Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I Wonder

The Blog Continues To Devolve

The more I think, the more I realize that I just have one question for some people. It's a rather simple 'how' question, but I think the answer would be complex.

The question: how does it feel to know you're completely fucking useless?

Really, I wonder how it feels to know that.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Exploding House

A Local Story

I was already up around 7 a.m. About 45 minutes later, my house shook. Apparently from this:

Two people have been taken to hospital after a house exploded near Queensway E. and Cawthra Rd. in Mississauga this morning.

Police and emergency crews were called to the house on Duchess Dr. shortly before 8 a.m., where "they found the home literally destroyed," according to Peel police Const. Craig Platt.

I don't live too close but close enough to that house. Now I can sort of imagine how it'd be in a war zone; much more terrifying.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Reconciliation

Catching Up With The Journalism

Some might say that spending a day off from work reading magazines is a waste of time. Then to those people, I've been wasting time today.

I was behind in my New Yorker reading (yes, I'm a journalism snob). Nineteen issues behind. And I've spent most of my time today getting caught up. Four more issues and I'll be 'current.'

But reading these New Yorker issues is about more than being up-to-date with the issue that's on the newsstand; reading these issues has left me in a manic state, and reminded me why I love journalism. It doesn't take a Malcolm Gladwell to figure out that surrounding someone with the best in journalism can make them appreciate journalism (again).

I'm not saying I was surrounded with the worst in journalism at CP, which made me lose my appreciation for journalism. But when you work like a drone, stories tend to lose their meaning in the blur of words on your screen.

The New Yorker reminded me of journalism's greatest qualities. Good timing, I'll say; Year Four is close.


Late Post

To Break Kayfabe?

It's sort of hard to write something about coming back to write something when you feel you need to write something now. NOW.

Off today from work; yesterday was my last shift as a full-time summer replacement. Not sure how the summer went or what it means or any of that deep-thinking-so-go-to-a-quiet-place-and-think stuff. I suppose I should do that here in the most confusing way possible--that is, in total disorder without resolution:

Did working some 30 hours a week in a newsroom make me a better journalist? Did it make me even want to be a journalist any more? I doubt whether it made me a better person. I rarely think about making a good impression, so any good impressions were coincidences. Did I earn the respect of the people I worked with? Ask them. I'd say no, but then respect is often over-rated; an unmalleable commodity that's hard to know what to do with. So I'm respected, what now? So I'm not respected, what now? Who really gives a fuck? The people who need to be loved; the people I have no time for. Perhaps I'm even thinking about this whole damn thing too much? Four months in a newsroom doesn't mean anything. Sitting at an online desk means less. Or maybe it means just as much as any other newsroom job? I'm not sure. I'd be guessing to answer. What are the facts? Many hours spent at a desk reading the news. I developed a routine. I developed ticks, perhaps gimmicks. Was it actually me? Or some character I played? Did I mean anything I said? Did I feel anything I said? Does it even matter? There are many questions I should ask and seek the answer to and perhaps by placing some of them in this massive, glob of text, I'm saving myself from re-reading the questions and finding the answers. Perhapses and maybes. So many questions, what the fuck does it all mean? Maybe it's just late at night and I'm intoxicated with a shifting barometer and broken kayfabe. Maybe I'm just fucking with anyone still reading this; asking questions I didn't ask or could care less about. Maybe I've pulled you into this massive paragraph as distraction to fool you from what's really happening. All the grammar mistakes, all the dull jokes, all the nothingness and pointlessness of these words and any words like them.

Big paragraph with no meaning. Or all meaning? Fuck do I know.


Some, Later

Many Things To Cover

Thinking some things out; will post soon.


How was your evening? Fine? Mine, too.


Monday, August 21, 2006


Another Positive Post

Got to the CNE (that is, the Canadian National Exhibition) around 10:30 a.m. And I was gone by 3:00 p.m. Going to the CNE is a summer tradition that was near dead this morning and now buried tonight.

The problem: the CNE isn't aimed at me.

I'm not interested in cheap t-shirts, throw-away stuffed animals, roasted corn, as-seen-on-TV junk, dog shit dog shows, fake leather wallets, rigged carny games, counterfeit clothing, brain dead humans, unsafe rides, the smell of life fried or anything else the CNE is today.

It's not the CNE, really. It's just me.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Taxi Ride

You Figure Out A Sub-Title

After I uploaded that final story at 3:15 a.m., I called for a taxi. That first call never worked, so I called again and finally got a taxi after 3:30 a.m.

The cab pulls up. "What's your name?"


"It says here 'Michelle.' M-I-C-H-A-E-L."

"That's 'Michael.'"

"Oh, okay. Where do you want to go?"

I tell the driver my exit in Mississauga and he says no problem. Of course it's no problem. You're a taxi driver; it's your job to drive people places.

As we approach the Gardiner Expressway he asks me what a usual fare is to Mississauga. I ask why.

He doesn't answer but asks me if I'm using a chit. I say I am and can almost hear the 'Cha-ching' sounding off in the driver's head.

"My meters running slow tonight," the driver says. "You would know what a regular fare is to Mississauga."

I tell him that the fare is usually $35. He says okay.

I had my doubts about this driver when he thought 'Michael' was pronounced 'Michelle,' but at this point, I know the guy is an idiot and an opportunistic thief.

Along the way on the highway, the taxi comes across an an SUV sitting on (and simultaneously crushing) a small convertible.

A little later, the cab arrives at my house. The fare on the driver's meter is $35.00 (hey, what do you know?) and the driver asks, "Is that usually what you pay?"

Pretty sure that's what I said.


Still Here

The Unexpected Late Night

I got to work aroud 5:30 p.m. although my shift started a half-hour later. I expected to be out around 2 a.m., but I'm still here. I'm waiting for one story to come through on the sports wire so I can go home.

One story. Less than 600 words. That's all that's keeping me here.

The wait continues... finally.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Killers

Kool Haus, October 20

Gonna have to be there.


Friday, August 18, 2006

One-Hit Wonder?

Any Band I Don't Like Is A One-Hit Wonder

Yesterday, a co-worker said Radiohead was music from a different generation; that he couldn’t understand it.

Fine. Good. Everyone has different musical tastes, which is a good thing.

But then this co-worker said he considered Radiohead nothing but a one-hit wonder. This negated anything he had said or will say about the band. A one-hit wonder who’s considered to be one of the best bands in the world with multiple critically-acclaimed albums? Radiohead, a one-hit wonder? Are you kidding or are you ignorant?

The success of their six albums fail to show it:

"Pablo Honey" (1993)
Billboard peak: #32

"The Bends" (1995)
Billboard peak: #88

"O.K. Computer" (1997)
Billboard peak: #21

"Kid A" (2000)
Billboard peak: #1

"Amnesiac" (2001)
Billboard peak: #2

"Hail To The Thief" (2003)
Billboard peak: #3

Granted, they haven’t sold out and endorsed a fast-food chain or a can of pop, but Radiohead is far from a one-hit wonder.



Curious Question

Let me know if you like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I might have something for you.



Who's Excited About The English Premier League Season Starting Tomorrow Besides Me?


Come on!


Fall 2006

The Class Schedule

I finally have my Fall schedule free of mistakes. Two days of class - Monday and Thursday - both 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sounds good, right?

Somehow I doubt I'll be at Ryerson or doing Ryerson work only two days a week.


Dead Again

What Won't Last

My second pair of earphones have died on me within a month.

I'm now using an ultra cheap pair, which are loud enough to feel like I'm listening to music through a trapdoor in a water tank wearing ear plugs.

I must get a new pair.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Maintenance Post

Just Checking Up On The Blog

Lights work.

Water pressure is good.

No cracks in the foundation.


Monday, August 14, 2006

AIDS Conference

The Opening Ceremony

I get to the Rogers Centre with my $60 ticket in hand to find out our tickets have been 'upgraded.'

We were to sit at the dot:

We were moved to this dot:

'Upgraded' means sitting further from the stage. Worse, people who had paid less than we did were sitting among us. If we were told we were 'downgraded,' I would have been pleased with the honesty.

After two hours of talk (some of it good; some of it clichéd hopefulness never to be achieved), the concert portion of the evening was set to begin. It's now just after 9 p.m. But before the concert starts, we're subjected to a horrible interpretive dance performance and a DJ with a dance presentation. Somehow these two performances take an hour to complete.

After an hour of crap (some of it horrible; some of it god awful), the concert portion of the evening was set to begin. It's now just after 10 p.m. But before the concert starts, Alicia Keys comes out and sings? No, she lists 25 pieces of wisdom she's learned over her years. I vomit. She gets off the stage.

Concert line-up:

Barry Ivan White - two songs; two too many

Amanda Marshall - four songs; no heart

Blue Man Group - one song; could have done with more

Chantal Kreviazuk - four songs; heart

Massari (a poser) - three songs; dirt, shit

Our Lady Peace - three songs; way too short

Barenaked Ladies - didn't see 'em

My friends and I had to skip the BNL set because we foolishly relied on the concert organizers to give an accurate finish time for the concert (they said 11 p.m.) and the GO to still be available. But when OLP finished playing, it was 12:15 a.m. The last train out is 12:43 a.m. So we left.

We get to Union and find out our train has been delayed indefinitely because of a police investigation. Now, seemingly stranded and missing the concert we could have stuck around for, the situation was bleak.

But incredible coincidences occur: my friend, who works security for Blue Jays games was also working tonight's AIDS event, which I didn't know. He also happened to be walking through Union Station at the end of his shift to get to his car. And thus, he gave us a ride home and rescued our night.


Shevchenko Update

First Goal In Blue

Chelsea FC lost a meaningless game yesterday. A positive from the game was Andriy Shevchenko's dominance attacking. He also scored his first goal in Chelsea Blue. The Reuters photo evidence:

Excessive, eh? Damn right.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Internet History

The Misfortune Of Clicking An Icon

I'm on a computer at work - this is yesterday - and I click on the History Icon - the sundial one - on the Internet Browser: mistake.

I glance down and see two bizarre addresses considering the setting. The addresses have titles that contain the word 'Spanking.'

I click on one expecting that this is a misunderstanding; how could someone have the courage to look at two websites about spanking at work? My expectation was wrong, and in fact, the link is to an actual spanking fetish blog.

I'm not here to judge; if you read this weblog, you know I never judge. But I have to question the intelligence behind visiting spanking websites at work. There may not be a specific policy against this practice, but I don't think the activity would draw many smiles from management.

But beyond the courageous stupidity of visiting sexual fetish websites at work, there's a more pressing concern: my health. I use that computer. And when this co-jerker - yikes, I mean co-worker - takes what seems like an extended smoke break, maybe he's not smoking, maybe he's doing something else. You know my concerns.

(And if this co-worker does participate in extra-curricular activities such as ___________ (fill in the blank), then where does he draw the line? Is it okay anywhere? In telephone booths? Maybe in confessional booths?)

The only thing to allay my fears is that the co-worker is old; my impotency radar says he's a good candidate for Viagara. I only hope he leaves his pills at home.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Uh, Loser

I Thought Athletes Were Cooler

Apparently Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada made an "obscene gesture" towards the stands in a game Wednesday at the Rogers Centre. Read here.

First, what's wrong with that? Is emotion such a bad thing? If anything, he should have yelled profanities at the fans, too.

Second, isn't an apology lame? Tejada said, "I want to apologize to everyone, especially to the Orioles fans and the fans in Toronto, for my action in Wednesday's game. I was frustrated and should not have let things get to me. I am sorry and hope people will accept that and know that is not the kind of person I am."

I've lost total respect for Tejada (not that I've ever thought I had respect for him). Swear, give the finger, be unsportsmanlike - if Tejada did all that, at least I'd have reason to care when he plays.


Another Thing

The Killers New Single

If someone has missed this, have a listen.

Get on it now.


Tell Me

Just A Question

Why the fuck don't I know one thing about my internship in October?

If I had been told to get one, I would have long ago. This is my punishment for trusting people on their word.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Blasé

Packt Like Sardines In A Crushed Tin Box Is A Good Song

I'm on work release, or that is, release from work. I work again Saturday, which gives me three days off.

In fact, in the next seven days, I only work twice. It's an anomaly and happens only because I'm classified as a 'weekend worker' (at least until mid-October, then I'll be classified as 'unemployed').

The 'weekend worker' title comes along with all the shifts that nobody actually wants to work, like shifts on the weekend and holidays. It also means I spend many of my shifts by myself with one amusement: thinking about how much I...

The point: off for three, back for two, off for two, equals seven days of August. The summer is coming to an end, and the uncertainty is coming to the forefront.

A New Way To Be Cool

When you're as tragically uncool such as I am, you're always out with you ear to the sidewalk so someone can step on you and also so you can find the newest thing to use to become relatively cool.

I found the newest thing: smokeless tobacco.

So cool.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Me Angry?

A Happy Return

It's been more than three weeks since I last wrote here. It wasn't by choice.

My doctor prescribed to avoid writing or visiting this weblog. He diagnosed me with extreme exhaustion. Extreme exhaustion of what? Of anger and hate. And no surprise, the source was this blog.

But I'm better now, and I think I have my anger in check. I wrote 'I think,' not 'I do.'

The Top Five Things I Hate Right Now

It seems almost unfair to narrow this list down to five, because I feel bad about leaving out so many other things I hate.

5. Canadian Idol. Last night's show was putrid filth. To put together seven worse singers or performers would seem to be an impossible task considering how bad the Top 7 are.

4. Too sticky apple stickers. I think I've written about this subject before. And I'm writing about it again, because it's close to my heart. Is it so difficult to use stickers with the right amount of glue?

3. People complaining about the hot weather. Global warming, yes. Summer, yes. So what the hell did you expect?

2. People who don't respond to emails. Ah, fuck you.

1. The Online stream. No information. No direction. No hope. It's close to becoming a complete waste of time.