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On Björk's Kickstarter Comes Up $565,374 Short

Doesn't this woman have enough money to buy the island nation of Mbawanga and use it for thought experiments on banded armadillos?

It's like George Michael cruising the Tenderloin and hustling sleeping, grizzled transients for the rest of what they have in their beer cans.

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 8:11 am 0

On I Want To Know What's Wrong With Being An Internet Troll

I thought it was pretty cool to post a blow-by-blow account of an entire trip in Economy, with all the worthless little details only you ever think you're thinking, but are wrong, everyone else is thinking exactly the same thing as you just that they never post about it.

Let me tell you, it's really miserable sometimes being alone on those long flights. Believe me, I know. My son lives in Japan and I live in Montreal, so if I want to go see him, I'm going to be doing a lot of what Henry was doing. You wouldn't believe the difference between 9 hours and 14 hours in Economy. But I'd love to have Henry sitting beside me, because then we could have a bialogue instead of the monologue I usually have with myself, making exactly the same observations that Henry did, (which I'd love to, except that I don't have access to my own online business magazine and an audience of 723,978 regular readers). Usually I prefer videoing these things -- (http://www.montrealfood.com/blogvideos/firstjapan.mpg , in which I inadvertently get bumped to Business Class on Air Canada with my 5-year-old son, on an 11-hour flight from Vancouver to Osaka).

I'll mail you a camcorder, Henry, for your next trip, if you promise to video it and then mail it back.

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm 0

On Name That Last Meal

@mathnet How are you supposed to pronounce "Oooooh"? Is it "Oh" except long and drawn out, or is it "Ooooooooooo"? The way you wrote it makes me think you wanted to give him a blow job.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 11:02 am 0

On Name That Last Meal

@Mr. B I wonder if Ted Bundy's last victim is making you horny.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 11:00 am 0

On Literally The Worst Word On The Planet

There are certain things in the English language that you simply have to give up on. When you read even century-old English, you come across words used in such strange ways that if you aren't used to reading Brontë, for example, will seem completely wrong, like the use of the word "perfect." "Perfect" didn't used to mean "Flawless" or "Error-free" as we use it now; it used to mean something like "incredible" as in "a perfect shower of musket-shot." And the word "must" and "should" ("I should be most obliged, sir") are used completely differently today. Who's to say whether they're being used correctly?

One usage which I've given up struggling against is the use of the word "none." None, is, of course, a contraction of not one, or even no one, so if you said "Not one were injured" it would sound strange. But "None were injured" sounds perfectly normal, whereas nowadays "None was injured" just sounds plain wrong -- but it isn't. It's like hearing "He's no better at it than I" sounds weird, until you realize that it's short for "He's no better at it than I am," not "He's no better at it than me am."

Like the egregious misuse of "you and I" in songs: "This love was meant for you and I" blah blah blah. It was meant for I, was it? Or was it meant for me?

But there must come an end to NITTY nitpicking. Some things, you just have to give up on, or you end up with sentences like "This is something up with which I shall not put." Hey, it's the CORRECT way to say it, but you'd be condemned if you actually said or wrote it.

I've given up on a lot of things (though I don't use them myself) like the ultra-common Americanism "Where's the keys?" (I don't think the Canucks or the Brits do that too much) and, yes, even though I know it's wrong, I say "None of them were to blame," knowing that 95 percent of English speakers would have no idea that that was wrong.

A pet peeve I have is the phrase "short-lived" being pronounced as "short-livvved" instead of the correct "short-lyved" as in "life" "lived." If you look at it logically, it means having a short life, not having a short live. But *sigh* only about 0.000001% of people know that, and about 0.00000000001% of people would care anyway.

So sometimes -- not ALL the time, but sometimes -- you just have to go with the flow. I literally use "literally" EXACTLY in the mistaken manner the author scolds -- but to me it's just become another meaningless expression that has become stuck in modern vernacular, and as long as my fellow grammar Nazis don't object, we might as well (may as well?) let it be.

But one thing (two things?) that will NEVER get under my radar are its and it's. Somehow, that NEVER FAILS to infuriate me. Its really a question of it's misuse, but as long as it doesn't get to the level of "Great Hot Dog's" I'm jiggy with it.

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm 0

On What Does A Pack Of Cigarettes Cost In Each State Now?

Could you do the same for Canada and maybe the rest of the world? Or could someone point me to a site where I could see this? Tanks!

Posted on June 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm 0

On What Does A Pack Of Cigarettes Cost In Each State Now?

A PACK(!!!!!!!!!!) of cigarettes costs $12.50 in New York?????? My GOD, I thought you were talking about CARTONS.

I gave up smoking (I was an ultra-heavy smoker) when I was 25 years old back in 1983 A PACK cost 60 cents! I believe a carton (of 200) was about $6.40.

Wow . . . that works out to 60 cents a cigarette more or less, in Good Ol' NY. Well, GOOD FOR THEM, says I. At those prices, Daddy would have to give you a great allowance if you were to take up the habit at 12 years old. Too bad all the Indians (that's what they're still called up here in Canada -- not "Native Canadians!") undercut everybody and sell the cancer sticks for so cheap. By God, if they would only make tobacco illegal and make pot legal, hundreds of billions of Medicare dollars wouldn't be shelled out for the monstrous diseases tobacco causes.

I stopped drinking 5 months ago after a nasty 35-year habit, so it would be nice to see a bottle of Popov vodka retail for $350 . . .

Posted on June 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm 1

On A Drynuary Diary: Week Four, The Wettening

@sevanetta

I know these guys know what I'm saying -- they seem like pretty smart cookies. It's just that I'm trying to communicate the almost hilarious seriousness of my position, namely, after the party's over and all the revellers have gone home. Because then you're just left with your bottle, and no amount of euphemisms will make everything all right. I also know I'm preaching to the choir, but I like to think that I'm an older choirboy telling the youngun's just what they're in for.

Alcohol (and for that matter, any other mood-altering chemical) has such profoundly different effects on each of us that literally, each one of us is a "one-in-a-million" diagnosis waiting to happen. How else does that explain my sister's penchant for cocaine when, like it though I do, can give it up in a heartbeat without a single backward glance but she can't? MY SISTER.

Still, I feel like these guys' open and honest approach -- not discounting a hefty dose of humor, which seems to be sadly lacking in the 12-step world -- is a real step towards tackling something that's gotten the better of three-quarters or so of humanity over, oh, the last 500,000 years.

Lucky you, not being able to tolerate alcohol. Anyone wanting to join my tiny force, feel free to email me at nick@montrealfood.com for an invite to my tiny support site . . . again, not looking to change the world, just one drink at a time.

Posted on January 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm 0

On A Drynuary Diary: Week Four, The Wettening

Hey dudes,

Congratulations, but you should know a couple of things. I'm assuming you're under thirty . . . well, it's just a feeling I get. Anyway, you've inspired me to get my own little group together. I've made a website and everything for us -- it's just a handful of friends, one relative . . . but the premise is that we're all going to stop drinking February 1st. There are no rules, no promises -- each to his own, but all sort of "supervised" by me.

The difference is between us and you -- and here is where you should start to pay attention -- is we're all above 50 years old. We've all been tossing them back for at least three decades. Daily.

I hate to sound old, but when I was thirty, you just didn't admit you drank every day. It was at the same time an accepted thing to do, but also completely taboo. You could never admit you drank every single day of every year -- no exceptions. If you did, you were sick.

I realise I'm in lecture territory now, but I would like to pass on a word or two that you might have overlooked. It may seem fun and odd to quit drinking for a month, an adventure, if you will, but one day -- trust me on this -- it will not seem like a crazy, interesting experiment. One day, it will become, for some of us, a deadly serious life-or-death scenario.

I've come through relatively unscathed -- seizures only once, incredibly fatty liver, no, repeat no DUIs, but many things have escaped me because I decided not to not drink. And apparently, my small gang of fifty-somethings -- all incredibly smart people, have come to the same conclusion.

If I could somehow be in your place and go back and be you, I'd kind of ditch the humor and really take advantage of the chance to control it instead of letting it control you.

I haven't been a stumbling drunk all of my life, but I've always had a reputation, wherever I went, as a "big drinker." Relationships haven't died because of it, but then again, maybe they have. I'll never know.

But my advice to you across the years, would be: do your best. You don't have to drink forever. Not drinking at all is a very wise choice. The pressure to drink is huge -- tell me about it, the son of a four martini lunch drinker.

Again, no lectures . . . just listen to someone who's on the other side of your future and consider carefully what your options are. Fuck "sobriety". I despise all the negative words associated with alcohol . . . on Tuesday I won't be beginning my "sobriety." I'll just be trying to go somewhere I haven't been in thirty years, and I'll always wish I'd done it thirty years earlier.

Thanks, dudes, for inspiring me, and through me, inspiring others. But consider your own futures as well. If I were where you sat right now, I'd continue Drynuary indefinitely.

I really would.

Posted on January 28, 2012 at 8:05 pm 0

On My Three-Month Facebook Dialogue With A Scammer From Malaysia Pretending To Be A Beautiful Woman

@kenstee Yeah, he was around years ago. I'd do the same thing with some of these guys but it takes a lot of time and effort and in the end only you end up caring and the dude will just start fishing for other suckers. Doesn't even put a pinhead of a dent in their scamming efforts.

And there's no point in trying a sense of humor -- they don't have any.

Posted on January 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm 0