Monday, December 31, 2007

2007

Last year at around this time, I awarded the first annual Lloydy awards (Lloyd's 2006 Mmost Aawesome Aawards. This year, there are new categories, and exciting winners in each category. So, let's get on with the ceremony, and present the statues.

First, in the category of "news story of the year", the winner is the big event that happened on December 13. Click here to read more.

Next, the winner of the best birthday gift of 2007 is the gift I received 13 days after my birthday. Click here to read more about my birthday gift.

The third award to be handed out is for the best Christmas present of 2007. The winner is this gift I received 12 days before Christmas. Runners up in this category are: my wife signing me up for the Second City's Improv Comedy classes (level A) and; my new GPS system from my in-laws, which I have named Molly after the little girl on Heroes who can find anybody. (after giving me a Serius Satelite Radio last year for Christmas and the GPS this year, my in-laws have more than doubled the value of my Chevrolet Aveo!); and also the donation to Bloorview Kids Rehab that my mother made in our names (this is the place where my son receives his physiotherapy and occupational therapy and attends nursery school).

Finally, in the category of Best Anniversary Present for 2007, the award if for the present my wife and I shared, which we received 18 days before our 10th anniversary (which, by the way is today). Click here to read more about this award winner.

So, there are the Lloydy Awards for 2007. As you can see, it was a clean sweep. What a great year.

Happy New Year everybody.

Llove,

Lloyd, Jjodi, Eeric and Aalex

Friday, December 14, 2007

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Ravn Corporation Announces the Release of its Newest Product

Scarborough, December 13, 2007 - Internationally acclaimed company, Ravn Corporation of Toronto, announced on December 13, 2007 the release of their latest product. The company's President and Chief Executive Officer, Jodi Ravn unveiled the new product at 7:03 AM on Thursday in conjunction with partner companies Diversity Midwives and Scarborough Grace Hospital. The product launch is being hailed as one of the most efficient of its kind, involving only four hours of labour to complete the project, following just over nine months of preparations.

"It's a boy! We're calling it Alexander Liam Ravn," CEO Ravn announced with a flourish shortly after the new product was brought out of its protective packaging.



The product specifications are:

-weight: 8 lbs, 14 oz

-length: 54 cm.

Ravn Corp's Executive Vice President, Lloyd Ravn, told attending media representatives that Alexander Liam was a follow-up to the company's wildly successful Eric Larsen Ravn, relased in February of 2005. "We've had so much commercial success with the Eric Larsen model that we are very excited about the release of a brother product for that model." The two products are designed to work cooperatively, and when they were placed side-by-side at a photo op later in the day, everyone present in the boardroom commented on how perfect they look together.




The new product, along with Ravn Corp's CEO, will be remaining at Scarborough Grace Hospital, at least until end of day on Friday, until product analysts at Scarborough Grace are confident that the product is ready to be sent to Ravn Corp's headquarters. A representative of Scarborough Grace was quoted as saying, "Everything looks perfect."



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Reality Blogging

As I mentioned recently, I watch some girly television shows. I admit it, so shut up.

So, on a related note, am I the only one who answers Tyra Banks during the opening sequence to America's Next Top Model? It goes like this:

A picture of a hot model flashes across the screen

Tyra: "You wanna be on top?"

Me: "Sure, if that's how she likes it."

A picture of another hot model flashes across the screen

Tyra: "You wanna be on top?"

Me: "I dunno. I think that one would look great on top."

Etc.

Immature? My wife thinks so. I prefer to think I'm just being honest.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Celine

Did you hear about Celine Dion's canceled concert in Halifax? Apparently her husband/manager/daddy saw some negative comments about her in the local media so he canceled the show. If they canceled her shows in every town where someone said something nasty about her, she would never perform anywhere!

Hey! That's a good idea, huh?

Maybe the creepy old dude watches for blogs about his wafer-thin bride as closely as he watches media outlets for mentions of her name. If so, then maybe this is our chance to see that Halifax isn't the only city to benefit from his thin skin.

I propose that this become the official "Do Not Come" list for Celine Dion. It will be much like the US Government's "Do Not Call" list for telemarketers. Instead of putting your name on the list to keep telemarketers from pestering you over the phone, you can put your city or town on the list to keep Her Royal Translucent-ness from screeching in your local arena.

If you would like to avoid a live version of Where Does My Heart Beat Now being performed anywhere near you, leave a comment at the end of this blog stating your town or city name. I can't promise that it will work, but it will be fun anyhow. Send this link (http://lloydr.blogspot.com/2007/12/celine.html)to your friends and family and maybe we can get enough cities on the list that they just won't bother booking any more concerts and will just stick to raising their son/daughter(?)

Celine Dion and her beautiful daughter, Rene-Charles

Or maybe we'll just piss off a bunch of Celine Dion fans, and that would be fun too.

I'll start the list with Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. Seconded?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Thoughts on turning 35

First of all, thank you for all of the birthday e-mails and facebook wall posts and MySpace comments. You're Llovely, you really are.

In honour of my 35th birthday, I was going to put up a new Lloydmas carol, but never got around to it. As far as I got was the title ("The First Two Ls") and the last couple of lines (about as far as I got with last year's Lloydmas carol). It would have ended with:

Two Ls, two Ls, two Ls, two Ls,
Born is the guy whose name no-one can spell
.

Anyhow, now that the Lloydmas season is over, I hope you enjoy your Christmas season. By the way, did you notice that stores are putting up their Christmas decorations earlier and earlier? It used to be tradition to wait until after the end of the Lloydmas celebrations, but nobody has any respect for tradition anymore.

So, that's it for me. Happy December.

Llove,

Lyod.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

And no guns either, please!

The convenience store across the street from my house has a sign on the window that says No masks allowed in the store (such as ski masks).

Can you think of any reason to wear a ski mask into a convenience store other than to rob it? I can't.

So, I guess when a gang of guys pulls up in front of this store, ready to storm the joint with their guns out, one guy is like "shit, we can't hit this place - no ski masks allowed. We'll have to try someplace else."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dear McDonald's

Dear McDonald's Canada:

I recently visited one of your stores, in Scarborough, ON. It was McLovely. I had a quarter-pounder combo. It was McDelicious!

Anyhow, I checked my McDonald's Monopoly game piece and found that I won a muffin! In fact, the game piece says that I have won "any baked muffin" or, "tout muffin cuit au four". This is very generous of you, McDonald's. Thank you. I will be coming into my local McDonald's location this weekend to collect my prize. But I do have a question I need answered before I do.

You see, I don't like McDonald's muffins, but since you have generously offered to give me "any" muffin, I would like to cash in my game piece in exchange for a Tim Hortons Fruit Explosion muffin. They are so delicious.

So, when I come in to collect my muffin, should I call the store ahead of time, to give them a chance to go pick up the muffin at Tim Hortons, or do they keep a supply of competitors' muffins on hand? I expect that they do keep them on hand, given the broad offer of "any" muffin. But I just want to make sure.

Or do you have some sort of deal with Tim Hortons where I can just take my prize claim whatsit into them and they will accept it?

If you could please let me know before this weekend, I would appreciate it. I can taste my muffin already. Thanks!

Llove,

Lloyd

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

See?

It's only a matter of time before we will start living what we used to think of as science fiction. Just look at what I reported in my blog yesterday here. You don't think that proves that humankind is on the verge of major space exploration and meeting aliens? Well, consider the fact that U.S. Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich claims to have seen a UFO! PROOF! I mean, we all know that crazy people don't run for President.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Why aren't the news agencies reporting this?

I was happy to see this image on my tv screen recently. I had to take a picture of it. I knew that the world was about to change for the better, for ever. But since then, I haven't seen any news reports about it. I don't know why. It's huge! I suppose it's being kept a secret so the general population doesn't freak out just yet. But they couldn't keep it from my eagle eyes. Check out what I noticed - the crisis in Pakistan is about to get straightened out. Because Starfleet is on the job!
Starfleet to solve the Pakistan crisis
I guess it's no time before the Klingons arrive.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Desperate?

As you know if you've been reading my blog, I’ve been a full time stay-at-home dad for the past year and a half. I’m often surprised to see how people react when they hear that I stay home with my son while my wife works. Men wonder if I’ve given up my masculinity, if simply doing the right thing for my family has made me less manly.

As shocked as I am by that reaction, I’m even more shocked to realize that they’re right. It's not just the white wine, or the Dido songs in the background, or even getting turned on by laundry equipment. It’s the change in TV-watching habits that’s done it.

I had convinced myself that I was just watching my wife’s favourite girly shows to allow myself a chance to sit down at the end of a long day. I wasn’t really watching the decorating shows, or oestrogen-heavy dramas. I was just sitting there, turning off my brain for a few minutes. Surely I wasn’t absorbing anything. Was I?

Apparently, I was!

I realized the chick shows were having more of an impact than I formerly believed when a favourite U2 song came on the radio and it wasn’t until it was over that I realized I had been singing the wrong lyrics. My version went “It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright. She moves in Wisteria Lane.”

I’ve been brainwashed!

The Desperate Housewives: I'd still shag them all

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dogs Away

Even though we are having a nice warm spell here in Toronto, there is no denying that winter is just around the corner. Before long, people will be bundling up, staying inside, turning on the furnace, and putting away the dogs for the season.



We got our dog, Ivan the Siberian, at the Toronto Humane Society, and we didn't even think to ask if they had any seasonal models. He is one of the old-school dogs that needs to be walked all year long. It seems that many of my neighbours have the new-fangled seasonal dogs. I'm very curious about these dogs, and I would be interested in getting one the next time we are dog shopping.

Maybe you haven't heard about them, and I can relate. I haven't actually heard anyone talking about the seasonal dogs. I haven't seen them advertised, or read about them, or even seen them for sale at the local PetSmart. But I know they exist, because there are loads of them here in Toronto.

It's the only explanation I can come up with to explain where all the dogs go. All summer long, the park is full of people walking their dogs. Then, as soon as the temerature drops and the snow falls, it's just me and Ivan. Obviously, if all of the mutts in the park were standard dogs, they would still need to be walked in the cooler weather. But not these dogs. Obviously, the owners are able to store the dogs in the closet, or in the garage for the winter, in some form of stasis. Surely they aren't refusing to walk the dogs just because the weather isn't so balmy? Because that would be cruel.

So, if you know where I can get a summer-only dog, let me know.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dear Skeletor

Dear Skeletor,

I am writing to you to let you know that I am very impressed with the way in which you have re-created yourself. I am sure it was difficult to avoid being typecast as the bad guy after the He-Man days.

Skeletor

On top of the pain you must have felt, knowing that your acting career was pretty much dead, unless a He-Man reunion special might happen at some point, you also had to deal with the torture of hiding your secret from the world. Nobody would understand that you were a woman trapped in a man's body (with a skeleton head).

That is why I am so proud of you for having gone ahead with the surgery. It was so very brave of you, and you must be so pleased with the results. The new you is very convincing!

But, usually after a sex-change operation, you hear of a person changing their name to a similar name. Like Claire becoming Clarence. Or John becoming Janice. I would have expected the natural change from Skeletor to be Skeletette. So, my question to you is, why did you decide to change your name to Janice?

Janice Dickinson

By the way, congratulations on your new modeling agency.

Llove,

Lloyd

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Faith Hill Can Feel Me Breathe...

...from all the way in Nashville or wherever she lives.

Because I have asthma, and when I have a heavy-breathing moment, it's noticeable for miles and miles. At least it seems to me like it must be.

I never used to have asthma, but I do now. I had bronchitis earlier this year, for like seven weeks. I was coughing up bits of stuff that I probably needed. This was right around the time that I was to emcee the reception thingy after my sister-in-law's wedding, so I was worried I wouldn't get through it. But I consumed a week's worth of cough syrup that afternoon, so I was fine (or at least I was until I got lost in Charlottetown at three in the morning). That was also the same strategy I used to get through a twenty minute set at Yuk Yuk's in Moncton earlier that week.

So, after seven weeks of suffering, complaining and wondering "what was that that just flew across the room when I coughed?", you'd think I'd get over it and everything would go back to normal, eh? Of course not. I still couldn't breathe right, so my doctor had a bunch of tests done where I breathed into things, and sucked on things (!!!) and he tells me that I have asthma.

So now I have two puffer thingies. One that I suck on twice a day every day, and one that I use for relief when I need it.

The day that I went to pick up the second one, the pharmacist warned me that it might give me a bit of a buzz. Apparently it does in some people, but not in everybody. Just a little light-headedness and the like. No big deal, but it sounded good to me.

So I get home, take a pull off of it, and... no light head. Not even a bit of dizzyness. No buzz of any kind.

I can't even do asthma right.

Monday, October 1, 2007

My Summer Vacation, Part II

Like I said in my last bloggy whatsit, when I saw the picture of me on the beach at my sister-in-law's wedding, I realised that my thinning hair was getting out of control. I looked like a goof. So, in mid-July, I shaved it off.

Now, rather than looking like a balding 30-something guy, I look like a beluga whale.



So, I spent the rest of the summer, in Toronto, Sussex and Cavendish, getting my melon burned. It's better now.

Well, I guess that was my summer. Fun, huh?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

What I did on my summer vacation, by Lloyd Ravn from Mrs. Cox's Grade 3 Class

So I didn't blog all summer. Sorry to both of you who are still checking in every now and then in case I write something. I'm planning to think of something to write this fall.

While I wasn't blogging, I was doing all kinds of stuff. Like going to my sister-in-law's wedding on the beach in beautiful Cavendish, PEI. The bride and groom of course looked amazing...



as did my son, Eric:



I, however, looked pretty goofy, as I realized later when I saw this picture. I knew I was losing my hair, but I didn't know it had gotten this bad! (more on hair loss later)

I was the emcee for the reception at the Confederation Centre. It went pretty well, but of course I thought of a bunch of better jokes about a week later. Oh well.

Then, my brother and his wife and kids visited us for a week. That was a load of fun, showing them around Toronto. They enjoyed sights like some awesome promo posters for concerts in town:

THE 3TARDS.

The band, by the way, is called The 3Tards". Awesome.

Also, they enjoyed pretending to be all Gangsta!



Well, I'll bore you with the rest of my summer vacation story soon. THis blog is getting too long.

So, what did you do while we were away from each other?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Last Comic Standing, a review

Did you watch Last Comic Standing this season? Despite my votes for Gerry Dee, Jon Reep won. He does all that stuff about being from a town called Hickory. He says he should have known he'd grow up to be a redneck, coming from a town with the word HICK in the name.

That's some bullshit logic, as far as I'm concerned. I grew up in a town called Sussex and it didn't help me with the ladies at all.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Happy Belated Independence Day

Since I did a Happy Belated Canada Day blog post yesterday, and since I am too lazy to write a whole new blog, I am posting a Happy Belated Independence Day blog today in honour of all of my American blog readers. I hope you all had a great July 4.

To show support for my American brothers, I am simply going to post a link to a previous blog that I posted, with American content in it. That is my (belated) 4th of July present to you all. Click here.

Llove,

Lloyd

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday, Canada

Happy belated Canada Day, everyone. Well, not everyone.

I have a different message for the people who decided that the best way to celebrate the 140th birthday of our country was to spend the day in a beautiful park (say, for instance, Thomson Park in Scarborough, near my house), having a picnic and leaving their picnic garbage scattered everywhere in the park that they had thought earlier in the day was a lovely enough park for them to enjoy a family outing in. Then, when the sun went down, they decided to set off some fireworks right outside my two-year old's bedroom window, waking him up. Don't get me wrong - I'm not a complete scrooge. I am more than willing to spend a few sleepless hours shushing my son back to sleep while people celebrate our great country's birthday. But after they were done waking my whole family with their fireworks, why couldn't they pick up the little tubes and the empty boxes and bags and food bits that ended up scattered around the field while they were celebrating? Is Canada good enough to celebrate, but not good enough to keep clean? JUST PICK UP YOUR STUFF AND TAKE IT TO THE TRASH CAN AFTER YOUR PICNIC AND FIREWORKS!!!

To those people, my beleated Canada Day message is: I hope your Uncle Fred undercooked the hamburgers on the barbecue, giving the whole family a bad dose of e. coli and leaving you all relying on dialysis for the rest of your life.

Once again, to everyone who cleaned up after themselves after their celebrations: Happy Belated Canada Day.

Llove,

Lloyd

Friday, May 25, 2007

New Open Mic Comedy Show in Toronto This Weekend

Hey Toronto-area comedy fans,

Local stand up comic Adam McFawn is starting a new open mic show Sunday May 27 at Rocky Raccoon's, 2579 Yonge St (2nd floor). It is 5 streets north of Eglinton, on the East side of Yonge St.

I'll be doing a set, along with several other local comics. Come out and have a laugh and support a new room in town.

See you there!

Llove,

Lloyd

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Llearn about animals with Lloyd

I want you, the readers of this blog, to come away from your blog reading time feeling educated, if nothing else. So, for today's blog post, I am sharing an educational video I put together about animals.

The video was filmed by my wife's neice, Reilly, when we took her and her sister, Taylor to the African Lion Safari, a "drive-through zoo" near Toronto on the May long weekend. It is very educational, and of course, I saved the best learning experience for last. I think that the closing scene was a real highlight of their trip to Toronto, based on how much they talked about it, so I wanted to share it with you.

Click here to watch the video.

Enjoy!

Llove,

Lloyd

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Games squirrels play

The following is a conversation between two squirrels in Thomson Park in Scarborough:

Squirrel 1: "Hey, do you hear that?"

Squirrel 2: "What? All I hear is an ambulance pulling into Scarborough General."

Squirrel 1: "Listen closely."

Squirrel 2: "Ah! A rollerblader! Do you think it could be...?"

Squirrel 1: "YES! I think I hear the pitter-patter of a dog running too."

Squirrel 2: "You're right! Look, coming around the corner! It's that big awkward guy with his husky!"

Squirrel 1: "I'll bet you three acorns and this half-eaten hamburger bun I found under the picnic table that I can get the dog to chase me into the woods, and that the guy will hold onto the leash, trying to keep the dog under control, eventually crashing into the bushes over there."

Squirrel 2: "You're on! Even that guy can't be so stupid that he wouldn't let go of the leash."

A passing blackbird: "I've gotta see this!"

Squirrel 1: "Ready... here I go! HEY DOGGY! LOOKATME! I'M DELICIOUS!"

Dog: "Huh? FOOD!"

Squirrel 2: "OHMYGOD! LOOK AT THAT!"

Blackbird: "I didn't know humans could fly!"

Squirrel 2: "Wow, you almost did it! He totally would have crashed into those bushes if that big patch of mud hadn't been there. Man, did you see how he lurched forward when the wheels on his skates got stuck in that mud?"

Squirrel 1: "Man, that was completely worth losing the acorns and hamburger bun just to see the look on his face as he belly-flopped onto the ground. Stupid humans."

Squirrel 2: "HAHAHAHA! And now look at him - yelling at the dog, and the dog's looking all sorry-like and pretending he doesn't understand English!"

Blackbird: "Funniest thing I've seen all day."

I hate squirrels.

Monday, May 21, 2007

An Open Letter

To the fat, dirty dude with messed up teeth and a starving girlfriend (cousin?) who I saw at the Emergency department at Scarborough General Hospital a couple of weeks ago:

As you stood there, under the big sign that said "TRIAGE", loudly calling the nurse an "ignorant bitch" because she checked in the woman who looked to be near death before she checked in your girlfriend with a tummy ache, I wanted to suggest that you make a trip to the library to look up triage in the dictionary (because I just assumed that you don't have a dictionary at home). Then, I looked at you again and decided that the odds of you knowing where to find the local library were almost as slim as the odds of you knowing how to read.

Also, please do us all a big favour next time, and try to find a shirt that fits. Or if you only have ill-fitting shirts, maybe if you are going out into public, you could wear the one without mysterious stains all over the front of it.

Thankssomuch!

Llove,

Lloyd

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Short History of Animal Studies

I have been slowly reading Bill Bryson's book A Short History of Nearly Everything. It's a good read.

I read with interest Bryson's explanation for the extinction of various animal species. He talks about things like meteors, climate change, etc. But I have since learned of another way that many species became extinct, and Bryson doesn't even touch on this in his book. Here's the story of how I made this important scientific discovery.

A couple of weeks ago, we visited our friends Mike and Lori. They fed us a delicious dinner, drinks and good conversation. You'd think that would be enough, but not for these two. On top of all that, they went out and bought our son a nice toy.

It's a little Noah's Ark, by Mega Blocks. Nice! Eric loves it.

"But Lloyd, what does this lovely toy have to do with extinction?"

I'm getting to it. Relax.

I bet you thought you knew the story of Noah's Ark, didn't you? Well, you thought wrong! Noah looks all nice and happy and harmless, standing there with all of his animals. But look closer. On the other side of the ark.

What is that, sticking out of the ark?

Hey! That looks like a plank! What is this, a pirate ship?

I've come up with a theory based on this discovery of the plank on Noah's Ark. It seems that old Noah got looking around at his animal friends and decided that there was no room for the two-headed sheep.

Or the siamese giraffe.

He rounded up all of the animals he saw as too freakish to live, and made them walk the plank.
.


One by one

And then he stood, smiling, watching them drown.


Old Noah doesn't seem like such a great animal rights activist now, does he?

You don't believe me? Have you ever seen a two-headed sheep? Or a siamese giraffe? I rest my case.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

It's Fun To Obsess At The YMCA

So, as you know, if you've been following along, I'm trying to lose some weight. (If you haven't been following along, you can catch up here). So far this year, 25 lbs gone.

Part of the strategy has been to join the local YMCA and go exercise as often as possible. Whenever I go up there, I try to run about 5 km on the track there. At first, I thought that running inside was lame, but I actually kind of like it.

Anyhow, I've noticed that there are a lot of people running or walking the track there who have certain little obsessive things that they have to do as they go around and around. For instance, some people who walk the track, have a need, at every curve, to leave the inside "walking only" lane, and walk in the outside "running only" lane. This makes them feel better, so whatever. Some people feel a need to zig-zag back and forth every second lap. They all have their own little thing that they need to do.

I have a little thing that I need to do too while I'm there. I NEED TO RUN AROUND THE TRACK! GET OUT OF MY WAY AND STOP WITH THE LANE CHANGING AND ZIG ZAGGING! FREAKS.

Finally, some recognition

This week's issue of NOW magazine in Toronto includes a full-length feature about me! Can you believe it?

OK, maybe I'm exaggerating. It's not so much a full-length feature, but more like a "featurette". A mini story about me. It's very flattering too.

Fine, I'm stretching the truth again. It's basically a short, three line profile about me and my comedy. Very short and succinct, but very informative at the same time.

OK, OK. I'm a big, fat liar. It's none of those things. There's just my name, listed amongst the comics performing tonight at Corktown Comedy (upstairs at Betty's, 240 King St. E. in Toronto at 8:30PM). So, it's not so exciting after all, but at least my name is in a magazine. Is yours? Scroll down to Wednesday May 16, if you want to witness my name in print!

By the way, if you haven't figured this out yet, the point of this blog is to drop a big hint that you should come see me at Corktown Comedy tonight at Betty's.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I like kids, but...

The other day, we stopped into Harvey's for a burger. And I have been wondering why my weight loss has been stuck at 25 lbs for the past few weeks.

So, I was eating my onion rings and noticed the image on the side of the onion rings container. It says "KIDS" in big letters across the container, with crayola crayons all around it. It's a promotion for their kids menu. Check out this fuzzy picture of the container:
Harvey's Fry Container


Then, I looked closely, and saw a logo in the corner saying "cooked in trans fat free oil." So, I guess my first impression was wrong. It turns out that this container wasn't promoting the kids menu, but the fact that Harvey's cooks kids in trans fat free oil. Apparently that is a beautiful thing.

Good for them. But is that even legal? And, do cannibals really care about trans fats? Besides, everyone knows that kids are better roasted than deep fried.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Message

Get your own drink! Mother's Day is over, along with the free ride that comes with it!

Just kidding. I hope all you Mommies and Mummies and Mamas had a good Mother's Day and that someone will still get your drinks for you on Monday even though it's just another day.

Llove,

Lloyd

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Spread it evenly, please

I know this is old news, but I haven't had time to blog about it, so get off my back, ok?

Canada's elected Members of Parliament decided recently to make good use of taxpayers' dollars to debate whether Hockey Canada should have made Shane Doan the captain of Team Canada at the world championships. It was alleged that Doan made derogatory comments about a French-Canadian referee at a game in December 2005. The argument that some opposition members put forward is that someone who uses this kind of language should not be representing Canada as the captain of the national team.

Hockey legend and Liberal MP, Ken Dryden, argued that since Hockey Canada receives funding from the Government of Canada, they should be accountable to the Government. Maybe this makes sense. Maybe. But this isn't the point. The point is that Shane Doan was cleared by the NHL and by Hockey Canada of any wrongdoing in this event. It doesn't mean that he didn't say it, but it means that they couldn't prove that he did.

What is he accused of saying? I saw Gilles Duceppe, leader of the Bloc Quebecois, on CBC News saying that Doan had said "you fucking French frog...or something like that." Or something like that. So we aren't even sure what he is accused of saying.

So, the Hockey Canada officials were called before a House of Commons committee to explain why Doan was named team captain.

So, let me get this straight. If you are ever accused of maybe, who knows, he could have done it, possibly saying something inappropriate, or not, any government-funded organization that puts you in any position of authority should have to justify their decision to a committee of politicians. Ken Dryden says so. And the members of Canadian Parliament voted unanimously in agreement.

OK, then. The Liberal Party of Canada receives funding from the Government of Canada. The deputy leader of the Liberal Party, Michael Ignatieff, has been accused by Ukrainian-Canadians and by Israeli-Canadians of making inappropriate statements about each group.

Considering that the elected members of Parliament all voted in favour of this logic, it only seems fair that representatives of the Liberal Party be called before a Commons committee to explain why they chose him as their representative in the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore and as their deputy leader.

I am sending a link to this blog to the offices of my local Member of Parliament, the Prime Minister, the leader of the Liberal Party, the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois, and of course, Dryden and Ignatieff, to encourage them to put this important issue on the schedule during an upcoming Parliamentary debate. You can look up your local MP here and do the same. (Copy these addresses: Harper.S@parl.gc.ca, Dion.S@parl.gc.ca, Layton.J@parl.gc.ca, Dryden.K@parl.gc.ca, Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca)

Also, if you know of any other MPs who have been accused of maybe, possibly, saying something inappropriate, but there isn't any proof that they said it, you should encourage your local representative to introduce a motion in Parliament that their position in Parliament is debated.

I think it's important that we let politicians know that we want them to be fair about the way that they waste time and tax dollars. They can't just pick on the hockey players. They need to spread the bullshit evenly, or maybe they should just get back to debating the important things. Like whether or not Peter called Belinda a dog.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Laugh Resort Amateur Show - tomorrow night (Wednesday May 2, 2007)

For those few of you reading this who I somehow left out of my whoring campaign of e-mails and Facebook or MySpace event invitations, tomorrow night (Wednesday, May 2), I will be onstage during amateur night at the Laugh Resort.

The Laugh Resort is in the Holiday Inn on King at 370 King Street West in downtown Toronto. The show starts at 8:30PM. If you say that you're there to see me, you will get a discount on the cover charge, AND I will have a better chance of getting back onstage there again soon.

I hope to see you then. I miss you.

Llove,

Lloyd

Friday, April 20, 2007

SUV Sophistication

I recently saw a TV commercial for the Chrysler Aspen.

2007 Chrysler Aspen, Sophisticated?


The idea was that they took the letters in the word Aspen and, one-by-one, they made new words out of them, each describing the vehicle.

Attitude
ASpohistication
ASPerformance
ASPElegance
ASPENew

Now, I realize that you are only supposed to look at the words starting with the last letter from the word Aspen in that particular row. There is no such word as "asperformance", you are just supposed to read from the 'P' on.

But they had to have been able to find something better than "aspohistication". Not a great descriptor for a product you are trying to sell. The base word, sophistication, means sophisticated character, ideas, tastes, or ways as the result of education, worldly experience, etc, according to Dictionary.com. And the prefix a, means not, without, according to englishclub.com.

So it looks to me like Chrysler (or at least their ad agency) is describing the Aspen as being "without sophistication". Lacking sophisticated ideas or ways. No education, worldly experience, etc. They're making it sound downright stupid.

I can't imagine how that would slip past everyone involved in creating and approving this commercial. Does nobody critically review the copy of their ads? I'm sure they don't want people to think that their SUV is anything but highly sophisticated.

Then again, when they considered the part in the definition about "sophisticated ideas...as the result of education..." they realized that, with the US Department of Energy ranking the Aspen as one of the worst vehicles available in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, saying that the Aspen is lacking sophistication might have been exactly what they meant.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Laugh-ability

Parents of small children always wonder what lies ahead for their kids. I'm no different. I think about my two year-old's future all the time. Add the fact that my son is physically disabled/has special needs/whatever the politically correct term is, and I think it's fair to say that I obsess about his future more than the average parent. I quit my job to stay home with him and make sure that his therapy regimes stay on track for that very reason - to give him a chance to put his best foot forward in life (or, in Eric's case, to be able to simply put his foot forward, period).

The key lesson I've learned from being Eric's father is to try not to judge people too quickly. I know people judge Eric all the time, when we're out at the mall, and he's tired and flopsy in our arms. Or especially when we take him someplace in his walker, people take a second look and often give us the "those poor parents" look. What's there to feel sorry for me about? My son is awesome!

Eric in his 'Pony' Walker

Eric is extremely bright and understands everything you say to him, or around him (my wife always has to remind me "watch what you say, Daddy!"), but with his low muscle tone, he has a hard time working the finest of the fine motor skills: speaking. But that will come, and eventually he will be able to repeat all of the inappropriate things I say.

He's also very funny. First of all, he completely understands that farting, especially in public, is funny. Good start. And he is always cracking me up. The other night, he was having a hard time sleeping, which means we were too. So we brought him into bed with us, which is never a good idea, because he thinks that is just play time. He was laying there, squeezing his mother's nose while she pretended to be sleeping. He thought this was a great game, and I could see that it wasn't going to end anytime soon. I said "OK, all done. No more squeezing Mummy's nose." He stopped immediately, and said "kay" and made his little sign for "all done". Then he turned his head to me, blew me a kiss and closed his eyes. Great. I closed my eyes, thinking of the deep sleep I could feel coming up. But instead, I felt his hand, on my nose, squeezing hard. I opened my eyes to see a look on his face that said "what? I'm not squeezing her nose, am I? Sucker." It's hard to be mad at that. So I didn't sleep much that night, but I laughed a lot.

Anyhow, the point is, he's got a good sense of humour, and he's smart. I have to keep that in mind when I worry about what the future holds for him. No matter how people initially judge him based on his physical issues, his personality will carry him through.

I was really reminded of this today, when I took him to Bloorview Kids Rehab Centre, here in Toronto, for his Occupational Therapy session. In the lobby, I picked up a copy of Abilities Magazine ("Canada's Lifestyle Magazine For People With Disabilities"), and saw the headline "Laughing Matters - Comedians with Disabilities." As a parent of a disabled kid AND an amateur standup comic, that really spoke to me.

The article profiles four disabled comedians, including Last Comic Standing winner Josh Blue, as well as Brett Leake and David Roche. But it started off with a profile on local Toronto comic, Andre "the Anti-Giant" Arruda. The profile started off describing a scene from a show Andre did at Yuk Yuk's in Toronto, highlighting the "awkward silence" in the room as he made his way to the stage, struggling to get onto the stool in front of the mic, dropping his cane in the process.
A few patrons mouth, "Does he need help?" and all of them wonder if it's okay to laugh."
Then Andre starts his set, and and they immediately realize that it's okay to laugh, because he is FUNNY! They forgot about their pre-judgements, and remembered what they were there for.

This is exactly what I need to keep in mind. Sure, people will probably have predetermined ideas about Eric all of his life, based on the way he walks (or doesn't, who knows?), or talks, or whatever. But they will soon forget that, when they see him for who he is. Maybe I need to keep that in mind too, to worry less about his future, and know that he will be great at whatever he chooses to do in life.

And not spending so much time obsessing about it will leave me with more time for the important things. Like getting to work writing material for him when he becomes a big-time international superstar stand-up comedian. No pressure, or anything, but I'm pretty sure that's what he will be.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

FAQ 1 - Hey, didn't you quit comedy?

This will be part one of a series in which I answer questions that people have sent me. It'll be fun! Just you watch. This time, the question is:

"Hey Lloyd, didn't you quit doing that stand-up comedy stuff back in November?"

Where did you get that idea? Who said that? Me, quit comedy? I would never say something like that.

Ok, maybe I did. In a moment of weakness. Here's the thing - I was tired, grumpy and stressed out about a bunch of stuff. Like money, and my son's health and stuff. I wasn't really feeling like being out in bars and whatever.

Then I had a couple of crappy sets at two shows that are usually very good shows. At the first one, I wasn't ready when my name was called, and I ended up all flustered and never quite recovered. The next time, I got flustered by a couple of comics in the audience who made it clear to the small audience before I even said a word that they weren't expecting anything funny from me. The audience spent the first two minutes of my set watching those two guys pretending to laugh and then getting up and stomping out while chatting away. I never really got the audience back, although I did get some laughs finally on my last line.

I decided about half way through that set that I would never put myself through that again. I wasn't mad at what those guys did. It's pretty much what I would expect from them, and I have to learn how to deal with interruptions. I was mad at myself for not dealing with the situation better.

Anyhow, the point is, rather than say "I'm going to take some time off, and maybe try again after Christmas", I got all dramatic and said "forget it, I'm quitting" and put that on my blog and canceled my MySpace comedy account and canceled a couple of shows that were already booked.

Several comics e-mailed me saying "don't be so quick to decide. Just take some time away and then maybe try again sometime." I was too stubborn, but they were right. It wasn't long before I missed it. So, when I was home in New Brunswick in March, I decided to give it a go again at the Moncton Yuk Yuk's amateur night. If I enjoyed that, I would give it another try. I enjoyed it.

So, here I am, outside, drunk, yelling up to the bedroom window saying "please forgive me, comedy. I was wrong. Please let me back in. I'm sorry. I'll never do it again. I love you! PLEASE TAKE ME BACK!!!"

By the way, I'll be onstage this coming Sunday, April 15 at The Comedy Clinic, upstairs at The Fox & Fiddle, 106 John Street (at Adelaide, south of Hooters). Come on out and have a laugh. Just don't get me all flustered, or I'll have to quit this whole comedy thing.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Hallelujah

I was thinking today that it would make sense for the traditional Easter dessert to be some kind of soufflé. You know, because it is risen.

Also, I am proud of myself for resisting the urge, as I drove past an emptying church this morning, to roll down the window and ask the church-goers if Jesus saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of Godlessness.

Apologies to practicing Christian-types who might read this. Just messing around, not trying to belittle your messaiah.

Happy Easter, everyone. And if you're looking for a good Easter laugh, you should read Me talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. There is a hilarious story about the author and his fellow French-second-language students in france trying to explain Easter in broken French to a Muslim classmate. "He nice, the Jesus."

Sunday, April 1, 2007

April Fool's Day

Yes, three blog posts in one day.

As my last blog mentioned, today is April Fool's Day. Fun!

April Fool's Day is, appropriately, my nephew Evan's birthday (four years old today). Evan is a lot of fun. While he looks a lot like his father's side of the family, rather than ours, I would like to think he and I at least share a sense of humour. We both really appreciate doodie jokes and fart jokes.

The last time I visited my sister's house, a couple of weeks ago, Evan was running around, breaking stuff, throwing stuff, etc. As my sister was not in the room, I took it upon myself to speak to him and tell him to try to calm down a bit. He put his hands on his hips and said "UNCLE LLOYD! I DON'T LIKE THE SMELL OF YOU!"

"Really, Evan? And what smell is that?"

"KINDA SMELLS LIKE FARTY BUM!"

What could I do? I laughed hard, validating this behaviour. I'm a good uncle.

From a good farty-bum joke to the down side of April 1: it has been two years today since my father's funeral. The only thing that put a happy note on that day was knowing that Evan was excited about his birthday (at two, he couldn't understand anything else, which is how it should be). Well, that and the flask of whiskey my brother-in-law gave me to keep me from hyperventilating before reading the eulogy.

Now that I have this blog set to automatically import into Facebook, there are people who read it who knew my father, so I thought I would put the text of the eulogy that I read that day here. Some of you heard it when I read it, some of you read a copy of it, and some of you don't care. But I'm putting it here anyhow, as a bit of a tribute to my Dad. He liked a good laugh as much as anybody, so I'm sure he wouldn't mind me following the farty thing with his eulogy. Here it is.

Eulogy for Gunnar Ravn - (1929-2005) - April 1, 2005

For those of you who don't know me, I should start by introducing myself. My name is Lloyd Ravn, and I am the youngest of Gunnar and Lois's five children. But if it's easier for you, you can call me Mark. Everyone else does.

A few years ago, my father and I were watching the news on TV, and there was a story about the funeral of a celebrity. The funeral was a huge party, and the reporter mentioned that the man had requested that there be no tears at his funeral, only happiness. Dad said to me that this would be his wish too, that there be no tears at his funeral. Of course, I told him that I couldn't promise that, but I did promise that we would do our best to find a good balance between our sadness and the happy memories we all have of our time with him. Today, I have the opportunity to keep that promise and take a few minutes to tell you about some of the many memories of my father that make my family and I smile when we think of them. Hopefully we can all smile a bit through our sadness.

For me, the story about my Dad that always makes me smile the most is one he often told about his youth, one that I think was probably the happiest time of his childhood. He and his family were living on a farm called White Lilly Farm, near Five Points. Dad was about twelve at the time, and was a voracious reader, a trait that continued well into adulthood. He had saved up his money, earned from doing various chores, and ordered some books through a mail-order bookseller. The farm was quite a ways into the woods, so they had to meet the mailman up the road to collect their mail. On the day that he knew his books were to arrive, he hopped onto a horse and rode out, bareback, to collect his package. When he had them, he was so excited that he galloped his horse all the way home, which was very much against his father's rules. I can picture that young man, with his books in one hand, holding on tight with the other, racing home with an excited smile, and I like to think that what he felt on that day must be a big part of what heaven is like for him now. Those books, which I too enjoyed when I was younger, are still around, with their yellowed pages and scuffed hard covers, and whenever I think of them, I smile at the thought of that story.

The passion and excitement Dad felt that day on his horse was very much like the passion he felt for many other things in his life. For instance, he was very passionate about, and felt extremely close to nature. He seemed to know every thing there was to know about the birds he would see at the feeders, or while walking through the woods. And sometimes, I thought he must know every detail of every tree on his property. It was almost as though he knew those trees by name. He loved walking in the woods, and as anybody who ever hunted or worked in the woods with him knew, he could walk through thick forests as easily as you or I can walk down the sidewalk.

Another passion of his was serving his community. Whether it was washing dishes at church suppers, or ringing the bell at the Salvation Army pot at Christmas time, Dad believed in helping out whenever and wherever he could. One time, in the late 80's, when I was working part-time at McDonald's, on a cold, windy night, an old man came up to the counter and explained that he had no place to go. He had taken a bus as far as Sussex and was hitch-hiking on to his next destination, as he had no money for bus fare. He asked if he could have a free coffee and a warm place to sit before heading on. That night, when I got home and told Dad about this man, he immediately jumped into the car, and he and I drove up and down the highway and around town, looking for him, hoping to take him to a motel for the night, and give him bus fare for the morning. In the end, we never found him, but that immediate reaction on Dad's part to help a stranger in need, sums up his selflessness when it came to doing the right thing. Sometimes he seemed to have a bit of a gruff exterior, but underneath he always had a huge heart and lots of love to go around.

As strongly as he felt about helping others in his community, this paled in comparison to the love he felt for his family. I think that the number of his nieces and nephews here today speaks volumes about Dad's relationship with his extended family. He was the official genealogist for his family, and accumulated several binders full of family records. Each time someone was married or had a baby, Dad recorded it and added more pictures to his collection. He did this not only because he found it fascinating to trace his family tree into its various branches stemming from his parents, but mostly because he loved the way it kept him close with his nieces and nephews, each of whom he loved a great deal.

Dad was a loving grandfather to thirteen beautiful grandchildren, and with each addition he was just as excited and proud as he was with the one before. My own son, who was born just seven weeks ago today, gave dad the opportunity to feel that new grandfather pride and excitement all over again. I feel very lucky to have had the chance to bring little Eric home from Toronto shortly after he was born to spend a week with his Grampie. That week, seeing the love and happiness Dad felt as he held the baby, even through his sickness and pain, will always remain one of the best weeks of my life. He loved all of his grandchildren and was very proud to see the wonderful people each of them is.

Raising five children with fairly long gaps between them (there is a seventeen year difference between the oldest and the youngest) meant that each of us probably had different experiences with Dad, as times changed and as he changed. But I know that over those years, there were certain things that remained constant from child to child. You always knew that when Dad was around, there was nothing to be afraid of, because Dad wasn't afraid of anything. And if your tummy hurt, you could always count on Dad bringing home a treat to help you feel better. Christine remembers having skating races with Dad at the Sussex Corner rink. She usually won them by a toe length. I guess that over the years, Dad's skating didn't improve much, because seventeen years later, I seemed to just barely win skating races with him too!

For each of us, some of our coziest memories are of sitting on the couch watching TV with Dad, whether he was cheering on Gordie Howe on Hockey Night in Canada, or laughing at Foghorn Leghorn on the Bugs Bunny Show, or learning from David Suzuki on The Nature of Things. Once, in the early 60's, Dad called upstairs to Chris and Mark, telling them to "come down and see these girls on the Ed Sullivan Show." They came down to see him laughing at the Beatles, who he figured were just a silly passing fancy. His musical tastes where a bit more traditional, I guess.

One trait that we all inherited from our Dad is his sense of ... well, I won't say humour, because I'm not sure how many people outside of our family would find humour in it. But last night, as Mark and I exchanged silly comments, I knew that this was another part of Dad that will always carry on.

I can't speak for the others, but one way in which I would like to be more like my father is in his ability to say exactly what he was thinking. You never wondered where you stood with him, or what he thought of what you had to say. Sometimes, particularly when I was a teenager, this could be frustrating, but overall, it was one of his best qualities.

Dad's family, being recent immigrants to Canada, moved around a lot when he was growing up. Eventually, they settled in Midland. One day, a neighbour and her daughter came to visit. Dad always remembered that pretty young girl, hiding behind her mother's skirt, peeking out at him. I guess she sensed big things to come, because he eventually married that girl and raised five children and shared thirteen grandchildren with her, through their long and loving fifty-year marriage. Mum was a wonderful partner for Dad, his best friend, constant companion, and the perfect balance, personality-wise. Mum took such wonderful care of him, and we are all so very proud of her. On Wednesday evening, one of their grandchildren said to Mum "you and Grampie looked so good together." And he was right. They fit well, and that gave their children a great model on which to build our own marriages. I know that Dad was proud to know that all five of us followed in his footsteps by marrying somebody who fit us as perfectly as Mum fit him.

Before I wrap up, I just want to say a short thank you to you all. Thank you for being here today, and for visiting yesterday. And thank you for visiting, calling, sending cards, or saying prayers during the past few months. As horrible as Dad's illness was, it helped him to learn a very important lesson. The last time I spoke with him, he repeated something he said to all of us several times while he was sick. He said "I never knew so many people would have cared." The love he felt from all of you made his last days brighter. Thank you for that.

And thank you for thinking of happy memories of Dad with me over the past few minutes. This is what Dad wanted, and it's our way of saying "we love you Dad."

Lloyd Ravn

NO SOUP FOR YOU!

Well, thanks to those of you who responded to my plea for help with my Guinness Book of Records attempt, trying to get the record for the biggest batch of Cream of Asparagus Soup. Unfortunately, I fell way short of the required 100 people e-mailing the local Campbell's rep, so I can't get that soup from them. I guess I'll have to go ahead with 100% from scratch.

Oh well, maybe I won't bother anyhow, it seems kind of silly now that I think of it.

Also, to those of you who did reply, I wanted to say:

APRIL FOOL'S!

What a lame April Fool's Day prank. But it was still fun to see who fell for it.

Thanks for playing along. Now I know who to turn to if I ever really need something.

Llove,

Lloyd

I Need Your Help!

Hopefully some of you will read this today, because it is kind of urgent. Not like "I'm dying and need to fulfill my fantasy of having sex with a blind woman" kind of urgent, but kind of urgent.

I'm trying to get into the Guinness Book of records. It's been a long-time dream of mine. Since I've always enjoyed cooking, and especially cooking soups, I want to have the record for cooking the world's biggest batch of cream of asparagus soup (current record = 200 gallons). I've managed to get some local businesses to donate most of the food I need (thanks Gordon Food Service and Port Hope Asparagus Farms!) , but I need one more company to come through for me.

The Guinness Book of Records rules for this kind of thing state that I am allowed to use ready-made soup in my batch, comprising up to 10% of the total volume of soup I am claiming for the record. So, since I am hoping to make 210 gallons, I need 21 gallons of ready-made asparagus soup.

Campbells Soup Company makes a great cream of asparagus soup, so I approached them. The local sales rep, Peter, said that he would only consider it if I could prove to him that I would be promoting the record attempt sufficiently. He just told me this morning that he needs proof by noon today (Eastern Time Zone) in order to get his gratis order processed in time to get the soup to me by Wednesday (which is when I have space booked in the kitchen at the Delta Chelsea Hotel - Wednesday is their slowest day this week, so the Chef said I could use his stoves and counters for a few hours in the afternoon).

What he wants me to do is to get at least 100 people to e-mail him this morning to say that they will be watching either the live webcast video or the archived podcast video I will be recording when I make the soup.

SO - if you could please help me out here it would mean a lot to me. It would be so cool to have my name in the Guinness Book of Records for something as odd as making the world's biggest batch of cream of asparagus soup.

Please e-mail peter.soupman@gmail.com (peter.soupman@gmail.com) this morning to let him know you'll be supporting my record attempt! And feel free to tell as many people as possible - forward this in your e-mail, post it as a note on Facebook, or as a bulletin on MySpace or put it in your blog or whatever. Just please help!

Thanks!

Llove,

Lloyd (future world record holder)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Well no wonder it's bad for the doggies!

The front page of The Globe and Mail's website currently has an article about the recent pet food scandal which has led to the death of puppies and kitties everywhere, not to mention massive lawsuits.

After an enquiry, Menu Foods, the company in question, now knows the cause of the problem with their pet foods. Have a look at the headline:

Globeandmail.com - Source of pet food taint now known: CEO

Now, I haven't read the article, but I can't believe that they were putting TAINT in the pet food! No wonder it is killing animals.

Taint, as I'm sure most cultured people (like myself) know, is the slang term for the perineum (which is the bit between your genitals and your bum-hole). Look it up if you don't believe me. You know, T'aint your balls, and t'aint your hole. It's your taint.

Now, I know dogs have a real fascination with this part of human bodies, but that doesn't mean that they want it in their food! I mean, that's just unsanitary! (I'm assuming it's human taint they used, but like I said, I never read the article).

I think it's time we call on the pet food manufacturers to stop using Taint in their food. Enough is enough! I urge you all to join me in e-mailing the Pet Food Association of Canada to demand that they stop this disgusting practice. Send your angry message to: info@pfac.com.

Llove,

Lloyd

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

On the death of a friend

I am in mourning. It is a very sad day. I have blogged in the past about a good friend that my dog Ivan and I see every day when we go for a walk. Read about this good friend here.

Unfortunately, my friend has died. Killed in a storm a few weeks ago. I've been away for about three weeks, so haven't had a chance to write a tribute on my blog about this friend until now.

I will miss her.

R.I.P. Vagina Tree
R.I.P. Vagina Tree

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dear WestJet:

Dear WestJet:

You know that flight attendant on the Moncton to Toronto flight this morning who kind of looks like Alisha Cuthbert?


Alisha Cuthbert, Flight Attendant



Could you please thank someone in your human resources department on my behalf? Thankssomuch!

Llove,

Lloyd

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Moncton, NB Yuk Yuk's Amateur Show AGAIN tonight (March 21)

Yes, I know. I've invited you the past two weeks to the Yuk Yuk's amateur show in Moncton, and you haven't been able to make it (other than Sherri). That's cool. I just thought I'd let you know that I'm going again tonight. No pressure. It's just the last time I'll be there for a while, because I'm going back to Toronto on Saturday. And I'd really love to see you once before I leave. I miss you.

Yuk Yuk's Moncton is at the Crown Plaza Hotel - 1005 Main Street. Doors open at 7:30pm, show time is at 8:30pm. Cover is $6.00.

Llove,

Lloyd

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Parroty songs

Last night's bloggy whatsit about misheard song lyrics got me thinking about parody songs. As a kid, my best friend Rob and I went through a phase or two of writing parody songs. We wanted to be the next Weird Al. Weird Al Times two, of course, because we did everything together.

And for those of you who have left comments on my blog or on my MySpace or Facebook pages saying that you think my ramblings are funny or that my standup comedy is funny (you're quite right, by the way), you should hang out with Rob. In school, Rob was the one who could have everyone in the room rolling on the floor laughing until they peed. OK, that only happened once, and it was just a little dribble. Leave me alone, ok? Suffice it to say that Rob is funnier than me.

So, back to the parody songs. The first one that I remember us doing was our take on The Bangles' Walk Like an Egyptian. We called it Walk Like an Old Chicken. I don't really remember how it went, but trust me, it was comedy gold.

Probably the best one, though, was when we worked at McDonald's. I was in grade 12 and had a thing for a girl who also worked there (the night I thought we were going to hook up, at the Drive In, of course, she turned to me and said "Lloyd, I'm so comfortable with you, it's like hanging out with one of the girls. I just have to ask, and you can be completely honest - are you gay?" Then she banged one of my friends.)

So, anyway, we wrote a parody song about this girl (who clearly had absolutely no gaydar, if she thought that I was gay!) It was to the tune of AC/DC's You Shook Me All Night Long. And here it is, or at least here is some of it, as close as I can remember:

She was a McMachine,
She kept her kitchen clean,
She was the best damn crew chief that I'd ever seen.
She made Apple Pies,
Tellin' me no lies.
Knockin' me out with those day-old fries.

(and then I forget the next verse, but the chorus went like this)

You...
Cooked meat all night long!
Yeah you...
Cooked meat all night long!
You really cooked it now,
You...
Cooked meat all night long!
Yeah you cooked meat!
Yeah you cooked meat!
Aaaaall night long!
(big guitar finish)
Writing that song is one of my best memories from high school. I thought it was hilarious.

So, what I'm saying is, maybe her saying she thought I was gay was her nice way of saying "holy shit, you're a big nerd, with your parody songs and whatever. Don't even think about getting into my knickers, loser."

Monday, March 19, 2007

Wrapped up like a douche, you know I rolled her in the night

I enjoy browsing through kissthisguy.com, the Archive of Misheard Lyrics. There are some pretty good stories of the way people hear songs.

One that I have been constantly mixing up lately is a song on one of my son's CDs. He loves the For the Kids CD, and can listen to it over and over and over. One of his favourite songs on the disc is Canadian super-couple Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

At one point, Raine is singing away to the star and says "I thank you for your tiny spark." I always hear "I thank you for your Chinese spark." Even though I know this is wrong, I still hear it each time.

The first time it happened, my thought was "man, the Chinese have really cornered the market on everything now, haven't they? First bootleg DVDs and now the cosmos!"

It's a good thing I was wrong about that one. I mean, if the stars really were Chinese, every time you look through a telescope, you would just have a craving for more star gazing in a couple of hours. You'd never get any sleep!

Good night.

Lloyd

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Not a genius

Did you watch Test the Nation on CBC tonight? How'd you do? I have two things to say about that show:

1. I am almost a genius, according to Brent Bambury and Wendy Mesley. A superior IQ score is 130+. I scored 126. I blame the internet for the missing 4 points.

2. More importantly, Wendy Mesley is finally looking hot again after her brush with death. Did you see the legs on her? That show must have been bitersweet for Peter Mansbridge to watch. Sweet because it would have confirmed what the Canadian news watching public already know - Peter's brilliant. And bitter because he would have totally had a boner for Wendy, and wished he had never let her go. It took her a while to get back to her old hotness, but back she is.



Speaking of hot chicks at the Ceeb (that's the new term for the CBC, by the way, as of right now), have you ever noticed how our public broadcaster has a thing for hiring the hotties? After just a quick browse through the "personalities" page on their website, I found:


Natalie Clancy, Reporter on The National

Heather Hiscox, Anchor on CBC News Morning

Christina Lawand, Reporter for The National

Sarika Sehgal, host on CBC Newsworld

She's a bit older than most on this list, but I loves me some Cathy Jones from "This Hour Has 22 Minutes"


Finally, my favourite, Gloria Macarenko. mmmmm.


When I started writing this blog, I had no intention of turning it into a "look at the hot chicks at the Ceeb" thing (other than the bit about Wendy), but it just took on a life of its own. And ladies, you know it's not just the men that get some nice eye candy while watching the news.



Ah, Rex Murphy. A real lady's man, if ever there was one.




Saturday, March 17, 2007

Unfortunate business names

I love when a business is named something that might be awesome in another language, but in English it ends up being a bit unfortunate. (see my previous blog entry on the world's best dry cleaner business name here).

Some others that I have noticed include:

- Reliable Fish & Chips, on Queen St E in Toronto. To me, "reliable" is a term used in employment reference letters when you can't think of anything good to say about the person's work. "Peter was extremely reliable. He showed up every day on time, and we could always count on him to be there when we needed him." What the letter doesn't say is that Peter might as well have stayed home, because he sucked at what we needed him to do.

How's the fish at that place?

Well, it's reliable. It's always there, on the plate, when you order it. Never fails. Always tastes like shit, but it's always there.
- Lucky Driving School, in Scarborough. I think I would prefer the skillful driving school, thanks.

- Nice Haircut, in the Beaches area of Toronto. It always makes me imagine an Abbott and Costello type conversation.
Hey, nice haircut. Where'd you get it?

Nice Haircut.

Yeah, I already said I like it. Where'd you get it?

Nice Haircut!

OK, I was just being polite. It actually looks pretty dumb on you. Where did you get it? Tell me so I can know never to go there.

Nice Haircut!

Are you retarded?
- Ho's Team , a salon in downtown Toronto. The most unfortunate part of this is that it is near one of the most notorious hooker areas in town.

But my current favourite is...

- Beaver Fishery, a wholesale fishmonger in Toronto. "This tuna kind of tastes like..."

Friday, March 16, 2007

Brilliant Political Commentary

The headline in today's Saint John, NB Telegraph Journal has a quote from the leader of the Provincial Progressive Conservative Party leader, Jeannot Volpé, regarding the Province's Liberal Government's recent budget. The Liberals seem to have given him plenty of ammunition, with tax increases and unexplained funding increases for the Office of the Premier and etc. But with all of that, the best commentary that this seasoned politician could muster was splashed in large font across the front page, saying "It's just so stupid."

Brilliant analysis, sir. I can see that Her Majesty's Official Opposition in the Province of New Brunswick is in good hands.

I can just imagine Mr. Volpé and his staff discussing what their official reaction should be:

"Maybe we should say something hard-hitting, like 'this stinks!'"
"No, we should say that the Liberals smell like poop!"
"Or maybe we should call them a bunch of stupid-heads!"

Afterwards, when the Tory brass all met for a drink of Scotch and a nice meal of Roasted Endangered Something-or-other, they would have been like, "Hey Jeannot, you really got them! Hehehehe. Stupid. That'll teach those commie bastards!"

What's up with this guy, Volpé? Is he stupid or something?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A quality I never knew I had

I've been home in New Brunswick (the Canadian province, not the New Jersey city) visiting my mother for the past week and a half. When I'm here, and see how my son loves being around his grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, I get a major urge to move back here. We can't afford a move right now, but I can still dream.

I was searching through online job ads for the Moncton area, and saw one for a marketing-type position. At the bottom of the ad it said:

To make sure your resume is accepted, please understand that we will only be looking for individuals who possess the following;

1) Outstanding work ethic

2) Past career / workplace advancement

3) Ability to work in a Team Environment

4) Customer Service and Sales skills

5) Some Inventory

6) Light Administrative

If you possess any of the qualities mentioned above, please email your resume immediately
"Some inventory" is a quality you can possess? "Light administrative"?

I think I will apply, and in the interview process when I get the usual question that goes something like "What qualities do you possess that you feel would add value to our organization?" I can answer with:

"Well, I have some inventory. You know, it's just a bunch of stuff. Books, CDs, and a few photo albums and stuff like that. It's not much, but I do possess it. It's mine. I can give you a detailed list if you want. Another quality of mine is light administrative. In fact, I think light administrative is one of my best qualities. That, and an outstanding work ethic."

On second thought, I'm not going to bother. If you run the HR department for what your job ad calls "one of Canada's premier Marketing Companies" (their capitalization, not mine), and that is the best you can do at writing a job ad, maybe I don't want to work with your Company After All.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Yuk Yuk's Moncton NB Amateur Show Wednesday March 14

Once again, I will be hitting the stage for amateur night at Yuk Yuk's in Moncton tomorrow night (March 14). I had a great time last week and am looking forward to tomorrow night. I know this is short notice, but it would be cool to see you there.

Yuk Yuk's Moncton is at the Crown Plaza Hotel - 1005 Main Street. Doors open at 7:30pm, show time is at 8:30pm. Cover is $6.00.

I hope to see you there.

Llove,

Lloyd

Things my mother says that make me wonder if I'm adopted

1. "I prefer mild cheddar."

2. "I don't really like curry."

3. "I never did like the taste of beer."

Monday, March 5, 2007

Yuk Yuk's Moncton, NB Amateur Show This Wednesday Night (March 7)

Hey Merry-timers,

I'm heading off to New Brunswick tonight to spend some time with my mother while she recuperates from a broken pelvis. I know, I know - what a great son.

Anyway, while I'm there, I thought I would abandon her for a night* and go do a six-minute standup comedy set at the amateur show at Yuk Yuk's in Moncton on Wednesday night. Coming? Great, I'll see you there!

Yuk Yuk's Moncton is at the Crown Plaza Hotel - 1005 Main Street. Doors open at 7:30pm, show time is at 8:30pm. Cover is $6.00.

See you then? See you, then.

Llove,

Lloyd

*just kidding, by the way - my sister Chris will be staying with her

Friday, March 2, 2007

Dear The Glad Products Company

Thank you for making GladWare Containers. My wife and I bought two packages of them. They're great for putting stuff in. Stuff like leftover potatoes. Or carrots. Even leftover sauces of various flavours. One time I put bread crumbs in one of them when I ground up too much bread when I was making a breading thing for some trout. My point is, these containers hold stuff really well.

I also wanted to point out that I really think you chose a great name for this product. Not only because it makes me feel glad to have a great place to put my stuff. But because I feel so extremely glad (giddy, even) when I finally get the lid off of them without breaking it. The engineering expertise it must have taken to make those lids so difficult to get off is really very impressive.

But seriously, the joke's over. I need my bread crumbs! I'm making my special fried chicken this weekend, but I need the breadcrumbs. How do I get my stuff out of your containers?

Llove,

Lloyd

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Delicious Canada

Chicks dig guys who can cook, right? Right? Did I mention that I went to culinary school? I graduated in 1996, from a two-year culinary arts diploma program. I have worked in every kind of professional kitchen you can imagine. Greasy spoons, a funky London wine bar; a beautiful country inn, a world famous resort hotel and more. Chicks dig that, right?

Well, if that doesn't make you swoon, what if I told you that I studied at the Culinary Institute of Canada? Sexy, eh? What's so sexy about the CIC, you ask? Well, for one thing, it is, for the second time in a row, home to Culinary Youth Team Canada. As the website says,

These eight young chefs, all of whom trained at Holland College’s Culinary Institute of Canada, have been selected to represent the country in the most prestigious international culinary competition in the world, the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung, more commonly known as the Culinary Olympics, in Efurt, Germany in October of 2008

Pretty sweet, huh? But it doesn't end there. This week, at the World Junior Grand Prix in Glasgow, Scotland, Culinary Youth Team Canada was crowned "World Grand Prix Culinary Champions"! This is huge. Canadians should be really proud of this team.

Check out the website, and have a look at the pictures from Glasgow on the News page (three of my chef instructors can be seen there: Team Manager, Chef Craig Youdale as well as Coaches Chef Hans Anderegg - you might recognize him from TVs "The Next Great Chef" - and Chef Richard Braunauer). Leave them a message letting them know that Canada is proud to have the world's best young chefs.

And don't forget ladies - I studied at that great school, under those incredible chef instructors. Pretty hot, eh? Like, rockstar hot. If you want me to autograph your breasts or underwear, just let me know.

Llove,

Lloyd

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Part of the problem

As I posted before, I'm trying to lose weight. I'll post a weight-loss update soon. For now, I wanted to talk about the cause of my weight gain over the years. I've been wondering how it got so carried away. But now I think I'm beginning to understand.

My family moved into our house about a year and a half ago. Recently, I was looking for something in the furnace room and noticed that there is still one box left to unpack, after all this time. Written across the top of that box, in black marker, was:

SPORTS EQUIPMENT


Maybe that's a bit of a clue. In fact, I would say that is the entire problem right there. I will unpack the box tonight, as the first step towards making some positive changes in my life. First, I have to pop over to McDonald's for supper.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

If the name fits

Recently, a friend and I were enjoying the hospitality at one of Toronto's finer establishments, and he wondered aloud why there were so many Eastern European strippers. I said that I figured it was because they don't have to come up with good stripper stage names. They can just use their own names. He said "what do you mean?" I was just about to explain when I was interrupted by the dude on the loudspeaker thingy saying "OK gentlemen, time for our next entertainer. Put your hands together for Anna Pantsonanov!"

Monday, February 26, 2007

I think the Pizza guy is stalking me

The guy at the pizza joint knows way too much about me. I know that it's all in the name of efficiency, but maybe they've taken it too far.

Him: Pizza Pizza, how can I help you?

Me: I'd like to place an order for delivery, please.

Him: OK, and what is your phone number?

Me: 416.410.3382

Him: OK, would you like the same thing you ordered last time?

Me: I don't even remember what I ordered last time.

Him: Oh, I do. Did you like the chicken wings? I know it was your first time ordering those with your pizza.

Me: Yeah, they were fine.

Him: And are you still peeing blood? Or has that little infection cleared up?


These guys know too much.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Baby spinach

I recently posted about my son's second birthday.

You've come a long way, baby!


I've been spending a lot of time lately, thinking back to that time, two years ago, when he was a little newborn, and I was learning so much. Learning things like how to best calm him down when he was upset, how to survive on only two hours of sleep. Things like that. I was expecting to learn things like that. But there was one thing that really surprised me. And that was learning what babies do with the milk once they drink it.

How can a baby turn milk into spinach? I swear to God, every time you change a newborn's diaper, there is a big mess of chopped spinach in there. How? At first, I thought that maybe we could make some money off of this spinach, but then I thought better of it. I guess that last year's spinach-related E-coli outbreak shows that I wasn't the only one thinking this way.

Anyhow, I just wanted to pass along that information for any of you who have newborn babies, or who are expecting newborn babies or who might one day have newborn baby. Be prepared for the spinach poops.

I haven't been able to eat spanakopita for two years.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Are you really going to eat that?

As anyone who has ever been with me at mealtime knows, I will eat pretty much anything. I love good food, but I also love really horrible food. I love eating at the best fine-dining restaurants, and I love eating at McDonald's. But there are a few things I won't eat. At the very top of my "I'll never eat that crap again" list is...

Arby's Cheese Sauce.


How can you people eat that garbage? I think that the only thing worse than eating Arby's Cheese Sauce would be working in the Arby's Cheese Sauce factory. Imagine, on Take Your Kid to Work Day, how humiliating it would be.

Dad: "OK, son, this is the part where Daddy puts the special, secret ingredient into the Arby's Cheese Sauce. I'm going to have to get you to close your eyes while I do this."

Kid: **closes his eyes, but peeks just in time to see Dad take his finger out of his ear and swish it around in the big vat of sauce**


Now, before Arby's lawyers send me a threatening letter, let me be clear that this is a joke. I'm not really insinuating that Arby's Cheese Sauce contains ear wax. Obviously, Arby's is a huge corporation and they employ a very highly-trained team of food development experts.

Those experts have found a way to make cheese sauce taste like ear wax is all I'm saying.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Anti-marketing

I love eggs. No, I mean I really love eggs. They are one of the most delicious things ever. Nothing has ever quelled my love of eggs. Not even when I was a kid and complained about my father eating tongue and his reply was "you think this is gross because it comes from a cow's mouth, but you eat eggs." Not even the time I "went vegetarian". I knew I would never be a vegan because I love the eggs too much.

But, Canada's egg producers have come up with a new marketing strategy that may just turn me off of eggs. Now, when I buy eggs, there is a little card on the carton that promotes this new strategy. They say it is "A new traceability standard for food safety & bird welfare." That sounds great. I'm all for food safety and bird welfare (despite what this story may lead you to believe). You can even win a $500 shopping spree! What's not to love about this new program?

The name.



EggsacTrace?! This is the single most disgusting food-related branding I have ever heard of. I understand that in this case, "eggsac" is supposed to be a play on "exact", but come on!

Dictionary.com defines Egg Sac as "The silken pouch in which many spiders deposit their eggs." mmmm.... sounds breakfast-y. Google Egg Sac and you will get a billion sites about spiders and their reproductive habits. The only mention of breakfast is in a video in which a hobo spider kills a small rat for breakfast.

Still with the unappetizing definitions: Medterms.com says that an egg sac is another term for a woman's ovary. I expect that "OvaryTrace" was a close second when they were deciding on names for this campaign.

Imagine if the beef farmers got together and set up a traceability standard and called it "bull sperm trace". Wouldn't that make you just crave a nice tenderloin steak smothered in rich, thick, creamy Bernaise sauce? mmmm....

I'm going to enter the contest for the $500 and if I win, I'm going to suggest that they keep the money and use it to hire someone to come up with a less disgusting name. Like "OvaryEasy".

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Happy birthday baby

Two years ago today, my son was born. That was the first day I ever understood what people meant when they talked about "walking on the clouds". What a day.

In honour of his birthday, you should watch this video of me talking about the night he was born:





Even Ivan was excited!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The importance of clarity

I have had the following conversation several times with one particular employee at my local Tim Hortons:

Me: I'll have a toasted chicken club sandwich combo please, on whole wheat bread, with Coke to drink and a chocolate dipped donut.

Her: A chicken club sandwich?

Me: Yes, please. Toasted, on whole wheat bread. As a combo, with Coke and a chocolate-dip.

Her: What kind of bread would you like that on?

Me: Whole wheat please. Toasted. As a combo, with Coke and a chocolate-dip.

Her: Would you like that toasted?

Me: Yes, please. As a combo, with Coke and a chocolate-dipped donut.

Her: OK, would you like that as a combo? You can get a drink and a donut with the combo.

Me: Yes, please. I'll have Coke and a chocolate-dipped donut.

Her: OK. Coffee to drink with your combo?

Me: No, thanks. I'll have a Coke. And. A. Chocolate. Dipped. Donut.

Her: OK. Coke. And what kind of donut?

Me: Hmmmm... I can't make up my mind. What do you suggest?

Her: I like the Maple dip.

Me: Fine. Maple dip it is.

Her: OK, anything else?

Me: No thanks. There are only so many hours in a day.

Her: Confused look


I suppose that it would help if I said what I wanted up front rather than wasting her time like that, trying to squeeze the information out of me.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

BUT I WANNA SIT NEXT TO THE GUY WITH THE NICE HAIR!

My wife and I moved to Toronto in 1999. Technically, we moved to Mississauga, but as far as anyone back in New Brunswick is concerned, we moved to Toronto. We did officially move to the 416 the next year. The point is, we've lived in Toronto and area for a few years now. I love it here. But people back home think we're crazy for living here and even crazier for liking it.

Some guy back home: "How can you live there? People there are so rude!"

Me: "Have you ever even been to Toronto?"

Guy: "Well, no, but everyone knows that people there are rude. And it's dirty. And dangerous! How can you raise your son in such a terrible place?"



I dunno, sifting through garbage for lunch, getting mugged and running with a gang will only make a kid stronger. Don't be an idiot. People in Toronto are fine. For the most part, it's a nice, safe, clean city. Of course there are exceptions, but there are exceptions everywhere.

Then they bring out the whole "yeah, but what a bunch of whiners! A little bit of snow and they bring in the army!" Everyone in Canada laughs about that, and sees it as yet another reason to hate Toronto.

First of all, that was a few years ago - get over it. Secondly, it's not like Moncton or Red Deer - it's not as easy to remove a big mess of snow from Toronto's busy, tightly packed streets. You just don't understand. Toronto is not full of whining babies.

Well, maybe I'm wrong. At least as far as City Hall is concerned. Yesterday, our City Council got together for a group portrait. Sounds simple? Not for these whining babies. The whole thing got called off when they couldn't stop fighting about who got to sit in the front row.

THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN CHARGE OF MY TAX DOLLARS! What is this, class picture day? If these clowns can be elected to office, then surely to God I can too. So, it's decided! I'm going to run in the next municipal election. Yes, it's a few years off now, but that just means that I'll have lots of time to plan my campaign.

I've already come up with a few great ideas for campaign promises. I've decided that I will run my campaign on their level. My first three promises will be:

-Longer recess time across the whole city.
-Every day will be pizza day.
-Dimmer lights and fewer chaperones at dances.

Based on the maturity level of the current Council, I think these promises alone will make me a real contender. I trust I can count on your vote?

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Super Bowl Question

So I was listening to the radio yesterday, and there were a couple of jocks talking about football. Apparently there is some big football game today in the US or something.

These two guys were talking about the history of blackhead coaches in the Super Bowl.

Blackhead coaches? Are these football players such wimps that they need someone to help them through a few blackhead zits?

I've never understood football.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Good grief

OK, I know there are a million sites on this interweb thingy that relate to this topic, but I couldn't resist joining in. For Christmas I got a calandar of George W Bushisms. Some of these crack me up, and some of them just scare me.

A few are so good that I had to share them. Enjoy:

Follow the Yellow Brick Road and you'll find the WMDs

Is "dark dungeons of the internet" some kind of gamer reference?

Just reading this makes me joyfuller.

I wish my economics prof could have just made things this clear.


If so, I hope it means that they also become more faster.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Fun with food

In a recent blog, I told the story of how my sister-in-law's fiancé and I had a laugh at the way a small restaurant in North Rustico, PEI spelled "Sandwiches" on their menu (click here to read it if you missed it).

I would like to take this opportunity to address two of the many (well, six) comments that were posted on that blog.

First, an anonymous commenter implied that since we had been sent for take-out, we were officially man-bitches. Well, they didn't exactly imply that. They came right out and said it. I just wanted to point out that going for take-out does NOT make us man-bitches. We just wanted to get away from the wedding planning that was going on back at the cottage. That's right. We were in PEI to work on plans for their wedding, which will be this summer on a PEI beach.

So, just to be clear, going for food doesn't make us man-bitches. Being part of the wedding planning party does.

In our next letter, Bec from Toronto says "I'd love to know what you two were laughing about while waiting for your food."

Well, Bec. That's a great question. We were laughing at something else on the menu. Due to limited space on the menu board over the counter, one item was listed with its price smushed up against it with no space in between, making it look like it was all one thing. It looked like this:

CHICKEN WINGS 69

Our only question was: where do you put the chicken wings in this particular offering? Then we realized that we really didn't want to know.