Saturday, January 28, 2006


Let's see...I can play percussion, you have a guitar, my neighbour plays viola and hey - doesn't that other guy over there have a bassoon? I know - let's start a band!

And they did.

It's crazy, it's all original, it's smart, it's genre-defying, it's incredibly compelling. I've been listening to their newest album 'lantern' all day, and I can't get enough.

Their sister-band 'the books', who do similarly cool, SMART tunes with more digital and sampled stuff, are playing at Lee's in May. Anyone want to join me?

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Okay, I know that my present-train doesn't technically roll around for another year or so and I also know that less than a month ago I was righteously spoiled by friends and loved ones, but I can't help it.

I want one.

Monday, January 09, 2006


That darn roro has done it again - but seeing as how I skipped the last tag, I feel sort of honour-bound to reply to this one. 'Sides, I do weird things, this should be easy.

Hear ye, hear ye - 5 weird things about me. Although, as roro said, "what I consider weird, others might consider repulsive, obsessive compulsive or merely embarrassing." To that list I would like to add "plain stupid". Ahem:

1. Socks. I hate 'em. More specifically, I hate the seams that run along the toes. What MADMAN thought that was a good idea? It used to take me hours to get my shoes on when I was a kid (and boots people - I grew up in northern Ontario and Manitoba!). My poor parents. Luckily I learned to verbalize pretty darn quick. "Sock! Wong! Fix!"

2. I dig trashy novels. The very trashiest. Not even those John Grisham-esque crime novels, which at least use bigger words than "gown" and "rebel" and (sigh) "honour". That's right, I'm talking Harlequin romances, people. Better yet historical romances. I could suck back two of 'em in a lazy Saturday afternoon with nary a bed-head hair out of place--and there's an entire mostly-hidden bottom shelf on my bookcase as evidence. But come on, is there any better escape than pure trash? I think not. Then again, maybe it's just the juxtaposition of my bedhead, pyjamas and toast crumbs with the lofty, ridiculous romance. I know I'm not an idiot - I stand by my choices. But not enough to read them on the streetcar.

3. Stuffed animals. Got no use for them. There is one solitary stuffed thing in my apartment, and that's a Mr. Henke, the Christmas Poo. And listen up, PaGa - he was a present from my Aunt, so I don't care how grody you think he is, he's sticking around for a while yet. Sticking around...ewww...

4. The single solitary object of furniture I dream of buying when I can afford it (and more importantly, have space for it) is a big huge kitchen table. I don't want anything particularly fancy, I just want something I can cram ten or so of my friends around for vicious games of spoons or scrabble or some other game that starts with "s".

5. It takes me a really long time to wake up in the morning. If I want to get anything along the lines of ironing or breakfast or lunch-making done, on TOP of the usual bathing stuff, I have to give myself at least two hours. I'd say a good 50 minutes of those hours are spent just spacing out (a la office space), but I digress. One morning last week I snuck down into the basement of my building in my underwear because I'd left my pants in the dryer the night before. I didn't realize 'til I was halfway there that these were COMMUNAL halls I was traipsing through ...thank god the dudes who live upstairs were nowhere to be seen.

There you have it. Whoa crazy. Can you handle it. So now I tag - cupcake,andromachebrie, amigos (perhaps a combined effort?) and hairstick gal. No pressure folks, but I know you're all freaks who are DYING to share your freakiness with the three other people who read my blog. Bring it. It's so already broughten.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

what a nightmare

I just got an email from someone. We're not best friends or anything, but we worked at the same volunteer gig for a couple of weeks every year for the past five or so. She's great - interesting, smart, involved in the arts. I look forward to catching up with her every year.

Anyway, I think the email she sent is appalling. I'm going to cut and paste it in its entirety at the end of this paragraph so you can read it for yourselves. It's not just the fact that I disagree with the political content of the message (although I most certainly do), it's that I can't believe someone whose intelligence I respect sent what is essentially a piece of pure rhetoric, and cites it as the thing that 'pushed her off the fence' in regard to her vote. (SaHi, maybe you and your media literacy ways have changed me forever.) I disagree with anyone who choses to vote Conservative in the upcoming election - but if that decision is an educated one, based on a comparison of party platforms etc, I can certainly respect it. I don't want to tell people which party they should vote for - I want to reach into peoples' brains and make them THINK for THEMSELVES.

READ CAREFULLY - THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!Check out the date and time at the end of this e-mail. You decide!
SOMETHING WORTH THINKING ABOUTHello.My name is Alan Robberstad I am a Canadian. One voter out ofmillions of Canadian voters.Paul Martin is no friend of mine. Liberal governments have notmade my life any better. Liberal governments have made the future worse for my children.Jean Chretien and the Liberal Party became Prime Minister manyyears ago. Guess who was the Liberal Finance Minister.....PaulMartin...LEST WEFORGET Since 1993:(1) My taxes have increased.(2) My family's share of the national debt has increased.(3) My personal expenses have increased.(4) My waiting time to see a doctor has increased.(5) My concerns for my family's safety have increased.(6) My costs to educate my children have increased.(7) Government interference in my life has increased.(8) My personal debt has increased.(9) My income has stayed more or less the same.(10) My savings have decreased.(11) The buying power of my dollar, in Canada, has decreased.(12) The value of my dollar, in the U.S., has decreased.(13) My trust of elected officials has decreased.(14) My trust in the justice system has decreased.(15 )My trust in the immigration system has decreased.(16) My hope that a Liberal won't waste my tax dollars has decreased.(17 )My dreams for a better future for my kids, in Canada, have disappeared.That is my story since the Liberals came to power.I am not voting for Paul Martin's Liberals. I am voting against Paul Martin and his Liberal Party on June 28, 2004.I am voting for Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party.Do I like the Conservatives? Not particularly......I don't really like Politics. I am not political by nature. I am not passionate about politics. I am a middle age guy (48). I live in a small house on a fairly quiet street in Edmonton. I have a wife, Kathy, and two children (ages 19 and 17). I have no pets. I am a middle class man. I don't usually say too much.Until now.Now I am going to say something!In 35 of the past 37 years, Canada has been ruled by:(1) Pierre Trudeau - a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec.(2) Brian Mulroney - a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec.(3) Jean Chretien - a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec.(4) And now we are going to vote for Paul Martin???? -a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec???The leader of the Conservative party, Stephen Harper, is:(1) Not a lawyer.(2) Not a multi-millionaire.(3) Not from Quebec.Stephen Harper says that the Conservative party will:(1) Reduce my taxes.(2) Pay off the national debt as fast as they can.(3) Shrink the size and influence of the federal government.That's good enough for me. I'm going to give the Conservative party a chance with my vote.But wait! Paul Martinis now saying the same thing. My mother told me forty years ago: "Fool me once - shame on you. Fool me twice - shame on me!"The Liberals have had 34 years to be financially responsible. Remember, Jean Chretien was Trudeau's Finance Minister. Remember also, Paul Martin was Jean Chretien's Finance Minister These people have been raising my taxes for thirty four years. They have been mis-spending my tax dollars for 34 years.......34 years!And now Paul Martin says he'll stop taxing and spending. No way.Thank you for reading my story so far!Why am I telling my story to you?Although I feel alone, I know that I am not alone. Your story may be similar to mine. And you may also feel alone. One small voter in the midst of millions of voters.What can you and I do together to change things?Here is my idea: Lets you and I join up together. Just you and I. Together. As a small team of two.How can you and I fight a huge political machine?You and I have two things that we can use:(1) Our individual personal connections.(2) The Internet.The Internet is supposed to be this global zing tool, right? Let's put it to use.I have 27 Canadians in my personal e-mail address book. I am sending this e-mail to each of them.I'm asking you to do two things:(1) Forward this e-mail to every Canadian in your own address book.(2) Vote against Paul Martin and the Liberal Party on June 28.Vote for the Conservative candidate in your riding.I have probably written this e-mail too late. As I said I am not politically adroit. I feel like Peter Finch, in the 1976 movie "Network", when he shouted: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Please, forward the e-mail RIGHT NOW!!As I type these last few words the voting begins in less than 18 days.432 hours till voting begins. I hope the Internet is as fast as some people claim it is.This may not work. This e-mail may "fizzle out" and go nowhere. But you and I will have tried, won't we have?My best wishes to you. My best wishes to Canadians everywhere.My thanks to David Stokes from Toronto He actually wrote this just (5) days before the last federal election in 2000.Fool me once - shame on you. Fool me twice - shame on me!"Alan Robberstad Edmonton, Alberta June 10, 2004@ 3:00 p.m