Sunday, February 28, 2010

Let's do this

I'm ready. 
Thanks to @sknox40 for the photo. She doesn't let a little national rivalry stand in the way of awesome photoshop skills. This made my day. 
I was born ready. Maple glazed EVERYTHING for dinner tonight. Caesar waterfalls. Ugly Canadian pyjamas. Let's dooooooo this. PUMPED.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Spirit

“What passes for hip cynical transcendence of sentiment is really some kind of fear of being really human, since to be really human … is probably to be unavoidably sentimental and naïve and goo-prone and generally pathetic.” 
— David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Right, David Foster Wallace? Thank you for reminding us that it’s okay to like things without irony. Passion, people. Passion!!
Speaking of, how about that Olympic hockey? I did the whole wake up at 3:30 am thing to watch Canada lose to the stinking Yanks. Here's hoping we meet them again in the medal round. That'd be the bizness. 

Someone on my twitter wrote that she’s going to go all Tonya Harding on Ryan Miller in Vancouver. And I’m like, yes! If we can’t win fairly the most deceitful way is next best. We want that medal.

Random Olympic thoughts

It is hard to cheer against Ovechkin, but I’m doing it. Although, I have no shame in saying his hit on Jagr was the sex.

Next!

Teeeeeeemu Selanneeeeeee will be handsome forever.

Next!
Jon Montgomery (great Scottish name) is singlehandedly making gingers hot

Next!
.
Keith Law asked a question of his twitter flock recently. Lindsey Vonn: Pretty or Olympics pretty?
Keith Law: Painfully average or TV ugly?

I don’t want to hate on Keith. He read Ulysses. I’m a fan of bookish jock types. BUT when first reading his tweet, the feminist in me got all fist-shaky. Men feel they have the right to judge a woman’s appearance right to her face, or in this case, via tweet. Then I remembered how I talk about hot dudes  and their faces/bodies all the time and how I’m in no position to judge Keith Law. 


I also talk about ugly dudes.

Which reminds me, when they showed Michael Phelps in the crowd at today’s game, I thought for a second it was Jim from the Office.
Jim is an extremely handsome man. Phelps DOES NOT look like Jim. It was 4 a.m. and the camera was playing tricks on me. Ugh, Phelps will haunt me forever, won’t he? 


What's my problem with Phelps? You must be new.

Next!

Tiger Tiger Woods y’all. So he’s not an Olympian but he COULD be. If he wanted to. Though I’m quite sure he doesn’t. My favourite part of Tiger’s statement was when he talked about his sense of entitlement. Why? Because now I have reason to say things like this:

Going to soak up UV by the pool because I feel that I have worked hard my entire life and deserve to enjoy all the temptations around me.

Going to get loser drunk tonight because I feel that I have worked hard my entire life and deserve to enjoy all the temptations around me.

Going to stay up until 5 a.m. watching cat videos because I feel that I have worked hard my entire life and deserve to enjoy all the temptations around me.

Thanks, Tiger.

Next!

Canada won a non-Olympic gold medal last week. It was in debate. The finals were held in Qatar. This country is so random sometimes.

Next!

The cross-country skiing/shooting biathalon has to be the most random Olympic sport. How exactly does one discover they're among the best in the world at both long-distance skiing and rifle shooting? Mind, meet boggled..  

Next!

Here’s Stephen Colbert reading Cat Fancy. High-brow elitist bastard.

Next!

Winter Olympians are all insane.

Next!

Vancouver looks incredible.

Next!

I wish I was there. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Westminster 2010 Preview

Hooray for everything!  It’s that time of year again. The favourite sporting event of people who hate sports (not the Olympics) - the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show airs tonight.
2010 winner, Stump

Last year, when I was job hunting and hanging around being awesome, I spent two whole days sizing up the competitors and predicting winners. Past coverage is here. I also revealed an unhealthy disdain for poodles. I’m mellower now. My poodly rage is curbed.

Now that I have a life, my coverage won’t be as thorough but I'm making time for my doggy friends.
  
I haven’t seen one minute of Olympic action, thanks to CTV’s insistence on making online streaming next to impossible (blerrrrrrrrrrgggggggggg). I will channel the time that SHOULD spend talking about the Olympics  on the dog show. Lucky you.

What’s in store for dog lovers in 2010?

Every year, to keep things fresh, Westminster allows one or two previously unrecognized breeds to the doggy cannon. Breeds rarely win their first year out, but it’s a victory just to be included. I know, I know. That’s what losers say.

Here are 2010's new breeds:

PYRENEAN SHEPHERD 
aka your most embarrassing one night stand in dog form 
The Pyrenean Shepherd has been around since medieval times, but only finally managed to sleep with enough judges to warrant inclusion in 2010. It’s been a long road.

The Norwegian Buhund
aka the Shiba Inu’s annoying little sister
Look at that barrel-chest. This dog does not have a chance.

Irish Red and White Setter
aka the red and white headed stepchild 
Starved for attention, the people of Ireland finally convinced Westminster judges that one Irish Setter was not enough. This dog will most certainly go home empty handed.  

Last year, I encouraged readers to pick a favourite breed and throw all of their emotional support behind it. This year, I implore you to do the same. Loving things without irony is good for the soul.  

My picks for this year:

Like the Academy Awards, the Westminster Dog Show risks being labeled a dinosaur in the age of ADHD and digital media. This is because nothing really changes from year to year. So, in an effort to stay with the times, I think this year’s winners will reflect the more technologically-savvy breeds.


Such as....

The Shiba Inu 
Thanks to an addictive web feed, in 2009 the Shiba Inu rose from doggy obscurity to Internet superstardom. Don’t be surprised if you see the most buzz-worthy dog of the year in one of the winner’s circles.

The Brussels Griffon
I think this little guy with THAT FACE has an excellent chance of winning in 2010. Last year, Vegas picked the Griffon as odds-on favourite. Vegas was wrong.  This year, Vegas picked four-year old Scottish Terrier Sadie as favourite. Sadie peed in the winner’s circle at a tournament earlier this year. My advice? Put your money on the dark horse.

HOLD THE PHONE.

I just checked the Westminster website. The event started yesterday. It’s time to stop what I was doing and comment on the winners so far. What? It’s not like I’m going to delete all of my hard work and start over. Shut up. Read on.

Toy Group



Winner: Toy Poodle

Well, duh. Stupid conniving poodles. Uh oh. The familiar rage is coming back. Best to move on quickly.

Hound Group



Winner: Whippet

I have a soft spot for whippets. When I was a child, my mom alerted me to a news article about a group of whippets bred for racing. When they were no longer able to race competitively, the dogs were either abandoned or put down by the owners. After a life of running on flat surfaces the surviving dogs were unable to walk up and down stair cases. The horror. Point of story? The whippet win is fine by me.

Non-Sporting Group



Winner: French Bulldog

While I prefer the standard bulldog, a French bulldog's win ensures a Standard Poodle's loss. So, wash.

Herding Group
Winner: Puli
Heyyy, no fair! The Puli won this group last year. I know he’s wild and crazy looking; the kind of dog you’d want to pull an all-nighter with, but would it kill you to diversify, Westminster? Boring.

My final prediction for Best in Show? Riverdance Dog.  

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ladies be shoppin'

You never give up on something you want badly enough. Haven’t you ever seen a movie? You have to keep going, otherwise you’re not the protagonist. Otherwise, you’re that old guy from The Shawshank Redemption who hangs himself after he gets a job in a grocery store.
-Julie Klausner


I really liked this interview.

Friday, February 5, 2010

On Tim Tebow

This morning I woke up to a message from my friend Lindsay. Lindsay wants me to  write out some thoughts on Tim Tebow.

While writing about abortion first thing in the morning (with a hangover, no less) isn’t the greatest idea, I have to answer to Lindsay in person next month (we’re meeting up in Shanghai, nbd) so I damn well better do what she asks.
 
Tim Tebow. 

For anyone who doesn’t know why they should care – here’s your 10 second refresher: Tim Tebow is a young, gifted football player. Quarterback. He won the Heisman trophy in 2007. High hopes rest on his professional future.  Recently, Tebow aligned himself with a pro-life organization called Focus on the Family. Through the support of private donations, Focus on the Family sponsored an ad featuring Tebow and his mother that will air during the Superbowl on Sunday. The ad allegedly features Tebow’s mother speaking on how she became ill in the early stages of her pregnancy with Tim and was advised to abort the baby. Mommy Tebow didn’t listen to her doctors and gave birth to healthy boy. A son who grew up talented, handsome and most importantly (soon to be) riiiiich.

We all make choices in life. Tebow is a public figure making choices. I like to talk about famous people who make choices.

Let’s do this.

I believe taking a stand on something. I believe in speaking out about things that matter to you.

What I do not believe in is a budding athlete choosing to speak on an issue that splits the nation during the freaking Superbowl.

In my opinion, Tim Tebow needs to keep his goddamned mouth shut.

Choosing the Superbowl as a mouthpiece is truly idiotic. It's beyond stupid. Still, I can’t bring myself to hate on Tebow that hard. He’s a 22 year-old football player. Knowing what I know about young football players, I can say with some authority that Tebow’s probably as stupid as a brick wall. As such, I suspect puppet mastery at work here *cough* mommy *cough*.

Tebow must be dealing with some seriously hare brained communications people. Hare brained and selfish communications people who are using Tebow to fuel their own agenda without considering how it’ll affect the kid’s future.  

Is pro-life really your 2.5 million dollar issue, Tim? Do you want to be that guy? I wish someone with some goddamn sense could have gotten to Tebow before Focus on the Family did. A sensible person would have said to him, “Tim, you’re a great kid with a bright future. You’ve got an opportunity to influence a lot of young kids with your actions. Pick the one issue that’s most important to you and run with it.”

Tim: Okay. I think abortion is wrong.

Communications person: Um. Something to do with sports, Tim.

Tim: Ohhhh, gotcha. Right to play?

Communications crisis averted.

As soon as you align yourself with something as derisive as the pro-life/pro-choice debate, you alienate half of the country. Just like that. I heard that sponsors love athletes who speak their mind. The more contentious the issue, the better. Nike actually encourages Roger Federer to voice his feelings on the Canadian seal hunt, but Roger gets camera shy.

Which athlete (circa October 2009) was the ideal spokesperson? Tiger Tiger Woods y’all. Why? Because he didn’t say anything about anything. He just dominated his sport for a decade. Nobody knew how Tiger felt about politics. 

People don’t care who celebrities vote for. People really don’t care where athletes stand on abortion.

At a time when Tebow should keep his head down and focus on his career, he’s doing exactly the opposite. It’s never a good idea to alienate potential fans or sponsors in the year before being drafted into the NHL. At least wait until AFTER you have a contract to say a bunch of stupid shit.

The reason this will affect Tebow so deeply is because the commercial was a calculated, thought-out, rehearsed communications message. If Tebow mentioned his stance on abortion as a passing comment, I wouldn’t think any less of him. While I disagree with his opinion, I respect his right to it. The fact that he wanted to speak on this issue during the Superbowl means he is fucking serious about pro-life. He is serious and wants the free world to know it. And now, Tim Tebow will forever be known as the anti-abortion guy. Idiot.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Who drafts Tim and who sponsors him despite his political agenda. I think he'll be okay if he never speaks about prolife again. Move on, Tim. Silence will save you.

Hey, think we'll ever see an athlete endorsing his pro-choice beliefs at the Superbowl? Of course not, but it’s kind of funny to imagine.
 
"It’s why pencils have erasers!"

That was fun. Next week, we’ll talk about this:
 
Juuust kidding. I'm not touching that.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thoughts on: Avatar

I have no interest in seeing Avatar. It looks stupid. 

Clearly, millions disagree.

My decisions to avoid Avatar is detrimental to social discourse. I have this conversation daily:

Zomg!  Have you seen Avatar?

No.

L8r, geek.
The hype swirling around Avatar will not persuade me to see it. I don’t fall easily to social pressure. Case in point, I waited an entire year before seeing Titanic. Imagine the difficulties presented to a thirteen year-old girl in 1997 who hadn’t seen Titanic. It was hell. I was a Matt Damon/Good Will Hunting fan and after telling someone I wouldn’t see Titanic because Leo was a wiener, I had to stand my ground. So I watched it one year later (in secret) and I was like yeaaaa okay, he’s still kind of a wiener.  

But, as usual, I digress. Here are the reasons why I won’t see Avatar:

1.      1.)  James Cameron. Leader of the douche parade. Have you seen this guy?
       Stop making him so rich.

2.       That’s really all I’ve got. My argument is weak.

You know what would be neat? If all Avatar-loving nerds flew off to Pandora (you know they would) and left the rest of us on boring, crappy planet Earth. Earth - that dreadful place with waterfalls and rainbows and polar bears and MONKEYS THAT PLAY WITH TIGERS. Earth isn’t awesome at all.
If Avatar fiends chose to live on Pandora, that would leave earth for the rest of us to play with.   It would be awesome. We’d have a substantially less annoying population, with more space for jumping and what not.

We’d hang out and watch sports and eat food and swim in our inferior oceans. And I could browse the Internet without the omnipresent possibility of running into an another Avatar meme.

If you're a non-Avatar fiend, show yourself! I want to know who I'd be hanging out with. 

Please see below post for thoughts on films I’ve actually seen. That might make more sense. 

Oscar Nominations

While my imaginary Internet boyfriends (and some girlfriends) were freaking out over the Leafs blockbuster or Lost or cats with mittens – I hung out with online film buffs and watched Anne Hathway read this year’s Oscar nominations.

After a stellar 2008 in film and crappy Oscar telecast ratings, the Academy decided to do something different this year. Five best picture nominations wasn't satisfying everyone. Sally and Johnny were mad because the Dark Knight wasn't nominated last year. Billy and Susan didn’t watch last year's show even though the Academy invited those Twilight fellows.

This year Tom, Dick and Harry will be pleased to know that every movie released in 2009 will be nominated for best picture.

Here’s the general idea behind this year’s ten Best Picture noms: The only thing that matters is they tried hard! Every team that tries gets in! THOSE ARE THE RULES!

Ten films. Yeesh. This bold turn has left Hollywood executives sitting around the casting couch trying to determine which five films were *really* nominated.

The only good thing about having ten crappy movies up for Best Picture is that I’ve actually seen a few of them. Here are my thoughts on the films I have watched.

An Education—  Beautiful. I talked about this already. It’s all about the Saaarsgaaard. Saaarsgaaaaard is hot in the same way James Spader is crazy sexy in Secretary. Nobody’s hotter than James Spader in Secretary, but Saaargaaard gives him a run for his money.  
Their appeal lies in the fact that they’re average-looking guys. The kind of man you’d strike up a conversation with on the street. Three minutes later you’re in deep.

Up – Have you seen cryingwife.com? Check it out, she's hilarious. I looked like that woman during the first twenty minutes of Up. Some films have the power to heal. ß I stole that from a guy who talks about music

In my opinion, Up deserves the Best Picture win. Good luck with that, Pixar. They’ll have to settle for Best Animated film because animation is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Oscars. No respect.   

Inglourious Basterds – I’ve watched this movie twice in the last week. I watched it twice because I had food poisoning and the first viewing was blurred by crazy, but also because it was awesome. I loved loved loved this movie. Loved Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa. Oh my God. Oh my God!! Best villain ever? Definitely better than Javier Bardem abandoning his natural charms and looking uggo in No Country for Old Men. Better than, dare I say, Heath Ledger’s The Joker. Hannibal Lecter, pfffft whatever. Col. Hans Landa - best villain ever.

My only critique with Inglourious Basterds? I think the look and feel of the site is ugly.

Two people will get that.

My only real critique? Brad Pitt was miscast.

The Blind Side –  I saw it and cried the whole way through. It’s not even a good movie, per say. It’s just because my heart is large and full. Doesn’t deserve a nomination.

Precious -- I’m never going to see Precious.

Note – Woody Harrelson nominated for The Messenger! Woody Boyd, you’ve arrived! Ugh, can you believe I’m still watching Cheers? There are eleven seasons; I’m on six. I seriously need to stop watching and then stop tweeting/blogging about it. So sorry.
Huuuuuunk

On to....

THE SNUBS or, the movies whose studios didn’t pony up the cash in campaign season

Your typical Academy voters: 
A snub is a film who can’t get no love from me.

With ten nominations up for grabs, a snub is extra painful for studios (Harvey Wienstein) this year. 

Where the Wild Things Are --  Remember one year ago when a generation preemptively declared this the front runner of the 2010 Oscars? Yeaaaa we were a little eager, eh? Regardless, this snub is a big f-u to hipsterdom everywhere. Why wasn’t WTWTA nominated? Because it sucked and the Academy hates young people. Vanity Fair explains why far better than I can,  here

Julie/Julia – ROBBED! This was the most enjoyable film of the year. That’s not subjective. My heart sang each time Meryl Streep graced the screen with her presence. Sandra Bullock’s going to win the Oscar because Lainey says everybody likes her, which is a shame. Meryl Streep made me as happy as Christoph Waltz made me uncomfortable.

Nine - Harvey Weinstein is pissed!! I haven’t seen it.

Star Trek -- I heard this was good. Didn't see it. Spock was snubbed.

The Hangover -- The Hangover won the Golden Globe, so there was speculation that the year's biggest comedy would sneak in. I'm so glad it didn't. I hated The Hangover. It was an hour and a half of calamity. Everything goes wrong! Oh poop. Calamity calamity calamity. My least favourite quality in entertainment. 

Oscar night’s going to be fun, right? Morgan Freeman, the Michael Cera of old black guys (admit it, he's been playing the same role since Shawshank) is going to be there. He always brings the party.