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Did I ever tell you about the last woman I dated?

She was a beautiful, beautiful woman, but very short.

What a body, though!

I swear, she had legs that went up to here [gestures at knees]!

I tell ya, she was short!

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I’ve been writing a lot of trivia questions lately, for the monthly trivia night my friends and I host, and also as a fun way to learn things myself, with the notion of trying to host my own regular night in the future. What I’ve learned is that fascinating facts abound, but sometimes it’s a struggle to form a question around the facts, in a way that is “gettable” for people hoping to answer and also fun. And that’s especially true in the case of multiple choice questions.

Consider this: faced with a list of Jim Jarmusch movies, imagine the wealth of questions you could ask, the diverse plots, the range of actors appearing, the variety of styles. Jarmusch has used certain actors on multiple occasions, so the thought occurs to write a question with multiple choices where the correct response is the one outlier in an actor’s filmography with the snowy-haired auteur.

But then you run into problems, entirely based on the standard format of multiple choice questions including five or six potential answers. Bill Murray, for example, has been a favourite actor for Jarmusch, and so I thought to write a question asking simply, “Which of these Jarmusch films did not feature the inimitable talents of Bill Murray?” The issue: Murray only appeared in three films for Jarmusch, so there aren’t enough wrong answers to fill the requisite number of false choices. Same problem for Roberto Benigni, another Jarmusch favourite. The end result? Two potentially fun and informative questions that just can’t be written as multiple choice, and a sad quizmaster who loves the Jarmusch oeuvre but finds his options seriously curtailed.

There’s a happy ending, though: 2019 promises a brand new Jim Jarmusch film, The Dead Don’t Die, a “comedy zombie” movie, starring none other than… Bill Murray.

Sliding into Second Base

In the spirit of the baseball playoffs, I started thinking about hitting streaks and 0-fers, and how they relate to my own sexual history. It took me a long time to reach the majors, after college in fact, but I made up for it with enthusiasm and energy. I was no Rookie of the Year, but I had a solid first season, learned a few things, and took chances. Things were looking good, but quickly took a turn for the worse. I’ve mostly been out of the game, but every few years would somehow manage to get an at-bat, but even those rare opportunities have dried up. I still love the game, and would love to play an inning now and again, but these days I’m just a spectator. After all, who would sign up someone who hasn’t even had a base hit in the past six years?

First Base – 6 years

Second Base – 20 years

Thrown out between Second and Third Base – 9 years *

Third Base – 22 years

Home Run – 23 years

 

* a.k.a. “trying to stretch a double into a triple”

3-2 loss to Burnley

on opening day (or

is it 2-3 because Chelsea

was the home team?

I can never remember)

with Cahill

and Fabregas both sent off

(lunging “tackle” for the captain

and sarcastic clapping and

clumsy tackle for the Spaniard)

but we came back

in the second half and made

a game of it

and it was more memorable

than the 1-0 wins against

West Brom and blah and whoever

last year

and if you don’t love football

even when your team loses a

stinker

you love it for the wrong reasons

 

[wrote this more than a year ago but the loss was too painful to post until now]

Where did you go, September?

It was right there on my to-do list: write blog post. I knew that September only has 30 days, and I needed to post something yesterday or break my string going back to 2009 of having posted something in every month, even if it was crap or recycled dreck.

But I failed.

I could have just back-dated something, which I did almost two years ago, when I hadn’t written anything for more than two months, a time when I desperately hated my job and had no inspiration for anything. Time freed up for me then when I was fired from that job and I had all the time in the world to blog (not that I wrote that much, just enough to fuel the illusion that I was a dilegent if infrequent blogger).

I could have come home earlier, instead of staying out after trivia and singing no fewer than three karaoke songs (two of which I performed credibly), and tossed off something before the clock struck midnight. But I’m trying to learn to forgive myself for the artificial pressures no one but me is putting upon myself, and maybe this rant cum confession is better than anything I could have written under a deadline.

This is a line in the sand. Hopefully from now on I’ll feel more inspiration or motivation to write regularly. September 2018 will be the mensis horibilis that marks the past off from the future. Let it stay empty, as a sign of a turning point in my creative life.

I realize this post is not at all funny and so off-brand to the purpose of this blog, so here’s my favourite joke:

A pirate walks into a bar. He has a ship’s wheel attached to his groin. The bartender asks what’ll it be and the pirate says “rum.” After a few more rounds the bartender can’t contain his curiosity and asks what’s up with the wheel. The pirate replies, “Yaarrrr, I don’t know, but it’s drivin’ me nuts!”

The last bus to the airport is at 5:20pm, but the connecting bus will take you most of the way there, and call a cab to pick you up at Tim Horton’s! The drivers are quite chatty and will note points of interest along the route.

Two bartenders asked my name and offered theirs, along with a handshake. Very friendly, and seemingly quite genuine.

The concierge at my hotel was Chinese-Canadian perhaps, but still had the Newfoundland lilt… I love that not just white people have the accent, that it’s a part of our multicultural nation, and I’m reminded of Shaun Majumder.

The most Newfie-sounding guy I met was a waiter at the Duke of Duckworth, who remembered what I’d ordered the day before.

I was only there for two and a half days, but I think about it a lot, and can’t wait to go back.

This ought to be a TV commercial.

I was sitting at the bar of the Celtic Hearth on Water Street in St. John’s, Newfoundland watching the game when a retired couple came in and sat beside me. The gentleman asked for a Guinness and was shocked to hear they didn’t have it, but rather Kilkenny.

Surprising that they didn’t, but moreso that they usually do but were somehow out, and most surprising that this wasn’t the first bar on the strip he’d asked after a Guinness, only to be denied. He turned to me and asked could I believe it? His people had settled the damn place and they didn’t have Guinness?

Where are you from? I asked. Originally Ireland but lately Sudbury. We talked a bit about the footie and then he left, off on his appallingly quixotic search for Guinness in a city more Irish than Ireland.

Blind man on the Danforth

with giant white cat

does he need help?

No, he’s doing fine

knows where he’s going

unlike me, for example.

I’m going to come right out and say it, NDP–I’m worried about you.

It’s been at least four hours since I received an email or phone call from you asking for support.

Have your forgotten that we have an election battle coming up? This is a critical time, and every dollar helps!

I know you’re at a disadvantage to the Liberals and Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives. I’m not saying I can offer any more than I already do, but shouldn’t you continue to ask me, three to four times a day?

I assume Andrea Howarth is traveling all over the province with the good news of the NDP Dental Care Plan, giving hope to middle class Ontarians who haven’t had a lot to smile about after 15 years of Liberal mismanagement. But how can I know for sure, when I’ve been sitting at home all afternoon with not one update on her pre-campaign campaign?

C’mon NDP–I don’t have to hear from you every hour, but I just wanna know you’re there… for me.

Since Doug Ford decided to run for the leadership of the PC Party on January 29th, I’ve received at least one email from him or his supporters every day, even though the only reason I’m on his mailing list is that years ago I signed a petition to support the Toronto Public Library that was sent to his brother, then-Mayor Rob Ford. But Rob never cared that I wasn’t a supporter, so why should Doug? On Day 12 there’s an inkling that I might not be on his side, in the form of an email entitled “You are not a member”… but the emails have kept coming anyway, even though I never have nor never will be a PC Party member.

Doug’s emails might be written by Scribbler and Devoted Follower Joe Warmington, since they mirror his style of short, simple sentences, each of which is its own paragraph. In honour of whoever is behind Doug’s outreach, I’ve compiled the titles of all of the emails in order, which gives a sense of what any of the individual emails looks like. I call it the poetry of desperation.

It all ends with the most recent email (although I’m sure, not the last), one that I wholeheartedly agree with: “It’s time to stop.”

Doug Ford, please heed your own advice: it’s time to stop. Stop sending me emails, stop trying to be leader of the PC Party, and above all stop trying to outdo your father and your brother who, for all of their faults, were better people than you could ever hope to be, you unblinking, soulless narcissist.

 

DOUG FORD ENTERS RACE FOR LEADER OF THE ONTARIO PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE PARTY

Join us for a Rally for a Stronger Ontario!

I need your help

I need your help

The hard truth

This is nuts

The plan

It’s about winning

Six days

Education

Let’s get it right

You are not a member

Support Doug at the debate!

Welfare for politicians

Broken government

RE: I agree with Doug

Tax tax tax!

Deadline today

Grassroots vs. the media

Tough times

We haven’t won yet

A small deficit?

Tiny little deficit!

Listening to the grassroots

Fighting for our members

It’s time to stop

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