Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Living In a Tipi Down by the Woodpile

It's official!  I now live in a tipi.  For those of you who know me and those who first see me this is of no great surprise.  "What else are you going to tell us about yourself, you long haired, skinny jeaned wearing hippie??  Are you going to fill us in on how you like to play guitar, smoke pot and think about the balance between conscious consumerism and the economic demands of our industrialized state?  Or how about your adventures at Burning Man?  YA HIPPIE!!!"  Well, the last one doesn't fit as it is too far to the left on the hippie spectrum for my tastes.  I enjoy freedom, but I also enjoy structure and responsibility - Who's German, has two fingers and is typing this blog?  This guy.

I love tipi life, however, as I write this I see a mouse wandering around looking for food.  Sorry little feller, but everything is in sealed jars and tupperware.  Yes, I'm typing in my tipi and I have sealed containers.  I also, have a fire pit, a guitar (see above paragraph) solar panels, and a water reserve.  So, I'm not totally roughing it, depending on your definition of 'roughing it'.  I like to refer to myself as the modern First Nations person (if in America and reading this Native or Indian).

I guess I am just finally practicing what I preach.  I cannot stand what we are doing as a culture here in Canada - how many suburbs are we going to build?  With complete homogeny between them; the exact same strip malls, the exact same houses (that are over sized and draining our non-renewable resources), the exact same cars, the exact same drive-way/garage/backyard design).  When you stop and think about Edmonton all it really is is a bunch of suburbs that connect with one another.  Then there are two streets where some cool shit is happening, but hardly anyone is supporting.  I was thinking today that I hate travelling the most when I meet new people and they say to me, "Oh, you're from Canada?  Thats cool, eh.  How about a beer and some hockey, eh?"  I fucking hate these stereotypes of our culture, but guess what I hate even more?  That they are spot on.  That is our culture and we do little to change it, add to it or evolve it into something new or different.  This is where I tell people that Canadians are very conservative.  Yes, we are a liberal country when it comes to peoples freedoms and liberties, but we are very conservative when it comes to curating our own unique culture.

Well, that's it for me.  Hope there are some ideas in here that you can chew on and think about and PLEASE comment or email me your opinions because all great change starts with guns.  Just kidding, it starts with judgement.  HA!  Really though, it starts with communication.

Have a great week EDDY!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Feature #3 - Kathleen McGee

Okay, yup.  What's up Eddy!?  Better yet, whats up with this blog Kelly?  Well, if you are speaking about the randomness of posts lately it is because I'VE BEEN STUPID BUSY.  I was in NY for a bit and I've been working seven days a week helping my dad, as well as trying to put together a 30 minute stand up set, on top of playing music, seeing my family and trying to sleep - oh sleep, oh god, how I miss you.  When we reunite it will be a night I won't soon forget.  You may be upset because all I'm going to do is SLEEP.

So in this disguise of excuses I must say that I recorded this feature with Kathleen on Wednesday, but was unable to edit everything together until today.  I AM SORRY, SUPER SOrrrrrrrrrrry.  So in the podcast when I say that Kathleen has 5 dates at the Comic Strip, well, that has already passed and if you missed her please look out for her in a town near you, follow her on Instagram, FB, Twitter and Youtube.  If you are in Calgary, however, GO SEE HER.

Anyway.  Last Sunday I was blown away by a performer at Empress Ale House and that performers name is Kathleen McGee, yup you guessed it.  Ever heard of her?  If you have, you know what I'm talking about!!!  On this particular night she was on fire; everything that came out of her mouth had people absolutely howling.  It was one of those nights when all the stars align and you get to see one of the best performances you've ever seen.  I've seen a lot of stand up over the years including Bill Burr, Aziz Ansari, Bill Cosby, John Mullaney amongst many others and I've got to say this show is now in my top 5 of stand up shows I've seen.  Kathleen McGee has an abundance of talent and it will only be a matter of time until she finds the gates to the mainstream where she will be in everyones heads, but for now she remains off the beaten path, for you to find and enjoy before everyone else does.  Like a mix tape just waiting to happen where every teenager and young adult are listening to her bits without telling anyone because they tow that distant line between the truths we know and the truths we allow ourselves to share with others.  I love this woman and so will you.  She is, in my mind, the next Rosanne - taking the dirtiest, most questionable things in humanity and making them absolutely fucking hilarious.

Enjoy Eddy, one of the best talents from your very own backyard.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tim Hortons - Proudly Serving Piss Water

I'll say it, and I'm gonna say it.  This may be the most controversial thing ever stated by a Canadian, but to hell with it.  "Tim Hortons sucks.  It is just a bullshit corporate chain that serves low quality goods."  There it is.  You are welcome.

I see how people don't want to make conscious choices as it is easier to follow the habits of yesterday.  My Dad does it all the time and Tim Hortons is his routine "go to spot" for coffee and the like.  In his mind he says, "This spots good.  What's wrong with this spot?  Nothing."  But there is always this:

"Tim Hortons has found itself in the midst of a controversy after a teen suffering from an asthma attack asked to use the phone to call for help, but was turned down.
It happened on Sunday when Brett Wolfe, 17, stopped at a Tim Hortons on Horton Street East and Wellington Street, in downtown London, Ont.
While inside, he started having breathing problems and asked to use the phone.
"They said, 'There's a payphone across the street.'  Well, I said 'I need to call 911, I'm short of breath, I'm having an asthma attack' and they just ignored me.- CBC News
This is not directly Tim Hortons' fault as much as it is their shitty employees, but why wouldn't their employees help this man?  Why the tight following of protocol?  Was there an incident before where someone was fired for not following direct protocol?  Are their employees that unhappy that they are unwilling to help their customers? 
Or how about this one:
"After being fired for giving away a Timbit to a baby and hastily reinstated when the doughy dilemma hit the media, single mom Nicole Lilliman says she'll collect her much-needed Tim Hortons paycheque until she can find work elsewhere." - CBC News
This is what happens with corporations - the employee naturally becomes/or is directed to become disconnected with humanity, essentially becoming a robot who follows rules made by a lawyer in HR.  Do you think this would happen at a local Mom and Pop business that is operated by people of the community?  I don't.
This is a tangent getting off the subject of just how low quality the products of Tim Hortons really are.  So lets get back to it.  The company was created in the 60's by a hockey player, Tim Horton, and his colleague Jim Charade.  What do these two men know about good coffee?  Do they care about coffee?  Do they live the essence of the bean?  I just don't think so - and I also don't think anyone who owns a Tim Hortons gives a shit either.  I've been in NY for about 13 years and I must say that through my original naivety, helpful hands and an open mind I have gained a fairly decent handle on good coffee.  I can now, as I couldn't before, taste the quality of the bean, enjoy the rich experience of espresso w/ a side of soda water and literally appreciate the people who curate the coffee culture.  Speed freaks most of them are, sure.  That's what coffee is - a natural amphetamine that we take during our day to boost us up.  But, it is more than just a boost it really is a very tasteful and delicious drink when done well.  

So yes, I am a coffee fan.  Not a fanatic because I don't live coffee like some people, but I do like a great cup of coffee.  Many people in Canada utter those words and then pull up to the Tim Hortons window to order a double double of piss.  That's right - piss.  Tim Hortons coffee tastes like piss and I think that when you go through the drive-thru, order your cup of joe and get to the window there should just be a person there who pisses in your mouth.  Want to order a double double?  Then when you get to the window there are two guys there - one to piss in your face and the other to jerk off on you.  Then when they are both finished they take handfuls of sugar and throw them in your face.  The sad thing is that I believe so many Canadians are brainwashed to Tim Hortons that they would still go there.  HA!! 
I'm cynical, I get it.  But sorry folks we've been lied to - this coffee is awful.  It's okay, don't be upset by it just do something about it.  We've been lied to before by corporations like McDonalds, "We don't market unhealthy food to kids."  Happy Meals anyone?  The Clean Coal campaign from the major coal companies of the world.  Really clean coal?  It's like companies who say they have 'entry level' workers in their company when they really have 'unpaid interns'.  It's all just pizza and fairy tales.  They'll say anything to help their margin and they don't give a shit about you, their employees or the state of the world.
The other things on the menu at Tim Hortons?  Wheat and sugar.  Sourced locally?  Or just from where ever the cheapest price is?  I'd bet on the later.  So wheat and sugar - probably a couple of the worst things a human being could consume for themselves.  It contributes to weight gain, IBS, diabetes, and on and on.  How are these things not regulated?  People say the market will regulate itself, but I gotta say that old habits die hard and if the government can put a label on cigarettes saying, "Smoking will kill you."  Why not do the same for places that only serve food that will do the same?
Sorry Tim, but in my mind Canada is better off without you.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Feature #2 - Clare Belford

Eddy!!!  Holy smokes.  You know what can happen in a week?  A lot.  I was forming the podcast portion of the blog after Marc Marons' WTF podcast and even as I was recording the intro section, which I never posted, for Brett McCrindle's feature last week I got the feeling somethings were too self indulgent and others weren't really me.  That and some feedback on podcasts from my friend Jon Mick, left me re-evaluating things.  SO!!  Evolution has come to us this week, bringing with it a whole new design for the podcast.  I hope you enjoy it as I invited some of my friends onto the show to host segments, give you weather updates and lifestyle reports.

The main portion of the show is Clare Belford being kind enough to share an hour of her time with us and I really enjoyed our conversation.  Every time I sit and talk with someone I thoroughly enjoy the experience and when I listen back on those conversations I learn a lot, not only about myself, but the other person as well.  It's just been real, real nice.

Right now it is around 12:30am and I have to be at work at 8am.  So as much as I'd like to post Clare's video I just don't have time tonight.  I'll put it up later this week so please stay tuned for that.

Have a great one Eddy!!!