2006 Edmonton Fringe Festival

My favourite time of the year is here. I am not really a “summer” person. I don’t camp, I don’t go to the lake. But I do love the Fringe Festival. I haven’t posted on here for awhile (post Stanley Cup trauma) but I figured this was good topic to get going again.

For those that aren’t familiar the Edmonton Fringe Festival is a theatre festival. Roughly 160 plays are staged in 13 theatres over 11 days. Entries are completely unjuried, there is a lottery system to get your play in. Anyone can submit a work which means that some plays are fantastic and some are total clunkers. The Edmonton festival is the largest Fringe festival in North America and second largest in the world.

Attending plays can be intimidating if you are not a Fringe veteran. The fan favourite plays sell out early and frankly the festival itself has gotten somewhat cliquish. It can be difficult for the casual fan to wander down to the site and see the play they read about in the paper.

So I am going to give you a head start. If you go see one play this year, go see the Pajama Men. Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen are phenominally talented. They have been to the Edmonton Fringe before as the group Sabotage. There is no drama here, just flat out hilarious comedy. They won the Best Duo award at the Edinburgh Fringe (the largest Fringe of them all) last year and are possibly going to get a West End how in London England. If you are lucky, you might get to hear “the funniest joke in the whole world”. Even if you don’t these guys will not disappoint. If you do find them unfunny, it is your fault, not theirs. Continue reading “2006 Edmonton Fringe Festival”

Zidane, again

I don’t mean to dwell on the Zidane thing, but allow me to relate a conversation I overheard today:

Coworker (to third party): Yeah, well your mother’s a terrorist.
Befuddled Minion: What do you mean by that?
Coworker: Well, you remember the guy at the World Cup, who lost it and headbutted another guy?  Biggest game of his life and he blows it.  Turns out the guy he butted called his mother a terrorist.
Befuddled: That’s so funny.

No it’s not. It’s a racist slur.  I don’t care if you don’t know that Zidane is the son of Algerian parents. Calling your mother a terrorist is not funny, and in this case was hateful.  Of course, Zidane said this didn’t happen, as did Matarrazi, so it’s a dead issue.  But I really wanted to reach over my cubicle wall and throttle this person.  Urgh.

While we’re posting videos…

If you didn’t watch the World Cup final yesterday, here is a link to Zidane’s head-butt:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o2UDltZ4vk 

What is FIFA going to do to deal with all of the diving and unsportsmanlike play? I think that they may have a problem with the penalty system. As with all other aspects of life, I think you can compare the situation to hockey. In hockey you have different levels of penalties: minor penalties (including bench minors), major penalties, match penalties, ten-minute misconducts, game misconducts, and suspensions.

In soccer,  you only have free kicks, penalties, yellow & red cards. Obviously, the referees don’t want to card if they don’t have to, so that means the players get away with a lot. If the officials had more “half-measure” type penalties, that might reduce the diving.

By the way, best head-butt ever. The Italian looked like he took a chest full of buckshot.

Best Conrad Black quote ever

Said US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (quoted here):

Lord Black’s assets mysteriously increase in value without his knowledge, his debts diminish overnight, his business partners want to give him millions of dollars he never even realized he was owed, and he is able to take all the accolades for charitable contributions from a $3.1-million foundation, despite claiming no direct or indirect control over the foundation’s assets.

Is it the best quote ever (at the very least, the best quote ever to appear in the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business), or just a touch of schadenfreude?

Slackin’

Good lord, it’s been almost three months since the last post.  I guess we’re all busy…

We have a new contributor, Mike.  Mike is an old friend and while as much of a hockey nut as Aaron and Garth, can actually write about non-hockey topics once in a while. 🙂 

On that note, it should come as no surprise that pontificate.ca is a diehard Oiler fan, through good times and bad.  I have not had a chance to poll my co-authors, but the workplace assessment is that Roloson’s injury is a staged method for giving him a day off, and throwing off the Hurricanes.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.

I love that word Reform

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the gag order issued by the PMO to his cabinet. (If not, you can read about it here.)

Before the whole Reform/PC merger, I was staunchly behind the Progressive Conservatives. I felt that they had the best mix of respect for the individual while at the same time staying out of the way of the market and protecting our important social programs. During unite the right discussions, I had often felt that there was a positive alternative to the Liberals out there, and Preston Manning killed it.

To make a long story short, I hated the Reform Party and the small minds that ran it. I felt their “grassroots” orientation was fatally flawed and their seemingly stong desire to give a strong voice to the religious right made me downright ill.

That said, I had respect for one plank of the party, and that was the idea of democratic reform. Not necessarily recall, but we need to update our Parliament to the 21st century. And I thought that Harper had campaigned on that as one of his principles. This idea that his cabinet ministers have to have their very words vetted does not bode well for the pursuit of democracy in Canada. This may be smart politics (and I think it means there will be an election sooner, rather than later as the Conservatives attempt to capitalize on the disarray in the Liberal party), but it makes me want to puke.

Digital Fortress leaks like sieve

I recently subjected myself to the forces of mild mental stagnation by listening to Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress, unabridged, on tape. I like books on tape for my hour-a-day commute time, and the library has a good selection so it’s free. My rule is to never listen to a work of fiction that I might actually read someday. Since reading Dan Brown’s books are about as mentally stimulating as my childhood love, Encyclopedia Brown — albeit with better plots — I thought his first book, a high-intensity tale of codebreaking and murder, was a perfect candidate for my one-speaker car stereo.

What a mistake.

Continue reading “Digital Fortress leaks like sieve”

Coulter: Bonehead

I’m not going to share my feelings about the Oscars (I just don’t have enough snark in me — why not check out Andy Ihnatko or the perennially dough-headed Leah McLaren in the Globe and Mail?).  This sense of restraint didn’t stop Ann Coulter, however, from sharing her predictions with the world.  Among her gems: “Hollywood feels it has done enough for the blacks. Hollywood can never do enough for the gays.” Or how about “Unfortunately for the makers of “Sophie Scholl,” their Holocaust movie came out the same year as a pro-terrorist movie, so they lose.”  Ah, excellent.

The Case of the Exploding CD

A very strange thing happened to me yesterday. I brought home a selection of new listening material from the wonderful Edmonton Public Library. I had just listened to the first track of Broken Social Scene’s “Bee Hives” when I heard a terrible crack. My first thought was that Ferris the Cat had broken one of my prized beer mugs.

As it turns out, a bomb went off in my DVD drive. It turns out the CD blew up into at least a hundred different pieces. Here is a small selection:

Exploded CD
This sucks in more than one way. Firstly, I’ve broken library CDs before (audiobooks, nonetheless; muchos expensivo) and owned up to my inability to look after their property. But in this case, I did nothing wrong. Not only that, it destroyed my DVD drive, requiring a replacement.

Should I have to pay to replace the CD?