Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Measure of a Man

I don't recall the exact circumstances, but it must have been over a month ago that I shaved my beard while neglecting the upper lip. I do know that it was supposed to be a joke. Moustaches are always funny when found on the faces of those under 30. I got a lot of laughs but of course a lot of people didn't know it was a joke and merely assumed that I have no style. Not that they're wrong, but I do know that my moustache is not exactly stylish.
At first I thought that a week would be the appropriate amount of time for this particular joke. However, I also thought that it might come in handy at Halloween should I need it for a costume. Well Halloween is almost over, I didn't actually go to any costume party and now I don't have an excuse for my moustache. So I should shave it. However, I don't want to. Maybe it's like some strange variation of the Stockholm Syndrome where I've a misplaced loyalty.
This blog sucks but my moustache is AWESOME!!!
I just don't feel like writing more.
I did serendipitously discover this sweet link which doesn't do much for my motivation for shaving.
Sweet Link

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Baby You Can Drive My Car

The problem with owning a new vehicle is that they let you know when something is wrong. I remember with my '79 van if I heard it making a noise that seemed unnatural I would "fix" it by turning up the radio. If it made an unnatural smell I would buy an air freshener, but my new car prohibits this brand of mechanics with a "maintenance required" light and other various warning lights. For a while now both the maintenance required and the airbag light were on so I decided to take my car in for repairs.
Since I'm working down South I decided to book an appointment at Calgary Honda since it's about five minutes from the house we're working on. I chose to take my car to a Honda dealership mainly because I like spending too much money. I told my boss of Thursday that I might be a little late on Friday since I would have to take the shuttle to work after dropping off my car. He said that if it looked like the shuttle would be quite late I should just phone him for a ride instead.
Yesterday I went to drop off my car. I arrived only fifteen minutes after it opened to discover that it was already quite busy. I stood in line and was asked my destination by one of the shuttle drivers. I told her, unsure of the exact address, that it was really close, just off Canyon Meadows Drive. She told me that I would be going with her.
After waiting in line for quite some time I finally headed out to the shuttle. I was the last of six to enter. The shuttle driver told me that I would be the last to get dropped off. I was disappointed since I was so close. We started driving and I was dismayed to see that we were heading North although my destination lay South.
We drove further and further North. I noticed that there would no longer be chance of my arriving on time. Later I watched 7:30, my start time, roll past. Still we headed North. Finally, just a short distance from downtown, we dropped off the first two of the passengers.
We then headed further North and my thoughts began to grow a little dark. "Why should I have to come this whole way when I was so close to start with?" I began speculating. Since I was the last to enter the shuttle I might have been automatically destined to be the last to get dropped off. I then realized that the answer was probably more sinister. I decided that I was looked down on for having such an ambitious moustache. Now I was used to people looking down on me due to my facial hair but it was another thing entirely to suffer outright prejudice because of it. I made a resolution that I would complain, though not mentioning my suspected prejudice, and try to get a discount on my bill. It could be the metaphorical silver lining.
We continued Northbound on Deerfoot. I noticed that we were now further North than where I started in the morning. Discouraged, I tried not to think about how late I now was. We finally dropped off the last person and headed back to Deerfoot Trail. Stunned I noticed that she turned northbound! I asked her where we were headed and that's when I realized what had happened. Although I meant to say Canyon Meadows Drive, I had actually said Country Hills Boulevard, a minor slip of the tongue that is geographically a major error. I arrived at work just before 9:00, over an hour and a half since I got in the shuttle.
I left the car dealership that afternoon, $1000.00 lighter. They had run the diagnostic on the airbag system but no problems came up so they merely reset the light. Total cost to tell me that nothing was wrong, $105. I remember when I was sixteen listening to adults talk about how teenagers never know how expensive cars are until they buy one. I resolved from that point on to anticipate losing large amounts of money when I finally did buy a car. I bought my first vehicle over four years ago but I'm still constantly surprised how much they cost. Now though I have a nice car, in great running condition, and a clean interior so all I need is a hot girl to drive around with me. I mean that's pretty much the purpose of owning a car, isn't it?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Keeping an eye on the world going by my window.

The last day of my first season tree planting was a helicopter block. To be more accurate there were a few cut blocks being planted that day and I was selected, along with two other guys, to plant three small, connected blocks. My foreman informed us that we had to "pound" that day because it was essential that we were finished by the time the helicopter returned to pick us up.
Well we pounded that day. I remember being glad coming back to the tree cache for my last bag up with plenty of time to spare before the helicopter was due to arrive. However, when I got back to the cache I discovered Lee and Byron, the guys planting with me, lounging around with all the trees gone. They had finished off the last of the trees while I was gone.
There is no surer recipe for good memories than being stuck out on the block with nothing to do. Lee and I napped a bit while making jokes about Byron who for no apparent reason began digging a hole. We asked him what he was doing and he replied, "making a trap." We made jokes about how the trap would cause the checker to break an ankle and spitefully fail the block. Seeing the mickey mouse quality of the trap we made jokes about the futility of the enterprise. We laughed as he carefully covered the hole, about 18" deep I suppose, with branches, leaves and dirt.
Tired from his exertions Byron also napped while waiting for the helicopter. We had a long wait though. Eventually we woke up and started milling about. Lee fell in Byron's trap. Byron and I laughed at him, though Byron laughed longer after all the ribbing he endured.
We then, betraying our boredom, began to replant our trees. Lee let us rookies into a glorious secret.
"It doesn't matter if you swear in the woods!"
"Who the @$%# planted this #!@^ tree at the @#%* bottom of the @$% mound!???"
"This @#%^ tree is #$^#$!"
"You're an @!##%"
"Your trees are !@##@ and your @#%#@ face is @#%# ass @#$@# and ##%#$@ you @$#$ big #@$#%$#.
It was good fun and I learned that swearing well either requires practice or is a talent that I lack. We headed back to the cache and I fell into Byron's trap. Byron laughed best.
Finally, after several hours we heard the chopper and got ready to hook up the sling of garbage boxes to the helicopter. We then walked to the other block, fording a creek via beaver dam and stopping to plant my last tree of the season, (upside down) where we would be flown out, along with the rest of the camp, back to the trucks. (Only to discover that, of course, the season wasn't done and we had several hundred more trees to plant.)
While napping back on the block I remember waking, thinking that I heard the helicopter coming. I mentioned it to Lee but realized it was just my imagination. Lee later remarked enviously that I was asleep and snoring again in less than a minute. He was a light sleeper and always had trouble falling asleep.
It is nice to be able to sleep anywhere and anytime. Several times I've fallen asleep on a airplane while still taxiing, waking up a while later to people enjoying snacks and drinks that have already been brought around. Hard beds, springy beds, no beds, it doesn't matter so much to me.
It's also a curse though. I fall asleep when I don't want to. I remember desperately trying to stay awake at a funeral, but failing. Or my cousin Arend telling of the time in church the pastor finished praying and everyone's head lifted, except mine. They spirit was willing but they flesh is weak.
I always feel bad for Peter, James and John when Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, comes back to them and disappointedly asks them if they couldn't keep watch for one hour. I know that I would have done no better.

(I know there's a really awkward segue in this blog but that's the way it's gotta be and I don't feel like explaining the reasons behind it.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Fashion Is Just Too Far Ahead of It's Time

As I stepped out of the house today a question came to mind. I was wearing my army pants, ratty brown shoes with masking taped laces, a hoody, a rough looking leather jacket and of course my handlebar moustache. I then wondered what fashion category I fell into. If you were to group me, with what individuals would I fit best? That's when it hit me, I looked homeless.
However, driving home today I was at a red light and I glanced over to the car next to me. I made eye contact with the passenger of the car and he gave a friendly nod. I nodded back and then he smiled and mouthed, "Nice moustache!" I laughed, twirled the tips, gave him the thumbs up and then drove off. Maybe I'll never shave that sucker.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Across the Universe

Two hands. After tonight that's what I need to count the movies that I've seen this year. James Bond: Casino Royale, (x2) The Bourne Ultimatum, The Ringer, Live Free or Die Hard and last night, Across the Universe. There may be one or two more, but I don't think so. In any case, I would definitely put Across the Universe in my top five of the year.
I did enjoy the movie. Now those who know me probably could have expected one of two knee jerk reactions, either I'll love the movie because of all the Beatles songs and references, or I'll hate it because of all the Beatles covers that don't measure up to the glorious originals. Actually I fell somewhere in between. I definitely liked the movie, and the songs were quite well done. I didn't like all the versions, Helter Skelter stuck out as one I really didn't enjoy, but for the most part the considerable vocal talents of the cast made for excellent cover versions. I felt that the story lacked and was carried by the music, but of course I would rate Beatles music as the highlight of the movie. Despite my considerable bias, I think that the story was weak, undoubtedly written to fit the music instead of the other way around.
A cool thing happened because of the movie; I rediscovered how amazing the Beatles catalogue actually is. The cliché states that familiarity breeds contempt and I am very familiar with Beatles songs. For this reason I don't generally put on a lot of Beatles cds, I've heard them too many times before. However, last night and this morning I've been playing all my albums and really enjoying a rediscovered love of the GREATEST BAND EVER period.
I had a hard time watching the movie and trying not to sing along, although I was generally successful. I also had a hard time trying not to fall for whichever girl was singing, I was generally unsuccessful. During the credits they played Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds and I was tempted to start singing along in an attempt to get the audience to all sing it. I wimped out though, I don't know if everyone could be counted on to love the music as much as I do. Perhaps on opening night it would have worked. I might put the soundtrack on my Christmas wish list although generally I don't have to because when it comes to me and Beatles stuff, people already know.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Some Lessons Are Best Not Learned the Hard Way

Ten good reasons to be careful when using a table saw.
1. Left thumb
2. Left index finger
3. Left middle finger
4. Left ring finger
5. Left pinkie
6. Right thumb
7. Right index finger
8. Right middle finger
9. Right ring finger
10. Picking your nose. (Who uses their right pinkie anyhow?)
Today I was using the table saw to make a jig. I wanted to cut a hole in the middle of a piece of plywood so I lowered the blade all the way, put the plywood in place, and began to raise the blade. I have a strong love of my hands and therefore a healthy fear of saws. What I didn't know was that this saw was the one that my boss lost his pinkie on. This saw has a taste for blood.
The wood must have bound because the saw spit the wood out crashing into the door behind me. Heart racing and fingers throbbing from the bruising that they received I tried to collect my thoughts. I then looked down and noticed blood liberally dripping from my fingers. It only took a cursory inspection to realize that I had been mistaken and that my fingers, not bruised, had made contact with the blade. Luckily for me the blade was only about 1/16" higher than the wood so the cuts weren't deep. On my index finger I got a small cut by the nail, a deeper gouge on the tip and then a little bit shaved off the bottom. My middle finger had a section of nail sliced off, taking a little skin for company. My ring finger was slightly bruised. They're sore now, but I'm not complaining. It could have been devastatingly worse. I should be fully healed in a week or so with no lasting side effects save for a healthier respect for the tools I use. It was amazing to feel the adrenaline though, I think I could have done a four minute mile an hour and a half after the incident.
I wanted to take a picture to post on my blog but unfortunately I couldn't find my camera and then when I did find it it didn't work. It could have something to do with the fact that I found it the pocket of my freshly washed pants.

Monday, October 1, 2007

And So It Ends

Since I began blogging there have been a variety of subjects that I have broached on multiple occasions. There were the indecisiveness blogs (I'm ready to write another of those), the pacifism blogs, and of course the blogs about my internet friendship with Karen Gomyo, professional violinist.
I must admit, the first blog I wrote about her, the tragic romance story is one of my all time favourite blogs. However, I did try reading it to my mom and failed, I was too embarrassed and Lisa had to read the last part. I couldn't quite vocalize the whole "angels flying down" or whatever part. It was a little too over the top, to employ generous understatement.
I really liked some of the other blogs of the same subject. For one thing, I always found them very easy to write and satisfying afterwards. A conclusion of mine, based on no actual evidence, is that they were among my readers' favourites as well. Well this shall be the last blog on the subject because it's all over.
I think things first started going downhill after she left myspace. I think that my first blog was actually quite prescient because the story played out very similarly to real life except for a few minor details. In real life there was no meeting for coffee, blossoming romance, new found passion in her playing, no late night phone calls, nor a trip to Paris, no wondering on how things can continue and the cellist with perfect pitch finally ending things was actually just me, writing too many emails that were too akin to creepy, stalker emails.
In the end, each party involved, her, myself, the police and the judge, decided that it would be for the best if I stopped contacting her, maintain a 750m perimeter from her at all times and attend counseling. So I guess that's that.
I read once that people generally date and marry those of a similar level of attractiveness. I guess that most people automatically pursue those of a similar standing as themselves. Maybe I need to learn to do this because I obviously was way out of my league. But that's OK, I learned from my mistake. No more professional musicians for this guy. What's more, in a serendipitous stroke of luck I stumbled across Jessica Simpson's email address and I think that armed with my new knowledge and awesome moustache I should have a pretty good chance.
On a totally unrelated subject, does anyone want to buy a half carat, VVS1-VVS2 diamond solitaire ring?