36 hour Dodgeball Game

January 19, 2011

Dodgeball has become something of an obsession for me.

Last weekend, along with 19 friends, I set a new Guinness World Record for Longest Dodgeball Game Ever. We played 36h and 45 minutes without sleep, and raised about $6200 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

dodgeball-36-hr-guinness-world-record

The players, mostly photographed by Ryan Tacay.

Interesting things I observed about playing dodgeball for 36 continuous hours (10pm Friday January 7 to 11am Sunday January 9):

1.
Our energy really came and went in spurts. For me this was tied quite noticeably to how much sunlight was coming in the windows and whether or not any of my friends happened to be watching the game at any given moment. Late lonely nights were the worst; bright sunny mornings were the best.

2.
I only slept two 7-hour shifts the next day, and then I felt pretty much back to normal, about as sore as I’d be after a standard one-day tournament. This was unbelievable since at 4am Sunday morning I seriously felt like the walking dead. I was so exhausted and sore I could barely stand up. By 9am Sunday morning, though, on the home stretch, I was vibrating with energy and leaping all over the court like a total maniac. Go figure.

3.
Changing socks feels really really good when you play sports for hours and hours on end. We pretty much coated our feet in baby powder every couple of hours. There were little foot-silhouettes in sprinkled patches of baby powder all along the sidelines of the court.

4.
Food becomes really really unappealing when you play sports for hours and hours on end. I was hungry but totally turned off by the idea of eating, so I barely ate anything: mostly just cereal with almond milk, a couple of granola bars, and some fruit smoothies.

5.
I fully planned to do an hour-by-hour liveblog of the event, but my laptop was used to livestream the game on the internet so I had nothing to type on, and plus I discovered that I totally did not care at all. Even if I’d had the technological means, I discovered that once we started, documenting the experience became the least interesting part of the experience for me.

I am very grateful that there were skilled photographers in attendance who took awesome shots. All the action shots in this post are by the extremely talented Michelle Yee, who was present on all three days and probably stayed around for a total of at least 12 hours, something of a marathon in and of itself.

6.
I played for so long the tips of the fingers on my throwing hand BLISTERED; I didn’t even know that was possible. Somehow, though, I managed not to injure myself at all. The next time I played dodgeball a week later, I sprained a finger fairly badly playing a very gentle game of warmup catch.

7.
My personal goal for the game was to learn how to jump. I practiced this skill for about half an hour during the first overnight by picking a spot on the court, uncomfortably close to the centre line, and setting a rule that I could not move laterally to avoid attacks- my only options were to duck, jump, or catch. It took a couple games of getting pegged in the feet, and then I figured it out.

8.
We got quite a bit of media coverage, including CNN, omg.
The CNN dodgeball feature is online here.

10.
My teammates are total BADASSES. They played through 36 hours of exhaustion and injuries, and they did it laughing.

Huge respect to Helder Brum, who came up with this crazy idea in the first place, and the players (seen here from L-R): Lesley Seig, Will Serediak, Beth White, Matt Neundorf, team captain Bryan Cesar, Michael Lasiuk, Ryan Tacay, Helder Brum, Jordan MacLeod, Andrew Trumbach, Christ Gammage, Matthew Silveira, Tracey Oliveira, Steve Villeseche, Malena Andrade, Jen Ritchie, Scott Hepburn, Sabina Monaco, Christine Mack (and the last person in the pic is me, obvs).


Cat Bow Tie

December 27, 2010

I made an Xmas bow tie for Helder’s mom’s cat.
My cats were forced pleased to model it first.

Mojo. So majestic.

Juno. So annoyed.

Then I wrapped it up and gave it to the Senhora and my lil’ buddy Fausty, who chewed on it while being told in Portuguese how pretty he looked.

It’s felt, with a hair-elastic-and-button closure.

I am pleased with it, and am now planning an entire line of catcessories: a long necktie, a priest collar, a peter pan collar, maybe a Shakespearean ruffly thing. Stay tuned for more mortified cats special occasions.

I did this once before but obviously cats look better in tuxedoes than business suits. What am I, a farmer?


Happy Hallowe’en

October 31, 2010

This was my Ween, last night:

Monae, Monae, Monae

In case you’ve been living under a rock, that’s my version of Janelle Monae, aka, the cutest singer evarrr.

Also, today for Ween, I played dodgeball in a 12 year-old-girl’s fully sequinned figureskating dress, photos to follow.

And here’s some more last-minute Ween inspiration for you: Sexy Hallowe’en costumes that shouldn’t exist:

Sexy Big Bird, Sexy Darth Vader, and yes, Sexy Nemo. Ummmm

Thanks to Nicolas for that link, and thanks also to Amanda for photographing my costume.
Now go eat some candy!


Michelle Obama

April 3, 2010

Had a little sketch comedy thing to do, so I put together a costume.

Barack here.


Call UrbanDictionary.

February 22, 2010

I think I just coined a new term. When you’re emailing someone back and forth, but then one of you just doesn’t get around to responding: you have E-VAPORATED.


Collars for Cats

October 1, 2009

In which I found a scrap of fabric, and, feeling crafty, decided to take the word “collar” entirely too literally:

Regional Manager Mojo has reviewed the numbers and prepared a PowerPoint of the quarterly report.

Regional Manager Mojo has reviewed the numbers and prepared a PowerPoint of the quarterly report.

Juno from Human Resources congratulates herself for a sexual harassment sensitivity training session well-done.  Time for a margarita.

Juno from Human Resources congratulates herself for a sexual harassment sensitivity training session well-done. Time for a margarita.

Juno seemed to like the collar so I left it on her for a while, but 20 minutes later she appeared without it. Upon investigation I discovered she’d scratched it off in the litter box and then peed on it. Can’t say I blame her: sometimes the rat race can get you down.


Kate Gosselin hair: procrastinating with Photoshop

July 7, 2009

kate gosselin hair haircut

I have decided to nickname this reverse-mullet haircut the TELLUM. That’s “mullet” backwards, and it is also the sound of a rallying cry that is congruent with how I feel about Kate Gosselin.

As in: YOU TELLUM, KATE GOSSELIN.

And for the record: I kind of like this haircut. In fact I had a curly variation of it in 2000. Yeah, that was nine years ago, but you know what? I like the fact that KG has the ‘nads to do something unconventional with her hair instead of just capitulating to the boob-length wavy extensions clipped to the heads of everybody else on TV. SO THERE.


Unclog a drain in seconds, no chemicals!

May 14, 2009

Subtitle: In which I sigh about my giant hair, but grin about the giant brain it conceals.

Sink backed up? Hey take it ease, I just invented a new way to unclog a drain. It works really well on those nasty hairballs that reside a few inches below your drain’s crosshairs, the secret, out-of-sight wet dreadlocks that back up the sink or tub into a scummy mess.

I predict this man's name is Mr. Tou Long Haa.

I predict this man's name is Mr. Tou Long Haa.

I get these in the tub periodically, which I guess makes sense because I only brush my hair in the shower. But today’s monstrosity was in the sink, and I don’t really shed hair into my sink. OK, maybe one hair a day.

Her name is Hera Lotta.  (She's Norweigan, like Hedda Gabler.)

Her name is Hera Lotta. (She's Norweigan, like Hedda Gabler.)

Then again, my giant hair is about 20 inches long, and I’ve lived here for 16 months, and 16 months x 30 days a month x 1 hair a day x 20 inches a hair = 9600 inches of hair, and as I contemplate 800 feet of hair, what is that sensation, is that bile rising in my mouth? How strange. And also, what the hell are they suspended on down there? And why are they always grey and ferrety when they come back up? Upsetting.

That red bowl is like a metaphor for my drain.

That red bowl is like a metaphor for my drain.

Stop thinking about it. Seriously. Who cares, now you can get them outta there for free in like 20 seconds because of my giant brain’s new invention. I haven’t named it yet, and will consider suggestions.

You will need:
A drinking straw. Bendy is nice but not imperative.
Scissors.
Tweezers.

These is your toolses.

These is your toolses.

As you can see, I used some badass medical forceps thingies from back in my dad’s lab days. They even have his initials on them on a strip of weird orange tape. Your tweezers probably aren’t as good as mine, but don’t feel too bad about it. You could also use pliers. Even unbending a paperclip would work in a pinch. You might not wanna use the tweezers you pluck your eyebrows with, though, just for psychological reasons.

What you do:

Squeeze the straw so it flattens.
Snip little cuts, on an angle, into about half the length of the straw. Unflatten the straw & flex it around a bit so the little triangles you cut out look like barbs.
If you’re using a bendy straw, snip the non-bendy end, and note that you want your little barbs to point upwards, towards the bendy part.

The little diagonal cuts will make pointy chevrons in the straw.

The little diagonal cuts will make pointy chevrons in the straw.

Run some water into the drain for a few seconds, because wet hair is more flexible and will probably come up a little easier.
Hold the straw by the unsnipped end, so the barbs are pointing upwards.
Dip the straw into the drain.

Don't think about it too much.

Don't think about it too much.

Wiggle your straw up & down and slowly rotate it so the barbed side encounters your monstrosity.
Note: in the sink the drain goes straight down for 10 inches or so. In a bathtub, the drain usually makes a 90′ bend back towards the wall.

If you don’t feel the resistance of snagged hair, try a few other positions in the drain- the hair-rat might be against one side, or in the middle.
If you need to go deeper, use the tweezers to help manouvre the straw. The bendy part of a bendy straw provides good traction for this step.

Follicula decided to save money by growing her own Burqa, much to the chagrin of her small daughter, who lacked the vocabulary to remind her mother that they were, in fact, Infidels.

Follicula decided to save money by growing her own Burqa, much to the chagrin of her small daughter, who lacked the vocabulary to remind her mother that they were, in fact, Infidels.

When you feel the clog, try to use the straw to force it up against the side of the drain, and really rub against it hard so the little barbs catch. Imagine you’re a socially-awkward businesman on a Tokyo train at rush-hour.

When you feel you’ve hooked your horrible prize, carefully pull it up, not too fast or you’ll lose your fish. When you see it, grab it with the tweezers (or hook it with the paper clip) and birth that horrid baby into the light. Then wrap it up in a wad of toilet paper, throw it away, scrub your hands compulsively, and pretend it never happened.

I pulled an eight-inch peltsnake out of my drain today. I decided that it was private, though, and declined to photograph it. Too bad, nosey.

See that ankle-sized woman right in the middle?  She doesn't even have long hair.  Her tall friends were nice to include her, but I bet she's sick of their pity.

See that ankle-sized woman right in the middle? She doesn't even have long hair. Her tall friends were nice to include her, but I bet she's sick of their pity.

PS – I know, that whole thing was super-grode, sorry. Need a drink? Here’s a tutorial on How to get them to give you a free cocktail on an airplane.


Flying Penguin Masthead

May 1, 2009

If you’re reading this blog on an RSS feed, hop on over to the main page for a sec to see the new masthead I designed!


Candied Bacon

April 5, 2009

I bring candied bacon to dinner parties.

On Friday Reuben was in town & invited me & Scott to dinner at RoyAndDanielle’s house. He asked me no fewer than 3 times to bring candied bacon, so I obligingly made up a batch.

Scott and I arrived to discover a formally set table with a blue Star-of-David tablecloth and Danielle’s distinguished-looking parents milling about. Oh yeah, Friday night. Shabbat dinner, the weekly ritual of the Jewish people, who, as you may know, traditionally shun the flesh of the swine. So not only did the black chick and her giant goyfriend crash the party, but we brought an entire pig. I sank into the couch, dying a thousand deaths, and our friend Danny whispered “You brought bacon to Shabbat dinner?” I gripped his arm in agony and hissed “Reuben set me up!”

Reuben, at this point, was off in the kitchen with no fewer than four strips of candied bacon sticking out of his mouth, like Judas, or a star-nosed mole.

Artist's interpretation of the dude who totally sold me out.

Artist’s interpretation of the dude who totally sold me out.

Danielle pulled out a Ziploc bag of yarmulkes and all the men put them on, except Gentile Scott, who, they decided, already had his own tenuous covenent with G-d on his head in the form of an army cap.

Artist's interpretation of everyone else.

Artist\’s interpretation of everyone else.

Danielle’s elegant mother draped a pretty cloth with Hebrew embroidery over the bread, then she and Danielle covered their eyes and sang the song to bless the Shabbat candles, Roy blessed the challah, and I slunk away, totally mortified, to hide from the grownups by skrunching up behind Danny, where I moaned softly in remorseful torment. In a strange way, I felt like I finally understood Jewish guilt. (amirite?)

As everyone served themselves Danielle’s father slowly approached me, his silver hair glinting around a regal satin yarmulke. I ducked my head in shame as he ominously intoned, “Are you the one who brought that bacon?” I cringed and nodded, sheepishly raising my eyes to meet his. He popped the last bite of something into his mouth, licked his fingers with a loud smack, and chirped, “It’s delightful, may we have the recipe?”

Hurray!

Hurray!

Cooking an entire package of bacon in home-made brown sugar caramel is the perfect way to make your apartment smell like a heart attack and make all your friends like you. And it’s surprisingly easy! It’s good as a treat, or you could chop it and throw it on a salad or something, which might mitigate, you know, the fact that you’re eating 80% pork fat and you also coated it in sugar.

I adapted the following recipe from David Lebovitz’ recipe for Candied Bacon Ice Cream, which sounds like the best idea I’ve ever heard and I thank gord I don’t have an ice cream maker, or I would probably make it hourly. (waddle waddle)

Ingredients:
Bacon
Brown Sugar
(optional: Maple Syrup)

That's homemade Port Elgin maple syrup in the Maker's Mark bottle, thanks to Uncle Larry, who is not actually my uncle, but anyone who gives me a whiskey bottle full of homemade syrup gets called Uncle by me.

That\’s homemade Port Elgin maple syrup in the Maker\’s Mark bottle, thanks to Uncle Larry, who is not actually my uncle, but anyone who gives me a whiskey bottle full of homemade syrup gets called Uncle by me.

Tools:
Cookie sheets or glass lasagna pans
Cookie cooling racks
Tongs
Tinfoil
Kitchen timer is useful, too.

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 400″ (use bottom element). Turn on the exhaust fan and close the door to your closet, or you’ll smell like a pioneer for days.

2. Loosely tinfoil the cookie sheets. Make sure the tinfoil is a bit too big for the pans and let it fold upwards at the edges like a bowl. This is to catch the grease. Because there will be grease.

3. Open the bacon. Usually there’s one end of each strip that’s just a chunk of fat. You can cut that end off & toss it out back for the raccoons.

Like tourists in Florida.

Like tourists in Florida.

4. Lay the bacon out, arranging the strips so they’re not overlapping (they can be touching & cramped, though). You can put it on the wire racks, as pictured. Or, if you’re short on wire racks, just lay all the bacon directly on the tinfoil sheets- it makes them shrink better so a whole package of half-cooked strips will fit on a single large wire rack in the next step.

5. Stick ’em in the oven & bake for 10 minutes. They will brown on the bottom, & shrink.

6. Flip the bacon so the browned side faces up. Reposition it so it all fits on the wire rack/tinfoil trays. At this point you may be able to fit the whole pack of bacon on one cookie sheet/rack.

Thanks, Uncle Larry.

Thanks, Uncle Larry.

7. Dump about a cupful of brown sugar into a bowl. Use your fingers to liberally sprinkle a line of sugar down the centre of each strip. Don’t worry if some falls off, but also don’t make too much mess on the cookie tray, because wayward piles of sugar will burn.

OR:

If you’re using maple syrup, mix 1 cup of sugar + 1/2 cup of syrup into a thick paste (aim for the consistency of toothpaste). Use a teaspoon (or pipe it out of a little bag with a snipped corner) to drizzle it down the centre of each slice.

Sugared bacon bakin', sugar.

Sugared bacon bakin\’, sugar.

Sugar drippings beginning to burn = stank-ass kitchen.

Sugar drippings beginning to burn = stank-ass kitchen.

8. Bake for another 10 minutes or so. This isn’t an exact science so trust your nose. You don’t want burning.

9. Flip the strips and sugar the other side. If the caramel in the bottom of the pans is burning, swap out that tinfoil & replace it with a fresh sheet. Burnt sugar smells like the apocalypse, and will fill your apartment with creepy bluish smoke.

This photo has a pavlovian effect on me.

This photo has a pavlovian effect on me.

10. Bake more. Keep an eye on it. One more flip, perhaps, and maybe a little more sugar (hint: yes). You can switch elements to the broiler if you think it needs it. If you do, put it on the lowest rack, set a timer for 1-2 minutes at a time and keep peeking- sugar burns very fast.

11. When the bacon is the consistency of fruit leather- flexible but not droopy- and the top is kind of sugary & bubbly looking, take it out. Note that it will harden up somewhat as the sugar cools, so it tastes better if the bacon itself is not too hard to begin with. You can sprinkle a little more dry sugar on the top at this point- it’ll soak in.

Looking at this photo I hear the theme from 2001: Space Odyssey in my tiny, pig-addled head.

Looking at this photo I hear the theme from 2001: Space Odyssey in my tiny, pig-addled head.

12. Let it cool, cut the strips into pieces with scissors, and impress the crap out of your friends with this porcine delight.

13 (disgusting/delicious). The tinfoil under the bacon will be covered in hot caramel. Leave it to cool on your counter- don’t throw it out. Otherwise, in a few hours you’re gonna wander home from that dinner party, tipsy and peckish, and you’ll find yourself digging through the kitchen trash to exhume that tinfoil and pick tasty little shards of porky-rendered caramel off it like Sally Struthers. I’m not kidding, those little crackles taste NICE.

NOT THAT I DID THAT.

CASE CLOSED

CASE CLOSED

Moar: “MY ACTING”, an inadvertently funny short play about Acting. Transcribed from reality.