Month: June 2011

weird al perform this way

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard something new from “Weird Al” Yankovic, but as luck would have it, he’s back with his take on Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. And as far as parody videos and songs go, this one is his best offerings since he did his Nirvana stuff back in the early 90’s.

The new song titled Perform This Way is from his newly released album (his first since 2006) called Alpocalypse that came out this week. In the video he creativity (and with the help of CGI) does his take on Gaga’s often bizarre fashion statements and on-stage antics.

And before Lady Gaga fans get pissed at Al, keep in mind that Gaga had to sign off on this song and allow him to use it, which goes to show she’s a good sport. Prince, for example, has never allowed any of his songs to be parodied by Weird Al.

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Weird Al — I even paid to see UHF when it came out in theaters and I think I still have a VHS copy of it kicking around somewhere — so I’m glad to see there’s still a market for Al these days. And with on-line viewing, social media and videos going viral, I’m sure this latest one from him will become a hit in no time.

You can check out his official YouTube channel and see some classic Weird Al stuff as well.


mayor rob ford and pride

From yesterday until this morning  it seems everyone is talking about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s decision not to march in the upcoming Pride Parade as part of Pride Toronto 2011.

Seriously. Is anyone really shocked?

Now don’t get me wrong. I like Ford and I think he’s doing a good job as mayor of our city. But this is a man who lets his brother Doug do all the talking at media scrums.  Did anyone really espect the right-wing, increasingly shy mayor to stroll down Yonge Street in some multi-colored shirt, while “YMCA” blasts in the background? (Toss in a feather boa and Elton John-stun glasses and I’d actually pay money to see that.)

Besides, it’s his choice not to march. If I was mayor — and maybe one day I will be… consider yourself warned — there are a ton of events I wouldn’t go to.  The mayor doesn’t have to show up to every thing — big or small — that happens.

The only thing that doesn’t sit well with me is the honesty factor. Back in May, Ford said he “didn’t know what his schedule will be like” — yet now we are hearing that his planned cottage trip is a long-standing Ford family tradition. How could he have not known about that? Or maybe, walking in the Pride Parade is just not his thing because he feels uncomfortable or doesn’t support the lifestyle.

Whatever the case is, I’d rather he just be honest (although I like I said, did anyone really expect him to march?) and everyone else can just move on and enjoy the weekend.

Pride Week is a huge event that pumps millions into Toronto’s economy and it showcases the diversity of the city and maybe to show people he’s not such a bad guy (as many left-wing people and the media make him out to be) he should have marched in the parade as a publicity stunt. But that would have cheapened the whole thing and people would have known it was just for show.

The real twist is that according to on-line polls, the majority of people in the city either don’t care about his decision or think he shouldn’t change his plans at all. So maybe the media should stop trying to paint Ford in a negative light again and just accept him for who he is.

For those interested, the Pride Parade happens July 3.

bad teacher blows

On my ever-growing long list of things I hate, bad movies is somewhere near the top. And usually you can spot a bad movie from a mile away. Sometimes producers make it easy by incorporating Jennifer Aniston so that you can tell right off the top to stay away from the cinema. Other times you can pretty much make up your mind just from seeing a few seconds of the film.

Take for example, Bad Teacher. Cameron Diaz’s latest offering and painful last-ditch attempt at somehow rekindling the success she had with 1998’s There’s Something About Mary. Before that, movie audiences had only seen her in The Mask. Since then, we have been subjected to a barrage of crappy films, including a few attempts at being taken seriously.

But as many girls I went to school with learned the hard way, once you’ve had semen in your hair, it’s pretty damn hard to be taken seriously.

Bad Teacher looks like a stupid movie. And I feel sorry for Jason Segel who is very talented, very funny and quite enjoyable to watch. Justin Timberlake, well, I think we all know how I feel about that guy.  (And if you don’t know, then take my sarcasm as a hint.)

Packed with lame jokes, Bad Teacher is nothing more than a vehicle for Diaz to try and prove she’s a bad-ass and can still do comedy. What ends up happening is a predictable, flat and dull series of events that makes you wish that you had stayed in bed.

Sometimes people in Hollywood need to sit down and accept the fact that movies that seem like a good idea on paper, shouldn’t necessarily be made.  Just because you say “Cameron Diaz… foul mouth teacher… comedy…” doesn’t mean it will be a good film. Hopefully this offering will quietly fade away with little fanfare.

If you were looking for an excuse to stay at home and clean out the basement, remind yourself that Bad Teacher opens this weekend.

nathan kotylak is little bitch

I love it when people who deserve it, get what’s coming to them. And that little punk Nathan Kotylak — the kid who took part in the Vancouver Riots after the Bruins won the Bettman Cup Stanley Cup — is finally facing the music.

In a tearful apology, the little prick expressed how sorry he was for what he did – acts of vandalism that included lighting a police car on fire.

Let’s be honest here. The only reason this little bastard is being so apologetic is because his face is plastered everywhere thanks to social media and the news. He didn’t come forward and say he was sorry because of some deep moral struggle or an overwhelming feeling of guilt. He came forward because he knew he was going to get pinched. So he puts on a show, says how sorry he is and keeps his fingers crossed that mommy and daddy can help buy his way out of this and that somehow people will forgive him.

Screw that. I don’t buy it.

While I don’t agree with people targeting his family home (as they have been doing) I can’t say I feel sorry for this spoiled little pretty boy.  Before all this happened, he was some star athlete playing water polo and now he’s the face of the shameful act of what happened in Vancouver last week. Not to mention he’s the butt of jokes on local radio morning shows and people play his “apology”, complete with tears and sobs, over and over again.

You can watch his obviously “heartfelt” apology as he owns up to what he did, courtsey of Global News

I just hope that more of the vandals are rioters are publicly shamed. It’s really the only way to get to these people and while I’m sure they don’t really feel sorry for what they did (after all, how could you explain those acts and try to make people believe that you didn’t know what was going on) they will at least be in the public eye — and society isn’t always forgiving.

one woman show

It seems a lot of people are doing “one person shows” these days that are slightly evolved versions of speaking engagements, mixed with question and answer segments.

Former wrestling champion Hulk Hogan just announced that he’ll be heading out on the road to do 90 minute shows, and recently Charlie Sheen brought his Torpedo Tour to various cities in an effort to prove he isn’t crazy. And course there’s Kevin Smith who with his long-winded and often hilarious stories, made speaking engagements fun thanks to his Evening With Kevin Smith shows.

I’ve done speaking engagements before, be it for students who are curious to learn more about the soul-sucking career choice that is journalism or to talk about the industry with colleagues and hopefuls, and they have always been a blast. But I’ve often thought about how much fun it would be to do my own one woman show.

Now, I’m not about to book Roy Thomson Hall or the Winter Garden Theater, but if I was do a one woman show, filled with question and answer portions and hopefully something that passes for entertainment, what are some of the things you would want to see in my show? Maybe a band on stage or would I take the Russel Peters approach and have a DJ backing me up? Are there any stories you would like to hear?

the zoeys world logo

The logo seen at the top of my page has been part of my life  — in some way, shape or form — for over 15 years. It has undergone so many changes over the years and like a good fast food restaurant, been reinvented a couple of times, jazzed up and altered in hopes of not only keeping with the times, but also attracting new people.  (Yes, I am fickle that way.) But for the most part, it has been a constant in my life.

Now I know that the Zoey’s World logo will never be at the same level as the Golden Arches, but to me it’s everything.  And funny thing, I never liked the name “Zoey’s World” when I came up with it.  It was simply a place holder until I thought of something better. (And as you may have guessed, that never happened.)

Just a quick look back at the logos used over the years on my site.  The site itself has undergone numerous changes, but the logo, as I said, has always been a part of it.

winnipeg has an NHL team, but gary bettman still hates canada

Yes, I’m somewhat of a hockey fan. I grew up in southern New Jersey and despite my geographic location, I cheered for the Devils (who are traditionally associated with the northern half of the state)– unless they are out in which case I’ll cheer for the Flyers. And if there were six million clones of me in the United States, Gary Bettman would be a happy man.

It’s no secret that the vast majority of people think that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman would appear to strongly dislike Canada. Just look at everything that has happened since he took over the league back in 1993 (the last time a Canadian team won the Cup, by the way.)

Look at the shit-eating grin he has as he presents the Stanley Cup to the Rangers in 1994 after they defeated the Canucks.  That smile says it all. It says “I hate Canada and I’m glad they lost.” — or something like that.

Bettman has tried to Americanize the sport of Hockey for years.  Glow in the Dark pucks, North America vs The World All Star Game formats, expansion teams into cities that have never even seen snow. And then there’s that interview last year with CBC’s Ron MacLean where Bettman seems to get his back up all over Canada and even goes as far to say that American money is “real money.”

And while we’re talking about crappy All Star Game formats, you just know that Bettman wanted USA vs The World as a format, but someone must have warned them that USA would have had their asses handed to them by The World. I’m American and even I know that.

Why does he try so hard? He wants his league to be as widespread and mainstream as all the other big leagues are.  But when poker, tennis and bowling draw bigger ratings in some parts of the US than hockey does, it’s time to focus on where it matters instead of forcing it down the throats of people who don’t care.

Think about this: 72,000 people filled a stadium in Arizona to watch WrestleMania XXVI. The Phoenix Coyotes can’t even sell out a game during the regular season. Maybe that should be a wake-up call for him to just let the team go and stop blocking the sale like he did last year.

The bottom line is — and this might be hard for Bettman to stomach — some people in the States don’t give a crap about hockey. And that’s it.

So now Canada has a seventh NHL team in Winnipeg and everyone is happy. Well, maybe not the 137 people in Atlanta who cared about hockey. But that city had TWO tries at hosting an NHL franchise and it failed. The people of Hot-Lanta don’t care and their lives will surely continue without the Thrashers — who by the way had the second worst logo after the Hurricanes in the whole league.

But leave it to Gary Bettman to rain on the parade and warn people in Winnipeg that if the team, city and owners don’t ask “how high?” when he yells “jump”, there’s going to be problems.  You get the feeling that the only better than denying Canada another NHL team would be for him to be able to turn around and say “see? told ya so!” if the New Jets fail in Winnipeg.