Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dead To Me
($20 to the first person who can identify both the actor and the film
in the above picture).

You know - I'm a pretty laidback guy. Nothing really irks me that
much. I'm mostly a hippie. I'm fairly pacifistic in my world view.

But if you want to preach something to me and then don't even have
the balls to stick around and talk to me/dialogue about it, you are
basically dead to me. I'm not trying to be a jerk - but I put of a
boat load of effort into my personal relationships. Some I suck at -
Some I'm improving daily at - others, I could really care less
because I've put in more than my fair share of communication
attempts and the other party has been silent.

No one likes a big-talker betty-crocker who spits a lot of nuts
and then leaves the shells on the ground without cleaning up.

Grow a pair and get back to me when you're done pouting.

Friday, October 30, 2009

And Now...A Word From The Greased-Up Deaf Guy

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An Outlet Going Wild
As silly and as juvenile as I feel making the Matt Show, at times, it really has
been a good outlet to focus on so far this year. I've enjoyed it and the interplay
and reception it's caused among friends.

Matt Show Christmas party anyone?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'll crack something - I always do
Sometimes working on your own feels like a constant uphill battle
on an avalanching mountain. I spend a lot of time:
a. online
b. on the phone
c. in my apartment
d. waiting
e. doing all of the above

But much like Barry (Sandler's character in Punch Drunk Love), I
know that something will crack eventually. People need booking.
The service I provide is a little different and more unique than
what's out there so I'm looking forward to further developing what
I can do and build for artists. Value on value.

The key is never EVER offering what you cannot provide. Many
companies get rich by doing that but I don't believe in that.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Twitter Patter
So I've joined the world of Twitter. It's pretty weird and inane.
You can follow what I'm doing with The Matt Show and general
life here and then again with Graven here. Pretty galldarn

Actually - it's not exciting at all. I just joined to see what the hype
is all about.

Trust me. It ain't much.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A New Day
Budding from the cracks of disappointment and out of the crevices
of a dreamless sleep comes a new day. A day that could be shot to
hell - or a day that could be something extraordinarily grand.

What is it that we want from our existence? The trees fold up their
patio umbrellas of leaves for another season and the ground
becomes stiff and rigid. Soft dirt pathways now feel more like the
surface of the moon.

My cat stares out the window and sizes up the day in a manner
that I wish I could interpret and learn from. I think she knows
many things I do not. Her eyes close and open - she fades in and
out of consciousness.

For a moment, the sun widens - and as fast as I type this, it siphons
out. Banks account drain. Joy follows pain. Coffee shirt stain.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Go Time
Alright Phillies. Less' see whatchoo got. (spit, spit).

The fall classic is almost here...and WAY into the fall. Do
people care? Is baseball as fun as it once was before it was
rigged by salary-capping? Do you remember a day when it
really was all about peanuts and cracker jacks?

Who are we kidding - baseball has always been rigged even
before the days of Babe Ruth and extreme white supremacy
in the majors. Of course, it wasn't white supremacy then was just an accepted standard behaviour.

Sarah and I are chillin' at home today. I conned her into
watching True Lies with me on VHS. Great classic Arnie
flick. It still blows my mind that the man on the screen, beating
the hell out of terrorists, is now a governor.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Post #500

This is my 500th post on this blog. That means that 500 times,
I have dialed up and stenciled my thoughts and
ramblings into this publishing tool. I started blogging in
2003. Since then, until January 1 of 09, I have been rather
sporadic in my posting habit.

This past year, I have managed to post once every day. I think
I have done alright thus far, considering the fact that it's
October 25th. Wow. When you write it like that, the year
looks like a blink.

My hope is, of course, that all of this means something. I hope
that blogging has been an exercise in growth and wisdom as
opposed to a fruitless pursuit. It's an extension of me and
obviously a conduit to those of you who take the time to
read it.

Thanks for allowing me to do this, friends. I know that I'm
not always coherent. May each of you find ways to further your
passions and talents as you read my chortling chunder.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kid In A Candy Store
It's important to still have those moments in life where you get
'wowed' by something. Growing up, it's easy to become snobby
and expectant of the way things will turn out. Last night, I
was a kid in a candy store.

David Bazan has been somewhat of an invisible inspiration in
my life...until last night. He was very visible last night. Playing
mostly bass for a full set of rockin' tunes (which included a
few old Pedro The Lion throwbacks), Bazan didn't move much
or have what most marketeers of the music scene would call
'stage presence', but he sure rocked the crowd with lo-fi
thunder. Last night was my first time seeing him live and
hopefully not my last. His style has been a major musical
driver for me (especially within Graven) and he even sort of
helped me to wake up and get serious about this blog.

As I panned the crowd last night, I saw my friend Tyrone (of
Silver Speakers) standing stage left with the look of an awed
child meeting Santa Claus. My cousin Ben and his friend
Jake felt the same way.

Thank you Mister Bazan - for making me feel alive.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In the T-smoke - blogging from my cousin's house. He is cooking
pasta in the other room. We are off to see the above man in concerto
tonight at Lee's Palace.

He has been an inspiration to me and never comes to Canada.

I will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dodge This
Casey Blake # 23 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on from the dugout during a game against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on June 30, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.
Looks like Casey Blake and the boys from Los Angeles are
hitting the golf course. Since seeing the Dodgers last year in
LA with my friends Matt and Mitch, I've had a bit of a connection
with this team. I'm not sure but I feel sad for them tonight.
They are a money team - to be sure. But they are the Dodgers -
a true team of baseball lore. Their manager is Joe Freakin'

Too bad.

Go Yanks.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Provocative Matt Show Trailer
Watch for it. It's gonna be a barnburner of an episode.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Monday Monday
Ok Rivers. Quit chirping and make something happen, wouldja?

For the sanity of all football loving San Diegans. San Diegoans.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Sunday Sunday
How long can this man keep making headlines?


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sturgeon Face

Friday, October 16, 2009

Still In The Cap'
The above map represents where I used to live. Life has
changed immensely since then. I no longer work 3 jobs and
live in an apartment where I can't stand up straight because
of old piping. Don't get me wrong - I friggin' loved Ottawa.

But it is not where I'm supposed to be right now.

I guess we'll just have to adju-uuuuuu-uuu-u-uu-uu-uuust.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Kind Of Story Are You Living?
I don't like to read books. I like to replace pages of text
with life lessons. One author, though, has stuck with me through
the years as someone who has ignited the passion that is within
my bones - Don Miller. He's not the most eloquent writer of
all time and definitely goes for the simpler strand - but he
writes experientially and he never publishes anything that
is not real or genuine to his own life - and that goes a long
way with his reading audience.

His newest offering 'A Million Miles In A Thousand Years'
is all about the elements of story and what makes a story
compelling. It's a pretty amazing and powerful read. The
question is repeatedly asked 'What kind of story are you
living?' It's a good question.

So what kind of story am I living?
What kind of story are you living?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You Know You're Bored When...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Autumn Tones 4
I've always been puzzled by a book my friend Brad had to read
for school that was called 'The Hunting Of The Quark'. To
my limited understanding, Quarks are the building blocks
of matter but because of their miniscule size, they have never
been seen on their own - only in groups (hadrons). I remember
asking Brad 'What the heck is quark?'. He looked at me with
a deadpan blink, sighed in defeat, and retorted 'You don't want
to know' and shook his head, while burying it back into his
books. Brad was a good friend and he didn't do this to be a jerk -
but I think the explanation would have been lost on me and
even more of an intellectual chore for him to sound out.

I guess I always thought of that moment as being significant as
it's always easier to by-pass a thorough explanation because we
write off the listener.

Later that night, after a rousing game of football featuring Jon
Toelle, Dave Dixon, Steve and myself (I was pretty thin and
handsome then and could throw 45+ yards in the air), a group
of us staff were chatting and Steve was discussing how he had
lost certain feelings for the girl he was seeing since the
summer. A few of us coaxed him with stupid phrases like
'It will pass' and 'Just give it some time', but I think Steve
was telling us that he knew the relationship/fling was
already over. He walked away from us, mid-conversation
(as there was a phone outside of derby in those days) and
grabbed the phone. 'Steve - what are you doing?' I asked
as the lot of us sat under a tree that was in the middle of the
lodges. We tried not to eaves-drop but Steve kind of made
it a display and asked for it. Within 4 minutes of being
on the phone, Steve came back to the group. 'It's over',
he sighed. 'I feel a lot better, now'. We were in shock. 'You JUST broke up with her? In that span of time?'
I jested. 'Yep. Anyone want some hot chocolate?' Steve stood
up and headed for the dining hall.

For Steve, he had found the quark.

The mystery was gone.

Later that weekend, the insanity of the meal had passed and
a few of us posed for a shot outside of Derby (the staff lounge
at that time) before we headed out for the weekend:
(L-R: Melinda R, Me, Jim Verburg, Steve Gray, Dave Dixon,
Sarah B, Justin Paisley)

Parts of the weekend and the wedding, I'll never remember but
parts of it will always oddly stay in my heart and my being.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Autumn Tones 3
My head swirled in a way it hadn't before. Things that comforted me
while falling asleep wouldn't do the trick. I was up plenty early that
day and had buckets of exercise, walking to and from campus (a 4k
trek from my basement pad on Cedar St) several times.

But I was restless within.

My mind raced through old sermons from the Presbyterian church
that stiffened me and my brother, my parents, heaven and hell,
a billion other belief systems and religions...and I felt overwhelmed.
I got up and turned on my bedside light. I sat at my desk for a bit,
in the corner of the room, just contemplating. It was 3:30 am and
I had turned in at about 11:30. On my desk, oddly enough, was the
bible that I still have today - black and bound by fake leather of
some kind with my name inscribed in gold cursive on the bottom
right cover.

For some reason, I opened it and flipped to the book of James. I
can't exactly recall how or why I turned the pages to that destination -
it just happened. And I read about putting one's faith into
action and how faith without deeds is dead. The words seemed
to apply directly to me. If I call myself a Christian and was
raised to believe that and I've experienced a sense of God being
with me - why am I not acting out my beliefs? Essentially, I was
wading in and out of people's lives with no effect. I was spiritually

That night, some weeks later (in a cabin with Steve), I awoke to
Steve's soft voice beckoning me. 'Matt - guy - Matt...' I had
fallen asleep with my sleeping bag totally open and the frosty
October night had dropped in temperature like a stone. 'Guy -
I am FREEZING!! Are you actually asleep?' Steve asked,
half-screaming, half-chattering. I then remarked to Steve that
I did sleep but that my one eye-ball, that wasn't against the
pillow felt like a solid ball of ice crammed into my eye socket.

We gathered up our things, shaking and yawning all the while,
and headed for the staff quarters and crashed in the lounge.
We awoke the next morning to different staff dudes like Dave
Dixon and Justin Paisley walking through the lounge and
commenting on our 'sissy-ness'. Steve defended us in a nice
manner but I'm pretty sure I used expletives and tried to
keep sleeping.

It was sunday morning.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Autumn Tones 2
Steve and I decided to sleep outside that night. We were tired of the
usual rigamarole of sleeping in staff quarters at camp with other
smelly dudes and needed some time to connect. We headed down
from the main dining hall and found an abandoned cabin still with
mattresses in it. Chris's wedding had ended the day before and Steve
and I finally had a chance to de-brief our lives for the past few
months. Before heading back to Guelph, I had decided to volunteer
at camp that weekend for a couple days as my new girlfriend was
also there and it would be the first time we saw each other since
the summer.

We both chucked our sleeping gear on to the bunk closest to the
door and made remarks about how nice of a night it was. The cool
smokiness of the fall air lent something to it and under the
starry umbrella of lanark county, we were sensing it in full force.

We decided to forego teeth-brushing and got right into our
sleeping cocoons and began to chat in the dark of the cabin with
the moonlight seeping in. I poured out my guts to Steve and he
listened. I told him that being with this girl was hard but that
we were giving it an honest go (even though she lived in Ottawa
and was still in high school and I was 5 hours away in 2nd year
of uni). Steve was silent about his romantic endeavours. So I
asked him and he responded that he was also scared and unsure
but that things were going alright. They lived in different parts
of Ottawa and Steve (being a slacker 18 year old) still didn't
have his license.

After talking for a bit, I realized that Steve was a good friend.
Steve didn't always appear to be the brightest light on the block
but that was just his big and somewhat oafy demeanour - he
really only thought deeply 95% of the time and didn't like
talking about things that didn't matter.

That same fall, a few weeks before the wedding and sleeping
in the cabin with Steve, I had a bit of an experience in my guelph
basement. I was tired of living a life that focused on things that
didn't matter. As cheesy and as over-Americanized it sounds -
God spoke to me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Autumn Tones
It was thanksgiving weekend of 1997.

I had set sail for Guelph University from a long and tumultuous
academic birth out of the Sudburian womb of Laurentian
University. My courses had all transferred properly and
everything seemed to be set in motion. I was on a bus, on the
way to Ottawa from Guelph, to stand in the wedding of a close
friend - Chris. The only other person standing on Chris's
side was my brother Adam. Chris was finally getting married
to his long-time love Rebekah. The wedding was taking
place in Navan, Ontario - a farming community on the east
side of Ottawa.

The previous summer was quite an interesting season for
me at Camp IAWAH. My good camp friend Garry (who was a
senior staffer with me) was back in Kingston at Queens
and my other friend Pat Garrett was in bible school in
Cambridge. My friend Steve Gray, though, was still in
Ottawa and finishing his last year of high school and going
batty in his parents house in Bells Corners. I was looking
forward to seeing Steve.

The bus pulled out of the University circle at Guelph and
chugged along Gordon Street, winding through the sparse
towns (like Aberfoyle) that separated Guelph from the 401.

The previous summer was also a landmark in the sense
that I started dating a girl who was on staff that summer.
I remember sitting with her on the tilebed - a large grassy
pad that covered the sewage bed at the camp - and
talking about my feelings for her. She was only 16 and I
was 20 but we had promised to take things slow and
not rush into anything. What was more amazing was
that Steve had also talked another girl (that very same
day) about his feelings for her and they began dating
as well. This wasn't planned - but kinda bonded Steve
and I in a way that would stick with us to this day.

The wedding came and went and my friend Chris
seemed very happy. He and Rebekah had dated for
almost a decade before getting married and I'm sure
that many people said 'finally' under their breath
during the reception, but I was happy to be part of the
day. You see - Chris was a friend of my brother's
before he was friends with me. Chris was about 3
years older than me. I knew Rebekah's sister from
camp but other than her, Rebekah, Chris and my
bro, I really didn't know a soul at this wedding. One
thing I remember clearly, though, was the priest
hangin' out with us before the ceremony in a tiny
room behind the sanctuary. He was a white-bearded man
who seemed quite aloof to most things. The night before,
someone took a picture at the rehearsal dinner that required
a flash. This priest (Allan, I think his name was) closed
and opened his eyes wide a few times (after the photo
had been snapped) and then looked at his hands for a solid
few minutes as if he was blind for life. In the small church
room, the day of the wedding, we were all remarking
about the great dinner at the rehearsal. The priest jolted
in, nervously 'Ha, yes - I, uh - I ate far too much and I
drank far too much' and then shook his head.

More to come.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Turkey Lurkey Doo
Something about the smokey scent of the October air conjures
up a feeling of mortality and wisdom. Maybe because the
innocence of the summer season has passed - and now with the
brilliant colouration of leaves, a sneaking sense of effigy
lurks from the nearby pines.

October was always a special time for me. Many times over the
course of my life, in both my teen and twenty-years, I headed
to camp to volunteer with my friends, for many blue-haired
and youthful visitors alike, who re-connected with each other
whilst knowing that a massive meal was coming their way on TG

One of the most joyous features of this weekend, however,
was that of Jim Lane - the newfie Chef who has long graced
the kitchen of the camp with glorious and glistening grub.
The way that man could filet a turkey was something of a
science, really. Hearing his comments about 'filling up the
trough' regarding over-eager dining-hall eaters was
something that could make a tedious, long, sweaty shift
in the kitchen go by quickly.

I miss Jim - and I hope to see him soon. I also long to
eat turkey and potatoes and hear my insides gurgle and
wilt simultaneously.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I'm Sick Of This Dolphin Blog
I'm somewhat uninspired with blogging. It has become a duty
that creeps up on me and I need to fulfill. It is no longer a
surveillance Dolphin that roams the ocean of the net - it is
a bore and a chore.

Maybe TV is rotting my brain?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Borough Of Peter
Had a great few meetings in Peterborough today coupled with an
interview with the Canadian music legend Gordie Johnson (Big
Sugar, Grady, producer of Joel Plaskett, etc.).

We have to treasure every moment - every second we have on
this earth - for none of us know when it could all be over.

A seasonal ale. Good friends. In-depth conversation. Music. A
funky little Ontario town with some spunk.

It was a good day.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I made a video for the UN

Monday, October 05, 2009

Switch Opens

A song to rule many others.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

What's the deal with this guy?

He dates super-models but he's really not that good looking.
He starts for the most well-off team in an already financially
saturated sport...

And yet - he throws a lot of picks.

He needs to have more scrambles. When the pressure's off,
he doesn't know how to rise.

Now is the time, Romo.

Now is the time.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Good Morning Starshine - The Earth Says Hello
Breezy weekend. I can't recall right now what I was going to write.
That happens a lot, lately. I'm walking around in a grocery store or
at a post office with a riveting idea and then I get to the keyboard and
poof - it's gone. It is a dandelion seed on an August afternoon.

Ideas are like the currency of our time - only they often don't fill
your bank account. But what does fill your bank account, really?

It never stays full. It's always depleting. You save - so you can spend.
You invest - so you can travel or buy a home and become poor again.

What's the point?

Friday, October 02, 2009

New Matt Show

Thursday, October 01, 2009

One For The Books
It had been a long time since I'd been up until 3 am but tonight was
a night that allowed me to do that with a thunder and vengeance
that kindled deep into my bones. Earlier that week, I had been
planning to come to Kingston to film a few scenes for the Matt
Show. A few days before, however, I was notified that sir Joel
was to be playing a show at The Ale House on Princess St. I
didn't think much of this as I'd seen him once in May and another
time in August at the folk festival in Ottawa. Both sets, though,
had him showing more folk restraint and less rock throttle.
I found out, however, that the Kingston show was the first
show that the Emerge would be playing with him in a long

Upon hearing this, I longed to see the great rocking spectacle
of thunder whap Dave Marsh and Joel leading the charge (with
help from Pete Elkas) and contacted my old acquaintance Dave
Marsh (as I decided that bugging Joel would be too much) to
see about getting on the guest list. Dave was all-too-pleased to
make it happen and told me to give him a heads-up closer to
the show.

Wednesday came and I dropped Dave a line. After filming a
few scenes with my friend Josh and getting some thai food
into me, I hooked up with Brendan and we headed to the venue
for 9:45 (even though the show was supposed to commence at
9). The lineup was a quarter of the way down princess st on a
wednesday night. Brendan held a spot while I checked to see
if we were on the list. Bingo. I saw my name on a sheet of
paper behind the glass. I stepped back out into the street and
flagged a surprised Brendan. It was all too surreal.

We stepped into the venue and got a close spot near a brick
wall that we could lean on. It was a sold out show (and the
alehouse holds about 800 people) and the show was
as fulfilling as a warm taco on a cold december afternoon.
After the show, the surreality continued as Brendan and I
thanked Dave for the guest listing. He was happy to speak
with about our mutual friend Charles and Halifax and seemed
quite satisfied from the show. Then he said 'hey, do you guys
want to hang out and have a drink?' Was he talking to me?
Weird. Sure enough, he was. After that, Dave disappeared
for a bit but Joel recognized me and was happy to chat gear
for a long time and talk about his old accordion-turned-
guitar amp. After chatting with a whiskey-toting Joel for half
an hour, Dave came out and informed us that drinks had
been ordered for last call at the Toucan down the street.

And so it was that Joel, Brendan and I walked together with
Dave leading the way down to the Toucan. Joel ate from a
massive bag of Lays chips and passed them off to Brendan
saying 'please take these - I will eat the whole thing'. Joel
then checked his phone messages and told us about Gordie
Johnson playing the melody to a song his son wrote and
wanting Joel to write words for it.

After the cold walk, the fun continued. The bartender didn't
seem too happy that a band entourage decided to descend
upon her haunt after 2 am and began taking away drink
glasses so as to get us out. Stories of the road were shared
and Dave Marsh chugged a whiskey so that bartender
wouldn't take it away undrunk (I actually also chugged a
beer for the same reason).

As 3 rolled around, the group of us were escorted out and
Brendan and I said our farewells. The cold rain fell softly on
Princess Street as Brendan and I headed sleepily but happily
back to the House Famous to rest.

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