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As the clock starts closing in on midnight, like everyone else in the world, today is a day of reflection on the past 365 days in my life. 2007 was an exceedingly eventful year with many milestones, memories and meaningful moments. Here is a look back at some of them...
A Year As A Newfie
Like I have said countless times before - everyone needs to come out here at least once, preferably during the summer months - so you can marvel at how beautiful Newfoundland truly is. I was fortunate enough to spend the summer on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and my time in total here has been an experience I will never forget. Maybe one day, when I'm grey and old, I'll move back and be the cranky old guy who lives in Portugal Cove that used to be a writer or something.
Bugs & Cranks
Who would have thought that replying to a harmless little Craigslist ad would end up being the catalyst to my foray into writing for a living? Shortly before 2007 got under way, I joined a little baseball site to cover the Jays with zero expectations and an abundance of optimism. Two months into the baseball season, we were one of the biggest sites on the 'Net as far as the diamond was concerned and the talent pool at B&C continues to grow. Two personal highlights for me were penning my Josh Hamilton piece Five Tools, Eight Years and One More Chance months before he became one of the feel good stories of the season and catching my first Sports Illustrated link with The Anti-Ripkens.
Odd Job Jack
There was a stretch from March until June where I was more or less unemployed. Nothing I was being offered was remotely interesting to me and I kept quitting crappy jobs. All the while, Sarah stood by my side and supported my need to be proud of what I was doing, even though I wasn't contributing financially. While Blockbuster isn't glamourous, I love the people I work with, getting free movies ain't a bad deal and it's a lot better than working at the call centre. Thanks for letting me be me Baby Girl...
I Had Passion, Lost Passion and Found Passion Again
The road to writing for Passion Magazine was a long and frustrating one, but worked out in the end. I was originally contacted in June about doing a story, then stopped hearing from them altogether for nearly two months before the new Managing Editor got back in touch and filled me in. Two months later, my name was in print on two stories in the re-launch issue and is penciled in for a feature in Issue #2.
Worst. Vacation. Ever. (But It's Gonna Make a Great Movie One Day)
We should have just gotten the hint when we couldn't make it to the Dominican for Tim & Tania's Wedding. Or maybe after the Emergency Appendectomy. Instead, the car we needed to go to Ontario to pick up is a pile of scrap somewhere near Flamborough, there is one less deer in the world and the last week of 2007 was the most hectic, least relaxing week in the history of mankind. The only silver lining? I think I can write it into a pretty funny movie...
Becoming A Better Man
Warning: Some of you may not want to read this - it's sentimental and serious.
Over the last 365 days, I have become a much better man than I ever thought possible. I don't worry about myself and only myself any more. Actually, I don't even worry about myself first anymore and that is an incredible feeling. This year, I swallowed my pride and got my financial house in order by filing bankruptcy. Getting to that point was irresponsible, but knowing it was the best option was the grown up thing to do. I became a better friend - flying home for a wedding that I knew I had to be at and making time for those who are most important to me. Mostly though, the easiest thing to say is that I grew up this year. I realized what I want in my life and have done everything that I could do to make sure that happens and that's saying something...
Favourites of 2007
Big Movie: Zodiac
Everything about it was awesome. David Fincher is still a genius behind a camera, Robert Downey Jr. is still a genius in front of one and Jake Gyllenhall even made me forget about his little trips up the mountain with Ennis Del Mar... the fact that it's based on real events makes it even creepier.
Little Movie: A Guide to Recognizing You Saints
Another appearance by Mr. Robert Downey Jr. in this one, this time starring as the grown up version of Shia Leboeuf's character Dito Montiel, another living breathing person and the man who wrote the book this movie is came from. The true breakout in this film though was Channing Tatum, who casts asides any thoughts that he might just be the next good looking crappy actor with his turn as Antonio.
Album: Alright, Still by Lily Allen
Infectious. Quick. Sharp. Those are the three best words to describe this album. There is something brilliant about the light, airy, lilting nature of the "kiss my ass you stupid bastard" songs on the album and "LDN" is worth it for the horn section alone.
Song: "Stronger" by Kanye West
Anyone who wants to doubt Kanye as the greatest mind and talent in hip hop can drop me a line here and we'll get it on. Be warned though - this will end with me playing Kanye and you being 50 Cent. Mixing Daft Punk with his trademark bravado, Kanye scored the best song of the year.
Song: "Crank Dat" by Soulja Boy
Just because hearing Sarah try to yell out lyrics to it is one of my most favourite things in the world... and no Baby, it doesn't go "Soulja Boy I'll tell you what!" Superman these hos!
Book: Extra Innings by Patrick Smith
No, I'm not saying it just to kiss Smitty's ass and because he gave it to me for free. One, it is a really great read, whether you like baseball or not, because it is about life as told through a season with his baseball team. Two, it serves as daily motivation and a daily reminder that I can make something out of this here writing thing. No longer are published authors whose book I've read random people I know nothing about and that makes the pursuit of my dreams all the more plausible. Thanks for that Smitty - and I can't wait for Book #2... I'll even buy it this time!
So long 2007. It was eventful. Bring on 2008...
Monday, December 31, 2007
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Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Song: The Seed 2.0
Everyone needs to listen to The Roots. Not just this song - everything they have ever put out. Why? Because if for some reason you don't like this song (and you should regardless of what kind of music you prefer) there is something in the expansive catalogue that is The Roots' discography that anyone who likes music will enjoy.
This song for me is the best embodiment of all the things I love about The Legendary Roots Crew.
The outstanding musicianship of the band - "Hub" on bass, Kamal on keyboards, F.Knuckles on percussion, Captain Kirk on guitar and the man I think is one of the greatest musicians alive, Amir "?uestlove" Thompson, on drums. Seriously, this isn't a rap group. The Roots is a band, and a really fucking good band at that.
Black Thought's lyrics and flow - no word better describes the way he layers his words over not just this track but every track than flow. The way he doesn't try to overpower the band and become the focus, but instead works as part of the whole is what makes it work so well. Plus, listen to what he's saying in this tale of infidelity and pregnacy and hear that this is one of the best lyricist of our time.
Couple those two things with the outstanding guest spot put forth by Cody Chesnutt - someone else you should give a chance if you like cats like Jack Johnson and Ben Harper - and this is an absolute home run.
Listen, I could go on for hours about The Roots. This is actually the fourth incarnation of this post that I'm working on now because I have so much to say about them and have a hard time picking just one song to talk about. At one point I just listed their entire discography and said I couldn't choose, but that would have been counteractive to the point of a soundtrack.
So I give you The Seed 2.0 and this advice - go and get it and more... thank me later.Continue reading ...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Five Worst Moments of This Trip
5. Missing Tania & Tim's Wedding
Remember, this was originally supposed to be a trip to the Dominican for the wedding of two of Sarah's close friends that got kiboshed by school obligations at the start of January. Maybe we should have just cut our loses here...
4. Vancouver Appendectomy
After we adjusted from the DR plans, we were set to go to VanCity to visit Sarah's Mom, Brother and the aforementioned Tania and Tim, as well as squire me around her stomping grounds. Two days prior to takeoff, Sarah's appendix decided it needed to be removed and once again, a trip was over.
3. 4 AM Shovelling
We finally had a flight plan that wasn't ruined by surgery and heading to bed we read of an incoming snow storm, but figured we'd be fine. Sarah, a notorious pre-flight insomniac, woke at 4 AM to see what she called 6" of snow outside and told me I should go out and shovel. Turns out, Sarah really doesn't know what 6" looks like (insert joke here) as there was two feet of snow for me to shovel a path through. Better yet, the cabbie pulled into the uncleared neighbour's driveway and asked me why I hadn't shovelled.
2. Figuring Out How To Get Home
Lemme tell you - this part has seriously sucked balls. There aren't many options for flights at Christmas time and getting to Newfoundland is even harder than that. Everyone - Garry, Aunt Maxine, The Eugenius, EVERYONE - has been involved in sorting us out. I've stayed quiet; they can sort it out and tell me where to go. Take that however you may.
1. The Deer
I know this part is obvious, but hey, it's one of the worst experiences of my life period, yet alone this trip. Thankfully, Sarah and I are both safe and without injury and we're now able to laugh at the absolute ridiculousness that is this trip. But wait, there's more...
We owned that car for exactly 11 hours when we ran into Bambi's friend. We signed for it at 11 AM in London and at 10 PM on Highway 8, WHAMMO!
It's not like we were in uncharted territory: I grew up twenty minutes from the accident, have friends that live right down the road and have been through there more times than I can remember without even seeing a deer.
From the time of the accident until we set foot in my mom's apartment was three hours. It too two hours for the OPP and a tow truck to arrive. What happens if we are randoms to the area and don't have my mom's warm car to sit and smoke darts in?
So now I gotta sign off - I'm tired, I'm a little hung over after powering back 50 oz. of beer at dinner and I'm sick of thinking about this stupid trip. Goddamn deer! Continue reading ...
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Welcome to the quick, mobile version...
1. Doing This On The Road Sucks, Part 1
Writing at home is easy; Sarah knows I need to do it and at times we arrange our days around the work that I need to hammer through here on the old Interwebs. Outside of Sarah, not many people completely understand. As much as it sounds like the easiest thing in the world to do - put together an article or write a few words about the latest Blue Jays signing - it's a bit more complicated than that. Maybe one day people will figure that out.
2. Doing This On The Road Sucks, Part 2
Right now, I'm in the Middle of Nowhere, Ontario posting this using dial-up. Yes, there are still places that operate strictly on dial-up. London wasn't even that much better as the DSL only worked down in the basement, close to the modem itself. Someone - Bill Gates, Steve Jobs - needs to get on this.
3. It's Just Snow People
For the last three days I have been hearing about the Winter Storm that is coming to Ontario and how it could shift our travel plans. We drove out here last night and it wasn't that bad. Woke this morning and all the news stations wanted to talk about was how Ontario was getting walloped by a storm which was going to drop - gasp! - 20 cm of snow...
Toronto has yet to call in the Armed Forces to help dig them out of this perilous situation. I loved Mayor Mel, but that was the stupidest thing ever.
5. Nothing Is Simple
I should have known better than to think coming to Ontario for a vacation was going to be easy-peasy. Everything is complicated, from getting sushi yesterday night to finding time to pen (type) this little number here. From now on, vacation might have to mean "go away somewhere where there is no family..."
6. Emily Grace is Still Adorable... Even When She Cries
Managed to sneak in a visit with Murielle and the baby yesterday, sort of. We had a visit but Gracie Lou was sleeping, until she woke up when we were leaving and got freaked out by the sight of her ugly unlce (read: me) standing at her crib. For the next 45 minutes, she proceeded to make strange and cry while staring at me like she had no idea who I was. This is reason #27 why we need to move home sometime soon... I need to be a part of my niece's life.
7. Today is Cole Family Christmas
I have mixed feelings about this. Everyone has always been very inviting and welcoming, but something tells me that today might be a little different. Before it was only ever adults and things change when you mix kids into the equation. Cuple that with the religiousity of the group - outside of Sarah and her dad, all are Church going folks - and my penchant for swearing could get me in trouble. Oh yeah, this is a dry event too...
8. No Booze + No Smokes... What Am I Going To Do?
Garry, Sarah's Dad, was discouraged from bringing a bottle of red wine for today's festivities. I haven't had a smoke in six days now either. That means I will be without my two greatest coping mechanisms for the duration of the day. Sarah better not stray too far from my side.
9. Passion Magazine, Issue #2
Got my finalized assignment for the next issue - January / February - and it's even better than last time. 1800-2000 words on Celebrity Comebacks and hopefully a profile on my buddy Jeff Woodrow's company Joy Apparel. I know I've told you all this before, but hey, I need to fill up a little space here people.
10. The Mitchell Report was a Big Waste of Time
There weren't many shocking revelations to me. Even Roger Clemens wasn't that big of a shock to me. As my man Cabbie said back when I interviewed him for Bugs & Cranks, you gotta wonder how a 40-year-old man keeps bringing it the way he has over the last bunch of years. Kudos to Andy Pettitte for stepping up and admitting his HGH usage; that is a class move from a class act. The rest of the "This is an outrage! I've Never Used Steroids!" bunch could stand to learn a litte from the Yankees hurler.
That's it, that's all... time to get on with the day!
(P.S. No Einstein this week... he's at home in St. John's on my computer and pulling a picture off dial-up seeems like too much work...)
Friday, December 14, 2007
Excuse me please one more drink
Could make it strong cause I don’t need to think
She broke my heart my Grace is gone
One more drink and I’ll move on
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The past seven days has been a giant collection of completely random situations, from Sarah's need to have her appendix removed to our quickly put together revised travel itinerary. As such, there was nothing more fitting for today's Rundown...
Top Five Random Thoughts in My Mind
5. Somehow, Kevin Smith Hasn't Had a Heart Attack
He hasn't, or rather didn't because he stopped smoking and started eating much better than before. And it's a good thing, because I'm through about 30 pages of his latest book and Silent Bob and Co. rock the Griddle for breakfast nearly every day, with stops at Wendy's, Carl's Jr. and Mickey D's mixed in for variety.
4. When Am I Getting Sushi?
Before the whole appendix situation, I knew that there would be a bare minimum of two all-you-can-eat journeys, one in VanCity and one in TO. Now, post-op and with different arrival times, things are a little hazy. As it stands now, we're Googling sushi restaurants in and around London, as London proper doesn't believe in sushi restaurants. Suddenly, I'm a little less excited about moving there in May.
3. Strange Things Irritate Me
Like how soft cover books get that bend in the cover when you're reading them. I hate that. Newfoundland drivers, but I've covered that before. How stupid people stand in front of the viewing mirrors at the Sears Fitting Rooms. This is especially annoying because I'm not allowed beyond the doorway since I have testicles.... and I get funny looks for being there with Sarah and having opinions on her outfits.
2. Why Are Athletes Stupid?
And by stupid I mean why do they do stupid things that put their lives and the lives of people around them in jeopardy? In the wake of Jamaal Tinsley's latest incident and the recent death of Sean Taylor, you would think athletes would be taking a second look at their lifestyles and choices, but sadly, I don't think that will happen... read more of my views on this topic here or see what Jemele Hill at ESPN has to say or the fine folks at The Starting Five.
Note: Yes, I'm in 100% agreement with Jemele Hill here, which is a departure from normal. Maybe I was too quick to judge last week...
1. What Has Happened to Society?
Broad strokes, I know, but I long for the halcyon days of my childhood. Reality TV and things like TMZ.com and Perez Hilton hadn't turned the average people into gossip crazy celebriholics*, athletes weren't going to jail for dog fighting, nightclub brawls or trying to hire a hitman to kill their agent and gas cost 49 cents a litre. Sure those days had their problems too, but it wasn't like this. The question that scares me most is what's next?
* celebriholics: those who are obsessed with the lives and travails of celebrities, especially scandals. This is my word and I hereby claim it in the name of ESKimo Enterprises...
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
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It's not a good thing when your girlfriend looks at you with a "Really? Did you just say that?" look on her face when you're talking about clothes. It's especially awkward when it's not following a "Your ass looks huge in those pants" statement, but rather a "Well, it pulls a little here, but otherwise it's great and would go wicked with those white pants and your new heels."
After a day of shopping, primarily for her, I'm betting Sarah is a little less sure about me as her prospective husband. She's also maybe a little more sure that I could very well end up as the next host of TLC's What Not To Wear, replacing the stylish Clinton Kelly next to the somewhat annoying Stacy London.
I think I freaked her out a little bit today with how much insight I had into her wardrobe options, piece selections and general comments about which shoes go with which pants and how everyone looks good in a wrap dress. After arguing with me when I told her to try it on, the wrap dress that is, she apologized for her earlier comments as she carried it to the cash register.
In all honesty, Sarah and I have often joked that we have somewhat reversed gender roles in our relationship - not in the way you're thinking you sick bastards! She's good with electrical and mechanical things like hooking up the satellite and fixing the broken toilet, while I excel at, well, girly shit like picking outfits and interior design. Whatever, we're good with it.
My defense to it all, aside from the fact that I just have a generally outstanding sense of fashion and design is that I write for a Female Life / Style / Culture magazine at Passion.
What can I say? I'm just a diverse, metrosexual bastard with zero aptitude for socket wrenches and electronics.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Our plan for the day was to head into school so Sarah could sort out her exam situation and then meet Chad and Jeremy - two guys from her nursing class - at Starbucks / Chapters for a coffee and chit-chat. Surprisingly, we were on time and that was even with a mid-morning nap session on the couch for the recuperating one.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
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Once again, it's been an interesting week, you know, with emergency surgery for Sarah and all.
Here we go...
1. Things Change
If things went according to plan, we'd be in Vancouver right now, just finishing up dinner and enjoying the company of Sarah's mom and brother and playing with her dog Skippy. Instead, we're sitting on the couch in our living room watching Iron Chef: America planning our trip into school tomorrow to reschedule her exams.
2. I Am The Monopoly Champion... So Far
We bought it this afternoon when we went fro groceries. We started playing once we got home and got settled. At the time Sarah threw in the towel, I owed all but three properties on the board. I almost don't want to play anymore because I'm sure Sarah is only going to improve.
3. The Patriots are Going Undefeated
Even better is that they are going to go undefeated by kicking the living crap out of everyone. Watching them smash Pittsburgh this afternoon was one of those games where you wonder "Who could possibly beat this team?" The answer is no one...
4. Miami Won't Win A Game
Which actually makes for an interesting storyline this season in the NFL, but that doesn't make any Miami fans feel better. Seriously, this is possibly the worst team I have seen in my NFL watching lifetime.
5. Chris Rock is A Lot Smarter Than You Think
He's a lot smarter than I thought too. Watched him on a two-hour Actors Studio this afternoon and listening to his breakdown of comedians, Stand Up and the usage of the N-word by black people was outstanding. You people need to take my advice and watch this show. Artists are inspiring, even for non-artist people.
6. Jane Is Warming Up To Me
Jane is Sarah's Mom and she didn't like me off the bat. What could it have possibly been? The smoking, the bankruptcy, the quick move to Newfoundland to be with her daughter, who knows? But after having spent the past couple days looking after her little girl and having a couple nice conversations on the phone, I think she likes me a little more. Or maybe just dislikes me a little less. Either way, it's a victory.
7. I've Developed A Love of Sleeping
I had never been that guy who liked to sleep until all hours of the day, but moving out here to The Cove has changed that. It's a good thing I didn't have anything to do any of these last couple days, because I haven't moved out of bed before 10 AM once and the only reason I get up in the first place is because peeing the bed isn't acceptable at my age...
8. The Internet is My Home
Let's see, there are three websites I write for, 10 Fantasy teams on the go, Facebook, ESPN, Craigslist and so on and so on and so on. There are even more sites that I could be working for (Suite 101 is a new possibility) but do I really need to be doing any more right now? Seriously, I spend a bare minimum of three hours a day on the 'Net.
9. The Excitement for Issue #2 is Insane
I have my assignments - a feature on Celebrity Comebacks and a profile on my friend Jeff Woodrow's company Joy Apparel - plus there is a good chance that my picture and bio will be making it's first appearance in the contributors pages. No timeline yet, but with the success of Issue #1, both personally and commercially thus far, I can't wait for that day to come.
10. Good Music Turns Me On
The Friday feature Soundtrack of My Life is my personal favourite here because sitting during the day and coming up with each track is something I love. Flipping through the 1500 songs I have on my computer and thinking about the relationship I have with the ones that strike me is inspiring and then hearing things like the crescendo in Stop Me or some of the key elements of the next couple tracks - yes, they're pick already - just gets me fired up.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Don't get me wrong - I would very much rather be airborn on route to Vancouver at this time instead of sitting in The Cove, but the situation being what it is, it's been a pretty enjoyable day all around.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I know I said last week that I would stop naming non-humans in the Dishonour Roll, but honestly, this one takes the cake!
Laying in bed last night when I got home from work, Sarah complained of minimal pain in her abdomen, which we both credited to a combination of the Kentucky Duck that we ate during the afternoon and a general not feeling well. She joked that she might have appendicitis...
She really is going to make a great nurse because she nailed this diagnosis.
After writing her exam this morning, she went to work at Student Health, felt kind of crappy and decided to get checked out. The doctor at the clinic sent her to Emerg, where she called me at work and told me the news. Three hours later, a surgeon is telling her they're going to take it out, just like that... and they did. Apparently it takes like twenty minutes.
So now, Saturday's flight is a no go and we're rethinking our vacation as a whole. Instead of getting out to Van City for sushi, family and friends, we'll be hanging out in The Cove for movies, rest and minimal movement in and around the abdominal region, all thanks to a little organ that you technically don't even need in the first place...
* * * * *
A couple quick hits before I shut it down after an exceptionally long day:
- My fellow Bug David Chalk read my "Oscar Speech" as he called it about getting published and told me to "act like I've been there before." Dave, the point is that I haven't been there before and there is only one first time, so I'ma be excited and emotional and thankful as shit. It's who I am...
- There is this other dude we write with at B&C named Steve Hulkower - I don't like him much. He likes to pick apart all arguments that don't fall in line with his views and does it in a real smug sorta way. And don't worry - I'm not talking about people behind their backs here; I told him all this earlier today.
- No more KFC, ever! That shit blew up Sarah's appendix and ruined our vacation. If Colonel Sanders was alive, I'd fly to Kentucky and kiss his, I said, kick his ass, yessir I would.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
With all due respect to my boss at Bugs & Cranks Jesse Pugh, my man Doug "DC Scrap" Scheckler at Epic Carnival and you my dedicated seven followers here at this blog, picking up the first magazine to ever put my name in print earlier today is the mark of my official foray into the writing world.
My man Smitty told me it would be a bit of an overpowering feeling seeing my name in print for the first time. He wasn't lying; I welled up just flipping to page 46 of Passion Magazine to see the words "By E. Spencer Kyte" on the glossy page of my Hive Mobility Profile. Then to flip through the next set of pages and see my second piece in the magazine, a beautifully laid out Christmas tech gifts piece called iChristmas - my title, rather ingenious I know - it was more than I have ever experienced. I was like a first time dad showing off pictures of his newborn son today to everyone who came into work, flashing them the cover, opening to my articles, preening like the proud Papa I am...
Now I have clippings!
One thing I do want to make clear though - this serves as the "official" foray only because some in the industry are too blind to acknowledge and understand the value and significance of the online and blogging industries. My real first step into the writing world came courtesy of Jesse Pugh at Bugs and Cranks and he knows how eternally thankful I am for getting that opportunity. Everything I have achieved and done in writing since then has been through my work at Bugs...
Now I gotta get sentimental and sappy for a second, so leave if you're not interested:
I wouldn't be where I am - published and moving forward - without the encouragement and constant support of my beautiful girlfriend Sarah. And no Brad, I'm not just angling for more touching...
To my lost friend Chrissy who first encouraged and pushed my penchant for writing I thank you. I have no idea if she reads this stuff, but she was a huge part of me getting her, so she needs to be acknowledged.
To The Bugs: Fuck you all... just kidding. Your work makes me a better writer and pushes me to do the best I can with each post and piece. Thank you for that.
As stupid as this sounds after having rambled on as long as I have here already, words can't describe how I feel today. It's some combination of rewarded, blessed, fortunate and motivated... and a little bit drunk from the bottle of Pinot Gregio I've drank since I got home!
Monday, December 3, 2007
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There is no doubt about it - simplifying your life is a complicated, convoluted, difficult task that takes far more time than it actually should. This I know first hand.
We're getting a new car because mine is The Shitbox - it leaks when it rains too hard, the seat is rusted in place due to all the water that has collected at the base and needs a whole lot of work that isn't really worth doing.
We're moving to a new apartment in town because living in Portugal Cove just isn't as good a fit as we originally hoped it would be. Plus, living in the city is just a whole helluva lot more convenient for the work/school dynamic and let's be honest, having a place 100% unto ourselves is more to our anti-social nature.
However, you would think that since we are (a) being given a replacement car for The Shitbox as a gift and (b) secured a new place rather quickly and at a decent price that all of this would be a fairly easy transition. That is where you would be wrong.
Shuffling the new used car out to Newfoundland and getting everything setup has been an entire day in the figuring, literally. Between Sarah and I we've been on the phone all day with either her dad - the person giving us the car (Thanks Garry!) - or my insurance provider to figure out the best possible solution to the owner/insurer/primary driver trifecta. It's 3 pm and we finally have it all sorted out, you know, other than actually getting the car out here, registering it and getting a policy in place. Basically, we have a plan...
Moving has it's own set of monkey wrenches being thrown at it. The place we're moving into - a cute little above ground basement apartment - is under construction. The ugly living room carpet has been pulled up to reveal beautiful original hardwood floors, the bathroom has been redone completely and well, pretty much everything is being revamped, which is awesome. Except that we wanted to snag the place a little early to facilitate an easier transition out of our current dwelling.
That's not going to happen, in part because we're not going to be back in town until the 21st, but still. Renovations may not be done which means our window of opportunity for moving gets smaller. Where we were going to have a full nine days to pack, slowly deliver boxes to the new house and get setup there has now shrunk to maybe 7 days, during which period I will be working 40 hours, still meeting writing deadlines and Sarah will be prepping for another semester of Nursing School.
Couple that with the unfortunate but inevitable awkwardness of moving out of a house we moved into with a friend and you get the picture. Oh yeah, we're dog-sitting from the time we get back until Boxing Day-ish too, which further limits what we can and cannot do.
My Bedouin Lifestyle of the past eight years has taught me a great deal, but nothing more important than this: find a place you want to set up roots and do so, as moving around is a real pain in the ass. Get a good car and keep it - you only get what you pay for and what you put into it, so invest wisely. Most importantly, find an incredibly patient partner who puts up with your being a broke-ass would be writer who does more for you than she even knows and thank the stars for her every day...
Sunday, December 2, 2007
It's been an interesting week to say the least.
1. Being the Bigger Person Sucks!
You know when those situations come up where someone does something stupid to you and all you want to do is lose it but you can't? That was my Friday afternoon. Even worse is when you can't even spend 24 hours avoiding the bullshit because your stuck going to work and the issue is obviously going to come up. It's not like you can refuse to shake someone's hand when they apologize, even when their apology is the most hollow, self-serving thing you've ever heard.
2. I Have a Different View of Apologies than Some
I dunno, but to me, saying "I'm sorry" is more for the person who screwed up than the one who was slighted. While uttering those two little words makes the person who effed up feel better, it doesn't do anything for the person who was wronged in my eyes. What really matters is seeing after the fact that you understand what you did wrong and you don't do it again. Sure it's nice to hear, but I'd rather see you do better than hear those words.
3. Sarah Really is the Scrabble Champion
We sat down to play this afternoon and at one point I cheated - switched up a couple letters while she wasn't in the room so I could make a better word. I know... I'm a horrible person. Anyway, she still ended up beating me by 20 points. Even when I stack the deck, she still gets pocket rockets and cleans me out.
4. Some People Have No Social Etiquette
When a group of people are all buying drinks, isn't it customary for everyone to just take turns? And another thing: if you're going out - even if it wasn't all that planned - have some money in your pockets or go to the bank. Bringing five bucks to the table just doesn't cut it.
5. Our Vacation Couldn't be Coming at a Better Time
I just really need to get away from this island for a while. Besides the whole situation vaguely described in #1 & #2, it's supposed to sleet all week, The Shitbox is on her last legs and I'm craving a little time in a more metropolitan area. So heading to Van City next weekend is just what the doctor ordered...
6. If this is the Voice of Pop Culture in Canada, we're screwed!
I picked up Naked Eye magazine this week, who claims to be the voice of Pop Culture in Canada or something like that. I know there are difficulties to staying current when you're a quarterly magazine, but nothing should stop you from making sure there are no spelling / grammar mistakes in your final published product.
7. Consequently, My Future Got a Little Brighter
Not that it wasn't bright already, but c'mon, knowing that "The Voice of Pop Culture in Canada" put out a shitty mag with dated stories, grammatical errors and some of the same stuff that I covered in this month's issue of Passion very much works in my favour.
8. No Grey's Really Threw Me Off This Week
Yes, I watch Grey's Anatomy; religiously actually. This week was a rerun and I had no idea what to do with my Thursday night. Apparently I've become that regimented when it comes to this show that when it's not on, I'm a little lost. Thankfully, I work 9-5 Thursday and will be home for the conclusion to the "Seth Green's Neck Exploded" Episode.
9. My Mind Works in Mysterious Ways
- A couple came in on Saturday night looking for "a Christmas movie about a bunch of girls. Well it's not really a Christmas movie but it's always on around Christmas because there is a Christmas scene. D'you know what it's called?" If your first thought was Little Women, we're a lot alike... you would have been right too.
- My friend Kory Steward's name on MSN yesterday was God Shamgod and I was the only one who got it. Apparently no one else remembers 5'10" NYC Point Guards who played at Providence and had a cup of coffee in The Association....
Someone asks you what you want for Christmas and your first thoughts are new towels, a Scrabble Dictionary, a couple of books and some new wine glasses. When did I stop asking for money, clothes and CDs? Where did that guy go?
Boston Celtics Update: 14-2, 9-0 at Home... I know, I'm a moron! Continue reading ...
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Song: I Used to Love H.E.R
If Change is the song that I live my life by - and it is - than no song better encapsulates my love of music, especially Hip Hop, than I Used to Love H.E.R.
Long before he teamed up with Kanye West and began gaining the kind of critical acclaim with his last two albums - 2005's Be and 2007's Finding Forever - Common was still known as Common Sense and he penned what to me is the greatest Hip Hop track ever. Seriously.
Quite simply, this song is timeless. Where a growing segment of today's hip hop is made up of one hit wonders and flash in the pan artists, so much so that Nas proclaimed Hip Hop is Dead, this song and this artist speak to the power of good music and what it means to have a connection to that music.
And I'm not the only one who thinks so. Google the song and see the list of praise this joint has gotten over the years. Or pop the movie Brown Sugar in your DVD player and watch as I Used to Love H.E.R is mentioned as the two main characters sit in Central Park reminiscing about the first time they heard some of the iconic songs in Hip Hop.
The connection between the movie and the song runs deeper than that though, as both personify Hip Hop, illustrating how it can become something so much more than just a genre of music, a sound and a culture. It becomes something you have a relationship with. It can become almost human.
For all the sharp lyrics and deft descriptions floated by Common throughout the track, it has always been the first few bars that hooked me:
I met this girl, when I was ten years oldShe has been there for me, as will be shown throughout this feature over the coming months, and I know that she always will be.
And what I loved most she had so much soul
She was old school, when I was just a shorty
Never knew throughout my life she would be there for me
There is no catchy hook. There is no stylized beat produced with the purpose of hooking you in despite hollow lyrics and marginal skills. There is only Common, jazzy sample of George Benson's "The Changing World" and his open love letter to one of the most important people in his life...Hip Hop.
I Used to Love H.E.R. I still do and I always will.
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Sorry I'm a day late... there was drinking that needed to be done last night. Continue reading ...