Friday, May 29, 2009

Foot In Mouth Disease

blun⋅der –verb
1. to make a gross or stupid mistake, esp. through carelessness or mental confusion

"You can't even open your mouth without putting your foot in it."

I recently went on a first date – it was my first first date in a very long time, so I was a little out of practice. My last few relationships I completely bypassed the uncomfortable dating portion and got right to the fun stuff, which could very well have been my downfall. Here are four samples of the conversation on my recent date:

Me: “So, are you originally from Capital City? Do you have family here?”
Her: “Yes I am, in fact that is why I moved back, my Dad is very sick…”
Me: “Oh…?”
Her: “Yeah he has cancer and is on chemo right now.”
Me (thinking): ‘Looks like I won’t go out for that smoke’

Me: “Do you have any siblings?”
Her: “Yeah, well I did. I had a younger brother who died a few years ago,”
Me: “I’m sorry…”

Me (speaking about driving long distances): “It was such a long drive, and I was exhausted. I got to the point where I was like hallucinating and struggling to stay awake. So I was going to get a motel for the night and realized I was only 50km from Capital City, so I kept going.”
Her: “I’m the same way on long drives, so I try to break them up so it doesn’t happen to me. I should know better you know, after all my brother did die in a car accident.”
Me (thinking): ‘Of course he did.’

Me (speaking about getting older): “I found my 30th birthday was really hard to except. I was at my Nana’s and when they brought the cake out with that flaming 3-0 on it I thought ‘If I blow these out it makes it real’.”
Her: “I didn’t find 30 that bad. 25 was the big one for me.”
Me: “Really?”
Her: “Yeah, 25 was definitely the hardest one.”
Me: “That’s funny, a friend of mine always reminds me that when I was younger I used to say by the time you’re 25 you are pretty much dead anyway.”
Her: “Yeah, my brother died when he was 24.”
Me (thinking): ‘Of course he did, of course he did’

I guess first dates are like interviews. The more you have, the better you get at them. I’ll just have to see a doctor about this case of Foot In Mouth Disease I have.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Life Can Sometimes Be Exhausting

mel⋅an⋅chol⋅y –noun
1. a gloomy state of mind, esp. when habitual or prolonged; depression
2. sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness

Like many stories in my life, today’s reflection involves a girl; well in fact it is a build up of a series of events, all of which involve a girl. Without getting into all of the events in this post, as I hope to share the stories at a later date, today I have discovered one thing about myself – I love to be loved.

I am beginning to think that the many years I have spent alone have not been good for me. As David Leavitt writes in his story ‘Chips is Here’ from his collections of short stories ‘A Place I’ve Never Been’ his character remarks, “I am a pathetic and desperate man”.

I like the idea of someone liking me, and without being able to control it I will fully pursue a relationship with that person, even if my better instinct or gut judgement tell me otherwise. This latest fiasco lasted a total of 11 days, from initial attraction to final realization of my true feelings – if anything I guess I am getting better at it.

Either way, life can sometimes be exhausting.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Place I’ve Never Been – The Novel

fam⋅i⋅ly -noun
[fam-uh-lee, fam-lee]
1. parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not

Although it took me longer than usual, I just finished reading the last few stories of David Leavitt’s novel A Place I’ve Never Been.

Leavitt’s understanding of the human condition is very prevalent in this book of short stories, from dealing with strong romantic feelings that can never be in a friendship between a straight woman and a gay man, to the trials and tribulations of living in a non-traditional family. Many of the stories centre on a similar theme, and that is of loss. Loss of a loved one, loss of a pet, a lost loved that could never happen – and behind it all the deep loneliness we all feel at one time or another.

Deciding to finish this novel at a time when I am feeling a little homesick has made me want to jump in my car right now and take the 600 kilometre trek back to hometown to reconnect with my own family.

Next on the List: Michael Ondaatje's, Coming Through Slaughter

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The 4 Guys

i⋅de⋅a –noun
[ahy-dee-uh, ahy-deeuh]
1. any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity

What a great idea!

If you liked this commercial, here are some other good ones from my review of the World's Best Commercials 2008.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

SEARCHLIGHT! Winner Phog Lounge Announces Concert Details

head⋅lin⋅er –noun
1. a performer whose name appears most prominently in a program
Tom Lucier, of the Phog Lounge, announced live today on CBC Radio 3 the concert details for winning the Searchlight Contest for the Best Live Music Venue in Canada back in February.

So without further ado, here are the details:

Phog Lounge, Windsor, Ontario
Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Many local Windsor Bands will be performing during the Free All Day Event (charges for the VIP section).
CBC Radio 3 will be there for a live broadcast of headliner Holy Fuck.

I wish I could make it down to Windsor for this concert, but I already have passes for Bluefest here in Capital City. For all those that are going to attend, enjoy!

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Friday, May 8, 2009

How To Be Lame In Ottawa

[bawr-ing, bohr-]
1. causing or marked by boredom

Over the last three weeks I have had three different friends from Hometown come visit, staying from six days to a weekend. I’ve now been living in Capital City for just under five years and you don’t realize how lame your life can be until you have someone come visit and you are expected to be their tour guide. It’s at the point when you are thinking of what to do with your guest that you realize `Hey I don’t really do anything, I’m pretty lame`.

Last night, around dusk, to chase away the ghosts I went for a long walk, which ended up being around ten kilometres. I would normally cross over the Rideau River and head towards the Market and stroll around, but last night I decided to walk along the Rideau River path, something I have never done in all the `just under five years` that I have been living here. It was very peaceful, away from the bulk of the traffic, listening to the sounds of trickling water and songs of different types of birds. I even stumbled upon some sort of ceremonial aboriginal dance. I wanted to stop and have a look but felt like I would be intruding.

On my three hour walk around parts of Capital City that I was just discovering for the first time, I took some time to reflect on the last five years of my life, specifically here in Ottawa. Understanding my lameness, I realized I could sum up my whole experience here in ten occurrences or less. So here it goes:

The TopOnly Ten Things I Have Experienced In Ottawa
  1. When I first moved to Capital City I was a driving instructor, in fact that is the reason I moved here, I was transferred. The job only lasted eight months before I was laid off, but if anything I got to learn the city streets pretty well and hopefully taught a handful of kids how to drive safely.
  2. The first two weeks that I was living here I walked around downtown and in the Market alone, going to bars and pubs by myself to check out the nightlife. On my very first outing I met a girl, and proceeded to never call her again. I thought to myself `Wow, if it’s this easy to meet girls…` Don’t worry karma taught me a lesson, and I didn’t meet another girl for 8 months, around the same time I lost my job, where in quick succession I met three girls and they all returned the favour by never calling me again.
  3. At this point, an ex-girlfriend came back into my life for a brief period of time. When she would come to visit we would do some tourist type activities. We took a boat tour of the Ottawa River, we saw the Pompeii exhibit at the Museum of Civilizations, and took a walking tour around Parliament. I also took the Parliament tour twice, once with my Uncle who works in Centre Block and the latest time when a Hometown friend came to visit for six days.
  4. After being a retired driving instructor for a few months I soon accepted a contract to work with the Ottawa Chamber Music Society and got a chance hear a lot of really amazing live classical music in many of the churches around Capital City. I also met the Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean at one event. It was my responsibility to send out the letter to ask her to take part in our Christmas concert, where we wanted her to narrate the story of the Nutcracker. It was this contract that inevitably led me to my current line of work.
  5. After my contract was up I took a job with a popular courier company, worked part-time at a local pub and started my foray into the world of freelance writing. If you haven’t noticed yet, other than the occasional night out at the bars, and the brief time I spent as a tourist with an ex-girlfriend I haven’t really done much in the terms of seeing anything in Ottawa. The last five will be pretty short.
  6. I’ve been zip lining – although it is on the Quebec side.
  7. I’ve been to one Ottawa Senators hockey game.
  8. I’ve been to a handful of indie rock concerts and two Bluesfest.
  9. I’ve hiked Gatineau Park approximately five times, two of them being on the most recent visits from Hometown friends. Again on the Quebec side, so I’m not sure if it counts.
  10. For two and half hours I went snowboarding at Camp Fortune… once.

That about sums up my past five years in Capital City, other than dining out at some really good (and some really bad) restaurants, spending numerous times in the pubs and clubs, and attending the occasional BBQ, house or cottage party, that’s about it.

This my friends, is How To Be Lame In Ottawa.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Wolfe Island Musicfest 2009

line⋅up –noun
1. a particular order or disposition of persons or things as arranged or drawn up for action

Today Virginia Clark, the Artistic Director of the Wolfe Island Musicfest 2009, released the 2009 line-up on CBC Radio3.

This year’s festival will be taking place Aug 7th and 8th and a weekend pass goes for $50, which includes camping.

I'm not very good at typing, so I was only able to get a few of the bands down, so here is the small list:

Holy Fuck
Apostle of Hustle
Rural Alberta Advantage
Attack in Black
P.S. I Love You

Per Virginia these are only a few of the confirmed ones (minus the two our three I missed) and there are still many more to be added to the show.

I went to the 2008 Wolfe Island Musicfest, had an amazing time, and will sure to be back this year.

CBC Radio3 finally released their blog post, so here are the three artists I missed:

The D'urbervilles
Julie Fader

You can also hear the interview with Virginia Clark.

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