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Aug. 30th, 2009

drums

It's been a good week

I have to openly admit how playing the drums to the point of exhaustion and sweaty is very zen for me. I give it up to Alex and Philly for allowing me to play at whatever pace and rhythm I want to, though I try to accommodate to the style that they're playing. And though that emo-ska version of Travelling Wilbury's "End of the Line" is hella-rough, it was fun and there's something in there, I swear.

Still wish that last jam out was recurded well. I don't know where I was going with the rhythm, but I was liking it and wish I got there sooner so I could've played it a bit longer.

I went to the Ex on Friday. That was good. There I saw a dude I couldn't quite place at first but know I've seen him somewhere... often too. Then I saw this terribly attractive redhead who after a few glances, I realized I've seen her before at field level at the soccer games... and the other dude seems to be good friends with the supporters. THAT'S WHERE I RECOGNIZED HIM! I call him the MLSE Puppet. Seems that they were together. Lucky sod.

Then Mikey and I headed to the bandshell to check out The Creepshow and Planet Smashers. I totally twisted my ankle skanking... or whatever dancing that I do when I go to ska shows and let my shit go. Man, that was awesome. It's August, it was 19C and I LOVED IT. Perfect weather. A wonderful wind going through the bandshell area. Kids had a good time. Mikey and Philly, who joined us later, sat through the show but seemed to dig it. Awesome.

BTW, my bachelor party will involve going to Montreal to find a Planet Smashers hometown show, then eat awesome sushi with everyone I know. Men and women. I think that would be memorable!

Or 311... anyways...

Turns out I'm going back to the Ex on Tuesday. Why you ask. Well it's funny...

I've been using eHarmony for the last few months. Yes, due to my shetardedness and an inability to know if a girl is digging me (which apparently I've turned down outright invitations for sex without knowing it... yes, I'm that stupid), this is a better gauge.

Her name is Mary. She's in Brampton. We got to chattin over Google on Saturday night and was rather jealous of me going to the Ex. Our first date will be to wander the grounds and look at stuff. She seems kinda cool... I mean we almost impromptu made a dinner date Saturday night except we were without vehicles. Nevertheless, we'll see. My reactive humour came across well, and I think we were scoring points with one another based on random factoids and similarities... turns out she worked at a movie theatre as well.

So we've planned our first date. I'm not nervous. Not yet anyways. Full report, if only for my own records.

It being 12:30 in the AM, I should do that sleeptime bullshit.

And lately, it hasn't been too bad being 'me'. I could get used to this...

<EOT>
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Aug. 24th, 2009

ginger bread man

I might be in love...

(the title refers to the first mini-annecdote and not the second longer one,
I swear!)

The problem is, I don't know which one.

They're a ska band. With a violinist. And a DJ.

I LOVE SKA MUSIC! IT MAKES ME DANCE!

And I am this close to stumping up to pay for list.fm as it is
such a kick-ass site.

Aug. 13th, 2009

drums

A new toy

Right now I am currently laying down typing in bed on my new netbook. If you don't know what a netbook is, it's a wee laptop with the intention of it being just used for the net, but that definition is too narrow. So far, it's bad ass, but wait til I'm past day one.

I got one with a few intentions:
1) mobile tech support back in Hamilton
2) to help foster creativity while in transit. Typing on my HTC Touch sucks ass in a moving vehicle.
3) to help catalogue my massive Magic card collection, which I gotta get rid of if only for space's sake. This little device will allow me to enter them on a portable platform, thus making the movement of cards from table to desk unnecessary. Yes, it's that many cards.
4) I'm a tech dork. My love of portable technology knows no bounds!

Otherwise, the headache I've got from baking in the sun is about to do me in. So yeah, blah. Stuff.

<EOT>
Tags:

Jul. 3rd, 2009

ginger bread man

Reason #15 Why I despise the Toronto Maple Leafs

There was a marketing
research study
done which compared all 122
major league pro teams.

New Jersey Devils : #38
Expensive tickets mar, otherwise, a top 20 finish. They scored well in just
about every other facet. And Lou Lamoriello is about as close to a deity as
you can get amongst mortals. I love that man.

So what about my post.

Toronto Make Beliefs : #120
Only the Knicks and the Clippers, failing franchises in big markets.
Wait... I guess the trend is true.

The are officially (for the study's purposes anyways) the most expensive
ticket and third worst on the "bang for your buck" measure. Only coaching
likely keeps them at the bottom of the whole list.

The Raptors are at #105. Same ownership. Same rudderless ship.

After the $140 Real Madrid tickets (well, I get the "loyalty price" of
$125...) how could I be surprised.

Seriously, MLSE has found a way to be profitable and mediocre.

And I will state it again, if it wasn't for the fact that I love soccer more
than I hate the Leafs, I'd never have got TFC tickets in the first place.

But I swear that gets more and more level every second, thanks to their
constant meddling with Hamilton getting an NHL team. Yeah I moved to
Toronto, but that doesn't mean I don't want a major league jersey with the
city I'm from emblazoned across the chest to wear of the city that I still
call "home".

<EOT>

May. 22nd, 2009

ginger bread man

One to grow on

There's a temp working in IT that my social circle has befriended. She's kinda cute, really quiet, pescitarian (which is a vegetarian who eats fish). Not really interested (felt the need to declare that).

A few weeks ago, upon making small talk, she mentioned to that she was stressed socially. I told her that though we don't know each other all that well, it helps to talk about it and offered a sympathetic ear. I have a knack of getting people to open up. No idea why or how, I just do.

She proceeds to tell me that she's got to pick between two guys. I joked "rough life...", then she goes into detail.

So Guy #1 is the long term boyfriend. They've been together for six years. He's a vegetarian, educated, good job, they get along well with each other's friends.

Guy #2 is new. The only thing I get from her is that he's good looking. Apparently guy #1 isn't that good looking, but she wants him to dress better and he gets defensive "I don't need to change who I am for anyone"... he sounds stubborn as all hell.

So she took a relationship sabbatical for a few weeks to figure out who/what she wants.

It is noted that each guy knows about the other one.

At this point, I'm scratching my head : if I were the old boyfriend, why in the hell would I allow myself to be put into a situation where I'm in competition? Regardless of motive, you would think a little bit of respect would come into play? You would think a little bit of SELF-RESPECT would come into play too?

I know she's torn up about it, but I fear she's missed the point.

So this week I got an update from her social problems. She decided on Guy #1 via email (does anyone talk about this face to face!?) and he responds that he's moved on. I hope he's serious. Hope he's not just "saying it" to prompt a specific reaction only to power trip and take her back.

I told her that I was not terribly surprised that he responded that he had moved on, explaining that he probably came to the realization that he doesn't need to be treated like a commodity and that while she had time to think about things... she clearly forgot that he had time to think about the same things as well. Oh the irony!

It must be nice to be able to have your cake and eat it too. Sweetness aside, you can't overlook precedence that this creates. What is she going to do when the next semi-suitor shows up and piques her interest? Is she going to take a leave of absence from the current boyfriend AGAIN. Did she consider any of these reprocussions before she acted? Doubtful. Can anyone think beyond themselves in a serious manner? I wanted to shake her and say "why didn't you have a plan?" "Did you think about anyone other than what you want?" "Could you have fixed whatever problem you had with guy #1 before you hooked onto guy #2?" "Do you think you're that important that you can poise yourself as an award, handing yourself out to whomever you deem worthy?" "Is it fair to EITHER GUY at all, ever?!" "Would you be standing by if a guy was trying to figure out which girl to choose?!"

But I didn't. It's hard to do that to people who (a) barely know you and (b) are seeking solace and clarity.

What bothers me most about this: how she feels she can do this and whatever and however she resolves this, everything will be a fairy tale. Wonderful thing about fairy tales... is that they're FICTION.

And that's one to grow on.

<EOT>

May. 16th, 2009

My bad South Park create-a-character ani

Fashion and my total disregard for trends

I am not the most fashionable guy ever.

There is an issue or two at hand, but for the most part, I don't think I'll ever be the guy who walks out of an upscale shop with a $1200 suit (unless of course I've got another $100k in the bank). I'll never want to be anything else other than comfortable and happy.

That being said, I've recently come to the conclusion about women's fashion and maybe this is old hat to many of you, but to me, this is pretty significant.

Women's fashion is broken down into four distinct categories, and it makes a helluva lot of sense when I list it.

1) Clothes for men. I've chalked this up to anything that shows ample cleavage or ample leg (or conversely, little fabric). The stuff that really has no substance to it other than a showcase of skin. I like skin, without a doubt, but I like it done with a semblance of intelligence.

2) Clothes for women. This is where the (rediculous) trends come in. Oversized sunglasses. Uggs. Any designer label hand bags. No man in the world gives a shit if your public transit pass is in Prada or Coach. No guy thinks Uggs make you look good. This is aimed at women drawing the attention of other women and somehow their envy.

Oversized sunglasses look good on celebrities because everyone has seen their eyes. The 35-yr old administrative assistant isn't famous or popular enough for the world to matter what she looks like. Nor the 20-something co-ed. Get over yourselves. You're not nearly as captivating as the magazines tell you to, no matter how by-the-numbers you follow trends.

3) Clothes for both men and women. One word describes this Venn diagram overlap and that's "classy". A nice jacket that accentuates body shape, a business suit that screams confident, a gown that makes an ordinary woman shine like a star.

I love 3.

4) Clothes for nobody. The ones who look like they just don't care any more. Or, like they just finished scrubbing the toilet and are now in the supermarket to pick up some vegetables. This draws nobody. Clothes for the sake of covering up. They could be oversized sweatpants, destroyed shoes, dirty jeans.

What's cool is you can totally tell the signals they're sending out just by fashion alone. I know women that bounce between 3 and 4. I see women who live in 2. I see young single mothers pushing their prams in a clusterfuck combo of 1, 3 and 4.

I bring this up because I put my theory to the test as I ventured into the money mall of Toronto known as Yorkdale. It's so upscale, I'm surprised they don't charge admission.

One day I went in there and I saw a woman so unbelieveably attractive that my rating scale of "crazy", "bananas" (as in, "that's bananas!") and "crazy bananas" (being better than the standard "bananas") had to be reworked for a new top declarations of "plantains" as I was assured that they are certainly bigger than "bananas" and that's all I needed to know.

Plaintains girl was perfectly put together. Skirt, black stockings, white blouse, black mary jane shoes, old-style black square frame glasses, minimalist makeup... I was lost for a good 20 mins before I realized where I was.

That had never happened before to me.

Ever.

So where was I...

Some women were in the 3 category. Wonderfully put together, but clearly had money (their shopping excursions dictated this). Tasteful dresses, simple makeup, glossy lipstick (never realized that part of the equation until today), and like the 'plantains' girl, well out of my league.

Because the class of the mall and its clientele, 4s didn't exist. A few were close, but they were 2s the more I studied them.

Shoes, for whatever reason, tell me a lot about a woman. I'm not a shoe person, per se. I don't have a foot fetish. But in university, I could guess a woman's age within 2 years based on footwear and I have eye-witness accounts who can verify it. Rediculously accurate. I guessed accurately a girl was 14 before a fool friend hit on her (he was 19, but she had the, ummm... dimensions of a girl much more mature), and I pegged a 26 yr old woman who was hanging out with university kids at the time... all based on shoes.

Anyways, girls who were with a male companion were 1s or 3s. Girls who were with other girls were almost always 2s with the exception of less than a handful of 3s. Girls by themselves were, surprisingly, 3s. Even the moms were rocking 3s.

I'm sure there are grey areas and you can mix and match, but I'm saying is that I swear I'm onto something.

And if I'm not, use this blog post as proof that I'm batshit crazy.

<EOT>

Apr. 17th, 2009

ginger bread man

Life as a house

Easter weekend came and went. I spend a night in the Hammer, went to Hess Villiage (for those of you who know, yes, I'm a bit old for that place but it was good, for those who don't, it's a little neighbourhood of bars - like the French Quarter in New Orleans with less beads and more fighting) and then did the dinner with family.

Aside from some highly annoying moments, it was good. I overdosed on ham.
Yay me.

Right now, the old homestead is undergoing some renovations... namely to the
bathroom and the attic.

The attic was always a sensitive issue for me. I wanted it to be a room
forever. I wanted my own room and never really got it.

So on Sunday night, I went to the attic. They fixed the insulation, put up
drywall, painted the walls, put in lighting fixtures and put up a futon. I
went up there, and sat on the futon. It was kind of emotional. The sad
reality was that my father had to pass away for this to get done. Then I
replayed all the renovations that the house went through and the bullshit
that came with it.

My dad being an electrician for a career made good money when he was working
52 weeks a year.

The problem is, I don't know if he ever worked 2 years consecutively ever.

So any chance to get ahead was undone by the economy, or a general
unwillingness to travel to far flung places for work. He had already put in
his time for that, and I agree with him.

Because we couldn't get ahead, one expense or another would come up - new
car, university, new van, laid off for a year and a half.

By no means do I, or could I ever, blame my family for the choices they made
because they were all the correct choices, long and short term. I sat on
that futon and realized that I had a very comfortable life growing up and
though I never took it for granted, but realized how much difficulty was
experienced as I was growing up.

We are all shaped by the experiences of growth, the environment raised.

So I guess what I'm saying, if by me having my own room would have had a
negative affect on my childhood, my character, my personality in any way...
I'm glad I never had that room.

But I'm glad I could sit in it now if I wanted to.

It also looked much bigger with walls up. Would've made a kick-ass room...

<EOT>

Mar. 25th, 2009

ginger bread man

Hungry?

Read the article, then watch the video then read the nutritional facts.

I want to say something akin to "only in America" but then again, I've never
heard of something this massive at a sporting event anywhere else in the
world.

I also want to say this proves how boring baseball is when a giant burger is
an attraction and the marketing people know it.

You'd never see this at a TFC match. Nobody's quiet long enough to eat a
burger that large.

By the way, they looked wonderful over the weekend.

<EOT>

Mar. 21st, 2009

drums

Attention : I'm awesome

Good morning party people.

It's 12:45 in the AM on a Saturday (well, Friday... it's not the next day until the sun comes up), I am in Hamilton overnight and I am accomplished.

Why?

Because I just fixed a resolution problem on the family computer.

You think "oh Mark, you're an idiot. Anyone can fix a resolution issue on the computer."

Yeah, but can you do it in Ubuntu?

Didn't think so smartass. :)

For doze dat don't know, when I donated my old computer to my parents about a year or so, I installed Ubuntu on it. Mainly because if there were viruses, I didn't want to have to troubleshoot, it was strictly going to be a glorified web client (meaning : a computer that doesn't really do anything except use the web) so it was stable.

Through this experience, I've learned to love Ubuntu. To be perfectly honest, I think everyone should have a copy of it in their home because if Windows craps out (and it most likely will...), you can boot Ubuntu off of the CD and surf the web.

I'm looking at getting one of those cute netbooks with Ubuntu on it so I can continue to learn the wonders of linux.

And how did I do this fixing screen resolution?

With 1337 h@X0rz. Orrrrrrrrr by editing a config file.

I'm so proud.

------------------

Lately I've been inundated with shit. Not just the usual job/life/money type shit, but residual shit. Shit I cannot control. Shit I cannot even begin to repair. Sometimes it is aimed right at me. Sometimes, it's shit nuclear fallout and I get shit radiation. Other people's shit.

I swear this is not aimed at anyone in particular. If you think it is about you (somehow) I promise you there's thirteen others contributing to it as well.

I've been in a baaaaaaaaaaaaaad funk since about early October. From when my Dad was bedridden and the magical term "palliative care" came into the picture, up until about now. And if it isn't one thing (shitty soccer team I'm playing with, torn calf muscle, cellphone screwing up), it's something else (people don't listen to me, financial belt tightening, headcolds). Now, as anyone who actually knows me, I'm a really easy going guy. It takes a fair bit to get me down. But this "voltron of shit" (and not the lion one either... the 15 in 1 voltron) seemed relentless and infinite.

However, I'm trying to separate myself from all of this shit and just knuckle down on my own. Basically, I'm working towards the pre-shit positive lad you've all come to adore and secretly point fingers at while snickering. Yay for that.

As lonely as Toronto can be and as far away as I am and as much as I miss the old comforts, this is the change that I have to accept and deal with. I gained time and lost comfort... so now I got to remember what to do with that time.

I don't care for my apartment, but some clever redesigning can hopefully fix that. I need to play some drums dammit. I need to hit things to keep rhythm.

---------------

I wrote this wonderful rant about communication in my google docs with every intention to post it here. I'm not going to. Cuz it's angry and frustrating.

But here's the crux of it:

We all need to start saying what we mean, and meaning what we say. We have to focus on not only what we say, but HOW WE SAY IT. If the point you intend to get across is delivered like an "I told you so/motherly/you're a screw up" kind of way, how is the audience supposed to want to listen?

For example: I love you.

Think of all the ways you can say "I love you". You can say it with compassion, with meaning, as a joke, sarcastically... many ways. The difference is the delivery. If you say "I love you" to someone in your best "Pee Wee Herman" voice (which I can) to someone you deeply care about for the very first time, do you actually believe that they are going to hear your message with any sincerity beyond a sincere gag? Hell no.

So why would you say something you mean in any other way but the way you want it to mean?

Clarity, folks.

I was speaking to Chris (one of my bestest friends, yes I said bestest) tonight, and he said that if the only fear of saying what you truly feel is to prevent getting your feelings hurt then that's foolish and wasteful because if they hurt your feelings, then you know they're not important enough to you to matter.

That man is a genius.

Again, consider what your audience is hearing and then phrase and deliver your message in a way they can appreciate it. Otherwise, consider that the message that you are delivering is NOT the message you imply.

Then consider that your message is distorted, and a distorted message is not an accurate message and the reaction you receive from your audience is likely honest and that this may not be what you anticipated.

Then consider that desired reaction that troubles you, may be fault. If you don't consider that, you might be an asshole.

But then, I truly mean that.

But then, I might be and asshole.

And I've considered that wholeheartedly with this rant.

<EOT>

Feb. 24th, 2009

ginger bread man

Hating

I'm putting this up as this is a discussion between myself and a co-worker on googletalk.

Effectively, this was a conversation about haters and people who hate. Off the top of the head, I had mentioned that we are "Level 8 haters" and then she asked me to explain what that meant. Completely improv, this is what I came up with.

Level 1: "nonsensical hating", that's standard "being a dick" type stuff

Level 2: "reasonable hating"

Level 3: "street hating" or "common hating", which most mature people can do at a fairly proficient rate

Level 4: "semantical hating" where you nitpick for the sake of making holes... it's arguably just higher than "non-sensical hating" but its more disciplined

Level 5: "theorhetical hating" or "philisophical hating", where people vainly attempt to hate with the use of a small amount of knowledge to justify the hatred

Level 6: "experience hating", where you flaunt what and where and (in some cases who) you've done to put down people

Level 7: "nuclear hating" where you just hate on everything, relentlessly and diversely. Also known as "carpet bombing hating". Usually found with people with a Masters degree in sociology/philosophy/law/psychology

Level 8: "zen hating" where you can control the hate, and unleash precision crippling strikes as required and requires an unnatural level of discipline.

Strangely, this is the only thing where I am truly disciplined.

This is being 'blogged' because if I don't post this somewhere, I will lose the genius forever.

<EOT>
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