Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Help Send Me To The 2010 Olympic Games In Vancouver

vol⋅un⋅teer –noun
1. a person who voluntarily offers himself for a service
2. a person who performs a service willingly and without pay

When I got home last night in my inbox was an offer for a volunteer position at the 2010 Olympics working with the Freestyle Snowboarding and Skiing team. I of course accepted the offer right away.

I will be working with the maintenance crew maintaining jumps, landings, moguls, etc. Essentially, I assume, I will be standing out in the snow all day with a shovel – although it doesn’t sound very glamorous I’m very much excited to be part of this historical event.

Canada has hosted the Olympics only twice before. The first time was in 1976 for the Summer Olympic Games in Montreal and the second time was at the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary. Both times Canadians did not win a Gold Medal in any event. It is the hope by many that the 2010 Games in Vancouver will be different, and I have a chance to be part of that.

I’ve got quite a bit of preparation to deal with before I go. Essentially I will be gone for a month and have to figure out accommodations while I am in Vancouver, perhaps subletting my apartment, finding a place to store my car, arranging a deal with work and booking a flight.

All of these things cost money, and as you may know I don’t have a lot of it. If any of you who read this blog want to help my plight, please spread the word and/or donate what you can.

On the right side ---> yup right over there - is a Donate Button, and anything will help – 50¢, $1, $10, whatever you can spare.

Thank you to everyone in advance.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Learnin' Latin With Chasing Distractions

blog -noun
1. A weblog

I decided today that I would start up a new blog in hopes of helping me study. So if you are at all interested check out my new blog, Learnin' Latin.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Barney’s Version – The Novel

ur⋅ban leg⋅end –noun
[ur-buhn lej-uhnd]
1. a modern story of obscure origin and with little or no supporting evidence that spreads spontaneously in varying forms and often has elements of humour, moralizing, or horror
A few weeks ago I finished reading a humorous, yet somewhat sad tale called Barney’s Version, written by Canadian author Mordeecai Richler.

In a response to a book of memoirs, written by his sworn enemy Terry McIver, protagonist Barney Panofsky decides to give the true version of his life, as McIver’s memoirs paint Panofsky in a very bad light. Panofsky, an old man, recants his time spent in Paris as a young man, how he became a widow, divorced twice, the father of three children, a television producer in Quebec and the suspected murderer of his best friend. Throughout the novel the reoccurring themes are dealing with loss, with guilt, loneliness and the ability a person has to rewrite their memories as to make them more bearable.

The moment I read the last word I scribbled down this note:

Barney’s Version makes me flash forward on my own life, I don’t want to grow old alone

To date I continue my ever-lasting battle with loneliness and each day that goes by I get a little older and a little more certain that this funk is here to stay. In just six short days I will be the ripe old age of 31 and since I started writing this blog nothing has changed for me. I’m still alone. I’m still broke. And I’m still…

Next on the list Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sober Septembers

tee⋅to⋅tal⋅er –noun
[tee-toht-ler, tee-toht-]
1. a person who abstains totally from intoxicating drink
For the 4th (or maybe 5th) year running I am off the drink for the month of September. With only a week to go I have never felt better – well in actuality I feel no different at all. The only difference can be found on Saturday and Sunday mornings. As a typical social weekend drinker (i.e. binger), my day-to-day routine never included the drink, other than those odd days where a spontaneous social event happens on a school night.

Speaking of school night, tomorrow is my first quiz in the Latin, wish me luck or Bonam Fortunam!

Back to the drink, or lack there of. One thing I have noticed, which is a bit shocking, happened last Sunday afternoon. Typically I spend Sundays doing absolutely nothing. Just lounging around the house, watching movies, reading etcetera. Quite often on these lazy Sundays, or neked Sundays as I have dubbed them, I would come down with a case of the emotions. These random crying, laughing emotional outbursts usually brought on by commercials – yes for some reason commercials make me tear up. I contributed these uncharacteristic emotional responses to the hangover and a body that was chemically out of whack. However, the same emotional outburst happened last Sunday when not a drop of alcohol had been involved. Either my body is still cleansing the last of the toxins or I am slowly going crazy (one-two-three-for-five-six-switch-crazy-going-slowly-am-I-six-five-four-three-two-one-switch…).

Many have asked why I do this – why take 30 days off each year? ”Is it for Ramadan?” they ask. No it is not, as I am not Muslim. But hey, if you really need a reason, then ya sure, it’s for Ramadan.

In short Sober Septembers are great way to transition from a Soused Up Summer to an Alcoholic Autumn. So tell all your friends, maybe together we can make this a nonreligious/spiritual annual fast.

Only one week left. Man, am I ever thirsty.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gray Days Make Me Feel Blue

im⋅pul⋅sive –adjective
1. actuated or swayed by emotional or involuntary impulses
These overcast gray days always make me feel blue. I can’t help but look at my life on these days and feel sorry for myself. I guess I need more vitamin D.

Speaking of gray, the other day I found not one, but three gray hairs. It’s a sad state of affairs when you realize you are getting old and there is nothing you can do about it…

It is these type of days I mourn for my wasted life – being broke, lonely, and growing older by the minute I decided to give online dating one more shot.

This time things went well. Maybe it was luck of the draw, my slimmed down profile, or new profile picture, who knows, but I received many more contacts than I did before, from people that actually seemed pretty decent too.

I started a 2-week long correspondence via email with one of the people I connected with and a few days ago we met up for a date. In my mind it went well. Great conversation and laughs, I felt I was just charming enough and that there was some chemistry between us, but in the end I was wrong.

Maybe I blew the ending by not sealing the deal with a goodnight kiss, I didn’t want to be presumptuous, I am a gentleman after all. Or it could have been the text messages I sent not 10 minutes after the date stating what a good time I had. It might also have had something to do with me adding her to Facebook the next day, (she never did accept my friend request) whatever it was I never heard from her again.

What can I say, I’m impulsive, and in her I saw everything I wanted in a relationship. Came on too strong, or just not right for the dating world?

Whatever it is I better figure it out soon because I’m getting tired of doing everything alone and pretending to myself that everything is going to be okay. It’s exhausting.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Me Talk Latin One Day – The Education

Lat⋅in –noun
1. an Italic language spoken in ancient Rome, fixed in the 2nd or 1st century b.c., and established as the official language of the Roman Empire.
As mentioned in my review of David Sedaris's book of memoirs, Me Talk Pretty One Day, I feel inadequate about being a unilingual person in a bilingual city.

My hope was to brush up on my French skills, but I began to realize something - it’s difficult to understand verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections in another language when, quite frankly, you don’t really have a grasp of what they are all about in your own language.

So rather than go back to grade one and start English all over again, I decided I would take a different approach. I figured that since many languages have Latin roots, that maybe if I learned Latin first it would not only help me to understand English better, but any other Latin based language I choose to learn there after, such as French and Spanish.

That is the plan anyway.

Today was my first day at the local University learning Classical Latin basic grammar and vocabulary skills and I can already tell I am in for a rough ride.

Wish me luck – or as the Romans may have said ‘votum mihi fortuna’.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Coming Through Slaughter – The Novel

jazz –noun
1. music originating in New Orleans around the beginning of the 20th century and subsequently developing through various increasingly complex styles, generally marked by intricate, propulsive rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, improvisatory, virtuosic solos, melodic freedom, and a harmonic idiom ranging from simple diatonicism through chromaticism to atonality.
I recently finished Coming Through Slaughter by Canadian author Michael Ondaatje. At only 156 pages it was a bit of a tough read. The novel is a fictional story about a real life New Orleans jazz musician named Buddy Bolden. Set in 1907 the book is written like jazz is played – all over the place – so at times it was a bit hard to follow. Overall I found it a thoroughly enjoyable read and would recommend it to anyone, and if you are a fan of jazz music, all the better.

Next on the list is Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler.

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