Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Great Tofurkey Binge of '06

It occurred to me a while ago that 2006 is quickly passing me by, and I still have not followed through on my promise to Binge Greatly on Tofurkey. In my defence, I wrote that almost two full years ago, and 2006 seemed like it was waaaaaaaay off in the distance. It was '04, I was young, dumb, kind, and in love, and two years seemed like an eternity.

Time flies, and now I'm in my mid-twenties (aside: HOLY SHIT), slightly less dumb, mean, and bitter, and I'm three months away from being a liar as well. I had thought it would be funny to do it this year for Canadian Thanksgiving, but now I have plans to actually cook a real turkey for that. That doesn't leave that much occasion to somehow consume a tofurkey, as my weekdays are busy and I'm lucky if I have the energy to heat up a TV dinner. It looked like I would merely have to chalk this one as one of the Great Ideas I Never Followed Up On, until I realized that I don't have any plans for American Thanksgiving yet.

So I invite everyone to join me in person or in your own home on the weekend of November 23, in the Great Tofurkey Binge of '06. Buy a Tofurky or carve your own out of firm tofu -- perhaps a little eggwash so that it browns up nice and evenly in the oven -- and then lay your teeth into that succulent, succulent complete protein. Perhaps you can make a soy event out of it: open the meal with edamame; finish with silken tofu pudding; wash the whole kaboodle down with soy milk. Then rest your painful, gout-stricken joints on a couch with friends, family, and otherwise loved ones.

The Great Tofurkey Binge of '06: It's soy good!1

Current Music: Rufus Wainwright - Want Two

1. I stole that from Théa. Sue me.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Truly action packed

I don't need to tell you how excited I am about Sloan's new album. Unfortunately I haven't got it yet as it doesn't come out in the US until Tuesday, and I'm not even clear on whether or not the local music stores will have it. I know I've been a critic of their last album, Action Pact, and so you might think I would be very down about their newest, Never Hear The End Of It. But I want to believe. Oh, how I want to believe.

Fortunately, I stumbled on some videos of Sloan recording this album on YouTube just now and I am pleased as punch with the bits that I am hearing. I particularly enjoyed this one.

It's so true.

Current Music: Sloan - False Alarm
Current Asbestos Concern quote: "I've learned that whenever you bring something up more than once, it's because you don't like it." -- Eric Severinson

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

When you wake up feeling old

That's part of the reason Duke was so huge, you know, because he had this guy writing half of his stuff.

Like the other dude from Wham!


... nothing? Nothing?

[more silence]

[moment of realization dawning] Waitaminute, are you all too young to remember Wham?

[some laughing, nodding]

[buries head in hands] Oh my God.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Six years ago, Guillaume de Frontenac le XVIII, Lightnin' Larry Powers, and two-time Ernst von Horlt award winner Leslie Pud came together in a studio for the first time. The results were dynamite -- within hours they had written and recorded the definitive single of their then-nascent band's career: "Jolly Roger". The song was a seminal work in the prog-shred genre; a testament to the transience of mortal existence, and the suffering that all living creatures must endure simply to call themselves alive. It was a stunning and timeless comment on humanity.

It was also about pirates.

In honour of Talk Like A Pirate Day, I play for you, salty sea-dogs and buxom wenches alike, "Jolly Roger" over at You can watch it here.

Current Music: Egon Spengler - Jolly Roger (right click, save as)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Damn you, Vox DA5

Curse you, Vox DA5; who knew your believable and responsive amp models would make me crave the real thing even more?

You cheeky bitch.

Current Music: The Police - Roxanne
Current desire: Marshall JTM-45 Plexi & 4x12 cabinet
Current second desire: Blackface Fender Super Reverb
Current third desire: Vox AC30
Current need: probably $7000

Friday, September 15, 2006

What the hell is happening to me?

I marched into Rasputin Music today and came out with an instrumental album by a guitarist.

I hope I don't hate it.

Current Music: Jeff Beck - Wired

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pardon my zinger (Random quotes from the last three weeks, provided with some context)

It's good that you've come to pick up your ergonomic chair now. We've got a lot of chairs to get rid of.

Well, I've got a lot of ass.

[walking into office] You're a total morning person now!

It's 11:00.

That's it; I'm starting a line of thong diapers.

All I can think of is the cover of Dark Side of the Moon.

I was really looking forward to playing squash, and making up squash-related names for different shots. Butternut? Better not!

Gourd shot!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The third noblest of the mouth-instruments

I received this e-mail tonight:

Dear Mr. Liang,

Hi! My name is Jennifer Chang and I am writing on behalf of Expanded Books (a broadband television production company) and Workman Publishing. I came across your blog while searching for sites related to humor, and I noticed your site's banner graphic. I was hoping that you'd be able to help us!

Workman recently published a book called "The Complete How to Kazoo", which is a book that, as expected, teaches readers how to play the kazoo. It is also part of a larger campaign to make the kazoo the national instrument of the United States! Really! This is an actual campaign, with thousands of backers writing letters to their congressmen in support of the cause.

I know this may be a little offbeat, but if this news is something your readers may be interested in, or if you find the campaign inspiring or (let's face it) even just amusing, we'd like to kindly ask you to include the link to the campaign video in your next update. Here it is!

This video is currently airing on Yahoo!, MSN, Google, Youtube, iFilm, and Revver, and will likely be featured on network television news shows in the very near future.

I'm also attaching the official press release so you can learn more about the book and roots of the campaign.

Please let us know if you decide to post the link, and we'll express our personal thanks.

And in the meantime, our thanks to you for your consideration!

-Jennifer Chang
Associate Producer, Expanded Books

I mean, I'm pretty sure it's not spam. A spammer would have to be pretty damn smart to build a bot that could look at banner photos and analyze them for the presence of kazoos. The website looks pretty legitimate, as does the press release. So I suppose that I am flattered, unless it does actually turn out to have been spam, in which case I am impressed by the spammer's 1337 skillz.

The campaign to make the kazoo the national instrument of America, though -- that's something I can really get behind. Devoted readers (of which I have more than Peter Lynn over at Man vs. Clown!, apparently, according to Dave and BlogLines, but that's neither here nor there) will know that I am a devotee of the kazoo. The kazoo was probably my second instrument, and I like to think it's probably my best instrument also, as I am a decidedly above-average kazoo player. I keep a kazoo -- and not a cheapo $1 plastic one, a $2 metal one with replaceable resonator -- in my jacket pocket at all times. Also, I'm not even American, and so the campaign to make it the national instrument of the US can't possibly hurt me at all; thus, I deem it worthy of my support.

So let it be known that the Internet's Foremost Dickolas Wang supports the campaign to make the kazoo the American national instrument. Sure, the book she mentions costs $11USD and teaches you something that people ought to be able to pick up at age 5 or just by reading the Wikipedia article1. Sure, the kazoo is about as much a musical instrument as a distortion pedal is. Sure, I'm not even American. But I have a passion for the kazoo, and I want the world to know.

I felt it would be appropriate for the occasion to re-post some of my finest kazoo moments, both taken from my videoblog over at Enjoy (again, or if you don't read, for the first time)!

1. While this is true, over the years I have fielded a surprisingly high number of questions about how you play the thing. You'd be astonished how many people have never figured it out. To be fair, the description of the book mentions lip positions, plural, as well as the "balalaika effect", none of which I have any idea about, so I could probably learn something from the book. Also, the usual instruction to "hum, not blow" is misleading; you need to hum and blow a little bit. Oops, I think I may have just spoiled the first chapter of the book.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Where have you been all my life, Vox DA5?

The last two weeks, I've been playing a lot of guitar. Most, or at least many of you, know that there are two main reasons for this. Number one, I am trying out for the UC Jazz ensembles this semester, and it looks like I will get into the intermediate combo I tried out for (I was the only guitar player there). Number two, I spent last weekend rolling out as many hott, creamy, fat, heavy, greasy, dirty, crunchy, and/or shimmering licks as possible in an effort to attract the attention of... certain people.

This is not a post about either of these things. Rather, this is a post on my new practice amp. As with all consumer electronics, the low-to-midrange electric guitar amp market has benefitted greatly in the last ten years due to embedded computer technology; specifically in this case by the advent of so-called "modelling amps", which emulate several very, very expensive amps. They'll probably never be perfect, but they're certainly pretty close considering the price. And now the modelling technology has trickled down all the way to little practice amps. The net result? Lots of good shit for the guitarist community that I don't care about. What I do care about is me, and what it has done for me is to make my guitar sound hell of hott, creamy, fat, heavy, greasy, dirty, crunchy, and shimmering, all for the low, low Labour Day price of $125.

I love you, Vox DA5.

Current Music: My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Set your calculator to "maths"

Thanks to Cameron for telling me about this.

I really hope OK Go is good

because I'm buying their album.

Current Music: OK Go - A Million Ways

Delayed Reaction: Portia

Back in second year, I went to visit my old friends from the girls' floor right below 3rd Hamber. All five of them, along with their new roommate, had all gone to a strip club the previous night, where they were treated to free drinks and lots of swag. Among the free stuff they got was a poster of one of the strippers, Portia, naked, which they gave to me. I rolled it up and held it loosely in my hand while we chatted, using it to scratch my head, tapping it against my head, and resting my chin on it. After about 40 minutes of letting me do this, their new roommate finally said, "You know that she rubbed that in her crotch before she threw it to us, right?"


About a month ago a friend of my sister got married, and her stagette party was dinner, drinks, and pole dancing lessons. My sister told me later that Teri Hatcher made it famous, as she swears by it. I was later told that Matt's fiancée was also doing this for her stagette.


A few weeks back Jowen, who is now employed by UBC and as such gets to take a couple of undergrad courses for free each year, tells me he's interested in Pole Dancing 101A. Being the unenlightened boor I am, I couldn't help but insult his manhood -- that is, until I looked at the course description and found that the instructor was a former exotic dancer who had performed internationally.


So, I followed the link to the instructor's fitness studio, Tantra Fitness. I saw the pictures, I watched the video. I continued to insult Jowen's manhood. Then I read the bio:

Tammy Morris, also known as Portia...

I looked a little closer at the pictures, and compared them to what I could remember of the poster. (It's somewhere, I just don't know where exactly.) Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!


Small world, eh?

About 20 minutes ago, it got even smaller when I read this interview she did in Playboy. From the article:

In its August 12 issue, the National Enquirer broke the story that Affleck had gone to a strip club in Vancouver the night of the Dateline broadcast. That article, as well as the following two weeks' cover stories, claimed that Affleck got wild at Brandi's Exotic Nightclub and performed oral sex on a dancer at the club, and then gave oral sex to at least one other dancer later that night at the rented home of actor Christian Slater. On August 11's Tonight Show, Affleck confirmed to Jay Leno that he was at the club, but his attorney calls the Enquirer's claims "absolutely false." The Enquirer has countered, asking Affleck to take a lie detector test. The paper says the sources it used for its stories have already passed lie detector tests.

Since the controversy erupted, Tammy Morris, the stripper at the center of this celebrity storm, has been out of sight. The Enquirer's main source for its exposés, Morris claims she danced for Affleck at the club that night and that he performed oral sex on her later at Slater's house.

I immediately flashed back to my fourth year, when the same friends that gave me the poster telling me that they had heard that their stripper had broken up Bennifer I. My mind was blown.

Jowen, you should take the class.

Current Music: Peter Adams - The Spiral Eyes
Current pet peeve: spelling "whoa" "woah"