Saturday, February 24, 2007

Gmail Chat

"All together now!... What were the words again?"

I often get asked by unnamed parties what I do with all the down time at w___ and if I drink or do drugs on the j__. I always answer with my eyes. But sometimes, my eyes can't be read: the glare from my glasses distracts too much.

Now with this post, I won't have to answer. The following is an unedited chat I had on Gmail t____ with someone. The person I chatted with is not important. It's only important to note that she is a recovering alcoholic, a former speed reading champion and she played a role in the reunification of the Olympic rings.

This chat is real. I repeat: is real. Be offended. Or don't. Actually, do. Do. Do. Do:

4:59 PM me: Reply to all of my e-mails. There are only 800.

5:01 PM I almost wrote, "There are only 800 hundred." Haha. I laugh hardest at my own blunders.

5:04 PM Ladadeeladedaladadeeladeda.....

5:08 PM Come on, type, type. It's boring. This is my first day shift on the weekend since Christmas Eve weekend last year. Can you believe that? Crazy.

5:09 PM Are you upset I called you "Dear" yesterday in an e-mail? I'm sorry if you are. I was intoxicated then. I may be now.

5:11 PM I used to think drugs were bad, but lately, they've brought me joy. I'm grounded, too. It's like I'm in a state of nirvana. One with God and all of that bullshit. Lovely stuff I'm on, too. Not too expensive, and it comes with a prescription. Tasty pills. Yum.

5:13 PM Ladadeeladedaladadeeladeda.....

5:14 PM What have you been up to this fine Saturday? Anything exciting. I've been writing suicide letters in my head. Dot the Is cross the Ts.

5:16 PM I might publish this entire chat we're having on my blog. I love it. I do. It shows the lowest depths I've fallen. People will wonder about my sanity. I will wonder about theirs.

5:18 PM Between the booze and the pills yesterday, I watched "Capote." I'm only now getting around to Oscar winning films from last year. I thought Philip Seymour-Hoffman was alright as Truman, but the film was a bit slow, meandering almost. Nothing that special.

5:19 PM Ladadeeladedaladadeeladeda.....

5:20 PM You're there. You're right fucking there. And you're letting me bury myself. I'm revealing so much. It hurts. Damn it.

5:22 PM Hmm, O.K. I'll compromise. You don't want to talk to me. And now, I don't want to talk to you. So, here's the deal: Message me back once. I'll leave you alone then.

5:27 PM Fine. I'll end on this.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

At Half-time

Only a Few Days Left in Reading Week

I'm now at the half-way point of my last reading week ever, and like the past three reading weeks, now is when I've realized I won't achieve half of what I wanted to do during reading week.

It's disappointing, but expected.

A Statistics Update

Lectures: 22
Attended: 21
Fallen Asleep: 0
Assignments That I Have Put Forth Effort: 1

One of those numbers is unbelievable. O.K.: two.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

New Resolution

Almost Two Months Late, Finally Some Direction

As we've all been busy breaking our New Year's resolutions, I've also been busy the last 51 days in search of a March resolution to commit to and then, break.

And I found one: "The A-List Workout"!

Back cover text:

Jessica Simpson's lean, long legs, Sheryl Crowe's sculpted arms, Angelina Jolie's, well, everything . . . What's the secret to these celebs' buff bodies? It's not genetics, and it's not luck: They work hard for their beautiful physiques under top Hollywood trainers, and now you can too!

I want lean, long legs, sculpted arms, and Angelina's Everything. This book will help me get it. But beyond those things, I'll learn these from this book:

* Set realistic, attainable goals to keep you motivated
* Design a fitness plan that fits in with your busy schedule
* Save money by using common household items for workouts
* Target a specific problem zone, such as your butt or thighs
* Begin an exercise program--even if you've never worked out before
* Follow a diet plan that won't leave you deprived

Yes! Yes! Everything I've ever wanted all in one diet/workout book. And it's only 256 pages! An easy Sunday afternoon read.

Come, join me on this life-changing journey before we quit on it without ever giving its destined-to-fail-completely-unrealistic-you-must-
be-out-of-your-god-damn-mind-put-down-the-tabloid strategies a chance!


Monday, February 19, 2007

On Criticism

When It's Good, When It's Bad

I've thought about why I'm willing to let a friendship end, and the reason is criticism.

I'm not opposed to being criticized; in fact, I prefer to be criticized. But I want that criticism to based on thought, on facts, and in the spirit of making me a better person. Criticism borne from nothing, made in haste, with no reason or objective, is more similar to an insult than something constructive.

So, when a friend of mine insulted me rather than criticized me, I absorbed it at first, and then I thought: No, I don't really care for that. I suppose I should be an adult and confront her about what she thought she said was in jest.

Maybe I'm too sensitive and quick to being insulted. Maybe.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Next Wednesday

Making Plans

As any good calendar will tell you, next Wednesday is Valentine's Day®...

(Oh! It's not registered? Of all the important holidays, I genuinely think Valentine's Day is fit to be commercialized; it's not like it has the negative stigma of a political event or death attached to it.)

O.K., anyways, Valentine's Day is next Wednesday, and I've been busy drafting plans for what promises to be the highlight of my year so far. I'm returning to a tradition that I had skipped the past two years. Why? My doctor, Dr. John C. Ulypp, has advised me that I shouldn't call any escort services this year because my immune system probably could not handle another venereal disease. I believe in Dr. Ulypp's judgement, and so I'm going to be safe this year.

(Incidentally, Dr. Ulypp is up for the OMDA's comeback MD of the Year award. Two years ago, Dr. Ulypp lost six separate malpractice lawsuits relating to unexpected deaths. In his defense, those patients were old; some would have been in their 40s right now if they hadn't died.)

So, testing out Toronto's finest escort services is out; what's back in is a tradition I started in high school. I've already bought my supplies:

-two heart-shaped chocolate boxes
-one 200-page notepad
-one box of 12 waterproof pens
-three bottles of the finest vodka $17.68 can buy!

I plan to devour said boxes of chocolate while downing shot after shot of cheap vodka while writing tear-stained love letters to all the girls - and there are so many - who have broken my fragile, sensitive heart. I won't send the letters out; one year I did and I'm still suffering the repercussions of that mistake.

If you don't have better plans than mine, then you should take my lead. Nothing beats getting drunk and feeling sorry for yourself on an important night like Valentine's, um, Day.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Dead Celebrity

The Sound of Morons Weeping

I'm not even going to mention her name or link to any of the sure to be many stories about her death; it's unbelievable how people can feel any sympathy, any sadness for the death of one of the most embarassing, selfish, greedy celebrities from the last 15-plus years. "Oh, she went through so much in the last while."

Oh, get over it. The Dead Celebrity only did what was best for herself. And will anybody be surprised if her death is ruled an overdose? No. But you'll be able to hear about it for the next weeks, and months in the tabloids and in the mainstream press. Here, now, our next Marilyn Monroe! The overkill coverage of this story would lead anyone to believe an important person died. What's also dying is the credibility of journalists who cover this story beyond a couple grafs. And it looks like I'm about done.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lost Tonight

First Show Back

Below, I suggested Vinay Menon wasn't qualified to assess the newest episode of Lost. I've seen it now, and the show has had stronger episodes.

Menon spoke of "slapstick" as a negative in the show, and I saw it, too.

Next week looks to be better. If the show can cut out the Kill Bill-like blood effects, and unnecessary deus ex machinas, maybe it'll turn around.


The Many

Tuesday and Wednesday


As I often do in the winter, I walked to school today through the PATH and the Eaton Centre. Upon nearing the foyer between the Eaton Centre and the Dundas subway station, I saw a man in his late 30s. He wore a winter coat and a toque. At the man's side his briefcase rested. He was the type of man I pass daily, constantly, without making any significant observation. But the man did something I had never seen.

He pulled something from his briefcase, but I only saw an electrical cord. He then crouched down to an electrical socket in the foyer and plugged in whatever it was in his hands. Then I heard a buzzing sound, I looked at the man and he was shaving. Naturally, several questions came to mind:

What kind of person shaves in a mall foyer?
Furthermore, why is the hell is there e an electrical socket in the foyer?
Why did this man decide to shave at this foyer?
How long did he look for a free electrical socket?
Wouldn't have been more practical to shave in a public restroom?

And on and on.

I didn't ask any of these pertinent questions, although I wish I had. I strongly doubt this man, who I should say did not look homeless, would have been able to answer most of my questions: even when you shave in a foyer, you need to concentrate.


Yesterday, I received several e-mails that lead me to ask myself if, when, why I should apply for a full-time job.

These questions remain unanswered.


Today, I met with Randy Boyagoda to discuss an imitation assignment due next Wednesday. In addition to speaking about that assignment, we discussed what I want to do after graduation, online journalism, the New York Times, and Tom WOlfe.

Boyagoda said my imitation was strong, but could be improved. He then gave me advice on my literary aspirations, made some suggestions, and told me to be ambitious; it was the type of advice that contradicted almost everything I've heard from professors and instructors in my four years at Ryerson. "Start small," they say.

Who's the one who's been published?


Yesterday, my schedule looked like this:

4 a.m.: Wake up.
6 a.m.: Leave for train station.
7 a.m.: Work.
9 a.m.: Ethics.
Noon: Coffee with Kait.
1 p.m.: Online Reporting.
8 p.m.: Get back home.
11 p.m.: Go to sleep.


I saw the cover of the new Blender issue that features Borat. I thought that film came out in November. A little behind the times?

(An aside: I've never read Blender, and I'm not sure what it is.)


Vinay Menon's preview or review (whatever you wish to call it) for tonight's new Lost episode is about pointless considering how he prefaces his thoughts:

As readers of this space may recall, I gave up on Lost sometime between The Hatch and Ana Lucia. Still, professional duty requires hit shows to be loosely tracked, even if I'm convinced the writers are smoking crack.

O.K., so Menon is about to review a show he doesn't like. He continues:

Besides, I was told Lost returns to form tonight. And if I don't write something nice I will be forced to live out my days on a mysterious island, joined by an obese lottery winner, a screechy hobbit and several women who have trouble when it comes to crying believably. So I inserted the preview DVD and hoped for the best.

What the hell? Okay, I've missed a few episodes. Help me out: when did Lost become a slapstick jumble of Grey's Anatomy, Oz and Melrose Place? And from where did these new characters arrive, with their bruises and scowls and endless supply of small arms?

O.K., so Menon has missed episodes to a show that demands its viewers see all the episodes. He stopped watching a show and is upset he doesn't know what's going on. Wow, Lost is awful.


I've had a friendship with someone for the last three years, and it seems to be ending. We haven't fought, but it seems we're moving apart. I'm not puzzled that this is happening; I'm puzzled that I don't care.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl

The Most Disappointing Game of the Year

Where was I last year on the first Sunday of February? In the CP newsroom watching the Super Bowl. That was the first time I had watched the annual, slow-paced game from start to finish. I had made other attempts, because that's what "guys" do, but I could never make it through the commercial interruptions.

I don't remember much from last year's game. I can't even name the team who won. I think Pittsburgh. Yes, O.K., the team did win. A guess.

This year, I find myself doing the same thing I did last year in the CP newsroom. Now, it's the Colts versus the Bears. I've always cheered the Bears when I've paid any attention to the NFL, so I hope they win. If they lose, I will go on with my life not caring much at all.

The game, which I expect to be awful, has been somewhat good so far. I'm writing this now, because I doubt I'll be able to write it after the network turns every small pause in the game into a commercial break.

You know what would be amazing: if I actually saw a Super Bowl game from start to finish that is recalled as a "classic." That would be amazing, because I don't think a Super Bowl could ever live up to all of its hype.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

One Year

The Next Phase

I would have wrote this last night, but I was spending time with my sister; she was cashing her birthday present I gave her in November.

Last night, of course, marked a year since I started the Michael Czobit Blog.; now, the Czobit Blog. This is post #189.

The blog started as my third attempt to maintain a blog beyond a couple of months. And here I am, one year later, the Czobit Blog lives even if my posts have become infrequent.

Three days ago, I thought about writing this post. I thought it might be the last post here. The blog isn't bothersome, or "too big" -- the last time I checked the Site Meter, which was a bit of time ago, the visits per day were as infrequent as my posts. But people started to mention the blog to me: they knew what I had been thinking, saying, doing. I know: that's the point of a blog.

When a co-worker made a sarcastic remark about my blog, I thought, Maybe it's time to shut it down. I didn't write for his amusement; there are some people you wish never read your blog. And I suppose he could be reading this.

But I waited to make a decision on what to do. I considered starting a new one. This new one would not have my name in bold letters at the top. But then I'd be running from something I shouldn't bother to run from. Instead, I want to re-commit to the blog, and push it forward by doing some things I haven't done in my first 188 posts.

In those posts, I sometimes embarrassed myself; sometimes I wrote what I'd still stand by today.

In these next posts, I want to move away from what the blog mostly was. If the blog only becomes a forum to insult and ridicule, there really is no point. That's why I haven't posted as often as I did. Shooting the same target gets too easy, and you get lazy. I'll try being less lazy.