Monday, February 27, 2006

Different Stories

A Class Gets More Painful

Back from the break, I had my first Philosophy of Love and Sex class of the second-half. Now it's the 'sex' part of the class. Not sure if it was this cold I have (see below), but I felt agitated during the entire class. Well, the entire time I was there.

I got to class 10 minutes late, which was still five minutes before the professor showed up. She wrote her usual scribbles on the board. "Blah, blah, blah," her mouth went. I considered turning my iPod back on to block hearing her 'rights' and 'okays.' Good thing I didn't, because I would have missed these gems:

We certainly don't want a definition that (makes) Wayne Gretzky gay.

I ran into you and touched your breast. It's not sexual. Well, it's not sexual unless the guy 'pretended' to run into her.

Don't touch anything above the waist.

Throw in the genital stuff.

You want context? I'd give it if it would explain any of those quotations. I'm afraid that giving no context makes the same amount of sense.

After it hit noon, I started to get impatient for a break. One didn't appear to be coming, so I left the class. I walked around the business building, up and down the floors, and returned 20 minutes later. When I did come back, the prof had just sent the class for a break. I looked at the mess of her notes on the board, realized I'd need to super-squint to make out the letters, and then said to myself, "Fuck it. I'm outta here."

And then I was gone.

Son Hits Home Run Off Dad; Dad Tries To Knockout Son With Fastball

Yeah, it's baseball, but the Clemens family sounds so nice.

This (Cough) Cold

With the pain in my throat getting progressively worse by the hour, I decided today was the day to go to the walk-in clinic. Okay, at first I tried the ER, but apparently my cold, while a great discomfort to me, is not an emergency. But it hurts so bad, you hear?

So, I had been on a delicious cocktail of Tylenol (try the new eZ Tabs (seriously, there's a free offer in there (okay, not seriously, unless you really like pain relievers)) -- so sweet like candy (you follow with all of these parentheses?)) and Dimetapp, which wasn't getting the job done.

The walk-in clinic doc prescribed me Avelox, which I'm pretty sure is a synonym for 'placebo.' "Take for seven days."

Well, I'll 'take,' but I'm not gonna put my faith in pills (except for new Tylenol eZ Tabs).

Where Are The Beautiful People?

Were filming on Wellington today. I haven't seen it, but I think the show sucks.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Golden Mats

If Canada Couldn't Win...

I made up my mind that when Canada was dumped from the Olympic hockey tournament, I would cheer for Mats Sundin and Team Sweden to win gold.

Four years ago, after a shocking defeat to Belarus, Sundin was left kneeling on the ice, trying to get his breath under control and trying to comprehend how things could have gone so terribly wrong.

Today, it was a different Sundin. I've never seen him more happy. There will be the criticism that Sweden threw a game to avoid playing Canada, and because of that, they don't deserve the gold medal. But sports are as much about strategy as they are pride and skill. No one can ever prove they threw their game against Slovakia in order to draw the Swiss in the quarter-finals, but if they did--and it worked--then it was a brilliant strategic play.

People will also say it's good that Sundin has won the gold, because he won't ever win the Cup with Toronto. I'd like to say that's not so, but let's face it, Toronto doesn't look like it'll be a Cup contender for a while. Sundin is 35. Unless he plays three or four more seasons, this gold medal today might have been his Stanley Cup.

Regardless, drink up, Mats. You earned it.


'Why' File

As In, Why Does This Exist?

Don't ask how I came across this, but I did.

From the store:

This 18" tall action figure of ex-Beatle John Lennon features an incredible likeness and will speak "authentic" phrases uttered by Lennon (details coming soon).

Dubbed the "The New York Years" version, this posable figure depicts John Lennon in jeans, a denim jacket, an I Love NY t-shirt and sunglasses.

Expected to ship in Mid-May 2006. Sure to be hot seller, reserve yours today!

Read that? This "New York Years" John Lennon authentic, posable, talking action figure is going to be a hot seller. Order now!


Saturday, February 25, 2006

no frills

My Long, Dreaded Return

I guess it was only a matter of time before I wrote something here about the four years I spent at no frills. On Friday, someone from no frills called my house and left the message for me to pick up my T4 slip. My former employers are very thrifty when it comes to paying postage. And when you're dealing with probably 125-150+ T4s that belong to people who no longer work for you, you'd be crazy to go the post office and buy all of those stamps.

So as soon as I kick this cold, I will make the trek back to the store I left May 27, 2005. Since that time, I haven't been in there or in any no frills stores. I'm not sure why I've avoided a visit, but I think it has something to do with the way I was treated.

In four years, I never missed a shift, and averaged somewhere around 25 hours per week there. And yet, when it came to taking sides between new employees and my friend and me, we were labeled store bullies. We were responsible for the two-month turnovers, not the unprofessional management or the low pay or the ignorant and rude customers.

The first chance I had to leave the store for another job, I took. And I haven't looked back until this week.

I hear the store isn't doing well. Store traffic doesn't exist. Sales are hitting new lows. All this is after I left. I'm not taking credit for any of the store's misfortune, but I guess it proves I jumped off at the right time: before the ship started to sink.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

U.K. Music

The Concert Line-Up

Sometime this week I'm supposed to post my plans for transforming Ryerson's school newspaper from The Snore-a-sonian to the, well, Ryersonian. Okay, I'll admit that whole sentence doesn't work, but I'm trying here. Give a guy a break.

And because it's much easier to write a list, I've written such a list of the concerts I have tickets to starting in late March. A look at the list reveals that most are U.K.-based bands, which means a) I've subconsciously chosen to go to many U.K. bands' concerts or b) many U.K.-based bands have chosen to come to Toronto within a short time frame.

Here's the list:

Mon. March 20 - Arctic Monkeys, Oasis
Tue. March 21 - James Blunt
Wed. March 22 - Richard Ashcroft, Coldplay
Sat. April 1 - Art Brut
Mon. April 17 - Franz Ferdinand (who I'm going for), Death Cab For Cutie

Haven't checked my account, but I think I'm near broke.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Dentist

A Measure And A Cleaning

At 20, I'm an old man.

That's the message I get from my hygienist after she's finished measuring the gaps between my gums and my teeth. While she did that, she might have been pulling numbers out of anywhere: "Three, two, two, three, four, three, four, two, three..."

The rule of the game is that numbers above three are bad. She quizzes me on where I had the most fours. Where I did have the most fours is a normal trouble spot for adults. She tells me that it's not alarming now, but as I'm getting older (because I'm already old) my gums will continue to loosen. Eventually, my teeth will pop out like popping Dentyne Ice from its packet. I'll be left with two options: to get dentures or to commit to an all liquid diet.

She moves on to the cleaning. She scrapes my teeth with her dental instruments. As she cleans my teeth, I taste the iron from my blood as it pools.

At some point, the sound of metal scraping on teeth fades away with the radio. I think about what I'm doing here. I've gone to an office, sat in a recliner and allowed someone, who I see twice a year, to stick her fingers and metal tools in my mouth. It's hard making sense of this.

She polishes my teeth and tells me the date for my next cleaning. I'm given a blue toothbrush and a smile to bleed for.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

American Idol

Quick Observations

Tonight's episode (which is in progress) is the first I've seen since the begining of the new season. The singers haven't been particularly good or bad, but there are similarities between this season and the previous four.

These similarities include:

» I still feel lactose intolerant watching about 99 per cent of the show (the other one per cent being the graphics).
» Paula Abdul still needs someone to write her more insightful comments. At one point, she said that everyone in the audience is a critic (wow - original thought). She also misused the word "reality" when "honestly" or "frankly" would have been a better choice.
» Simon Cowell still is the reason I watch the show.
» Most (read: all) of the contestant introduction videos are vomitocious.
» Pouting still makes me hate you more.

I'm not sure how much more of this I can take.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday's Random

A Collection Of Unrelated Thoughts

At work, we get the Toronto Sun and the Toronto Star immediately after they've been printed. That's usually around 1 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Yesterday (or is that still today?) a person in another department was leafing through the Sun and with a sigh said, "It's all yesterday's news." I guess, after the many years he's been a journalist, the point of a newspaper is still lost on him.

I'm considering remaining in the newspaper stream. At the beginning of the year, I was considering making a switch to online, but a number of factors have come into play that I did not consider before. When I say "number of," I really mean only two: internship availability and the guinea-pig-factor of being the first students in the online stream.

If I did remain in the newspaper stream, I would grab power of the Ryersonian and make it readable. Later this week I might post what my plans would be.

My plans for the summer remain unknown. I'm not sure if I should apply for another internship or just try to guarantee full-time hours at CP. There's also an intriguing nine-day scholarship/trip thing in the summer that I'm almost positive I will apply for with fingers crossed.

Does Canada need to collectively pray for the men's hockey team to start playing like a team? Yesterday was an embarrassment.

And finally, aren't you amazed at how amazing the Olympic athletes are? Their athletic accomplishments are hard for me to wrap my head around. Just think how more amazing Olympic athletes will be when the first group of genetically-engineered Olympians perform.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

New Trends

Why So Many Holes?

As of late, I've noticed I've been tossing away many pairs of socks because they've gotten holes at the toes. How many pairs? I'd guess around five in the last two weeks. Now this might not be terribly interesting to most people (read: anybody but me), but the holes-in-your-socks issue is one that has been neglected for far too long.

First, what causes the holes? Is it over-use, you know, wear-and-tear? Is it washing the socks in cold water vs. hot water? Is it that my toes are somehow growing at a mutant pace? Or is that my socks are shrinking?

Secondly, am I insane to even post this on a blog? Have I gotten this desperate to fill space? When did you stop reading this post? When did you return?

Okay, in honour of my socks, here's a collection of photos of socks:

"Hello. Is Mr. Sawsbitt there?"

This is not so much a new trend as it is a new policy I've adopted. From here on out, telemarketers who call my house and ask for someone with the last name of Corbett, Cobett, Cozbitt, Sawsbitt, Zeon, Cobitz, or anything that isn't either pronounced Zah-bit, Zoe-bit or Cho-beat, will be immediately hung up on.

There are only three acceptable pronunciations of my last name (the last one above being the Ukrainian pronunciation). If telemarketers aren't courageous enough to admit that they don't know how to pronounce my name, then I'm not going to take the time to listen to their sales pitch.

But even if they do get the name right, telemarketers won't get far. Last week, I had the windows done, the driveway re-paved, and the lawn sprayed. Telemarketers are just shit out of luck.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Eight Below

Disney Really Does Suck

Eight Below is the new Disney movie that hit theatres today. Watch the trailer here. And vomit here.

Now, if you were brave enough to watch that trailer or have had the misfortune to see it, then you probably noticed that Eight Below claims it's inspired by a true story. That's a stretch.

From The Wall Street Journal today:

But the gap between film and facts can be big indeed. Take "Eight Below," the PG-rated yarn about an attempt to rescue eight sled dogs. It is based on a 1983 Japanese movie, "Nankyoku monogatari," that in turn was based on a doomed 1957 expedition by Japanese scientists to Antarctica. "Inspired by a true story" is used loosely: The Disney film changed the characters, their nationalities, the time period, the number of dogs and the fate of most of the canines.

Filmmakers sometimes face criticism for distorting the facts -- even if they concede they left some things out. In 2001, "A Beautiful Mind," which starred Russell Crowe as the troubled mathematician John Nash, was blasted for ignoring Mr. Nash's anti-Semitism, his arrest for public lewdness, and for divorcing and then remarrying his wife. (The movie, though, went on to win an Oscar.)

The makers of many of this season's reality-based movies say they've taken liberties. "Eight Below" is "total fiction," says director Frank Marshall. When he first read the script, he says, he wasn't even aware of its sources in a real Japanese expedition. Disney had bought the remake rights to the Japanese film, and hired Mr. Marshall, a veteran producer of such movies as "Seabiscuit," to direct it. The script made the scientists American and set the story in 1993. While only two of the original 16 dogs survived their ordeal in the Japanese film, the U.S. version cuts the number of original dogs to eight and has, well, a slightly more Disneyesque ending.

Shocking? Nope.

Here's the link to that Journal article. It's free for today, which is up in a couple of hours.


Coldplay No-play?

Rumours Are Only Rumours

Just read in the Globe and Mail that EMI's stocks dropped yesterday after Chris Martin's comments at the Brit Awards this week. While accepting an award, Martin said, "We won't see you for a long time. Bye. We mean it. Bye."

But for Coldplay haters, which I am not, there's nothing to worry about. Coldplay isn't quitting. The BBC gets you caught up.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Last Time

The Final Words on the RSU Election

Some quick thoughts on the final results of the RSU election.

For the record, I think interest in these elections is a result of the campus newspapers covering them as if they are important. They're not that important.

The "Ryerson Students United" team swept the elections. It was expected considering their group faced competition that ranged from unknowns to liars (and do click that link if you want to read some bad reporting).

But the bigger news, as reported by The Ryersonian, was the record-high voter turn-out. More than 2,600 students voted in this election.

So, maybe I was wrong that people didn't care about this election, but I all really need to do is qualify my claim: More people cared this year about the RSU election, but still, more than 85 per cent of students don't care.

And I have another theory about this abnormally high voter turn-out, because I don't think the candidates did a better job campaigning than previous candidates.

We've just had a federal election, and exercising your right to vote is the in-thing to do. So, people decided they'd also vote in this election. Wait until next year, and voter turn-out will drop. I think drastically.

That's it. That's all. No more RSU election coverage starting now.


Sports Notes

Four Medal Thursday

Canada kicked some ass in Torino today. We won two silver and two bronze, and now sit behind the U.S. in fifth-place for total medals with eight.

The best part, Jeff Buttle, who was counted out after finishing sixth in the men's short program, skated his way to a bronze. He had the second highest-score for the long program. I don't even watch figure skating but I did make an exception to see the replay of Buttle's performance. Good stuff.

Raptor Rodman?

The Raptors are either desperate for ticket sales or are taking a page from the Toronto Maple Leafs playbook. The Raptors have offered Dennis Rodman a try out. Will the Worm except the offer? Will the Raptors come to their senses and rescind the offer? Stay tuned.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Vote Day

Because You Demanded It (Okay, You Didn't Even Ask For It), RSU Election Coverage!

I spent two minutes voting in the RSU election today. I'm not sure why.

The voting procedure changed this year. Because Whatshername (you know who I'm talking about), isn't the chief returning officer this year, walkie-talkies were absent from the voting booths.

So, how do they ensure that people aren't voting twice (hell, they're lucky they get anyone to vote once)? Well, you forget about voting privacy and use a two-envelope voting system.

Your ballots go into a small unmarked envelope, which is placed into a larger envelope that has your name and student number printed on the front. When they go to count, they tick off your name and put the smaller envelope in a separate pile to be counted.

Of course, there's always the possibility that someone can take a peak to find out who a student has voted for. Fortunately, it's unlikely anyone gives a damn.

Lame Ass Slogans

I had some spare time today to really study the campaign posters for this election. What's the common thread between all of them besides how bad the photos look photocopied? Yes, lame ass campaign slogans.

Here's one: "Put the U back into RSU." It would have been nice if this coalition of candidates could have come up with something that a high school cheerleading squad wouldn't reject.



I'm not sure what the punctuation is for this slogan, because this group decided that things like punctuation aren't necessary in campaign posters. I wonder if they think keeping lofty campaign promises are necessary to running a successful student union? Um, probably not.

The last one is from the so-called "returning" group, although only 50 per cent of them are running again. It is: "Ryerson Students United." It's a real clever play on the letters "R," "S," and "U." Unfortunately, it's bland, kind of like this whole election.


Watching Torino

Team Canada, Woo?

In case, you didn't wake up at 7 a.m. this morning like me to watch Canada crush Italy, then I'm happy to tell you that Canada did beat the host team, 7-2.

I'm not so happy to tell you that Canada didn't play as well as they should have. The men's team wasn't as impressive as Canada's women's team, who beat Italy, 16-0.

But back to the good news. Canada wasn't a horrible mess and showed they can rack up the goals quickly.

Later this week, the women take on Finland in a semi-final. I hope they can keep up their mad goals-for and goals-against margin of 35.

Other Hockey Notes, Newspaper Style

Toronto Maple Leaf Tomas Kaberle, who's always criticized about not shooting the puck, scored two goals in under three minutes in the Czech Republic's 4-1 win against Germany (Canada's next opponent)...Sticking with the Czechs, Dominik Hasek went down with a hamstring/groin injury, which has put a massive smile on my face. I knew it was only a matter of time before Hasek, who also plays for the Ottawa Senators, would go down with an injury like this. I hope this is the end of his season, because I am not a fan...Mats Sundin scored a goal in Sweden's 7-2 beat down of Kazakhstan.


Oh, Chantal

Believing a Lie

I've been reading the Toronto Star for about a decade (before then, I got my news exclusively from the evening preview before the last segment of The Simpsons), and until today I always thought Chantal Hebert was a man. That's despite her having a name like, "Chantal."

The photo is deceiving. And I am a fool.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Required Reading

Prepare for the Future

In his new book, "How to Survive a Robot Uprising," Dr. Wilson offers detailed — and hilariously deadpan — advice on evading hostile swarms of robot insects (don't try to fight — "loss of an individual robot is inconsequential to the swarm"); outsmarting your "smart" house (be suspicious if the house suggests you test the microwave by putting your head in it); escaping unmanned ground vehicles (drive in circles — they'll have a harder time tracking you); and surviving hand-to-hand combat with a humanoid (smear yourself with mud to disguise your distinctive human thermal signature and go for the "eyes" — its cameras).

The rest is here.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Fly By

Weeks Five Through One, We Hardly Knew Ya

I thought last semester went by fast then I looked at my agenda and realized that week six is upon me. So, this one is slightly faster. If things work out, I'll only be going to Ryerson on Monday and Thursday this week.

Monday, I have my first and only mid-term of the semester. I should be reading my philosophy of love reading package right now, but I think I'm suffering from a new level of procrastination. It's like I'll purposely let things get in the way. I'm behind, but am I worried? Meh, not really.

Tuesday, class is cancelled, because prayers do get answered.

Wednesday, I have reporting, which I hope to do on Tuesday, so I can polish it up and make it read all nice on Wednesday. What I'm trying to avoid? Bad writing like the first sentence of this paragraph. I've thought about it, and I don't think I'm taking any risks in my writing. It's time I change that, even if it means lower marks. I haven't been satisfied with anything I've written in almost 12 months. The last time I wrote something I was happy with was, in fact, during last year's reading week.

Thursday is the last day of class before reading week.

And then I'm free for eight days. Eight days to catch up on readings. Eight days to catch up on films. And eight days to relax. But being realistic (or is that pessimistic?) I know I don't have much chance of getting all three of those accomplished. I'll settle on two. Okay, one. And it probably won't be the latter two.

BTW, I've been keeping track of the number of classes I've managed to stay awake in this semester. Laura could probably tell you that I fell asleep in 99 per cent of the classes I had with her last semester -- including a mid-term! And I know I didn't stay awake in more than a total of three single classes I didn't have with her.

My record going into week five was an impressive 18-6, having stayed awake in 75 per cent of my classes. But week five wasn't so good. I dropped to 68 per cent (21-10). Will I rebound in week six or will I fall more? With only four classes this ought to be cinch. But don't bet on me.


Friday, February 10, 2006

Gym Shorts

Watching Close-Captioned TVs

Two weeks ago my gym installed about 12 TVs. This is after promising to install them when the gym first opened three years ago. The channels that usually get play are CNN, CP24, MuchMusic, TSN, and Rogers Sportsnet.

Today, I had CNN to the left of me, MuchMusic in front of me and Regis & Kelly to the right of me. MuchMusic couldn't be heard, and it didn't matter because I was listening to my iPod.

The other two TVs had the captioning option on. On CNN, Joe Lieberman spoke in clichés about something I didn't care about.

On Regis & Kelly, it's wedding week. From the captioning, I gathered this was an annual event during the sweeps period on TV. Also from the captioning, I gathered that this whole concept was the dumbest thing I've seen in a while.

An Open Letter To Shower Users In The Men's Change Room

Dear Sir,

I have a small request to make. Very small. See, I understand that you have just had a killer workout. You've been sweating like a champ, right? That's what they say. So, I can understand that you feel you cannot wait to get home and take a shower. That you must take a shower right NOW -- not a moment to waste, really.

And here's where my request comes in. If you're taking a shower, and don't suffer from the same condition that Tobias Funke from Arrested Development suffers from, then you'll probably remove all your clothing.

What I'd like you to do is to keep some piece of cloth, a towel maybe, around your groin area while you'rtravelingng from your locker to the shower, and vice versa. Because quite frankly, if I have to see you without a towel one more time, I just might choke on my vomit.

Thank you, and enjoy your workout.

Event Staff Apply Here

Every time I go to the gym there are a number of people wearing "Event Staff" t-shirts. I don't know of any events that are taking place at the gym, and yet there's this huge staff there to help with them. I think I'll launch an investigation into this to determine a) why my gym is holding secret events? and b) why do they need to be so well staffed?


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Pathetic Books

I'm Not Talking About A Million Little Pieces

James Frey may have earned all the backlash he's received for fabricating his memoirs, but that hasn't stopped me from wanting to read his books.

Hey, any person who read the first few pages of A Million Little Pieces should have figured immediately that the book wasn't 100 per cent factual. But, Frey's two books are not the ones I consider pathetic.

No, the book I have in mind is a take off on Malcolm Gladwell's Blink. It's called, you guessed it, Think.

Why is it pathetic? Well aside from desperately trying to cash in on the popularity of Gladwell's book, Michael R. LeGault's book uses this clichéd-tagline: "Now is the time to THINK! -- because a mind truly is a terrible thing to waste."


Post-script: Speaking of 'ugh' and books best used only as paperweights, here's another.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ryerson Elections

It's That Time of Year Again

Let your indifference set in. I know: it's time to let my voice be heard; it's time to get out there and vote. But this is the Ryerson Student Union election, and it doesn't matter because a vote is worth nothing spectacular.

Last year, I voted for the first time in the RyeSac election (the most significant thing RyeSAC did this year was change their name to RSU), and I can't say it changed my Ryerson life in the smallest bit. The group of people I voted for won. Did they fulfill their promises? Maybe. I really don't know, because I don't remember what they promised.

And that's the best part about student union elections: nobody has the faintest clue what was promised and nobody expected any of those promises to be kept anyways.

So, take a look at the candidates, and make your picks. It means nothing anyways.


Malcolm Gladwell

Enjoying Expensive Lectures

Malcolm Gladwell is my favourite writer at the New Yorker. If you've never read his stuff, you should. It's good. He's also the author of the best-selling books, The Tipping Point and Blink. He's also Canadian.

source: New York Times

In this past Sunday's Times, Gladwell was profiled.

What I found interesting in the profile was the little fact that Gladwell's lectures go for around $40,000 US. So what does a $40,000 lecture sound like? I found these a couple of months ago, but now that they're worth about $39,200 more than what I have in my savings account, I thought that I'd share them. This is $80K of lectures.



Monday, February 06, 2006

Bad Class

Love And Sex: Who Knew It Could Be So Boring?

Part of my five-hour Philosophy Mondays is two full hours devoted to what should be a class that grabs my attention: Philosophy 606 - Love and Sex. Well, it doesn't.

While not falling asleep, exiting the classroom, doing copy editing homework, and counting the number of times the professor says, "Uh," "Right," and "Okay," I have one thought coursing through my brain while said professor speaks: "You must be out of your fucking mind."

That she is, because anything she offers as far as philosophy is painful rules and regulations that govern love.

The worse part is that she thinks that the class cares about what she's saying. If she only had my back-of-the-classroom view I have. Almost all the students that have laptops are using them to play games, chat on MSN or check their email. One girl sitting across from me was reading a novel today. She, the student, just didn't care.

And neither do I. But I will say this, coming off four hours sleep last night, PHL606 is just what the doctor ordered: a nice, uninterrupted nap.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Get Fuzzy

Always Good For A Laugh


Long Day

A Look Into An Atypical Day

Below is an account of Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006 to Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006. All the events described did happen. I have streamlined some for reading clarity, and some of the times are approximate because I didn't note them.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

7:00 a.m. - Wake up. Take shower. Cook breakfast Read the Star and the Globe. Pack lunch.

9:46 a.m. - Arrive at Long Branch Go Station in Etobicoke.

10:08 a.m. - Arrive at Union Station in Toronto.

10:12 a.m. - Enter BCE Place to cut across to Yonge Street. In BCE Place, Man of the Year, starring Robin Williams, is being filmed.

10:15 a.m. - Outside BCE Place. A man who sounds like Steve Buscemi asks, "Do you have a minute?" His friend is circling off to the side. The fact that he sounds like Buscemi and he and his friend looks shady is enough for me to say, "Sorry, pal." You can never trust a man who sounds like Buscemi, because Buscemi could play the role of a mugger.

10:20 a.m. - Arrive at Canadian Press on King Street East. Drop off dinner. Read some of the Times.

10:47 a.m. - Leave CP to go to Ryerson.

11:01 a.m. - Arrive at the ILLC. Meet group members for community mapping assignment. Decide to get to Little India by subway. The plan is to go to Coxwell Station and walk down Coxwell Avenue to Gerrard Street.

11:25 a.m. - Arrive at Dundas Station.

11:35 a.m. - Arrive at Bloor Station. Spend 10 minutes searching for the elevator that will get us to the Bloor line, because one of my group members uses a scooter.

11:55 a.m. - Arrive at Coxwell Station. Realize they don't have wheelchair access. Decide to go to the next station that has wheelchair access (turns out to be Main Station) and walk from there to Little India.

1:00 p.m. - Walk 3 km from Main Station to Little India.

1:05 p.m. - Go into the Bar Be Que restaurant for Indian food. The meal leaves a lot to be desired, like 4 L of water to get it painfully down my throat. Will make no plans to go again.

2:15 p.m. - A mixture of snow and rain begins to fall outside.

2:16 p.m. - Go outside to continue research.

2:45 p.m. - Call it a(n) (unsuccessful) day. Decide to walk back to Main Station in the snow-rain mixture, which is now coming down hard.

3:25 p.m. - After another 3 km walk, this time soaked, cold and covered in a mixture of snow and rain, arrive at Main Station.

4:25 p.m. - Arrive at King Station. Go to Starbucks for a green tea.

4:30 p.m. - Back to CP. Finish reading the Times. Realize my cell phone, which was on during the soaking 3 km walk, has died because of the water it got soaked in. Have dinner.

5:30 p.m. - Go up to the CP newsroom. Check emails.

9:40 p.m. - Leafs beat the Devils, 4-2.

Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006

2:15 a.m. - Send last story to the wires.

2:33 a.m. - Cab arrives; going home. Narrowly fall asleep in the cab.

2:49 a.m. - Arrive at my home. I'm now wide awake. I look through the Sunday Times.

3:20 a.m. - Brush teeth.

3:29 a.m. - Go to bed. End of transmission: don't remember anything after that.


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Falling Leafs

Is It Time To Give Up On The Season?

After last night's loss, the Maple Leafs dropped to 1-8-1-1 in their last 11 games. And yet, they're still in playoff contention if they can ever start winning again soon.

The reality of the Leafs' situation is that even if they make the playoffs, they've shown they are a weak team that won't be making a Cup run this season. The team's problems are numerous.

Here are some: Belfour's and Sundin's inconsistency; a weak, young defence core; a team made of tough guys unwilling to be physical; the growing number of man games lost to injuries.

The Leafs should forget about this season. It's time to deal away the big salaries and start bringing up the AHL guys who should get their shot at full-time NHL jobs next season.

The Leafs' GM John Ferguson is smart enough to realize youth and speed are the future of the team. It's now time to speed up to the future and move past the present.


Friday, February 03, 2006

Haunted Forest

Taking A Walk Through ...

I was walking home today and decided to take a short-cut I hadn't in more than five years. The short-cut was through Cawthra Bush, a forest that's about two blocks away from my house.

It's supposed to have a lot of wildlife, but in my short walk, I only saw one these. In fact the only notable thing about the walk was how my spectacular white Reeboks got spectacularly covered in dirt.

While I was in public school, we'd often go through the Bush to get to the arena that's on the other side of it. Sometimes we played 'Capture the Flag' in the spring, and would get covered in green inch worms that would fall from the trees.

The Bush is also home to the Cawthra Estate.

Legend (I don't know who's) has it that the estate is haunted. In October, it's used for a haunted house tour.

I've only been inside the estate once (some time ago) for a cousin's first communion celebration. The basement was renovated, but it didn't make it any less creepy as an 11-year-old kid when I was down there alone.I never ventured up the creeky, wood stairs.

Outside after dinner, a group of forest wanderers cut through the party with hockey sticks. You'd think they were going to play hockey, but having no skates or any equipment quashed that idea.

It was a bizarre afternoon. The kind you don't forget.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Media Bits

Eyeopener, Why Did You Break My Heart?

Last week, after avoiding a return to my school newspaper, I caved and accepted an assignment.

Last week a street racing accident killed a taxi cab driver in Toronto. One of the kids accused of killing the cab driver is a Ryerson student. Also found at the scene was a video game.

That's where I enter.

My assignment was to see if there's a link between video games and aggression. First, this 'story' has been covered ad nauseam. Every time a teen or a kid commits a crime that vaguely resembles some video game, the media jumps on this issue. Old story: strike one.

The fact that the crime had occurred a week before the Eyeopener issue would be published made the actual stories on this traffic accident literally, old news. Old news: strike two.

But there wasn't a strike three, so I begin researching and calling people for interviews. I waste my entire Friday on this story. My free time on the weekend goes to this story. I skip class on Monday for this story. Then I find out Monday afternoon that while I had been under the impression I was getting 600 words, I'm actually getting 350-400.

So, why should I care about doing a good job? My enthusiasm and drive for this story evaporated quickly and I turned in a piece of crap.

Well, the piece of crap made page three. Then I read it online and saw a major error. I misspelled my main interview's last name. I misspelled it three times. I send an email, apologize to my editors, and did feel bad.

Wednesday afternoon goes by and guess who isn't asked to write a story for the Eyeopener's next issue? Not that I'd accept (I'm too busy), but I guess one mistake made by a volunteer reporter is one too many for the prestigious Eyeopener.

The weird thing is I think I may have subconsciously made the mistake on purpose. A major fuck-up like this would be good enough to not be asked to write again for the paper.

If that was my last piece for the Eyeopener, well, good riddance.

It's never been fun and I never learned much.
New York Times vs. The Globe and Mail

I get the Sunday New York Times delivered to me through my Globe and Mail subscription. Well, because the Times has set up a printing press in Toronto, the Globe will offer seven-day delivery for the Times. But those of us who already subscribe to the Sunday Times get two free weeks of the Times to get a taste of what the New York paper has to offer.

Not a smart move by the Globe. I noticed this when I got The Wall Street Journal with my Globe subscription and I've noticed it again: the Globe is not a very good paper compared to those two. It's an amateurish, light-read.

The problem for me, I don't think the Globe would be willing to deliver me the Times everyday if I asked not to get a copy of the Globe.
Post-script: This blog re-launch (number three) is for good. More frequent. More profanity. And more Czobit-y goodness.