TV party at my house!

This Friday at 8:00 p.m., I will be on the W Network’s new show, Living Romance. Here’s the description of the show as it appears on their site:

Living Romance on W Network invites the viewer to experience life as a romantic adventure. Hosted by Jonathan Torrens and Ramona Milano, the series will celebrate romance from the first date to the Golden Wedding Anniversary. We’ll explore the various ways to find romance, from traditional matchmakers to modern-day speed dating. You’ll learn how to put the romance back in your relationship and be inspired by stories of enduring love. From Romantic Get-aways to Fun, Fresh Dating, luxurious lingerie to wonderful weddings, Living Romance offers the essential A-Z for romantic living.

(Did they have to use the word “romance” in every sentence? I feel as if that descriptive paragraph just mugged me with a truncheon hidden in a bouquet of roses.)

This episode is about serenading. There are three segments:

  • A mariachi band
  • A guy who wakes up his girlfriend every morning and tucks her in every night by playing the violin for her (I’ll bet that got really old really quickly)
  • The “comic relief” segment in which some guy tries to pick up women on Queen Street armed only with his accordion and his wit

I’m as in the dark about what the show is like as you are; like you, Friday will be my first opportunity to catch the show. The songs they asked me to perform were made up on the spot (so as to avoid having to buy rights), so be warned that it’s not my best work. However, I was feeling pretty energetic on the day of the shoot, so I’m hoping that my enthusiasm, hamminess and chutzpah outshines my terrible extemporaneous lyrics.

In honour of this momentous occasion, there will be a barbecue and viewing at my house, followed by silliness to be determined. The fun will start at around 7, and the viewing at 8. I’ll tape it so that latecomers can watch the glorious train wreck.

Drop me an email or leave a note in the comments if you’re interested!


My alma mater’s new nickname

On a lark, I ran a Google search on the phrase “Crazy Go Nuts University”. Queen’s University, my alma mater, came up first! It must’ve been all those times I linked the phrase Crazy Go Nuts Universitya name I borrowed from Strong Bad’s Email — to my old school.

I think it’s an appropriate name, as my years there — all seven of ’em — could best be described as “crazy go nuts”. I hope neither Queen’s nor the Chapman brothers (the creators of Strong Bad and all the other characters at mind.


Theatre of cruelty

I don’t watch much TV, but there was something I couldn’t resist about Joe Schmo, the reality show in which only one hapless contestant — the Schmo — is real. Everyone else is an actor playing a reality show archteype:

  • The Buddy
  • The Asshole
  • The Grizzled Veteran
  • The Schemer
  • The Rich Bitch
  • The Gay Guy
  • The Virgin
  • The Quack
  • The Smarmy Host

All the “drama” is scripted and treads the fine line between over-the-top and believable (rather like some of the stories in this blog, come to think of it). Normally, reality shows fail to capture my interest for terribly long because they’re so terribly contrived. However, by actually increasing the contrivance to Truman Show levels, scripting the “drama” and giving the viewer that “in on the joke” feeling, I think they’ve actually made the show feel more “real” than any reality TV show.

Of course, I’m assuming that the Schmo isn’t also an actor faking that he doesn’t know that it’s fake.

I think I would’ve loved being on the writing team for Joe Schmo.


Praise from Down Under

Eamonn emailed me earlier today to let me know that the Australian newspaper The Age made The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century their most recent “Topblog” in their tech review section. There’s a headline on the main page of the tech section of their site (for the next while, anyway) that points to an article called Gonzo with the wind:

Joey, aka The Accordion Guy, is a blogger with a touch of Hunter S. Thompson.

Take this recent manic post:

Sooner or later, you’re going to be sitting in the back of the Metaphorical Pickup Truck of Life and realise that there’s a guy in a Pikachu costume smoking crystal meth in the driver’s seat. His foot is jammed hard on the accelerator pedal, he’s drenched in sweat, he has the look of death in his soulless eyes, he’s slashing his own leg with a stiletto knife and screaming, “PAIN WILL BRING ME CLOSER TO FATHER!”

Lesser people – those who can only thrive when the cards are dealt in their favour – will curl up in a ball and wait for the truck to eventually go off a cliff or slam into a bus of orphans and puppies and explode John Woo-style.

Those who know that winning isn’t in the cards you’re dealt, but how you play them, would hop over the cab and onto the hood, Indiana Jones/T.J. Hooker style, smash through the windshield, pummel the driver into submission and bring the vehicle to a complete stop. And then take everyone out for ice-cream afterwards.

I hope to be one of those people.

Joey chronicles his attempts to grab life by the throat almost daily, with themes ranging from weirdo girlfriends to whether “echospamming” (what happens when some spammer uses your email address as their “reply to” address) should be justification for homicide.

As an internationally-known Australian is wont to say: Crikey!

My thanks to the article’s author, Jenny Sinclair, for writing such nice things about me (I’ve never been compared to Dr. Thompson before!) and to Eamonn for the heads-up!

Can anyone send me a clipping of the actual paper? I’ll cover postage…

Geek It Happened to Me

Cory’s sci-fi convention pictures

Cory Doctorow has ten pages of photos from Torcon (and even a couple from the advance screening of the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers DVD, which he briefly attended).

He’s also asking if anyone has photos of him in the suit that he wore to the Hugo awards. I caught him at the hotel lobby bar late Saturday night, and yes, his suit looked very sharp, but what I loved was his blue and white striped shirt. Cory, I’ll see if I snapped a photo of you, and hey, where’d you get that shirt?


If you read the previous entry, be sure to read it again…

…because I got a pivotal fact wrong. Oops.

Corrections appear at the end of the entry.

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me

Leeloo break [updated]

Corrections to this entry appear at the end of this article in red, while the entry has been left as it was when it was written. Make sure you read ’em!

(I’m going to interrupt the sci-fi convention stories for this entry. Part 3 — Saturday night — will be the next entry.)

My friend and former coworker John Henson has described our house as “the best-fed bachelors I’ve ever seen”. The fridge is generally full, and it contains actual ingredients as opposed to frozen TV dinners, and the crisper actually has vegetables that have not liquefied into grey goo. As a result, I can usually take items from the fridge, confident in the knowledge that they are reasonably fresh.

With the exception of yesteday afternoon.

At around 4:30, I boiled a couple of eggs, sliced them up, and tossed them into a salad and cracked open a new bottle of Brianna’s honey mustard dressing that I’d taken from the cupboard.

At 5:00, I felt a little woozy and decided to lie down.

At 5:30, I was hugging the toilet bowl and retching effluently. As I regurgitated, it struck me that it’s been years since I’ve had to do this, and the last time involved drinking. I made a weak “rock and roll devil” sign with my right hand, even though there was nobody to see it.

At 6:00, I crawled into bed and passed out.

At 11:00, my phone rang. The display read “Meryle cell”.



“Sorry. Just pulling myself together.”

“Why aren’t you at Kickass Karaoke?”

“Argh. I ate some bad egg salad earlier, puked my guts out and the passed out.” I sat up in bed and noticed that aside from the inside-of-a-linebacker’s-shoe taste in my mouth, I was feeling much better.

“Get your ass over here. You’re not going to believe who’s here tonight: Milla Jovovich! Or she was here earlier, anyway. I suggest you get down here fast.”

I went to the bathroom and gave me teeth a very thorough brushing to eliminate all traces of pukey-breath, downed a glass of water, threw on a dressy shirt and one of my new pairs of shoes, and made tracks for The Rivoli.

I climbed up the stairs into one of the most busy Kickass Karaoke nights I’d ever seen. The place was packed solid with people. I worked my way to the bar to fill out a request sheet, saying “hi” to a lot of people on the way there.

Among the many birthday celebrants at Kickass Karaoke was host and karaoke impresario Carson’s brother Zack, whom you might remember from Almost Famous as “The Legendary Red Dog” and from the Fox sitcom Titus as Chris Titus’ adopted younger brother “Dave”. Zack brought Milla Jovovich along, presumably because they’re both in Resident Evil: Apocalypse which is filming somewhere in Accordion City right now.

After my number (Billy Joel’s It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me; I learned the how to play the solo on accordion by downloading it from Kazaa Lite), Carson and Zack did one, followed by a number with Zack, his girllfriend and Milla. Zack motioned for me to play backup during the verses and chorus and held the mic to the accordion for the instrumentals and solo.

Milla left shortly after the number and I didn’t have enough time to talk her into posing with the accordion. That would’ve been a keeper.

I’m going to go over to my checklist of “things to do before I die”. Ah, there it is: share karaoke stage with “Leeloo”. Check.

Don’t tell the fanboys at WorldCon, a mere five-minute cab ride away from The Rivoli. It’ll break their hearts.


Carson informs me that:

a) The woman whom we were led to believe was Milla Jovovich was actuallyanother actress named Siena, who also is in Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Okay, she’s not as big a star, but she’s still gorgeous in that elfin way.

b) Zack doesn’t doesn’t have a girlfriend. Ladies, start your engines!

So “share karaoke stage with Leeloo” goes back on the “things to do before I die” list. Easy go, easy come back.

I still shared the karaoke stage with “Dave” from Titus, which was a hilarious if underappreciated comedy. That counts for something, doesn’t it?

Thanks for the heads-up, Carson!