Friday, March 19, 2010

It's ma birthday

Birthdays should be a time to reflect on the year gone by and look forward to the year ahead.

Instead, I shall waste the day away playing video games in my basement and eating junk food.  Maybe I'll add another deadly sin to the mix later, but that's up to Robyn.  (Don't judge me, you know how much I like it when she talks about money.)

However, for appearances sake, I will take a few minutes to write up a birthday post if for nothing else than to prove to you, my legion of followers, that I can amuse you even when I should be thinking of only myself today.  With that in mind, prepare to be amused as I think about myself.

First, reflection.

All in all, it was a pretty good year.
  • I've been promoted twice, which means that they recognize talent when they see it or they're not on to me yet.  Either way, I win! 
  • We paid off the car.  And I finally have had a car last longer than 3 years.  Maybe some birthday in the future I'll have paid off the first one...
  • Went a whole year without having to dig the house up.  And any year that doesn't happen again is a good one.
  • Got back into the ol' blogaroutine, which is nice.  Feels good to write, hope I brought a smile to your face or a laugh to your belly.  By the way, you owe me for every smile and laugh that I gave you.  I intend to collect.  Read on.
  • Got the beginnings of my man-cave going on slowly, but surely.  
  • Didn't get the swine or bird flu.  That's worth something, if only that it means I practiced good personal hygiene, and have friends and colleagues that do as well.  I'm sure it's just a coincidence if I didn't see you this year... but maybe you should take a look at your routine, just in case.
On second thought, I'd rather not speculate on the year to come.  I don't want to jinx anything.  I'll just say I'm hopeful. 

I walked away from this post for a little while because I had an idea.  And I think I got it to work. I've been meaning to do this for the last 10 years or so.  Those of you that know me already know what this is, but in case you somehow missed every single one of my birthdays over the last 15 years (ouch, that number stings a little):

The time:  March 17, 1995
The place:  K Mart in Dartmouth, NS

I was a young lad of only 18 years.  My birthday was coming up and I had received what at the time was the GREATEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER.  Something that I had hoped for and dreamed of my entire life was about to come true.

I had a front row ticket to see Weird Al Yankovic.

The ticket was a gift from my girlfriend at the time.  The fact that there was only one ticket was her very clear way of telling me that she had zero interest in attending any such "concert".  Also she said that.  But I digress.  As much of a crazy woman as she was, she did get me that ticket and that was awesome.

I went to Dartmouth and stood in line at a K Mart where Weird Al was going to be doing an autograph session.  Rock on.  I got the picture and the standard autograph. And I got something else.

I explained to Weird Al that my birthday was coming up in a couple of days and asked if he would mind wishing me a happy birthday on tape.  He was totally up for it and what transpired next has gone down in history as the single most important piece of audio tape I own.  Cause not only did he wish me a happy birthday, but he totally nailed my name on the first try.  I would have been happy if he`d just said "happy birthday dude" or even just "happy birthday from Weird Al".  But no, he listened to a fan and got my name on the first try!

I've just digitized it and now I can share it with the world! 

And here it is.

Yes, I am aware that the sound quality leaves something to be desired.

For those of you at work that can't download the file, here is a transcript. I've written it from memory because I can.

Weird Al:  I'm sorry, what was your name again?
Me:  Weh-Ming.
Weird Al:  Weh-Ming?
Me:  Weh-Ming.
Weird Al:  Happy birthday, Weh-Ming!
Me: Thank you SO MUCH!

(I cut out the Thank you SO MUCH because I accidentally turned off the recorder in my excitement.)

The concert that night was awesome, and so much better than what happened on my actual birthday (when I discovered that though I may be a fairly large fellow, I have Asian genes and alcohol tolerances to match).  Every birthday since, I have pulled this tape out of its hiding place and I play it for everyone that will listen.

And that has got me thinking:  Why only Weird Al?  Why is he the only celebrity to have wished me a happy birthday?  Sure, there are a lot of people that have never been wished a happy birthday from a celebrity, so why should I be greedy?

Because I can!

Here is my ongoing birthday wish then.  I would like birthday wishes from celebrities.  Something on video would be awesome.  Audio is good too (it's done me for the last 15 years).  Handwritten would be cool.  That would be a pretty cool collection, wouldn't it?

So next time you bump into, I don't know, Nathan Fillion or The Barenaked Ladies or Christopher Plummer (and I know you have because you've told me!), and you ask them for an autograph or a picture, how about a little shout out to your friend who's having a birthday?

Happy birthday, Weh-Ming.  Happy birthday, indeed.

On a side note, this post was going up at March 19, 2010 at 12:06 PM, the date and time of my birth.  Upon careful consideration, that seemed a little gross, so I'm posting it now.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Yesterday, I learned the lesson that all superheroes must learn at some point in their lives:  that I must use my powers for good and not for evil.

Scott and I ran into a friend at work who we hadn't seen for a while.  As it turns out, he had contracted pneumonia and had been out for quite a while.  He looked, well, he looked pretty bad.  Being the kind of people that we are, we proceeded to joke around. 

So we're laughing, and he's laughing, and then he's coughing, and then he's kind of laughing/coughing, and then he's sort of choking/coughing/laughing.  It's kind of a spectacle.  It being the end of our lunch break, we stood up to leave.

And that's when our friend passed out.

I'm not going to say that it was entirely my fault for getting him going... But you could draw a line from point A to B where A was jokes and B was him on ground.

To make amends, I have decided to get a second job as security in a sick kids ward.  That way everyone wins from the use of my superpowers.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The 2010 Oscars

I thought this was something completely different when I clicked on it.  Turns out it was a warning to other parents about the dangers of letting Hannah Montana come over for dinner.

I'm not saying anything, but when it comes in a size like that is it really "Baby Phat"?

Maybe, if by "special person" you mean "needs".  My guess is that somebody bought this as a GREAT VALENTINE'S IDEA, then it turned out to be what it is.

Which country exactly would this go with?  The only thing that I can think this would be good for is chasing my sister while shouting "The Claw is coming for you!"

I checked out the link to the other ads... this was the most interesting piece of the lot.  If anyone does end up contacting this person, please let me know what's in the box.


On second thought, don't.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Getting Edited

A good friend and I volunteered to write something for a publication last month.

It was an interesting assignment, and we had lots of time to complete it.  We took about a week and a half and put together what we considered to be some pretty good material.  It was short, it was sweet, and best of all we had written it so that it could be condensed for space as required.

Due to some unforeseen circumstances (at least by us, since we didn't see anything) the publication was delayed by a week.  Then another week.  We had begun to dispair that our efforts would ever see the light of day.

So imagine our surprise and delight when it hit our desks yesterday.  Then, a feeling that I can only imagine must be the feeling that every person out there that makes their living writing for someone else must get every damn day of their lives.

Our piece had been been condensed.  No, to say it had been condensed would be too generous.  Out of the entire item: two sentences.  And they weren't even good sentences.  I mean, they were good, we wrote them after all.  But they were from the end of the article and depended pretty heavily on the context generated form the rest of the article. 


On the upside, there were 24 sentences in our article, so in a week and a half we generated a year's worth of content.

Being edited sucks.  But it's a necessary evil.  Until you're running your own show, you give it your best shot and hope that everything turns out all right.  And, geez, this was something that would be hard pressed to be described as a puff piece - imagine how I'd feel if it'd been a book. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How I spent $20

First of all, this isn't exactly some kind of exercise in consumerism.  Or maybe it is.  But that's not how it started.

Over the last few months, there have been a number of occasions when dropping my lovely wife off at work that she has asked me the same question that I'm sure has probably passed the lips of many other couples: "Do you have any cash?"

My answer has always been the same: "Do I ever carry cash?"

The answer to that question, is "Hardly ever."  But still, you have to hand it to her.  She is the eternal optimist.

The last time that she asked me, I was on my way to a gigantic chain store that shall remain nameless (because they have enough publicity on their own, and they aren't paying me anything) to make a small purchase.  Before you go all crazy on me, yes, I could have bought that same item at a smaller local store, except that said larger store has already put smaller local stores out of business.  But I digress.

I was paying with my debit card and the machine came up with a "Want Cash Back?" option. Hearkening back to my earlier conversation, I said yes and got $20.  My theory was that I would use the cash as pocket money, just in case something came up, or if I had to buy something that was less than $20.  Just, you know, to have some cash on hand.

Then I kind of forgot about it.  I would remember it at the weirdest times.  I'd be brushing my teeth in the morning and think "Hey, I got $20!"  Or I'd be loading the dishwasher and remember it.  Or just watching tv or playing a video game.  And after I remembered that I had it, I'd think about how I was going to spend it.

In the meantime, I had been to any number of stores for groceries, gas, general house stuff.  We'd been to craft stores and once to EB Games... but I didn't spend it, even when I did remember it. But now enough time had passed that I was beginning to feel bad about not spending it.  It wasn't exactly gaining interest while it sat in the bank, but I felt an obligation to make it useful while it was in my pocket.

On my days off this week, I decided I was going to spend it.  I looked for deals in flyers and online.  I thought about things that I wanted, maybe buy a pair of pants (cause, yes, I am happy when I buy pants that cost $ in).

I did some soul searching.  And by that, I mean I forgot about it on my first day off.  But on my second day I had a plan.  I was going to have a Big Bacon Classic Combo.  Is there a more magical fast food combo?  I wish I was joking, but I actually salivated a little bit just writing it.  It is what I consider the perfect burger combo.

And that got me thinking.  There's a lot of emotion wrapped up in the food we eat.  I thought about the things that make me feel happy.  How some things have changed (like I could have blown the whole thing on candy, but now I'm older and wiser and have very expensive teeth) and how some things are the same (video games are fun!).

In the end, I made the right choice. I bought something that brought me some happiness today, and invested in a little bit of happiness for later too.  I bought comic books.  Man, I enjoy a good story.

I ended up with $12 in comics.  Let me save you the trouble of trying to do the math; $12 equals 3 comic books (I like good comics, but even cheap ones these days are pricey).  If you equate the time it took me to read through them (about 20 minutes) for the price, it's not that good a value. But I like the stories and I'm a bit of a collector, so it pleases me to own comics in good condition.  And because I'm only a bit of a collector (and not a fringe nerd), I'll enjoy these comics again in a year or two ten when I pull them out to read again.

I could have still bought that Big Bacon Classic Combo, but decided against it.  I felt that maybe it wasn't the burger itself that I wanted, it was the idea of the burger.  The emotional tie-in I had with my sense memory of it (that's a little big of my theatre education coming out there - totally worth it) was what I was craving.

Ultimately, I compromised and bought a cheeseburger platter from Deluxe. I was a little saddened that they raised the price to $4, but that was a hit I could take.  Plus, I had lunch with Scott, so my $4 also got me out of the house for a couple of hours, which was worth it.

After 10 days with $20 in my pocket, I have 3 comics, a full belly and $3.50 left.

I throw it out to you, my gibbering horde of followers:  How would you spend $20 of "you" money?  Could you make it last more than a week?

On a side note, it turns out that my inner child still wants a Big Bacon Classic Combo Coke to drink no ice.  Man, that's a good combo.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bad game, someone played a game, I want to buy your game!

First, that's a terrible game

But considering the math skills you have, I shouldn't be that surprised that you bought it.

I am surprised that you didn't open it even after you sold your Xbox.


And that's my final offer!

Unless, you know, you want more.