General Madness

Category: General Madness

The day to day.

New Shit Has Come to Light

Apologies for the absence of recent blog posts, and especially installment 2 of the notably popular Nickname Origins (it’s coming, i promise). It’s not for lack of writing and posting. In fact i’ve been doing both, along with creating another online business. Allow me to explain.

As many of you know, i’ve spent the past ten or so years working in the design and print fields, only to finally leave the claustrophobic and stunted environment of my last official job. I figured there was an easier, cheaper, and more convenient way to provide most of the popular retail print services offered (business cards, postcards, brochures, flyers), while utilizing the superior quality of press printing, so i set out to create a website that offers just that.

Full Colour Cards is my latest endeavour, allowing clients to easily upload print-ready files, place an order for full colour, double-sided, offset printing, and have it drop shipped directly to their doorstep. I’ll save you all the gory (read: awesome) details here, but if you (or any of your colleagues) are in need of some high quality printing at some sweet price points, please drop me a line.

As far as writing goes, i have finally joined the weird and wonderful Tumblr universe. I’ve posted samples of existing pieces, along with new, Tumblr-inspired creations, with the intent of assembling a collection for publication, traditional or otherwise. It’s currently entitled Eat, Drink, & Do Mary, and contains much ridiculousness on girls, booze, sex, bars, dreams, quotes, tunes, and flicks. It can get a little slutty. Check it out if you like, and if you’re on Tumblr, maybe consider following along if you don’t deem it total shit.

Good talk. See you out there.

Nickname Origins: Metal Chris to Vaggleupagus in 15 Easy Moves

MetalIt has often been said that to run with our crew, you must be assigned and actively maintain a nickname, or series of names, as the crew sees fit to develop, morph and advance it accordingly. Some stick, and some fade away, but most, as we are about to find out, are permanently forged into the Annals of Nickname Infamy. The Captain, Jackie, El Rosa, Power Fog, JT, Ham Sandwich, Mitch Barker, Slippery, Killer, Gay, Mulligus, and many more are used in conversations and contact lists as if they were given names handed down by god herself. I’ve received wedding invitations and panties addressed to S. Fairmont. JT has his own bobblehead. Mulligus has so many names that no one knows who the fuck we’re talking about.

Over a jug or seven last Sunday, while waiting for some football game to start, a few of the fellas and i took it upon ourselves to attempt to brainstorm on the mother of all nickname owners; friend of the show Chris Sherk. If not for the advent of the book of faces, i’d bet dollars to Dave’s nuts that few of us would even know that. Well, there was that one time back at the Palace when i heard it screamed over and over at top volume, “Chris Sherk! Chris Sherk!!” I think it was followed up with something like, “Take off that fucking toque!” But i digress. Read more

The “really tied the chili together” Chili

Up until this evening, i had a brand new, still in the box, untouched 4 qt. oval slow cooker sitting in the bottom of my cupboard, providing support for some boxes of pretzel snacks. Not emotional support, although i’m sure they could use it due to my propensity for eating those things, but physical, i’ve been glued to this spot since Christmas 2009 support. For reasons i’ll reduce to availability of canned goods, a big-ass (well, medium-ass) cooker and the craving for a hearty, reusable meal, i decided to pull it all out and see what type of chili concoction i could come up with. As with all of my cooking endeavours, there are no definitive plans as to what will end up in the meal, quantities of ingredients to be used, or how long it will be cooked for. That’s for amateurs, dude. Also, can you really fuck up a chili? Here’s what i ended up with. I gotta say it turned out to be pretty durned tasty, which is amazing since i’m gonna be eating it clear through next Tuesday.

The "really tied the chili together" Chili

2 cans red kidney beans
1 can chick peas
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1/3 chopped red onion
o.5 kg lean ground beef
1 packet tomato vegetable soup mix
sweet chili & pepper seasoning
garlic powder
montreal steak spice
ground pepper
bbq sauce & mustard

The preparation is retardedly simple. Put everything except the beef into the cooker. Add sauces and seasonings as you see fit. I like it hotter, so more pepper, mustard and spices for me. Fire up the cooker on high and put the lid on. Now you can brown the beef in a separate frying pan, then add it to the cooker with the rest of the stuff. I left it on high for a couple hours, then switched to low for another 4ish hours. I’m sure you could do the whole thing on low and leave it for the day if you had, you know, somewhere to be.

Where the magic happened here i think, was with the corn and the soup mix. They really tied the chili together. Other things i would have chucked in, had new shit come to light, would have been some chopped green/red peppers and some type of hot sauce. My bbq sauce/mustard combo served as my hot sauce substitute. I suppose you could also leave out the beef and go veggie if you’re one’a them types, but that would be like, your opinion, man.
Serves: a shit-ton.

Sex Card

I noticed a call for reader submissions on the subject of People I Never Intended to Sleep With on, a pop culture/sex/relationship site that i like to check out. They do this a fair bit, but i never really thought to submit anything up until recently, when ‘sex card’ story suddenly came to mind. I figured i’d pull something together and send it in, for shits. They ended up using it as one of 5 pieces, which is pretty cool. I’m sure it’ll get shredded to bits in the comments section, as most everything online does, but fuck it, it’s up! Here’s the edit that appears online, and below is my original submission, minus the Billy Joel quote, which is fantastic and very piece-appropriate. Cool to see how they edited it, however slightly.

“There’s nothing better than good sex. But bad sex? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than bad sex.” – Billy Joel

She was always just kinda ‘there’; a friend of friends, hanging around with the crew. Nice enough, but meek and not initially captivating; adequately cute in a tomboy pixie, always the bridesmaid never the bride kind of way. She had a thing for me that was surely not reciprocated, or so I thought. We partook in the usual slate of post-college pre-job activities, including pot luck dinners, cheap red wine, marijuana cigarettes and mining a Bob Marley box set for the choice nugs. This usually involved our full group, but over several months slowly devolved into a group of two.

I started to really enjoy her company, but it never escalated to anything more intimate than a shared joint. The chill environment allowed her to be a little more open, and we had some engaging conversations about past relationships, future plans and the dismal state of pop music (Savage Garden and NSYNC were charting at the time).  Perhaps i should have seen it coming, but honestly thought we were on the same platonic page. Read more

Dudeism: Just Taking It Easy, Man

Dudeist Priest - Certificate of OrdinationOn the eve of one of the great events in the semi-brief yet storied history of The Big Lebowski, i decided to dust off the old Dudeist priest ordination and ruminate on the profound simplicity of Dudeism, the Dude, taking it easy and the whole durned human comedy. The catalyst in question would be the current Lebowski Fest New York, which includes the largest lead cast reunion to date, the Blu-Ray release of the film and Jeff Bridges’ new album debut.

It’s hard to fathom the cultural phenomenon that has surfaced and perpetuated around The Big Lebowski, with numerous books, fests, documentaries, (in)action figures, clothing lines, websites and even a religion all coming to light within the 13 years since it’s 1998 theatrical release. The fact that the movie didn’t even draw water until subsequent midnight screenings, followed by it’s appearance on video & DVD makes it even more stupefyin’. But perhaps it’s not as hard to believe as you’d first think.

Much of the Dude’s dialogue is composed of mantras for the deeply casual, or as it’s stated in the Coen brothers’ original script, the ‘rumpled look and relaxed manner suggest a man in whom casualness runs deep.’ Aphorisms such as ‘just take it easy, man’, ‘ah, fuck it’ and the paramount ‘the Dude abides’ all provide the necessary means for, necessary means for navigating the strikes and gutters of daily existence, allowing you to roll your way into the semis. These mantras take root in some of the world’s oldest philosophies and religions, including Taoism and The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzo, which shares the ethos of just taking it easy and going with the proverbial flow. It now has a Dudeist interpretation for our time and place called, appropriately, The Dude De Ching. Read more