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11 Defining Singles in 2009

In: Music, Nic

As every year comes to a close, I tend to look back and see it as a consecutive pattern of songs, and although things like my Transformer album from Lou Reed or my Best of The Smiths had a long history pre-Nic, Pop songs released within the year often define the blueprint because they are the thing in common that everybody heard at the same time as me. And although there’s still 31 days for music to make a difference in my life I’d like to present the 11 popular singles this year that defined the course of the last 11 months pour moi. I just couldn’t narrow it down to 10. Sue me.

11. Million Dollar Bill – Whitney Houston


Remember when we all thought that Whitney woulda rotted away in her crack bathroom published in National Enquirer, and then she got her gnarly shit together and actually kinda’ wowed us with a return? And it wasn’t like a false wow, like Britney’s Blackout (don’t get me wrong, loved the album, but it made as much a blip as a mosquito on a zapper), it was like a real return, with music videos, and Oprah. I applaud the Houston for sewing herself up and giving us Million Dollar Bill, a song that always makes me want to snap my fingers and put on a fedora.

Check out the Top 10 after the jump…

5 Defining Remixes of 2009

In: Music, Nic

Well in follow up to a Top 11 picks of 2009 article I wrote, I decided to put in my three (yes not two) cents about a few remixes that’ll remind me of this year. I’m a little bit of a remix whore at times, and in solid belief that something can always be improved on. Whether it’s from the club, on the beach, or just dancing by myself in my living room, these are the beats that got me through this year shaking what my mother has indeed bestowed upon me.

5. Tiga – Shoes (Mr. Oizo Remix)


….not to mention the video that freaked me out most this year. I feel like I’m watching something pirated that I really shouldn’t be watching. Tiga’s original of this song was hipster heaven, the remix is heaven for the hipster who can dance. Starts off with that wicked little guitar rhiff, and jumps right into a song about shoes, and well, who doesn’t love another 2009 song about shoes (Calvin Harris told us he’s buying them for the weekend this year). Nails, messy hair and gloves round up the things that these people love or hate, but care enough to sing about. Click here to listen to it!

Click here to see the rest of the Top 5…

America Loves Incest, But Not the Gays.

In: Nic, Politics & Issues

Well, on my browse around the internugget I came across a rather interesting picture that I just couldn’t help but to pass on to the web world I have access to.

The New York Times published a ballsy infographic with a clear message. The U.S. is ass backwards. Hopefully this will make an impression on you. The two very different graphics side by side show firstly the six (seven including Rhode Island) states supporting gay marriage, and below it the 24 states where it’s legal to marry your first cousin. Excuse me? That’s right. Read it again. The states. Where it’s legal. To marry. Your first cousin.

I want to not be surprised, but I just can’t. Shocking to say the least. The crazy thing is, that some of these states only allow the marriage to take place between these family members when the woman is getting on in years and unable to bear children (age restriction 65), most likely to avoid the momo’s you create when you put same-same genes together! This puts all the pro-marriage groups at a loss for a fight when they say that gay marriage will deplete procreation! Not to mention the ignorant opinion that gay marriage will promote the decline of American morality. Show me the morality first!

Read more and check out this “telling” map after the jump…


In: Celeb Gossip & News, Nic

Okay I realize that it’s not my usual subject to comment on celebrity mishaps, breakups, get togethers, and general occurances, BUT I JUST CAN’T HELP MYSELF ON THIS ONE!

This week, when, yesterday? The day before?….WHO CARES it happened! Girl Taylor broke up with boy Taylor after their three month relationship and just a couple weeks after girl Taylor’s birthday. Maybe her present to herself was making the biggest mistake of her life? Just sayin’ just sayin’!

These two perfectly manufactured teen dream sensations put their good genes together firstly on the set of the new movie “Valentine’s Day” coming out a couple days before the holiday early 2010. Although not out and completely public with each other, they’ve done the whole wholesome ice cream date thing caught by photographers, and have both alluded to their relationship when they individually hosted SNL.

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Well, it was interesting from the beginning.

Taipei is a very small airport. Pink walls, fake plants, shiny white tile. Little did I know that would only be the beginning. A row of bus companies bombarded me and Tim’s vision and not being able to read Mandarin or pick up a Wi-Fi signal in the airport to compare prices, we went with the first one. After a lot of communication barriers, we ended up buying a return ticket into Taipei with our 17 hours layover (6am – 11pm).

We had gotten a good night’s sleep on the plane thanks to trusty Tylenol PM’s, and I was feeling refreshed until I saw our bus. Double decker. Bright blue. Wabbly. A big dog on the side. And sporting an interior that would put Brenda Dickson to shame, flowered curtains and all. At least it matched the airport. Well the trip into Taipei took just under an hour, and we stepped out of the bus easily enough into rain and grey. Just wasn’t a nice day all around. Oddly enough nothing was open yet (big surprise), so the next hour was spent in Starbucks, the ONLY THING OPEN, drinking coffee and eating delicious Chinese Starbucks breakfast treats still not able to check my email or Google the sights.

Feeling caffeinated we found ourselves at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park which was absolutely huge and gorgeous with a memorial building that reflected old Chinese architecture. After arriving in the public washroom and seeing the squat toilet, I decided I didn’t have to go that bad, but instead of hitting the flush, definitely hit the rape alarm (or so I can only imagine it was), where a bathroom attendant burst into my stall and turned off the piercing alarm for me with a stink eye. I got my booty out of there before I got an ear full too.


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Have A Very Merry Viognier Christmas

In: Charge It, Nic

So many of us this time of year want to get home from work, or go home for the holidays, and draw every curtain around, light a fire in the ol’ xmas hearth and pop open a big bottle of red. It’s just natural, especially in sub zero weather, to not want a cold beverage. But sometimes it’s not so much the temperature of the beverage as it is the weight that red’s have in your mouth that make you feel comforted.

Although my Christmas doesn’t involve sub zero weather this year I’ve been drinking some amazing Viognier down under here and have been thinking about not only how great it would go with all that Christmas food, but how great a good heavy white is for all those that either aren’t red drinkers, or who just want something a little more refreshing.

For all y’all who are like “viognier whaaaa?”, it’s a french grape that is so diverse that it really doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. I know not everyone are Chardonnay drinkers, which I have beef with and is a WHOLE OTHER TOPIC *wags finger*, so I’m giving you Viognier. Stats? Originally from the Rhone Valley in France, can stand on it’s own or be excellently blended with other grapes, characteristically floral with apricot, tropical fruit and orange nose and palate, low acidity with that creamy unacidic mouth feel, and dry to off-dry depending on the wine maker. All in all very diverse though. So here are three options for that hefty glass of white that might carry you from turkey and ham through to pumpkin pie. God I’m gonna miss pumpkin pie this year.

Options after the jump…


So I feel as though media attention has been relatively brief for something that is so disgusting and horrifying, so I need to get this out there as much as possible because there’s a lot at stake in Uganda right now.

It’s the handywork of lawmaker David Bahati that has hit parliament floor Friday the 18th of December. The battle has now begun. And the fact that a group called The Family Life Network has come out to support this bill, just shows that no matter where you are, something resembling Fred Phelps’ blueprint comes up and rears it’s ugly head in support of hate. So what is it that David Bahati has presented to Uganda Parliament and that this disgusting “pro-family” group is supporting? Here’s how it breaks down in lamens terms as has reported it.

The death penalty. That’s what you’re looking at if you’re an adult over age 18 who has sex with someone of the same gender who is under 18. Or if you have gay sex while carrying HIV/AIDS. Or with a disabled person. Or if you are “a serial offender” who has gay sex often.

Life in prison. If you have consensual gay sex. Even if you do it outside Uganda’s borders.

7-year jail sentence. Anyone who “attempts to commit homosexuality” (i.e. makes a pass). Or anyone convicted of “aiding and abetting homosexuality” (i.e. providing a bedroom). Or anyone “promoting” it (i.e. introducing two partners).

3-year jail sentence. If you failed to report someone to the police within 24 hours of learning they had gay sex.

See now my panic?

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The struggles started right from the moment I hit the airport to check in to my flight on Tuesday night. (PS This is definitely a semi-continuation to last week’s Behind The Cast, but not crucial in the catch-up scheme of things).

See I had come home right from writing my WSET Advanced Wine Knowledge exam to chill for an hour, grab my bags, and go to the airport, so I was already a little on edge to say the least. Well Tim checked in, no problemo. Then it was my turn. See my passport was being denied and they weren’t getting an okay from the Australian government to let me through from Vancouver. I was wracking my brain. Did I stay past my visa last time? What’s going on? The lady said it happened sometimes, don’t worry, and come back in a half hour. I did. Nothing. Another half hour. Nothing. Finally I decided just to talk to the “management” if you could even call him that. He said that they weren’t getting a proper response because the Australian government was having a hard time finding my visa.

“What visa?” I asked.

“This one,” he said, and pointed to a visa in my passport.

Yeah he was pointing to the visitors visa I had from Australia in 2005! I asked him if he had been trying to swipe that all along, and he was. At this point it was half hour until boarding and if I was on edge before, I was a bird popping out of a clock by now. I tried to explain that that was an old visa but couldn’t seem to get through to him. He just kept asking me where my visa was then, and I kept trying to explain that I was only going as a visitor. He kept INSISTING I needed a visa.

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