Desperate times

Well, I fear my Canadiens have had it. They were down almost the entire game, came storming back in the third to tie it up, and then a horrendous call by a referee late in the game (against one of the Canadiens’ best penalty killers, naturally) gave the Flyers a power play, et voila…3 games to 1, Philadelphia. To be honest, I’d be surprised if Montreal can win Saturday night, even on their home ice…something like that must just be so deflating.

If you’re going to call chintzy penalties, call the dozen interference and holding calls you should’ve called on Philadelphia this series. If you’re going to put the whistle away, then keep it away in the FINAL MINUTES OF A TIE PLAYOFF GAME, crapweasels.

.:.

92.11% of the way through the MBA just doesn’t feel like enough right now. I’m past the point of being ambivalent about it; I’m outright annoyed at still having 112 days to go.  I’m away on the second-to-last course next week, and then it’s the home stretch; let’s see if I can stay awake.

[tags]mba, canadiens[/tags]

Things I feel it's important for you to know

  • My favourite word for today: solipsism. No idea why. I’m sure it’s related to some kind of deep and brilliant observation that I made earlier today and shall force you all to hear about. Gosh almighty I notice that the definition of solipsism sounds an awful lot like blogging geez whod’ve thunkit.
  • A new poll suggests that the Montreal Canadiens are considered “Canada’s team.” The results were met in disbelief both in Montreal (where they’ll believe it when the CBC assigns announcers to Canadiens games who can actually identify their players and correctly pronounce their names) as well as in Toronto (where they were, quite frankly, shocked to find out that other Canadian cities even have hockey teams).
  • Any smoker who justifies throwing butts on the ground by asking sarcastically, “Where are we supposed to put them?” is a premium unfiltered asshole. Why not apply the same logic to empty beer bottles? Used syringes? Diarrhea? Just because there isn’t a conveniently located receptacle into which I can dispose of the byproduct of whatever unhealthy habit I may have, I haven’t the right to discard butt, bottle, needle nor shit wherever I please. It’s bad enough that you smell bad; try not to be so lazy too.

OK, back to your regularly scheduled solipsism.

[tags]solipsism, montreal canadiens, canada’s team, cbc, cigarette butts[/tags]

"Give him the gun. Give him all the guns."

Bad night for my teams. The Canadiens lost and now trail a series for the first time in these playoffs. The Raptors lost and were eliminated in the first round, 4 games to 1.

.:.

I forgot to blog about it, but we watched both parts of Grindhouse (imdb | rotten tomatoes) a few weeks back. I’d heard Planet Terror was better than Death Proof, but I found it to be the other way around. A lot of people complained about the prolongated girlie conversations in Death Proof, but I found they were good buildup to the high-grade ass-kicking at the end.

[tags]canadiens, raptors, grindhouse[/tags]

Stupid Denmark

Well, that was a fun day. Once again, with no TTC, we left early to get to the Bloor Theatre for our documentary. It was another beautiful day so we were happy to stroll and take a couple of pictures along the way, like this one of a billboard desperately in need of grammar checker

…and this one of a very cheeky sign on St. George, on the U of T campus.

We were hungry and thirsty by the time we reached Bloor, so we stopped in at the Brunswick Avenue Pump for some food and a cold beer. Nellie got a Hoegaarden, which is always awesome, ’cause she has to hold the giant glass like a sippy cup.

After finishing up there we still had a few minutes to spare, so we backtracked to COBS Bread to pick up some tasties for the evening. Nellie got a cinnamon bun to eat in the line, and I got some kind of giant apple thing for after dinner. It was in a big box, so I asked them to hold it there for me. Off we went to get in line, and a few minutes later we were in and watching the doc.

Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go (hot docs) was our last doc, on the last day of the festival. It was a very interesting topic — troubled, violent British kids (and I mean violent…kicking, punching, spitting, stabbing, using words that would make sailors blush, etc.) at a special school — but the film itself wasn’t that impressive…I saw no arc, no narrative, no depth. The teachers, which probably isn’t even the right word for them, must surely be the most patient and calm people in the world; it would have been very interesting to see how they cope when they’re alone for a few minutes after dealing with those kids all day. So not a bad documentary by any means, but I wanted more than I got. It was a BBC doc; I suspect it was turned into a series at some point.

We left the theatre and went back to COBS. As soon as we got there the girl who’d sold me the apple thingy gasped and covered her mouth…she’d given away my dessert. Or sold it. Or gave it to the staff. I’m not sure what happened exactly, but it wasn’t there. No big deal; it’s not like I was dying for the apple dealie, but she apologized profusely, refunded my money and offered to give me anything I wanted, so I took a couple of croissants. I figure that’s what the pastry gods intended; who am I to question divine will?

We began walking home, but around Harbord and Queen’s Park it got a bit cold so we flagged a cab. Actually, we only half flagged it; it was too bright to see if the sign was on or off, and from a distance there appeared to be someone in the back. However, he pulled over and we jumped in. What we saw in the back window turned out to be a pillow, in the shape and design of a globe. Here’s how the conversation went from there:

  • Driver: I have a proposal for you.
  • Us: [dubious] Okay.
  • Driver: I’ll ask you one question, and if you get it right, your ride is free.
  • Us: [laughing] Shoot!
  • Driver: You have thirty seconds to answer. Ready? OK. What’s the capital of Nigeria?

I struggled with the answer, getting close to Lagos but not quite reaching it. As it turned out, Lagos is the biggest city but not the capital, so it didn’t matter. He gave us another chance, asking us for all 13 Canadian provinces and territories in alphabetical order, in 30 seconds. I think we could’ve gotten it, but he sped up the clock a little. The he told me to ask him a question, and we went back and forth. I got close to guessing a few (all the states bordering Canada, but forgot about stupid Minnesota; languages spoken in Singapore but I couldn’t think of Tamil; countries bordering Germany but only got 8 of 9) but this guy answered everything…African countries bordering Lake Victoria, north-to-south order of former Soviet breakaway republics, states with coasts on the Gulf of Mexico, the island between Baffin Island and Ellesmere Island, and piles of others. He even knew the names of the island chains between Tiera del Fuego and the Ross Ice Shelf; I had no idea some of the islands there are called the South Orkneys.

I asked him if he was a geography major or something; he told me he’s famous and began handing me laminated copies of press clippings about him. He actually calls himself Mr. Geography and his offer was for real…if you answer his question, your ride is free. He gave me his card and let us take his picture. I got out of the car laughing and smiling and smarter, and don’t even remember the ride home (I had my nose buried in an atlas trying to stump him). Best cab ride ever.

Quite a day. And the capital of Nigeria, in case you’re curious, is Abuja.

[tags]ttc strike, hoodia, brunswick avenue pump, cobs bread, hold me tight let me go, mr. geography, abuja[/tags]

35 years later, Bobby Francois is still a dick

Today, because of the transit strike, we walked all the way up to Bloor & Bathurst to see today’s documentary, Stranded, I’ve Come From A Plane That Crashed In The Mountains (hot docs). It took us longer to get there than we anticipated, so just as we walked up to the theatre we joined the end of the line that was entering. Good timing…no standing in line and we still got excellent seats.

Seeing documentaries at the Bloor just always feels more like Hot Docs for some reason. I know that for the first few years we went that was the only location, but it’s more than that. Crowds there seem more animated, and the neighbourhood feels more a part of the festival for some reason. In general Bloor Street was jumping tonight…I guess beautiful weather and no subway will get the masses out. Anyway.

The film was good. I’m quite familiar with the subject matter — the crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which would became the basis of the book Alive and film of the same name — so there was nothing new for me, but I still thought it was well done. Unlike in Air India 182, historical recreations were used well here, just to provide accent and context to the survivor’s interviews. There’s still so much emotion in the men’s voices as they talk about those ten weeks, what they saw, what they suffered.

If you haven’t read the book by Piers Paul Read, you should, and you should watch this documentary too.

[tags]hot docs, stranded, piers paul read, uruguayan air force flight 571[/tags]

"Mystified and appalled"

More shocking prison statistics following the Pew Research report I blogged about last week. An article in the New York Times (via Brijit) focuses more on the US incarceration rate compared to the rest of the world.

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London.

Earlier this week Thomas Purves pointed to research by Eric Cadora showing, on a map of Broooklyn, how much money is spent to incarcerate residents of particular city blocks. This is mildly interesting from a statistical point of view, but when compared to the same map showing Black population by block it becomes shocking. The intent of the map was to show how certain voting districts lose a great deal of their democratic weight to prison, but the racial implications of those results are shameful.

[tags]united states, imprisonment, incarceration, thomas purves, eric cadora[/tags]

A little transit strike with your coffee?

There were some last-minute warnings last night from news outlets about a surprise TTC strike; this morning, lo and behold, the operators walked off the job at midnight. The mayor is royally pissed, as he should be; he’d asked for 48 hours of notice before any strike, but the union made up some bullshit story about fearing for the drivers’ safety in the face of angry commuters. ‘Cause, you know, a snap strike will have us feeling all kumbaya when the Premier forces you back to work (as he’s expected to do) in the next couple of days.

Transit expert Steve Munro has a lot more to say on his site, but the general feeling right now seems to be that the union has played this one very poorly indeed.

On a personal note, given that we live downtown it shouldn’t really be a big deal for us to get around anywhere, including up to the Bloor Theatre later for a documentary (looming thunderstorms notwithstanding) so it’s only a mild inconvenience for us. Not like the thousands of club kids who came downtown last night with no warning that their ride home would throw a hissy at midnight.

[tags]ttc strike[/tags]

Today is April 23rd

One year ago today we moved into our condo. Nellie has dubbed today condoversary. This does not surprise me. She has dubbed Feb 13 engageversary and Feb 16 cativersary. A little part of me is tempted to start sleeping around to see if I can invoke divorceversary.

Two months from today we will be hiking and sleeping at Lake O’Hara in the Rockies.

Four months from today I will be enjoying my first day of post-MBA freedom.

Today is April 23rd.

Big day.

[tags]april 23, condo, lake o’hara, mba[/tags]

Thought police anyone?

From the Globe and Mail: Hiding in plain website.

Killers from Columbine to Dawson College have broadcast their intentions online long before going on their murderous rampages. One criminologist thinks mass school shootings can be averted with cyberspace sleuthing

Teenagers who discover a fondness for The Cure (or whoever today’s version of The Cure is), prepare to be patted down.

[tags]columbine, dawson college, kacper gradon[/tags]

In which Al Qaeda inadvertently locates some morals

From the BBC: Al-Qaeda accuses Iran of 9/11 lie.

Al-Qaeda’s deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has blamed Iran for spreading the theory that Israel was behind the 11 September 2001 attacks. In an audio tape posted on the internet, Zawahiri insisted al-Qaeda had carried out the attacks on the US.

So let me see if I’ve got this straight…Al Qaeda are pissed at Iran for trying to steal their terrorist street cred and give it to Israel? I have now, officially, seen everything.

I wonder if it occurs to Al Qaeda that they’re indirectly criticizing Iran’s anti-semitism…

[tags]al-qaeda, iran[/tags]