A Strange New World

It’s been an extremely odd last couple of weeks.  I went from being a dude that was able to go out and do whatever I wanted to a guy that was restricted to his house for the majority of the day – adjustment has been difficult.  All of these articles you read telling you about the wonderful things that you could be (re)discovering while you work from home… play board games, read books, cook wonderful time-consuming dinners, watch all of the movies, etc… all of this is true.  It does take time to get used to though – when your world gets flipped upside down (bonus point for anyone that read it in the Fresh Prince tune) like it has for many of us it’s a strange existence.  It’s not the fear of getting the virus that I’m afraid of, it’s the time that it will take for things to go back to normal.

When will sports resume? Going to a pub with a buddy? Having lunch with people from work? None of these questions are even close to being answered.  Trying to stay informed is fairly easy right now with nothing else to report on (Tom Brady somehow still wins), the entire world is on pause right now.  There are a few sides that you can see on social media.  Some people are afraid and are posting things that the Government should do (becoming upset when it doesn’t happen the way they believe it should) and/or becoming vigilantes for the general public of things they see wrong.  Others (myself included) are trying to make light of the situation ease their own tension behind the severity of the virus.  Lastly, you have the realists that know we haven’t seen the peak of this, and expect things to get much worse.

I’m trying to stay positive during this whole time.  I do believe Canada got ahead of the virus quicker than other countries.  It would be difficult for me to believe otherwise.  My personality doesn’t suit a doomsday persona.  I’m abiding by all the rules and know the severity of the situation… it’s just not healthy for me to believe that I won’t be able to enjoy the company of others through the summer months – taking it week by week is the healthiest approach for my own personal sanity.  Eating properly, exercising, writing, keeping things light on social media, and staying productive while I work from home is how I’m surviving this.  Adjustments are being made daily – it’s easy to get into a mode of extreme routine.  Unfortunately, this becomes problematic after even a couple of days.

Others will have zero issues handling this.  Many people seem like they’ve been training their entire lives for this.  It really is as easy as sitting on the couch and keeping yourself entertained.  It’s interesting watching people handle this situation online.  None of it is incorrect, other than sharing misinformation.  I’m trying to keep an open mind that not everybody will handle this the same and that people on social media are scared and they’re digesting everything the only way their body will process the fear.

After this is all over there are multiple things that will be interesting to watch moving forward…

  • Will this be the kickstart that the world needs to see to try to solve global warming?
  • Is technology going to be as heavily relied on for entertainment? It’s one of our sole sources currently.
  • How will the economy bounce back? Will we go into a multi-year recession?
  • Will Governments be more prepared for the next time this happens?
  • What will Charmin (toilet paper company) do first when they purchase the country of Ukraine?

This is the weirdest situation that I’ve ever witnessed.  During 9/11 we had a bad guy(s) to blame and it was simpler to understand how to keep people safe.  This is a silent killer that we can’t blame (unless you are Trump blaming China).  The fix is not easy, it requires an adjustment across the entire world.  With over-population and the ease of travel all over the world, this virus will definitely have staying power.  In years past with deadly diseases we couldn’t travel as simply to spread it – this made it so much easier to contain.  Now we have to deal with misinformation, ignorance, unpreparedness, fear, and a global spread.  Fuck, this is depressing! It’s only been a short time of course, and at the end of the day, we are really only being told to stay home.  My job has been fantastic with the pandemic and the team that I lead has been phenomenal during this whole ordeal.  There is no doubt that my situation is ideal compared to some… it is still taking time for me to adjust, and the way I deal with processing issues is downloading my thoughts into my blog (you must sanitize your hands when leaving my brain).

Also, yes, I realize that Facetime is being used commonly to communicate.  I find it to be very similar to having a conversation with a girlfriend in grade 11 over the phone.  You are constantly interrupting each other by accident, making small talk about nothing, and struggle with when it’s time to hang up.  If I’m going to partake in a (buddy) date it will be while enjoying a pint of Guinness, asking for the bill when it’s obvious that the hangout is done (two empty Guinness glasses)… this is my preferred type of hangout.  You shake their hand or give them a hug and wander home feeling a bit better about the world.

(virtual) Cheers to hoping things get back to normal sooner rather than later.

Stay safe out there!

IMG_0395

Sitting in a Steamroom with Roger Gaston

The world of the selfie is strange.  “Here I am sitting on a couch – well I’m thinking I should take a picture of myself and pot it.”  Could you imagine doing that before the smartphone?  Take the film into the camera place and it’s just headshots of you.  The camera shop dude would probably think that you are either a model or an actor.  “Nope, just felt like taking a picture of my face after finishing an episode of ‘Cheers’ – might put it up on the fridge even.”

Joined the gym again – I’m back at Movati.  It’s got a few nice bonuses there.  There’s a pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna, smoothie bar, basketball court, etc… So far the steam room is the place with the most entertainment.  Old dudes just don’t give a fu** – the towel is barely hanging on – spreading those legs out for comfort.  Talking politics, weather, sports, or whatever other small talk topics that are common. I’m happy that I need my glasses to see properly.  I sit there with the head down making weird noises that are commonly heard while middle-aged men are attempting to relax.  Like all of the stresses from the week are being put into a puddle on that steam room floor.

Sara and I went to the Dominican over the holidays.  It was a nice week of rest and relaxation.  They offer a VIP package at the resort that we declined.  The extra perks were your own pool area, a bar that only that group could go to, and premium liquor.  While eating at the restaurant I could see into the bar area.  There was a dude sipping a Heineken watching the Bills/Patriots game.  He’d bust out a laugh every so often while chatting with the bartender.  They were having a grand old time.  I envision this man’s name is Roger Gaston from Quebec.  He hunts whales in the winter and owns a sweatshop in China.  Roger, you don’t deserve this luxury.  Sara stopped listening after I started whining about the Heineken being drunk.

End of year benefits season is over.  I still had some wellness dollars left on the last day and needed to use every last dollar.  I’m now the proud owner of a Navage and 3 dozen golf balls.  If you’ve never seen the Navage it’s that crazy device that you put up into your nostrils to clear out your sinuses.  Even a few years back when I saw the commercial I started laughing at how ridiculous it looked.  The bastard works – it’s extremely gross though.  I always wonder if it could pull the crayon out of Homer’s brain from that episode of the Simpsons.

navage2

Neil Peart passed away.  I wasn’t a huge Rush fan but Tom Sawyer really gets me jazzed up.  I think they should rotate the $5.00 bill every five years between Terry Fox, Gord Downie, Neil Peart, and manly (bearded) Justin Trudeau.

The family all pitched in and gave my nephew a Nintendo Switch for Christmas.  Precisely as predicted the first time I saw it being used it was the adults that played it while my nephew had to wait his turn.  “Just one more game Milo…  I know you’ve been waiting 2.5 hours, but this time I swear we’ll let you play it.”

My first real job was delivering a weekly paper to a neighborhood.  As soon as I got the job I thought to myself – I’m going to save 25% of it, give another 25% to charity, and then take the other 50% and spend it on CDs.  My first paycheque was $14.00.  I bought a Florida Marlins hat and then quit that stupid job.

The Lighthouse – 8.6/10

Brittany Runs a Marathon – 8.1/10

Cats – 9.2/10 (I actually didn’t see this movie – this rating is based on how much joy reading the reviews has given me)

As a teenager, I remember getting braces.  There was no option of Invisiline at that point – just grey steel.  Couldn’t they at least make it closer to teeth colour?   “No, no, we need the entire school to know that your teeth were fu**ed up.   Wait until your face gets full of acne as well.  All the bullying will toughen you up Daryl.”

Top 3 things that the majority of children were able to do with ease, but I struggled with it.

3 – Tying my shoes:  It took me quite a bit longer than the average child to pick this up.  I blame being a lefty (pretty shit excuse, I know).  I thought to myself one day.  “Well, I guess its Velcro shoes for life.  It won’t look weird being 38 and rocking grey Velcro shoes will it Mom?”

2 – Climbing a rope:  There were kids that would just whip up that rope in mere seconds.  I’d get two feet up and try to go without using my feet like I was Sly Stallone or something.  There wasn’t a lot of strength in the arms at that point (I lost multiple arm wrestling matches to young children).  I’d jump down and my gym teacher would shake his head disapprovingly.  After a few times, I would stretch my arms while grimacing to try to fake a slight injury.

1 – Going down the stairs like a normal human being:  I would put one foot on a step and then the other foot on the same step.  It would take me twice as long to go downstairs then the average child.  This one still boggles my mind, and I have no explanation for this.

Eating Lucky Charms with Britney in Vegas

Rule of thumb is to never look at anything on the internet.  My Instagram feed is full of credit card offers, hotel deals in Las Vegas, and Chicago Bears merchandise.  I’m trying to look at memes of kittens saying human things.  Don’t have time for an ad about Britney Spears being an unbelievable show and life-time experience that you won’t want to miss.  Just a couple of side questions though.  Has anybody seen her before?  Is it really a lifetime experience?  How many outfit changes does she do?

While driving to work the other day I noticed a handmade cardboard sign that said “Need Website?” with a phone number right below. You’d think they could try just a wee-bit harder than that.  “Oh, June, I was thinking about making a website.  Let’s give this number a call and see if they can help.”  I don’t know why I used the name June – nobody has been named that in 37 years.

Try not to watch much TV in the summer.  I find that outdoor activities are required to keep the mind in a solid-state to go through the grind of winter.   By the time April rolls around, I’ve just decided to not wear a jacket out of spite.  I’ll still complain that I’m cold, but out of stubbornness, I will not wear that jacket another fu**ing day.

My company has massage chairs at work. Unfortunately, I’ve already claimed that in sales you are not allowed a stress relief at work at any point and have to stick to my guns.  You drink and smoke if you are stressed out.  That’s how Don Draper did it and that’s how I do it (I don’t actually smoke).  Those chairs do look like a delight though.

I received a Bluetooth speaker for my birthday last year.  My vinyl collection has come to a complete halt.  Flipping over the record after three songs is sooo much work.  Is anybody available to be paid in craft beer to flip the record for me?  You will also need to listen to me complain about the weather, work, and the dude that was cutting the grass at 7 am on Thursday.

My beard has come in (fairly) full.  This is the first time that I’ve actually received compliments on it.  This is what it feels like to become a man eh?  It only took 40 years but it was well worth the wait.  Still waiting on those compliments on my physique – I’m sure that will be any day now.

Turning 41 in a few days.  Ageing is interesting.  When you are young you feel like there must a switch that gets flipped and you become a wise older person.  My brain works exactly the same as it did when I was 21.  Every time I go through the cereal aisle I pick up a Lucky Charms box and say to myself “you’ve earned this cereal because you walked the golf course today.”  Then I look down the aisle and see that stupid box of Bran Flakes and make the right decision.  Then I talk shit to my own body for sucking.  “Yeah, stomach – because of you we can’t have delicious things.”

As mentioned I’m hitting Vegas in about a week.  This will be a work conference.  I have to lead the team properly and not get up to any shenanigans.  “Ok, Daryl, is that a good enough pep talk for you?”

Top 3 lies that you tell yourself when you go on vacation.

3 – I’m going to put the phone away for the entire week.  No social media, no work, and no web surfing.  Within 13 minutes of the newest book (of the 3 that you picked up) you are watching a dog run around a horse in circles while the horse gets fired up.

2 – That you will read any of those 3 books mentioned above.

1 – That you made the right decision going with the cheaper resort that had kids there and not the adult-only option.

Top 5 Albums of 2018

5) Beach House – 7

Beach House has really grown into the sound over the years. Earlier albums seem to lack identity – filtering in and out of dream pop and psychedelia. This album is the perfect mix of both but added in a haunting feel to it. The key to the entire record is the added deep percussion. It’s really just about a band that has hit their groove at an exact time. This is also a masterfully edited album. It isn’t often where you’ll notice the sounds working perfectly together that are not always a standard instrument. The deep heavy keyboards create the haunting sound that perfectly sets the mood of “7”.  Top song of this record is “Black Car”.

 

4) Ryley Walker – Deafman Glance

This dude can pump out music. With a mix of acid jazz, rock, and a Cornell style voice. It’s a weird mix but works extremely well on this record. Walker seems to be some type of musical madman with the types of sounds he makes. Not afraid to test the boundaries of any type of instrument. There is flute, saxophone, tall bass, and recorder on top of the standard drums and guitar. It’s poetry in motion as his voice finds the niche of the sound. When asked to describe his sound I can’t do it. It doesn’t sound like anything I’ve heard. There are points where I feel like I’m in a car chase and then others where I’m having a hot chocolate around a campfire. This is the draw of Ryley Walker. The top song on the album is “Telluride Speed”. (couldn’t find a good live feed of this tune – this concert is solid though)

 

3) Kurt Vile – Bottle It In

My boy has done it again. This album took a solid 5 or 6 listens before I really got into it. It’s really a mashup between his previous two albums with a bit of Courtney Barnett mixed in there. At the end of the day, Vile is trying to get you to have the feel of a long hair dude wearing a leather jacket with headphones in, head bobbing in a downtown area. The entire record has a coolness to it. It never really steps on the gas at any point, but you feel accomplished once through it. Of course, Vile’s guitar skills are on center stage as always. His sound comes so naturally out of him that would be impossible for another artist to attempt it. The top song on the record is “Check Baby”.

 

2) Wild Pink – Yolk In The Fur

Opened up Pitchfork on a random day in June and read a review on this album. Seemed to be right up my alley in regards to sound. Slow burn rock with an unassuming lead singer that had a bit of a Built to Spill vibe. One of the best parts of this record is how it flows from one song into another. In the days of Spotify, this is a rarity. This is supposed to be listened to from start to finish. Wild Pink does a phenomenal job of taking you to one part of your senses and then turning on a dime to another part. Soft vocals with a mild guitar straight to a solo. This is a bit of a throwback album to the early 2000s. They have minimal use of keyboards and mixers. This is an album that tells a rock story. Soft Grandaddy to hard Built to Spill. It mixes everything in. “The Séance on St. Augustine St.” is the tune to check out.

1) Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo

I’m sure you’ve heard me speak about this band. One of the coolest fu**ing bands that I’ve seen/heard over the past decade. The guitarist is a wonderfully talented musician – one of the best currently. Underrated is the supporting instruments. The drums and bass all revolve around the lead guitar. Creating a nest to support any unique sound that comes out of his mind. From top to bottom this album will make you feel fantastic. It’s meant to be thrown on while sitting on the dock at the water of your cottage. It’s nearly impossible to not be in a good mood or be put at ease when Khruangbin has been thrown onto the stereo. This record has been on my heavy rotation for the entire year. Best album of the year with a bullet. Song to check out is “Maria Tambien”.

Burying Money in the Amazon on Canada Day

My favorite meme that I’ve seen recently is that we should be careful of setting off fireworks because it might frighten dogs in the neighborhood.  Also, please stop with rainstorms as well.  We need to protect the dogs from all of the loud noises.  Dogs need to toughen up.  As a species, you’ve become soft in your old age.

Do people still bury money?  There are only three reasons that you bury money.  You’ve obtained it illegally, you don’t know how banks work, or you’ve started to crack mentally.  How many movies that I’ve seen where there is some weird treasure buried in some really remote area that has one fu**ing map to get there? You need a minimum of two maps I’m thinking.  How long did it take you to make all of these booby traps in the middle of the Amazon?  How did you get there in the first place?  Bury it under old man Baker’s flower garden in Tavistock.  Nobody is looking there.

It’s hilarious how much stuff the millennial generation gets blamed for.  Sometimes I just like to pile on.  Millennials broke the damn earth.  All of us older generations are trying to put it back together with good old-fashioned prayers and denial like normal people of the past.  Also, music nowadays sucks, and quit whining about the lack of money that you make – so annoying.

Played golf yesterday.  Had to throw out my undershirt after.  Sometimes I miss my wife being around so that I can walk through that door covered in sweat and just annoy here with affection for a minimum of 7 minutes.  It then becomes uncomfortable because she is actually starting to get upset.  I then go in for one last hug and receive a slightly more aggressive push.  This is when I know to stop.

First Reformed – 9.3/10

Warning:  Do not go see this movie if you are feeling slightly sad or depressed.  It’s a beautiful movie about a Pastor that starts to see the truth in the way the environment is being treated as his faith gets tested.

I’ve searched becoming a hand model twice since the internet was created.  Both times were within a week of re-watching the Seinfeld episode, and feeling unsatisfied with Future Shop.  My hands are not beautiful enough to do this even though I’ve done under 9 hours of hard labor in my life.

I worked at the shop for 13 years.  The thing that I remember most is that I had a customer that came to see me all of the time named Hung Lo.  Really enjoyed that.

Was having dinner at TWH Social, since Sara isn’t home this is sometimes done on my own.  They had a dude up there playing the acoustic guitar just for me.  There wasn’t another person in the bar.  This is an extremely uncomfortable situation for both parties.  Do I clap after each song?  Do I pretend that he doesn’t exist?  Do I tell him to stop?  I just want to watch the ball game in peace.  After a few songs, I heard the dreaded.  “Hey, buddy, any particular song that you want to hear?”  Ah fu**, I’ve been called out.  I respond with the totally awkward.  “No man, you are doing great.”  This was said with a thumbs up.

Who wakes up at 6:14 am on Canada Day morning?  Debated going for a walk before it got hot out.  Then grabbed a coffee and began writing.  Have to grab a garbage can later on today, but that’s about my only set in stone plans.  Might take a walk through Victoria Park with the family.  Real wild day – might need an afternoon nap.

Top 3 themes for your Canada Day party:

3) Cut off jean short party for men only.  Combine this with a sports shirt and you have a winning party.  Women can’t resist this beautiful look.

sleepaway-camp

2) Child games as adults.  Get involved a drunk-ass game of Duck Duck, Goose or tag.  This usually ends in violence due to Mark forgetting the rules of children’s game getting ripped on for the evening.

3) Mushrooms or weed?  There are dozens of cookies and brownies.  You must continue to eat them until you guess three in a row correctly.

Anticipating 2017

I am not much for New Year Resolutions.  But, here’s a few things that I am going to attempt to curve or change for the upcoming year.

Limit my social media.  You would think that with the amount of things that are posted that you would actually learn something new or at least be able to have a chuckle at some thing.  This is not the case.  One thing is clear.  We find one topic and tear it apart until every single blade of the topic has been picked, and all that’s remaining is a wasteland of memes and wasted time.

Read more books.  There is so much good literature out there that nobody has ever heard of.  There isn’t a much more satisfying moment of setting that completed book down.  Hopefully this will equate to less of the above point.  This will require me to pay off my library fine unfortunately.  I feel that the library should send you a hand written letter when your book is super-overdue.  Also, if you are trying to right a wrong in retail; write a letter with pencil.  You will never see a company jump as quick as when head-office receives something written in pencil.

Look for more music.  There is quality music out there even if you don’t want to believe it.  Using Spotify and Apple Music has allowed me to find bands and solo artists that I never knew existed.  I am currently listening to Solange on Spotify, and it’s absolutely fantastic.  I know it’s extremely easy to get into that routine of only listening to what you know.  There are 75 radio stations that agree with you.  30 day challenge.  Find a solid album every 30 days, and post a review online about it.

See more live things.  Plays, music, stand up.  Need to support these artists.  There is so much talent out there, and they continue to struggle while fu**ing Chewbacca Mom becomes insta-famous.

Then there’s the obvious.  Eat healthier, hit the gym, less take out food.  This should always be a New Year goal for each and every person.

Stop eating those memberberries.  Reminiscing and focusing on when times were a certain way.  Brexit and Trump are both causes of memberberries.  People need to adjust to what the world creates.

Spend more face to face time with people.  Internet friends are cool, but nothing can replace the in person pint discussing what the Jays should do next with their ball club.

Try to only post original thoughts on Twitter and Facebook.  Need to keep this brain moving and shaking.  Can’t fall into the trap of complaining and trying to change every single thing that’s wrong with this world.

Farmers Market vegetables yo.  This is such an easy change.  There is a market that’s a 15 min walk from my place every Saturday morning.

Have a Happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

Challenging all People in Deck Shoes to a Duel.

I don’t DJ all that much now, but when I do I have to ask for help of what’s popular to dance to.  So…. Lady Gaga isn’t popular anymore?  What about Pearl Jam?  You don’t know who Pearl Jam is?  Well, let me show you Alive.  What do you mean this is terrible?

There isn’t a bone in my body that enjoys UFC.  It actually makes me feel uncomfortable.  They should have cute dogs barking at them while the neanderthals scrap.

It’s a well known fact that I am not good with children.  There is nothing to talk about with them.  But I did find out that telling them that they are a moron for thinking that The Secret Life of Pets is the best movie of the year is frowned upon.

Secret Life of Pets – 7.5/10

Rapping is extremely difficult.  Many times people have attempted it at karaoke, but most fail miserably.  Becoming out of breath by just talking seems like a waste of energy.

Tacos have become the new bacon.  I have grown tired of those memes.  Show me something original.  Medium sized white man wearing a pastel green shirt, asking for a box of gobstoppers for dinner.  It doesn’t make sense, but at least it’s original.

White Reebok shoes and a good pair of deck shoes would take you through a good 10 years of your life as a middle-aged man in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Foxy Hamilton is a good name for an Exotic Dancer or a Private Detective from Harlem in the late 70’s.

Purchased NHL 17 today.  There were two options.  The standard game for $49.99 or the game with the figurine of Vladimir Tarasenko for $49.99.  I stated that I would take the game with the action figure for $49.99.  I also stated that the action figure was for my nephew.  Then, I stated that I don’t know why I said that.  This was the end of this transaction.  A simple purchase that became horribly awkward by D Smith.

One thing that is probably a common saying in most people’s households today.  “Let’s have a burger tonight.  I am so fu**ing sick of turkey that I never want to eat it again.  Fu** you turkey.”  That might be a bit aggressive at the end, but at least the first part could be accurate.

Was never a huge fan of Toucan Sam.  Always thought his noise would find other cereals as well as Fruit Loops.  There many cereals that smell like sniffing a bag of sweet tarts.

There is an always an awkward time when people look around the room for the guy that was laughing when somebody got their head chopped of in a horror movie.  Sorry!  I don’t know why I find this humorous.

Top 3 Christmas moments if you received a horse as a gift.

  1. Pulling the horse along the icy sidewalk yesterday morning.  Oh, that would have been a treat.  “Come on Bucky, maybe you should have better shoes on?”
  2. Feeding the horse only Kraft Dinner to see what happens.
  3. Stating to people that you would like to challenge them to a duel while riding your horse triumphantly around Victoria St at 7am on Boxing Day morning.

 

 

 

Top 5 Albums of 2016

Top 5 Albums of 2016

 

  1. Preoccupations – Preoccupations

Preoccupations is a throw-back album to the industrial era of music.  They settle right in between the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine.  Growling vocals, moody baselines, and matching drums and guitar strokes makes this album memorable and unique.  2016 wasn’t a great year for music in my personal opinion.  But when this album kind of fell into my lap while looking into old Echo and the Bunnymen records.  Preoccupations don’t make any apologies for the type of music that they have released.  They aren’t looking for that one single that will make them relevant.  The best song on the album is a 12 minute marathon of multiple layered dimensions of every style of industrial that has been acknowledged.  There is something about this album that I can’t put my finger on that I love which is why I love it.  Nick Cave meets Echo and the Bunnymen at a Wolf Parade concert.  Memory is the best song on the album.  This record isn’t a juggernaut, but it’s solid all the way through.

  1. David Bowie – Blackstar

It’s obvious that the death of David Bowie will be felt all over the music scene.  But the amazing thing about Bowie is that he didn’t fade away.  He created a masterpiece of music while fighting off cancer.  This album is completely different from multiple Bowie eras.  It doesn’t have a lot of that 80’s feel.  It doesn’t have the early rock feel.  It also doesn’t have that space feel from the early 90’s.  Blackstar is its own entity – sounding nothing like what he has released previously.   Bowie used horns, saxophones, piano, computers, and of course the usual instruments.  Every sound of this record is a well thought out feeling.  There are two stand out singles on this record – Blackstar and Lazarus.  Of all of the fantastic people that passed away in 2016 David Bowie is the one that affected me the most.  If you just go through his catalogue of music you will find something new nearly every time.  Fantastic artist and a beautiful final album.

 

  1. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial

I had zero expectations for this album.  I already had it pegged as a super aggressive no talent millennial that was looking for a hook to get that one single noticed and become famous from there.  I was flat out wrong.  This mid-20’s Asian man named Will Toledo can play the fu**ing guitar.  If you miss Dinosaur Jr. and Stephen Malkmus have a listen to this album.  It’s raw, it’s emotional, and the best thing about it is it doesn’t sell out.  This album vomits all over your Drake sweater and doesn’t apologize for it.  Vincent and Destroyed by Hippie Powers are the two stand out tracks on this album.  Top to bottom though it’s a thrashing good time.  This might be the live show that I look most forward to when he decides to come back to Toronto.  Refreshing as a glass of Hi-C when you were 13 years old.  Music is in good hands if Car Seat Headrest becomes popular.

 

  1. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead is the best band on the planet currently.  They continue to show this each and every time that they release an album.  A Moon Shaped Pool is no different.  There is just something about this band.  They know exactly the feel of the album that is required to stay relevant and fantastic.  Try to describe this band to anybody that listens to another not quite as respected genre of music – oh let’s just say country for the heck of it.  They will not understand what the big deal is with Radiohead.  You will be left shaking your head to yourself at the end of the conversation.  The vibe, the feel, the sounds, the instruments – everything is mathematically calculated similar to a casino sound for your brain to enjoy and to accept that this band is a unique group that may never be duplicated. Burn the Witch is the best song on the album, but there are quite a few 5 star singles.  Does this record get to the areas of greatness such as the Bends and In Rainbows – I don’t think so, but it was still the best record of the year up until the last month when…

 

  1. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here

It must have been a few months ago when I heard that this album was going to be released.  I decided to go back and listen to their catalogue.  Why can’t rap sound like this again?  There are actual instruments in this record.  There is fluid vocal stream from each member of the band. Samples that are relevant to the feel of the song.  There is absolutely no question that this is the best rap album for 2016.  But, then there’s the fact of being the best album of the year.  This masterpiece has everything.  Top to bottom listening capability.  Head bobbing and extremely intelligent lyrics.  Fluid motion that is required for a top notch rap album.  I miss this sound being played on my iPod.  There are multiple fantastic singles on We Got It From Here.  I am not sure that I can even attempt to pick one out.  Number 1 without even a question.  If you can beat a Radiohead album out on Hosehead’s Top 5 albums you have done something right.  You should be proud of yourselves gentlemen.

ALCS Preview

ALCS Preview

If you are wondering exactly who the Cleveland Indians are I will explain.  They are a well-managed scrappy bunch of hitters that have a fantastic bullpen, and suspect starting pitching.  Sounds oddly familiar to the team that the Jays lost to last year.  What seems to be different about this Jays team is that they are able to answer when the opposition puts up some runs.  Even though I was secretly rooting to play the Indians instead of the Red Sox; this will be no cake-walk to the World Series.

Let’s start with where the Jays have the biggest advantage – starting pitching.  The Jays have 4 starters that they could throw out there for game 1 without any question.  Estrada, Happ, Sanchez, and Stroman.  If I were in Gibby’s shoes I would throw out the exact same rotation to the Indians that they threw at the Rangers.  The Indians have Cory Kluber.  He’s a former Cy Young winner that has had a very good season, but the Jays have some decent numbers against him.  They have two very good pitchers that are both injured currently in Salazar and Carrasco.  The Jays are definitely dodging a bullet with this.  Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer are the other two starters that the Jays will most certainly see.  This is a heavy edge for the Jays and they will need to jump out to leads early in games to capitalize on this.  Salazar has a chance to be back for this series, but this is still a big question mark for the Indians.

Bullpen – The difference in the bullpen will be Andrew Miller.  He’s an absolute nightmare for lefties and righties.  The lumbering lefty came to the Indians in a deadline deal with the Yanks, and has been lights out since his arrival.  Cody Allen is a solid closer and Bryan Shaw is a very good 7th inning arm.  The Jays will need to play ahead to stay away from the back end of the Indians bullpen.  Roberto Osuna is the key for the Jays.  He has been dynamite.  Gibby has relied quite heavily on his 21 year old closer, and will probably continue to do so at least until Benoit is back from injury.  The one area that the Jays are really hurting is situational lefty spots.  Cecil has been inconsistent, Liriano is a starter by nature and might still not be ready to go, and Loup – well is Loup.  This is the one area that the Indians can expose the Jays.

Lineup – This will be more evenly matched then people assume.  The Indians are excellent at getting on base.  They walk a pile, and don’t strike out nearly as much as the Jays do.  Where the Jays can excel is once again by hitting with power.  Other than Napoli the Indians don’t have a true power hitter.  They will walk, single, and double you to death.  This lineup is good from top to bottom.  Not an easy out in there. On the other side we have seen murderer’s row heat up (minus Bautista’s game 3).  If we continue to see Donaldson, Encarnacion, Bautista, and Tulo hitting the way that they currently are the Indians will have a tough time dealing with this Jays lineup.  This is the Jays that I was expecting from opening day.  A quick strike offence that could erase 2 and 3 run leads with one swing of a bat.  The Indians current set of starters other than Kluber are not strike out heavy pitchers.  They are finesse pitchers that will try to pick corners constantly, and make you get yourselves out.

In the end I don’t think the Indians have the depth at starting pitching to make it out of this series.  With a healthy Salazar and Corrasco I think they would have the edge against the Jays.  The Jays will continue to hit the ball well, and the Indians will have a tough time keeping up against the best staff in the AL.

Jays in 6

Thoughts of a Childless, Middle-aged Man

I don’t have children.  I don’t want children.  I have no problem with children, and you may have as many as you like.

As a married 38 year old man I have had to answer this question constantly.  “Why don’t you have any children?”  I am sure this question has come up for Sara more often; when you have been married for a number of year’s people assume that there must be something wrong with either yourself or your spouse.  Some people are built to be mothers and fathers.  Enjoy every aspect of it.  And others *insert a picture of Sara and I giving the thumbs up* are not.

I am sure that this was a more difficult conversation decades ago.  Sara and I haven’t had that tough of a time with it.  Most people can see the type of personality that we have as a couple, and know that having a child would probably rip at every fabric that makes us tick.  The pressures seem to come mainly from a couple of different areas from me internally.  Needing somebody that I can live vicariously through, and needing somebody to carry on my name or legacy.

These are two things that can go in the nice to have category, but cannot be used to pull the trigger so to speak.  Sure, it would be great if I had a little boy that was instantly 12 years old and absolutely loved baseball, golf, and hockey.  Was a straight “A” student, extremely popular without being a douche, and went on to be successful in every single aspect of his entire life.  Just came straight out of the womb like that.  Sign me up for that exchange program.  Trading in Donald Trump for that scenario would be ideal.

There are other reasons why bearing children does not interest me.  I have no interest in raising anybody into this world that we have created.  It’s an utter mess.  Violence of course, but more importantly ignorance in both religion and global warming.  If you had a car with a tire that had a 3 inch hole in it and there were no other tires available.  Would you drive the car, and think to yourself “that hole won’t get any bigger.”  Or would you attempt to summon somebody from the sky that possibly doesn’t exist to give you a new tire.”  Or, the third option.  Give up a small amount of your empire to try to seal the hole in the tire?

As I grow older it’s strange.  You expect to have that moment when everything just clicks.  Knowing exactly what needs to be done to allow a 60 year old Daryl everything that he could possibly desire.  This moment hasn’t struck yet.  The set plan that I see on every Freedom 55 commercial is the following.  “Yeah, saving 25% of my $100,000/year job is easy.  Retirement is right around the corner.”  Unfortunately, many people are working multiple jobs to make ends meet for their $500,000 mortgage on that 2 bedroom bungalow that was half of that price 5 years ago.

There is another issue.  The rat-race is real when you get that first grown-man job.    Maybe it’s immaturity or maybe it’s boredom of the everyday.  I just don’t have a set schedule.  To come home every day and follow up on the latest seasons of the 9 different shows that I am currently watching sounds like an absolute nightmare to me.  And now that I have a 9-5 Monday-Friday grown up job I feel myself falling into this pattern.  It’s terrifying.  Is this the beginning of my middle-aged boredom?

What’s next?  Coming up on 40, don’t have kids to keep myself occupied.  Many of you that do have kids would just love a few hours of free-time.  Hearing a DINK (dual income no kids) describe his issues of having too much free time must really grind your gears.  Can you let me get back to my middle-aged whining now?  Geez, so selfish.   It’s the complete opposite side of the spectrum.  Sara and I are fairly active, but my tendency to not be able to relax can drive her crazy at times.  There are instances where I swear that she wishes that I had too much to drink the night before so my need for activities would slow down.

Even though I don’t have any answers whatsoever I still try new things out to fill the hole.   Is this the canyon that people constantly try to fill with children?  Maybe it is.  Some people fill it with alcohol or drugs.  Others fill it with sports and volunteering.  I don’t have a passion.  There are many things that I enjoy doing, and I feel that I am a well-rounded person – is there a pie chart of things that will keep me occupied and content?

Most of this is a ramble.  Confusion of a middle-aged, middle-classed, childless male that would like somebody to access his brain to create a calendar of events for the next 25 years of his life.  If I only had an extremely wonderful event planner that worked in that area of my brain.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.  This is one holiday that I absolutely adore.