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Showing posts from May, 2004

For your inspirational reading, we recommend...

I was baptized Catholic...twice.
First, when I was a baby. A Church requirement, that: a little moisture to ensure my place in heaven.
Second, when I was twelve. A 'rededication' to the Faith, done with a twelve-year-old's full knowledge and consent--which is to say, it carried the weight of a political campaign promise.
I've always questioned the standard beliefs about God. Like many, I've wondered how a loving God could judge and condemn us to eternal damnation. I wondered why God was supposedly so needy, so jealous, so insecure. These always struck me as human, not divine, traits.
So I went through a period in high school where I rejected God, trying on atheism to see how it fit. For a time, I spouted the atheistic creed as mindlessly as I had once been taught to wheedle Hail Marys and Our Fathers.
But that didn't feel right, either. God as a crutch for weak people was all well and good, except I felt weak myself.
It was through my voracious reading that I f…

Part II, as promised

I don't drive. There, that makes me different. It's kind of funny, actually: almost without exception in our circle of friends, there's one out of every couple who doesn't drive either. It's invariably the female half of the couple, though. There aren't many of us 32-year-old males out there who don't have a license.
Part of the reason I'm nonvehicular is my eyesight. Thanks to having been born premature, I spent most of the first four months of my life in an incubator, which damaged my eyes. The thing is, my corrected vision is supposed to be just adequate to drive. When I was seventeen, I aced the written driver's ed test but barely passed the eye exam--the sun was backlighting everything and making it difficult for me to focus, I said as much, and for some reason they let me pass. I felt like I'd failed, though.
I found, when I took driver's ed, that the only kind of driving I felt comfortable with was the 401. Reason: no cross streets,…

Things that make me different

I found this T-shirt on a recent trip up to the in-laws that I kind of had to have. It expresses "me" perfectly. It says:

You laugh at me because I'm different
I laugh at you because you're all the same.

Well, I don't always laugh, come to think of it. Sometimes I want to scream. Sometimes I feel pity. Usually, I just don't get it.

What don't I get? Well, for one thing, the cult of celebrity. I don't understand why so many people spend so much time, money and mental energy tracking every little detail in lives that will probably never impact theirs in any way.
Since I am a big hockey fan, I'm willing to bet people think I can rattle off vital stats for every Toronto Maple Leaf player. I can't. There are two of them I would probably recognize if they came up and said hello--Mats Sundin and Tie Domi--but I couldn't tell you the first thing about their lives off the ice.
I actually take pride in my ignorance. During the O.J. Simpson trial--t…


I once took a class in university solely so I could re-write a high school essay. The class was 'The Philosophy of Love, Sex, and Friendship' and the essay was simply called 'On love'.
When I say 'solely to re-write a high-school essay', I mean just that. I never attended a single session; merely walked in a few minutes ahead of everyone else the first night, grabbed the syllabus, and left. Thereafter, I did the readings proscribed and wrote the required assignments, handing the latter in to the professor's office mailbox on the dates given on the course curriculum. I walked into the final exam, written in Laurier's Athletic Centre gymnasium, without the slightest clue what would be asked of me on that test. Despite all this, I got a B+ in the course overall--and that's one of many things wrong with liberal arts degrees these days.
Anyway, my thoughts and beliefs about love are as unorthodox now as they were in high school and university.


It's not every day I cry reading a newspaper

...but I did today, more than once. The coverage of the funeral of Cobourg Police Constable Chris Garrett pretty much unmanned me.
Const. Garrett was a career cop of 18 years, killed in the line of duty, allegedly lured to his death by an 18-year-old kid. The punk may have committed this horrible crime in a bid for recognition and infamy. So, to show the degree of contempt and revulsion I feel, I will not write his name.
It looks like the murder was only the opening salvo in what might have been something even darker. Molotov cocktails and a bomb were found at the home of the suspect. Constable Garrett prevented further bloodshed by firing repeatedly at his fleeing attacker, wounding him even as the officer himself lay fatally wounded.
Constable Garrett was described by his colleagues in blue as a 'dedicated' officer who turned down a promotion because he felt he could better serve his community as a street cop. Local kids knew him as 'Supercop' and his exploits were l…

Go Flames Go!

I've been a Maple Leaf fan ever since I can remember. An infusion of blue and white blood came into me when I was three or four years old, sitting on Dad's knee watching Hockey Night In Canada.
Alas, it's been a disappointing and frustrating lifetime in Leafdom. Actually, it's been much more annoying of late. Back in the eighties, you expected the Leafs to lose every night. Every goal was a win; every win was a playoff berth earned; every playoff berth earned was a Stanley Cup. In short, they sucked rocks and you knew it. In fact, you considered yourself that much more loyal a fan the worse your team played.
Lately, it's been hard. Because the Leafs have been pretty good. They've certainly beat Ottawa often enough to gladden the heart. But the consistency hasn't been there, not when it counted. You never knew which Leaf team was going to show itself on any given night. And no Cups...for 37 years and counting.
So every year, when the Leafs fall again, you h…

Budget day--and don't it feel great?

Yeah, like a kick in the privates.
Listening to Greg Sorbara today, you'd think that the first budget of the McGuinty Era is a work of fiscal brilliance that will transform Ontario into Shangri-La.
Oh, where to start? The FIBerals, as my beloved Toronto Sun has aptly christened them, campaigned on a promise. Well, as previously noted, 231 of them, but one stood out: "I won't raise your taxes, but I won't cut them either".
There are dozens of new taxes and increased user fees in here, the biggest of which--a renewed OHIP premium--is going to cost most Ontarians between $300 and $900 a year.
I'm not some heartless bastard who thinks we should just kill off all the sick people, but c'mon. Health care now officially eats up 45% of the provincial budget. Does anybody claim to know where any of this money is actually going? Has there been any sort of cost accounting done, some sort of value-for-money study? Because if there was, I missed it.…

Some advice for you folks...

...if you ever take a vacation from work...don't bother coming back.
I asked Eva this morning if she thought that we could maybe stay home and get paid if we promised to THINK REALLY HARD about work. Unfortunately, she said no, so off we went.
It's not that they did a piss-poor job while I was away. Actually, they kept it together pretty well. It's Mondays. I hate Mondays. Not for the usual reason most people give, which is BLECH! MONDAY!, but because I get TEN orders in on Monday, with a retail approaching and sometimes exceeding thirty five thousand dollars. There's so much work to do that I can easily keep myself busy all day long without even TOUCHING the major warehouse order.
Mine is the age-old complaint: overworked and undervalued. (Or maybe I'm overvalued--they sure seem to think I can get it all done with a minimum of help). A whopping 98% of visitors to a grocery store will buy something from either the frozen or the dairy department, but because most …

Taxation Thoughts

I don't like paying taxes, and I don't know too many people that do. Especially in this country, where the taxes are up to 75% higher than those of our neighbor to the south.
It's not the actual reaming I mind overmuch, though. Heck, some people find that sort of thing pleasurable. It's that once I've been screwed out of my hard-earned money, my government sees fit to waste it. In a profligate manner, while telling me that they know best and that it's for my own good.
A note up front: I don't drive. (Although I co-own our family car, and let me tell you that raised some eyebrows at the dealership.) I probably never will drive: my vision is on the knife-edge of acceptable and pretty certain to worsen in the years ahead. Besides, one good song on the radio and I'd bop my way into a triple-fatal.
I don't drive, but since all our money's pooled, I do pay for gas, and more specifically for the tax on it. Fuel's running at CDN$0.92.5 a …

Political Musings

I once worked at a market research company. It was, quite possibly, the worst job I ever had--and that includes the summer I spent shovelling shit. Aside from the fact that the person who interviewed and hired me eventually also married me, market research had no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
One of the things I did was polling, some of it political in nature. And I learned something very quickly: if you're going to ask a total stranger about their voting preferences, you might as well go ahead and inquire about their dildo collection or their propensity for cross-dressing. You're likely to get the same sort of response.
I never understood this, and I still don't. Look. Suppose you're a big supporter of the Wacky Party. You like Wacky ideas; you're certain the country would be a better place if it were a bit more Wacky. Problem: you're just one person, with one vote. Unless you live in Florida, that's not good enough. It seems to me that you'd be eage…

Withering weather, wandering, wondering

It's hotter than the hinges of hell out there today: base temperature 27 last I looked, with a humidex value of 34, giving SKIN MELTING conditions, especially for the middle of May. If it's like this now, what is it going to be like in August? Best not to think about that, maybe. Best to just sit here, as nearly nude as the possibility of sudden company will allow, and drip. And drip. And drip and drip and drip.
No thyroid problem here, thank you very much.
It drives me effing nuts. The weather, yes, but moreso the people out cheering about it. How can they stand it? It's like a damn sauna out there, and it feels worse in here. I bet all the people who claim to enjoy this oven roast have air conditioning. They don't remember how it feels to have sheets glued to you every night. Flame-broiled freaks.
I've noticed a couple of ominous changes on the Weather Network's programming, too. They've very quietly altered the UV scale. It used to read like this: 1-3 low, …

There's a first time...

...for everything, and there's a seventh time, too. To be more precise, this is the seventh journal I've kept for any length of time, but the first time it's had a potential audience beyond my immediate family.
I'm a tad apprehensive at this. Let's be honest: this site won't register in Google's top ten. But it's a step forward, and I've come to like it here in my stagnant swamp.
Lately--read, for the last year or two--it seems like everything and everyone is conspiring to whisper in my ear: "Write...write...write..." Every letter I've sent to an editor has been published, almost verbatim. (Why won't they pay for those?) My lovely and insistent wife has been asking me if I've noticed that every letter I've written to an editor has been published almost verbatim. An old girlfriend, whose novel I once edited, is now a published writer. A friend of only slightly more recent vintage (hi, Jen!) has joined the blog continuum. Int…