Saturday, January 24, 2009
Happy Conception Day, me! As I've mentioned before, one's Conception Day is the day that occurs exactly nine months before their birthday, as sort of a symbolic representation of the day that one's parents did the electric slide and Sammy Sperm met Edith Egg.
So what is the proper way to celebrate a Conception Day? Well, in my case, it's apparently to sit back and enjoy myself in the week leading up to my big day.
Last Saturday: Hung out with my pals to watch UFC 93 while enjoying a delicious pepperoni/tomato/chicken pizza (a.k.a. the Mark Special). It was far from being the most entertaining UFC event I've ever seen, but it was a good way to spend an evening. Watching the Shogun Rua-Mark Coleman fight was the first time I've ever seen two guys almost simultaneously keel over in the middle of the ring, so that was interesting. It was also the first time I've ever thought I had better cardio than a professional fighter. That's saying something, given how my cardio is roughly akin to Homer running after Marge but then stopping to catch his breath after about five yards.
Last Sunday: Watched two excellent NFL conference title games, and got my preferred Super Bowl result of Arizona vs. Pittsburgh. I was pro-Cards just because the franchise has been such a shitpile for so many years, and I was pro-Steelers because their victory would ensure that my brother's beloved Baltimore Ravens would lose. It was only fair --- my Packers lost in the semis last year, ergo Baltimore couldn't advance further for the sake of bragging rights. I wonder if this means my dad's favourite team will make the semis next season...oh wait, he supports the Browns. Never mind. I'd include my mother's semi-beloved Patriots in the mix, except that in the two games she's watched wearing her Xmas '07 gift of a Tom Brady jersey, New England has a) lost a perfect season in the Super Bowl and b) lost their franchise quarterback to a possibly career-ending injury. So there's clearly another, separate curse in effect here.
Last Monday: U2 releases their latest single. I finish an abstractly artsy but fairly entertaining book of short stories by George Saunders. My dinner is an utterly delicious chicken carbonara sub from Quizno's. And, I finish watching the first season of the AWESOME, AWESOME series 'Breaking Bad.' This one's been on my list for a while now and I ended up powering through the whole series in two days. It's a drama/dark comedy about a cancer-ridden high school chemistry teacher who becomes a meth dealer. Bryan Cranston is the chemistry teacher, and he gives as good a performance as you'll see in any show. I was surprised when Cranston won the Best Actor Emmy over such high-profile names as Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm and Hugh Laurie, but it was a well-deserved honour. I highly recommend Breaking Bad --- the first season is only seven eps long, so it's easy to catch up before the second season premieres on AMC in March.
Last Tuesday: Pub trivia night with my buddy Trev and the rest of our team (our team name changes regularly, but most recently it was 'Werewolf Bar Mitzvah'). We didn't perform all that well, only placing once over the three rounds. Did you know that Easter Island was property of Chile? We sure as hell didn't. Also of note on Tuesday was Barack Obama's inauguration...you might've heard about it, it was mentioned once or twice on the news. If you Americans won't mind, could we pretend he's our head of state too?
Last Wednesday: LOST returned!!! Back-to-back mind-blowing episodes to start off Season Five. The time travel element that is now at the forefront of the show is arguably the most brilliant move yet from the LOST producers since it provides the best possible way of giving the audience answers to all of the mysteries about the Island's past. Over the next 15 episodes, I expect we'll flat-out see what happened with the Dharma Initiative, the Black Rock, Danielle Rousseau's team, the four-toed statue, etc. because Locke, Juliet, Sawyer and company will be time-flashed back to see these things take place. "Show, don't tell" is one of the oldest rules of storytelling, and since telling us the Island's history would take roughly a season's worth of expository dialogue, we're instead going to follow the characters along for the ride. This opens up plot options like you wouldn't believe --- every character and storyline that has ever been featured or even hinted at is now fair game to turn up in an episode. Hell, in the premiere alone we saw Ethan, Ana Lucia, Hazmat suit-era Desmond, Marvin Candle/Pierre Chang, Ms. Hawking and even the legendary Neil Frogurt. And if that wasn't enough, Sayid fucking killed a guy by tossing him onto an exposed knife in an open dishwasher. Sayid > Jack Bauer. Also on Wednesday: my 1984 fantasy baseball team started its season and promptly went 6-0. Then, I made a cocky post about it on my league message board, and thus pissed off the fantasy baseball gods, so my team is currently 7-5. Simulated computer sports are a harsh mistress.
Last Thursday: I head up to TO to cover Toronto FC's introductory presser for Dwayne De Rosario. It strikes me halfway through the press conference that DeRo looks like the love child of J.P. Ricciardi and LOST star Naveen Andrews. This fact doesn't make its way into my story. Afterwards I headed to the movies to catch one of the many acclaimed films that haven't opened in London yet (grrr....), and my choice of the evening ended up being one of my favourite films of 2008, The Wrestler. Just outstanding, outstanding stuff. I'll have more to say about it in a future post, but for now, let's just say that I'd get back into watching WWE if the Wrestlemania main event was Randy The Ram vs. the Undertaker. Does Undertaker still have that perfect record at Wrestlemania? (Quick Wikipedia check: yes, he does. 16-0.) And the day was topped off with a nice dinner and drinks with my friends Lori and Aron, as we gathered to celebrate/complain about our jobs, love lives, and lives in general.
You'll notice that I didn't note the Oscar nominations as a notable event of the day. That's because I'm waiting until I see a few more of the major nominees (The Reader, Milk, Revolutionary Road, Gran Torino) before I fully write them off as horseshit. Seriously, Angelina Jolie gets nominated for yelling the words 'My son!' about 49256 times over the course of 'Changeling'? The thoroughly average Benjamin Button gets 13 nominations? Bruce Springsteen's awesome 'Wrestler' song, thought to be the favourite to win, doesn't even make the short list? And, you knew this criticism was coming, but The Dark Knight gets shafted across the board except for Heath Ledger? Unbefuckinglievable. At this rate, I'm now worried that Ledger might somehow lose given how little respect the Academy seems to be showing TDK. This really dealt my Conception Day celebrations a setback; consider Dark Knight's snub to be the condom that nearly prevented Sammy and Edith from making acquaintances.
Yesterday: Read a magazine, watched golf and then stayed in to enjoy one of my favourite movies ever, Dr. Strangelove. This was followed by another fine film, A Few Good Men, that was airing on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network due to the fact that Demi Moore is apparently part Cherokee. I think you're stretching it a bit there, APTN. That would be like MuchMoreMusic showing "Back to the Future" just because Flea is a member of Biff's gang.