Thursday, November 24, 2005
Sometimes I think I have a special kind of luck. It's not bad luck, in that I haven't been diagnosed with multiple terminal diseases, things don't usually fall on me (although there was one bucket of sand), and I haven't lost any limbs in freak accidents. However, it's not good luck either. I'm pretty sure I'm not destined to be a lottery winner or the inheritor of a large family fortune. But I do have some kind of luck. For example, I've had two computers, both of which have ended up getting wet. My current computer, which I have nick named "ol shitty," still works, but just barely. Neither disc drive is operational so playing cds/adding new software/reformatting is no longer an option. My first computer got wet when the place I lived in burned down. Well, not exactly. This is where my special luck comes in. I lived in the basement of a townhouse that was in a row of attached houses. A fire broke out a few houses down and totally wiped out the block of houses (bad luck). No one was hurt (good luck). My basement apartment didn't actually burn (also good luck). But the water from the fire hoses, combined with suet and ash ruined everything anyway (not so great). Oh and to add insult, the fire crew thought they had stopped the fire well before it was actually out. They put away their hoses and were all packed up (I think some had even gone) before they realized the fire had spread and was, by the time they realized it, unstoppable.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Well, it's been about a month and half since my last post. There are three reasons for this.
- I am busy.
- I am lazy.
- Sometimes I do other things in my free time.
In Jasper, this summer, I had so much free time that I could do all kinds of other things and still write an up date in the old blog. I can only imagine what my grandmother and aunt must have thought me - I was either at work, on the computer, or reading. Hey I'm cool. I did actually develop a pretty good relationship with my aunt's dog, Lucky. He's a border collie, and the type of dog I have decided I will get, when I can get a dog.
But back in Halifax things are less dull. I am currently enrolled in an education programme to become a high school social studies/english teacher. The programme is pretty intense. It's not that the work is difficult, or marked with high standards (just doing the work garauntees an A). The problem is the amount of work and the group work (I loath group work).
Capital M is currently listening to 'combat baby' by Metric. If anyone wants to be both amazed and delighted with a truly great band, check them out. Here's a link to their website: http://www.ilovemetric.com/. Also, since I'm on the subject of good music, I feel I should bring up The Dance Hall Crashers. Marzipan introduced to me this band shortly before we started dating and my life has never been the same. Seriously, I sometimes think this must be how a born again Christian feels about God. DHC totally rocks. Part punk, part ska, all good. If I have a mission in life it's to spread the word of the Dance Hall Crashers...
Wow, I just reread the first paragraph and not only is it sad that Lucky (who really is a great dog) was my only friend in town, but it also didn't flow with the rest of the paragraph. And I'm going to be teaching English...
ps- I like it when kids call me Mr.V
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
I went and saw 'Just like Heaven' last night with Marika, or Marzipan. The movie was surprisingly bad. I thought the movie wasn't going to be good but was then further surprised at its complete lack of a) good acting b) story c) something resembling sense.
Run down of the plot - there's Reese, a ghost. Mark, a somewhat depressed guy. Depresso meets ghost, they argue, fall in love, plant a garden. I hope I haven't ruined anything for you if you wanted to see it.
(the author of this blog actually hasn't ruined anything, but is advising you not to see the movie)
Monday, September 19, 2005
At first I had no idea what happened. One minute I was walking a long and then time stopped moving as it normally does, or at least my time did. My life became punctuated by three seemingly unrelated and inexplicable events: I felt an explosive pain in my left leg - my head hit something, or something hit my head (I didn't know which) - my body hit the ground.
Rain was pouring down, people were shouting and I heard someone's voice above the rest cry "somebody call an ambulance!" As I lay on my side I thought my leg was shattered, it felt that way. It took me longer then you'd think to realize that I had been hit by a car.
The fire department arrived first to the scene and I was strapped onto a spinal board. Prior to that a bunch of pedestrians stood around me and one guy, whose name I unfortunately can't remember, took off his shirt and held it to my head.
As I was loaded into the ambulance I got a brief look at the cab that had hit me. The windshield was smashed, presumably from my head.
I spent the rest of the night waiting in the emergency room. I wasn't hurt bad enough to receive immediate treatment. In the end I only needed stitches near my eye and I could have asked for crutches but I declined.
All in all, I got off pretty easy. I have a strong body, and healthy bones (thanks milk). But, my knee still hurts and I'm sometimes afraid that I'm developing a phobia when crossing streets. It's nothing serious but I sometimes I catch myself bracing for an impact on my left side.
I may be a man of low grade steel but I don't want to experience that again.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
My body is no longer used to tempratures above 15 degrees with no humidity. It was a really nice summer in Jasper.
Anyway, Capital M, or Marzipan, and I are off to vacation on the Southern Shore of Nova Scotia.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
As well, a lot of kids have been really difficult this past week. And they haven't been really great in past weeks, so this is saying something. I had to tell one boy that he's not allowed to come next week. Two different parents have called me and said that their kids were not coming in because they had been bullied. I know that kids can be mean and that there are going to be hurt feelings but I cannot have parents calling and saying that their kids are afraid to come because of one boy. Naturally, the bully comes from a bad home and that's the only reason why I didn't kick him right out.
I've thought a lot about this issue. In the end I decided that whatever good influence the camp may have on this boy is too high a price to pay for the other kids, the staff and the programme's reputation. I had a big talk with him this afternoon and in the end he was pleading with me not to call his grandmother, he told me he'd do anything. All I wanted him to do was show some remorse for what he's done but I don't think it ever occurred to him. I heard this boy probably suffers from fetal alcohol syndrom. One of the symptoms is showing no regret or remorse. This kid's life isn't going to be easy.
Another highlite of the week was having one boy severely fracture his arm. He was running with a hockey stick and tripped over it. I actually didn't think it was broken, although I could tell he was in a lot of pain. However, it turns out he had to go to Edmonton (a four hour drive) and get pins put in his arm. I really do feel like things were kind of falling apart this week.
Anyway, I've whined enough for one night. Having this job hasn't turned off me working with kids (although when I'm teaching I think I'll always have some Tylonol on hand). Plus, being a highschool teacher means I won't be with the same bad kid all day every day. Instead, I'll have a bunch a bad kids interspersed throughout the day. At least I'll get a little variety.
Friday, August 05, 2005
The next day we hiked along a glacier and drank water that fell from its waterfalls. I only wish I had a picture because words can't do it justice.
All in all it was a really great weekend, except for camping in a parking lot. Good weekends out here and few and far between. The only other one was the Camp Chief Hector Reunion. More on that one later.
Oh, and on a further postive note, only 24 more days until I leave this place!
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
- Having something sticky on my fingers, hands, or body. Actually that's something I really, really don't like
- People thinking I'm a computer guy. Yes, I could lose some weight and sure I sometimes check out http://slashdot.org/ - news for nerds- but I really don't know anything about computers, operating systems, or how to help the people in my office with their obscure computer problems
- the word 'craft'
- my old math teacher
- most canadian-made movies and tv shows (Corner Gas, you will never train me to laugh with your music cues)
- unanswered questions
- complete darkness
- most fish and fish flavoured products (chumsicles, anyone?)
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Saturday, July 23, 2005
It's unfortunate the shirt was ever made. The man should have his credit card taken away and his spending habits monitered. His wife is either the butt of a cruel joke or some monster. Either way the couple has issues.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Irratating Person: ... you look just like her. Where have you been?"
Me: I've been out East
IP: Oh, where?
Me: Nova Scotia
IP: Really, where in Nova Scotia?
IP: Delicious, what have you been doing out there?
Me: Going to school
IP: In Halifax!?
IP: What have you been studying...
The conversation can be as long or as short as the other person wants it to be. It's not that I refuse to answer their questions, I just don't give them much information. If they really want to be nosy they can ask away and slowly, they'll find out.
Friday, July 01, 2005
Before I begin this little tale, please know that I am not exagerating any of these events.
It was getting to be the end of my first year working at Camp Chief Hector. The days were getting shorter and the some of the leaves were already beginning to change colour. The tipis were usually pretty cold in the morning because the fires at night never lasted long enough, no matter how much wood was piled on.
I had a fantastic partner named Dave and 8 kids, one of whom, Andrew, had autism. I will never forget Andrew. He was almost as big as me and he was only 13 years old. The year before he actually knocked a counsellor unconscious after being squirted by a water gun. Andrew told the counsellor to stop spraying him and when he his words failed, a vitamin packed punch did the trick.
One of my most vivid memories of Andrew took place on a backpacking trip. He didn't like hiking. "Leave me here, I can hunt," Andrew would say when he grew tired of walking. But with some coaxing and by appealing to his imagination, Andrew would forget about foraging in the forest and join the rest of us. We slept under tarps that year and Andrew was quite cold so Dave lent him his Calgary Stampeeder's touque. It fit Dave but was way too small for Andrew's head. I'll never forget the following morning when I opened my eyes and saw Andrew, with his ill fitting hat, standing at the foot of where Dave and I were sleeping. He shouted 'Spoon!' and jumped, while still in his sleeping bag, between Dave and me in an effort to spoon between us. Life with Andrew was never dull.
One night during that two week session Dave was off and I was alone with the kids. We had booked the climbing wall and another staff member was supposed to be there to fill in for Dave. Unfortunately for me, he didn't show up. However, the climbing time was going really well. All of the kids went up the wall, even Andrew managed to go up a few feet and he didn't like heights. Things were going so well that I thought I would take a shot at climbing. In my time at camp I hadn't gone up and I knew this was going to be my last chance. I put on a harness and I assigned a boy named Colin (who I also won't forget) to be my belayer, the person responsible for protecting the climber from falling. There was a long rope attached to my harness that went to the top of the wall and back to Colin, his job was to keep the rope tight, that way if I slipped, I would just hang from the rope. I assigned Andrew the role of second belayer, a back up for the first person. This was an attempt to stop Andrew from wondering off somewhere since he was started to get bored.
At first everything was going great. I climbed up the top of the wall, I think it's around 30 feet, without any problems (I was on a fairly easy route). However, when I got to the top I started to get a bad feeling. I felt the tension of the rope and noticed it was a bit slack. I called down to Colin and asked him to tighten it up so I could start to repell down. After a few seconds the rope went tight and I took a leap of faith. I think I was only down about four feet when it happened. I heard a shout, the rope went loose and I started to fall. I remember hearing the sound of the rope whizzing through the it's metal loop up above me, I can remember seeing the individual brightly coloured footholds stand out in stark contrast against the rapidly moving pale grey wall, and I can definitely remember feeling like my stomache just moved positions in my body and was now residing about 20 centimetres higher.
I knew the landing was going hurt. But I was not expecting what actually happened. My feet hit the ground, my knees bent to a crouching position and that was it. No other part of my body touched the earth. I was breathing rapidly, almost uncontrollably, my arms were as stiff as boards and extended straight ahead of my body, and for some reason I kept bobbing up and down, like I was on a seesaw, while my lower legs remained locked in place. I became aware of shouting, and crying but for a while I was unable to move. When I could stand up I heard Andrew saying "someone get a gun and shoot me," Colin was holding his hands in pain and I had no choice but to forget my own incident and start getting things under control.
This is what happened. As I started to repell Andrew had grown tired of holding the rope and threw it at Colin. Colin's hand's instinctively went up to cover his face and he let go of his part of the rope and that's why I unexpectedly dropped. To his credit, Colin tried to grab the rope and his hands got burnt for his efforts. Both boys felt terrible and I did my best to let them know that it was okay, although at the time I was a little spacy. The rest of the kids treated me like I was Superman, that was cool.
I didn't really have a chance to think about that incident for a while. I'm not saying that it was a near death experience, but it was odd. I fell from a high height, I somehow landed on my feet and I didn't get hurt. I am not unbreakable but the kids sure thought I was.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Your old pal,
A: Well Sqiggley, you may not know this but I once had an unnerving experience with a moaner. I went to visit a friend in Victoria and had to stay at her home while she went to work one evening. Notice how I didn't say "her home alone." She had roommates and one of those roommates had a severe emotional problem. The story goes something like this...
I was sitting in my friend's bedroom, reading a book, when I heard someone enter the home. It crossed my mind that I could go and say hi, but I could also scare the hell out of some poor girl coming home from work and finding a strange man therein. So I continued to read and all was well. Eventually I heard the water running for the bath (an important side bar, the walls of the house must have been very thin) in due course the water stopped and the bather proceded to enjoy a bath. Actually, enjoy is the wrong word. There is no word to explain what happened next. I started to hear this aweful noise, it was the most miserable, unhappy sound I think I've ever heard. It was also a marvel of human ability. I don't think I ever heard this woman take a breath, she just kept moaning. This lasted for well over an hour. Every now and then she ran the water, presumably to warm the bath. I honestly thought she was killing herself, her moans went from low, to very low, to high, with the occassion sob thrown in, and every now her hand slapped the water (or at least that's what it sounded like). I was racked with indecission. Part of me really wanted to go and see if she was okay, I was imagining all kinds of scenerios in which this girl died and I could have done something, but didn't. On the other hand, I didn't want to disturb her because she was obviously having a very personal moment, and she didn't know I was there. Pete, believe me when I say that angles singing couldn't have sounded as wonderful as sound of the water being drained from the tub. The moaning stopped, and, for the time being, this girl was okay. The next morning was kind of fun. Both of my friend's roommates were getting breakfast and I was trying to figure out which one was holding on to life by the thinnest of threads, and you know what Squiggs, I had no idea. So in answer to your question, I don't want to live with someone who moans, or stinks.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Saturday, March 12, 2005
I'll sign this off with a segment called "things I don't like." I don't consider myself to be a very negative person but everynow and then something happens that annoys me, here's a fairly recent one:
Groundhog day. It should be banned. I think people must have been so utterly bored and mentally unstable after several harsh months of winter that they actually believed a groundhog would tell them how much longer winter would last. I would like to believe that now people have enough common sense to know that winter will not be cut short by six weeks, regardless of what a borrowing rodent sees. Moreover, if I were a groundhog (and I'm glad I'm not) if I came out of my den after a long winter's sleep and the first thing I saw was a big crowd of people, tv cameras and various hosts of 'breakfast television,' it wouldn't be my shadow that would make me retreat to my den.
Friday, March 11, 2005
ps- the new Zelda games looks amazing