Monday, May 31, 2004 

Douglas Adams rocks

I picked up a second hand copy of 'Last Chance to See' today.

I read it two years ago and loved it. It's about a year of Adams' life where he and a zoologist named Mark Carwardine tore across the planet searching for endangered species and those who have devoted their lives to saving them.

For those poor souls out there unfamiliar with Douglas Adams, he's the guy that wrote 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' which is a brilliant piece of comedic science fiction and quite possibly the funniest book I've ever read.

Being written by Adams, 'Last Chance to See' is by turns funny and heartbreaking and horrifying.


Cold cat

Here's an image that'll make all you cat lovers go, "Awww!"

Christa and I were watching Sex and the City here after going to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Ian and Kiernan last Friday. We were sitting on the couch and I had an arm across her shoulders.

Houdini padded over and jumped onto the couch. She walked back and forth across our laps several times before crawling up and lying on our midriffs, propped by our arms as we held hands watching television. The cat stretched her front legs out so that her elbows - do cats have elbows? - were resting on my forearm with her paws crossed. She dozed there for a good half hour.



I'm sick and fucking tired of sitting around until I'm qualified to jump in the fray. I'm tired of learning. I want to get out and do it full time. But I'm not qualified yet. Argh!


Fun fact

If you look up at the sky while jumping rope in the rain, you will find that on the way down on each jump every raindrop seems to be suspended weightless in the air. Beautiful.

Sunday, May 30, 2004 

Week six: injured

But not too badly.

The wrist had started to feel like a creaky hinge by the time I went back to work on Tuesday. I'll backtrack a moment. I'd hurt it the first shift the previous week and it hadn't gotten any better.

After the second shift the muscle that connects at the base of the thumb and curls around to the back of the forearm like an ever fattening snake was in agony. It had swollen on the thumb side of the wrist and turned the colour of a bruise.

Opening or closing my fist caused pain.

With this I started the sixth week of the Weapon Project.

I spent the weekend alternating between heat and cold treatments of the muscle. Part way through the weekend I found I could immobilize the muscle by putting the tip of my thumb to the knuckle at the base of my index finger and keeping it there. By doing this I was able to both rest the injury and use my hand.

Monday I rested, doing little else but watching television and being grumpy.

Tuesday I worked, taping the wrist and gritting my teeth through the pain. Immediately after work I changed and worked out. Calisthenics and the rope. Same routine. I was able to jump rope much longer than I had the previous week. To my surprise the wrist felt better for many hours afterward. Initially I thought it was just the endorphins, but as time passed I wasn't so sure.

Wednesday I got up and found my wrist didn't hurt. That was a cheerful - if sleepy since it happened at about 6:30am - moment. The pain came back before I even got to work though. Right after I taped the wrist, actually. So, another day of gritted teeth. I went 'home' with the intention of working out, but by the time I went to do laundry and returned I was just too exhausted and too wary of the wrist to try any kempo drills.

Thursday I didn't tape the wrist and the pain didn't come until an hour after the shift started. I learned from my mistake the previous day and worked out immediately after getting home. Calisthenics and the rope again. Pushed myself further with the rope than I had so far and was pleasantly surprised with how long I lasted.

Friday I worked a twelve hour shift, riding my bike to and from work. Had the shift been shorter I would have worked out after getting home and had a nap before Christa got there. She was scheduled to arrive anytime after 6pm. My shift lasted until that time, however, so my bike ride home had to count as my workout for the day. And believe me, it did. I hate Gordon hill.

Saturday I rested. A lot. The pain didn't show up at all. All day. It still hasn't.

Sleep was hell. Up at 6am or earlier every day from Tuesday through Friday. Which was good. I love the way the world looks at that time of day. However, I was up well past midnight a few nights early in the week. And exhausted the entire week. Friday I was awake for well over twenty hours in a row, the first thirteen of which dragged by. The last chunk flew by much faster than I wanted them too.

It occurs to me that I always just say 'diet was good' or something like that. A couple years down the road I may want a little more detail. For breakfast I have cereal and muffins. For lunch I have a sandwhich (on whole wheat), fruit and yogurt. For dinner I have chicken or fish, pasta or potatoes or rice and vegetables.

I just took my heart rate twice. The first time it was 64. The second time it was 60.

Monday, May 24, 2004 

Week five: working stiff

This week's training kind of got railroaded by my new job.

Monday was calisthenics and cardio. Tuesday was kempo. Wednesday I rode my bike to work, worked and rode it back. Thursday I did the same. Friday (technically Saturday) I did the same. Each shift left me with surprising new aches and pains.

Each day I did flexibility exercises. But that was mostly maintenance work. No advances made on that front this week.

The job is fairly physical and I managed to screw up my right wrist the first night with the repetitive nature of stuffing newspapers with flyers. It's still sore. Hopefully I recover by the time I start back to work on Tuesday.

The bike riding was good exercise too, especially the ride up Gordon hill.

My resting heart rate is currently 60 beats per minute.

My diet was good, though it's a good thing I've got a new job because my appetite is getting to be quite large.

If I thought my sleep patterns were screwed up before, I don't know how to describe them now. Wednesday night was the last regular sleep I got. I didn't sleep Thursday night at all, instead sleeping from 8am to 6pm on Friday. I slept from 9am to 4pm Saturday. And from 2am to noon Sunday.

Starting Tuesday I have to be at work every day for 7:15am. That'll force me to correct my sleep patterns.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to bed.

Saturday, May 22, 2004 

What time of what day is it?

My sense of time is screwed up.

I've worked odd hours the last few nights. 4 to 11pm on Wednesday. 10pm Thursday to 7am Friday. And 2 to 7:30am Saturday. Which feels like yesterday because I slept during the day after the shift.

When I got 'home' after finishing work, it felt like it had been a mere hour or so since I'd done it Friday morning.

I'm hungry and I don't know if I feel like dinner or lunch or a midnight snack.

Friday, May 21, 2004 

Dawn is gorgeous

Even when you see it from the wrong side of the day at work.

I started work this week in the mailroom at the Guelph Mercury. Not journalism, but it'll pay the rent and stock the bank account for when I go off to j-school in the fall. And surround me with reminders of why I'm there.

Wednesday night I was stuffing flyers and crap into newspapers. Last night I was sorting bundles of flyers, taking the Woolwich Observer off of the quarter folder in stacks of 25 (called 'flying'), and flying the Merc off the insertion machine (a machine that inserts flyers into the paper). My hands are now stained with newspaper ink.

I got off work at 7am. Exhausted and sore. Did Gordon hill the bad way on my bike to get home. Staggered in the house. Decided to check my email and write this before showering and going to bed. Read an email from Christa and smiled a real smile for the first time in nearly twelve hours.

Monday, May 17, 2004 

A willing participant

I just spoke to Ian and he pointed out that I'd been making it seem that he'd been forcing me to participate in this weekend's Troy debate against my will.

And if he thought that, then others probably did too.

So let's set the record straight.

Ian did not force me to participate and I never meant to imply otherwise. I chose to participate of my own free will.

However, while it was a free choice, it was a reluctant one.

I don't enjoy dissecting movies like that, but I also disagreed with some of the things he was saying. Just like he disagreed with some of what I was saying. My disagreement and desire to voice it was stronger than my reluctance. But the reluctance remained.

I was trying to communicate that, not trying to imply he was forcing me into anything. I failed.


And Christa jumps into the fray

Seems that I'm not the only one to disagree with Ian. Though Christa may disagree with ME once she sees the movie....

Sunday, May 16, 2004 

Week four: learning

It's so nice to feel muscles that had gone slack firm up again. And kindly step out of the gutter. I'm speaking about obliques, pecs and the rest.

Sunday I was still feeling under the weather from Jer's No Pants Party, so I only worked on footwork and flexibility.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday were calisthenics and cardio.

Monday I did the upper and lower body routines twice each. Wednesday I did them three times each. Friday I did each routine once. But this time I did each exercise until failure. And cracked fifty on the padded knuckle pushups.

For cardio I introduced the jumprope. Not the relaxed broken rhythm of children at play as they swing their entire arms in great circles. The steady rhythm of a boxer. Wrists stationary at your hips, feet rising just enough off the ground for the rope to swing underneath. It's a great workout.

Monday I brought out the stopwatch, doing twenty seconds with the rope and twenty seconds of rest. Repeated over and over for about three minutes. It was a pain in the ass to keep resetting the timer. Wednesday I did it again, for a little longer. Friday I left the stopwatch inside and just listened to my body, working the rope until it felt right to stop and resting until I got my pulse back under control. A helluva lot more fun that way.

As I write this, my resting heart rate is 64 beats per minute.

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday were Kempo drills. Haven't taken the time to hang the bloody heavy bag yet, but made do without. Made it to thirteen knuckle pushups on the hardwood before the pain stopped me.

I'm pushing myself more now and am starting to find and correct minute problems with technique that weren't apparent at lower levels of effort.

On Thursday I started introducing more classical techniques for variety.

Saturday I spent mostly on katas. A kata is an old method of training. It is a highly choreagraphed routine in which the practitioner fights off a series of imaginary adversaries. The katas of a style preserve all the techniques of that style. While brutal, when performed properly they are also beautiful.

I was very frustrated to confirm that I can remember a mere handful of the katas I could once perform flawlessly. I'll have to search through my files for my notes.

I seem to have reached a plateau on the flexibility front. About halfway through the week I realized I was pushing too hard when stretching, trying to progress too quickly. After each session I wasn't feeling right. Tight and sore rather than loose and relaxed. I eased off a little and have spent the sessions since relearning how to relax and breathe properly during a stretch. It's helped.

Diet and sleep are about the same. Diet is good, sleep is not. I need to be firm about getting to bed at a decent hour.

My knee hasn't bothered me in days. The old exercises I found last week seem to be helping.


Fuck it

Re: this debate.

We're not getting anywhere and we're not going to convince each other. And whether we mean to or not, we're starting to insult each other, or at least each other's taste.

I'm done with it.


Troy is not the Illiad and I'm not upset at it for that

Re: Ian's latest post.

Okay, let's see if I have this right. You're annoyed with the movie because many of the changes made do not preserve the spirit of the Illiad. And because it damages the same work by obfuscating it. (I was wondering how long it'd be before you brought up Spinoza.)

On the first point, no, it doesn't preserve the spirit of the Illiad. I agree with you there. But I'm comfortable with that. Because I'm comfortable with the way they've updated the myth for modern audiences.

That's not to say that I think Troy is the definitive modern retelling of the myth - legend? I'm rusty on my mythological terms - of Troy. I'm also not saying that I prefer the story in Troy to that in the Illiad. I don't. Just that I think Troy works. I think the changes were fine because this wasn't a film interpretation of the Illiad, but of the myth. I know I'm repeating myself here, but while I've read your responses, they haven't done anything to convince me otherwise.

On the second point, you might be right. But we, by talking about it, are not going to prove or disprove your point. But for a moment let's take your point as a given. A movie unfaithful to its source material obfuscates that source material. Fine. Does this mean that Homer's interpretation of the myth of Troy is sacred and that none should dare trying to update the myth unless they preserve the spirit of his work? Come on. Homer doesn't own the myth.

Saturday, May 15, 2004 


I laughed my ass off when I read this.


This is why I can't seem to walk away

Let's clarify something here that probably nobody cares about. The only part of this debate that I hate is the fact that it's over a movie I enjoyed. The rest is - or should be - fun. I should also say that neither Ian nor myself are angry with each other. We do this all the time.

So, let's get back to it then.

Ian says, "I'm not faulting Aaron for believing the above, but I will say he has a lot more faith in human nature than I do."

I have a great deal of faith in human nature, but not in the way Ian suggests. We're imperfect, and I have faith in that. But that's got absolutely nothing to do with what I said there. What I said is that someone who reads 'inspired by' and thinks 'faithful interpretation' doesn't understand the terms. I did not say that I trust people to know the difference. In other words, I don't care if they do or not. The movie is clearly labeled as not being the Illiad. If people don't understand the labels, there is no damage done to Homer's work.

Ian also says, "Of the (admittedly possibly fairly sizable) minority who go pick up the Iliad, how far do you think most of them will get? Again, maybe I just don't have that much faith in people when it comes to this. I would love to be wrong."

Most of them probably won't get far. And even if they don't get far, they've still picked it up to read. Something many of them wouldn't have even tried before seeing the movie. But regardless of how far they get, Homer's work isn't damaged.

For Homer's work to be damaged, Troy would have had to have made it impossible for people to understand the Illiad. Troy doesn't have the power to do that and if Ian is crediting it with that much power, I disagree.

Ian also says, "God knows I'm not worried about Aaron reacting to the movie in a damaging way."

Thank you, but I'm unclear how someone could react to it in a damaging way.



As for the "missed point" debacle, I get it now. No longer offended. And yes, I agree about the differences in Paris and Briseis. However, I don't think editorials in our paper are analogous.

Looks like I'm just as guilty for being unclear.

I wrote this:

"I assume after having read the post where I originally linked to Christa's post, Ian went and read the post and then made this comment on the post. Or more accurately, on my comment about it."

When I wrote "this comment", I meant the comment he quotes himself as making in the post that I linked to. And when I wrote "on my comment about it", I was referring to an earlier post on my blog, the one where I linked to Christa's blog. My bad for being opaque.

Honestly, I don't have any idea anymore what Ian was specifically commenting on. Even after he clarified it in this post.

If any of you are confused by who said what in response to what, you're not alone.


Fine, let's do this

If you haven't read this, read it before you read the rest of this post.

1. "Missed point"
I know that no offense was intended, but I was offended by that. I didn't miss your point. If your point was that a movie like Troy causes irreparable damage to its source material, you didn't make it. You said the problem with the movie is that most people would be left thinking that's what Homer is like. And you might be right. But, they do say 'inspired by.' Anyone who reads that in the credits and then assumes it's a faithful interpretation does not understand what the terms mean. And anyone who is interested enough in the story after seeing the movie to go back and read the Illiad will quickly find that Homer's work is something else altogether. I don't see the damage.

2. "Was it a good story? Yes, except for a few dodgy lines. The battle between Hector and Achilles almost had the resonance it should have had, and was magnificent."
We agree on that much.

3. "But given how much was changed, why must Hollywood insist on calling it the same story? Why not admit they've invented a new, valid story?"
They didn't call it the same story. First, they called it Troy, not the Illiad. Second, they didn't claim the movie was based on it, they claimed it was inspired by it. While they used other sources, the Illiad was the primary one and credited it with an 'inspired by' tag. If that wasn't enough, what would have been?

4. Who cares? It's a bloody movie that we each obviously feel very differently about. We're not going to agree on this, so why don't we drop it?


I hate these discussions

Last night I linked to this post over on Christa's blog, saying that anybody who would see Troy and complain the movie was different from the Illiad should read it. As she says in the post, Christa hadn't seen the movie, but was writing about the uses of myth and why differences from the Illiad and the movie should be acceptable.

I commented on the post, saying "Well said."

I assume after having read the post where I originally linked to Christa's post, Ian went and read the post and then made this comment on the post. Or more accurately, on my comment about it. [Edit: "my comment about it" being the original comment made on my blog, not the 'Well said' comment.]

In response, I made the following comment:

"I'm familiar with the myth Ian. Though I do intend to go back and reread it.

The Homeric epic was a great thing, but to expect something similar from a summer blockbuster is unrealistic.

However, I don't think that Troy went beyond what Christa said in this entry, even if it did show 'a profound ignorance towards the very real forces that shaped the way the Greeks and Trojans thought.' (Having said that, Christa may completely disagree with me once she's seen it.)

I went in expecting a modern retelling of the myth of Troy. Not a historically accurate reimagining of it. There's a crucial difference there. If it was claiming to be historically accurate, or if I was expecting that, then I'd be griping right along with you and making similar points.

If you want to continue this, let's do so in a more appropriate forum. Personally, I don't want to continue this. I hate picking apart movies and arguing over their merits."

Ian then posted this in his blog.

Even though I hate these discussions - ones that pick apart movies - I can't seem to walk away from them.

So, I'll respond in my next post.


Powell: Troops would leave Iraq should Iraqis ask

Associated Press
Globe and Mail
May 14, 2004

Washington — U.S.-led coalition forces would leave Iraq if a new interim government should ask them to, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Friday, but such a request is unlikely. more


Melbourne location, Thai cuisine, French letters

By Kate Hagan
The Age
May 16, 2004

Melbourne diners will be able to enjoy a serving of safe sex on the side if a Thai restaurant chain comes to town early next year. More


The Weapon Project

Here is a chronological list of the posts that make up this blog's coverage of the Weapon Project. I'll update this list as more posts are written.

To sum up, this project is about me getting back into fighting shape, but not so that I can pick fights. Read the entries linked below if you want to know why.

Insult to injury

Week one: wad of cookie dough

The Weapon Project

Week two: bundle of pain

Week three: hallway sprinter

Week four: learning


Troy debrief

Loved it.

I studied the Illiad in Classical Mythology three years ago. I studied Greek military tactics in War and Society at about the same time.

Yes, Peterson changed some stuff. Yes, he played with the characters and the timelines.

It all worked.

I went in expecting a fun movie. That's what I got.

The acting was solid, the characters were likeable and the fight scenes blew me away.

The fight scene between Pitt's Achilles and Bana's Hector was breathtaking. I can't remember ever seeing such a beautiful, balletic and brutal choreography between two characters that I actually liked.

See it. But enjoy it or not for what it is, not what you thought it should be because of its source material.


Couldn't have said it better

Edit: If you're considering seeing Troy I would recommend keeping what Christa says here in mind.


No, sunshine and rainbows wouldn't fit the template


But this does.

(Sorry kids, inside joke.)

Friday, May 14, 2004 

Public service announcement

My housemate Shokes and I are going to the 8:30 screening of Troy tonight at the Galaxy. All are welcome to join us. Notify me by phone or email if you plan to attend. Again, my phone number is the same now as it was before I moved.

Thursday, May 13, 2004 

"The photographer was the abuser"

Thanks Ian, for linking to this.

It's an excellent article on the BBC website about the politics of photography. Check it out.


Poor sad cat

Shokes' cat is a little gray striped thing named Houdini.

She was given the name by the kind folks at the Humane Society because she escaped from whatever cage they put her in. They'd come in mornings to find her loose. She'd even free other cats so that she'd have someone to play with.

When Shokes picked her out, she was the only kitten kept in a cage within another cage to prevent escape.

For as long as Shokes has owned her, there has been another cat around. Last summer his roommate had a cat. Last September Claire had, as Christa has described her, a big white poofball named Channy.

Shokes and I are now subletting a decent little place on Gordon Street and there is no other cat for Houdini to play with.

This past weekend Houdini had a sleepover. Claire went back to her parents' for Mother's Day and left Channy with Shokes for the weekend.

I wasn't there when Channy was dropped off, but apparently Houdini was very happy to see Channy.

I was, however, there when Channy was picked up. Claire coaxed her into the plastic cat carrier and then stood at the door talking to me for a few minutes with the carrier hanging from her hand. The entire time, Houdini was walking in circles around Claire, looking up at the box that held Channy. Maybe trying to figure out how to free her. Maybe just confused.

Claire left. I passed the front door three times in the next ten to fifteen minutes.

The first time, Houdini was standing on her hind legs with her front paws stretched up and resting on the door.

The second time, she was sitting a few feet from the door, staring at it.

The third time, she was curled in a ball right beside the door.

About ten minutes later she meowed three times. Long, low and sad each time.

I try not to anthropomorphize, but sometimes it's damn hard.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 

Question: What happens when it's all gone?

The perception that oil supply cannot keep up with demand has fuelled another jump in prices around the world.
- "oil supply 'cannot match demand'"; bbc online; wednesday, may 12, 2004.

This reminded me of a bunch of other things I've read on the subject that scare the hell out of me when I think on them too much. If anyone knows of any dependable sources that will tell me otherwise, please pass them on.

Optimists see at least several decades more of unfettered world oil production--but a growing number of realists conclude that world oil production is nearing its all-time peak, perhaps within 10 years. The optimists, mostly economists, believe that new oil discoveries and enhanced recovery from old fields will delay the world peak beyond 2040. The opposition, mostly geologists, argue otherwise.
- "the world petroleum life-cycle"; richard c. duncan & walter youngquist; paper presented at the petroleum technology tranfer council workshop 'opec oil pricing and independent oil producers'; october 22, 1998

It gets better.

Oil "production" (i.e., extraction) peaked in North America in 1984. Several recent studies project world oil production to peak by 2013 or sooner, possibly as soon as 2007. Even the necessarily conservative International Energy Agency in its World Energy Outlook, 1998 concurred for the first time that global output could top out between 2009 and 2012 and decline rapidly thereafter. IEA data project a nearly 20-per-cent shortfall of supply relative to demand by 2020 that will have to be made up of from "unidentified unconventional" sources (i.e., known oil-sands deposits have already been taken into account). Other studies show that by 2040 total oil output from all sources may fall to less than half of today's 25-26 billion barrels of oil per year.
- "there's no fuel like an old fuel"; william rees; globe and mail; wednesday, march 29, 2000

Rees, an ecological economist and professor in UBC's School of Community and Regional Planning, coined the term 'ecological footprint' and gave a talk on it and on the peak of oil extraction at War Memorial Hall two years ago.

This is what Rees said four years ago about substitutes in the article I quoted above (and two years ago he was saying much the same thing, but with more technical detail):

The fact is that no suitable substitutes are yet in sight for the fossil fuels used in heavy farm machinery, construction and mining equipment, diesel trains and trucks, and ocean-going freighters. Jet aircraft cannot be powered by electricity, whatever its source. It is also no small irony that we need high-intensity fossil fuel to produce the machinery and infrastructure required for most alternative forms of energy. Sunlight is simply too "dilute" to use in manufacturing the high-tech devices and equipment required for its own conversion to heat and electricity. Industrial civilization faces a paradox: we need oil to move beyond the age of oil.
- "there's no fuel like an old fuel"; william rees; globe and mail; wednesday, march 29, 2000

I could find more, but I think you get my drift. Long-term, good for the planet (maybe). But what concerns me is what life will be like for those of us who get to live through it. If Rees et al. are correct.

Sunday, May 09, 2004 

Week three: hallway sprinter

Monday, Wednesday and Friday were devoted to Kempo. There have been noticeable improvements in speed, technique and endurance. Kicking - all waist height or lower - is improving with each session. Faster, more balanced, more precise. Striking skills are improving too. The heavy bag has made an appearance in the basement, but hasn't been hung yet. Hopefully sometime this week.

Tuesday and Thursday were calisthenics. One routine for the upper body, another for the lower. Went through each routine twice on both days.

In lieu of heavy bag training, I started doing my knuckle pushups on the nice hardwood floors of the house I moved into last weekend. My knuckles gave out before my muscles, after about ten pushups on both days. That's a kind of pain I haven't felt since the dojo. But when I slid my exercise matt under them - after a short rest - I was able to pound out another thirty.

Flexibility exercises continued every day following whichever workout was slated for the day.

The house I'm living in now has this great feature leading into my room where you have to take four steps down from the main level before you get to my doorway. I end my stretching sessions by lifting one foot at a time to the top step while keeping the other foot planted on the landing. I keep both legs straight and gently stretch down to the elevated foot. I've been doing this in less convenient locations for the last few weeks.

This week I was able to comfortably wrap my fingers over the tops of the toes of whatever foot was elevated.

In other stretching news, when touching my toes I can now touch the knuckles of both fists to the floor in front of my toes.

My knee is still giving me trouble, but I found the old handouts my physiotherapist gave me about five years ago and found a couple of exercises I'd forgotten. These seem to be helping quite a bit, but it'll take a few weeks to be sure.

Sleep is still a disaster. I managed to get to bed by 1am most nights and be up by about 9am most days. We'll see how this week goes.

Food improved quite a bit until the end of the week. I ate three square meals a day, sometimes four. Near the end of the week I had a can't-get-full-no-matter-how-much-I-eat stretch of about three days.

Everything fell apart for Saturday though. I woke up hung over from Jer's No Pants Party the night before and worried that I was dying. (And convinced I deserved it.)

The only exercise I got was sprinting down the hall to the washroom to throw up, a horrid abdominal workout from expelling every meal I'd ever eaten through my face, then walking back to lay dozing and shaking in bed until the next sprint. There were six sprints in all. I slept on and off all the way back to my parents' house and throughout the afternoon.

The only things I ate all day were a cookie and a few pieces of chicken at dinner.

To quote Ian: "Never. Doing. That. Again."



The Code: Drinking (revised)

I've been thinking a lot about this this weekend.

No more than two in a night and no more than one night in a week.

Saturday, May 08, 2004 

The Code: Drinking

In my entire life I've thrown up as a result of drinking so few times that I could count them on one hand. After last night's stupidity, I threw up no less than six times this morning. Last night was in a rare class of nights, the ones I wish I could redo minus alcohol. I'm too old for this shit.

I hereby forbid myself to drink more than three drinks in a single night.

Thursday, May 06, 2004 

No laundry today

I got up late, worked out, had breakfast and showered. Then I was going to take my laundry across the street to the laundromat.

But I checked my email and there was a message from Shannon saying she would be over for lunch.

Then Ian got a hold of me by MSN to see if I'd drive him to Kitchener this afternoon. Road trip, however brief, with a friend? You bet I will.

I still might have had time to do the laundry at that point before Shannon got here, but the phone guy came to connect our line. For those of you wondering, it's the same number as before.

The guy finished up, Shannon and I had a late lunch and joked about my dirth of food. She headed back to the lab to do assays and whatnot.

By this time it was too late to give Chris a call. He'd wanted me to take some photos of his band this afternoon if I was going to be free between 1 and 2. However, since the phone guy needed someone to be in the house, I had to be here. Shokes was going to take the later afternoon, but then the guy showed up.

Ian and Kiernan arrived, we dropped Kiernan at the school
and then made our way to Kitchener via back roads. No 401 for me. I hate freeways. Low grade phobia of being in control of a vehicle at highspeed when in close proximity to other vehicles at highspeeds. Directly related to the fatal car crash I witnessed and was nearly a part of two weeks before my 16th birthday. I can do it if I have to, but if there's a choice, I choose not to.

So we made our way from the north end of Kitchener to the south end to pick up a magnolia tree for his mom for Mother's Day - it would be funny if by some fluke she'd come across my blog through Ian's blog and actually read this before Sunday - from Home Depot.

I'd spent ten minutes on the Net reading maps and writing myself directions. We followed them. And ended up in a random parking lot convinced we were lost. After perusing the maps Kiernan keeps in the jeep, we found that we were, in fact, on the right track and just needed to keep going.

By the time we picked up the tree Ian decided we needed to get back quickly. So we took the 401.

I was very twitchy until we merged. Excellent luck, no threading needles today. After that, I was able to drive with my cushion of space around us and be happy.

Finally got 'home', picked up my bag of laundry and got an MSN message from Christa.

"Are you there?"

She was in Guelph with James, they were going to dinner with Elizabeth and leaving Guelph by 7pm. What was I doing?

They kidnapped me ten minutes later. I barely had time to put in contacts, run my fingers through this mop I call my hair (I badly need a haircut) and decide that no, I didn't have time to shave.

Christa looked fantastic, as usual. Black pants, red sleeveless shirt and glasses.

We went to the Wooly, talked, ate and did the usual dinner stuff. It didn't last nearly as long as I wanted it to, but oh well. Take what you can, right?

My god, I enjoy spending time with this woman.

They dropped me off at about 7:30pm. By 8pm, Claire was here and she, Shokes and I were watching the last episode of Friends. And then ER. And then I sat down to write this and talk on MSN. I'm going to bed now so that maybe I can get up early tomorrow.

The bag of laundry still sits on the floor two feet from my desk.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004 

Happy Star Wars Day

"May the fourth be with you."


I'm unimpressed: Part 3

Turns out that while the backed up pipe is now fixed (ya!), there's no hot water. After snaking our pipe, the plumber had to run hot water through the tub to rinse it for a while and to make sure it was draining properly.

It may take until morning for the water heater to fill up again. So I still haven't been able to take a shower.


I'm unimpressed: Part 2

Turns out there's a problem with the plumbing at the new house. About two inches of dirty water has come up out of the drain in the bathtub. It hasn't drained.

Also, about six inches of dirty water has come up out of the drains of the two laundry sinks in the basement. And hasn't drained.

The plumber is coming sometime tonight.


I'm unimpressed: Part 1

Turns out my knee isn't under control. It's been bugging me for the last few hours. Fuckin' thing.


To throw, or not to throw...

Ian wonders why I didn't throw stuff.

I had to restrain myself. The food was good and I hadn't had my fill yet. And mom hates it when I make a scene...



Sunday I went out to dinner with my parents and sister for my mom's birthday. We went to the Mandarin in Barrie. I was a little smarter with the buffet there than I was with the one at the Indian restaurant in Guelph.

Part way through dinner dad got my attention and shifted his eyes over my right shoulder.

I looked to see that a certain former Ontario Premier, Mike H-----, had just sat down at the table behind me with a woman and two children.


This week's objective: money

I need it.

Not right now. I managed to sock away enough that I'm going to be comfortable for the next month even if I don't find a job right away.

However, if I don't find a job right away and start earning some cash, I will be screwed later in the summer. And royally screwed come September.

So, today I'm going to go print off some resumes and apply for some jobs.

And I'm going to apply for OSAP so that I can go to school in September.

Should be all sorts of fun.


Week two: bundle of pain

Last week was interesting. This entry will be brief and kind of clipped. It would have been longer had I had access and time to file it on Saturday.

Sunday through Thursday I alternated between calisthenics and martial arts, with flexibility still a daily thing. Wednesday Christa and I went for a relatively long walk.

Among other advances, I made it to twenty pushups, was getting the tips of all five digits on the floor when touching my toes and was touching the toes of the foot propped on the hip-high bar.

Wednesday's walk screwed up my knee for the next few days, but the pain was good because it showed me the weakness there. Daily sessions of special stretches and exercises brought that back under control, though it will still be prone to re-injury if I'm not careful.

Friday was moving day, so other than flexibility exercises, I just left it to moving furniture to give me some exercise. Having woke up stiff and sore from the week's activities, I knew it was going to be a painful day.

Martial arts drills went well, though I'm going to have to start hitting things soon. Striking and kicking the air is good for technique and speed, but doesn't do a damn thing to condition hands and feet to absorb the impact of actually hitting things. No martial arts training happened from Thursday through Saturday, so there will be some catch up to do.

Eating and sleeping were terrible. My diet was horribly unbalanced and erratic last week. Thursday's all-you-can-eat buffet at the Indian restaurant downtown was a bad idea. Friday I somehow missed breakfast and lunch and didn't eat until around four. Just plain dumb.

I was up late every night and woke up at random times. Wednesday I got up at 5:30 a.m. Other days I got up closer to noon. I've got to bring that under control soon.


Reconnecting to society

I have to say I'm amazed how twitchy I got over the last few days without Internet, cable television or a telephone. It would have been one thing if I were off camping or something - which I haven't done in FAR too long - but to be so disconnected and still be in populated areas was just eerie.

The third entry never came because there was something wrong with mom's computer yesterday. I hope she's figured it out.

The cable guy came this morning as I was finishing my workout. Shokes and I spent the rest of the morning wrestling with the Internet, forcing it to do our will. Finally we got connected again.

I've been reading email and blogs ever since.

And let me just say, my new room is frickin' cold today. At least it's HUGE.

Monday, May 03, 2004 

Nope, only two

Apparently I was a little too ambitious. I'll write the third in the morning before leaving my parents' place.


"You need a drink"

Saturday was Steph's birthday.

She invited a bunch of people out for drinks.

I spent the day cleaning the old house and unpacking at the new one. Missed the bus I'd intended to take (10:30 p.m.) and caught the next (11:00 p.m.). Waited in line for two minutes at the bar she'd originally invited us to. Was found in line by Ian and Jer, who had gone to the bar she'd changed the invite to and decided to swing by the original one in case I hadn't got the message. Without internet or phone (the move), I hadn't got the message.

We got to Van Gogh's and I bought Ian and Jer a drink to thank them for helping with the move.

I was exhausted and so had parked my ass in a tall bar chair with my back to the post/table that Steph, and therefore the rest of us, was standing at. It also gave me a clear view of the exit and half the crowd, which was a plus.

I'd intended to buy Steph a drink, but a bunch of other people - chief among them being Jay, her boyfriend - had beat me to it. As she swayed slightly, I grinned and promised to buy her that drink another night. She thanked me by convincing me I should stay past the last bus (I'd intended to take it 'home'), that I should drink (I'd intended to just have one) and by buying me drinks whenever she thought I should be drunker than I was. Which seemed to be a trend. Jer and Ian each bought me a drink too.

At one point Ian leaned over to yell in my ear, "Isn't it funny how different being in a bar by yourself is when you're seeing someone from when you're single?"

I laughed because I had been thinking about Christa, wishing she had been there. Maybe Ian can read minds. Or expressions. Or maybe he was thinking about Kiernan. I don't know.

Shortly after Steph bought me a drink a vaguely familiar song came on and she put a hand on each of my knees - she was standing and I was sitting on the tall bar chair - to get my attention and asked who the song made me think of.

Apparently our layout guy at the paper had played a CD with this song on it in the office continuously for a good chunk of the year. But while it was familiar, I couldn't remember that. Steph looked slightly disappointed.

We ended up at the Albion not long after that, with me on a couch with my back to the wall and a clear view of everyone in the room and both exits.

Jay bought a beer for Steph, but this time someone else beat him to it. So he offered it around and I took it. And didn't hate it. Which was odd.

At one point I found myself sitting back and mapping all the social interactions going on in the group of people I was with. Ian and Jer were chatting to my right. Steph and two of her friends were chatting on my left. Across from me two more of Steph's friends were talking to each other. Jay was reading an article from an entertainment newspaper on the other side of Jer.

I realized I was drawing social network diagrams in my head. Then I started doing the entire room. Then I started imagining links between everyone in the room and everybody in their lives. Then I got dizzy and took a step away from the mental cliff I'd been teetering on the edge of.

That happens to me a lot.

That's why I need to be talking to someone if I'm drunk and tired and in a room full of talking people. If I'm not directly and intensely linked with one or two other people, I get sucked into all the interactions happening in a room.

Sociology - which was half my degree - screws with the way you look at the world.

"You're not drinking," said Steph.

Then she disappeared and came back with a rye and coke. Which I enjoyed immensely. Am I the only person my age who likes those?

Ian and I left shortly after that and I crashed on Ian's couch for the night.


The move

Friday was chaotic.

It was moving day. I woke up tired from being up too late packing the night before. I woke up sore from all the exercise I've got in the last week. I woke up grumpy because we had a housefull of stuff to move into two small rooms.

The pickup truck we rented arrived around 10:30 a.m. and we took our first load over to the sublet. Marcia and Ryan D. - friends of Shokes and the couple we're subletting from - hadn't move all their stuff out yet, but had cleared half of the livingroom and the small bedroom for us to move stuff into.

The first task was to capture Marcia and Ryan's cats and lock them in the master bedroom so they wouldn't escape during the day and so they wouldn't be under our feet. That was fun.

Shokes got the first cat, Gordon, right off the bat and locked her up. Shokes, Ryan P. - Claire's boyfriend - and I spent a good forty-five minutes trying to get Paisley, the other one. She had escaped into a huge pile of Marcia and Ryan D.'s furniture and other stuff piled on one side of the livingroom.

We tried calling, we tried food, we tried treats, we tried pretending to leave and then swooping in to snag her (which almost worked). At one point Ryan P. tried dangling a length of extension cord to try to get her to come out and play. Claire showed up and we sent her INTO the pile. She's a slender girl. Paisley just fled deeper. In the end we gently chased her out with a broom extended under the couch. The poor thing was terrified.

By the time we got back Christa was waiting. She'd volunteered to come help move, rather than spend her day off unpacking her own stuff at her parents' place.

We took another load - three vehicles - to the sublet and to Claire's new place. Christa and I went to pick up Ian, who had graciously volunteered to help.

We took another load. And another. And Christa and I picked up Jer, who had also accepted my plea for help.

More loads. No organization. Too many people used to organizing group endeavours and no one person to coordinate it all. It went smoothly enough, but it was not my finest day for intelligence.

Christa and I were talking about it at one point. I said it seems that group intelligence is inversely related to the number of people in the group. She said it seems like there is only a set amount of intelligence allowed in a group at one time and adding more heads just means every individual has less to draw on.

Matt, a friend of Shokes, showed up with his pickup. We ordered and ate pizza.

Eventually we finished and watched Brother Bear. Not a bad movie, but much funnier when you watch it the second time with the commentary on.


Three entries in thirty minutes?

I'm gonna give it a shot. Lots to talk about.