Sunday, September 30, 2001

Hotmail staff sent me an email telling me that my account is too large, so I went looking for emails to delete. I came across this email I wrote to a friend in November of 1998. It was never sent, and it has been sitting in my "drafts" folder for almost three years.

Well folks across the water, I have lost Nic's email address sine I left Victoria and I hope this is the correct one Sarah. If it is not it might make for some interesting reading for one of your coworkers. "Struggling young Canadian finds love and bliss in late millennial escapism," they could conclude before relegating it to the trash can. Or do you call the recycling bin something else, like the rubbish folder, or the dustbin file? Life on the mainland is incredibly different. I have to work much harder for the same pay, and answer to a boss who can see through my entire productive, nose to the grind charade. How long can I keep it up before I am let loose, cut adrift to float with the jetsam on Main and Hastings? I have started having nightmares about work, and my weeks are 45 hours of sheer torment. I know how much contempt you must have for whining little fucks like me, but I’m just telling you what is going on in my head. I have a good opportunity across the street to work for a software company that has positioned itself globally to really go big. I have passed through all the hoops and tests and the only thing that remains are for my references to be checked. I wait anxiously, checking my messages hourly for the call that will set my soul free.
My point is this: when I don't care, I just don't care.
Don't get me wrong, life is stellar here. On Halloween, sometime around 6 in the morning, at a dangerously overcrowded rave underneath the Second Narrows Bridge, Anya and I decided we must spend the rest of our lives together. I could write volumes about it, but suffice to say that she is what I have been waiting for all my life. I have no doubts about her. You must meet her soon. But I figure that is one of the more important puzzles in life. When I sit back and think about all the roads I have taken in life, and how by some fluke I ended up driving to Penticton with her, it really makes me wonder why I worry about little useless details like how many new leads I have every Monday morning. When I met her for the first time I knew that given the right environment it would happen. And sure enough did. So the rest of the life puzzle is all detail I think, now that I have this sorted.
Sorry to go on about MY personal life and MY problems, but hey, we Canadians like to whine. Right now it is popular to whine about the PM, APEC, the lack of choice in our federal parties, the fact that hockey is boring, I mean what a pathetic country eh? The problem with Canadians is they get so concerned with minor details that they forget they have not been around long enough to worry about shit like that. I mean where is the long term thinking? It is nowhere; it is what is missing from our society and what makes us mediocre. We could be so much better, and all it would take would be for most people to cut there TV watching or nosepicking time in half and devote it to something else. I hear people say all the time "Oh we're so busy right now." Bullshit you are, you spend 20 hours a week watching TV. You got time for Ally McBeal? Then you have time for something productive. We are keeping files.
And what is with the architecture? I have learned that if you spend about 10% more effort and/or money on a given project you reap unlimited amounts of increased enjoyment/profit. Would it really be that difficult to make buildings that are aesthetically pleasing? or ban neon awning from the face of the earth. In my regime there will be Cultural Ministers whose task it will be to shut down the businesses that refuse to take pride in their own surroundings. Windows will be smashed and family run business will be destroyed, "I m sorry, but your storefront does not meet building codes, and you have been ugly for far too long." At the risk of long debate, Yes I do think that it is possible to debate taste. Some is good, most is bad.
I must go now and buy Anya a book. This is Canada out>

Thursday, September 27, 2001

A visit from the Three Houseketeers has given me a new lease on life. The apartment has never been cleaner. I realized when looking at the bill, (which was completely reasonable) that one could make a reasonably easy living if one had the right clients and right employees in a cleaning service. I am not talking huge dosh here, just enough to live moderately without having to work too hard for it.

When I first moved to Whistler my girlfriend at the time cleaned construction workers' temporary apartments. She charged $40 for a 45 minute visit, or what was suppose to be 45 minutes. Most of these guys never ate a single meal in these places, either eating out or ordering pizza, so the "cleaning" of the apartment usually meant vacuuming the floors and running the dishwasher. I think the most time consuming task was sorting the beer bottles, which we kept of course -times were tough back in '93.

She even had a "collector" friend who was a plumber, as well as a karate blackbelt and blow monkey, who also worked with many of her clients. Any customers who forgot to leave the money on the counter were quick to pay up once Eric found out about it. Well, it's not like he hurt anybody. It was a good gig while it lasted I suppose.

Tomorrow is the end of the quarter, and possibly the end of the first part of my career...
Canadians are often guilty of complaining that Americans know so little about us, and I have to say that it can be annoying. While I understand that Canada is a relatively insignificant and provincial country ( and becoming more so every year), I do expect our neighbours to have at least a general knowledge of our nation and of the world at large. Right wing sycophants in Canada are quick to point out that we have an inferiority complex, that we are self obsessed, and that we are more concerned with what Americans think of us than what we think of ourselves. It is reassuring to read that some Americans recognize that now is a great time to correct their collective ignorance.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

cereal box prize
a jungle book cd rom
only for windows

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Mike returned from Montreal this week, fresh from a 3 day trip cramming as many urban pleasures into those 72 hours. Of course the trip included a visit to Sona, Montreal's infamous afterhours club. Having grown up in Montreal, I know how much they love to enjoy life, but a night at Sona proves they take partying to a world class level. Mike was lucky enough to drop by on a night when Anne Savage was playing.

When I asked him how it was, he had to stop and think presumably about some way to emphatically describe just how hard the music was. That is what Sona is about- Hard House with capital Hs. You never here that hear in Vancouver, and I think it must have something to do with the climate. Surrounded and spoiled by a temperate climate, we like to hear uplifting anthems, funky deep house, anything with some "natural" or human sound in it. Since we don't need the music to forget our surrounding, it often complements and celebrates our surroundings. The hard house in Montreal, however, is a completely urban and industrial experience. A cavernous darkened room, corrugated steel staircases, gangstas, strippers and prostitutes,sanctioned dealers ( 18 year old up and coming players wearing white ball caps) all contribute to a totally industrial experience. Hence, the music is as inhuman and industrial as you can imagine. There are no vocals, no acoustic instruments, no emotional sounds. Just hard, loud, repititive beats that you can only assume were created using some audio equation working with a chemical equation to achieve an hallucinatory effect.

So if you visit Montreal, drop in but be prepared.

Friday, September 21, 2001

So I guess we are gearing up for a long, drawn out war that will have much of its operations remain covert forever. As GWB says, this new type of war has new rules, a vague enemy and requires different tactics. To me he is saying that the rules can be made and changed as we go along, the war will target anyone, anywhere, and that this one is going to be dirty. "Terrorism", or the threat of it, will become the bogeyman of this century, one which we haved learned is all to real.

I support the capture and persecution of those responsible for these WTC terrorist attacks, and as well the capture of any perpetrators of terrorism. What worries me about the mood in the Western world is that our military leaders can easily use this situation as carte blanche to assisisnate any uncooperative leaders in any country. I feel like we are in a time warp, and the US and the British are embarking on some crusade to spread the freedom of Western society. This is a war that could last for 20 or 30 years, and see an decrease in the level of the freedom we are trying to defend.

But to win this war, we have to understand the terrorists' view of the world. I don't support their tactics, but I can see why are frustrated with the status quo. The West has to face that its lifestyle screws over so many countries so hard and that efforts to change that through diplomacy have never been a serious priority, and are nearly always subordinated to profits and power. Deals have been made by the US and Britain with the Kurds, the Palestinians, the Iraqis, the Afghanis, only to reneg on the deal once the other party had held up their end of the bargain. So there are bitter people all over the world, seething at us as we complain about the price of gasoline, or moan about poor internet service providers.

If we are going to end terrorism we certainly need to bring these people to justice, but we alsoo need to be aware of the consequnces of our actions.

Enough of my rambling. Feeling like today I shed my old skin......

Friday, September 14, 2001

How Not to Be a Leader, by my VP Sales
VP:Hey schoolboy, how are your customers reacting to the tragedy?
Schoolboy:Well VP, they are putting things on hold.
VP: Well, what are they telling you? What do you mean on hold?
Schoolboy: Well there aren't many in the office, and I can't get a hold of any project managers.
VP: What about the ones you can reach? What are they telling you?
Schoolboy: To be honest, I am not pressing the issue. I'll wait until next week.

VP nods head, as if to say " if you think you can use this time to slack off, you are wrong.
Schoolboy turns gaze to monitor as if to say "f*** you

I am becoming convinced that the worst is yet to come. There will be many more people dying all over the world. In the midst of this I am searching for some good. I am looking for ways to show that we are better than this, that the one unstoppable force in this world is the human spirit. If there is any good to be found, I think it will be that we have been brought together by this horror, and it is my hope that we will stay together knowing that if anything is to change, we must be the ones to change it. This sounds trite, but when everyone is caught up in working, earning, spending, surviving and consuming, we forget that what is important and enduring. Jobs come and go, fashions are replaced every year, but our relationships are what endure. Hopefully this will be the wake up call we need to bring more decency to a world that was getting cruel and smug with its success.

The attacks on the U.S. have produced much rhetoric from all sides. Always able to find the gems in the rough, textism comes through again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Selling business intelligence solutions is not what I feel like doing today. The world has other things on its mind, and our management should not be encouraging us to contact customers.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

I thought for a long time that we would never have to live through anything like this. I thought that we had evolved beyond this, and that my life would be free from mass slaughter and thoughtless, remorseless murder. Nic, Lucia and Chris are all safe. I don't let many people know this side of me, but I was on the verge of tears all day, until I finally packed it in and went home to play tennis.

But this is just so sad. Hopefully, this will be the worst tragedy in my lifetime.

Monday, September 10, 2001

Now here is a job with upward mobility! All you must endure are football hooligans, rioting strikers, drunks, addicts and shoplifters. You could be a super in only 5 years.
Yes! I can make more than Cheerios for dinner! On Saturday night I actually made sofrito lamb. It took about 4 hours and I made a mess, but it came off wonderfully, a surprise hit actually, as I am known for not being able to make anything. Maybe I feel that way because so many people around me are great cooks.

On Sunday we had Sean and Shelley over to the lighthouse. Shelley was on her way to the airport, en route to Denver. Now I have not paid attention to the NFL in several years ( I don't have cable and I cannot even get CBC), but I joked to Shelley that she should check if there is some Monday Night NFL happening in Denver. Well lo and behold today I get an email from a Broncos fan inviting me to watch Monday Night football at his place.

I had not done this in years, but it was so enjoyable to sit and watch football and eat chips and drink cold Stellas.

Friday, September 07, 2001

I slept in today. Not exciting news for a blog, but it felt wonderful. Anya went to work at the usual ungodly hour of 5:30am, and I didn't bother to set the alarm. All I remember is her telling me to walk the dog.

Nic writes me about his trip to Costa Rica. I think he might be considering packing it all in and opening a surf shop down there, or maybe in Nicaragua. He tells me that is the new hot spot for cheap surf. More on Nic later.

Thursday, September 06, 2001

I have great news to tell my wife, but I don't want to tell her until it is 100% in the bank, which isn't yet, but should be by month end. However, in the meantime she is stressed out by situations that would be eliminated by my good news. Should I tell her about it to stop her worrying? I think I will hold off until it is official. The organization could reneg on its promise to me.

I wrote a mean-sprited letter to this guy, I now I feel bad. I should apologize, so I will right here and now. Dean, I am sorry.
Sometimes I enjoy falling ill for a few days, knowing that I will eventually feel better. The feeling of waking up and having more energy and vitality is almost worth the pain and annoyance of a runny nose and sore throat. Almost. It reminds me of the saying, I can't remember who said it, perhaps it was Bukowski, that people who don't drink wake up knowing this is the best they are going to feel all day.

When I was 17 I had a bout of stomach flu that was that gave me the most painful stomach aches I have ever felt. I was eating chinese food at my girlfriend's grandparents house, and I suddenly lost my appetite. The sight of food began to make me ill, and I had to excuse myself from dinner. Once we got outside I told Allison, my girlfriend at the time, that she had to drive me home as I was on the verge of puking. On the way home I sat doubled over in the station wagon, groping my abdomen, praying for some kind of relief. It was like there was a hurricane in my stomach, some evil brew concocted by viruses, boiling, frothing, releasing its poisonous, foul gas inside of me with no outlet. If only I could vomit it would be over.

When I got home 20 minutes later I ran into the bathroom and blew chunks into the toilet, and the pain disappeared into the porcelain basin along with the half chewed egg rolls and pineapple chicken. The relief I felt was like an orgasm, however twisted that may sound.

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

Sorry about the lack of posts. I was on vacation in Montreal, and had sworn off any electronic devices, except for a cell phone and my friend Chris's stereo. The purpose of the trip was to attend John and Daphne's wedding. Dinner was 14 courses, including shark fin soup, which I am told is a delicacy and a commonly used guage of how much was spent on the wedding.

Being from Montreal, I had a list of old haunts to visit, few of which I actually managed to grace with my west cost ambient presence. I did get to eat a big plate with pickles, fries and cherry cola at Schwartz's, dance to minimalist techno at Sona, and even pay a vist to my old school.

Montrealers love to party, and I was sucked into their world of non-stop good time rolling for 10 days. I had to check out for a weekend in the Eastern Townships, where my parents have rented a cottage on Lac Massawippi.

Now I am back in the grey cubicle, hiding behind my low walls ( part of the "open office" plan) just riding it out until the end of the quarter. The pressure for management will start to rise this week, and they will definitely disable the air conditioning....