Saturday, December 22, 2012

When Morning Comes I'm Just A Fool Who Repeats His Mistakes

Since it's almost that time of year again I figured that I would throw up a post that had all of my thoughts on Christmas.

This post is going to seem hilarious and jaded and hypocritical because a few years ago I wrote a post for this blog about how much I enjoyed Christmas and how it brings out the best in people. Since then I've completely changed my outlook on it. It's not that I don't enjoy Christmas, it's just that I'm indifferent to it. I still get to drink with some cousins I don't get to see enough and eat what is probably the best meal of the year, but it's just one day.

Obviously the reason most people go bananas for X-Mas is because they receive gifts. You can't really knock people for this, I mean who doesn't like receiving gifts. They're tokens of appreciation and usually things that you will really enjoy. What goes along with this is that most people also enjoy giving gifts because you get a great feeling when someone who you care about becomes happy as a result of something you've done. It's all pretty simple.

So while giving and receiving gifts is great, get over it. Haha. I guess that's all I really have to say about it. I mean does anyone really care that much? Be a nice and good person and do things for people the rest of the year instead of just late December?

What an anti-climax!

Nah, just kidding. Christmas is alright but people get way too worked up about it.

Later, gonna nurse this hangover and watch a trillion episodes of Farscape.

Monday, December 3, 2012

You'd Drink The Ocean And Ask For More, So Chalk It Up To Poor Judgment, And I Misjudged You

From Thursday to Saturday morning proved to be two of the weirdest days of my life. So much so that I really feel like I need to write it down here because I feel like it is a sort of hilarious anecdote and also so that I can get it all down in a place so that I won't forget because man was it odd.

I suppose this sort of starts on Wednesday of this past week. I had just worked at an Irish pub the weekend before as extra staff during the zaniness that was the Argo's winning the Grey Cup while it was held in Toronto. While the work was very tiring and busy, it was a good way to make money and I figured that working in a bar would be the best way to make a large sum of money fast enough to move away come January. I perused craigslist for service jobs and eventually got a call-back for a busser/bar-back position at a bar at College and Bathurst. I also had to rush out to Waterloo that day because Beat Noir is in the process of recording an EP and I am obviously part of that process.

The bar told me to come the next day to interview and drop off a resume between 2 and 5pm. I went downtown for 2 and got to the bar without a problem. I went in for the interview and the bar seemed like a bit of a run-of-the-mill hipster bar that is pretty common (and great) for the Bathurst and College area, though a little more high class. I definitely figured that this would be the type of spot that I would love working at and also have a load of fun being in that area pretty often. The interview went pretty well and the manager told me that the position would be for "upstairs" and involve "being there late" (This is important for later). I was pretty stoked, but had to rush out because I had a ticket for the 3pm Greyhound to Waterloo and it was already 2:30.

The next series of events can be described as this: College streetcar>walk down Bay>board Greyhound>Great Gatsby>get off bus>eat tacos and watch Buffy at Duff's>Mark records guitars>sleep.

The next morning I woke up and Duff and I watched 13 episodes of Parks and Recreation in a row. Near the end of it I got a phone call from the manager of the bar asking me if I could work that night. He had asked me this the day before but I had figured it was just a way to weed out lazy or unreliable people. Anyways, he says "Can you come in for 4?" I say no, because it is 2:15 and I am in Waterloo. He says seven then and I go and buy my ticket and get on a bus back to Toronto elated that I finally have a job and it is at a bar that seems like a pretty hip place at arguable the hippest intersection of the city.

Unfortunately the GTA (Greater Toronto Area for my apparently modestly sized Russian readership) got its first snowfall that morning. It is unfortunate because the first time it snows everybody suddenly drives like it's that scene at the beginning of the first X Men movie where Wolverine and Rogue get attacked by Sabertooth in Alberta and Cyke, Storm and Jeannie come to save them (Fuck that movie). So the bus that is supposed to take about an hour and a half ended up taking 3 1/2 and I got into Toronto at 7pm. Naturally I was pretty stressed out about being late on my first day of this job. Fortunately several episodes of the How Did This Get Made? podcast (Do you love watching really bad movies? I sure do.) made me laugh hard enough that I was able to forget about this awful traffic for most of the trip. So as soon as the bus got in I rushed off, ran into the Eaton Centre Old Navy to buy a black shirt for the shift, ran up Bloor to College and got on the streetcar.

I rushed into the bar, saw the manager and apologized profusely for being late on my first shift. I explained the predicament of the bus and he seemed like he understood. My mood about working at the bar at this point could be described as "Okay, work hard to make him forget you were late." He took me downstairs to show me where to put my things during the shift and said "Like, don't leave your money." (That is what I should've recognized as an "indicator") I went upstairs and began sweeping up all the staircases free of debris. The first thing I realized was that the upstairs was very far from what I thought it would be. There was a huge open area for dancing and a bunch of booths that were obviously going to be used for bottle service. The bar was also having some type of one year anniversary for some house music blog. My mood about working at the bar at this point was "Well, just see how everything turns out." I spent the next half-hour sweeping up a bunch of random staircases in the back of the bar.

I feel like I should explain the layout of the building to give a better understanding of the story. There are three levels to the building. The main floor is the bar I was interviewed in. There is a pretty large bar, a nice and well-maintained kitchen a huge dining area where the tables are made out of front doors (You can see where I got the hipster vibe from right?) and a pretty large stage which the manager says he tries to get cover bands and the like to play. It's a pretty big bar and could probably seat 200-ish people. Then there is the upstairs. I know many people probably won't understand this reference unless they went to the University of Guelph (or grew up in Guelph I suppose) but it is a larger, slightly higher-class (not really, just a little nicer and probably more expensive) version of Apartment 58 or Tabu. There is a basement where coat-check is done, the office is and a bunch of random shit is kept.

So, after all that sweeping I went upstairs and the bartender told the other bar-backs and I that we need to go downstairs to get all the 24's of beer and bring them up. I thought this sounded like a reasonable request at first until realized that it was like 40 24's we had to walk up three flights of stairs. There is an elevator that is broken in this bar. Does the management not realize that fixing this elevator could easily save them 2 1/2 hours in set up time? We spent 2 1/2 hours walking up and down stairs with cases of beer and then filling up wells with beer and ice behind the bar. If the elevator worked this could have easily been done in 30 minutes. Also, it was around this time that I realized that the bar had no draughts upstairs. It was only bottles of Corona, Heineken, Alexander Keith's and tall cans of Stiegl put into metal wells behind the bar that were then filled up with ice. So you only serve bottles in this bar and have the only beer fridge in the basement. And you have not thought of either fixing the elevator or building a beer fridge upstairs? Again, all you serve is bottles. You may need to re-think a few things about how you run your business.

We also to clear an enormous amount of shit out of the top floor of the building, carry it downstairs (because again, NO ELEVATOR. THE RESTAURANT I WORKED AT BEFORE HAD AN ELEVATOR FOR THIS REASON AND IT WAS TWO FUCKING STORIES) and then put it where they kept the rest of  their garbage which was of course behind a big white curtain in the coat-check room. Where else would it have gone right? Something I noticed this night was that there were little to no garbage cans in this building. Like two behind one of the bars used for Red Bull cans and water bottles but no actually garbage cans and no dumpster anywhere for the bar. Is it just me or it that really weird? I started to get the impression that the top floor of this bar had been opened like the fucking day before or something, because we were clearing some really random shit out of this place.

Around this time I found out that the other two bar-backs who were working with me were also on their first day and also interviewed for the job the day before. I realized around this point that the position was pretty bullshit and they obviously have an extremely high turnover rate for bar-backs because it doesn't take people long to realize how bullshit it is to pointlessly haul all that beer around. My feelings on the job at this point were "I don't think that I am going to come back. Let's just get through this night." The bartender who was showing us around and telling us the things we had to do before opening initially seemed like a pretty nice guy, but I realized after a while that he bartends in a club and is very good at putting on a facade and has a way of speaking about the position that makes it seem far more reasonable than it actually is. Having some experience in the service industry (albeit very brief) I could see through this and just tried to finish as quickly as I could. I realized most of the people I worked with fucking sucked (minus the three bar-backs I was working with) and were probably on cocaine. For example:

Bartender: Okay, put another layer of bottles in the wells and top them up with ice.
Me: Okay. *Go about doing exactly that*
Bartender: I thought I told you top them up?! Did you hear me?!
Me: They are full
Bartender: *Looks in the wells* Oh.

First I thought this was going to be a Bathurst and College Toronto hipster bar like downstairs. Then I thought it would be something like Dance Cave. Then I realized that it was a club in the most awful way and there were going to be house and EDM (According to Wikipedia: Electronic Dance Music is electronic music produced primarily for use in a nightclub setting. Fuck that shit so much. I won't even get into how much I hate and how little I respect this type of music.) playing. Fan-fucking-tastic. Around this point I kept muttering "This place sucks" to myself and realized that there was no way in hell I was coming back the next day. We were told that at 2:30 we have to go out and bus everything in order to get all alcohol off the floor by the legal hour. We would then have to clean up and the bartender told us that we'd be lucky to get out by five, but it could be as late (early?) as 6 or 7. I'd pretty much had enough.

One of the other new guys and I were charged with bussing the main dance floor area for the duration of the night. He was a little younger than me and was a really nice guy, but this was his first ever job in the service industry so he didn't realize how outrageously bullshit this job was and figured it was just the way it went. Around 10:30 a few people started to filter in, but it wasn't so busy. I mainly shot the shit with the other bar-back for a while a bussed a few things. By this point I knew there was no way in hell I was coming back again and hated the bar with a fiery passion. The music being played, the type of people coming to the bar and the general atmosphere of the environment is the entire reason I got into punk rock in the first place. I hate these dicks who come to flash their money and try to hook up with whatever girl is drunk enough to go home with them, all to the worst fucking music I've ever heard in my life. I;m so happy my music scene  is (at least mostly) free of these pretentious and arrogant assholes. I was extremely tired as I hadn't eaten since about 2, had gotten on a bus for three and half hours and then come right to the bar and not gotten any type of break. I was running on a bowl of Reese Puffs and half a bag of Ringolos and having one of the worst times of my life.

Then at about 12:30 the crowd start to really fill in. The bar got packed (despite the bartenders constantly telling it was "such a chill night") and the crowd looked more or less like this. My job consisted of walking through an extremely crowded dance floor filled with these losers and picking up empty beer bottles and glasses and taking them to the bar. I didn't even get a bin to put them into; I just walked around and picked them up. It was awful. I really started not giving a shit at all at this point; I would bump into people on purpose and if they gave me any trouble I would just say "Fuck off", I would routinely pick up drinks that weren't even close to finished and had my phone out for a good portion of the night. It really takes a lot to get me actually pissed off. I'm usually a pretty meek and mellow individual and things don't really get to me and roll off my back pretty easily. So with that in mind, consider this: I was actively trying to make everyone's night there worse. I was so pissed about the bullshit job I had been given under false pretenses that I was working with no energy (FUCKING NO BREAK. GOT OFF THE BUS, WENT STRAIGHT TO THE BAR, AND COULDN'T EAT AND WORKED FROM 7 UNTIL 5) that I just didn't give a shit at all. Everyone there was an asshole and condescending and seemed like the type of person that I would enjoy punching in the face. At one point I took a drink and some 'roided up, badly-tattooed asshole told me he wasn't done with it so I stuck my hand (covered in bar grime) in it and gave it back to him. I really didn't care at all. There were two scenarios if something happened: Either he does something and gets immediately tackled and thrown out by security or I get fired. And I really actively wanted them to fire me. I put a lot of thought into maybe just bailing out on the night because it was so terribly shitty, but came to the conclusion that if I was going to go through a night this awful then I was going to get paid for it. I also felt bad for the other bar-back I was working with because it was his first service job and him having to cover all my bullshit responsibilities as well would have just killed him.

Also, none of these guys ever finish their drinks. They just buy bottles of Corona and Heineken (Don't you know? Those are the two best beers in the world bro.), drink them about 4/5 of the way and then leave them once they get warm. Remember, with these assholes it's all about being seen with a beer, not actually drinking it.

Since last call was at 2:00 am, at 2:30 all the bar-backs had to go out on to the floor and take away EVERY DRINK so that the bar wouldn't get in trouble for having alcohol on the floor at an illegal time.

Yes, that was actually something that they required us to do.

It was around this time that I started to think "If they really want everybody to put down their drinks and clear out, why don't they just stop the music? I'm sure if the DJ stopped the crowd would clear out pretty quickly." So I thought this at 2:30. And then I thought this at 3:00. And then 3:30. By this point the job of all the bar-backs consisted of carrying all the cases of empty bottles from that night back down all the stairs and then afterward doing the same with about a dozen cases of beer that weren't even used. So for the record my job consisted of walking a very large quantity of beer up three stories, shoving my way through MDMA-powered clubrats for four hours and then walking that same amount of beer back down all the stairs. I already knew the whole deal was bullshit and that I was done with it, but this was really the icing on the cake. On top of this I eventually saw a schedule for the night and the last DJ played from 1 to 5 am. 1 to 5! Fortunately for the owner of the club, at this point I could not possibly give less of a shit and do a worse job than I was already doing. I just really didn't care about anything!

Towards the end of the night the owner asked if I was good to work the next night at 7 again and I told him no, obviously. He said it was fine and that it happens pretty often. Of course it does, fuck. They must hire these bar-backs every week or two, have them work for a night, or a week tops, and then start the process again. It sucks that they take advantage of people who need jobs like that, but they've clearly figured out a way to run their business without taking care of the lower-level employees and exploit it. Fuck you guys too.

The shift finally came to a close at around 5:30. The owner asked me if I could come back the next day at 8 pm to pick up my wage and tips. It was kind of ridiculous that he was still making me work my schedule around this stupid bullshit establishment, but fortunately for him I was already planning to go see Such Gold at Sneaky Dee's, so I would be in the area and able to come grab it.

So I walked out of the club for the first time since 7 onto College street at 5:30 am with no thought in my mind except "Fuck the world. I'm smoking a bowl and getting balls deep in McGridles." And that's exactly what I did while in the company of several homeless people who had passed out in the dining room. I proceeded to catch the first eastbound subway home. One of the few funny and positive parts of the night happened on that ride. There were two guys around my age who looked like they were finishing up a lengthy night on the town. I had music playing and was working that day's crossword but was stuck on one of the longer clues. He asked "What's the clue?", solved it for me, handed me a condom, winked and then walked away. This is the type of smile-inducing event that is necessary in you keeping your sanity after that shitty of night. Not everybody sucks, you know.

I ran into my Dad, as he had just woken up and was taking our dogs for a walk, while I was walking up our street. After giving him the gist of the situation he told me to get inside and get some sleep. I shot myself a quick glance before hitting the sack and I looked worse than I ever had in my life. I had stayed up entire nights during university in order to finish assignments, but had never had this type of combination of lack of sleep, exhaustion, broken spirits and anger. My nerves were shot, my legs felt like spaghetti but also ached in all the worst places, my throat was sore and my mind didn't even know what it was doing. I looked like I had shiners under both eyes, they were so black and both eyeballs were about as pink as they could get.

I had figured that by this point I could put the whole affair behind and all that was left to do was quickly pick up the money owed to me and then go and cleanse my Axe-body spray/awful electronic music-drenched palate by seeing a fantastic punk band and remind myself that there are good things in my life.

But instead it just didn't end. I walked into the bar at about 8:05 and ask the owner if I could get paid. He says "You're early." I say "No, I'm not. You told me to come in for 8." He proceeded to tell me that the owner who has all the tips and money from the night before isn't in yet and then asked "Do you live in the area, can you come back in an hour?" I said I don't but again, fortunately for him I had plans in the area. I came back an hour later, waited for 10 minutes and then was taken downstairs where a group of people who looked exactly like this were counting up the tills from the night before and told me that it would take 20 minutes for them to do. I gave them a stare of disbelief and said "20 minutes?" while snorting  with raised eyebrows and said I wouldn't wait that long for them to count about $200 dollars in fives and divide that number by five to determine tips. I walked out 5 minutes later with all the money owed to me, happy that I could wash my hands of the situation and then take some of that money given to me by them and buy a t-shirt from a band, who works very hard and deserves far more than what they receive, with it.

All in all it really was one of the worst nights of my life. Very easily in the top 5.

But at least I got a sort of funny story out of it, right?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Left Town 'Cause I Thought I Wanted More

Two weeks ago I went to cleveland to visit my sister, who goes to Cleveland State University. My Mom was driving down to watch and help out with her diving meet and while I was excited to see a few friends and also explore a city that I had never been to before. I did a few touristy things (Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, it was pretty underwhelming) but also saw some pretty rad stuff (Happy Dog Saloon was the bee's knees, as was melt), but by far my favourite part of the trip was a (sort of) house show that I went to one night with a few friends.

I was stoked for it for a variety of reasons. One was that it was all local Cleveland/Ohio bands (well one from Philly) with the two headliners being ones that I had heard of before, but never listened to. The idea of seeing bands in their hometown really appeals to me and seems like the best way to take in someone that you haven't heard before. Secondly, I really like house shows. They are the best concerts, hands down. This one wasn't exactly a house show, as it was in a recording studio, but the space was small and intimate enough that it more or less was. An added bonus was that since the show was in a recording studio, the acoustics were amazing and every body sounded top notch, especially in regards to vocals.

So, the lineup was Signals Midwest, Worship This!, Ma Jolie and En Garde. The show was great and it's always amazing to go to a show where you don't know any of the bands playing and not only do none of them suck, but they all absolutely rule. I'm not going to summarize the entire show because I feel like me saying "I hadn't heard this band before and they were really, really good!" four times in a row is pretty fucking pointless, so I'll get to the rub:

Ma Jolie is fucking amazing. Samiam/Iron Chic/etc. WHATEVA! Their singer sounded great, their bass player rules and they were clearly at the top of their game at this show. I've already linked to it in the last sentence, but they have a demo and an album FO FREE. And guess what? Both are fucking great and sure to make an appearance on my "Year End List" bullshit. The band's playing Pouzza Fest this year where I will be sure to catch them and hold beerz up in the air and yell and headbang. I really think that this band is on the verge of breaking out and are destined for bigger things, so if you want ultra scene points you should get hip to them now, so you can be the one telling all of your friends about them and not vice-versa.

For reference, try not to vibe to dis. I dare you.

I mean, that part when he yells "Take a load off baaaabbbbyyyyyyyy", AMIRITE?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sit Down. We Do This Every Fucking Day

Something that my parents instilled in me at a very young age was the importance of reading. Whereas many of my friends in elementary school (let's get real, they're still my friends now) would be getting new Super Nintendo (and then Sega) (and then Nintendo 64) games and bangin' new toys for Christmas and birthdays, I would get a whole lot of books. Though I wasn't the happiest camper when all my friends were jumping on kremlins while I was staring down a stack of literature, I realize now that it was a very good thing. Reading and enjoying a book is immeasurable in the benefits it gives to a person's language and speaking skills and also really develops one's imagination, as their mind creates images to go along with the story it's taking in. Since I got in the habit of reading for pleasure at a young age, it's something that I've continued to pursue since and something that I've noticed people I know do less and less. First TV and now, especially in my generation, video games have more or less taken up all the time that would have originally been occupied by books. Though you'll never catch me bad-mouthing either of those things since I thoroughly enjoy them both, it does really suck that instead of teenage boys getting stoked about all the angst and swearing in Catcher In The Rye, they're getting stoked brain-melting violence. (Again, for the record I would like to state that I really enjoy brain-melting violence.)

Another thing that my parents lovingly forced onto me at a young age (that I briefly touched upon in an earlier blog) was a deep love of baseball. With both my parents being die-hard Toronto Blue Jays fans, I was going to games before I knew how to talk, let alone walk. You know how it's a somewhat common practice for parents to keep a newspaper headline from the day their child was born? My parents cut out and kept the boxscore from the paper that day (A 4-3 walk-off win over the Mariners ending in dramatic fashion with George Bell scoring on a wild pitch after Fred McGriff tied the game with a ground-rule double.). While most of my friends growing were playing hockey and gushing over Mats Sundin, I was going to way more Blue Jays games than they were Leaf's games and worshipping the life-sized cardboard cut-out of Joe Carter on my wall. Eventually I started playing softball and then baseball and began to understand the ebb and flow of a 9 inning game and all the little elements that make it so great. Through my adolescence and now into adulthood I've started to realize the love/hate relationship and stress that comes with loving and supporting a team that is perpetually on the outside looking in when it comes to October. You start to realize after a while that baseball is a constant in your life. Unlike other sports, during the season baseball is there pretty much every day and it's something you get used to; the game starts at 7 (usually) and it's the way you end more or less every day from April 1st until September 30th. After a period of time you develop a kind of fatherly relationship (or about as fatherly as a relationship between a teenaged boy and 25 grown men can be) (welp, that came out wrong) and you invest a whole of emotional energy into wanting to see them succeed on the field.

So, what exactly do these two long-winded, seemingly unrelated  paragraphs have in common? Well, I just finished reading Season Ticket by Roger Angell and before that read The Summer Game by the same author and both were amazing reads. Angell is a columnist for the New Yorker and regularly contributes baseball and non-baseball work, but his stuff about the diamond is by far the best. It's completely obvious in his writing that while he's a through and through New York Mets and Boston Red Sox fan, he's a fan of the game first and foremost and a good deal of each book consists of him taking pleasure in seeing the game in all its different forms in different cities. Pretty much every page has at least one great anecdote about baseball, be it from Angell or the ridiculously large amount of players he interviews over the course of each volume. Some personal favourites were Earl Weaver (One of the all-time great managers and characters, managed the great Baltimore Oriole teams from the late 60's and 1970's) sitting in his underwear, drinking a beer and explaining why exactly he likes baseball so much; (a reporter asks him if he thought the Orioles were going to hang on to their lead and win the World Series) "No, that's what you can never do in baseball. You can't sit on a lead, run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the goddamn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." Another was Ted Williams (The best Red Sox hitter of all time? Yes. Without a doubt.) describing the process he would go through in his mind when deciding where to swing on a fastball. It is truly a moment when you have to sit back and think "Well, that is why you are the last man to hit .400 and I only played houseleague."

But by far my favourite part of the two books was Angell describing seeing the expansion New York Mets for the first time in 1962 (the worst baseball team of all time), through to seeing them win the Series for the first time in '69 and then edging out the Sox in '86. Since the Blue Jays were an expansion team, joining the Majors in '77), they suffered though the usual fate for new teams in sports: many years of mediocrity. I've been to Blue Jays playoff games and got to witness them win two World Series, but unfortunately that happened when I was 3 and 4 years old, so I don't remember that happening (save for this of course, I'll never forget that.), so basically I've watched the Jays struggle to stay afloat (often fail at doing so) for 19 seasons. After a while you get used to the losing and learn to love the team despite their lack of success. Angell gives these long descriptions of going to Mets games and having an absolute blast at the games with the rest of the Mets fans, despite them being absolutely awful on the field that I immediately drew parallels with. It's especially great with the Mets because they came out of nowhere to win the World Series in an upset in 1969.

Angell was there from the beginning and then got to watch his boys win it all and get the ultimate gratification in the end and this is something I can relate to now. So far in the off-season the Blue Jays have pulled off a major trade and signed a few key free agents to greatly improve our chances in the American League East and in some cases become the favourite to win the division. I know that our club's certain betterment on the field will inevitably bring in hordes of band-wagon jumpers who will be a little annoying, but it sure as hell won't make the giant shit-eating grin that will be covering my face while I watch this new and improved version of the Blue Birds on the field any less enjoyable.

Even if you don't have any interest in baseball, reading either of these Roger Angell books (or any of his others, I'm sure) will make you look at the months of November through February with great disdain and make the news of pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training seem like the second coming of Christ. The guy is the Mark Twain of the old game and his absolute love of every thing that goes along with it is completely contagious.

Oh, and uh GO JAYS GO!

Monday, November 12, 2012

All You Seem To Say Is Baby "How Could It Be You?"

So today I was listening to the Jonsi song "Sticks and Stones", which most people know because it plays during the credits of the most excellent movie How To Train Your Dragon (and man, it's an aweosme song), and when it ended my itunes went right into Joyce Manor. Like I said in my last post, I've been re-discovering a bunch of music that I haven't really listened to in the last few months and this is certainly an example of that. But while Lemuria gave me more of a "Wow! This band is so poppy and cute and makes me feel great! I can't believe I ignored them!" feeling, this was more of a "Hey Tim! Feel like getting ridiculously sad? Remember all those pent-up feelings from last fall? Well, here they are whether you like it or not!"

All their releases up this point sure are great though. Between an EP, a full-length and another full-length that is so short some people consider it an EP even though it's nine songs, there's not much filler and a whole lotta angst. I highly recommend checking them out.

Also, speaking of How To Train Your Dragon, I heard a lot of people rave about that movie when it came out but only ended up watching it yesterday. Holy shit a company that's not Pixar actually made an endearing, fun, touching and inspiring animated kids movie! (Siq use of adjectives brah) I really enjoyed watching it.

I've mentioned it a few times on here, but I joined a band with whack of my favourite homies in the world. We're called Beat Noir and are in the process of recording a whole bunch of music and we have a show in Toronto coming up in December! I'm excited for a number of reasons. 1: I haven't played a show in Toronto since my high school ska band The Pragmatics  (Oh, you know I still have that ASOB shirt I'm rockin' in that video) broke up on stage in grade 12. 2: The show is with Like Pacific, who I am pretty good friends with, are A+ dudes all around, just put out a new EP called Homebound and are what one could consider "on their grind".

I really think you should think about attending this show, so if you would like the info it can be found right here.

In hindsight I maybe should have not linked that Pragmatics video. It's really embarrassing man! That hair was such a bad idea!

I suppose I'll leave you with this because I want it so bad and it makes me smile:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Every Funny Guy Has A Serious Side


So this year I'm joining the Movember and how that works is that I grow a mustache and accept donations which are then used to help in prostate cancer research. Beat Noir made a team and you could donate to us right here! Since my Mom beat colorectal cancer about 6 years ago I've taken a lot of joy and pride in trying to aid in research to figure out how to help people with the disease. Once it affects someone close to you, the idea of losing somebody you love and having nothing you can do about it becomes very, very real. It's not fun. The team is currently in 17911th place and I would really appreciate it if the person reading this could help us make it further up that list. If you could forward that link or know any type of group that would be interested in donating I would appreciate the most. Thanks!

Recently my ipod ate shit and stopped working. I had to restore it (delete everything off of it) several times and also had to reinstall itunes. So now my itunes is completely reset and everything. This golden nugget of shinfo aside, what that lead to was me listening to a bunch of music that I haven't in a while because I had to go through my music library with a fine tooth. One of these artists that I somehow managed to avoid for a while was Lemuria and I have no idea how that happened because they rule so fucking hard.


You know what's awful? The Major League Baseball off-season. Baseball is something that my family's been involved with for as long as I've been alive. My mom was at a Jays game something like 3 days before I was born and I went to my first game at 3 weeks old. Since then the Toronto Blue Jays have been a constant in my every-day life. And hey, we haven't made the playoffs since 1993. Think about how many losing seasons I've had to endure. IT TAKES ITS TOLL MAN.

Anyway, the MLB season ended not that long ago with the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series and now I am faced with 5 1/2 very long, baseball-free months. I guess I'm luckier than all the football, basketball and hockey fans because our off-season is shorter, but does it suck. From April until the end of October, you get baseball every day. Unlike other sports, baseball plays almost every single day and checking the scores and the standing and seeing where Jose is in the home-run race becomes your routine and something you look forward to each morning. And now all there is to do is read wild trade rumours most of which aren't true and only serve to get your hopes a little about your perennial losers.

I still love 'em though.

Oh and if you didn't figure it out, the post started with that picture because it was sort of a "grab-bag" or "mystery box" of random shit compiled together. BET THAT WAS A LETDOWN.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Kind Of Green That Doesn't Make A Big Deal About Itself

This past Tuesday evening I went to go see the film adaptation of Perks of Being a Wallflower.

I was first introduced to the book by an ex-girlfriend of mine. She raved about it and said the connection that she had with the story was one of the more major ones she had experienced while reading. She had been given it by a teacher with whom she had a relationship not unlike Mr. Anderson in Perks, which certainly added to the "coming-of-age" aspect of the novel. I had heard several other people describe the book in a similar fashion, so taking that into account as well as my ex's stellar literary taste; I decided to read to the book after a while.

The book hit me pretty hard as I was reading it. I was going through a time when I wasn't the happiest, so I related to Charlie a ton. I mean I've never gone through anything as traumatizing as a best-friend shooting himself or sexual abuse from a relative, not even close, but I'd just been dumped and was really reveling in the level of melancholy present in the writing. I really liked how the sadness wasn't over the top; Charlie never really made over the top statements about how much he wasn't enjoying his life, he would just say "I'm getting bad again." Or at least I think that is more realistic. People who are generally alright but are having a bit of a rough time will make a huge deal about how shitty they feel (present company included) simply because they aren't used to feeling that way and are having trouble dealing with it. People who are legitimately very depressed don't mention it all the time because they are used to being sad all the time (fuck bruh), so Charlie describing it very simply as "getting bad again" makes his condition that much more real.

I also related pretty heavily to the novel because I wasn't the most popular kid in my high school, which was a very sports-centric school, so a story about the weird kids who band together hit home a little bit. I suppose when you write a story about  kid who starts to learn about relationships and try drugs and meet new people and try new things and read cool books, then most adolescents are going to relate to it, but this book came at exactly the right time for me.

I was moderately excited to see the cinematic version of the book because even though film adaptations generally fall short of the original novel, it's still exciting to see a visual, moving version with sound of a story you're familiar with. It had been about 3 years since I had read the book, which was long enough for me to forget many of the minor plot details, but remember them right before or as they happened in the film. To put it shortly, I was floored by the movie.

Pretty much every scene matched up exactly to how I had seen it in my mind while reading the book. I'm sure this is due in large part to the author writing the screenplay and directing the movie, but it was almost uncanny. All of the actors played their roles exceptionally well and, just like the visuals of each scene, looked and acted more or less exactly as I had thought they would.

It sounds funny to say it, at least in regards to a movie that in reality is a pretty standard teenybopper coming-of-age flick, but I got pretty emotional at the end of the movie. It was a combination of forgetting how heavy the end of the novel is and seeing bits of myself as well as other important people in my life in the characters on screen and I had to sit back and let out a "fuuuuuuuuuuuuck" in my thoughts as the movie was coming to a close. I'm not sure if anyone can relate, but whenever I have an intense moment and let out a deep breath it always feels like a huge weight is being lifted off my chest and that happened.

I know most people will probably look down on me for liking the book as much as I do (it certainly has it's share of h8erz), but it's just one of those things that was the right thing at the right time in my life. I really have nothing but great things to say about the movie, but don't be disappointed if you don't get as emo as I did at the end.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nightmare On Arthur Street

Typical Tim: I'm back! I swear I'm back! And then leave it alone for four days.

Anyway, I went to Guelph this weekend to see a rad show in Guelph. My wonderful friends Snake Charmer who I've had the pleasure of seeing multiple times were playing as well as The Mighty Atom, Born Wrong and Social Divorce, all of whom I have heard of a bunch but somehow avoided in concert so far. All things considered it was one of the craziest shows I've been to and I'm so happy I got to make it there after my night was almost ruined by a giant gaping asshole of a greyhound driver.

I knew the show was going to be a little wild when I walked in and saw that the room where the band was playing was pretty tiny. The drumset took up about a fifth of it, so it was going to be packed and there was no doubt in my mind that the crowd would get a little wild. This is a recipe for a memorable night as well as some serious mosh, which is something that I am all for.

Mighty Atom started things in pretty raucous fashion. They were loud and rockin' and got the crowd really stoked. Though afterward the band said they thought they had played terribly, the opposite was evident as they sounded tight and loud as fuck. They're noisy and fast with a great stage presence. To get an idea of their set picture this song in (maybe, if that) 12ft x 12ft room:

I was upstairs in the house when Born Wrong started but as soon as they did a huge rush of adrenaline shot through me. That might be hard to understand for non-punk kids, but when a band is absolutely killing it and right on the mark on a night, you can tell from the first note. As a result you get really excited because you know the rest of the set is going to be just as good and you can't wait to see it. This happened that night. I really don't think Born Wrong can sound any better than they did this past weekend, their set was perfect. Fast and aggressive, with the entire crowd going crazy. People were jumping off of the staircase onto the crowd and the band was getting just as into it as the crowd was, as the singer spent roughly 100% of the set in the middle of the mosh. I spent most of the set watching everything go down from above and can definitely feel how hard I was headbanging in my neck right now.

I had heard about Social Divorce since their inception because two of the members are also in Snake Charmer who I know very well. However, I had never seen or heard their music somehow (some friend I am, right?). It feels like I'm just repeating the same thing over and over, but holy hell did they kill. They were fast and angry with just the right amount of humour thrown into their banter to keep the crowd stoked. Not to mention absolutely ace Minor Threat and Dead Kennedys covers. They have a demo, but it definitely doesn't how tight and intense these guys are live. For example:

Snake Charmer are just something else. I can't speak with absolute certainty, but I'm fairly sure that in forming the band they took the heaviest, fastest and most pissed off hardcore and then said "Let's play heavier and faster and get more pissed". They get better with each time I see them and have parts where I just have to sit back and think "Whoa, this happening right now" and parts where I just completely lose my shit without even thinking because it just gets so intense. Having legitimately the best drummer I've ever seen play live also helps their case. They play shows around southern Ontario all the time and while they are extremely intense on-stage, they are some of the nicest, genuine and most down-to-earth people off of it, so you have no excuse to miss them. While the rest of the bands sure did whip the crowd into a fury, it was nothing compared to the absolute mayhem that happened when Snake Charmer player. There's some video from the show and it looks a little something like this:

The show got me pretty stoked and has put me on a huge hardcore kick since.

Ragin' y'all.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All Hallow's Eve

Today is a pretty weird day.


Well, it's feels weird because today is the first Halloween I've spent at home since 12th grade. And while it might seem like I'm making a way bigger deal of this than I need to, as soon as my Mom put up the decorations and brought the mini bags of chips to the door I was on whatever the nostalgia-oriented version of the Autobahn is called and transported to my childhood.

I imagine that it's equally weird for my parents because while the last 6 years of my existence feel like a lifetime and I feel like I've changed lots and lots since then, I'm sure it went by very fast for them. I find that the older you get, the faster that time passes. Like remember when you were a kid and it seemed like  forever in between Christmases? And now it's like "Oh shit, it's Christmas already." Anyways, what I'm trying to get at is that those 6 (and if we really want to get into it, like 8 or 9) years went by like *Tim snaps his fingers* that to them. So it's got be weird that their son went from dressing up like Batman 4 years in a row and being amped to go out and get candy to sitting in the basement on his laptop and thinking that it sucks he can't go out and get free candy.

I don't know if it's just me becoming jaded as I get older or the usual "Back in my day..." shtick, but is it just me or has Halloween gotten substantially shittier in the last few years?

I mean when I was younger there'd be a gang of about 10 or so of us 12 year-olds covering out entire neighborhood trying to get as much candy as possible and looking for that elusive house giving out cans of pop so we could wash down what we were snacking on while walking. We'd all gather at one person's house early and we'd be out for hours. Now it seems like parents are so concerned about what their kids are getting and so on that everyone is sheltered from everything I understood Halloween to about when I was younger.

I guess I can't fault parents for protecting their children because obviously that is extremely important, but  Halloween is a pretty crucial stepping stone in a child's social life as well as developing their independence (or at least I see it that way). Because when you're young and going out trick-or-treating for the first time, it's really the first time you're exposed to that many people being out and around. It might have just been me being a little boy and overwhelmed, but my early memories of going out on Halloween with my Dad and sister made the street seem like a giant crowded marketplace of costumes where everyone was having an amazing time. I loved it.

And then you get older and start to trick-or-treat with your friends and all of a sudden it's "Holy shit! (I started swearing early) Our parents are letting us go out by ourselves! And we're getting candy!" And then you go back home and watch Halloween cartoon specials and actually have more candy than you can eat and it's just like "Fuck those jabronis in Stand By Me, they don't have shit on my friends and I!"

Then before you know it you're in 8th grade and everyone in your class is going out together and you just think "HOLY FUCK! GIRLS." and you have a reason to hang out with them and if you were smoother and not starting to get acne you would make a move.

Of course that segways right into high school when you realize that drinking and weed is cool, but drinking and smoking weed is even cooler when you can go out and candy for free and hang around your neighborhood and again, girls.

So if you can't tell by now, I fucking love Halloween and while I'm sure that kids today are probably having an equally rad time, albeit in some different way, I wouldn't want them to miss the amazingness that was Halloween when I was growing.

I sure am a nostalgic son of a bitch, aren't I?

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Look Like Shit (Again)

What the fuck is up!

You should be able to tell I'm going to make a half-assed effort to keep up this blog (Yes, again. Ugh. I know.) because not only have I put a new picture at the top (MAXIMUM EFFORT YOU GUYS.) but I also added another contributer who happens to also be me, just with a new email.

More importantly, Jeff Rosenstock has put out a new album and I feel compelled to write about and we all know this is a fucking haven for music news right?


So yeah, last week Jeff Rosenstock released a solo album without having mentioned the release date or built up any hype whatsoever. Just completely out of the blue. He's done this on the last few Bomb The Music Industry! releases and I have to say I'm fan of it. Rather than trying to drum up praise or excitement, he just lets the music speak for itself and in his case it works because the music is extremely good.


One can immediately recognize that Senor Rosenstock is behind the music not only from his distinctive voice, but also because the music more less follows the style that BtMI! has established over the course of their last few albums (makes sense as several of the tracks were originally intended to make up a Bomb EP that was never finished). Since a bunch of the songs are demos, they're a little more stripped down than what he put out in the past, though there are more than enough drum machines and clear (but awesome) signs of home production to satisfy fans of Bomb's early work.

One thing I've really noticed is how much work the guy puts in vocals nowadays. He's gone from yelling as many words as he can per song (which I loved) during the Arrogant Sons of Bitches to writing less words but putting way more melody into his vocals (which I also love) as was the case on Vacation, all while dramatically increasing his range along the way.

Along with this what is definitely his most interesting choice of cover, and maybe even his best cover, as he chose to do the pop-punk tune "I Don't Wanna Die" (Ai Don Wana Dai?) by the extremely rowdy and awesomely weird Ging Nang Boyz. Jeff has a habit of making the second or third last song a longer/darker number and then following it up with the most epic ender one can imagine that just makes you feel amazing and posi and fuzzy and happy to be alive. In this case "Amen" fills the role of the former, while "I Don't Wanna Die" takes care of the the latter.

I guess it could just be me, but I've spent the last week yelling "The Internet Is Everywhere" and "Bonus Oceans" and it feels PRETTY DAMN GOOD MAN.

To put it shortly, if you love Bomb the Music Industry! then you will love this album. If you don't love Bomb the Music Industry!, then get yer head outta yer ass and download this album. The guy's a genius and this is probably more accessible to you than anything else he's put out.

Album of the year?


Sunday, October 28, 2012

I Look Like Shit

A problem I have is that I tend to over-think things. Though I can be shy and might not speak very much sometimes, in my head the wheels are constantly turning and analysing everything I see. It’s not exactly healthy and is something that I would avoid, but unfortunately the way my mind works is not something that I control.

The worst part about over-thinking things is that it leads to several bad habits that I would like to avoid just as much. There really are too many to list but the main one is that I keep things bottled up. The link between over-thinking situations and over-analyzing occurrences and my habit of not letting anything out may seem a little bit strained, but let me elaborate.

There are and were many people who I am and was exposed to on a regular basis that I found to be pretty irritating and overbearing. Usually a big part of this would be making a gigantic deal out of things that were pretty minor in actuality. An example would be complaining about schoolwork and acting like it was the end of the world that they had an exam/essay/report/etc to write and also acting like they specifically had it worse than anyone else. In reality everyone at university had a pretty similar workload if not worse than these people (An engineer would have far more work to finish in any given week than a business major.) but this was lost on them. They would often make similar remarks about their love life and such.

As is my custom, I found this people to be extremely annoying and very unpleasant to be around. Naturally I wanted to be perceived in the opposite light of these people, so I tried to do the opposite of whatever they would. Since they let everything out and constantly complained, I started to not let anything out and try to never whine. This is certainly not healthy or recommended but it does have a few positives that come along with it. If you stop to think about it, do you actually like to hear about others’ problems? The answer is definitely no. While I’m sure you take great pleasure in hearing your friends rant and helping them overcome obstacles that pleasure comes from helping your friends out and seeing them become happy again, not from hearing them complain. Straight up, people complaining fucking sucks. So I found that not venting about little annoyances made it seem like I am far more easy-going than I actually am and thus more likeable.

However, with this approach come many more negatives than positives. As Jeff Rosenstock very poignantly put on his latest album “Show me a person who always seems fine and I’ll show you a lying sack of shit”. Everyone dislikes things and gets low because that is human nature and it happens to everyone and that’s just the way things are. So if you have no avenue to purge these annoyances, they start to pile up and get much worse.

This has been the case lately. I’m done school and don’t really have anything to challenge myself like my program did. I’ve been forced to move back into my parent’s house and live in my sister’s room while she is away at school. I have no job and thus no source of income to do things. My band lives in another city that is an hour and a half away by car, but 3-4 hours away via public transit, which is what I am forced to take to get to practice. All this adds up to me often feeling beaten down and tired, despite not having done very much, which is just about the worst feeling you can get.

I have a select few friends who don’t really mind hearing me open up about things, but on the whole I keep it to myself because I feel like I shouldn’t trouble other people with my problems when they already have their own. As a result of this tendency coupled with my aforementioned worries, I wake up in a bad mood with nowhere for it to really go, which leads to days like today:

I wake up still tired, I put on records about being sad, I drink coffee and mope around my house, keeping quiet and trying to find things to do while my mind races around in circles thinking about the things I don’t like but not really finding a way to reconcile them.

Fortunately for me, my 11 year-old border collie has a habit of noticing when I don’t feel so great and he came over to put his head in my lap, stare at me with his gigantic eyes and remind me that at least he wants me to feel good.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hit Stop, Rewind, It's Time To Check Your Audio

Today I left my house and was scrolling through my ipod try to find something a little more energetic to listen to than the Cat Stevens record I already had going at the time. Being already in the "C" section, I came across a name that I hadn't seen in a while: The Ceremonial Snips.

Now of course they are still a band, but have changed their name to just "The Snips" and in fact put out a new record this year which you can get for $0 right here. But with the name change came a big change in sound as well as some member changes. The band has been operating under the "Snips" moniker for a while now and most people probably think of the current incarnation of the band, rather than the "Ceremonial" version of the band.

While nowadays the band plays rockier/poppier punk songs that are very good, they're nowhere near the hard-hitting/horn-laden punk that the band used to put out. They played real fast, had melodic hornlines, hardcore-influenced riffs and metal leads. It definitely seems like an odd combination, but the band pulled it off extremely well, taking the best parts of each genre in order to make a greater whole.

Evidence of this is one of their better known old songs, "Fuck With The Rose", where they start with about 30 seconds of metal riffing that wouldn't be out of place on a Megadeth record, then go into a great catchy hornline, a fast punk verse and then end with a hardcore gang vocal back and forth.

I first got introduced to the band because they would get put on ska bills all of the time because they had a horn section I guess? They really have no element of ska to them whatsoever. Anyways they kept getting tighter and tighter live and kept getting gnarlier and gnarlier riff-wise and really turned into one of my favourite Ontario bands. Then they kept quiet for a little bit and came out with the new line-up. I was pretty bummed at first because of the change in sound but eventually grew to like the new version as well.

The band was pretty important to me and were definitely one of the first groups that got me more into hardcore and metal. I would highly recommend tracking down a copy of Check Your Audio because it's front-to-back great and is seriously riff city.

Or, if you are lazy then click this.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fuck That Shit

Something that has been interesting to me throughout my life is watching the way skateboarding constantly evolves and changes. More so than any other sport (except in some cases Basketball) one single single figure, or small group can completely change the style of skateboarding. This was true in the 70's with the Zephyr team, the 80's with the Bones Brigade, as well as many different skaters in the 90's and after. Visually the biggest difference is the fashion as skaters are very quick to jump on a trend and start dressing like their favourite shredders (Watch The Search For Animal Chin and you will immediately see why I dress the way I do). Remember when every suburban teenager started wearing purple and black "heart-agram" shit because Bam Margera did. Or when Hurley stocks went up a jillion points when Bob Burnquist had a Hurley shit on in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater? The same can be said today of all the kids trying to look like the Deathwish/Shake Junt teams.

The exact same thing happens in the style of tricks performed. Young kids skating obviously try to skate like their favourite skaters and do the same style tricks as them. Everyone is flipping in and out of grinds today because they grew up watching Koston do the same thing.

Basically what I'm trying to get at is that the trends in skating as well as skating itself is in constant flux and constantly evolving.

But something that has grown an astounding amount in popularity over the last few years is longboarding. I just do not get the appeal. When I first started skateboarding longboarding seemed to be a California-only thing for the hippies to do on their amazing selection of hills. As I went through university, I noticed more and more people starting to longboard to the point that now far more people longboard than "regular" skating. The only appeal I can see is that they are easier to cruise on and thus much more convenient if mobility is all you're looking for in a skateboard.

Rollerbladers have long been the mortal enemy of skateboarders, but I would wager that longboarders have now taken up that mantle. When I look at the reasons why I, myself loathe them so much I can't really pinpoint it. I used to say "You can't ollie on a longboard" but then I saw a group of kids bombing rails in New York on longboards (less lame, but still pretty lame). I often say "It's not a skateboard if you can wear sandals on it" but that doesn't really carry any weight and is more just me making fun of people who wear Birkenstocks to skateboard in.

After a lot of thinking though, I believe I've finally come to a conclusion. It's because no (or a very minimal amount) of longboarders were skateboarders before. So what has happened is that a huge population of people who aren't really "skateboarders" (This is a whole other fucking ordeal that I can't get into now.) have taken over the sport. For example, there is a skate shop in Guelph where I just moved out of that didn't sell any actual skate parts, only longboards. As a result of this, pretty much the only place someone can go to get  a new skateboard/skate parts is the West 49 in the mall. Which really sucks.

The culture surrounding longboarding is what pisses me off most about it. It started as something that was awesomely counter-culture. Skateboarding is illegal, street skaters got in the way, did things in places they weren't supposed to and weren't highly regarded. I got into skateboarding and punk music at around the same time (as many people did) and it seemed like a match made in heaven. In contrast to this is longboaring culture, which, as far as I can tell, consists of bros riding them to the library and hippies cruising around on them to be environmentally friendly.

And that fucking sucks man.

Also, complete non-sequitur but especially fuck people who refer to skateboards as "shortboards". That should be punishable by stoning.

It just really sucks to see something you've grown up loving so much to be completely overrun by a group of people who have absolutely nothing to do with the original ethos of the sport. Not to say that I'm a nihilistic badass with no regard for anybody who busts Smith grinds now 10 sets in front of cops, but there certainly is  a "I don't give a fuck" attitude that you take up a little bit the first time you buy a skateboard and that is definitely void in longboarding.

That, or I'm a jaded ass who hates everything.

Maybe a little of both?

But I suppose that even though most people actually ask me "Why don't you longboard?" when they see my deck, a bunch of turds can't ruin the inherent magic of landing sketchy ollies with your best friends in a parking lot. So I suppose that even though skateboarding is extremely mainstream at the moment because of figures like Rob Dyrdek (though he does build a ton of skateparks in places they are needed, so good on him) and Ryan Sheckler (though he does shred pretty fucking hard) and also overrun with goddamn longboarders, nothing can ever take away the magic trying to land a trick all day and finally stomping it at 12:30 with all your friends cheering you on.

That and some fuck is always going to be pissing off security guards by manualing around the front of a building. Which makes me smile.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Razor Burn

This should come as no surprise to my friends, but growing mustaches is something I really like to do. Many people probably think I grow them to look silly and make my friends laugh, but I think I can grow a pretty nice thick one and legitimately think I can pull one off. As a result I grow them somewhat frequently and not just during Movember when it becomes socially acceptable for males to because of the cause associated with that month.

Buuuuuut my mustache is something that I get surprising amount of shit for from strangers. For example, while I walking home from a Smoking Popes show at like 3 in the morning this past June a dude sitting on the curb with a big tall green mohawk yelled out "Hey! Ironic mustache!", obviously trying to get a rise out of me. However, it was way too late for me to pretend that I cared at all and I kept walking.

This happened again while I was at *shudder* Scenefest in St. Catharines. Some crustie sitting on the sidewalk (Who I had just seen in the crowd for the Planet Smashers) said to his friend, not directly to me mind you, while I was passing "What the fuck is this? !Attention!, fucking ironic mustache..." It kind if pissed me off, so I stopped and said "It's not ironic at all. I think I look great with a 'stache and grow it for that reason." He then went on a rant about how I don't really think that and look stupid. Of course it makes sense that he knows what I think better than myself and I also like how a streetpunk/crustie was lampooning me for wearing a (supremely fantastic) local punk band's shirt, at a (well, not really, but sort of) punk music festival. Then he told me to get socks. Weird.

That guy didn't bother me too much, you know haters are gonna hate, but what does bother me is the surprising amount of disdain I get for my choice of facial from complete strangers. Apparently I'm a huge hipster piece of shit, rapist-looking motherfucker. Is my Dad one as well? Because he's had his 'stache his entire life. At what point does my mustache attain the "non-ironic, don't worry this isn't a complete asshole" tag that I already place on it?

Because I just like having a mustache. Is it really that fucking huge of a deal?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

You Come Swimming Into View

 think one of the most flattering and awesome things is when you realize that you've made an impact on the personality of someone or influenced the way they act in a positive way.

I mean, I think one of the most exciting things about life is meeting different people and different personalities. Getting to know a new person and then getting along well with them really gets me going, especially when it's a personality that is different from your own. You realize you like things that you've never liked before and then change in a positive way, which (at least usually in my case) surprises you.

Even better than this is when the reverse happens, when you notice that some of your mannerisms or slang rubs off on them. This is great because it's proof of the relationship that you share and is actually physical evidence of how close you are with that person. This sure sounds like I'm talking about significant others, but it's completely true with platonic relationships as well. I think of this every time someone says "schnikees" or (if they're not ETID fans) "shinfo" or, especially, "just let it happen". It shows that they like you and also that you hang around each other enough that they're used to seeing/hearing these things so much that they start to do them without noticing. It's sweet.

Because change is really good. Nobody should ever stay the same their entire life. Even though many of my friends see me and probably think "Wow, Timmy still listens to punk and still gets that drunk (Hey, c'mon brah, I've slowed down a tad) and still laughs at poo." and that's not a bad thing, but the truth is that I've grown immensely as a person since coming to university and especially over the last two years. And this is definitely a result of the people I've met and the friends I've made and their ideas that I've heard.

Let's get back on track though. The marks you make on people. That shit is important, yo. Because those are the things I think about a lot. When I look back on the last 5 years of my life, which is something I've started to do a lot since graduating this past spring, that's what I remember. I remember the people I grew close with, regardless of whether we are still that close now or still talk a lot, and how our relationship was and the best way to think about is to look at the marks they made on you and the marks you made on them.

I'm not exactly sure how I got this emo, but I'm rolling with it.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's Wednesday

How can you enjoy summer without a killer ska mixtape? HOW?


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Baby, It's A Heartache

It's no secret that I love warm weather. I love to wear shorts and tank tops and sunglasses and hang out in sunshine all day. I absolutely loathe winter and am usually ready for the mercury to creep back up to 20 degrees by October.

Along with really enjoying hot weather, I love making summer mixtapes. Usually right after I'm done with the school year my first order of business is to make a mix that I can jam to while I'm cruising around on my skateboard. It is only June right now, but I've already made two mixes and I'll post them here!

These are currently my shit and also, at least I think, great pairings with hot temperatures:




Sunday, June 3, 2012

She's Out Of My League, I'm Insane

Yesterday I had a pretty bad day. Without going into specifics I was in a shitty mood and couldn't really shake it for most of the day. I realize that this pretty much goes without saying and is common sense, but I really don't like being in bad moods. Whenever I feel like shit I try to resolve it immediately because well, you know PMA and enjoying my life and stuff. I've felt pretty good since and these are the things I think have done to help:

1. Put on Vacation by Bomb The Music Industry! I liked the album when it came out but since it has really become way more than just an album for me. I listen to it so much that when I suggest throwing it on the ol' turntable Party Pat says "I dunno man, we've listened to it a lot lately." I just can't get tired of it. I know it inside and out and love it way too much. It pretty much became my best friend this past semester and it never ceases to make me feel like $1000000 and always puts a smile on my face.

2. I decided to start running again. Now I've only gone for modest runs the past two days but I gotta start somewhere, y'know? I took running pretty seriously in high school and was on the track and cross-country team each year I was. I really like running for a variety of reasons, which I am obviously about to go into detail about. The main thing is that it's not a finesse sport and it doesn't matter if you're a "natural athlete". Some people are just born more athletically inclined than others, it just the way it is. Some people can just wake up a huck a football half the field or are born with a fantastic baseball swing. With running it doesn't matter how good of an athlete you are, it matters how hard you train and how hard you push yourself. The person who runs the race hardest wins and that's all there is to it. I'm very uncoordinated and suck at sports, so this aspect of running has always appealed to me.

Another is that though baseball is easily my favourite sport, long distance running is the only sport I've done that makes me competitive. I played baseball my whole childhood growing up and while I wanted to win, the main reason I played was because it was so fun. Running is the only sport I've done where I psych myself up and push myself as hard as I can and think in my head "Push it. Pass this fucker. You trained harder. You are better than him. He doesn't deserve to beat you." While I like the positive physical affects of going for runs, the main I like to run is because I like to race. Going for runs makes me want to get better and race and beat people in races.

I also really like that running isn't a glory sport. My high-school was a very athletically inclined place with huge football and hockey programs. While those jocks were the guys who ruled the school, the cross-country was quietly the most successful high-school program in North America. Sure meatheads would wear their jerseys on game day and high-five everybody after wins, but we were the best. We just didn't brag about it.

Finally, obviously the effects of going for runs on my body is great. I haven't exercised since I left high school and stopped running and am in terrible shape. I never gain weight no matter what I eat because of my ridiculous mutant metabolism, but my body sucks at what it does. Running won't give me huge muscles but it will put me in incredible shape and give me more energy.

3. I watched a few episodes of the X-Files and some good movies.

4. I woke up, went for a run, made some sandwiches and started blaring Heads Are Gonna Roll by The Hippos. They were another one of the ska bands from the 90's who despite being great and far better than most of the "big" ones, never made it. Their aforementioned second album fucking rules and is much more than just a ska record. They take a ton of country and alt and post-punk and 80's influences and throw them all together. No two songs on the record sound the same except for the fact that they all sound amazing. Ariel Rechtshaid is a fantastic song-writer and should be employed as a song-writer for pop artists right now if he isn't already (The band broke up in 2003). All their songs are catchy and cute and have great bass-lines to go along with horn and synth parts that get stuck in your head immediately.

5. The Jays whooped the Red Sox today and Hutch threw at Doucheilis.

One of my fav Hippos jams:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rob, I'm Telling You This For Your Own Good. That's The Worst Fucking Sweater I've Ever Seen. That's A Cosby Sweater.

Top 5 Best Moments Of The ASOB Reunion Show:
5. Them bringing out all the old members to play songs off of Pornocracy and Built To Fail.
4. When they played "RSTLNE".
3. How genuinely emotional the band got towards the end of the set.
2. The "Hey heeeeyyyyyyy.....YEA!" during "Last On My List" and how I turned around and James was ready to belt out the "YEA" with me, right on cue.
1. Every time the chorus hit during "So Let's Go! Nowhere".

Top 5 Beers In The World:
5. Genny Ice
4. Genny Ice
3. Genny Ice
2. Genny Ice
1. Genny Ice

Top 5 Attack In Black Songs:
5. Ever Faster
4. Inches And Ages
3. Cut And Run
2. The Love Between You And I (Widows version)
1. Broken Things

Top 5 Things I Miss About Home:
5. Day-long drinking binges with Dwyer, Damien, Winkler, Paul and Pat.
4. Ridiculous nights around Bathurst and Spadina.
3. Late-night shitty TV and sports watching with my brother.
2. Jack and Trixie.
1. A lot of people I care about.

Top 5 Things I Do Not Miss About Home At All:
5. How far Scarborough is from anything that rules in Toronto.
4. Constantly looking over my shoulder, walking quickly and keeping my phone and ipod out of site when I'm in Scarborough and it's past 12 AM.
3. Wainting for the 116 at 2:30 AM at Kennedy.
2. The TTC.
1. Sleeping on the couch in the basement.

Top 5 Things I Am Most Excited About During This Jays Season:
3. E5 keeping this up.
2. Jose eventually going on a real huge tear.
1. Maybe having a shot at contending?

Top 5 Records I'll Be Jamming This Summer:
5. The Hippos- Heads Are Gonna Roll
4. Saves The Day- Stay What You Are
3. The Copyrights- North Sentinal Island
2. Attack In Black- Marriage
1. The Nix86- Evil Empurr

Cool, I'm going play guitar for a while, watch Pretty In Pink, pass out and then try to find a job tomorrow.