Never Say No to a Panda

I’ve hated panda bears ever since I read this article.  There are teams of scientists, because zoo keepers generally have degrees in biology or veterinary medicine, some of them are even doctors, trying to get pandas to eat and fuck.  Seriously.  Do you know what happens when I put in a request to have a team of scientists work around the clock to ensure all I need to do is eat fattier foods and make the sweet love to all the sexiest females of my species?

Well, let me tell you Harvard, your laughter is hurtful and inappropriate.

Pandas do nothing all day long.

But imagine if they didn’t.  Imagine if they had jobs.  Say with, I don’t know, cheese companies?  That would be awesome….

or see it here

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Published in: on September 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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Renegade Folk in Sherwood Forest

As I mentioned here Gilly lives near Nottingham.  When I found out about it, our conversation went something like this:

Joey: Like Nottingham Nottingham?

Gilly: Is there another Nottingham?

Joey: Probably, in southern Ontario.  They don’t let a good name go to waste just because it’s already been used by somewhere more important.  Like, Sheriff of Nottingham?

Gilly: I suppose.  Why?

Joey: Like, there’s a Sherwood Forest nearby?

Gilly: …(Well, we were on the phone, so I couldn’t see it, but I’m rather familiar with the silence that indicates my question is stupid and she’s rolling her eyes. Gimtmbifhbsic)

Joey:  So, can we go to Sherwood Forest?

Gilly: Sure.  Is that all you want to do?

Joey: IT’S ROBIN HOOD WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?

And to shut me up, Gilly took me to the forest.

Sherwood Forest does have some Robin Hood things attached to it, but they’ve also done a good job of preserving its natural majesty.  There’s a couple of gift shops, a tiny museum, and an overpriced restaurant, but there’s a lot of forest you can wander through that have nothing to do with those things.  And there are cool, ancient things in that forest.

Some are man made, like this carved stump.

There’s also signs that people are using it to pass on survival training.  For example, I found this shelter just off the path:

But with no pine trees!

I think it’s pretty cool that a lot of naturalism and conservationism is taught here.  After all, if Robin Hood had to live in the woods, and that meant he needed to know how to survive.  Someone’s still teaching it around here. … or living in the forest.

Then there’s the Major’s Oak:

It's kind of a big deal

That tree is over a thousand years old, maybe twelve hundred.  It’s ten meters in circumference around the trunk, and you can’t get within thirty meters of it.  The fence was put up because in the sixties, it became a major tourist attraction.  By the seventies, visitors had trampled up to it, injuring the roots and nearly killing the tree.  Conservation experts insisted on the fence, and now the tree is healthy again. 

Seriously, 1200 years old.  Think about that.  That’s older than countries.  That tree is absolutely astonishing.

I think oak trees are cool.  I mean, look at their leaves and acorns:

Also note Gilly's skillful hand modelling.

Those leaves are super cool.  There’s nothing like that here.  Plus, the make excellent resting places.

I could of sleep here all day. I tried, telling Gilly I just need a few more shots of me sleeping.

They are a mighty and noble tree.  And a worthy opponent.  So I challenged them to a duel.

And I took its three hundred year old Quickening

On a final note, I did go to the gift shop, and I found this, which is a super kind of awesome:

I also make a good hand model.

Whiskey fudge doesn’t taste like whiskey.  It tastes good.

And that’s all I have to say about England.

Shires: Not Just For Hobbits Anymore

After a morning of fighting with British Rail, which seemed to believe that reasonable prices for a two hour train ride are somewhere between a first-born child, or an arm-leg combo, we were off to Derby.  Fun fact; while it may be spelt like a dapper hat:

Classy!

no one in Derbyshire pronounces it like that.  For the four years I’ve known Gilly, I thought she was from some place called Darby. 

Nope.  In this one case, “e”s are pronounced like “a”s in her accent.  Not in any other cases, just Derby. 

Derbyshire is gorgeous.  It’s green 

because it's not sub-arid.

and they have some really old buildings. 

like this church, which is older than Canada

Sure, Derby is an actual city, and the residents love to tell you they’re responsible for the Industrial Revolution, like anyone cares.  Seriously, the precursor to the Robot Revolution should be a point of shame, and we’ll remember you when we’re all in the cog mines under our robo-masters, Derb… Derbites?  Derbyshirians? Proudfeets? 

Pictured, most people in Derby.

Anyways, it’s not the city I like, it’s the area. 

That's pretty. Until the robots get there.

I did learn some important things in Derbyshire, mostly about food, because Derb… Proudfoots eat like hobbits.  Seriously, every meal has different names.  Breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, tea, dinner, roast, supper, they all denoate a completely unique meal and everyone knows the difference. 

  1. Jacket potatoes are just baked potatoes with weird shit like beans in them.  They are more delicious than they sound.
  2. No one in England scrapbooks.  Instead of accepting this as good, Gilly insisted on proving she had no interest in having a life by scouring the city for scrapbooking supplies.
  3. Chipies are where you buy ridiculous quantities of fish and chips for next to nothing.  Try the curry with your chips.  Mushy peas remain an abomination.
  4. The British pay twice as much as we do for consumer electronics.
  5. Gingerbeer is better when it’s alcoholic.  It comes like that in England, but I have to add my own vodka here, which is nearly good.
  6. Panel shows are like game shows where all the contestants are comedians and there’s no prizes.  They are brilliant, and all British television is inherently better, as their lowest common denominator isn’t as sad as ours.
  7. English movie theatre sell sweet popcorn.  It’s not caramel corn.  It looks normal, but it’s not salty, it’s … sweet.  What makes it that way?  Is it sugar? A light syrup?  No one knows.
  8. Like Cockfosters on the London Underground, the English can name things after dicks without admitting it’s funny.

This is a real thing. They must know it's funny.

At this point, I would like to point out that I made it through a whole blog set in a shire without making fun of Gilly’s height.  (She is short) 

I did find the remains of a hobbit hole.

We didn’t really do much that was touristy, because she lives in Derbyshire, and I couldn’t be bothered.  We just kind of hung out. 

Except for when we went to SHERWOOD FOREST…. (next time)

Miniblog: Watch What You Sign

I didn’t have my pictures with me to put up the next England blog, so you’ll have to keep waiting.  Today, however, I present to you the following.

This morning, I drew up this petition and brought it to S2.

Black line added to protect the guilty.

Oh, yeah, that’s easy to agree with.  Nothing strange there, like the single line or suspicious looking pad.  It’s all good.  Everyone hates punching children.

Well, apparently not S2, at least not entirely.  I found this completely unrelated document which he signed some time later.

Only a really evil man would sign this confession.

Oh wow, that’s a bad guy.  I wouldn’t trust him at all…

______________________________________________________

For the Image Impaired:

Image 1: I believe it is wrong to punch small children. Signed by S2.

Image 2:

To Whom it May Concern:

I will do anything I am told by a man holding celery.

Small animals run from me in fear, and I am amused.

I cannot legally enter Germany or most African Countries.

I am sexually attracted to office supplies ex: staplers.

I eat baby seal meat three times a day.

I once punched a single mother for “looking at me funny.”

I am a bad man.  I am not to be trusted near children and am probably a murderer.

Signed by S2.

Published in: on September 22, 2010 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mondays blog and moving

Sorry kids, but as I moved house this weekend, I won’t have something for monday.

Published in: on September 19, 2010 at 11:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

The English Lit Geek Tour

I studied English Literature in University.  A lot of English Literature was written by the English, and back when they had an empire, they were pretty self-obsessed.  I’ve read a lot of books, plays, and poems that take place in and around London, and there are certain things I really wanted to see when I was there.  Fortunately, Gilly did English lit in University as well, so she was willing to humour this plan. 

We had only one day before we were heading out to Derby, so I had to give up Jack the Ripper, ghostwalks, and visiting jails to see these things.  My professors should be proud.  Also, I could have chosen a trip based on Monty Python and Doctor Who, but that would have lead to Gilly abandoning me at best, but more likely murdering me in a fit of justified rage. 

The first place on my list was Shakespeare’s Globe. 

 

This isn’t the original theatre, which burnt down in Shakespeare’s lifetime.  This is a replica built near but not on the actual site.  They used all the information they could find about the dimensions, building materials, and lighting. 

Cashmere goat hair walls, 14 sides, and natural lighting.

 

While they do plays here, two a day, we showed up when they were doing King Henry IV Part I, which is a shitty play, and King Henry IV Part II, which is the sequel to a shitty play.  Yeah, Shakespeare wrote shit, and we should all recognize that just because he was brilliant, it doesn’t mean we have to pretend he never fucked up.  We just took the tour, because I refused to watch crap in that theatre. 

We went to Trafalgar square, which was awesome: 

Monumental, even.

 

and about this point, I got lost.  I’ve got pictures from wandering through Oxford, and Piccadilly circus, and Regent street, but I’m not sure which is which.  

But I don't need to know where I am

 

To find cool stuff

 

Or entertain myself

 

Finally, we reached my last destination, Hyde Park 

 

We were at the Speaker’s Corner end, and Gilly was exhausted from me making her walk most of the way across London, so she rested while I listened to crazy people yell nonsense.  Seriously, they weren’t making words. 

We had hoped to see a show that night, but it was a Sunday, and there wasn’t much playing, and less that was good.  I would have loved to see Avenue Q, which is like the R rated version of the Muppets.  I was also willing to see Phantom of the Opera, or the sequel, Love Never Dies.  These were both better than Henry IV, because you may not know it, but those could be the Batman of the Opera plays.  But there wasn’t tickets to anything that wasn’t shit. 

But there was some serious shit.

 

So we headed back to the hostel, to do some relatively unblogworthy eating and drinking. 

Next time: Derby Shire.

One Night in London

After landing in Heathrow Airport in London, I needed to find my way to King’s Cross Station to met Gilly.  I went looking for the tube station, and found out that LONDON IS IN THE FUTURE:

They have Jetson Sidewalks!

I took the moving side walk, and got an Oyster Card, which Gilly had recommended as the cheapest way to get around the city.  You buy them at a little kiosk by the entrance to the tubes, and swipe it against the turnstile.  It slowly drains the credit you put on it, charging you less for the subway and keeping you from using up your change.

The line to King’s Cross terminated at a place called Cockfosters.  I laughed like a ten year old everytime it came over the PA.  It made the people around me think I was crazy, so no one sat to close.  There’s a skill to riding transit, and I’ve mastered it internationally.

Gilly met me at King’s Cross, and we checked into the Clink 72 Hostel.  Seriously, this is a nice hostel.  It’s really cheap for London, but it’s clean, it’s easy to find.  We didn’t get a chance to check out the bar in the basement because we were too busy drinking other places, but when we went down for breakfast, I couldn’t help but notice the buffet of cute girls from around the world.  I’m not sure if it was just this hostel, and I’m thinking of finding the hostel’s in Calgary, seeing if they have bars, and hitting on girls who don’t speak enough English to get annoyed with my charm.  It could be, however, that more attractive people visit London than Calgary.

We dropped off our bags and went to met K1 who had managed to find a pub directly across the street.  We had a beer there while we caught up, and while I almost bought the blue bottle Smirnoff with the higher alcohol content, she almost brought me some as a gift.  Yep, we drink well together.

Once we settled up at that pub, we headed over to Inslington to find food.  We ended up in another pub, and they had roast boar on the menu.

I would eat that, as I assume it's bacony

But the bastards were out of it.  So I decided to have fish and chips.

I have been eating food called fish and chips all my life, and everyone has always lied to me.  No one has ever really given me fish and chips before.  I think I need to sue every restaurant in all of Canada.  It’s like calling noodles and cheese Kraft Dinner.  Maybe you have all the pieces, but that doesn’t make it the same. 

Mushy Peas are another story.  A horror story.

A really scary horror story.

I don’t think I’m ready to talk about it yet.  It’s just, it’s just too close.

K1, being the expert drinker she was, found us a party to join.  I’d like to tell you I got crazy wild drunk and had great adventures, but the flight left me with too little energy.  I just drank vodka cokes for the caffeine, and caught up with K1 and Gilly.  At about 11 or so, I just couldn’t stay up much more.  K1 had to take a train home because she’d come into London to hang out with us, and Gilly gave into peer pressure so we said goodbye and headed back to the hostel.

To make plans for the next day, in which I would tour London like the English literature geek I am.

Flying to London

I only had 10 days in England, and I wasn’t going to lose any of them to jet lag.  Since I couldn’t sync my sleep cycle before I left, I decided to try and crash into English time.  I stayed up as late as I could the night before I left, planning to coast trough work.  I wanted to be completely exhausted, but force myself to stay awake until a proper bed time and then fall to an exhausted sleep when I got to England.

In the early hours of the morning, I was goofing off on the internet when I realized either they changed my flight time or I such at the 24 hour clock, because the flight I though left at 8 pm left at 10.  I pretended it was delayed and went through with my original plan.  I also decided I need to practice the 24 hour clock.  The next day at:

07:15 I showed up at S1`s place.  I had bribed her with Crave Cupcakes to take me and my luggage to work that day, and to the airport that night. 

How to get your way in one easy step

This plan meant no suit cases on the C-Train, which makes my life easier.

08:00 to 16:00 Apparently I worked, but in a cloud of anticipation, I don`t remember any of it.

16:01 I rushed S1 out of the office.

16:20 We arrived at the airport.  I was bouncing around the car the whole way there.  I fucking love to travel.  S1 stopped the car and I took out my luggage.  She hugged me good-bye, and I was too tired to let her know that we aren`t hugging friends, but that`s generally how people become my hugging friends; someone tries to hug me, I don`t stop them, the world doesn`t end, and it is therefore permissible in future. 

That`s not an excuse to try it, S2.

16:31 At Cole`s, I bought the first to volumes of the graphic novel version of Scott Pilgrim.  The girls at the counter ask me if I`ve seen the movie.  They`re almost cute, and paying attention to me, which makes them cute enough.  I regurgitated this blog. They are entranced.

16:42 I realize I`m holding up the line.  I leave.  The girls are heartbroken, and rightfully so.

16:51 I head into the Montana`s lounge and get a vodka coke and a chipolte burger.

19:57 I realize I`ve read two complete volumes of Scott Pilgrim.  I settle up my bill.

20:04 I check in using electronic boarding passes direct to my phone for the first time.  If you`ve never used one, it works like this; within 24 hours of your flight, you log onto the carrier`s website and put in your phone number or email and booking number.  You receive an image of a bar code on your phone, which gets scanned anytime you would usually show your boarding pass.

The woman who checked my bags obviously hadn`t seen a lot of them, because she was confused as to where to write down my gate info. She then realized it was in the text the bar code came with

20:08 I returned to Cole`s to get Scott Pilgrim 3 and 4.  Unfortunately, the shift had changed and I didn`t care about the hipster dude who really wanted my opinions on shit.  I leave quickly, breaking his heart, and rightly so.

20:12 I tried to go to the B Gate, but it was closed, saying we needed to check through security at gate A

20:15 I reached gate A.  With double the passengers, no one thought to increase the staff.

20:17 I realized only one of the metal detectors is open.

20:20 A French father and his four kids lined up behind me.  The three sons and one daughter were all dressed in matching pink striped sweaters.  Obviously mortified, they decided to raise all kinds of hell to embarrass him.

20:22 By this point, the wild kids were running and fighting and squabbling, and they`ve reminded me of an ad.

A French child screams in the grocery store for bonbons.  The temper tantrum gets worse and worse until the kid is screaming on the floor.  The camera then looks at the exasperated, end of his wits dad.  It’s an ad for condoms.  I wish this French dad had seen it.

20:23 I considered offering to slap one of his kids upside the head.

20:24 A kid punched the dad.  He slapped the boy upside the head.  I suppressed a cheer.  The dad tells the kid, in English “Do you want to fight me?  Go ahead.  You’ll lose.”

20:47 I get called to the metal detector, and rush through to escape the Franco-Hellions.

20:52 The security guards pull the French family aside to check one of their bags.  I can only assume the staff planned to punish the father for what he has put everyone through via an invasive cavity search.

21:09 After long consideration, I decided that even at duty free prices, I shouldn’t buy a 2-6 of Triple Distilled Smirnoff Vodka.  I was going to the UK, where drinking is like kung-fu — there are many styles, and I go to learn from the masters, not to study the style I use at home.

21:33 Half an hour of peace is shattered when Franco-Hellion family showed up at my gate.  They were on my flight.  I consider telling the airport security guard that they are a gang of armed drug smuggling terrorists to keep them off the flight.

21:51 Everyone who got on the plane before me misread their row numbers.  I forced everyone of them to move, displacing fifteen people so I can sit in my assigned seat.  I feel like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, but when no one is in the seat next to me, I became too happy to care.

This is the face of satisfaction at the expense of others.

22:03 I remembered why I love big Boeings.  This thing was like a smooth air mall in the sky.  There was enough room with that empty seat, drink service as soon as we leveled off, and a little screen that let you chose your own entertainment as soon as the seatbelt light went off.

22:15 After a peaceful half an hour and another volume of Scott Pilgrim finished, I turn on the inflight entertainment system.  I watched several episodes of 30 Rock, Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind, some crappy sitcom called Party Down, and fell asleep to Gunless.

Hour Unknown: I felt the plane begin to descend.  I failed at staying awake, but it should be middle of the afternoon local time.  It was a Saturday.  I decided to wake up and find someone to drink with, because that’s how I travel.

____________________________________________________________________________________

To Be Continued…

Miniblogs: Google Games

Bad news kids: England is an expensive place.  As such, I picked up some overtime to pay for the trip.  This means I’m working 10 hour days, and I don’t have enough time to really write the blogs about England.  I know, it sucks, cause I have a lot to talk about.

But today, I’m just going to give you some Google games.  They work like this: you put a phrase into Google in quotations, and get an answer.  For example I search “Joey looks like” and got Joey looks like a rat.

More Google Games:

  • “Joey smells like” Pepe Le Peu
  • “Joey is wanted for” murder, echoing travesties his own father committed and died for years ago.
  • “Joey seems to” be comfortable with her English name.
  • “Joey needs to learn” to park
  • “Joey would probably” lose to Pheobe
  • “Joey sucks at” life
  • “Joey usually” handled the day to day raising of the kids
  • “Joey couldn’t” even say the rest of his line
  • “Joey reminds me of” zombie Jesus
  • “Joey makes me want to” smack him in the face with a shovel
  • “Joey can’t even” see or hear, but he sure can climb.

See what you get!  Leave them in the comments.

Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm  Comments (3)  
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Miniblog: Halloween Costumes

My birthday is in early October, and over the last couple of years, it’s become something of a tradition that my sister Kim makes me a Halloween costume as a gift.  This is incredible.  She works in the theatre, and the quality of these costumes is amazing.

This year, however, I’ve hit a bit of a problem.  I’m not sure what to be.  I already wore an awesome Caesar Romero Joker:

Not Heath Ledger's Joker

and a superb Goblin King:

If you haven't seen Labyrinth, you live a sad life.

But now what do I do?  I’ve got a couple ideas, and I’m looking for advice.  I know I want to do a pop culture costume, but do I go with classic pop culture, and ask her for Indigo Montoya:

If you haven't seen the Princess Bride, I pity you

Which is awesome, if people get it, but otherwise kind of looks like a random pirate.  I mean, if I keep asking people about six fingered men and such, it’ll be fine, and I bet I can talk Kodie or Shawn into the Dread Pirate Roberts, which is an easier costume, because he’s pretty much Zorro, and see if we can get Tall into a Fezzick costume, completing the set and making it more recognizable. 

Alternatively, I could go super recognizable with Luigi:

It's a me!

It’s fun, people will get it, and who doesn’t want a Luigi costume to go go-karting or to a party.  It’s super fun, but it’s … it’s almost not worthy of Kim’s incredible skill.  Is this the one?

Or do I go a touch more modern and obscure with Dr. Horrible:

If you haven't seen Dr. Horrible's Sing a Long Blog, you know the drill

People might not get it, but if they don’t, I think Mad Scientist is better than pirate.  If people do get it, they’ll fucking love it.  Getting Tall into a Captain Hammer costume won’t be tough.  This one also includes no fake mustaches, so there’s that.

I love all three.  I really can’t decide, but I need to, quickly.  So help me out! 

If you want to explain your choice, leave a comment.