Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dornochapalooza 2008

Seeing as I managed to lose all of my photographic evidence of the 2007 edition, I decided to try to make up for last year's gaff by providing more photos than anyone could ever possibly want to see. Here is Dornochapalooza 2008: A Photographic Essay.

This is how the City All-Stars get ready for game action. Really, you can't emphasize enough how important it is to avoid pulling a groin... in public.

It took my dad and I about 5 hours to assemble the second basketball net on Friday afternoon (anything less than full court is bush league), and let's just say that the action on the court mirrored the previous day's mechanical dexterity. To call it ugly would be like saying that Clay Aiken prefers the company of men; a ridiculous understatement. Luckily for everyone involved, the only photo anyone bothered to take was of the post-game team variety.

Notice the wet playing surface. We'll blame the caliber of play on the rain.

After completely dominating the action on the court, 905 superstar Sully decided to turn my parents' front lawn into a makeshift slip'n'slide. Apparently we forgot to mention that my dad keeps the lawn booby-trapped with razor blades. Good luck explaining those scratches to your girlfriend ("Honestly, it was the damndest thing... I slid across the lawn, and all of a sudden I was covered in these fingernail-on-chalkboard-like scars...")

While the rest of us were crashed out in tents, some of the higher class clientele were rocking it in a pop-up trailer. Rumour has it those trailers make for fantastic hot-boxes.

Fresh off his game-saving grab in the Alfredo Griffins (consolation) Championship final, DVZ sports his stylish cane, fireside. The moral of the story for the kids out there is that you should never let a broken ankle keep you from smoking 35 cigarettes and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon from a keg. DVZ: an inspiration to us all.

Despite the fact that the rain basically put the kibosh on any Beer Die demonstrating, the Beirut table was in full effect. Nothing will turn a party into an out-of-control debacle quite as quickly as a massive Beirut tournament, and the cheer that came from the crowd when Sully and I carried the table out to the fire sent chills down my spine. It was a special moment.

Notice the 13-year old looking on intently. We're all about educating at Dornochapalooza.

In the same way that he dominated on the basketball court and the makeshift slip'n'slide, Sully simply couldn't lose at Beirut on this night. The fact that both he and his 18-year old partner vomited prolifically mid-game goes to show what kind of dedication is needed to run the table at Dornochapalooza.

Does Sweet Nate's appearance in this shot constitute a photobomb? I mean, my dad was just minding his own business, getting some much needed advice from former adult film director Porno Paul, and Sweetness has to go and ruin this otherwise classy shot... Some guys just have no tact.

Is this shot the ultimate oxymoron? On the one hand, you have resident economist/fashion expert Mike Foley drinking from a green bottle, forgoing the kegs of PBR the way any self-respecting member of the financial community would; but on the other hand, you have Mike Foley wearing a free giveaway T-shirt which reads "Canadian Country Superstar"... What kind of a resident fashion expert would sport such an atrocity? I think we need some answers.

Ronnie with VW mechanic extraordinaire Rolf. Believe it or not, Rolf is actually having the time of his life. Gotta love that free-spirited, happy-go-lucky German disposition.

The only thing that could possibly distract two dudes from a fully loaded beer bong is the sight of their respective mothers playing Beirut...

...and getting lambasted.

Dunner with The Firestarter, Andrew. That minor stain on the front of Dunner's shirt is the result of a funnel gone wrong. Not to worry, though, as Dunner would eventually wash that stain away while making out with a lovely lady while standing out in the pouring rain... That sounds like an old Barbra Streisand song.

The 905ers brought it strong on this night, and there was no better example than B*Rad, The Tooth, and Big Big Devo (not shown). Represent.

The wacky world of Rob Muldoon.

My dad managed to blow out his outdoor speakers while blasting Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, so I pulled my car up to the bonfire and cranked up the tunes. I kept the doors open to allow the speakers to project further, and when I came back to change the station (everyone had had enough of Little Steven's Underground Garage), I found Smokey the Dog riding shotgun. At least someone was appreciating the sound quality from that VW factory system.

A Murderers Row. I have absolutely no recollection of this photo being taken, but I'm pretty sure we were trying to showcase DVZ's broken ankle. Unsuccessfully, I might add.

And the mobile keg might have something to do with it. As has become tradition, it absolutely pissed rain on and off over the course of the entire day and night. As a result, the party was constantly shifting locales, from the garage to the fire and back again. This can make it extremely inconvenient when trying to polish off two kegs. The answer? Put the keg on wheels. I honestly didn't ever think that my childhood wagon would come in so useful.

This photo was taken during one of the rain delays. As you can see, Claus (far left) is having a damn good time...

While drinking from the bottle of Bushmills 10-year Malt, he is having an even better time. It was shortly after this drink that he begain introducing himself as "Santa Claus". Along with Sweet Nate, DVZ, and myself, he was the last one awake. The man is a grandfather. What a legend.

Despite the fact that this photo will probably prevent me from ever running for office (pouring from the keg for Beirut, joint in mouth...), there are few shots which better encapsulate what Dornochapalooza is all about. Dig the fact that Sully is pissing in the background.

At what point do you get too old for a keg stand? I say never.

The reason that a record number of partygoers fell victim to projectile vomitting (including the two gentlemen pictured, along with yours truly, to name a few): Kegs of PBR.

Thanks to all who attended and helped out. It's never easy to make a 2-5 hour drive in the pissing rain just so you can drink cheap beer from a keg and sleep in a tent, but it means the world to us. And a special thanks to my parents for making it all happen.

See you all again next year at Dornochapalooza 2009.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I have no idea how I came across this site, but I was literally laughing my ass off while going through the photos. In case you don't know, List of the Day defines a Photobomber as:

A person who hilariously ruins your nice little picture; aka: "that guy".

Here is a sampling of some classic photobombing:

I won't lie to you. I've been looking for a hobby for a long time now, and I think photobombing might be just what the doctor ordered. I mean, sure, you stand the chance of getting your head kicked in every now and again. But to me, spending a few weeks in the hospital is a small price to pay for getting yourself into a photo as good as the ghost man above. That is art in its purest form.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Human Jenga

I have a buddy that used to pass out like this, and I have to say, it provided countless hours of borderline abusive entertainment. Not that I was ever one to actively join in on the markering, moving, or rearranging whilst he slumbered, but let's just say that the possibilities with an intoxicatedly unconscious partygoer are virtually limitless.

But never did any of our antics take place on such a public stage. I'm telling you, this guy at Shea was a D-level celebrity by the time he woke up. Here's the rundown:

In the second game of a beer-filled doubleheader, a young man falls asleep in his box seat. Bad decision. By the time this action peaked, literally hundreds of people were watching, not only from the orange seats but also from the mezzanine and upper deck.

It is worth noting, to the masters of assmption out there, that the folks playing the prank on him were his friends, who knew he was okay. He was visibly breathing. And he cracked up for three innings straight after learning what had happened, laughed with the fans who had photographed him and even autographed people's beer bottles. He was a terrific sport who left the stadium on his own power.

Placing that second beer up there was just about the ballsiest thing I've seen this side of panty-snipping.

Speaking of Jenga, I can't believe I hadn't ever seen this video until just now. My favourite part is when the Jenga-master warns the reporter to step back from the structure... Is there any way that Bryant Varney doesn't go back to his mom's basement and drink himself to death on berry wine coolers while watching the Space Network?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bonfire of the Vanities

Despite a brief foray into the financial world some years ago, my knowledge of world markets is basically non-existant (a fact which goes a long way in explaining why I'm no longer foraying in said world). Notwithstanding this utter lack of knowledge, I would be remiss if I didn't comment on the current state of the U.S. economy.

I have been saying for quite some time now that the reign of George W. Bush will go down as the presidential equivalent of Rob Babcock's tenure as G.M. of the Toronto Raptors. Rob Babcoak had Rafael Araujo with the 8th pick, Rafer Alston on a 5-year deal, Joey Graham over Danny Granger, and the Vince Carter for Alonzo Mourning's $10 million buyout trade. Bush had 9/11, Hurrican Katrina, and the search for non-existent weapons-of-mass-destruction that would prove to be a thinly veiled excuse to engage in a war that could never be won, the end result being the inevitable and eventual collapse of what had once been the world's strongest economy.

Although on vastly different scales, the two regimes can be viewed as little beyond complete catastrophes, and the two architects will almost certainly go down in history as the worst at their respective professions.

I'm still waiting for resident economist Mike Foley to weigh in with his take on the past 72 hours, but in the meantime, here are some words from minds immensely more informed than yours truly:

From The NY Times (Monday, Sept. 15): Lehman Files for Bankruptcy; Merrill is Sold

From The Globe and Mail (Tuesday, Sept. 16): A New World on Wall Street

From Dealbreaker (Wednesday, Sept. 17): I Need A Moment to Vent

(Thanks to Flats for the links)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hamlet (Facebook Newsfeed Edition)

This might be the best coles notes version of Hamlet I've ever come across. This Sarah Schmelling work can be found on McSweeney's.

The original Hamlet; slightly longer than the version listed below; can be found here.


- - - -

Horatio thinks he saw a ghost.

Hamlet thinks it's annoying when your uncle marries your mother right after your dad dies.

The king thinks Hamlet's annoying.

Laertes thinks Ophelia can do better.

Hamlet's father is now a zombie.

- - - -

The king poked the queen.

The queen poked the king back.

Hamlet and the queen are no longer friends.

Marcellus is pretty sure something's rotten around here.

Hamlet became a fan of daggers.

- - - -

Polonius says Hamlet's crazy ... crazy in love!

Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Hamlet are now friends.

Hamlet wonders if he should continue to exist. Or not.

Hamlet thinks Ophelia might be happier in a convent.

Ophelia removed "moody princes" from her interests.

Hamlet posted an event: A Play That's Totally Fictional and In No Way About My Family

The king commented on Hamlet's play: "What is wrong with you?"

Polonius thinks this curtain looks like a good thing to hide behind.

Polonius is no longer online.

- - - -

Hamlet added England to the Places I've Been application.

The queen is worried about Ophelia.

Ophelia loves flowers. Flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers. Oh, look, a river.

Ophelia joined the group Maidens Who Don't Float.

Laertes wonders what the hell happened while he was gone.

- - - -

The king sent Hamlet a goblet of wine.

The queen likes wine!

The king likes ... oh crap.

The queen, the king, Laertes, and Hamlet are now zombies.

Horatio says well that was tragic.

Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, says yes, tragic. We'll take it from here.

Denmark is now Norwegian.

Friday Diversion

Here are some of the best pieces I've come across in the past week, in the hopes of getting you through to this weekend's Dornochapalooza:

Why Me?
Alec Baldwin's disappointment, undimmed by success.
By Ian Parker

I have no idea why, but Alec Baldwin is one of those actors that steals every scene he's in, the constant focal point, whether he intends to be or not. Like a poor man's George Clooney. Maybe it's due to the fact that he's characters that are essentially himself for the past 15 years (cynical, endlessly disappointed, never shy about saying what he's thinking even though he probably shouldn't be thinking it in the first place). In this piece from last week's New Yorker, he explains the history of the Baldwin brothers, how he came to loathe Vicki Vale, and the reasons behind his infamous voicemail.

An example of the kind of life that has left Alec in an eternal state of disontent:

Baldwin was wary. It was a sitcom, and he had played Macbeth and Stanley Kowalski on the New York stage. His mind turned to the example of Conrad Bain, the actor with a fine theatrical background who came to be Philip Drummond, the white father of two adopted African-American boys, on “Diff’rent Strokes.” Embroidering on this thought, Baldwin imagined an actor who signs up for the quick money of a sitcom pilot quite confident that the show will never be commissioned: “The agent’s saying, ‘Don’t worry, it’s the biggest piece of shit in the history of show business.’ Cut to six years later: you’re in your dressing room, you’re in season five, and on the wall are posters of you from the New York Shakespeare Festival—these achingly beautiful posters on the wall. By that point, you’re making a hundred and seventy-five thousand a week, you’ve got a house in East Hampton, you’re getting laid constantly, you’ve got closets of beautiful Italian suits, and you’ve got three cars in the garage and you’re paying alimony to your ex-wife who’s living down in Florida. And you’re doing the same jokes, again and again and again.”

Some guys just never seem to catch a break.

Rock and Read
by Will Percy

The son of Walker Percy (Walker, a noted author, and the man largely responsible for getting John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces published more than 10 years after Toole's death) interviews Bruce Springsteen sometime during the Ghost of Tom Joad tour (probably late 1996 or early 1997). A fascinating look into what inspires The Boss. I love Bruce's sense of what his job as a songwriter is: "I think it was Walt Whitman who said, ''The poet's job is to know the soul'. You strive for that, assist your audience in finding and knowing theirs. That's always at the core of what you're writing".

Thanks to LM for the tip.

Peru: Hell and Back
By Kira Salak

A fascinating and somewhat terrifying look into the world of Shamanism deep in the heart of the Amazon. The effects of psychoactive pharmacology are brought to life in vivid detail, as the author aims to release some of her inner demons by means of the kind of soul purging that can only take place during the sacred ayahuasca ritual. Intense stuff.

Celebrating the 10-year Anniversary of our Ignorance
by Ken Rosenthal

It's hard to believe that this was only 10 years ago. It feels like it was in another lifetime.

(If you want to see the difference in popularity between Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds, just look at the way Bonds' teammates respond to HR #71, and compare that to the unabashed love and joy McGuire's teammates feel for him). Thanks to Skeets for the link.

James Mirtle documents a nail-biter in women's Olympic hockey qualifying. Call me crazy, but I don't think a men's hockey team is running up the score like this.

Essential reading for Dornochapalooza 2008:

Dornochapalooza 2007


Beer Die

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tom Brady: Out for the Season

Tom Brady will miss the entire NFL season with a left knee injury that will require surgery, leaving the New England Patriots without one of the game's great quarterbacks, their Super Bowl hopes severely damaged.

The 2007 NFL Most Valuable Player will be placed on injured reserve, the Patriots said Monday, one day after his knee was injured in the first quarter of a 17-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

A statement issued before coach Bill Belichick's news conference said Brady will have surgery, ending his 128-game starting streak, the third longest for a quarterback... (read more)

What are the chances that Gisele Bundchen is lathering herself up in whipped cream for Matt Cassel?

The plain truth of it is, the New England Patriots are a 9-7 team without Tom Brady, the AFC East is the Buffalo Bills' to lose, and Matt Cassel is no James Van Der Beek.

Noel Gallagher Attacked

From The Toronto SUN:

If they weren’t looking back in anger they damn well should have been.

During British rockers Oasis' set at Virgin Festival last night on Toronto Island, a man jump onto the stage and attacked band members - leaving Noel Gallagher with a fractured rib.

The band was on top of their game Sunday evening, delivering (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, and the crowd was enjoying it. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly to close this year’s Virgin Festival on Island Park until one simian - apologies to apes reading this - decided he had enough of this concert normalcy. The fellow somehow ran from the back of the stage, dangerously pushed an unsuspecting Noel Gallagher from behind and knocked the guitarist to his knees. He then turned to approach Liam, who he missed, before being tackled by the band’s crew just in front of the monitors onstage.

Liam turned and, realizing what took place, tried to confront the fellow as he was led off. He appeared to kick the guy before all parties were no longer visible... (read more)

What the fuck? Is this real?

My cousin Little Buddy was at this show last night, and dollars to donuts says he was somehow involved.

Needless to say, Oasis won't be coming back to Toronto for awhile. Dave Bookman is officially on suicide watch.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Party Like It's 1999

What the hell is going on around here? The Buffalo Bills look like a playoff team, and the Toronto Blue Jays have their first 8-game winning streak since Britney Spears was playing the role of virginal seductress.

Needless to say, a lot has come to pass since things looked this good in the GTA. If the Jays can keep getting 8 shutout innings from their rookie starters, and if Trent Edwards can continue doing his best Jim Kelly impersonation, this could wind up being one hell of an autumn.

The Bills and the Boss, together at last at Superbowl 43... Sounds like a match made in heaven.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Movember (the month formerly known as November) is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men's health.

At the start of Movember guys register with a clean shaven face. The Movember participants, known as Mo Bros, have the remainder of the month to grow and groom their moustache, raising money and awareness along the way...

Men lack awareness about the very real health issue they face, have an attitude that they have to be tough - "a real man" and are reluctant to see a doctor about an illness or to go for regular medical checks.The aim of Movember is to change this attitude.

Make men's health fun by putting the moustache back on the face of Canadian men and raising some serious funds for prostate cancer.

You had me at "moustache growing charity".

Honestly. This has to go down as the greatest charity event of all-time. Ever since the day I landed what might be construed as a "real job", I've been looking for an excuse to grow a heinous, hideous, peterfile-worthy 'stache... And now I get to do it for charity?

Gentlemen, if you too have been looking for a reason to grow the kind of flavour-saver that will have mothers grabbing the hands of their small children and moving swiftly away, look no further than Movember. Because when you get right down to it, no matter how abominable or repulsive your Burt Reynolds tribute, your boss can't ever ask you to shave it during the course of the month... Unless he's a fan of prostate cancer, of course.

So go through your late '70's baseball card collections and pick out a suitable 'stache. Rock the handlebar. Come strong with the Fu Manchu. Or go balls deep with the Toothbrush. But come the first of Movember, don't be shy about growing that ultimate-tribute-to-manhood.

Just remember: it was good enough for John L. Sullivan. It was good enough for Salvador Dali. It was good enough for Keith Hernandez.

And it's all in the name of charity.

(By the way, if you aren't clicking on the hyperlinked text, you're doing yourself a grave disservice)

Chad Ocho Cinco

Say what you will about his sanity, but the first time I clicked on the roster for the Cincinnati Bengals and saw the name "Chad Ocho Cinco", I actually laughed out loud. For me, that makes the entire fiasco worthwhile.

(By the way, what are the chances CJ knows that Ocho Cinco actually means "eight five", and not "eighty-five"? Do you think anyone should tell him?)

Somewhere out there, Rod Smart is nodding his head knowingly.

Enjoy the next 17 weeks of NFL fantasy bliss. I hope your league's draft was as entertaining as that of the Washington Redskins:

For the record, I may have to retire the moniker "Frank Reich's Electric Groove" in favour of "The DC Lumber Company". In light of Smoot's alleged involvement on The Love Boat, you don't have to reach too far for the innuendo. That's grade A stuff.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesday Diversion

In my opinion, there is nothing in this world quite as depressing as the day after Labour Day. The summer is gone. It's dark by 8 o'clock. And if you're a teacher... well, enjoy the next 10 months (how one rises from bed on a day like today, after two months off, facing the prospect of having to handle the likes of my 15-year old bastard self for the next year is beyond heroic. God bless you all).

In order to help you absorb the fact that we have little more than 7 months of dreary weather to look forward to, here are some of the best things I've come across over the past few weeks. (Huge tip of the cap to Flats for providing an endless array of links)

Watch You Bleed, by Stephen Davis

In this excerpt from Stephen Davis's biography of the saga that is Guns 'n' Roses, Davis eloquently describes where the best line from their most famous song comes from. YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE?...

Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilzation, by Douglas Haddow

I'm generally down with any piece that points to the egregious absurdity of skinny jeans, and this article taken from last month's Ad Busters does just that, and then some.

Haddow defines the "hipster" as "a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society", and he goes to great lengths to show how this "culture" drains all semblance of meaning from symbols that once carried cultural weight (Parliament cigarettes, Pabst Blue Ribbon, keffiyeh...)

A few of the highlights include:

Lovers of apathy and irony, hipsters are connected through a global network of blogs and shops that push forth a global vision of fashion-informed aesthetics. Loosely associated with some form of creative output, they attend art parties, take lo-fi pictures with analog cameras, ride their bikes to night clubs and sweat it up at nouveau disco-coke parties. The hipster tends to religiously blog about their daily exploits, usually while leafing through generation-defining magazines like Vice, Another Magazine and Wallpaper. This cursory and stylized lifestyle has made the hipster almost universally loathed.


An amalgamation of its own history, the youth of the West are left with consuming cool rather that creating it. The cultural zeitgeists of the past have always been sparked by furious indignation and are reactionary movements. But the hipster’s self-involved and isolated maintenance does nothing to feed cultural evolution. Western civilization’s well has run dry.

I think it's safe to say that the author has had at least one bad experience with some dude wearing his sister's jeans.

Toronto Blue Jays Season Preview, by Neate Sager (Deadspin)

While researching my piece about the top-10 drunkest crowds in Blue Jays history, I came across this great preview of the upcoming Jays season. It couldn't have been more accurate if it had been written by Madam Marie.

I love the idea that Jays fans have accepted the fact that we'll probably finish third every year, but that the playoffs don't really matter, because being a Jays fan is all about living for the moments you get while enjoying a few Delgados and rocking a powder-blue throwback jersey until they're mathematically eliminated sometime in September.

The Chameleon, by David Grann

This is easily one of the most disturbing stories I've come across: A twenty-three year old Frenchman assuming the identity of a sixteen year old Texas boy who had been missing for the better part of three years. His reason for doing it? Just because. The fact that he was able to convince the boy's family that he was their son/brother for more than four months is almost beyond belief.

If You Like Beer... Drink Here, by Graham Duncan

From Now Magazine's Beer Issue, here is a list of the best places to drink in Toronto (love the fact that the Cloak and Dagger gets a shout out). Also, Near Beer (from the same Beer Issue) lists the micro-breweries in and around the Toronto area.

The Alfredo Griffins:

For the fourth consecutive season, The Alfredo Griffins; overcoming adversity and the absence of our coach; were able to win the consolation division of the TCSSC co-ed, non-competitive softball league. A juggernaut of mediocrity. That's right: "We're number FIVE!".