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¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ VEX-FILES FEATURE:





PM 41481024



The Volvo ReCharge Concept is a plug-in hybrid with an electric motor at each wheel and batteries that are recharged every day via a household electric power socket. This gives the driver about 100 kilometres on electric power alone. When necessary, the car’s four-cylinder combustion engine is activated to recharge the batteries on the move.

CONTENTS ��� issue #23 ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦






7 Publisher’s Note

12 Jokes

28 Beer Critic

Some days you should just never even get out of bed..

We keep you laughing to distract you from the nightmare that is life.

Who knew even Santa had his own special bottle of suds?

8 Letters

14 Fresh Faces

58 Fitness

Like gluttons for punishment, you keep writing into us and taking our abuse.

We caught Whitney hanging out at the casino. And we do mean “hanging out”.

If your cup size is larger than your lady’s, you probably need this workout.

10 Ask The VEXperts

16 Tuned In

60 Mind Games

Providing you answers to the questions that never get asked.

The latest batch of tracks you’ll probably go illegally download somewhere.

The world of James Bond broken down into a bunch of black and white squares.


On the cover: Chris Cornell image by Randall Slavin Summer image pg.4 / Nicole Marie image pg.5 by Trevor Howell/323 PhotoGrafix Diamonds Are Forever © Danjaq LLC and United Artists Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


64 Nicole Marie What a way to finish off an issue!


Austrian Wines

The home of Mozart, Schwarzenegger and surprisingly good wine.


Lady Luck

We break down the fine art of card-counting.


Mike Dambra

The New York comic now calls Calgary home.


Sex & Hockey

The creative force behind the Rheostatics brings Canada’s two favourite pastimes together onstage.



CONTRIBUTORS ��� ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦

Publisher / Editor-in-Chief

Mark G. Bilodeau

Vice President / Associate Editor

Jeremy Nielsen Artistic Director

David Aaronson Director of Design

Andrew DeVore Senior Designer

Damian Fehmel Production / Pre-Press Assistant

Bonny Leung

Chief Photographer

David Ford | Contributing Photographers

Mark G. Bilodeau, Mike Bradley, Ryan English, Trevor Howell/323 Photografix, Trudie Lee Photography, Jeremy Nielsen, Robert Sebree, Cory Shannon, Randall Slavin Contributing Writers

David Berrade, Christopher Bloomfield, Matthew Browman, Scott Dumas, Steve Eisenberg, Gerry Krochak, John McCormick, Seth Miller, Matthew O’Brien, Jonathan Stoddart Contributing Artist

Nate Schmold

Graphic & Web Design

Mathieu Prouse PrePress

Russell Greenlay Minister of Propaganda

Pete James | Advertising Inquiries:

Calgary Sales Office Box 28007 Cranston RPO Calgary, AB. T3M 1K4 (403) 520-0116 Distributed by

Gallant Distribution Systems Canada Post VEX Ltd. VM is published six times per year by © 2008 VEX Ltd. All Rights Reserved. PM41481024 Return undeliverable items to: VEX Ltd. Box 28007 Cranston RPO Calgary, AB. T3M 1K4 GST# 86889 5715 RT0001


PUBLISHER’S NOTE ��� ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦


e’ve all experienced it ... a day when it seems nothing was meant to go your way. I had one not too long ago. I had a plan in place. My son had soccer practice in the evening which, took two hours. And while he was at practice, I was going to go shoot a portrait of New York comic, Mike Dambra. Thirty minutes of travel time there, twenty minutes to set up, twenty minutes to shoot, twenty minutes to tear down and thirty minutes to get back to pick up my boy from practice. Two hours exactly. It was foolproof. Or so I thought. I wanted to meet Mike at an outdoor location downtown for the picture. But being new to the city, he needed me to pick him up and take him there ... which would mean having to take him back too. Not to worry. My initial plan had some margin for error when it came to the timing. I could still make this happen. As my son and I left the house to head out to soccer, the snow began to fall. Great. Perfect timing. We’ve had +20° weather right through October and today it decides to snow. That would screw me on the outdoor photo (lights don’t perform well in sloppy falling snow), but hey, I’m a professional. I’ll improvise another location. Of course, the snow would also slow up traffic a bit, but I think I can still squeeze that into my time frame.

All Trademarks presented in this magazine are owned by the registered owner. All advertisements appearing in this magazine are the sole responsibility of the person, business or corporation advertising their product or service. For more information on VEX Magazine’s Privacy Policy and Intention of Use, please see our website at All content, photographs and articles appearing in this magazine are represented by the contributor as original content and the contributor will hold VEX Magazine Ltd. harmless against any and all damages that may arise from their contribution. All public correspondence, which may include, but is not limited to letters, email, images and contact information, received by VEX Magazine becomes the property of VEX Ltd. and is subject to publication. To have unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other material returned, it must be accompanied by a self-addressed return envelope with postage pre-paid. VEX Magazine is not responsible for loss, damage, or any other injury to unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, artwork or material. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part without written consent from the publisher is strictly prohibited.

We hit Glenmore Trail on the way to practice and it’s bumper-to-bumper. What the hell? Turns out there was a massive fire in an industrial area and it was backing up traffic all over the place. Grrrr! I finally crawl my way up Glenmore and get my son to his practice (slightly late). And now I still have to get back to Chinook Centre (our chosen meeting place) to pick up Mike. The snow’s falling heavier now and traffic is apparently being held up in both directions thanks to the fire. When I finally get to Chinook, I notice Mike limping toward my car. I ask him if he’s alright and he informs me that he was just hit by a car. (Are you kidding me?! Hit by a car?!) Yes, hit by a car. Someone backed into him while he was walking and then took off without so much as a wave. And of course Mike was too busy looking at stars to catch the plate number, so it looks like the prick is going to get away with it. I tell Mike we’ll scrap the photo shoot for today and just go grab a drink instead. So since we’re already at Chinook, we walk into Joey Tomatoes for some eye candy and liquid comfort. But wouldn’t you know it, the place is packed. No seats anywhere. Without a word, Mike just looked at me, shook my hand and limped out the door. Sometimes it just seems like nothing was meant to go your way. Cheers! Mark G. Bilodeau

Publisher / Editor-in-Chief VEX Magazine


A very shy Dererk in China


A very steamy Mary in Mexico


A few fans show us their copies of VM from around the world. A very drunk Mike with Evander Holyfield in Vegas.



LETTERS ��� ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦

What Are You Saying? Our e-mail inbox is overflowing with your countless rants and raves.

Okay VEX, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. I read your letters to the editor section every issue and you guys are always claiming to give away some prize to every person who had their letter published. Well, here’s your letter. Now send me my schwag! Tom Solinger Calgary, AB Oh ye of little faith, Tom. Of course you realize that we expect you to hang your new clock proudly over the fireplace for everyone to see. And now that you’ve supplied us your home address for shipping purposes, we’ll be sure to send out a mass invitation to our entire mailing list for a Christmas party at your place! Enjoy!

Fielde Promotion

All I can think to say is, “WOW!” The photos you ran of Nadine Dumas (“Fresh Faces” Sep/Oct) were incredible. I think I would have preferred her as your feature VEX Girl for the issue instead of the two you had on the cover. The thing I couldn’t understand is why she’d give up living in the Caymans to move back to this deep freeze we call Calgary. Glen Fielde Calgary, AB See ... there you go, questioning it. We told you right on the page not to do that. We can’t make sense of it either, but thank God she’s here now! Just accept it and be thankful.

Gridiron Grief

Admittedly, it didn’t come as much of a shock, but I was still disgusted by your football attendance graph and seeing that even high school football in the States has nearly the same fan support as the CFL. It’s pathetic, really. Terry Salven Edmonton, AB We couldn’t agree more, Terry. But it should also not come as a shock to know that fan development in sports is all about money. And even U.S. high schools are able to dump more cash into their programs than most CFL teams. Try to find comfort in knowing that no matter how many more fans they may have in the stands ... our balls are bigger!

Fanning The Flames

I thoroughly enjoyed your NHL Season Preview interviews (Sep/Oct). I was especially impressed by the fact that you not only spoke to various players from around the league, but to former Flames from around the league. Getting some input by guys like Mike Commodore and Andrew Ference was a sweet touch. I think Steven Reinprecht was even in Calgary for a cup of coffee. Well done, you guys. I personally think Rob Kerr is talking out of his ass with his playoff predictions. I sincerely believe the Flames have a chance to go all the way this year. But what do I know? He’s the hockey analyst and I’m just an accountant. Shane Querzola Calgary, AB That’s right, Shane. Hoist that banner high. Go Flames Go! We could certainly use another Red Mile season. There’s a lot of pent up partying aggression around this office and we need an outlet that has a low risk of getting us arrested.

Guilty Pleasure

I can’t say that I’d ever consider actually buying their album, but I was sure thrilled to see the photos of Girlicious. They’re so young though. It almost feels wrong somehow. Malcolm Callow Calgary, AB Don’t go checking yourself into the Pedophiles Anonymous Clinic just yet there, Malcolm. These ladies are all old enough to vote, buy beer and get into R-rated movies all by themselves.



Tell us what you think of VM. Everyone who had their letter published in this issue received a “Happy Hour Starts at 5!” wall clock on us.

Curtis McElhinney: photos by Gerry Thomas / courtesy of the Calgary Flames Hockey Club Nadine Dumas: photo by Trevor Howell /

Doubting Thomas

VEXPERTS ��� ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦

Ask Us Anything

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Whether you’re getting high on nature, getting bagged at work, or just trying to tidy up those expense receipts ... we’ve got you covered.



WILL LICKING A TOAD ACTUALLY GET YOU HIGH, LIKE IT DID ON “FAMILY GUY” OR “THE SIMPSONS”? Well, you might want to refrain from actually licking them (you know, warts and all ... yuck!) but certain toads and other animals can get you trippy.


Indian holy men have been known to lace tobacco with dried cobra venom in order to achieve cosmic oneness. It’s a touchy process though, and needs to be prepared properly to avoid death.


There’s a tribe in the Sudan who brew up a concoction of giraffe’s liver and bone marrow. Drinking it is said to cause some pretty vivid and interesting dreams.


Species of Northern Africa and Western Asia will chow down on belladonna and transport the plant’s psycho -altering qualities to their honey. Eating it will put you in a frenzy.


Ix-ne on the icking-le. Just dab the end of a cigarette onto a Colorado River toad and puff away. Not only will you experience a nice, warm, flushing feeling ... but you also risk an all-out seizure!


When even the nightclubs start actively enforcing a “no drinking on the job” policy, you know it’s going to be a lot tougher to get a good drunk on at the office. But worry not, oh Dukes of Debauchery, we’re here to help. Choose Wisely

Talk Smart

Look Alive

Plan B

Things like beer, scotch, gin or rum are quite easily noticed on someone’s breath. The safer choice is vodka. It has much less of an odour to it. So take a good swig out of a bottle of OJ and top it off with vodka for a morning Screwdriver. Then, in the afternoon, you can switch over to cans of Coke and finish the day off with some Dirty Mothers. Before you dive into the world of workplace boozehounding, lay some groundwork and make your transition as smooth as possible. Develop a happy-golucky attitude around the office. Put a bounce in your step when you move from your cubicle to the watercooler. Be that peppy guy you’ve always hated in the office so they think you always act like you’re drunk anyway.

Don’t get too chatty with your co-workers. The more you ramble, the more suspicious someone might get and the better their chances of catching booze on your breath. Try to avoid initiating any conversation. And when you have to answer someone, do your best to stick to monosyllabic retorts. Sometimes all you need is a simple “yup” to get by and get out. Nothing, of course, is fool-proof and there’s a good chance you’ll eventually get caught. So it’s best to be prepared to cover your ass. If confronted, play the victim. Immediately start blubbering uncontrollably and tell them you’re a very sick person and you need them to help you to control your drinking problem. By law they have to and now they can’t sack you.

The Simpsons © 2008 Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved

The last time one of your office buddies pegged you in the neck with a paper clip, using an elastic, you probably weren’t struck with an insatiable need to know who was ultimately responsible for the soon-to-be-massive welt. But just in case the thought did cross your mind after you calmed down, it was a Norwegian inventor named Johann Vaaler. He came up with the design in 1899 and patented it in 1901.

JOKES ��� ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ LEASE A OW TO P


er. urprise h ld her. S o with H H h g r. e au h L her. Call n to her. e te in is D lieve L e B r. r. e ge her. Wine h ile at he t her. Sm r. Encoura with her. Shop n e e h m e li c p an m Co Rom Cuddle with her. for her. old her her. Cry her. Pray uy her flowers. H h it w y ra B of the . s y d lr n e e w in her. P e Go to th ive her je G r. e r. h e h to h wit tters te love le r. hand. Wri ain for he ag k ac b d an th ar e



Show up


naked. B

en wings. ring chick


ck the TV

Don’t blo

A lady goes to the doctor and complains that her husband

is losing interest in sex. The doctor gives her a pill but warns her that it is still experimental and tells her to slip it into his mashed potatoes at dinner. That night at dinner, she does so. About a week later, she’s back at the doctor. She says, “Doc, the pill worked great! I put it in the potatoes like you said! It wasn’t five minutes, and he jumps up, rakes all the food and dishes on the floor, grabs me, rips all my clothes off, and ravages me right there on the table!” The doctor says, “I’m sorry, we didn’t realize the pill was that strong. The foundation will be glad to pay for any damages.”

A man is sitting in a bar when a beautiful woman walks up and whispers in his ear, “I’ll do anything you want for 50 bucks.”

“Naah,” she says, “that’s okay. We aren’t planning on going back to that restaurant anyway.”

He puts his drink down and starts going through his pockets. He pulls out a ten, two five’s, a twenty and ten loonies. He thrusts the wad of money into the woman’s hand and says, “Here ... paint my house.”

Sam and Bessie are senior citizens, and Sam has always

A husband and wife want to take golf lessons from a pro at a local golf club. They meet with the pro and head to the driving range. The man goes up first. He swings and hits the ball 100 yards. The golf pro says, “Not bad. Now hold your club as firmly as you would hold your wife’s breasts.” The man follows instructions and hits the ball 300 yards. “Excellent!” says the golf pro. Now the woman takes her turn. She hits the ball 30 yards. The golf pro says, “Not bad, but try holding the club the same way you would hold your husband’s dick.” She swings and the ball goes 10 yards. To which the golf pro says, “Not bad. Let’s try it again, but this time try taking the club out of your mouth.” 12 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

wanted an expensive pair of alligator cowboy boots. Seeing them on sale one day, he buys a pair and wears them home, asking Bessie, “So, do you notice anything different about me?” “What’s different? It’s the same shirt you wore yesterday and the same pants.” “What’s different?” Frustrated, Sam goes into the bathroom, undresses and comes out completely naked, wearing only his new boots. Again he says, “Bessie, do you notice anything different?” “What’s different, Sam? It’s hanging down today; it was hanging down yesterday and will be hanging down again tomorrow.” Angrily, Sam yells, “Do you know why it’s hanging down? ‘Cause it’s looking at my new boots!!” Bessie replies, “You shoulda bought a hat!”

¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ A teacher is instructing her fourth grade class, and she’s telling them that the word of the day is ‘contagious.’ She asks if anyone can use this word in a sentence, and several students raise their hands. “Carl,” she says. Carl says, “My dad told me to stay away from kids with mumps ‘cause they’re contagious.” “Very good,” says the teacher. Then she picks Suzie, who says, “The atmosphere was contagious.” The teacher says, “Excellent, Suzie!” Then she notices that little Johnny has his hand up at the back of the class. “Yes, Johnny?” Johnny says, “The other day, me and my dad’s a-sittin’ around, and we saw our blonde neighbor painting her fence. She had a tiny little model car paintbrush, and she was going in tiny little strokes up and down the fence, and my dad says to me, ‘For the love of God, it’s gonna take that contagious to finish that fence.’”

A small-town prosecutor called his first witness to the stand in a trial - an elderly woman. He approached her and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know me?” She responded, “Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a rising big shot when you haven’t the brains to realize you will never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.” The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, “Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?” She replied, “Why, yes I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to baby-sit him for his parents. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He’s lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. The man can’t build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire province. Yes, I know him.” At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench. In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, “If either of you asks her if she knows me, you’ll be jailed for contempt!”




WHITNEY BRADLEY photographed by Ryan English

When she’s not tending bar at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino, this gorgeous lady likes golfing, snowboarding and playing with her dog.

What’s in your iPod lately? I’m digging Kanye ... Love Lockdown.

What’s one of your guilty pleasures?

I love food! If you give me a full plate, I’m going to eat it ... even though I might not feel so good afterwards.

What do you like most about working at the casino?

There is never a boring night. The clientele is so varied, that I find myself in a totally new and interesting conversation every night.

Are you much of a gambler?

I love playing in home poker games. I always seem to win. Guess I’m just lucky ... or really good at cheating.

What’s your favourite game on the casino floor?

I like anything except for the slots. I like having some degree of control over what’s going to happen.


TUNED IN ��� ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦


IKONS Ace and Peter stand to rake in some serious royalties off this collection. And considering Gene and Paul hate sharing royalties, do you think this might mean a reunion tour? One can only wish.

KANYE WEST 808s & Heartbreak

Kanye the crooner? Apparently so. For practically two-thirds of this album, Mr. West attempts to show his fans that he has depth and range as a musical artist. And people thought Andre 3000 was nuts.

GUNS ‘N ROSES Chinese Democracy

He’s arrogant, self-absorbed and even though he took 14 years to get this album out, Axl Rose is also good to his word. Enjoy.


Cosmic Universal Fashion Slam back some shots of Cabo Wabo and rock out to the first album the Red Rocker has put out in over eight years.


Don’t look for Hot Fuss Pt.2 or even Sawdust: the Sequel. This is a new album and a new sound. You owe them your allegiance.


Take It To The Limit You’ll want the Explicit Content version of this CD. There’s more tittie action in the liner notes than last month’s PLAYBOY.


This two-disc DVD set features an in-depth documentary about the band on disc one. Loaded with interviews and behind the scenes stuff. Disc two, however, will blow you away with their Fillmore Residency concert.


VEX-FILES ��� ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦





Olga Kurylenko as Camille According to General Medrano in the film, Camille’s family name is Montes. But in the video game based on the film, she is given the surname Rivera. The game was developed using an earlier draft of the script.



Eva Green as Vesper Lynd Although she earned a lot of critical acclaim for her role in the film The Dreamers (2003), most of the attention she received didn’t necessarily come from her acting performance, but rather the numerous full-frontal nude scenes she had in the film.


Caterina Murino as Solange Dimitrios Murino was initially studying to become a doctor. After failing the extrance exams for medical school ... (not just once, but twice!) ... she decided it might be a good idea to change her career path. So she started entering beauty pageants.

Quantum Of Solace and Casino Royale © Sony Home Entertainment.

Gemma Arterton as Strawberry Fields According to cinemablend. com, this stunning English beauty was born with six fingers on each hand and a “crumpled ear”. Cosmetic surgery was used to fix her ear and her extra digits were removed using a technique called “tying”. Small scars on both hands still remain.



VEX-FILES ��� GIRLS WITH A COMMON BOND ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ DIE ANOTHER DAY

Halle Berry as Jinx She wisely turned down the lead role in the box office flop, Gigli. Lucky for us, too. That was the film that spawned the relationship between Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. And if we ever found out Halle was getting it on with Affleck, she’d be tainted for us for the rest of her life. Phew! Dodged a bullet there!


Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost Truly a Bond girl who possesses brains as well as beauty. She’s not only an accomplished cellist (that’s someone who plays the cello, by the way) but she can also fluently speak both German and French. A bit intimidating to most insecure guys. We just find it incredibly sexy.


Sophie Marceau as Elektra King Contrary to popular belief, she is not related to the famous French mime, Marcel Marceau. Her real name is Sophie Maupu.

Maria Grazia Cucinotta as Cigar Girl This gorgeous Sicilian actress appeared in a Simpsons episide, called “The Italian Bob” where she performed the voice-over work for Sideshow Bob’s malicious wife, Francesca.

Denise Richards as Dr. Christmas Jones In Feb. 2008, she was voted “Worst Bond Girl of All Time” for her role by readers of the British newspaper, Daily Mail.





Teri Hatcher as Paris Carver She claims she was sexually molested from age 5 to 9 by her then uncle, Richard Hayes Stone. Stone died of colon cancer back in August of this year. Here’s hoping it was a long and painful experience for him.

Izabella Scorupco as Natalya Fyodorovna Simonova She had been offered the female lead role in the film L.A. Confidential, but turned it down. That role was then filled by another Bond Girl, Kim Basinger, for which she won the Academy Award.

Michelle Yeoh as Wai Lin Although she does many of her own stunts and is known as the “queen of martial arts films”, Yeoh has never had any formal martial arts training. She attributes her abilities to her dance training as a child.

Famke Janssen as Xenia Zirgavna Onatopp This Dutch-born film-fatale has enormous feet. She wears a whopping size 11 shoe and had to have all of her footwear in Goldeneye custom-made. You know what they say about women with big feet? Neither do we.


Goldeneye, The World Is Not Enough, Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day © Danjaq LLC and United Artists Corporation.


VEX-FILES ��� GIRLS WITH A COMMON BOND ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ LICENCE TO KILL Talisa Soto as Lupe Lamora She was approached by PLAYBOY to do a pictorial but had to turn it down due to her contractual obligations as a Bond Girl.


Carey Lowell as Pam Bouvier Much like her husband, actor Richard Gere, Carey is a supporter of Tibetan cultural preservation and is a Buddhist.


Maryam d’Abo as Kara Milovy Maryam was hired as a screen-test actress for the 1981 Bond flick, For Your Eyes Only. Subsequently, that was why she was first attached to this film. She impressed the producers well enough, however, to be cast for the role. When she accepted the role, Pierce Brosnan was still expected to become the newest Bond.



Tanya Roberts as Stacey Sutton Bond producer, Albert Broccoli, decided to cast Tanya after seeing her in the film Beastmaster. Beastmaster?! Evidently, senility was starting to set in.

Grace Jones as May Day In 1981, Jones slapped British TV talkshow host, Russell Harty, while on air because she felt he was ignoring her by chatting it up with his other guests.

Fiona Fullerton as Pola Ivanova Retiring from acting after the birth of her daughter, Fullerton now makes a successful living selling real estate and writing columns on property investments.

Licence To Kill, The Living Daylights and A View To A Kill © Danjaq LLC and United Artists Corporation.


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Never Say Never Again © NSNA Company. | Octopussy and For Your Eyes Only © Danjaq LLC and United Artists Corporation.

Kim Basinger as Domino Petachi She reneged on a verbal agreement to appear in the film Boxing Helena and was sued for $8M, forcing her to declare bankruptcy. The decision was later overturned.

Barbara Carrera as Fatima Blush For a short while, Carrera was reportedly involved in Scientology. Unlike most celebrities who get sucked into this world, however, she eventually came to her senses and quit.


Maud Adams as Octopussy Adams appeared on an episode of That 70s Show as a bridesmaid to Tanya Roberts’ character, along with fellow Bond Girls, Kristina Wayborn and Barbara Carrera.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY Cassandra Harris as Countess Lisl von Schlaf During the filming of the movie, she introduced her then husband, Pierce Brosnan, to producer Albert Broccoli. Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock Reportedly dating Gérard Depardieu since 1997. Kinda gives hope for average Joes everywhere, doesn’t it?

Lynn-Holly Johnson as Bibi Dahl She refused to do a nude scene in Ice Castles and walked off the set, which halted production.

Kristina Wayborn as Magda During filming, Wayborn broke several toes when she kicked what she believed to have been a plastic replica bazooka out of a stuntman’s hands. It was real. Ouch!

VEX-FILES ��� GIRLS WITH A COMMON BOND ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ 1979

MOONRAKER Lois Chiles as Dr. Holly Goodhead Now a professor at the University of Houston in Texas, this brainy Bond beauty used to have a long-term love affair with Don Henley of the Eagles. She ended the relationship after the tragic death of her brother from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1978.


Emily Bolton as Manuela Being a Bond Girl was probably her biggest claim to fame, but she also made several recurring (although uncredited) appearances in the cheesy mid-70s sci-fi TV series, Space: 1999.

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME Barbara Bach as Major Anya Amasova She attended the famous Beatles concert at Shea Stadium in 1965. Fifteen years later, she would meet and marry Beatles drummer Ringo “I’m not the cute one” Starr.


Caroline Munro as Naomi In 1966, at the age of 16, she recorded the single Tar & Cement for EMI records. The track featured none other than Eric Clapton.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN Maud Adams as Andrea Anders She’s the only Bond Girl in history to be cast in two separate Bond films, playing two separate leading ladies. She would meet up with 007 again in 1983’s Octopussy.


Britt Ekland as Mary Goodnight While walking to the stage to present an award at the Kerrang! Music Awards in London, she fell, fracturing her ankle and breaking her wrist.

Moonraker, The Spy Who Loved Me and The Man With The Golden Gun © Danjaq LLC and United Artists Corporation.

Corinne Clery as Corinne Dufour This sexy Italian actress (real name: Corinna Picolo) first came to cinematic prominence when she appeared in the controversial 1975 film, Story of O.

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Gloria Hendry as Rosie Carver The love scenes between 007 and Rosie were edited out of the film when it was initially released in South Africa because the Apartheid government prohibited the romantic mixing of blacks and whites.

Live And Let Die, Diamonds Are Forever and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service © Danjaq LLC and United Artists Corporation.



Jill St. John as Tiffany Case With a monster IQ of 162, she was admitted to UCLA at the tender age of 14.


Jane Seymour as Solitaire British band, Radiohead, recorded their album OK Computer at her house.

Lana Wood as Plenty O’Toole Standing at a rather modest 5’ 3” tall, Lana said she had to stand on a box while filming most of her scenes with Sean Connery in order to have them both in the same frame.


Diana Rigg as Tracy Di Vicenzo She officially beat out Judy Dench as being the first Dame to appear in a James Bond film. In 1994, she was dubbed as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

Angela Scoular as Ruby Bartlett She also appeared as Buttercup in the 1967 Bond spoof, Casino Royale.



VEX-FILES ��� GIRLS WITH A COMMON BOND ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ 1967


Mie Hama as Kissy Suzuki When told she may be fired from the film for not learning English fast enough, she said she would then commit ritual suicide because of her shame.



Claudine Auger as Dominique ‘Domino’ Derval Producers felt her French accent was too thick after shooting some initial scenes, so her voice was dubbed before the film was released. Molly Peters as Patricia Fearing She has the esteemed privilege of being the very first Bond Girl to be seen stripping naked in a 007 flick.

Karin Dor as Helga Brandt Earlier this year, Karin made a long-awaited return to the stage in Munich in a non-Bond-related production called Man Lebt Nur Dreimal (“You Only Live Thrice”).



Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore Blackman is the oldest Bond Girl in history. She was 37 years old at the time of filming. Apparently wanting the role so badly that in order to appear on-screen with the famous James Bond, Blackman quit her job as Cathy Gale in the very successful British series, The Avengers.

Martine Beswick as Paula Caplan She also danced in the opening credits of Dr. No and was a fighting gypsy girl in From Russia With Love. Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona Volpe She would appear alongside fellow Bond Girl, Ursula Andress, in the 1975 film The Sensuous Nurse.


Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson The original Golden Girl, Eaton underwent more than two hours of makeup application. A doctor was on set for fear of skin suffocation.

Tania Mallet as Tilly Masterson Already earning an average of £2000/week as a model, Mallet took a significant paycut, getting a mere £150/ week to appear in the film.

You Only Live Twice, Thunderball and Goldfinger © Danjaq LLC and United Artists Corporation.

Akiko Wakabayashi as Aki She was initially cast to play Kissy Suzuki, but due to Mie Hama’s difficulty with English, the roles were switched because Aki had more lines.

¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ 1963


Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana Romanova The voyeuristic love scene between Tatiana and Bond was deemed too explicit and nearly censored out.

From Russia With Love and Dr. No © Danjaq LLC and United Artists Corporation.


Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench The Bond tradition continued in her family. Her daughter would appear as an extra in Goldeneye.


Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder James Dean had asked her to go with him to San Francisco in his Porsche 550 Spyder on September 30, 1955 (the day he died). But upon speaking with John Derek that same day, Dean realised that Ursula was in love with John and not him. So Dean left Los Angeles by himself. Two years later, Andress and Derek would marry, then divorce in 1966.

Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench She was initially cast in the role of Miss Moneypenny, but was finally given the role of Sylvia Trench. She is the first official Bond Girl in history.

Zena Marshall as Miss Taro Both she and the future 007, Roger Moore, would make their motion picture debut together in the 1945 film Caesar and Cleopatra.



BEER CRITIC ��� ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦

Santa’s Private Reserve Ale Rogue Brewery

Style: Red Ale Alcohol: 6% abv Package: 22 oz bottle


very year select breweries will create a special beer in honour of the holiday season with the intent to showcase their individuality and dedication to the craft. Sometimes it’s the annual release of a tried and tested crowd pleasing favourite and other times it’s something brand spanking new. More often than not, however, these winter seasonals are a hit with beer enthusiasts but a miss with Joe Six-Pack. They’re niche beers; dark in color, extremely rich in flavour, super high in alcohol, and more expensive than your average bottle of wine. Some are even flavoured with various herbs and spices to make them even more intimidating. But not all of them are high-priced “concoctions” that will knock you on your ass after a mere bottle; in fact, a lot of the more successful ones are those based on traditional styles with only a couple of tweaks to them. More agreeable in strength and more beer-like in taste, a fine example of such modesty is

the Rogue Brewery’s holiday seasonal, Santa’s Private Reserve, which is simply an amped-up version of their Saint Rogue Red – a quaffable Irish Red Ale. Currently enjoying its 16th year of production, this festive release packs a full-on creamy blend of malt, roast, hops, and a bit of spruce – though the latter comes from a mystery hop called “Rudolph” and not from the actual leaves and branches of the tree itself. Like the majority of the twenty-or-so ales in Rogue’s portfolio, Santa’s is fermented with a proprietary yeast strain they call “Pacman” – so named for its ability to chow down sugar and create great tasting ales. They also brew without additives, chemicals, preservatives or pasteurization, so you’re getting nothing but pure beer goodness as well. Rogue is one of America’s best known old school microbreweries. It was founded in the late 80s and to this day remains a solid player in the brewing industry due, in part, to the continual development of cutting-edge ales (check


out their XS line of beers if you don’t believe me). It also helps that they’re headquartered in Newport, Oregon, right next to hop county, U.S.A. Think of the Pacific Northwest, especially the Yakima and Willamette valleys, as the Napa Valley of hops. The rich soil, mild climate, and plentiful rainfall provide perfect conditions for growing some of the world’s fattest and juiciest cones right on their doorstep. Combine this with the region’s free-range coastal waters and it’s easy to see why they and so many other microbreweries, the most per capita in the world, have chosen to call this place home. So if you haven’t tried any of Rogue’s award-winning beers, now’s definitely the time to do so. And what could be more appropriate than a bottle of Santa’s Private Reserve, fresh from the bottling line and on Calgary shelves now. Treat yourself to a Christmas pint or spice up that lame Hickory Farms gift basket for your dad. Either way, get it while it lasts. Cheers!

GRAPEVINE ��� ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦

An Untapped

RESOURCE by Matthew J. Browman


more than a little annoying hearing chatter about “the next big thing”. People think they either want to be involved, or the one who thought of it first. Sure it will come around, but do the math. For every idea that someone has about what it might be, someone is bound to hit it. I read an article a while ago about the grape variety, St. Laurent, becoming the next big wine style in Canada. The winery, or vineyard manager, seemed very serious and enthusiastic about this entirely obscure, generally light replica of Pinot Noir (without the class). He felt that the future of the area was in St. Laurent. Frankly, there is a reason St. Laurent doesn’t have a section dedicated to it in your local fine wine retailer. It’s not that it makes bad wine. It’s just of non-distinct character in most places it grows, and is hardly grown anywhere other than experimental regions like Ontario (excepting Austria, where it is well-established). However, I’ve been wrong before and the wine world is a mine field of faux pas. Even the most careful, crusading anti-snob can step in it, then put his foot in his mouth. A revolution has begun in some Eastern European wine countries, where international experience and influences both in grapegrowing and winemaking have improved the overall quality of production a hundredfold. When you combine that with unique indigenous grape varieties, a wine culture worth noticing is born. Along with Austria, similar revolutions are taking place in the likes of Greece and Hungary. Recently a young gentleman representing Austrian wines in Alberta visited me. Easy to talk to, intelligent and friendly, he introduced himself and asked if I wanted to taste some wines. Of course I did. He placed eight to ten products on the

counter, one of which I picked up was a 1986 Pinot Blanc that had a decomposing label and deep golden colour. Being the ass that I sometimes am, I grabbed the bottle by the neck, kinked my wrist to twist the label toward him, raised both eyebrows and asked “Are you serious?” (Pinot Blanc is not renowned for its long-term cellaring ability). He was far more gracious and classy an individual than I, and he must have heard that line a couple of times before. Without missing a breath he said “Yeaaah. You don’t have to try it but you can see for yourself if you like.” I was skeptical, but kept an open mind. And his purpose was not to sell me 22-year-old Pinot Blanc, but rather to demonstrate a point. First, let me say the range was excellent. Austria is known for its specialty grape, Gruner Veltliner. Crisp, dry whites with white pepper, mineral and citrus fruit, but slightly richer than, say, a Riesling. We tasted no Gruner Veltliner that day, but had two vintages of Sauvignon Blanc, that old Pinot Blanc and a dry Riesling for whites, then some Zweigelt, Blaufrankish and Pinot Noir for reds. The reds were an encouraging surprise considering that this is a country believed to be much like Germany in its wine style production (read: light, off-dry to sweet whites). The Olivin 2005 Zweigelt was medium bodied with mineral, dark fruit and mild spice aromas. It uses locally sourced Austrian oak to enhance the influence of the volcanic soils on which it is grown (the name Olivin is named for the type of local rock). The Hanz Moser 2006 Blaufrankish was medium to full bodied in weight with a vibrant, deep purple colour. It showed wildberry and plum fruit with some dark spiciness as well. The packaging for the range was modern and appealing, and the closures were an innovative new product called Vino-Lok which is a glass stopper with a thin rubber seal that snaps into place.


There was one real stand-out, and one pleasant surprise. The stand-out was a Reserve Pinot Noir from the Winkler-Hermaden Winery in Southeast Styria. Subtle spice, game and berry fruit aromas led to a medium bodied, well-structured but silky palate. And the pleasant surprise? That’s right. The 1986 Pinot Blanc. What was remarkable was that it was alive at all. But it was better than just still alive. Though a little short on the finish, the complexity of aromas were that of an old vintage champagne, with hazelnuts, warm bread and butter and candied lemon peel. And it stayed intense and changed with each return to the dark golden glass. The point he was demonstrating was not so much that this wine should be kept for 22 years, but that the general wine world would do well to keep its mind open, as surprises can always be found. So Austria. The next big thing? I’m not going to pretend to believe that. But are they a country with enough diversity of grape variety, climate and soil combined with energetic, exacting, and improved production processes to warrant a look? Absolutely. Enjoy the journey. Prost!





Photographed by Trevor Howell /




VEX GIRL ��� SUMMER ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦

ust in time for Christmas, we bring you a healthy dose of ummer.


Well, I get my height from my dad ... he’s 6’3” and German-Irish. My mom is from Trinidad & Tobago. She’s mainly Chinese, and the rest is Portuguese, Native Carribean, maybe a little African, and some other random things. We’ve been mixed for the last three generations on her side, so I’m almost everything.


I work in a nursery part-time with highneeds kids. A lot of disabilities and behavioural disorders. I graduate next Christmas with my Bachelor’s of Elementary Education, so my job right now lines up perfectly with what I want to do. I used to teach karate to little kids, and am supposed to be doing that right now, but I’m too busy. I tutored French & Computer Science, I worked at a daycare for about a year, and I used to work with children with autism spectrum disorder.


I speak English, French and Spanish. I’m working on learning Arabic right now, along with German and sign language too, but really slowly. I decided I wanted to learn a lot of languages because I used to play SimEarth on a Mac way back when and it had lanugage options for English, French, Spanish and German. Since I already knew English and was learning French at the time, I decided I wanted to learn the other two as well.


I don’t use the computer enough for it to really make a difference for me. I’ll just use whatever’s around ... Blackberry, PC, Mac ... I really just check my email, Facebook and do my banking ... maybe Google or Wiki something once in awhile.


I like the Mac commercials. The kid in them is funny, and I really liked him in Jeepers Creepers. Those commercials are funny, memorable, and they have a nice clean design. The PC ones that I’m aware of are just lame.









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LADY LUCK ��� MASTERING THE GAME OF BLACKJACK ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦


COUNTING CARDS Practice, practice ... think you got it, and then practice again Counting by increments of +1 and -1 seems easy. In order to be good, however, you have to be able to do it as fast as two cards per second. That is what the experts are saying at least. If you can flip through a deck of cards while applying the Hi-Lo System, you should be at 0 at the end of the deck. If you can do it 50,000 times in a row and be correct each time, you might be ready to try it for real. Apply your new skills on the Internet There are many Internet sites that offer Blackjack in no-money games. You don’t have to spend time or money traveling to a casino and you don’t have to worry about other players berating you on bad decisions. There are also many variations of 21 that you can’t find at a casino. Play alone in the comfort of your own home but have distractions happening all around you to simulate the endless multiple disruptions in a casino. You obviously can’t have waitresses walking around and dealers talking to you but you can turn on the TV, crank the new G n’ R album, and release a jar of moths. Get yourself a halfdozen decks of cards Counting cards in Blackjack is easier than most people think. Once you know the system of winning at Blackjack, it is just a matter of repetition. You might as well invest in a six-pack of cards, belly up to a six-pack of rye, and forget about working on your own six-pack because counting cards takes a hell of a lot of time.

Study the Blackjack Bible In the 1950’s, Blackjack became very popular in the casinos of Vegas. The original game was modified slightly to make it the game we know today. In the 1960’s, a fellow named Dr. Edward O. Thorp wrote a book entitled Beat The Dealer, in which described what he called Basic Strategy. It is a system that you don’t learn but memorize. And to be a good card counter, it has to become second nature.

Head to your local casino When you are good and ready, take your newly acquired skills to the local Blackjack table and give it a go. The first thing that you should do, as all good counters do, is to sit at “thirdbase”, which is the last seat to be dealt. That way, you have a great spot to see all the cards ahead of you. Blackjack is the only game in a casino that has previous cards directly affecting future cards, so it is important to not only count, but also have a great view of the cards being dealt and the shoe they are in. It’s because of card counters, by the way, that some casinos do a good job of hiding the cards in the shoe as to not reveal the number of cards left. Now, sit there and play Blackjack until your ass has blisters because that is the only way counting works. Because the discrepancy is between 1-4%, the only thing that makes this system effective is hundreds of hours of repetition.

Learn the Hi-Lo System

Work on your stealth and chameleon-like skills...

The Hi-Lo System for counting cards is just one of many different systems used to beat the dealer in Blackjack. It is the most widely-used and one of the easiest to memorize and perform. The system gives a value to each card in the deck. Cards 2-6, are given the value of +1. Cards 7,8, and 9’s are given a value of 0. The face cards and aces are given a value of -1. Counting cards using the Hi-Lo System means you just add or subtract by a value of 1. That’s it. Based on the “running count”, the player can tell what types of cards are left in the dealer’s shoe. The shoe usually has between 6-8 decks, depending on the casino, and to get a “true count” you divide the “running count” by the number of decks that are estimated to be leftover in the shoe. If the “running count” is high, like 8-13, there is a higher probability of there being more face cards and aces, which make for more ‘21’s’. Getting paid on a 21 pays 3 to 2. Plus, the dealer has to hit under 17, you don’t, and this allows for more busts by the dealer.

...because once the casinos find out that you are counting, you may find yourself in a cement room with no cameras, dealing with some guy named Nicky ‘The Nose’ and his happy henchmen.


Actually, that probably won’t happen as counting cards is completely legal. It is, however, illegal to use technology to help you count but using your own brain is completely legit. But although the casinos encourage all kinds of people to gamble at their establishments, they don’t necessarily encourage card counters. Casinos are notorious for having incredible security systems, including hi-tech body-language reading computer programs. If you are ever caught counting you may have a polite escort right out the front door. They have no right to beat the crap table out of you, but like any establishment in a capitalist market, they retain the right to refuse service to anyone and can tell you that you’re simply too good for them.

INTERVIEW ��� CHRIS CORNELL ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦


UNTRAVELED Rock music icon, Chris Cornell, discusses past successes, future aspirations, his current collaborative project and his rumored involvement with Led Zeppelin.

© story by Gerry Krochak photography by Randall Slavin



hen you team an established rock music legend like Chris Cornell with a superstar urban and hip-hop producer like Timbaland, you might not know what to expect. Neither did they. “Neither of us had a clue what it would end up sounding like, which is an exciting thing,” says Cornell, whose third solo album, due early next year, is produced by Timbaland (Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Madonna). “We’re both at a point in our careers where we can do anything we want,” Cornell continues. “That’s an answer in itself - if you can do anything you want, without borders and you chose never to go outside of what’s comfortable for you then ... it’s kind of squandering a great gift and a great opportunity. I didn’t give it a second thought – I just figured, ‘Let’s go make a record’.” He credits Timbaland for bringing into the collaboration a huge measure of what any new journey requires: the confidence to take chances. “He really felt it,” Cornell says. “It was one of those things where you have to feel pretty confident in what you do, to stray so far from what I’m known for and make an album like this. You also have to have the confidence that it’s going to turn out well. To see that much confidence


from Timbaland was really a great thing for me. “I think it was also different for him that I’m very open at this point in my career. I don’t think he was used to that. It wasn’t just me wanting to go in and do anything I wanted, but he wanted to experiment more as well with me than maybe he could have with others he’s worked with. “That’s when a six-week project turned into the six-month project that we’re both so excited about.” Cornell’s openness to experiment and change have been a hallmark of his career, and prepared him to be open to new ideas—and to deal with people who don’t quite get that. “I’ve taken a lot of left turns in my career already,” he says. “I’ve seen reviews where (critics) have said, ‘This guy has lost his mind!’ so it wouldn’t be the first time someone has questioned my choices. “The one rule I do have is, don’t judge the songs or the music until



INTERVIEW ��� CHRIS CORNELL ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦

you’ve really made an idea complete. I think for producers, musicians are hard to deal with sometimes. I’m very laid back and I’ll try anything, even if it’s embarrassing, because you never know what will come of it.” Cornell cites groundbreaking albums such as Queen’s Night at the Opera to make his point. “Some of that stuff could have been the silliest, most ridiculous stuff that anyone would have tried to put on to an album,” he offers with a chuckle. “But they had the guts to do it. And the album they made, everyone agrees, is a classic that changed music and changed the way we think about rock bands.” Cornell himself has changed a lot of how we think of rock bands, especially through his high-profile period as the frontman for Soundgarden, at the forefront of what came to be known as “grunge” or the “Seattle sound”. The urge to try new things might have stemmed from the need to have a presence instead of being just a part of the scene that was making them famous. “To a degree, I think the focus for a lot of us had to do with proving ourselves as individual bands and individual artists, as opposed to components of something that became a fad,” he says. “There was definitely a moment where being from Seattle and part of a musical scene that was a fad became a bigger story than who you were individually, or what your band was and how it was different. “(Soundgarden) was together and writing songs and creating music before any of the

“We all had something to prove, and the people who didn’t die proved it.” other bands were actually bands yet. (The guys in those bands) were members of different bands, but Pearl Jam didn’t exist, Nirvana didn’t exist and Alice in Chains didn’t exist when Soundgarden was writing songs and performing shows and making our first recordings. Then, all of a sudden, we were in a situation where we were just grouped in with a bunch of other bands. “We all had something to prove, and the people who didn’t die proved it.” In the midst of Soundgarden’s hugely successful run, Cornell took time in 1990 for a one-off project, Temple of the Dog. The band played exactly one live show in late 1990 and released a self-titled album in 1991. When Soundgarden wrapped up after 12 years, Cornell began writing and recording with guitarist Alain Johannes and keyboardist Natasha Shneider of the band Eleven before


releasing his first solo album, Euphoria Morning in 1999. After touring with that album, Cornell next joined guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine to form another seminal band: Audioslave. “The beginnings of Audioslave were kind of a whimsical thought,” he says. “Like going in and making a record with Timbaland was. There were a lot of different opportunities at the time, and I was getting a lot of different offers from all kinds of different places. “Ever since Temple Of The Dog, I had wanted to be open to collaborations and having a career,” Cornell explains. “Soundgarden had played a few shows with Rage in the ’90s. I remember watching them perform and thinking that they were amazing, and that they

INTERVIEW ��� CHRIS CORNELL ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦

union tour might have—and the irony in that. “It’s also funny looking back and the shape things have taken,” he says. “The Seattle music scene kind of wiped out an entire commercial music culture in one fell swoop, and it took, literally, three to six months to do it. But a lot of those bands were wiped off the face of the earth—they went from playing arenas and then couldn’t fill up a club—and now they’re all back playing arenas again. “The name Bon Jovi became synonymous with what not to sound like or look like by 1992, and yet Bon Jovi now tours and sells out arenas in 2008. It’s interesting where people go with their fandom and what they want out of music and what they want out of that cultural experience.

“The Seattle music scene kind of wiped out an entire commercial music culture in one fell swoop, and it took, literally, three to six months to do it.” were a really exciting live band. “The exciting aspect of (Audioslave) was that it wasn’t just coming from one type of music. It was coming from the hip-hop world to the Euro-electronic world, from DJs to rock people to super famous guitar players that were in defunct bands. It felt good. I realized that, to some degree, I was respected for what I had done, but I wasn’t pigeonholed into any particular type of music, which was very good for me.” Audioslave’s three albums sold over eight million copies by 2006, when that band also called it a day. Cornell resumed his solo career, releasing his second solo album Carry On in 2007, with a slow blues cover of Michael Jackson dance classic “Billie Jean,” and touring a show featuring music from his entire career.

Cornell has no immediate plans for reunions with any of his past bands, because he believes Audioslave, Temple Of The Dog and, particularly, Soundgarden had accomplished all they set out to do. But he’s open to the possibility. “At the time Soundgarden broke up in 1998, it was definitely the right time,” says Cornell, who formed the legendary act in 1984 with guitarists Kim Thayil and Hiro Yamamoto. “We all put Soundgarden itself as a special entity up on a pedestal and we didn’t want to do anything to hurt it. “But there have been times when certainly it could happen again, and it still might. I would feel it in my gut, and if enough time goes by ...” He certainly recognizes the appeal such a re-


“There was a time when people wanted to completely reshuffle the deck. They wanted something new and they wanted something fresh. Now I see this huge nostalgia movement where it’s really comfortable to go back and relive a time when music was so . . . simple.” Even if enough time goes by to make it feel right, any reunion won’t be as just another blast-from-the-past money grab. It would be because a past band would be the right vehicle for new expression. “I could see not doing something that’s a shadow of what we were, but something that’s different than what we did,” Cornell says. “There have been times when I would be writing for a new studio album, for example, and I would come up with an idea and think, ‘Oh, this would have been a great Soundgarden song’.” Cornell will work on his new album and tour for the better part of the next 18 months, which quashes the relentless rumour that he will tour, fronting Led Zeppelin, should that group make the frankly awful decision to tour without Robert Plant. Cornell, for one, says he wants no part of it. “I just can’t imagine Led Zeppelin going out without Robert Plant,” he muses. “I think it would be sad. As a fan, I wouldn’t go if it were free no matter who it was or how talented they are. It wouldn’t be Led Zeppelin so I don’t know how you would call it that. “I hope they don’t do it and I know it won’t be me.”

BEHIND THE WHEEL ��� ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦


Glendeer Circle





driven and reviewed by Christopher Bloomfield

Friday afternoon and here I am, shaking hands with Andrew Baker from Bentley Calgary. He’s English so it was kind of a James Bond moment when he handed me the key to a 2009 Aston Martin Vantage. Thoughts of hitting an ejector seat button by mistake and getting fired through the roof, or maybe I go to adjust the radio and accidentally turn the car into a hovercraft race through my mind. But no, Andrew isn’t a secret agent, just a cool guy...and maybe a secret agent. If you were walking around outside in downtown Calgary and you saw a guy driving an Aston Martin with the roof down even though it was only about 8oC...uh, hi, that was me. Don’t worry, I had the heater on so I was toasty. If you do ever get the chance to drive one of these around, be sure you make your way downtown and drop that top. There are two reasons for this: the first reason is so ev-

eryone can see that you’re driving. And the second and more important reason is so you can listen to this Aston’s beautiful exhaust notes bounce off the surrounding buildings in a symphony of awesomeness. Oh yeah brother, awesomeness - this ‘vert sounds like nothing else. It’s not a high pitched Ferrariesque note, nor is it a low thump like what you’d hear from a domestic V8, but rather a





BEHIND THE WHEEL ��� ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ combination of the two. Which is thanks to, and I quote, “Fully catalyzed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves”. Sweet. Opening the doors is a simple push/pull affair, wherein you push the front of the handle in so you can then pull the back of the handle out to swing the door open. The doors open at a slight and very cool upward angle that completes with the back of the door being at almost roof height when opened fully. Unique and cool, and not likely to be copied by a busted wannabe à la those Lambo doors on your Civic. Once the doors are open, you can now make your way over the wide door sills and into the cockpit. I found that fitting into the Vantage was snug for my tall frame at first but after a few minutes of settling in, my butt had warmed up the hand-stitched leather seats, and I became quite comfortable. The interior is absolutely gorgeous. Aston focused on a minimalist look that hides what can be hidden and showcases the rest in their unmistakable style. Navigation is viewed by way of a flip-up screen that is seamlessly integrated into the dashboard that sits just above where you would slide the ignition key. You see, the key isn’t really a key at all; it’s actually a small ECU that you slide into the dashboard, kind of like a piece of bread into a toaster to be honest, and there it stays inside the dash until you are done driving. Well, I thought it was cool. The Vantage is the littlest Aston, but by no means does that make it any less amazing. This is a fully hand-assembled dream machine. This car is a combination of aluminum, magnesium alloy, steel and other composites which make it very light and very agile. The engineers went all-out creating an almost perfectly balanced machine; even the gas tank is mid-ship mounted for balance as well as increased safety. All this technology is wrapped around a hand-assembled 4.7L V8 that sports four overhead cams and 32 valves. This creates 420 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque, with 77% of that available at 1500

rpm. This means ‘car, go fast now’. The car that I drove had a “sportshift” transmission. It means it’s not an automatic but rather a standard with no clutch petal. You shift by way of paddle shifters and the car itself engages and disengages the clutch and shifts the gears. There is a “drive” button that does the paddle shifting for you but it’s more fun using the gear. The one drawback of this system is that when you’re in heavy bumper-to-bumper traffic, it can be difficult to crawl along because the car wants to engage the clutch fully all the time, so there tends to be some lurching. I was told after my drive however, that there is in fact a crawl function but I just

wasn’t smart enough to find it. The great part of this system is when liberal amounts of throttle are used. It shifts perfectly every time and it just feels great knowing that there is no way that I can screw it up. The suspension consists of double wishbones at all four corners, coupled with mono tube shocks that are equipped with anti-squat, dip, lift, and roll technology. The car also has dynamic stability control, positive torque control, and electronic brake force distribution. handles pretty friggin’ good. This car screams Aston Martin. The low slung seating area that is wrapped in smooth minimal body lines on the inside look great as they continue the beautiful flowing lines from the outside. There are virtually no front and rear overhangs which add nicely to the low agile stance. The front end itself is all Astonlooking as one would expect. Driving this car is a blast. It’s very fast and very compliant. Stop to 60 happens in less


than 5 seconds and it allegedly tops out at about 290 km/h. Here lies a small issue with the car. It can go that fast therefore the speedometer can go that high. This means that there isn’t a lot of room for numbers so basically the speedometer goes from 0, then 60, then 120 in the same space that your speedo goes from 0, to 10, then 20. Needless to say that if it didn’t have a supplemental digital read out it would be impossible to know how fast you were traveling under 100 km/h. Let’s get back to the story. So here I am trying to show off so I figure I’ll take a drive down 17th Avenue to see who looks. Everything is going great; I cruise through downtown getting tons of looks. I’m listening to the ridiculous exhaust note and having lots of fun looking way cooler than I really am. I turn onto 8th Street and head down to 17th Avenue. As I pull around the corner to head east on 17th Avenue, a Maserati Quattroporte pulls in front of me and steals all my thunder. What a jerk I think, here’s a guy who’s cutting me off in a car that’s almost as nice as the one I’m driving and being even more of a douche bag than I’m trying to be. I out-douched him though; I rolled up my windows and left the roof down. Ha! So anyways, he pulled off and I continued down 17th Avenue and then south through Mission. I took a left on 25th Avenue and headed back out toward Macleod Trail. Then I got stuck in traffic for a while which is where I learned about the lurching thing I mentioned earlier. Eventually I was able to get away from traffic and stretch this car’s legs a bit and it did not disappoint. All that technology really let me push this car as hard as a guy would who completely obeys every law and posted speed limit. I case you’re wondering, the price tag is a tiny $182,000 for the car that I drove and I’m sure if you needed to know that, you couldn’t afford it anyways. Another big thank you to Andrew Baker from Bentley Calgary ... and now also Aston Martin Calgary.

CANDID Q&A ��� STAND-UP COMEDY SCENE ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦

Mike Dambra �

Neither rain, nor snow ... nor even getting hit by a car will keep this New Yorker-turned-Calgarian from showing up to his interview with VEX. So you’re from New York? I know a guy there named Steve. You know him?

No ... I only know the Steve from Calgary.

Why do backdrops in comedy clubs always look like the alley behind a porn shop?

If you knew a lot of comedians it would make complete sense to you. We need to feel at home up there, and porn shops are familiar territory.

How do you like to handle hecklers?

I have a reputation for handling hecklers in a nasty way. I’ve made people cry during shows, I’ve had people throw things at me... this includes family members and ex-girlfriends.

Do you ever try to pick up women after a show?

I’ve had some really crazy offers from women over the years, but I have yet to pull out a line. It’s not to say I haven’t done some stupid things to get women though. I actually took this job to be with a girl. I moved to Calgary for her, and she dumped me the day I got off the plane. I came for the girl and the job. One worked out and one failed miserably.

Coming from New York, did you ever carry a gun while on stage for protection? I don’t carry a gun. I carry my cell phone. Being Italian, placing a phone call is much more effective.

Who would you pick as the worst comedian-turned-actor? Wow ... there’s so many. I’m going to have to go with Carrot Top ... even though I have a bad, angry hard-on for Dane Cook. But Carrot Top? ... Have you ever seen the movie Chairmen of the Board? No? Exactly.

Is Last Comic Standing a good show, or just another

re-invention of the cult classic Star Search?

It’s definitely a re-invention. It’s not a good show by any stretch and certainly does nothing for the comedy business. Some of the guys on the show are really good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a reality show and there’s nothing more fake on TV than reality shows.

Do you think YouTube helps your profession through exposure, or does it hurt your profession as your act can be seen on the internet for free?

It helps in the fact that people can see clips and view hearsay of incidents. There’s a clip of me causing a riot on the internet and people will search it to see what I’m going to say. But for the guy that just tapes the show on his cell phone and loads it to YouTube, that doesn’t help any of us at all. Comedy is a live art.

Are you a socks n’ sandals kind of guy?

If you ever see me in socks and sandals, I give you permission to kick my ass.

What are your thoughts on Obama, and do you already have some edgy material lined up to selfishly capitalize? Honestly, I think it’s great. It’s the best thing to happen in a long time. Selfishly though, the first thing that came out of my mouth on the subject was how much I’m now looking forward to my annual viewing of Roots.

Is it true you were hit by a car at a gas station while en route to the photo shoot for this article? You Canadian drivers are crazy. The guy backed out of the Mohawk at full speed, and like an idiot I tried to jump into the air and take the hit like Superman or something. Catch Mike Dambra live every Wednesday at The Laugh Shop in The Blackfoot Inn in Calgary.


What stereotypes about Canadians did you find to actually be true once you moved up here?

The two I found to be true are the drinking and the coffee. Man, are you guys drunk! And the coffee lines at Tim Hortons? You people make that a media event.

Does Greenwich Village have anything on Stephen Avenue during Stampede?

Yes. Any time of the year you actually know what Greenwich Village is. Ask this question in New York ... even at Stampede time ... and see what people say to you.

What’s the angriest crowd you’ve performed in front of? It was a 200 person stagette. They were mad we wouldn’t take our clothes off, so they threw chicken wing bones at us. Not sure why they’d want to see a naked skinny Italian guy. I know I’d rather take the chicken bones to the head myself.

When you’re losing a crowd, what’s your go-to topic for material?

I usually get nasty and say things nobody wants to hear. I figure if they didn’t want to hear the first part, they may as well not want to hear the rest.

Were Stadler and Waldorf too hard on Fozzie Bear? Absolutely not. Screw that puppet.

Have you ever gone to Clown College?

No man, they scare the crap out of me. Have you ever seen the movie IT? There are no such things as good clowns.

Any words of wisdom?

Always fight evil! ... What can I say, I was raised on comic books.

photo by Mark G. Bilodeau




LOCAL SPOTLIGHT ��� TALES OF HOCKEY EROTICA ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦

story by Scott Dumas photos by Trudie Lee Photography


Now all you need is a case of beer and life would be perfect!

uring the 2007 rendition of One Yellow Rabbit Theatre Company’s annual festival known as the High Performance Rodeo, a production called Five Hole: Tales of Hockey Erotica was such a solid hit, the collaborators decided to take it on the road and tour across our frozen tundra, beginning February 2009. The cast of OYR will be joined by iconic Canadian rock band, Rheostatics, for one night only at the Jack Singer Concert Hall to kick-off a nationwide tour, as they perform their adaptation of the anecdotes from The Five Hole Stories, written by Rheostatics’ own, Dave Bidini. What makes this unusual is that OYR, a self-proclaimed “creation house” that focuses on adult-oriented entertainment, usually hop alone when performing their very popular style of eclectic theatre. In this interpretation, however, they have added a live rock ‘n’ roll element by having Bidini, musical genius and author of said play, and his band on stage alongside them as they bring to life five short stories written around the topic of hockey. The term “five-hole” is, of course, hockey jargon that means ‘between the legs’ and that would be an area to aim for on the opposing team’s goalie in order to score goals. It also is an “area of vulnerability,” says Blake Brooker, artistic director for OYR. “It stimulates excitement,” he continues, “and it leads to expressions like ‘a soft five-hole’.” The five stories that make up the play represent five different periods of time in the history of hockey. It starts off, for example, in the 1940’s, then covers a contemporary period and then goes to the ‘70s. All of the stories have an element of hockey and erotica. In the first story called Joan, two players discuss their desire to have sex with the new female goalie and one of the characters describes how he uses pornography to sublimate his feelings. In another story called Why I Love Wayne Bradley, the topic turns to a closeted gay player who shows his frustration while having a crush on a Wayne Gretzky -type player. And yet another story called I Am Bobby Wolf has to do with an Englishspeaking player getting advice from a French


LOCAL SPOTLIGHT ��� TALES OF HOCKEY EROTICA ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ cabbie on how to regain his prowess on and off the ice. If you are unfamiliar with Rheostatics and the accomplishments of Dave Bidini, be ashamed of yourself as I was, for not knowing the accolades of this incredible writer. For over two decades, Bidini and Rheostatics have been pumping out albums, mostly on the independent scene, which include a couple of classics called Whale Music and Melville, that are considered by many music critics as ranked in the top 10 Canadian albums of all time. They are up there with Neil Young, The Band, and The Guess Who, as one of the most proficient bands to come out of the Great White North. Not only is Bidini a very successful musician, he has written numerous novels, short stories, articles, and blogs. And what makes Bidini distinct is the fact that most of what he writes about has to do with his number one passion outside of music, and that would be hockey. With an array of tales underneath his garter belt that include I Am a Hockey Nomad, The Best Game You Can Name, Tropic of Hockey and The Greatest Hockey Stories Ever Told, Bidini has the credentials to capture in words and song what it’s like to be a hockey player in Canada. By throwing in an erotic, but not pornographic element to his stories, he enters an uncharted arena of hockey, sex, rock ‘n’ roll and theatre. According to Brooker, who is also a co-founder and troupe member of OYR, “Dave Bidini is deeply immersed in the culture of hockey but not as a professor or scholar, but as a guy who is just into the stories of hockey.” The holidays are coming faster than a Dion Phaneuf slapshot and many of you are probably still unsure about what to bestow your beloved for an under-the-tree, orgasm-inducing present. Well, why not consider a hockeyrelated stage production? When asked why a young man would consider this production, Brooker says, “Number one, girls like to go out so you can kill two birds with one stone. You can go to the theatre and take the girlfriend. She will be happy that she is going to the theatre and you can guarantee that you will be involved in a subject that you would be interested in.” Brooker continues, “When we did it originally (in 2007), people came from all over the place because Rheostatics are loved and have a real cult around them. There were many guys in the crowd with hockey sweaters. People really got into it. We even have a hockey anthem that we sing at the beginning.” OYR is a world-renowned contemporary theatre company that has been based in Calgary since 1982. They are considered

“Hockey fans are not simpleminded. They are just as smart as anyone else.” experimental in their approach and they go beyond the realm of performance art. Local and international acts have been stretching the boundaries of conventional theatre during the High Performance Rodeo for almost two decades. One of my own concerns, as a hockey player and fan, as well as a novice theatre attendee, is that I would not understand the alternative take on a five-part play as set out by a world-class progressive troupe. Brooker assures me that, “hockey fans are not simple-minded. They are bright people and we don’t play down to people, we play up to them. Hockey fans are just as smart as anyone else. The whole country is a hockey fan whether you are a professor or


a plumber, a doctor or a dry-waller. We try to keep it surprising and entertaining. You have to worry about and think about your audience. We have been all around the world but our main show is right here in Calgary. When we did Five Hole before, it was sold out before it opened. People have an appetite for that kind of entertainment.” By taking two fiercely independent and highly talented groups of entertainers like OYR and Rheostatics, and adding in an element of hockey, sex, rock ‘n’ roll and, of course, theatre, you’ll get an eclectic mix of performance art that complement each other in a very unconventional and dramatic fashion. Theatre lovers will no doubt enjoy the poetry and sensuality in this production, as they have experienced before at The Big Secret Theatre in Calgary’s EPCOR Centre for Performing Arts. The addition of Dave Bidini and Rheostatics should warrant a new and vibrant audience, as our national past-time comes to the stage like never before. Try to remember that this event is being held at a fancy joint called the Jack Singer Concert Hall. If you plan on going, it would be great if you could remember to wash and iron your Flames jersey.

FITNESS ��� CHEST WORKOUT ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦


YOUR PECS ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ Our resident fitness guru, Nic Russo, puts together the workout that’ll help burn away those embarrassing manboobs and give you a chest you can finally be proud of. INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS


Sit with your back slightly arched. Start by holding the dumbbells facing each other. Lower the weights to the sides of your chest and then push them back up to the starting position. Be careful not to rush your movement and create momentum. Keep it slow and controlled. MEDIUM-GRIP BARBELL BENCH PRESS


Lie with your back slightly arched and feet flat on the floor. Grip the bar 6” wider than shoulder-width. Lower the bar slowly to your chest, touching just below your nipples. Keep your elbows out with your head and hips always on the bench. Push up to arms’ length. LOWER PULLEY LATERAL FLIES


Stand far enough from the machine to lift the weight stack from the mid-position. Place one foot in front of the other, keep your head up, your chest high and your abs tight. With your elbows locked, start with your hands in front at chest level. Lower to your sides and then return to starting position.


Hold the dumbbell at arms’ length straight above your chest with your palms flat against the inside plate. Keeping your elbows locked, lower the dumbbell back behind your head as far as a full comfortable stretch will allow. Then return to the starting position.


illustrations by Nate Schmold


MIND GAMES ��� ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ You’ve been granted a license to kill a little time with this exclusive James Bond crossword puzzle. ACROSS 1. 7. 9. 10. 11. 15. 16. 17. 21. 22. 23. 26. 28. 29. 31. 32. 33. 35. 36.

Killed with his hat. Evil organization. “Live and Let Die” composer. Bond’s main gun. 007’s unexpected bedmate in “Dr. No”. A knife popped out of her shoe. Played by Canadian actress Lois Maxwell. Dr. No’s first name. The first name of Lana Wood’s character, as well as an acccurate description of her cleavage. Bloomfield drove one. Bond’s bumbling sidekick in “Never Say Never Again”. The claw on his hand was no laughing matter. Nick Nack wound up here. Blofeld’s middle name and a Calgary pub. Fenster from “The Usual Suspects” appeared in this Bond flick. A candy bar and Kananga’s nickname. Vodka prep. Auric _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ The metal mouth.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 11. 12. 13. 14. 17. 18. 19. 20. 24. 25. 27. 30. 34.


Jaws’ girlfriend in “Moonraker”. The original Bond casino game. 007’s was waterproof. Bond made one fly. 007’s CIA pal. He would later become Saruman The White. Jane Seymour’s tools of fortunetelling. First added to 007’s martini in 2006. Sang the theme song to “Casino Royale”. From Blofeld to Kojak. Q’s assistant, R. Bond’s first (fake) wife. His Bond only lived once. The last Bond to smoke cigarettes. A Bond girl and a card game. “Never Say Never Again” was its remake. Bond producer. How do you like your eggs? British encryption device.

Daniel Craig in Casino Royale © Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.


» » » » BUYER’S MARKET » » » »


You did, didn’t you? Well, others could be reading your ad here just as easily. Advertise your company in this spot every issue for less than $100/month. Contact VM’s office at 403-520-0116 to ask for details.



You did, didn’t you? Well, others could be reading your ad here just as easily. Advertise your company in this spot every issue for less than $100/month. Contact VM’s office at 403-520-0116 to ask for details.

PARTING SHOT ��� ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦



photographed by Trevor Howell /

Date of Birth: Height: Body: Occupation:

June 12, 1981 5’ 6” 34D - 26 - 35 Massage Therapist

“My guilty pleasures include a scotch on the rocks, ridiculously high, high heels and dark chocolate. Not all at the same time ... although that would be fabulous. I also enjoy going out with girlfriends and cuttin’ a rug, throwing a frisbee around, travelling, listening to music and anything that gets my heart rate up ... like watching scary movies, bungee jumping and mattress sports.”


VEX Magazine (issue #23)  

Calgary's FREE Journal For Men

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