Wednesday, January 27, 2010

YouTube needs to stop telling truths

So my Internet world has changed a little and you know how well people take to change.

Can someone tell me when YouTube started giving explanations for your recommended videos? Seriously, what is that mess? Go look - under your recommended video is a new link that says “because you watched so and so…”

I don’t need YouTube to explain why it keeps recommending shirtless Ovechkin videos over and over again. It takes the fun out of being a creep and I’d like this feature to go away YouTube, please and thanks.

If YouTube and I were to have a conversation about it, it’d probably go something like this…

Me: Listen YouTube. I’m grateful that you unearth rare videos of athletes in various stages of undress, I really am. I’d be nothing without you. But here’s the thing – our previous situation? I was okay with that.

YouTube: And that situation was what, exactly?

Me: You recommend a video and shut up about it. Let’s go back to that.

YouTube: You don’t define the terms in this relationship. I’ve seen your browsing history – I own you.

Me: That’s a little frightening. I just liked it better when a random video of Federer changing his shirt popped up and I could pretend I had NO IDEA how it got there.

YouTube: You’re an idiot. Here’s how the whole magical, mysterious recommended video thing works: my recommendations are based solely on your viewing history.

Me: I know that!! I know it. But before…it was just easier for me to ignore that point.

YouTube: You like watching interviews with shirtless athletes! I KNOW THESE THINGS AND YOU CAN’T HIDE. Creep. I’m going to call your fiancĂ©.

Me: Self-righteous cyborg!! Two can play at this game. So maybe I can’t see your viewing history, but I can totally figure out what you’re into….. Let’s see. You’re YouTube. Your interests include being non-human and judging faithful users. Knowing this, HERE’S MY RECOMMENDED VIDEO FOR YOU MOTHASUCKA

YouTube: She does nothing for me. Go RedSox.

Me: You win. You always do.

Remind me to never show my YouTube homepage to anyone.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I’m worried about the Hitman

*Ed Note - Today is Dolly Parton’s birthday. Instead of paying tribute to my idol, I’m going to talk about wrestling. Yup.

Wrestling used to be my thing. It's my brother's fault.

When Benjamin wasn’t dressing me up in goalie equipment and rifling pucks at my head, he was practicing pile drivers and tomb stones with me as the willing dummy.

We owned these.

My Dad, a nonjudgemental supporter of our interests, took us to Wrestlemania XI (or what I thought was Wrestlemania. Turns out it was Summer Slam or something. Kids are dumb). The main event featured Hulk Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter in a battle royal. Hogan (my hero) lost after Slaughter pulled the Camel Clutch. Hogan was bleeding and everything! Intense.

While I've outgrown wrestling, I can still appreciate it. I really love how after decades, so much chnages but stays exactly the same. In this way, The WWF is like Days of our Lives. Characters in wrestling and in soap operas persist like wrinkly cockroaches. You don’t have to watch for ten years, and suddenly without warning, you’re drawn in to Dr. Marlena Evans/Vince McMahon. Within five minutes, it's like you never left.

This is exactly what happened to me when I logged on to YouTube the other day. One of the recommended videos was called: “
Bret Hart returns to WWE.”**

**Sidenote on YouTube recommended videos. YouTube thinks I’m a 12 year-old boy. It only suggests I either watch wrestling, World of Warcraft videos, or pervy slideshows of Miley Cyrus. Occasionally, it’ll throw me a gem with a shirtless Alex Ovechkin, but those days are sparse.

Some history for non-WWF losers: twelve years ago, Bret Hart left the WWF after “being screwed” by Vince McMahon in a fight against Shawn Michaels. Hart vowed NEVER to return to the organization. NEVER EVER EVER. Of course, we all know what
never means in people speak. It means “maybe later.”

Bret Hart is going back on his word and doing something he said he would never do.

He must
be poor.

To keep from looking like a chump, Hart should walk around and quote Whitman wherever he goes: “
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.”

I love that. It justifies all hypocrisy. I use it a lot. An equally handy quote comes from Walker Evans. It justifies nosiness:

Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.”

Feel free to use that the next time you’re caught staring through a neighbour’s window.

But I meander. Where were we? Ah yes. Now, after a 12 year hiatus and at fifty-two years of age, the Hitman returns to the squared circle. He's signed to a four month contract.  He'll wrestle against the other fogies I watched as a babe, namely Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker.

That’s right, The Undertaker. Have you seen this guy lately? He looks like he sleeps in a crypt. Sure, that’s
kind of his thing, but really. He’s beyond tried and old looking. I'd post a photo but nobody needs to see that.

After approximately 45 million years with the WWE, why does The Undertaker continue to wrestle? I can think of only one reason - he, like Bret Hart is broke as all hell.

There are other impossibly old wrestlers who must be hard up for cash.

Rick Flair, born in 1949 still wrestles professionally. Broke.

Dave Kidney, at 78 years of age, is the
oldest professional wrestler alive. He must be Dickens orphan type poor.

Listen, you might think these men continue to wrestle because they love it. Don’t be an idiot. Thanks to The Wrestler with Mickey Rourke and Canadian investigative news show W5, I know everything about wrestling. Everything.

Several years ago, W5 profiled Canadian wrestler Chris Jericho. At the time, Jericho held the heavyweight title belt and was at the top of his game. YET, he still drove his broke ass to every city and wore cheap clothes. The W5 spot showed us a dedicated athlete and performer, who was in the business because he loved it. Not because of the monies. Basically, it told us that wrestlers ain't getting paid.

How depressing is that?


Did you make it through that? Wow. You’re a nerd. Have a present – the 30 most important cats of 2009 (imagine my joy when I found this link).

Start with Indifferent Cat (for days when you just don’t give an eff), stop at Asshole Cat (for Mondays); continue to Ignored Cat (IS ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE? ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING?) And let Keyboard Cat play you off. 2009 was a historic year for LOLcats.

For the record, I posted Gyoza cat to my Facebook page in October2008. Clearly, the list is flawed. Awesome, but flawed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Liveblogging the Golden Globes - Updated

This is what happens when you try and do things

Yesterday I was struck with the brilliant idea to liveblog the Golden Globe awards. The plan was to wake up at 3am and chat with my friend Elisha. If one or two more people/lurkers joined in that would have been cool too. More people liveblogging equals more jabs at the tight-faced celebrities. I set up the blog (see below), woke up at 3 and realized the awards weren’t broadcast in Qatar this year. Ripoff.

So I missed it. It’s upsetting to have missed Ricky Gervais piss all over the Hollywood Foreign Press (he did piss on them right? Expectations were so high I was half-expecting him to punch a celebrity square in the mouth, I guess the Mel Gibson jab came close enough but enough about that), but I also really wanted to try the liveblog thing. It’s from, the app is currently free and it won’t be that way forever. Oh well. I PROMISE to liveblog the Oscars snoozefest.**

**That Promise means it is 79% not going to happen. Build a bridge. Get over it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Coupla Things

So Rory McIlroy is a little Irish shite. He’s probably not coming to Doha. After a successful 2009 season on the European Tour, Rory decided to expand his horizons and join the PGA Tour.

Rory wants to play with the best golfers on the best courses in the world.

And I want to stand beside him and look surly.

Guess who out of the two of us is going to get their way? That’s right, the rich 19 year-old wins. Again.

Though he’ll continue to play on the European Tour and play the US majors, Rory’s 95% not coming to the Qatar Masters. That means I won’t get my chance to silently mock him. No photobomb, no nothing. I hate that talented man-boy more than ever.

Also, apparently McIlroy is in line to fill Tiger’s shoes while Woods takes a little break to sort out his bizness. I heard Tiger ran into some trouble but am not sure; it’s really hard to find details.


How many times do I have to link to the 1980s dating video before you watch? It’s six minutes of Internet gold. You won’t regret watching this one. Promise. It’s not anything like that new walrus video.

At night I operate a damsel in distress hotline. I guess you’d call me a knight.


Team Conan. Obviously. Here’s my favourite Conan-related tweet:
@Ihnatko: Conan is on fire tonight. Like any Sith Lord worth his salt, his hate has made him strong.

I like to freak out my colleagues and set my desktop background to something really awkward and lame. Here's a screencap of what my desktop looks like now:

Need something equally classy for next week.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

January Nuggets

Taking a page from the sometimes book of Toronto hero eyebleaf and writing a post in point form. Style can be exhausting sometimes.

**Post-post-writing Ed note – this turned into a link dump. Revert back here when looking for something shiny to distract you, sweet magpies.

• What the hell is a Justin Beiber? My favourite YouTuber, Pruane seems to know. I'm looking at Justin Beiber now, and all I can think is, the robots are coming?? THEY'RE ALREADY HERE!!

• Are you a fan of The Office? Then you may have noticed the show has taken a decidedly darker route this season, or that something feels a little off, but you can’t put your finger on what's different. This article can help: Why The Office has become the most depressing show on television. Great read.

• Ever since I showed the tiniest interest in the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight (that’s boxing, by the way…who knew), the Philipinos in my office have taken to shouting “Manny! Manny! Manny!” every time I enter the building. This has been going on for weeks. In actuality, I don’t know anything about boxing, save for what Joyce Carol Oates has told me, but I now feel compelled to read everything possible about it. It's a shady attempt to win favour with my colleagues and it's totally working. Come again? The fight's maybe probably definitely off? Aweeeeesome. Thank you Jebus.

• I love me some Howard Stern. I hate me some creationist Kirk Cameron. That's probably why this three part video of Howard ripping into Cameron and everything he believes in, makes me so happy.

• Morgan Freeman replaced Walter Cronkite as CBS’ ‘voice of God.’ Morgan Freeman, imagine that! What an inspired decision. Can’t you just see a bunch of white dudes sitting around the CBS boardroom calling this?

White guy #1 “Oh shit. We can’t use Cronkey’s voice anymore. Who do we call?”

Three second pause.

White guy #2 “I hear Morgan Freeman has some voice-over experience.”

Done deal.

You can listen toFreeman’s introduction of the nightly news here.  Booooo-ring. They should have called Kenny Rogers. Or Dolly.

• A version of the next Twilight movie script was leaked online. Hahahaha.

• Jersey Show. Man. That show permeated universal consciousness in a scary fast way, eh? I watched the pilot last night. It was futile to ignore the buzz any longer. After finally succumbing to the hype and knowing my predilection for everything trashy, I figured I’d be hooked. Amazingly, the show didn't take. I passed on Jersey Shore and now feel invinsible to crap. Someone buy me a monocle.

• I already linked to this on my twitter but it’s worth a second, third and fourth look: the 20 craziest Tyra Show moments. If you only watch one clip, make it the homeless one. No, I take that back. Make it the one where she goes undercover as a man. Oh forget it, watch them all. Tyra is a gift. It's so sad that she's ending her run next year. There are few things in life more fun than judging a judgy Tyra Banks. Who's going to fill the void?

• Yesterday, someone sent me information that they claimed might make me like Rory McIroy. I promptly deleted it. The boy is a pig and there’s no evidence to the contrary. Harumph. I’ve since thought more about this McIlroy-surly-photo plan, which got me thinking about photobombs again. Animal photobombs in particular. Here are my favourite animal photobombs:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My next mission

The Qatar Masters is coming up.

There's still no confirmation as to whether Rory McIlroy is participating or not.

Or maybe there is. You do the research, please.

Anyway, if he does attend, something special has to happen. Rory's history with HTB demands it.

As such, my mission is this:

Have photo taken with Rory McIlory. Look surly.

It doesn’t matter how nice I have to be to get the photo, only the end result counts.

Must look like I hate Rory McIlory while standing next to him.

Maybe if I explain about the mission…..

A photobomb, though cool, would be a failure.

Speaking of photobombs- have you seen the best celebrity photobombers? Kate Beckinsale ginger for the win?

Sit there and let me tell you about the time I saw Roger Federer in the flesh

And don't you dare move....

...or move. You should probably leave me alone with my thoughts.

In my world this week, it’s all Federer, all the time. You already knew I was obsessed with him. Imagine what an IRL (in real life) sighting has done. I freaking dreamt about him last night. Embarrassing. And I'm not a twelve year-old. You'd think I'd be able to control myself and not write a detailed blog post about the three minutes I spent looking at him. You'd think I wouldn't, but you'd be so wrong.

I’ve already grossed out my twitter followers with the gushing. Now it’s your turn. Prepare to feel revolted.

I’m going to transcribe the “story”, because although none of you care, I need a record for my own amusement. In the past I’ve said that if I really want something to happen, it always does. Add this story to the list.

Two nights ago, Roger Federer stood six feet away from me. We were in a store with four other people. There were no fans crowding around him, he wasn’t playing tennis, it was just him and his wife, in their element. It was the coolness.

On Monday, DKM and I went to the first night of the ExxonMobil Open. When we found out Rafa and Federer weren’t playing that evening, we watched a set of crappy nobodies rally and got the heck out of there. It was cold outside.

Next, we went to the Hyatt. The night before, my agency organized an event and I forgot my laptop onstage, so we had to go and fetch it from security. Sidebar - only in Doha could you forget a laptop somewhere and be 99.9% guaranteed to have it back the next day. I'll let you figure out why that's the case.

After leaving the Hyatt, we rolled up to my favourite hotel in the world, the Ritz-Carlton, to seek out the manolo blahnik sale I mentioned last post.

After roughly three minutes of browsing the store, Federer’s wife (Mirka Vavrinec) walks in the joint. This is me: “Holy shit, that’s Federer’s wife. Great hair. Awesome.” I turned around, (the best way to prevent myself from asking what’s it like to be married to the second most beautiful man alive).

Suddenly, it hit me. “Wait a minute…. If Federer’s wife is here….”

I turned back around.

There he was. Tall, handsome, smiling.

He was dressed in jeans, a blue plaid dress shirt and a deep blue cardigan. He was with a big Qatari businessman. They stood, chatted, bought stuff. The whole encounter lasted about three minutes. I spent that time pretending to look at shoes. I also leapt out of his eye line for a minute in an attempt to calm my furiously beating heart. It didn’t work.

I didn’t talk to him or ask him for an autograph. That’s what fraidycats uncool people do.

So that’s it. An insignificant three minutes for Roger, a lifetime memory in my bank. I have the best luck with these things.

Anyway, once he left, I was feeling especially good. Bought the miu mius I had in hand when he walked in. They’re bright red, patent leather and are obviously now my lucky shoes.

DKM also bought me blue suede Manolos!! My first pair. If anyone steps on my blue suede shoes, I’mma hurt them.

Up next, five nights of watching Federer and Nadal knock off oponents until they inevitably face each other on Saturday and I explode from an overload of beauty.

I wonder if they coordinate outfits?

Yes, I took this. Shame is for the weak.

Bonus! Here’s Rafa looking happy at his doubles match. He plays with Marco Lopez- the shorter, stockier, crappier, less dreamy version of Rafa. He has way more mustache than Nadal so that's got to be something.

Yay for tennis, right?

Monday, January 4, 2010

One year in Qatar

Yesterday marked 365 days since I touched down in Doha. One year of living the Arabian dream, baby. It’s astounding how quickly time has gone. The last month is especially blurry. Holidays. Sheesh.

One year in Doha. Wow. Do you know how many socially awkward conversations I’ve had that that were spoken entirely in Arabic, by everyone but me? Maybe 100.

I had one such conversation this morning. Usually what happens is, someone makes a joke. Everyone else laughs. Then I laugh, half a beat later. Everyone else is already wearing serious faces. They frown at me. I wear blank expression until conversation finishes.

It’s still a trip, one year later.

What have you been up to? Make any new year’s resolutions? I sure as hell didn’t, but I stole one from Brenda, which is probably a better plan.

2010: be it resolved that (that’s not right) Meredith will "be more aware of other people and their feelings.”
Or something.

Brenda is one of the only truly good people I know (no offense everyone else), so hopefully by stealing her resolution some of that goodness will rub off on me. If I were left to my own devices, my resolutions would include becoming shockingly thin, abstaining from alcohol during the week (as to get drunker on weekends), and blogging on the regular. Hey, those aren’t so bad. Forget you, Brenda!

So, one year in Doha means Hack the Bone’s first birthday is approaching. This calls for a celebration.

Manolos are on sale at 70% off right now!! That’s practically free (not at all). If you can’t wear pretty shoes while typing half-hazardly from the Interwebs, when can you?!

One year of blogging. Time moves. I’d like to thank the people who inspire me daily – Michael Phelps, Rory McIlroy, CONRAD Black, every LOLCats cat ever, and Sarah Palin. Thank you to the menaces of society for keeping me thoroughly grossed out/entertained/awestruck. I would have nothing to write about without the legions of fascinatingly unattractive people who do stupid things.

Here are some of my favourite posts from the year:

The True Story of my Inbred PuppiesThis is the post that established HTB as one of the Internet’s largest suppositories of photos of inbred puppies. Go on, google image it. You’ll find the angels I birthed with my two hands (and don’t you forget it) all over the page. Bing isn't so kind, but I’m still Internet famous - the only kind of fame that matters anymore.

Blog Wars
Gord and Meg versus Mere and Duncan. An epic showdown of nerds. Or rather, two nerds and two cool people in love with geeks. Glory days never last.This online rivalry continued until Gord and Meg got lives and stopped blogging. It was good while it lasted.

Fun with Facebook
Get this - Bone Grinder’s name is STILL Bone Grinder.

Happy New Year everyone! 2010 is going to be sweet.