Happy Wackin’ Jim McCrackin’

What do you think you’re doing this Saturday?

Wrong.  You’re going to Happy Wackin’ Jim McCrackin

A sword and a briefcase? Now you know you're interested.

 It’s at the John Dutton Theatre in the Calgary Public Library, at 8 pm.  Tickets are $15, $10 for CPL members, and you can preorder at www.pumphousetheatre.ca.  So, why are you going?

Well, it’s awesome.  If I can see through the vodka fueled haze, back to the halcyon days when the comedic playwright genius Amos Altman was reading me snippets of the play in the bohemian apartment we shared over a bakery in Nazi Occupied France, struggling to protect refugees as part of the resistance, well, it’s brilliant.  Is is possible I’m misremembering some of it, but I know the play is funny, even if Cliff insisted on removing all the best/gayest parts.

It’s a story of mistaken identity and a hitman, and Accidental Humour does amazing stuff where they use multi-media to enhance the show.  It’ll flip seamlessly between pre-recorded segments and live action, so it’s like a play and a movie.  It’s exciting, and intense, and hilarious, and other words that generate excitement and make you realize you really want to see this show.

If you think you can’t get there, shut up.  There’s busses.  All busses lead to the Calgary library.  And I’m not just talking about Calgarians.  You can take a bus from Edmonton or Lethbridge, or (shudder) even Red Deer, and then from the Grey Hound station it’s easy to get to the library.  Come on, no one’s getting a head chopped off over this.

And here’s why you should put in the effort.

I shouldn't have to put pictures like this on my computer.

Even if you’ve never watched Jersey Shore, you probably know who the Situation is.  If not … it’s that guy, obviously.  See, too much of our money is going to him.  Jersey Shore makes more than Greece each year.  As consumers, the people who make entertainment only listen to your money.  So you need to take your fifteen dollars, pull yourself away from the TV and come see this play.

Some of you are thinking, “What’s the harm?  It’s just one guy, and he has a sort of charm, like if you mixed John Travolta from Grease with Lenny from of Mice and Men.  It can be fun to watch Jersey Shore with ironic hipster detachment, and we can control it.  There’s only one.”

Well, friends, step into The Wayback Machine, to a year 2001, when a band showed up.  Sure, they were rather repetitive, and derivative, but they weren’t hurting anyone.  People liked their music, and they sold a gillion dollars in CDs. 

CDs are a prehistoric medium for storing music, before iPods.  You bought them with money, because pirating was hard back then.

We all thought “It’s just one band” and we were smart.  Too smart for our own good.  We had Napster, so we didn’t pay for our music.  So everyone thought that only this band was awesome, because they got all the money.  That band was…

...and they're calling from inside your house!

So basically, if you don’t go to this show, we’re going to end up with Theory of a Situation, Situationseeether, and a flood of Situation clones.  So stop it, before it’s too much, and go watch this instead.

Otherwise, it’ll be your fault.  We’ll be running around in a post-apocolyptic douchebag wasteland, fighting for gas, Mad Max style, because you were too lazy or cheap to go see a great play.


Last Minute Halloween Costumes

Not everyone is like me when it comes to Halloween.  Some people do not consider it last minute to figure out what they will wear for Halloween on September 1st.  They don’t spend the months leading up to the holiday scouring costume shops, thrift stores, variety stores and the internet for all the pieces it takes to perfectly imitate some character.  I understand that.  I’m exceedingly fortune that my talented sister, Kim, has started a tradition of giving me an excellent costume for my birthday, on the caveat that it would be worthy of her skill and interesting enough that she should bother. 

Some people don’t even have the foresight to buy a slutty costume the weekend before.

And you can find a skanky version of anything

There are pre-made costumes available at stores, that for girls are supposed to be a sexy fill in the blank, and for guys most costumes are usually some crude visual gag.  You can also find costumes based on whatever movie or TV show people have been watching.

I watch Jersey Shore, and all, but seriously, Snooki costumes? Why is this a real thing?

But what if you didn’t think to pick something up, and now, it’s time to go out for Halloween.  Well, let’s look at what you can do, and what you can’t.

Acceptable — Work Uniform

If you used to work at a fast food place, or somewhere with a recognizable uniform, you can put on your old work clothes.  Make a fake, punny name tag, and make sure the clothes are clean.  As long as people know it’s a costume, it’s okay, but they shouldn’t think you just left work.  This costume is especially true if you are a cute girl who used to work anywhere the uniform included an apron, like Starbucks, and you want to pull a Rene Zellweger form Empire Records

This is always okay.

Unacceptable — Hockey Jersey

Do not just put on a hockey jersey, and claim to be the player whose name is on the back.  If you want to do this, you better fucking look like the guy.  You also should go a step or two further.  Put on a pair of hockey gloves, maybe a fake black eye.  If you are a white guy with long hair, you can’t just put on your favourite player’s jersey and tell me you’re this guy:

because you look nothing like Iginla

Acceptable — Vampire or Zombie anything

Put on any clothes.  Grab some make up.  If you don’t have any either run to the drug store for some make up, or borrow some from your wife, girlfriend, mother, or neighbor.  Seriously, it isn’t that hard.  The internet is full of great tutorials on zombie make up, or if you’re lazy, just put down a white base and run a little red down the corner of your mouth and be a vampire. 

Ignoring my awesome cap teeth, there's not a lot to this costume...

Unacceptable — Superhero T-Shirts

If you’re like me, you’re not desperately trying to figure out what to wear on October 31st.  But if you’re kind of like me, you have a bunch of superhero T-shirts, and if you’re dumb, you think they could be turned into costumes.  This is untrue in almost all circumstances.  A Green Lantern t-shirt and jeans is not a costume.  There are exceptions.  First of all, if you have the right haircut and the right Superman symbol T-Shirt (red symbol, black background) you can be

This one, specific Superboy

Also, if you have Peter Parker or Clark Kent clothes, you can do mid change superhero.

This is the lamest Halloween costume I've ever worn. I have high standards.

Unacceptable — Toilet Paper Mummy

Just, just don’t.  It’s gross.

Acceptable — Dressing as a Holiday

Not everyone has a collection of capes like I do, but most people have Christmas decorations, or … Easter, or something.  Wear them like a costume.  Be Christmas.  It’s better than wearing nothing.

Unacceptable — Ghost Sheet

Don’t cut the eyes out of a sheet and be a ghost.  Especially after that one South Park, where Cartman showed us what you really look like:

You can't unsee this.

Acceptable — Bedsheet Toga

Seriously, if you need to wear a sheet, wear it as a toga.  It looks better.

Unacceptable — A Celebrity you look like

So you think you look like Johnny Depp, or Edward from Twilight?  It’s not enough.  You need Depp’s weird hat, or Edward’s eyebrows.   If you want to be Ricky from Trailer Park boys you need to wear one of his signature shirts.  Basically, you can’t do this unless you already have built a costume, and if that’s the case, then you have a costume, don’t you.  It’s not enough to wear your regular clothes.

Acceptable — Dress Clothes

Put on your best suit.  You’ll look like something.  Maybe you’ll need a headphone run to your ear to look like secret service, or maybe you’ll look like James Bond.  For girls, you might look like a prom queen or a bridesmaid.  You can go with it.

Unacceptable — No Costume

This is not okay.  You hear me Kodie?  Not acceptable.  You have to stay home.

Acceptable — Your Skankiest Clothing

Ladies, it’s Halloween.  No matter what you’re wearing, you’re not a slut.  You could say your a prositute, but you don’t need to.  If you’ve got an animal ear handband, you’re more than set.  It’s the Mean Girls Equation: 

Animal ears plus underwear equals costume

Seriously, wear your underwear, and you’re good.

Miniblog: Jersey Shore

The second season of Jersey Shore premiered last night. 


Jersey Shore has two types of fan.  The first type identifies with the cast mates, and envies them of their lifestyle, which is mostly gym, tanning and laundry.  It’s about looking good, clubbing and hooking up.  The cast are of Italian descent, and the guys have reclaimed the term Guido, which was orignally racist, but now describes the partying lifestyle they live.  The girls are Guidettes, women who hope to snag themselves a Guido.  

The other type of fan can’t believe that these people exist.  There’s a level of … idiocy that’s often displayed.  Most of the cast is incredibly self-obsessed, certain that everything in the world revolves around them.  When they speak, similes and metaphors often die painful, terrible deaths.  The words that come out of their mouths shouldn’t be uttered in private, let alone on national TV.  They are a strange group of barely functioning pseudo-adults, who have taken the right to live their own lives, but generally have no understanding of responsiblity. 

And watching them is amazing.  You can’t believe the shit they say, do and think. 

It’s not even a secret guilty pleasure.  When you tell someone you watch Jersey Shore, if they watch it too, you both wait a moment to see if someone expresses glee at their clubbing adventures.  If they see something positive, you know you’re dealing with someone too dumb to catch your contempt. 

I think my secret shame with Jersey Shore is a bit deeper.  Some of the cast a mere parodies of humanity (Snookie,the Situation, Angelina).  Others have the potential to be functioning members of society, and just seem to be taking some time to get all the stupid out of their system.  The most normal is Vinnie. 

or "The Normal One"


Vinnie thinks and acts like a person.  You’re rarely laughing at him, and when you are, he is too.  He’s self-aware.  He’s the first to notice when things become ridiculous, and gets the least screen time because he’s the least spectacular.  The man is educated, and for all intensive purposes, should be the person I like most and identify with on the show. 

My secret shame is I really get Ronnie: 


First of all, I do not and never will look like that.  His arms are the size of my torso.  He’s a powerful man.  But he’s also insightful.  Right from the start, he knows not to get into his roommates business without a good reason.  He understands how the people around him think.  He’s smart like Vinnie, but he gets involved in everything that happens around him. 

He also keeps putting up with ridiculous behaviour from a cute girl.  Honestly, he’s too smart for Sammie, whom he dated in the first season, and she makes ridiculous demands and ultimatums on him, and he does his best by her, often to his determine. 

Then there was the time some guy kept beaking off to him, so he ran back six blocks, and dropped the guy with one punch.  It was awesome, up until the point where he spent a night in jail.  He understood every consequence of what he did.  He knows you can’t go around punching people. 

But when he does it it’s so awesome. 

That’s my secret shame.  Ronnie, from Jersey Shore, is a guy I understand, and like.  And that kind of makes me feel dirty. 

But don’t tell him and his beefy arms about the dirty feeling part.