Virgin Vacations has posted their picks for the top 11 subway systems in the world, and I'm sad to say I'm not surprised to see no mention of dear old Toronto. It was a little surprising to see Montreal on the list at number eight, right behind New York City. Here's what they had to say:

The Montreal Metro is a modern system that was inaugurated in 1966. It is a small (37.8 miles reaching 65 stations on four lines) yet unique and modern system that was inspired by the Paris Metro.

Highlights: Diverse, beautiful architecture and unique station art (each station is designed by a different architect). Pleasant riding experience (smooth rides: the trains run on a rubber surface to reduce the screech of train cars). Trains are frequent and fairly comfortable.
The Toronto and Montreal subway systems are the only two I've had the pleasure of exploring, and I have to say there's good reason to give Montreal the nod. As someone who spends an hour on the Bloor line every day, I'll give you one word to describe the experience: depressing. Pretty much the whole subway system is a little lacking in aesthetics, but the Bloor line is especially bland, with the same cream coloured tile everywhere, now covered in filth, and nary a bright colour to be found.

The Montreal subway might not run nearly as often, going down to 15 minutes at night, but it's a hell of a lot more pleasant. The stations aren't so dull and claustrophobic. If you've ever been to the breath of fresh air that is St. Clair West station, that's what the Montreal Metro is like.

The sad thing is it seems the TTC will never, ever bother to make these stations more aesthetically pleasing. Hell, even bringing the Bloor line up to the level of the Yonge line would be a major improvement. The people in this city spend a good chunk of their lives underground for Christ's sake. Shouldn't we make it as enjoyable as possible?

Images courtesy of Duchamp and sillygwailo.

Born again blogger

Well it was needlessly painful, but I've finally replaced the template on this sounding board of the damned. I like it. It looks...grown-up. I looked at a cached copy of the old version and I can't believe how long I put up with it. It looks so gaudy by comparison. Take a look and compare for yourself.

Today's lesson: Google is not infallible, 'cause Blogger ain't all it's cracked up to be. Regardless, I whipped the bastard into shape and now I'm calling the shots.

If only I could alter my appearance as easily as I can alter that of my blog. I'd give myself bigger...everything. Of course it'd be a little embarassing to walk around with my nose on my ass because some idiot fucked up the HTML, but at least a fix would be just a quick edit and refresh away!

Vice grip

I'd have to say "vice" is among my favourite words. Not only is it the name of a very entertaining magazine, it's the name of the only non-drug-oriented gay bar in Toronto where the music is tolerable and the clientele isn't repulsive. But most of all, vice is a state of mind. A way of looking at the world and saying "fuck you societal norms, I'm going to have a good time!"

Today I'm proud to say that I'm completely vice-ridden. It's very liberating. Embracing vice means not only engaging in taboo behavior, but it means refusing to feel guilty or hide it.

For example, the weekend before last I had to drag a friend who'd gone overboard at the club back to my place. He couldn't even stay awake. Thank god there were three of us to carry his ass up to my apartment. Someone in the elevator was like "It's 7 PM!" To which I replied "Yeah but he's been going since last night. He's just had too much GHB."

Cue shocked faces. The rest of the elevator ride was pretty quiet. Neighbours meet reality. Reality, meet neighbours. There goes my nomination for the tenant association.

So, obviously, my usual vice is drugs and partying. However, I'm starting to notice an interesting trend. Whenever I take a break, I revert back to a much older vice of mine: promiscuity.

***TMI ALERT! FAMILY MEMBERS MAY NOT WANT TO READ BEYOND THIS POINT***

This first became apparent back in January, during my first big break since I moved here. I hadn't gotten laid since the move in September. I'd had some encounters, but no full-on intercourse. Then I took some time off of partying and I ended up laying three guys in a week. Yeah. Way to make up for lost time, Adam!

Not to be outdone by January Adam, I managed to line up two guys last weekend. Thank god Mr. Sunday was a bottom, because I was still sore from Mr. Saturday.

Just like I refuse to be ashamed of my partying, I will not be ashamed of my promiscuity. It's very Toronto to go around pretending to be chaste while you lay the whole city, or to just be an all-around cock-tease. Not this guy. I go for the prize, I don't play games, and once I've "won" I don't keep it under wraps.

I'm planning on taking two more weekends off of partying, so who knows what the next 17 days will hold. Then it'll be time for another vice-swap and you can all look forward to reading about more of my weekly club disasters.

Judge me if you want. I'm too busy having fun to care.

Image courtesy of ! SamuraiGhost.

Forget the witty intro. I'll let the picture speak for itself:


Not only are these lovely Elvis busts readily available one block from my building, it's a 24 hour convenience store. It's stuff like this that makes the big Toronto move worthwhile. After all, where else can you get your jailhouse rocks off at 3 AM, along with a pack of cigarettes and some porno mags? That's right, nowhere.

Me? I'm holding out for a Gavin Rossdale bust. In my mind it will always be 1995.

For those of you living under a rock, last night the Oscars were on. And you'd have to be living under a rock, because I have absolutely no interest in the celebrity circle-jerk, and I still got slapped in the face with the thing several times.

It's kind of funny, actually. I take no more interest in the Academy Awards than I do the Super Bowl. In both cases, I found out incidentally the day of that the event was on. In both cases I was apathetic and found something better do. If given a choice, believe it or not, I'd probably pick the Super Bowl. Wouldn't Dad be proud.

As usual, some movies I've never heard of won a bunch of awards. The only movie I've seen in the last year is An Inconvenient Truth, and believe it or not, Al Gore did a better job of holding my interest than most Hollywood blockbusters do.

I just don't like movies. You have to sit there for like two hours, staring at a screen and absorbing. There's a dearth of interaction that just ruins the appeal for me. TV has a similar problem but the time investment is a lot lower. And even then, I watch very very little TV.

If I want an engrossing story, I'll read a book. Quite frankly, I think movies suck as a storytelling medium. They're good with visual things, but for character and plot development I'd rather have the author speak directly to me.

The funny thing is, I can screw around online for hours on end. but at least then I feel like I'm contributing in some minor way.

And honestly I think movies make for a crummy social experience. I would never, ever take a date to a movie. Isn't a date supposed to be about getting to know somebody? How the hell am I supposed to do that when I'm staring at a screen for two hours?! If I'm going to spend two hours not talking to a guy, it should be because he's got...erm...something in his mouth.

Same deal with friends. I don't have a huge amount of time to spend with my friends. I'd rather spend it conversing. There are lots of activities, like shopping, playing games, and, of course, clubbing, that let you be social at the same time. So why resort to sit-and-stare? There's no excuse unless you've got nothing left to say. And those of you who know me know that's not likely to be an issue anytime soon.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia. I love you Wikipedia.

Chat truce

My dear friend Sarah O is quite the whiz with the camera. Honestly, I've been puttering around with my camera phone and it just doesn't cut it. It takes decent pictures, but I don't get to do all that artsy stuff the "real" photogs do, with exposures and shutter speeds. I'm trembling at the very thought!

Anyways, until I can find a sugar daddy to buy me a digital SLR, check out Sarah's unbelievably amusing cat vs. squirrel photos. This might have been a bloodbath if there hadn't been that glass between them. But luckily it was, and hilarity ensued.

I think there's good money to be made in constructing a large box with glass in the middle, buying a bunch of animals, trying different pairs, and YouTubing the results. Anybody want to offer me some venture capital? First up: poodle vs. a dozen iguanas.

Every so often at work I have to pretend it's 1989 and saunter up to the fax machine. As I approached the discoloured piece of arcane technology yesterday I leafed through the small stack of junk faxes, as I often do.

Honestly, why are people bothering to send this 20th century version of spam? Do people trust some random ad they get through their fax machine. I mean, at least with email you can reach millions of people pretty quickly. With a fax you can send, at most, one per minute per phone line. Wow.

Anyways, as I was idly perusing the junk yesterday, I spotted something a little more entertaining than the usual vacation packages and Nigerian scams. Take a look at this (click to open full-size):


I don't even know where to begin poking holes in this thing. But let's give it a shot.

They increase their odds of winning by playing "intelligent numbers"...umm, what? As in some numbers are more likely than others? That's fundamentally not how the lottery works. They're all equally likely, stupid. The only way to beat the lottery is to rig it, or get unbelievably lucky. It's not a charity, folks.

It's said that the lottery is for people who suck it math. I say this is for people who suck at life.

They're pretty smart about the way they present it though.

WE HAVE ONLY 20 POSITIONS LEFT !!!!
YES! OVER 80% ARE FILLED
DON'T LOSE OUT FOR EVER


See the whole limited-time offer thing is smart. Creating a sense of urgency makes people act before they think.

Now the problem is thus: It costs $10,000! I would really like to meet the person who has $10,000 yet is stupid enough to fall for this half-assed scam. If you have ten grand in the bank and you can't see through this, you don't deserve that $10,000.

In fact, I'm not even going to condemn the scammers, because the holes in this are so obvious that anyone who falls for it must be blinded by greed or incredibly stupid. I bet if they made it $1,000 to enter they'd get a lot more takers.

Regardless, it's nice to see some home-grown Toronto scams for once. At least the money's staying right here, am I right? That's gotta be good for the local economy!

One final word to anybody thinking about contributing to this "plan." If you're going to flush $10,000 down the toilet, at least do it in style. Rent some hookers, order some blow, and take it all on a flight to Luxembourg. Go on a bender to end all benders. Then you can look at your empty bank account and say "I may have wasted a ton of money, but at least I can't remember a fucking thing!"

That's right, now it's time for you to do something for me. You didn't think all this compelling prose and smarmy social commentary came without a price, did you buddy? Wrong! Now get your ass in gear!

I think things over here at The Free Thinker are going well. I should probably try to curb the gratuitous use of italics, and the words "gem" and "whack," but beyond that it's all gravy.

Except for this template. Sure, it was alright when I was just starting out. Really, at first I just wanted to focus on content. Now that I've got that down the presentation needs some work. Using one of the templates that comes with Blogger just screams "amateur," don't you think?

Can anybody suggest a nice template for me? Something a little flashy would be nice, although I'd consider something more simple if it was eye-catching. Double points if it comes in a three-column version. Also remember that a lot of the templates out there were made for the Old Blogger™, and won't very well with the fancy New Blogger.

As an example of my taste here's one I really like. Unfortunately it's for Old Blogger. Even a link to a decent template site would be appreciated. Googling mostly found older stuff or small sites with 2-5 templates at most.

While I'm soliciting feedback, is there anything else about the blog that could use a change? Sick of me throwing random Flickr images next to each post? Should I change my picture to one with my freaking shirt on? Let me know!

Completely superfluous image courtesy of lu6fpj.

From the Puritanism-is-alive-and-well file, we have news that librarians are freaking out over this year's Newbery medal winner. Why? Because it has the word "scrotum."

I'll wait a few seconds so you can recover from this ghastly noun........

Ready? Okay. Anyways, isn't it about time we got over this societal obsession with teaching children "cute" names for their naughty bits, rather than the actual word? Is it honestly going to damage a child to call it a penis, rather than a ding-dong, peter, or whatever?

But of course this is just the beginning of the repression that continues when we're taught that sex is a very serious matter that leads to strong emotional connections, and that promiscuity is something we should be ashamed of. Now it's not quite as bad as "abstinence only" programs south of the border, but there's still a lot of cultural taboo against casual sex, even though a lot of us (and the vast majority of we fags) practice it at some point in our lives.

This is a sitatuion that makes the Toronto gay community particularly annoying, because all the sluts try to pretend they're chaste. You ain't fooling anyone paco.

So I guess what I'm saying is, start teaching kids to call it a penis, scrotum, clit, vagina etc. and future Toronto homosexuals will be able to sleep around with ever-so-slightly-less hassle. If global warming doesn't kill everyone off by then.

Image courtesy of Storeyland.

Ex Communication

So after three months of dragging my ass into Etobicoke every day I'm finally getting some benefits at work. I dropped off my form at the one-woman HR department today and she noticed I didn't fill out the beneficiary for my life insurance. So I grabbed the form and wrote down a name.

My ex's name.

I realized a while ago that's it's weird to best friends with somebody you dated for 36 months, lived with for 22 months, and had cats with for over a year. I asked around a bit, and apparently putting your ex on your life insurance is pretty whack.

Now let's not blow this too far out of proportion. I'm 24 and, despite this stupid nasal infection and my heavy partying, I'm in good health. Plus it's just my work insurance which won't pay out much cash anyways.

Regardless, it does send a strong message. But hey, when I think of who knows me well, who I trust, and who could arrange for a gorgeous funeral he's at the top of all three.

The funny thing is, he's still my first and only ex. Maybe not being jaded from other relationships helped me leave on good terms. Maybe leaving before things got bitter was a good idea.

Or maybe, unlike most relationships, we were both good people, and neither of us were assholes or whack jobs.

Anyways, I've given him the relevant instructions: If I bump off tomorrow, throw my body in Lake Ontario and spend the money on a kick-ass party. I'll see you there!

Image courtesy of germanyengland.

Since I hopefully won't be going out for a few weeks, I figured I'd share some interesting, and sketchy, photos I captured this weekend. There'd be more, but you get yelled at for taking pictures at The Zone.


I went shirt shopping a few short hours before Sonic and discovered this gem. The plan was to wear it and hope somebody noticed. Instead, in true loser fashion I went around ordering people to read my shirt. It was still fun.



A nice photo of the upstairs bathroom at The Zone. Notice the countless number of discarded baggies and vials. Trust me, they're all empty. I looked.

And last but not least:


Comfort Zone mittens! Wow man, that is freaking HARDCORE. At least it's less conspicuous than the let's-advertise-that-I'm-a-sketchbag Comfort Zone shirt.

I look forward to bringing out more sketchy pictures in seventeen days or more *checks watch then looks around nervously*

This just in: people love talking about sex. I'd say I spend around forty-five times more time talking about sex than I spend having sex. Yes, I'm including oral.

So in the spirit of keeping it up (teehee), take a look at these 21 things you didn't know about sex.

Now, to copy the list, add a little flair, and call it a day.

According to the Kinsey Institute, the biggest erect penis on record measures 13 inches. The smallest tops off at 1 3/4 inches.

I am terrified to report that I've fooled around with someone close to that lower bound. If you can call that fooling around. Really, I felt like a pedophile and he was my age. Should I call Guinness?

The most common fantasy is oral sex.

This is a pretty sad state of affairs, isn't it? Is it really that hard to get one of these in 2007?

8% of us have regular anal sex.

I'm guessing 7.9% of those surveyed were gay men. The other 0.1% were women saving the good stuff for marriage.

60% of men and 54% of women have had a 1-night stand.

40% of men were lying.

Women buy 4 out of every 10 condoms sold.

Because their partner insists on buying the extra-large magnum condoms to impress the cashier.

In 1609, a doctor named Wecker found a corpse in Bologna with two penises. Since then, there have been eighty documented cases of men similarly endowed.

I spent four seconds thinking about whether I'd want this, then vomited all over myself.

Men say the average erect penis is 10″. Women say it’s 4″.

Maybe if you took care of yourself it'd get up to full size, sweetheart.

A female orgasm is a powerful painkiller (because of the release of endorphins), so headaches are in fact a bad excuse not to have sex.

On the other hand, back hair remains a powerful deterrent.

56% of men have had sex at work.

Quite frankly I don't see the appeal. Unless you're a stripper or something.

Among the Mangaians of Polynesia, 18-year-old couples make love an average of three times a night, every night, until their thirties, when the weekly average drops to a mere 14.

Sounds like somebody's been putting Viagra in the water supply.

1 in 3 of us have had an extramarital affair.

Never getting married. Seriously.

62% think there is nothing wrong with affairs.

Including me. I'm my father's son.

The maximum speed at which erotic sensations travel from skin to brain has been clocked at 156 miles per hour.

I want to read the grant application for this gem.

A honeymooning couple are suing Holiday Inn for ten thousand dollars, claiming their sex life is now dysfunction because an employee mistakenly walked in on them on their wedding night.

...And caught them dressed as furries. Seriously though, if your sex life was that fragile something was bound to fuck it up sooner or later.

At least 500 Americans die each year from asphyxia in an attempt to lessen oxygen flow to the brain in order to induce a more powerful orgasm.

Suddenly the fact that I have 90% of my sex high seems less perverse.

England’s King Edward VII, a man of considerable heft, had a special table built so that he could comfortably engage in sexual intercourse.

With the way the obesity epidemic is going these are going to be en vogue very soon.

29% of us are virgins when we marry.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA...yeah. Did they conduct this survey in Utah or something?

The average sexual experience lasts about 39 minutes.

"We wanted to go longer, but some asshole kept banging on the stall door!"

58% like dirty talk during sex.

Yup, count me in.

22% rent porno flicks at least once.

People still pay for porn!?

Given today’s average frequency of sexual intercourse, it would take the typical American couple more than four years to try every one of the 529 positions described in the Kama Sutra.

Honestly I still don't have a thorough understanding of how vaginal penetration works...And I hope I never do.

Man overboard

I always go out one too many times.

I need to smarten up and know when to say enough is enough. In the last three weekends I've been out around 48 hours. Forty-eight. I think I'm going to have to limit myself to two consecutive weekends maximum, and stick to every other weekend whenever possible. I've lost enough weight, I've depleted enough serotonin, and I've spent enough money.

Unfortunately it seems I can never have enough fun.

When you go out all the time, it's too easy to let everything else in your life slide. Back when I worked at the evil bank, I pretty much lived for the weekend. The only way I could get through my horrible day was to think about popping pills and dancing on the weekend.

I'm not nearly that bad now, but in the loop it's a lot easier to forget about the fact that most of my stuff is still in Ottawa, that I need a new bed, and that my financial situation is moderately dire. No matter how bad things get, I can have a blast every weekend and forget about it all.

There are some many lost souls at Comfort Zone. It's sort of like The 6th Sense: they don't know they're lost. Except they're in their late 30s, in go-nowhere retail jobs, and living in some shitty apartment with second-hand furniture. But damn do they know how to have fun.

I think it's time to try sleeping every night for the next couple of weeks. I have to learn to have fun doing other things again. I'm not going to stop partying anytime soon, but there needs to be a balance between partying and real life.

If only real life didn't suck so much.

Coiftard

I suck at hair. If hair was a game, I'd be in last place. If hair was a performance, I'd be boo'd off the stage. And if hair was sex, I'd accidentally fuck your ear.

I'm that bad.

To people who've known me in real life, this isn't news at all. Things have improved from my younger days, when I'd just let it grow until it got in my eyes, then head over to the Aunt's house for a fresh bowl cut. But it's still pretty bad.

I just don't know what to do with it. Do I spike it? Give it that messy look? How the hell do I get it to do those things anyways? My hair never seems to do what I want it to. If I want it up, it goes down. If I want it down, it goes up. It reminds me of when I couldn't control my erections in high school.

The funny thing is, I can clearly spot a guy who has nice hair, but when I'm trying to style it myself all my objectivity goes out the window and I can't tell the difference between Flock of Seagulls hair and something worthy of Tobey McGuire.

As a result I just leave the "fuzzball" most of the time. Unless a friend who can style hair is around. Then I make them do it. Of course this isn't a sustainable way to manage one's hair.

So what the hell should I do? Is there a class I can take? Does somebody want to mentor me?

In the meantime I took my usual cop-out. I took my hair, which I've been dutifully growing since Hallowe'en, and had the nice lady buzz it down to the height of an M&M. I've got that Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting look. Except it's not the eighties.

Anyways, I've won the battle for now. But the war isn't over until I'm bald or I can coif as well as the stereotypes say I should.

Image courtesy of Drawings Of Light - Paul.

As if you needed another reason to avoid Georgia, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a Georgia law banning the sale of sex toys.

Seriously, what year is it in Georgia?

I mean even if you think it's gross. Even if you think it's reprehensible. Even if you think it's unbelievably wrong it's still a freaking waste of time to pass, enforce and uphold laws like this. Honestly, of all the societal problems we're battling right now, I'd have to say sexual depravity is pretty low on the list. Now I can't claim to understand the unique challenges facing this backwater bigothole. But I can tell you that getting between women and their vibrators ain't gonna solve 'em.

So now you're going to pay Georgia. I will not visit your state. I will not watch sports featuring your teams. I will not speak kindly about your southern hospitality. And worst of all, I will not travel via your beloved airport hub. Of course I've never done any of those things anyways, but thanks for keeping me on course.

First man to mail the governor a butt plug gets a hand job from me.

Dancing with WASPs

I can dance for hours at a club, sober even, and not give a crap what anyone thinks. So why is it that when my roommate catches me dancing in the living room I'm embarrassed as all hell? It's my living room. It's my music. And my dancing isn't as...erm...broken robot-esque as it once was.

Besides everyone dances at home, right? Right? *chirping crickets*

Image courtesy of genewolf.

Is it just me, or does picture messaging almost never work?

For a long time, I've had virtually no use for it. After all, I was carrying around a T616 which is a first-gen camera phone that is completely useless. If you have direct sunlight on the fourth Sunday of the month during the year of the donkey you might be able to get a usable low-res picture. Might.

But now I have a very nice 2 megapixel phone. I even grabbed a flash attachment off of eBay. This thing takes decent pictures. So once in a while, I figure it's fun to send a funny picture to someone.

Last weekend at the club I took a pretty funny (and highly sketchy) picture of myself with the bathroom attendant. I sent it to three people and none of them got it. Something always goes wrong.

I have no trouble sending. Which is great, because that's the part they charge you for. But half the time the recipient doesn't get anything, or they get a notice saying they have a picture message and they can't pick it up. Or something else goes wrong.

I'm not doing anything esoteric here. I'm sending a picture message, a feature that's been on phones for three or four years now, from my stock Rogers phone to my friend's stock Rogers phone. I figure by now I've paid out four or five bucks for photos that went into oblivion. It's right in that sweet spot where it's not enough to be worth complaining about, but still enough to bug the crap out of you.

This should just work. Is it any wonder this hasn't gotten off the ground yet? Look how long it took text messaging to really pick up, and that's about 45 times more reliable. If a communication channel doesn't work at least 99% of the time it's virtually useless. Do you have to phone someone every time you send an email to make sure they got it? No, but I have to text my friends whenever I send a picture message.

I'd send Rogers a photo of my ass and ask them to kiss it, but that'd probably be another 50¢ down the toilet

Image courtesy of Seth W.

Oh yeah, you knew this was going to come up today. So today marks the anniversary of the day Hallmark (and, I presume, the flower industry) pulled off a bit of marketing genius and turned February 14 into yet another consumer orgy. Without lube.

Anyways, this is the first Valentine's Day I've been single since 2002. In fact, the 2002 one is the only one that really counts. Before that I was in the closet. And when you're in the closet, every day is like being single on Valentine's Day. Actually it's like every day your dog dies, you get fired from your job and then you get mugged on your way home. And on top of that it happens to be February 14 and you're single.

But I digress.

I'm actually not too broken up (teehee) about the whole deal. I mean, sure, it'd be nice to have someone. I love doing all that romantic crap. My first real Valentine's Day fell on a Friday, and I wired up Tavy's stereo to wake us up to "Friday I'm in Love." Those were the days.

But hey, nothing to complain about really. When I'm looking at my fourth consecutive single Valentine's Day I'll bitch. For now, I'm actually moderately comfortable being single.

It's sort of like being a consultant. Sure, I won't rack up as many hours as a staff member would. But I'm always visiting new "clients" and every "project" is unique. I get to do all the interesting work and leave all the boring stuff for the next guy.

And best of all, I get to charge an arm and a leg. Okay that part was a joke.

Image courtesy of everettt.com.

Screw you guys

Okay that's it, you're all on notice. That's right, yesterday was my one month blogaversary and nary a card, comment or blow job have been forthcoming.

On a serious note, it's been an interesting month. Since then I've had around 295 visitors and 427 page loads. Not too shabby Adam, not too shabby.

It just goes to show you, it doesn't matter what inane crap you write about on the Internet as long as you throw a funny illustration next to it and end with a snappy one-liner. In other words, you can slip in whatever you want as long as you finish off properly.

That's what she said.

Damn, I was doing so well. This weekend seemed like a slam dunk. Since I've been sick all week I thought it'd be easy to avoid going out. And it was. All week it was the last thing on my mind. And then something terrible happened.

I got better.

If I'd been sick just one more day I would've been home free. Where the hell is all that antibiotic-resistant bacteria when I need it?

Anyways, I went out to a bar Saturday night with a friend and had a decent time sober. Got home at 2 AM and went to bed. I set the alarm for 6 AM, got up, showered and headed you know where. It was funny, actually. I felt like such a fine, upstanding citizen walking down the street at 7:30 AM on a Sunday.

So I got there at 8 AM and started having a pretty good time. I figured I'd leave around four or so. Then it was five and I still didn't feel like leaving...Then one "sketch hour" later it was 9:30. And before I knew it was 2 AM. I was at the club for eighteen friggin' hours, smashing the sixteen hour record set the weekend before. I swear there's a rip in the space-time continuum in that dank basement of joy.

I had a blast, and I don't really regret it, but let's not make a habit of it, okay self? Regardless, a few lessons learned:

  • If you buy drugs in bulk to last you a few outings, you'll go out at every opportunity because in your mind you only have to pay for cover.
  • That mega-sketchy girl you remember from the first time you went to the Zone doesn't want to talk to you.
  • Don't lend your driver's license to somebody to crush up something, then forget about it and wander off.
  • Do take a picture of yourself with the sketchy bathroom attendant and show it to everyone.
  • People who would normally ignore you or be absolute pricks will turn sweet as sugar if you offer them gum.
  • Deko-ze is too busy when he's spinning to notice you blowing him kisses.
  • The club is way more fun in the late afternoon when there's actually room to dance.
  • Going out from 8 AM to 2 AM when you work at 9 is a bad idea, but you can pull it off if you really want to.
  • Of the people you'll meet in a night, at least half of the conversations will start in the bathroom.
That's all I can think of at the moment, but at least I didn't get gum in my armpit this time. Oh, and I can almost see my abs now. I've got washboard-mostly-immersed-in-water-but-still-barely-visible abs!

It'd probably be a good idea to take next weekend off, but unfortunately I've already bought my ticket for Rauhoffer, so that won't be happening. Looks like I'm going to have to go home the weekend after just to break the cycle.

So I'm at the club Sunday afternoon and I go to take off my shirt. I turn and there's a string of gum going from my armpit to the shirt. That's right, I got gum in my armpit. This raises two key questions:

  1. How the hell do you get gum in your armpit?
  2. Whose gum was it?
That's right, I didn't even get the consolation of knowing whose gum was stuck in my armpit hair.

I swear this crap only happens to me. Not only that, in my altered state I felt like going around and telling everyone. I was almost so excited to have the funny story that I was glad it happened. But in retrospect it was even more embarassing than the time I ran around Stereo with Kit Kat on my face for 90 minutes...and nobody told me.

They say when you club a lot the weekends start to blur together. Luckily for me there's always a minor disaster to make each one special.

Sometimes all it takes is one juicy, beautiful, GENIUS quote to take an old issue and put it back in the spotlight. That's exactly what US congressman Gary Ackerman did yesterday in a comment about their military's "don't ask don't tell" policy that lets them boot gays out at will:

For some reason, the military seems more afraid of gay people than they are against terrorists, but they're very brave with the terrorists. ... If the terrorists ever got a hold of this information, they'd get a platoon of lesbians to chase us out of Baghdad.
Of course this quote spread across the Internet like wildfire. Personally I don't find the idea too too scary...until I consider what would happen when their cycles got in sync. Now that's a bloodbath. I don't even want to think about the PMS.

As a former j-schooler I feel qualified to criticize those who were actually good enough to take up the craft. It helps me feel better about my college roommate being the Toronto correspondent for the New York Times.

So when, once in a while, I come accross a story where the reporter hasn't done his homework I call them on it...to myself. Like years ago, on CTV, there was a story about this study that showed that putting dogs in retirement homes cheered up old people. I can just imagine the meeting where they decided to cover this:

Reporter: "Breaking news boss, people like animals and we've got the science to prove it.

Editor: "My God! I'll warm up the chopper!"

Hey, kudos to the scientist who managed to get a big fat research grant to study this crap. But shame on the journalist for reporting it without a critical eye.

With that in mind take a look at this garbage. Allow me to pull out the most shocking revelations:

Yup, it's true. You can lie on the couch all day long, graze on snacks and still lose weight. That's right — no exercise required... Thing is, you'll have to reduce the calories you consume to lose that weight. And the less active you are, the more calories you'll have to cut.
This just in: your body burns a certain number of calories per day. If you burn more than you eat, you lose weight. If you eat more than you burn, you gain weight. You can increase what you burn with exercise or cut what you eat with diet. This is not news people. We've known this crap for decades, and the fact that this would surprise anyone is a sad reflection of the state of health education in our country. It gets worse further on:
Oh and don't bother doing specific exercises to target fat in certain parts of your body, either. Study says that doesn't work. You may get very good at doing sit-ups, for instance, but if you're taking in more calories than you're burning, those rock hard abs will still be covered by a layer of fat, if that's where it tends to gather on your body.
Wow, stop the presses. Of course you don't burn tummy fat by doing situps. Your body isn't like "oooh, he's using his stomach muscles, better use that tummy fat." Your arms would run out of energy pretty fast if they had to get it all from arm fat, wouldn't they? It's called the spot reduction myth and I can't believe people are still falling for it. Let's not even get into the fact that situps burn fewer calories than walking.

This whole obesity epidemic thing has caught my eye for a while. For me, it's hard to understand how that can happen to someone. But really, if people don't know these very basic facts about maintaining a healthy weight, whose fault is that? We have an education system for a reason, you know.

It reminds me of a scene from Super Size Me. This obese girl is attending a talk by Jared, the dude who lost a ton of weight thanks to Subway. She says she wants to lose weight, but can't afford to buy all those sandwiches. Because, you know, you can't make a sandwich at home or anything. It's not like they keep the ingredients a secret, you can see them all through the glass.

Anyways, if this "journalist" is anything like I was in j-school, he had a deadline coming, put it off too long, and had to come up with this lame crap to fill the space. But at least I wasn't getting paid.

I'm sure you're all wondering why I've suddenly disappeared off the face of the blogosphere. Well, turns out that when I hooked up this weekend I got more than just laid. I haven't been this sick in quite a long time. Seems like a high price to pay for sex.

So I missed work today. Really, I should've called in Tuesday and Wednesday too, but for some reason I felt so damn guilty even though I was actually sick. It's not because I'm particularly honest. Hell, at the bank I never used sick days when I was sick. If I was already miserable I might as well be at work, right? Why waste a sick day on being sick?

The thing is, my boss wouldn't care if I called in sick. She's so laid back that for some reason I don't want to take advantage of that. Even when I'm sick as a dog. It's kind of perverse really. I mean even if I weren't sick, we know everybody uses sick days as a sort of personal day, right? It's an unspoken agreement. Sometimes we just need a rest. Hell, I don't qualify for vacation until November people.

By the way, walk-in clinics suck. I really enjoyed my 3.5 minutes with the doctor. Way to earn your $200, ass-wipe. Makes me miss the smarmy British doctor from my hometown. At least he'd make a little small-talk first.

But in a way this is sort of a blessing. When you're sick, all your other problems seem smaller, less important, and entirely surmountable. Health is something you don't really appreciate until it's gone, and once it's back everything else is just gravy.

On the other hand, this happened literally seven days before my drug plan kicks in. You win this round, god!

I've lived in a lot of different places in my 24 years, and I can tell you that despite what many people say, Ottawa's not half bad. It does tend toward the conservative in many ways, but it has a very nice downtown, not too too expensive rent and is moderately friendly. The amenities are pretty good too. Lots of museums and cultural things.

But sometimes to get the really good stuff you just have to come to the big city:

Where else in Canada can you be a short walk away from a thetan test? It's as if L. Ron Hubbard blessed the city himself.

Oh how I adore Toronto, where even the fleeting desires of celebrity whack jobs are tended to at every opportunity. The tourism marketing practically writes itself.

So I was taking a look at the site stats today, as I often do, when I noticed a couple of anomalies. Normally my visitors are about 70% Windows 2003/XP and 30% Mac OS X. However, this time I was excited to see a Linux user. While I do the iBook thing I've been a big fan of Linux for a while now. But something else wasn't quite right.

Windows Me. One of my visitors was running Windows Me.

You don't have to be a tech guru to know that Me was, by far, the most horrific Windows version ever to spew from the code-developing bowels of Microsoft. Me was coming pre-installed on computers when I started first year university, so of course that's what everyone had, and it was a freaking nightmare. Non-stop problems.

You know that "clunk" sound old monitors make when they change resolutions or turn on? They make that when Windows blue screens too. One friend of mine was actually terrified of the sound, to the point that she jumped when she heard it, because Me crashed so much. Now she'll forever associate it with lost documents and wasted time. They didn't nickname it Windows Mistake Edition for nothing.

Anyways the bottom line is: if you're browsing this site with Windows Me, you're going to be seeing a lot of this:

If you are this poor Georgia soul I want to help you. I swear, give me the money and I'll catch a Greyhound over there and install Windows 2000 on your computer. Hell, even better, me and my Linux buddy will mail you a Linux CD and walk you through the setup. With my help you'll be able to think of blue without trembling in fear!

Truth in marketing is tough to find these days. When they're not outright lying to you they're either stretching the truth, exaggerating, or glazing over the bad spots. But don't worry, our good friends at Equality are on our side with...process cheese product.

That's right. I was at my local grocery store the other day and had a hunkering for Cheese Whiz. Being a starving wannabe student I went straight for the generic, most honestly named product I have ever encountered. I can just imagine the meeting where they finalized the name for this thing. Somewhere out there a high-paid exec thinks this was a great idea. Right off the top of my head I can think of four snappier names:

  • Cheese Zip
  • Cheesetastic!
  • Cheese Louise
  • Cheesus Christ
Okay, admittedly those all kind of suck. But I don't make $150,000 a year, it took me 30 seconds, and they're still better.

Deep down, I hope this is the start of a new trend. After all, wouldn't it be easier to shop for a car if one of the options was a Ford Crapbox? Would you still go to McDonald's if they named the Big Mac the Artery Sludge?

Consumer advocacy groups should really be pushing for stuff like this. After all, if companies refuse to give things that are bad for us disgusting names, how can we be expected to make the right choices?

PS The other shocking thing about this product: the first ingredient is actually cheese, and it's not spelled with a "z"!

Line: crossed

Those of you who've known me for a few years know I have a habit of occasionally going over the line. Pretty much every close friend I've ever had has been mega-pissed at me at some point for taking a joke too far. The funny thing is, I never see it coming until that look of rage washes over their visage.

So that's why I was surprised to get a Facebook message from an old aquiantance about one of my posts. Before I quote him, take a look at what I wrote.

At the time, I didn't think much of it at all. I was too busy trying to be clever and witty. Now, here's what my acquaintance had to say:

Now, speaking as a fat ass (though not one who has been to the gym in a while), I feel I must explain. Anyone with a 40+ waist is not oblivious to our disgustingness, but we do enjoy forgetting about it for a while. Lifting weights is a nice form of exercise to get people moving and strength-building. Cardio is essential, yes, but if you have a 40+ waist it is going to sloshing around in a frightening way and drawing even more attention to ourselves (which is even worse if the eyes looking at us are attractive guys and girls). Plus, if your a fast ass, it's damn uncomfortable to have your girth slapping around. Imagine getting on a running machine carrying two or three sacks of potatoes inside your clothes that have been mashed. It's not fun. And it kills your joints.

My fat ass gets about 2 hours of cardio through walking every day (that's not counting walking around to get places and errands - it's a 2 hour dedicated walk), but I've still got a 40+ waist. I have excellent blood pressure and circulation, but I simply eat too much to loose weight.

Yes, we allowed ourselves to get this size, but at least this fat ass is in a gym and not at McDonalds.

Have a little sympathy and compassion for the fat ass. It's not easy bringing youself into a space with fit people all around, and their disapproving glances do nothing to encourage us. If being fit was a prerequisite for going to a gym, they should do us all a favour and tell us so.
First of all, he gets kudos for saying his part with a degree of tact that I often lack. You can tell he's spent some time in journalism school, that's for sure.

If there's something I am definitely guilty of, it's that I didn't even consider how my post would make an overweight person feel. And if I'm going to write something that might hurt other people, I should at least put some thought into it first.

Now as for whether it's practical for an overweight person to do cardio, there are elliptical machines and exercise bikes that will take it easy on the joints. I guess what I was trying to get across was that if you're going to put all that time into self-improvement, why not take the route that would bring the most benefit? Of course, if I'd phrased it like that I wouldn't be in this predicament. So while I stand by the point I was trying to make, I am prepared to publicly apologize for the way I said it, especially the "disgustingness" remark.

So, my seven or so daily readers, what do you think? Did I cross the line? Was this apology enough or should I have repented the whole thing?

One more sign of the apocalypse:

Sleep medicine experts have successfully treated a rare case of a woman having sex with strangers while sleepwalking.

The behaviour had disrupted the lives of the woman and her partner. At night while asleep, the middle-aged sleepwalker - who lives in Australia and cannot be identified for reasons of confidentiality - left her house and had sexual intercourse with strangers. The behaviour continued for several months and the woman had no memory of her nocturnal activities.

Circumstantial evidence, such as condoms found scattered around the house, alerted the couple to the problem. On one occasion, her partner awoke to find her missing, went searching for her and found her engaged in the sex act.
There are a few VERY IMPORTANT questions that come to mind:
  • Who were the guys she was sleeping with?
  • How did she seduce them in her sleep?
  • Perhaps most importantly, did they know she was asleep?
Quite frankly the journalist's job is to anticipate the kind of questions that the reader is going to ask, and I'm very disappointed that the writer failed to include these tawdry details. I know that people who are sleepwalking can appear to be conscious and even carry on a conversation, but they don't talk about this at all. I'd really like to know more about what the hell was going on.

On a brighter note, it is encouraging that even while sleepwalking she was smart enough to use a condom! You know your safe sex campaign is successful when people practice it even when they're unconscious.

Anyways, if I had to do something in my sleep I'd take sex over eating or murdering any day. Still, it sort of takes the Coyote Ugly thing to a whole new level, doesn't it?

Back in the ghetto

So for the first time since the summer I now have a permanent place to hang my hat. As a bonus, my rent is cheaper than it was in Ottawa and I get to wake up to this view:


Of course this all comes at a price.

I have to share the apartment with two other people. Not just any people, but strangers I met off of craigslist. This is moderately terrifying as I've never done the move-in-with strangers-thing before. The live-with-a-close-friend-thing and the-live-with-your-boyfriend things went pretty well, but needless to say it's a pretty big risk.

The thing is, they seem kind of...innocent. Which is good, in a way. They'll keep me out of trouble. I do wonder how they'll react when they find out where I'm going this weekend, though.

Oh and I also live in the most densely populated neighborhood in the country. Yes, lovely St. Jamestown with over 25,000 people in a square mile. Some people call it an urban planning nightmare. I'm going to be calling it home. Still, I have to admit, the collection of 30+ story buildings is more than a little Orwellian.

People warned me about living here. They said it was unsafe, and so forth. But those of you who've known me a long time know that this is far from my first time living in sketchy surroundings. Hell, based on what I've seen so far it's not even that bad. And budget living in Toronto requires sacrifices.

Of course it's not perfect. The elevator is essentially an unfunny clown car, where you have to squish your way in if you have any hope of getting anywhere. And just when you think it's completely full, someone new will squeeze their way on at the next stop. While moving one woman informed me that if I waited for an elevator with room to breathe I'd be waiting all day.

But I'm reserving judgment for now. It remains to be seen whether this neighbourhood is as bad as it's made out to be. My craigslist buddies don't seem to scared so I'm cautiously optimistic. The location is good, the rent is great, the view is unbeatable and I have a kitchen sink. Let it never be said that I lack optimism!