"In 1759, Voltaire wrote a book called Candide…"

The Quill & Quire explores the Bush administration’s recent (and rather funny) tendency to compare themselves to literary characters:

They’re doing it again: earlier this week, former Bush adviser Karl Rove compared himself to both Grendel and Beowulf. Before that, he was Moby Dick.

Now, Rove’s ex-boss, one George W. Bush, is doing it – in a speech defending America’s continued presence in Iraq, Bush cited – wait for it – Graham Greene’s The Quiet American.

It would be even funnier if anyone believed Bush had actually read Graham Greene. It gets better though:

Again, Bush was citing a book about the dangers of American overseas naïveté to support his argument in favour of staying in Iraq. The best part is, as can be seen here, Bush’s critics have often cited the character of Alden Pyle to criticize the president’s foreign policy.

I’m guessing that’s the last time Bush lets his speechwriters reference any book not containing testaments.


IndieTits raises a very good, if spectacularly crude, question about the New Pornographers.

[tags]quill & quire, karl rove, george bush, beowulf, moby dick, quiet american, graham greene, indietits, new pornographers[/tags]

Let the trumpets sound and angels sing

Hallelujah…we have a bed. The bed we bought three months ago, that was supposed to be delivered two months ago, that has exposed UpCountry’s complete lack of customer service…is finally in our bedroom. First of all, it’s huge…not a lot of spare room left in there. Second, it took two guys three hours to set up, so I think we’ll be leaving it behind when we move. But it looks great and the cats have already made themselves at home on it, so I think we’ll keep it.

As Nellie put it, we’re now one dining table away from being real grown-ups. Guess where we won’t be buying it from…

[tags]upcountry, bed[/tags]

This is how badly I want to be done the MBA

This time next year — and I mean exactly this time; I’ll finish my last exam by 11AM eastern time on 22 August 2008 — I’ll be done the MBA. I’m so excited about this, and so pissed that I’m missing this year’s film festival because I’ll be on course, that I’m already thinking about what I’ll do next year when it’s all over.

First of all, I plan to undergo elective surgery on the part of my brain that knows about swaptions. I really don’t see myself needing that ever again.

Second, I will immerse myself in the probably-just-released list of festival films and choose the ones I want to see.

Third, I will spend the next two weeks coming home from work and NOT studying. In fact, I may engage in the most ridiculous time wasting exercises I can think of, like counting all the cat hairs on the floor or measuring the exact height of every book I own. My aim is to revel in the sudden lack of lessons to read or assignments to complete.

Finally, I will take a week of vacation and watch as many festival movies as I can stand. I’m thinking 30 in 10 days oughta do it.

I know…sad. I’m planning recreation a year in advance. This is what I’ve been reduced to: a 15-year-old girl planning her sixteenth birthday party.

[tags]mba, toronto international film festival[/tags]

Conviction. Salvation.

Remember a month ago when I said that the bloodthirsty hordes should wait until Michael Vick is actually found guilty before calling for his head? Well, he plead guilty yesterday. Put on your lynchin’ shoes and warm up the tar. I hope that punk gets the max.


Crapmonkey. I don’t want to watch another season of 24 but now I may have to. From The TV Show Blog:

“Although details are scarce at this point, according to Michael Ausiello over at TV Guide, Janeane Garofalo is the newest member of the cast of 24.”

Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.

[tags]michael vick, 24, janeane garofalo[/tags]

"God loves you just the way you are. But he loves you too much to let you stay that way."

Last night we watched Junebug (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which may as well have been called “The Amy Adams Show.” The story was good enough — it was a better-than-average fish-out-of-bumpkin-water plot — and the acting was good all around, but Amy Adams was a complete standout. No wonder she was nominated for best supporting actor at the 2006 Oscars, and won a slew of other awards (as you can see on the film’s awards page over at imdb). I liked the film, and think I’ll like it even more as it sits with me a few days.


Recent songs that’ve fallen into my lap:

  • Magnetic Fields . “The Dreaming Moon”
  • John Vanderslice . “White Dove”
  • Prolapse . “Tina This Is Matthew Stone”
  • Joy Wants Eternity . “Existences Rust”
  • Shout Out Louds . “Tonight I Have To Leave It”

I fell in love with “The Dreaming Moon” when I heard an American Analog Set cover of it recorded here in Toronto. God, I wish they’d record a studio version.

I’ve avoided listening to John Vanderslice for a long time for the same reason I avoid the Mountain Goats: I like being the only indie guy who doesn’t listen to them.

[tags]junebug, amy adams, american analog set, john vanderslice, shout out louds, mountain goats[/tags]

The calm before the boring, boring storm

Pretty good start to the day: went over to Barrio to have brunch with CBGB. We ate our fill (I had waffles covered in…well, everything; Nellie had princess pancakes) and caught up with them. Then Nellie and I strolled down Queen Street and checked out a bit more of Leslieville before hopping on the streetcar.

Next stop was UpCountry, where I was all set to be super-bitchy with some staff (I had hissed ultimatums prepared and everything) but the manager happened to be in today and he seemed reasonably confident. He promised delivery this week and apologized profusely, both of which were new events for us. I won’t declare him actually helpful until the bed we picked out is in our bedroom, but if that doesn’t happen this week as promised then I’m bringing the pain.

Then a quick hop over to {shudder} the Eaton Centre where we grabbed some shoes. We’re both in need of some footwear for our upcoming trip, and just wanted to get it over with. I managed to get in and out without throttling any teenagers; I guess those nine beers at brunch took some edge off.

Now, with all that fun out of the way, I’m looking at a day of financial risk management quizzes and work emails. Yaaaaaay.

368 days from now I’ll be done the MBA. Not that I’m counting.

[tags]barrio, brunch, upcountry, skechers, eaton centre, mba[/tags]

"The rest is just cattle-prod and pray."

Fatblogging news:

  • Original weight: 233
  • Weight last week: 226.5
  • Weight this week: 225.5

Another week, another pound. Not as fast as I should be going, but once again I barely got to the gym. The plan is to run later today, though that will likely just undo the damage I’m about to do to myself at brunch with CBGB.


Last night, after I finished doing work and Nellie finished making veggie burgers, we watched Notes On A Scandal (imdb | rotten tomatoes). Very good film, extremely well acted, and pretty much hooks you in right away. Judi Dench marries civility with ferocity, just as she marries wit with derangement.

[tags]fatblogging, notes on a scandal[/tags]

"Should I run?" "Yes!"

BlogTO used one of my flickr photos as a headline picture yesterday. Seeing that was a nice way to start off the day.


Nellie, T-Bone and I saw Superbad (imdb | rotten tomatoes) last night. Holy mother of god, it was funny. It was incredibly crude to the point that Jonah Hill’s character became kind of unlikable (although one of the best parts was hearing how many variations of “vagina” he could come up with) and there were too many scenes with the two cops, but those were small complaints in the face of pretty much nonstop laughter. Describing it as a cross between American Pie (minus the toilet humour) and The 40 Year Old Virgin is actually pretty accurate. If you can deal with ridiculously foul language, go see it. If you can’t, relax and then go see it.


We had dinner and a couple of pints at Smokeless Joe’s after. I love that place. I love sitting at the bar and listening to the blues and eating green pesto pasta and chatting with the friendly staff and drinking beer that I can’t get anywhere else. I’m glad it’s closer to us…now if only it weren’t smack in the middle of clubland.


I previously blogged about Walk Score, the site that tells you how pedestrian-friendly your home is. A friend recently brought it up again, and the scores coming out (our new condo, for example, scored only 80/100) led me to think they’d fixed their previous data issues (see the comments in my original post) so I gave it another whirl. Lo and behold, our condo scored a 95/100. I guess the data issues have been solved.

[tags]blogto, superbad, smokeless joe’s, walkscore[/tags]

I just not that into your mov…Oh hello, cast list.

My birthday present has finally been installed: outdoor speakers. We can now listen to music on the balcony, or even watch TV with full sound. They sound really good, maybe even a little better than I expected them to sound out there. Thanks baby!


I have no interest in Kanye West’s music, but like my friend Joe, I may just buy his new CD when it’s released next month. In fact, I might buy multiple copies. Why? ‘Cause Curtis has been runnin’ his mouth, that’s why.


There’s a movie being adapted from the book He’s Just Not That Into You (amazon). Men have not heard of this book, but many women have, especially those (based on what I’ve heard about it) those who lack in self-esteem and/or functional synapses. I could imagine no situation in which I would watch this film…until I saw the lineup. Now I’m almost considering it: Jennifer Connelly (who would be on my all-time top five laminated list, if I had one), Drew Barrymore (umm…backup list?), Ginnifer Goodwin and now Jennifer Aniston. Madre de dios. If Scarlett Johansson or Parminder Nagra join the cast I may quit my job and just hang around outside the film set.

[UPDATE: guess I’d better write out my resignation]


Spacing asked a very good question yesterday: why hasn’t Toronto mayor David Miller imposed — or even seriously considered — road tolls? With the city in such dire financial straits, wouldn’t a few hundred million dollars come in handy? And that’s forgetting the environmental benefits, the reduced traffic, the fewer (in theory) pedestrian/cyclist deaths, etc.

Even The Economist is asking the question. Spacing goes into Miller’s explanations for rejecting the idea, but none of them pass the sniff test, especially coming from a Harvard graduate in economics. In my opinion he’s either getting pressure not to do it, or is afraid of the pressure which would inevitably come.

[tags]sonance, outdoor speakers, kanye west, fifty cent, he’s just not that into you, jennifer connelly, drew barrymore, ginnifer goodwin, jennifer aniston, spacing magazine, david miller, economist magazine, congestion charge[/tags]

I Do Have Weapons

I “bought” two more albums from eMusic yesterday: Mogwai‘s soundtrack (pitchfork) to Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (imdb | rotten tomatoes) and Okkervil River‘s The Stage Names (pitchfork | metacritic). The ‘gwai album I listened to last night (I find their music perfect to listen to while working) and it’s fantastic. I haven’t listened to the OR disc yet, except for the excellent first track “Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe”.

Speaking of working, I pretty much need to finish this assignment tonight. I’ve long since stopped caring about doing a good job. Everyone in the program that I’ve talked to has complained about how ridiculous the assignment is. I feel I’ve put the amount of effort into it that it deserves…which is to say, not much.

[tags]mogwai, zidane, okkervil river, emusic[/tags]