Archive for March, 2007

My life has felt a little surreal lately, and that’s kind of hard to explain to people, so here’s a snapshot of my morning so far to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

My alarm went off at 7:30 this morning and I turned on my radio. I lay in bed listening to the radio until 8:45 when I finally worked up the nerve to hobble to the bathroom. While in the shower, I turned a little funny on my bum leg twice and shouted obscenities at the top of my lungs due to the pain. On my way out of the shower, I lost my balance and fell. Having the foresight not to plant my bum ankle to keep me upright, I controlled my fall and landed softly on a floor mat where I lay naked and soaking wet for a few minutes before I worked up the nerve to stand up.

That’s pretty normal stuff for me lately, but when I got to work, things got even weirder. I ordered a free sample for Playtex Tampons that was posted on Red Flag Deals. Before you start to wonder, I put them in ziploc bags with things I really want to keep dry on canoe trips (like electronic equipment, camera gear, clothes) to absorb any moisture that might seep in. For obvious reasons, I prefer not to buy them so I pick up any free samples that I can get anonymously.

There’s a little window into my everyday life. Enjoy.

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For the last week or so, I’ve been taking cabs to and from work.  It’s easier, safer and healthier than hobbling home or taking the TTC, although it ain’t cheap.  One of the things I’ve really missed about my normal routine is my interactions with the general public.  People-watching during rush hour is one of my favourite activities, because you usually get to see people at their very worst… amidst the stress of dealing with crowds and being late for the big meeting.  It’s awesome.

In lieu of that, I’ve been getting to know the habits of the daytime Toronto cabbie.  Friendlier, cleaner and generally more polite than their late-night counterparts, I have yet to find one talking on his cellphone during our trip (a rude habit that is apparently unique to Toronto cabbies), or driving like a freaking maniac.  They’re talkative and ask polite questions to get to know you, and they even ask if you have any preferred routes to reach your destination, or (in the morning) if you would like to stop off at a coffee shop to grab a coffee and a bagel.

I suspect that the difference in attitudes comes from dealing with business people in a rush rather than annoying drunks.  A late night cab customer is just about guaranteed to be annoying, and has the potential to throw up in a cab only to return to singing along to the radio.  If I had to work with people like that, I’d talk on my cellphone and drive like an idiot to get that guy home and out of my car as fast as possible.

I’d like to think that this experience has taught me a little empathy for late-night cabbies, but it’s more likely that I’ll just take them less.  I mean, who needs the hassle?

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Well, it’s finally wednesday. You’re halfway through your work week and you’re just going to have to hold on by your fingernails to make it through until the weekend. If you need a little help getting through today, perhaps I can tempt you to do a little light reading over at SilentTalkie. After all, a fresh issue is hot off the presses this morning and chock full of stuff you can read instead of doing work. What more can you ask for?

Chock Full o Nuts

If I can tempt you that much more, this week’s issue contains some actual writing by yours truly. This isn’t the usual tongue-in-cheek nonsense I usually slap together at the last second. These are a couple of short stories that never went anywhere, so I pared them down into some pieces of postcard fiction. Instead of being sad that they didn’t bloom into beautiful short story flowers and hid away in my Moleskine, they’ve been released to the world as postcards! It’s so beautiful, I could cry.

Feel free to leave comments, criticisms or corrections on the stories either here or in the SilentTalkie comments. Feedback is always appreciated. And do you know what else is always appreciated? Content. Seriously… you don’t need to be Ernest Hemingway, Andy Warhol or Lester Bangs to submit an article. Just jot down some notes about something you have a passion for and we’ll even help you craft it into something. Maybe I’ll have to start coming after you all one-by-one for content.

For next week, I’d like to try getting some ideas for a story from readers here. So… any ideas? Have you got a cool character name, a strange setting for a story to take place in, some unusual experience a few characters could share? Fire them off in an email or leave a comment. I promise to cite your ideas so that you can be blamed for them. I mean ‘applauded’. Yes. Applauded.

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In a last-ditch attempt to save my ankle and ensure a canoe trip in the summer of 2007, I’ve scheduled a physiotherapy appointment for friday this week.  In the meantime, it’s become painfully obvious that I’ve been using my leg too much, and pushing it well past what it can handle at the moment.  Don’t you just hate it when your body won’t do what you want it to?  Yeah, me too.

Last night was another exciting evening of couch surfing with the remote in hand and the icepack on foot.  I watched some highlights of the Quebec election (I have a vested interest… not wanting to need a passport to get to my cottage), talked politics with Ethan and ate Doritos for dinner.  All in all, it was a horribly unproductive evening.

Tonight stands to be a bit better.  I’m meeting Kenneth for dinner and I hope to clean up my room a bit.  I might even take the time to update my online photo gallery and do some reading.  I think I’m going to steer clear of the TV for a little while.  I’m getting sick of it.

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If Star Wars taught me anything (and I doubt it has), it’s that there is balance in the universe and that for everything bad that happens, there is good waiting in the wings.  Some people call that ‘karma’ while others call it luck.  Whatever it is, it’s coming to me in spades.  Even though my ankle is buggered (it’s worse today than it has been in a few days), I can sit back comfortably in the knowledge that I’ve mathematically won my NCAA March Madness Pool.  I know all of you have been religiously following the games and comparing it to my awesome bracket (note that all my Final Four teams are intact), so feel free to celebrate with me.

In weekend news, 300 is a pretty good movie.  There’s about 45 minutes of plot development and the rest is just amazing graphic effects, stunning costumes and camera work and action… bloodthirsty action.  I’ll pass judgment on the gratuitous use of ‘abs’ as a distracting plot device and just say that it’s worth the price of admission to see.

My breakfast on sunday morning consisted of homemade Egg McMuffins.  It turns out that they’re easy to make (even for a cane-bound gimp like me) and cost a fraction of the original.  I should start selling them from our front door in the morning.

I’d better hurry up and post this before my building loses power.  We’re in the midst of a crazy spring thunderstorm, thanks in part to the temperature going from 8 degrees to 18 degrees today.  That makes of an ‘unstable environment’ according to the weatherman.  Of course, he’s the kind of guy who trusts the habits of a rodent to determine future weather patterns, so take that with a grain of salt.

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I never thought I’d be happy to be in the office rather than sitting at home, but cabin fever kicked in after three days and I’m back in my glorious little cubicle after a scenic cab ride on a beautiful spring day. I got kind of hooked on 24 (which shows on A&E in the afternoons) and old black and white movies on TCM and AMC, but I think that doing some business writing to earn my paycheque will cure me of my TV addiction.

I’m in second in my NCAA basketball pool (as of last night’s games), but I think it will take a miracle for me to jump into first. Mind you, March Madness is a time for miracles.

Now that I’m back into a semi-normal routine, I’m hoping you can look forward to regular mid-morning posts and they’ll have less and less to do with daytime TV and ankle-updates.

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Yet another exciting day at home nursing my gimp ankle.  Hmmm, maybe exciting isn’t the word for it.  I hope to head back into the office tomorrow, if for no other reason that to get away from daytime TV.  It seems that elevating it and icing it off and on has been working pretty well, and the pain is subsiding and it feels a little stronger each day.  That’s good news at least.

I’ve been enjoying the first thunderstorm of the year from the living room too.  The thunder is intermittent, but impressive and it’s ridiculously warm outside… warmer than our living room, in fact.  I might have to pull a chair onto our front porch so I can enjoy the weather in style.

When I first had that thought, I was going to take my camera with me, but then I was worried that I might turn into the crazy invalid from Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”.  Although, it’s not hard to believe that one of my neighbours might be a killer.  I’ll have to practice my ‘terrified realization” face.  Mind you, I have little better to do.  🙂

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Just another day of hobblin’ around here at home.  I didn’t post earlier because getting out of bed this morning wasn’t looking like an option.  I had to spend some time working the stiffness out of my ankle before I could use it at all.  On the plus side, I’m having a classic ‘Stone Angel’ moment.

Did you ever read Margaret Laurence’s ‘Stone Angel’ in high school?  It’s pretty standard reading because of the characterization of the main character.  As a reader, you actually feel what it’s like to be elderly and senile.  I’m not feeling too senile (well, no more than usual), but I’m certainly feeling old.  I can’t wait to be walking down the street with my cane and to see an elderly person with theirs so I can give them a wave with my cane and they’ll return the wave with theirs.  It’s like I’m in some top secret club.

Frankly, I’m also a little bit bummed at the prospect of not being able to do many of the things I love this summer.  Soccer is  out… that’s pretty much a given.  I also doubt that I’ll be able to do a canoe trip in 2007 (carrying weight on portages could be deadly with all that uneven ground).

If anyone would like to take a canoe trip this summer and do all the heavy lifting while I follow along all old and crotchety with my cane, let me know.  I’ll be yelling things like “In my day, we’d do this portage in half the time with twice the weight.” to encourage you.

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