Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 31/10

So, the city is now making the move to ban camping on boulevards... in an effort to stop all those folks from hanging out and living in the middle of Pandora Avenue. It's gonna take an amendment to their streets and traffic bylaw. Okay, then why didn't they do this before? I don't know if you've driven down the 900-block of Pandora lately, but it resembles something like a refugee camp. It's one of those sticky situations, because if they remove them from Pandora, then they will most certainly set up somewhere else. And who knows where that might be.

At least with Pandora, there is a certain containment... the police know where they are, and the good folks of Victoria know which street to avoid. The problem is, there are people who live and work down in that area, and it's no fault of their own that they have to walk through that mess every day. It's interesting to note, that to deal with the camping problem, the city opened up 85 more shelter beds this summer, but they remain only half full. Which means the people camping on Pandora are not there out of necessity... they're there because it's a place to hang out with complete freedom. Kind of hard to garner a lot of sympathy there. I'll guarantee when the weather turns wet and cold, those shelter beds will be full. Being homeless and addicted to drugs must be awful, and everything must be done to help these folks clean up and get off the street. But when those same people shun help, and would rather party in the middle of our downtown streets, it's time to put the foot down.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 27/10

I found out last week that I might have been at a somewhat historic gig here in Victoria, back in the day. Jeremy Baker had started a thread on Facebook about the time Pearl Jam played at Harpos in the early 90s, and then someone brought up the time Nirvana played the Forge, in like 1991. The Forge was where Element, or Club 9-1-9 is now. A guy named Darren, who used to run with my little crew back in the day, piped up and said 'Jason, I have a photo somewhere of you at the Nirvana gig'.

Wow. I have no recollection of being at that show, but it is most certainly a possiblity.

You see, back then I went to many many gigs, and I don't remember most of them, for various reasons. Seeing Nirvana back then would not have meant anything at the time, as noone knew who they were. But it's cool to think that maybe I was there. I hope I was. And I hope Darren can find that photo.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 26/10

I just wanted to get the word out to some people out there who may not know. Heckler's, the comedy club that I work at on the weekends, has started doing amatuer comedy nights. They happen every second Sunday... we just had one last week, so the next one is on September 5th. We've done seven of them now, and it's amazing how much local talent we have in this city. Last week was probably the best show so far... everybody had a good set. And for the first time, we had a female comic on the bill... her name was Teresa and she was hilarious. We've had several women sign up in the past, but they've all bailed out at the last minute. I encourage you to check out amateur night sometime. And hey, if you ever thought you'd like to give stand-up comedy a try, find the Hecklers amateur night Facebook page and sign up. And maybe I'll see you on stage!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 25/10

I found out yesterday that FUBAR 2 is coming out soon. This makes me unbelievably happy. FUBAR was one of the funniest movies I've ever seen in my life. I saw it in the theatre with my wife and a friend, and they were concerned because I was laughing so hard, I could barely breathe. Only a few movies have caused me to laugh hysterically and uncontrollably.... the Monty Python movies, Austin Powers, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Borat.

I think what I connected to most with FUBAR is that those two guys are a lot like the guys I went camping with back in the day. And some of them are still like that. I recommended FUBAR to my friend Steve, who was exactly like that... still is to certain extent. He watched it and then called me up... 'Dude, that movie was hilarious! But holy crap, man, I mean that guy DIED in the river!! I can't believe they showed that'. I said 'Steve, you know the movie was fake, right? Not a real documentary'.'Oh'.

Steve thought it was real.

I'm gonna make it my mission to get the FUBAR guys on the morning show. If you haven't seen FUBAR, run out and get it now. Then join me in the line to see FUBAR 2.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 24/10

So, Tiger Woods is now officially divorced from his wife Elin. It was nine months ago that Tiger crashed his SUV into a tree, and everything quickly unravelled from there. We all found out that he had been unfaithful to his wife, with potentially dozens of women of varying degrees of skankiness. He took a long break from golf, and then started up again.... but he hasn't won a tournament since, and in fact has played worse than ever before in his career. It seems practically impossible for that to be a coincidence.

So, the question is.... was it the love of his wife that was the secret to his game, or the multiple sex partners on the side? Or perhaps he just can't get over the shock of getting caught, and the public pressure that came along with it. Either way, Tiger Woods needs to get back on his game... and fast. Otherwise, he will soon lose his reign as the best golfer in the world.

He better hope Phil Mickelson doesn't start cheating on his wife.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 23/10

Happy Birthday to Keith Moon. He was the drummer for The Who, and in my opinion, the ultimate rock star. He was the first one to trash a hotel room, drive his car into a swimming pool and smash his drums to pieces on stage. He earned the nickname 'Moon the Loon' for his antics. Animal from the Muppets was based on Keith

He was a drug addict and an alcoholic, and he was damn proud of it, at least for most of his life. This was before rehab became all the rage. Keith died in 1978... about 2 weeks after his 31st birthday. He had overdosed on pills he was taking to control his alcoholism. You don't get a better rock star death than that.

I've always loved Keith Moon, because he represented the ultimate abandon... sex drugs and rock n roll... and you'll never another one like him. Plus, he was an amazing drummer. Happy birthday Keith Moon.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 20/10

I took my little guy to Beacon Hill Park yesterday. During the summer, I try to take him there about least once a week or so. It truly is a beautiful park, and is nice sanctuary of fresh air and nature in Victoria. There's so much to do with a little kid... the petting zoo is of course number one, but there's also all the ducks, squirrels, flowers, lots of room to run around, and the playground, too.

We were at the playground... and here's a rule that I think should be fairly obvious... if you've gone through puberty, and your voice has changed... maybe you're too old to be playing at the playground. There were two kids, I think they were brothers, and they were running around, up and down the slides, over the monkey bars, barreling over little kids... 'Tag, you're it'. Too old.

Then I was walking through a nice grassy field with Martin, when we came up to an old lady in a wheelchair, just sitting there by herself. I thought 'Oh, I bet she'd be delighted to see a cute little kid'... so I whispered to Martin 'Go up to the nice lady and say hi'. He walked up to her and said 'Hi! It's a great day!'. She said 'Hi!'  Then I noticed she was trying to hide something in her hand... she was nervously talking to my boy, and when I looked closer, I saw she was holding a crack pipe. We had interrupted this little old lady's afternoon coke fix.

Aaaah... fresh air and nature.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 19/10

You really don't see people wearing rock t-shirts anymore. I think it's one more sign that the music industry is really changing, and not necessarily for the better. When I was growing up, everybody wore their musical tastes on their chest. In high school, you either had a Michael Jackson t-shirt, a Duran Duran t-shirt or a Motley Crue t-shirt. I had a Black Sabbath t-shirt... it said 'Black Sabbath - Live Evil', and the 'e' in 'evil' was backwards, so it still read 'live evil' in the mirror. I thought that was the coolest thing ever, like my t-shirt was a portal into hell or something.

But those days are gone.

The only people I see wearing rock shirts now, are the people here at the station. Pol has a few, and I occasionally see Jeremy wearing one. But that's about it. Oh, sure, you'll see the odd middle aged biker in an AC/DC shirt, but where are the young kids wearing shirts of bands from this decade? There used to be entire stores dedicated to rock-n-roll... they'd have shirts, stickers, patches, giant Led Zeppelin flags, zippo lighters with the Slayer logo, you name it. But these days, all I see is a sea of glittery skulls and wings with medieval fonts saying things like 'Affliction' and 'Domination' and 'Bad to the Bone'.

Sad times indeed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 18/10

So, I'm back to work after a short but very relaxing holiday with my wife and little boy. We went to a beach resort near Parksville, and stayed in a little cottage... it was lovely. On our second night, we hired a babysitter through the resort, and my wife and I went for a full-on, like 4 hour spa treatment. I had never been to a spa in my life... so I was a little apprehensive... okay, I was actually pretty scared. I pictured being surrounded by perfect bodies, all tanned and toned, and I would stick out like a fat thumb. But when we got there, we started off with a dip in the mineral pool. I was certainly not the fattest, oldest or hairiest person there by a long shot. That eased my stress right away... good start.

Then it was time for the massage.. my wife and I got them side by side, which was nice. They started with a 'revitalizing paraffin dip'. The lady stuck my feet in two plastic bags full of hot wax. It was nice, but nothing you couldn't do at home with a couple of ziplocs and some tea candles. The massage was great... hot towels, lavender spray, oils and scents and new age music. Then, to top it all off, we sat in our bathrobes and ate the best tapas I think I've ever had.

It was definitely a most relaxing experience... and then I got the bill.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 12/10

Now, this is something I think I've talked about once before, but it's worth visiting again, because it has gotten completely out of hand. In fact, it's reached epidemic proportions in this city. I'm talking about people putting their unwanted crap out on the street, on the boulevard, and even in parks. Everything from couches, mattresses, broken TVs, tables, chairs... you name it, it's out there.

I've even seen full living room sets and a baby crib. That's a nice one... 'Hey, congratulations on your beautiful new baby, you must be so happy... perhaps he's like to sleep in this garbage I found on the side of the road. I used to think it was kinda funny, but it really has turned into an eyesore. You see it in pretty much every neighbourhood in Victoria. I think the folks from that show Hoarders need to come here and give the entire city some therapy.

It's like it's become accepted, that if you have something that you don't want, you simply leave it out and someone else will deal with it. I know some people think they're doing the community a favour, because they stick a 'free' sign on their crap. Gee, thanks. You mean I don't have to pay for this moldy couch or this broken lamp? Well, guess what? You are not Robin Hood... no, you are just a lazy disgusting litter bug.

This needs to stop. The whole city is starting to look like the front yard of a guy named Skeeter in Driftpile, Tennessee.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 11/10

So, there's another story about a catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting young children. This time it's a former priest, who worked at the St. John the Worker Parish in Saanich. I know a lot of comics who have jokes about catholic priests abusing kids, and although they may be a little tasteless, the fact is, it is truly mind-boggling just how big of a problem it has been. In the United States alone, more than 43-hundred priests have been accused of sexual abuse in the past 50 years.

But it has happened in virtually every country in the world... at least every country with a Roman Catholic population. Let's not forget the residential schools here in Canada... more than sixty percent of them were catholic. If you enjoy documentaries, let me suggest one called 'Deliver Us From Evil'... it's about the cover-ups that took place in the catholic church, and follows one priest in particular... a guy named Oliver O'Grady. The church knew what he was doing, but let him continue, and just moved him from parish to parish.

It's a sickening and really heavy movie, but a definite eye opener, into a very dark piece of history, which, apparently, is still going on.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 10/10

I bought a new pair of headphones yesterday. It took me 20 minutes to get them out of the packaging. They were in one of those clam-shell packages made by Homeland Security that are impossible to open. Why do they make things so difficult? Aren't we supposed to be living in a time of LESS packaging and waste?

Toys are the worst. Don't these people realize that when I get home and bring out a new toy, my boy wants it NOW. He doesn't want to wait for half an hour while daddy brings out the tool box and the blow torch, cursing, while he battles with the packaging. And there seems to be a trend now, to not only encase your product in super thick, artery severing plastic, but also everything must now be attached by little twist ties, that are wound so tight that only the tiny fingers of sweat shop employees would have a hope of unravelling them.

So, please, I beg of you big companies... ease up on the packaging. This may come as a surprise, but I bought your product because I actually want to use it, not just stare at it through a wall of impenetrable plastic.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 09/10

It was fifteen years ago today that we lost one of the great rock stars of the 60s and 70s... hell, even the 80s and 90s. Jerry Garcia died of a heart attack on August 9th, 1995, while living in a treatment facility in California. He was the lead singer and guitar player for The Grateful Dead. The Dead are one of those bands that you're either really into, or not at all.

I saw them live once, in 1994, the year before Jerry died. It was an outdoor show in downtown Seattle, beside the Space Needle. I don't remember a whole lot about it, but I remember the main attraction was really all the weird hippies that were hanging around. There were psychedelic VW buses parked everywhere, and it felt like a total throwback to the 60's. The hotel we stayed in was not exactly luxury accomodation, but it was just a couple blocks from the concert.

Everyone... and I mean EVERYONE in the hotel was there for the Grateful Dead, and all the hotel room doors were left open, and the whole place was one giant party. It was awesome.

Jerry Garcia was the ultimate peace loving hippie... he looked like a big huggable teddy bear, with his big hair, his big beard and his big shades. There are a lot of people out there who worshipped the man, and still do. He stood for simple things... music, love and having a good time. I'm glad I was able to see the great man in action before he left us for that big love-in in the sky.

Rest in Peace, Jerry.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 06/10

I went to the new Wal-Mart yesterday. Wow. It is massive. Everything you could possibly want ever in your life is in there somewhere. In fact, when I walked in with my two-year old son, he said 'Whoa... big store.' There's two floors... two gigantic floors, with escalators running between them. And they even have special escalators for your shopping cart. That's right, your shopping cart gets to go up a separate escalator, and you meet up with it at the top.

I have mixed feelings about big box stores like this... on one hand, they are really impersonal, they tend to kill off the small businesses around them, and you're pumping your money into a huge American conglomerate. But on the other hand, they are so damn convenient... and the prices can't be beat. One thing I'm proud of, though, is after wandering around the Wal-Mart for about an hour, checking it all out, the only thing I bought was a ball of string.

The cashier looked at me like I was defective.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 05/10

I was glad to see the California courts overturn Proposition 8. That's the law that banned same-sex marriages in that state... a big step backwards for California, which is normally a very forward-thinking place. So now it's been overturned, and although it's not a done deal yet, it looks like gay marriage will once again be legal there. I feel proud to live in BC, one of the first places in North America to allow same sex marriage.

To me, it's a no-brainer. If two people love each other, why deny them the right to make it official? People who are opposed to it are coming from a place of homophobia and hate, plain and simple. Of course, they won't admit it... they'll tell you that they just want to preserve the sanctity of marriage, which should be between a man and a woman.

Well, inter-racial marriages used to be illegal, too. Imagine how you'd look coming out against that these days. You'd look like a flaming racist... and that's what you'd be... and that's essentially what people opposed to gay marriage are... they just don't know it yet.

So, congratulations to the gay community for a small victory in the much larger fight for equality in this modern age.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 04/10

Happy birthday to U-S president Barack Obama. He's 49 years old today. Unbelievable. He seems to be doing a pretty good job... but it seems he really isn't doing all that much lately. I suppose there were alot of huge expectations of him, especially after that train wreck known as George W. Bush. But Obama came out swinging, with all these great plans to end the war in Iraq, fix their health care system, clean up the environment and generally make everything better. And it seems now he's taking his sweet time with it. I don't know... he is most definitely an improvement from Bush, but I'd like to see some more action, you know? I'm not sure if his hands are tied by the Republicans or what, but I sure would have liked to have seen Obama alot angrier and pro-active about the BP spill. And it seems like everyone has completely forgotten about Iraq. What's goin on over there, anyway? Well, anyway, happy birthday to Barack Obama... I hope us Canadians get to see that get-r-done attitude that I think you were elected for.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wrath of Lamb August 03/10

There's a spider living in my car. And it's terrifying. I haven't seen it yet, but I know its there, because the last few mornings I've had to walk through a huge spider web as I get into my car. In fact, I can see a web has been spun on my dashboard. I try to just stare straight ahead while I'm driving, because if I see this thing crawling towards me, I'm likely to panic and drive off the road. This is way more dangerous than talking on my cellphone. I'm not even aware of my driving, I'm just desperate to get where I'm going, so I can get out of my 1992 Honda spider's nest. And when I get out, I must look like a crazy person, as I frantically shake my clothes, and dance around flailing my arms.

I don't know what to do... I suppose I should put on some gloves and some goggles or something and just take a vaccuum cleaner, and look for the bugger. Or do I wait it out?  How long do spiders live, normally?  

What if there's more than one? What if it had babies?

Oh my God.