. Garden State

Four Places Where I Have Lived
1. New Sarepta, Alberta
2. Edmonton, Alberta
3. Right Here
4. Right Here

Four TV Shows I Love To Watch
1. Trailer Park Boys
2. The Daily Show
3. The Simpsons
4. The Family Guy

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation
1. Vernon, B.C.
2. Banff, Alberta
3. Toronto, Ontario
4. Calgary, Alberta

Four Of My Favorite Dishes
1. A well-done steak with garlic mashed potatoes
2. Chicken and mushroom fettuccine with baked mozzarella on top
3. A hamburger and french fries
4. Spaghetti and meatballs

Four Websites I Visit Daily
1. Fark
2. Something Awful
3. The Raving Poets Forums
4. Tool Army

Four Books I Wouldn't Be The Same Person Without
1. Fight Club
2. House Of Leaves
3. The Age Of Spiritual Machines
4. The 52nd Poem

Four Places Where I Would Rather Be Right Now
1. In bed
2. In the Rutherford Library
3. Somewhere in the Rockies
4. Toronto

Four Songs I'm Currently Digging Right Now
1. "Heard 'em Say" by: Kanye West featuring Adam Levine
2. "Wake Up" by: The Arcade Fire
3. "Question" by: System of a Down
4. "Helena" by: My Chemical Romance

There's A Black Market For Everything

Just too weird.

Clicking the link above will reveal a story about a recent cheese bust in rural California. No, that isn't a typo. They were producing cheese illegally on said ranch and they got busted. What's more is that it was bathtub cheese and after production it appears that the plan was to sell it.

I know. I know. What the fuck is wrong with the world when a man can't make a batch of bathtub cheese legally?

But seriously, are there really people who go shopping for this shit?

Hmmmmm...let's see. There's a nice gouda, but nah. I'm just not in the mood. I need something that's going to go well with this Merlot. Brie? I don't think so. Limburger? Closer, but not quite. Hey wait, I know. Say Doug, do you have any of that cheese you made in your bathtub illegally last night? I know that it sounds weird being made in some bathtub where your naked hairy ass parks itself in tepid bathwater most nights and all, but goddamned if that doesn't sound delish right now!

Obviously, somebody has to be buying it. You don't just decide to start making bathtub cheese on a crazy whim. There had to be a demand for it, a black market, if you will, since apparently bathtub cheese is illegal. What I want to know is who the fuck are these people?

Think about it. Cheese isn't exactly some kind of luxury that only the rich can afford. Average people buy cheese all the time. So it's not like these people buy the bathtub cheese because they don't have enough money for non-hairy-ass-in-tepid-bathwater cheese. These are people who are probably buying it knowing full well that somebody washed testicles in the same vessel the cheese was prepared in. Somebody probably masturbated into a damp washcloth. But damned if that cheese doesn't taste like a million bucks.

Also, with regards to the busting of the perpetrators behind this most heinous crime, how much of the police resources were expended on this case? The people who were making the cheese are monsters of the highest calibre, obviously, so I hope that the police were able to gather enough evidence and dig up enough dirt to throw the book at these people. I can almost picture it now. All these undercover cops staking out the ranch round the clock, watching, waiting, ready to spring into action as soon as that first wheel of pungent bath-ass cheese is being loaded onto a delivery truck.

All this, of course, while another delivery truck is carrying tons of uncut cocaine on its way to Los Angeles stops to refuel at the gas station behind them.

But fear not, innocent public, we'll get those cheese-mongers.

I'm not saying that it was a gigantic waste of time to harass peddlers of illegal cheese. I'm not saying that the resources spent on busting the culprits could have been used for loftier goals. I'm not even saying, "Why the fuck is it illegal to make cheese in the first place."

What I am saying, though, is that the people who are going to buy cheese on the black market should be smart enough to know that the cheese they're buying probably isn't being manufactured using the same standards as the places that make perfectly legal cheese. If you're stupid enough to buy black market cheese you should be prepared to accept the consequences. I mean, how much fucking money could you possibly be saving buying cheese from a bathtub anyway?

So then maybe I am saying that that police could have spent their time doing something else. Those people buying the cheese probably knew what they could be getting themselves into.

But damned if that cheese doesn't sound delish.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Birthday Wishes

Happy belated birthday to Jeff. He just turned 29 on January 31. No matter how old I get he'll always be just that little bit older.

How Much I Hate Air Bud Movies

Let me start this off by stating for the record that I hate the "Air Bud" series of movies. I really, really hate them.

See what this is here? Michael is discussing Air Bud so that he'll get more google hits from a younger demographic. It's a brilliant strategy to widen his audience. I wonder when he'll teach the youngsters out there about donkey punching.

Bah, fuck you. That's not what I'm doing here.

Just the other day I was about the leave the house and I happened to notice that the Air Bud movie about the dog playing baseball was on. I should also clarify myself a little bit by saying that I've never watched an entire Air Bud movie, not once.

So anyway, I watched a few minutes of it and it seemed harmless enough. Dog plays baseball, plays first base, wins the World Series. I can suspend my disbelief enough to accept the fact that some coach or general manager out there said, "Well, out the vast pool of talent from which I can draw players for my team, clearly, this golden retriever outperforms all of them. I need him for my team!" Okay, maybe the coach or general manager just took a bad batch of LSD and thinks that a fucking dog can understand the game of baseball enough to play first base. Maybe the coach or G.M. was smoking some dope and forgot the physical impossibility of a dog being able to successfully throw a baseball to a target more than a foot or two away. I can suspend my disbelief enough for all of that.

So what's the big fucking deal, hot shot? Why can't you just let the fucking dog play baseball?

I had to think about it for a while. Quite a while actually. Something wasn't sitting right with me. After an hour or so of careful consideration I figured out what was bothering me about the notion of a dog playing baseball for a little league team.

Imagine, if you will, you're a parent of a youngster who has designs on being the next Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, or Alex Rodriguez. Like all kids who want to play sports he has to try out for the team. He looks so adorable putting on his little baseball outfit and you see that glint of determination and hope in his eyes as he steps out onto the field for the first time.

And then...

You hear it. The coach pulls your son aside to inform him that he didn't make the cut. He's off the team. Look at your son, tears in his eyes, a heavy head, that slow walk of defeat that just about every athlete has had to go through at least once in his/her life. And it breaks your heart to see it.

Why did he get cut? Because a fucking dog tried out for the team? What in the living fuck? You're cutting my son, who can throw a ball more than 4 feet and probably hit a ball farther than some stupid simp dog clutching the bat in his big, stupid mouth. My son, cut, while some dog gets drool all over the baseball and keeps pausing to lick his own balls between batters? Fuck you very much. Wait right here, I'm going home to get my machete, coach. Then we'll see who gets cut next.

You see? Sure, the notion of a dog playing a team game sounds cute and all, but nobody who watches it ever stops to think about the poor kid who just had his dreams of athletic glory shattered at an all-too-young age for the sake of cuteness. That stupid fucking mutt.

Okay, so the dog plays so well, he goes on to a lucrative career in the big leagues and he even helps his team win the World fucking Series. Big fucking deal. Think of the children.

Won't somebody, please, think of the children?

Fucking dogs anyway.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Half-Mast Bullshit

Okay, recently while driving past the local firehall I couldn't help but notice that the Canadian flag was only flying at half-mast. For simps who have no fucking clue what flying a flag at half-mast means it is usually done to honor the recent passing of somebody significant. A prominent politician dies? The flag goes to half-mast. A national civil rights hero dies? The flag goes to half-mast. I guess you could say that it signifies mourning.

But I digress. Back to the point of this whole little rant of mine.

So there I was, noticing, albeit briefly, that the flag was flying at half-mast. And you know what? I had no fucking clue whose life was being honored. Not a single clue. There were no huge news stories recently about a celebrity or sports legend dying. There had been no recent genocides, regicides, uxoricides, or fraticides. So what the fuck?

For a second I thought that maybe the flagpole outside the firehall was defective and, had I been so inclined, I would have parked my car, marched right into the establishment, and complain to the firefighters therein to get their fucking shit together with the whole flagpole situation. Then I decided that a flagpole is a pretty simple object. That is to say it's pretty difficult to wind up with a defective flagpole or a malfunctioning flagpole as there are remarkably few moving parts on the fucking things. I'm no flagpole mechanic, but I'm pretty sure it's mostly a pole, some string or chain, a pulley, some other shit, and something to fasten the flag to. Then people stand around and sing national anthems and salute it. So, giving the firefighters the benefit of the doubt I decided that, indeed, somebody must have died who had been of significance somewhere, maybe only to the firefighters in the hall. But it was somebody who mattered.

And then the thought hit me. I pondered for a bit and decided that most days, if not all of them, somebody, somewhere dies. There are 6 billion people in the world and chances are that somebody in the world dies every day. The chances of a day passing in which nobody dies are slim to none. Now, not all of those people are the kind of people who go out and try to cure cancer or win dwarf tossing competitions, but there are people who do some pretty cool shit once in a while and are probably significant to somebody, somewhere. People like that die all the time.

Knowing that, then, why the fuck do we even raise our flags to full-mast? It stops making sense. Just keep the fuckers at half-mast because somebody just died. I guarantee it. Yeah, sure, many of the people who are dying any given moment could be a bunch of shitheads, assholes, and serial rapists, but maybe one or two them made blueberry pancakes for Fred Astaire one morning long ago. Maybe one of them served tea to JFK. Besides that, with all the fucking dying going on all over the place why even expend the effort it takes to raise the flag to full-mast if you're only going to have to lower it to half-mast again as soon as somebody else dies?

But Michael, couldn't you say that about Christmas trees too? Why bother even taking them down in June if you're only going to have to put them up again in November?

Exactly. That's why the entire year is the holiday season around my house. It's not because I'm some sort of gung-ho Christian guy. I'm just a pragmatist when it comes to the effort it's going to take me to disassemble and reassemble a Christmas tree each year. Happy fucking holidays!

So, everybody, I beseech you, just leave the fucking flags down. Like I said there's somebody dying somewhere right now and you should honor them the way you would honor anybody else.

Or, better yet, flagpole manufacturers of the world, why not just make your poles only half as tall? That way even when the flags are flying at full-mast, they can still kind of be half-mast and everybody on either side of this age-old argument wins.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Bottom Ten, January 2006

10.) Super Bowl Ad Hooplah- Why the fuck does anybody get excited about seeing the new commercials that get aired during the Super Bowl telecast? You're lying to yourself if you think that all the excitement surrounding the Super Bowl has to do with football. I'm not the biggest fan of football, but I do watch it on occasion and I would be personally insulted if I watched a news broadcast after the biggest game of my life only to see the fucking anchors toting out highlights of the best Super Bowl commercials. And they love to do that on the news for some reason. On tonight's news: See the best that this year's Super Bowl telecast had to offer when it comes to corporate propaganda and...if we have time, you know...maybe we'll show some of the highlights of the football game...maybe a piece on that toxic cleaner spill into the city's drinking water. Fucking liberal media, my ass!

9.) Laughter Therapy- Click here. Pentagon officials have decided that one way to help military families cope with the tough times of war and bloodshed is to teach them how to laugh. Laughter therapy is pretty much a practice of laughing for no reason at all. Why no reason? Because the soldiers are off at war and getting injured and killed. But you folks, you go on ahead and laugh because that's one way that the Pentagon feels will help you cope. Hey Pentagon, laughing for no reason whatsoever is all well and good, but did you ever stop to think that what might work even better would be to bring your troops back home and end the bloodshed? I hate to be Captain Obvious on this one, but something has to be said. Plus, it's kind of creepy seeing people laughing at nothing. So much so that it puts me just inches away from calling the men in the white coats to come and take such people away where there will be plenty of meds to help them cope even better.

8.) Irony Being Such A Bitch- Click here. "A political party, in order to be viable, is one that professes peace, in my judgment, in order that it will keep the peace." -George W. Bush regarding Hamas.

7.) My Humps- When you hear stories about songs that get played to torture political prisoners and prisoners of war, do you ever wonder if "My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas gets a lot of play? I think it's a safe bet that it does. Imagine that song on repeat for two or three hours. If you don't know the information that your captors want you better make some shit up fast! They say 20 minutes of that song is enough to cause massive brain trauma.

6.) The Planned Buttafuoco, Amy Fisher Television Reunion- It's happening. Remember when the public still gave a shit about this saga? Neither do I.

5.) Parents Just Discovering That Could Be Used By Sexual Predators To Meet Young, Unsuspecting Victims- Last time I checked it was still called the fucking internet and sexual predators have been using it all along to meet young, unsuspecting victims. How the fuck does one website in particular suddenly change the rules you should be governing yourselves by, as parents in the information age? Take your heads out of your asses and be involved with what your children do on the internet. Fuck! The emergence of MySpace isn't suddenly like the technology just became available for predators to prey on the innocent. It was there all along. So instead of demonizing the MySpace service why not just do your fucking jobs as parents?

4.) A New Season Of American Idol- Sure, the audition shows are mildly amusing to watch for the sheer ruthlessness of Simon, but you just know that when the season finally wraps up you're going to be left with yet another pop star that you won't give two shits about a week after the last episode airs. Why not just make a show about Simon insulting the fuck out of delusional people for an hour and skip this pop star bullshit?

3.) The Alberta Advantage- A $400.00 cheque is coming in the mail for each and every one of Alberta's citizens as part of surplus that the provincial government found itself. So instead of, say, putting more money into education, or health, or social assistance, just to name a few areas that could always use more money, we all get $400.00 to spend on lapdances and champagne enemas. It's great to be Albertan!

2.) Great Concerts That Sell Out Even Before You Knew They Were Happening- Why, oh why, couldn't The Arcade Fire play a bigger venue? My one regret for the year 2005 was missing seeing that band play live.

1.) Magazine Subscription Forms- One of those fucking things per issue should suffice, publishing world. If I wipe my ass with one of them I'm probably just going to wipe my ass with the other three fucking dozen of them you cram into each magazine. How many fucking subscriptions does one reader need to buy each month?