Friday, June 27, 2003

One of my most avid readers, if not the only avid reader, mentioned to me yesterday that he reads this blog about twice a week, "which is more often that it is updated". Suddenly I felt bad about letting down my audience and about not giving them enough.

I immediately came up with the excuse that "nothing is really happening", and I was reminded of the scene in Adaptation, where the character Robert McKee lambasts Nicolas Cage for thinking that nothing really happens in the world. "What planet are you living on!!" he screams. Every day people are raped and murdered, they fall in love and are betrayed. There is so much going on that the problem is choosing what to use.

So, with that as my inspiration, I give you my weekly update:

Report Magazine has finally died, striking a blow to right-wing fanatics all over western Canada. The magazine had hoped to spread into Canada the shift to the right of mainstream politics that occurred in the US during the 1990s. It succeeded only in preaching to the converted about the evils of liberalism, the need to integrate into the United States, and the usual right wing hack agenda.

David Frum eulogizes it on the blow to the conservative mvement in Canada. Gee David, I wonder why this never caught on in Canada. Could it be that we are different from right wing Americans and like it that way?

Is it possible to revoke his citizenship?

Jeffrey Simpson must have read his eulogy and felt compelled to kick them while they were down.
The last time I saw it was in a Save On Foods in Penticton. Eminem was on the cover with the headline "All You Need Is Hate".

My brother Michael was picked to play the part of a giant tongue in a Hi-C commercial. I had no idea they still made Hi-C, but apparently, they do.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Women Who Do Yoga

I see them every day on my coffee break, which is now just a walk break since I quit drinking coffee 2 weeks ago. They walk into Yaletown around 9am, with their coffees in one hand and their yoga mat bags in the other, dressed in the latest Lululemon fashions. Often they are yammering away on their mobile phones, probably to other idle women, about what to do after yoga. Shopping? Lunch? They need something to fill the time between yoga, working out, and pilates.

Yaletown is full of these people; all image, no substance. Who is footing the bill for their lifestyle I wonder? I can only assume it is some guy working in one of the office towers downtown, or prowling Yaletown in his Escalade, searching for a parking space close to Cioppino's. What amazes me is how hard they work at creating the image despite the transparency of it all. Vancouver ain't New York, but a lot of people think that if they act rich, they will be rich.

Then there is the coke dealer with the 64 impala. He works so hard to advertise that he is man of leisure, except when he is doing drug deals. Isn't the point to hide what you are doing when you're in that business?

Monday, June 16, 2003

Hey Fuckhead!

Are you the man that honked at me on Davie St last Friday? Yes, you remember. It was around 630am on a splendid summer morning. Hardly any traffic at that hour, but you must have been so hurried and so important, perhaps you even had to get to a conference call with an important client, maybe even an important American client.

So you had to honk at me. At first I didn't think you were honking at me. What could I have done? Riding my bike happily in the left hand lane was no reason for honking. I have to ride in the middle of the lane, as that is the only way to get respect from cars, and not get pushed into the gutter.

This, apparently, is new to you, and you brand new Toyota Echo. So you pulled up close to me and said "You're not a bike, eh bud?" I don't know if it was a question or a statement. I think the "eh" means "what i have just said is true, is it not?", so i'll treat it as a question.

Normally my first response would be "Fuck you motherfucker", a reaction that has been drilled into my synapse from years of defensive cycling in this city. However, as i was still blissed out and zen-like from my yoga the night before, I calmly said, "you need to respect me like a car. You need to treat me like a car."

To which you replied "Fuck you".

Ouch. I was so hurt that my calm approach failed, and I almost went to work in a bad mood.

Okay, i was in a bad mood at work, but that was only because i was suffering from caffeine withdrawal.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Be Careful What You Wish For

The importance of setting goals was a concept I never seemed to grasp until my mid-twenties. Perhaps at some point in my youth I had set goals unknowingly, but these were usually forgotten quickly in the lazy haze that covered my mind at the time. I think I set some fairly unrealistic goals (win the gold medal in the men's downhill at the 1988 Olympics), but I never had any realistic goals, written or otherwise.

One ambition that I did voice repeatedly was the dream of being a foreman on some type of work crew so that I could drive a pickup truck. While waiting for the school bus I would often see the city workers in their pickups and I wanted to be the one in charge. My oldest friend Chris never fails to remind me that as a child this was my ambition.

Perhaps it is coincidence that in the summer 1996 I achieved this goal, a mere 16 years after setting it. I had become a foreman on a forestry services crew comprised of drifters, scammers, ex-cons and morons. But I was in charge.

The dream had lost in lustre in the light of reality. Skidding to a stop in the truck and jumping out to berate unproductive workers seemed like fun when I was 10 years old. But at 26, it was pathetic and depressing. As the job wore on and the productivity and work quality went through the floor, I asked myself "How did I get here? What am I doing here?"

It didn't occur to me at the time, but the seed had been sown as a 10 year old child, wishing to drive a big truck and yell at people.