Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Random Anecdotes Vol. 1

Last night while I was trying to fall asleep I randomly remembered something funny that happened when I went to the movies with Paul and Pat in high school. Funny enough that I rolled over to write it down, so I would remember to write a blog about it today!

An important thing to explain before I jump into this story is what it is like to go to the movies with Paul. In short, ridiculous. I remember one occasion when Paul, Damien and I went to go see a horror movie (the name escapes me now and all that I can off is that we went and saw Boogeyman around this time as well  and that came out in 2005, so it came out sometime around there) and the movie was exceptionally awful, to the point that pretty much the entire theatre noticed how bad it was. Since we were in 10th grade and thought we were hilarious (we kind of are), we started making weird noises and singing "Crazy Train" in falsetto. Obnoxious and rude to everyone around us? Yes. The funniest thing of all-time to us at the time? Certainly.

Anyways, one day in high school, Paul, Pat and I decided that we should go and see Spiderman 3 at the movie theatre. While everyone looks back on this film franchise now extremely negatively, at the time everyone got incredibly hyphy about Spiderman movies and their release was pretty much the biggest deal, especially in this case where everyone knew that the symbiot/Venom would be the crux of the story. Pat mentioned that he still had his VHS copy of the Venom saga from the excellent Spiderman the Animated Series cartoon and we figured that we should watch it before the movie.

One thing we noticed while watching the cartoon was that every time Venom was on-screen, he made this ridiculous "AAHBLGHAGHLAGHLABAGH" sound. For reference, refer to 0:53 of this video. We thought it was totally hilarious and kept making the sound the entire we hanging out.

If you haven't seen Spiderman 3, it's pretty terrible. Sam Raimi directed it, so I guess it's supposed to be campy, but it is a super terrible movie. Once again being with Paul and watching a bad movie in theatres, we started to make jokes to each other and one of the first ones we started was whispering "aaghablagghalaghaghablagh" to each other any time Venom came on-screen. The three of us kept it up for the rest of the movie and it got funnier and funnier each time.

This is one of those inside jokes that we can still make to each other years later and all pick up on it right away and also the type of thing that I randomly think about like once year (like last night) and still makes me chuckle to myself.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I've Still Got My Key And It Works

Something that I really like to do is look at things that have been or happened in my life for a long time, relative to my time being alive of course, and see how they change. An example of something that I do this with is the experience of me coming home.

I haven't lived at home, save a stretch of 4 months at the end of last year, since I left for my first year of university in 2007 and to me, that is a long time. At first when I would come it was a bit of an awkward experience, mostly because I was a really awkward person then. I mean, I'm still really awkward now, but back then I was whole other levels of awkward. It was my first time living on my own away from my family and since I was so completely socially inept, I didn't really know how to act when I came back. For some completely incomprehensible reason, I felt weird about being close and sharing news and feelings with my family. Fortunately for me, my parents were the completely opposite of me and showered me with all the feelings and excitement anyways. At this point I still had my bedroom at home, so it still felt very normal coming back because everything was set up the same.

This started to change gradually in two ways: At school I moved out of residence and started renting a house with a few friends, which necessitated me moving all of my bedroom from Scarborough to Guelph and lead to a situation somewhat notorious among my friends in which Brian, Pat and I were coming home for a Less Than Jake show and I found my bedroom to be replaced with an empty room save for a single chair, without my knowledge. Of course it makes sense that my parents would try to turn my room into something else, as all of my stuff was out of it, but it was just a little shocking. So now when I came home I was riding the couch, as opposed to the comfort of my own bed. Though I returned back to Toronto for each of my first four summers at school for work, I gradually started to become more and more settled out on my own. The other way I changed was that since I was thrust out onto my own and met a ton of strangers at school, I began to get at least a little better at being social and could begin to reciprocate emotions with my family.

The funny thing is that the longer it gets since I initially moved out, the more I enjoy it when I come back home. A terrible cliché that I like to appropriate for myself is "You can take the boy out of Scarborough, but you can't take Scarborough out of the boy." I know it's corny, but I feel like it's an easy way to describe how I feel about my home town. All of my friends from K-W and Milton love to rip on me for it, but fuck it; Toronto is one of the best places in the world and I love it to death. I mean, yeah Scarborough sucks, but it's my shithole to make fun of, y'know?

This is also coupled with the fact that as I've gotten older I've gradually realized what fucking amazing people my parents are. The more people you meet, the more you realize that most parents fucking suck at instilling basic human decency in their offspring and as a result of that I start to appreciate the way my parents raised me more and more every day. I mean, I can write a passable essay, manage a root-3rd-5th on bass, crack a funny joke every 3rd week or so and sometimes channel my excessive discharge of feelings into a terribly written blog post and they love that person unconditionally! When you're a kid you get bummed out that your parents buy you books instead of Nintendo 64, but now I am so happy that my parents worked hard to instill a love of reading in me at an early age. Even just the basic things like encouraging me to follow my pursuits, whatever they may be, are something you think might be really simple but are somehow beyond most parents. So when I'm away from the 'hood, I start to get really homesick and miss my folks. Because they're the best.


A weird thing that's happened recently is how much my house changes each time I come home. My parents have been renovating recently, so it seems like there a new addition each time I come home. My mom has lost a significant amount of weight from eating well and exercising and while I'm obviously very proud and happy for her, she looks way different! My dogs also seem to get way older and fatter and slower each time I come home. More and more, the house is starting to be a completely different entity than the one I left in September 2007.

Alas, I started this blog with visions of it making far more sense structurally and leading up to the point I'm about to make, but veering off-track and things not going your way is just what happens sometimes. I'm writing about this subject because I came home for the first time in a little while today and it feels great to be back home. What I noticed this time when I came back was how much my dad and oldest dog Jack are alike. They're both getting up there in age, have bum joints in their legs and hobble around a bit, shower me with more love than I can handle. What makes it great is that they are best friends and spend more or less every waking moment around each other. People love to remark that dogs resemble their owners and it is certainly true in this case. They are my two favourite people in the entire world.

And I missed them a lot.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I'm on my way, I'm on my way, hoooooomme sweeeet hooooommmmmee

One of my best friends is named Matt Sellner. He is also my most (re: only) dedicated reader. He started reading not long after I started it and has stuck through like 5 years. I have a wonderful time every time I hang out with him. I love to watch action movies with him. I love to talk shop about wrestling with him even more. Recently we were hanging out and I said "I work at an art gallery." and he responded "You think I don't read your blog?"

The last time we hung out we got delicious burgers and watched a delightful piece of cinema starring Samuel L. Jackson.

Kudos to you Selly for being Imu's (the new, most ballin'-ass abbreviation for this blog, for those in the know) biggest fan but more so for being one of the most non-heinous people I know.

Beat Noir is playing a show on Monday with The Sidekicks that I'm very excited about. They are one of the best bands in the world and both Weight of Air  and Awkward Breeds are personal favourites. And man how good are they live? PRETTY MUCH THE BEST, MAN. Hop Along and Wayfarer are also playing and man, do they ever rule. You should really come.

Blue Jays 1, Yankees 0

This is a song I wrote today while sitting on my roof. The song also happens to be about sitting on my roof, because it was something I did a lot this summer and was kind of my place to go and escape and just hang out with myself once in awhile, because you know what? Everyone needs that every now and then.

It might be silly to post lyrics I finished writing literally 10 minutes ago and without accompanying music, but this was a case of me just kind of randomly spitting out a bunch of things I was thinking about and then thinking "Yeah, I like that." once I had finished, which is generally the feeling I get whenever I finish something that I'm proud of.


It's funny how things work out sometimes, like how this roof's been the bookends to my summer. There were lots of times in between, but there's two that especially stick out to me. There's an image of me gazing out at Shanley Street and thinking about how good things have been. They were two of the hottest days this summer and the green shorts I wore made me look like Jeff Spicoli, or at least that's what I would lead myself to believe. I get so pensive out here, it's like the shingles are a crank that turns the gears inside my head, or maybe it's just that I have time to reflect and I'm not playing baseball in my attic. I wish I could think this well with a roof over my head.

You could say this is my rooftop of solitude where I can think about Montreal and I'm gonna do during my MA in the fall. I'm a little scared, but excited just the same and with this towel as my seat, over these shingles in the August heat, I'm sure that I'll able to cope and succeed.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Best Thing I Got For My Birthday

Today I listened to Make Your Mark by Living With Lions on the way to and from work and I was really struck by how amazing that album is, as I hadn't given it a full listen in quite a while.

I was headbanging and jumping up and down pretty hard on my skateboard while singing along the whole ride and thought to myself "You know what? Fuck it, this is one of the best Canadian punk releases of all-time." I feel like this band really flies under the radar in the punk scene for no reason that I can think of. To put it as simply as I can: They write fast, catchy, poppy punk songs with great guitar lines and are real, real good at it.

I heard both "She's A Hack" and "A Bottle Of Charades" and just couldn't wait to see them live. I eventually saw that they would be playing in Guelph and that was up there as the most excited I've been to see a show. They killed it, I picked up Make Your Mark at the show and didn't stop listening to it for a while and the night is one of those ones that has a habit of sticking out in your mind. Still one of my favourites.

They're putting out a new album this year. While I haven't been as keen on what they've put out since Make Your Mark, I'll still eagerly check it out.

Also, the new Superchunk album is streaming and one of the songs makes reference to the Skatalites' piano player. This guy is stoked.