Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dr. Impossible

Tomorrow starts the beginning of "National Novel Writing Month." I just heard about it today and it's a pretty neat though ambitious idea. Simply put - writers are to write a short 50, 000 word novel in the month of November. I did the math (of course) and a person would have to write 1667 words per day. That brings back memories of trying to write 2000 word papers the day before they were due while in university- not an entirely pleasant experience. However, it's the idea of a deadline that is supposed to give people the push they need to write.
I'm going to meet with a group this evening who seem to have intentions of pulling this off. This is not to say that I do exactly, but who knows. At the very least I may actually start meeting people in this very large city.
Now before the e-mails start pouring in, let me say that I still intend to post a few blogs during the Na-No month (assuming I get really into it), so worry not.
In other news, I wore two costumes today. One was subtle and the other obvious. I borrowed a cowboy hat from the absent M, put on a bandana bandito style and went as a cowboy to work. For the subtle costume, I wore a shirt with a slight stain and was "the guy who doesn't know he's wearing shirt with a stain" but the irony was that I did, obviously.
And there I go breaking Carrol Burnette's 2nd rule of comedy, again.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

the execution of all things

At 4:00am last night I woke up to the phone ringing. I'm not sure why but waking up to that sound really scares me.
It was a wrong number, unsurprisingly. The woman, who spoke no English, seemed put out by the little mix up (shouldn't it have been the other way around?) I hung up the phone, went back to bed and felt my heart pounding in my chest as I tried to go back to sleep. Ten sleepless minutes passed by. My heart rate was finally slowing down when the phone rang again. I didn't get up to answer it. My reasoning was the woman would hear the answering service, realize she had the wrong number and that would be that. Meanwhile, my heart pounded harder with every ring.
Fifteen minutes later the phones rang again. Part of me didn't believe it was actually happening. Why now? Why me? By the time I picked up the phone there was nothing but a dial tone.
I checked the caller history and discovered that a new person had been calling after the initial phone caller. What are the chances of that happening in the 4:00am hour? Both numbers were from Toronto and I called the second in hope of preventing a third call.
The first time I tried there was a sudden hang up. I tried again and I could hear a woman's voice when the line was answered but she doesn't hear me and she's also making no sense. I hung up, put the phone on my night table and waited for the next call in bed.
Some time shortly after 5 Am it happens.
"Please stop calling here, you have the wrong number."
There is a slight pause and woman, maybe high, says "what, what?"
"You've been calling here for almost an hour and it's the wrong number." I don't know why I don't say it as angrily as feel. Maybe it’s because I could have avoided this if I had just answered the phone the second time it rang. It's not really bad luck that's caused this, just a bad decision.
"Oh sorry," she says.
I lay awake in bed until my alarm went off less than an hour later.

Tomorrow is Halloween. I have no subtle costume ideas and no one to notice (or not) even if I did.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

ready to go

My downstairs neighbour has started her own dating agency. I'm not sure I understand how the matching process works exactly but I do know that it involves meditation and yoga on the part of my neighbour. Every now and then she has a get together for her hopeful clients and tonight is one of those nights. For the past few hours I have listened to the arrhythmic drumming of a tubla, muffled conversations, and laughter. As such, on some level I would say this evening would appear to be a success.
My neighbour even stopped by to invite Capital M and me over for some food. However, Capital M is back in Halifax for the next week and I declined the offer - I wouldn't want the female clients to be disappointed when they found out I wasn't on the market.
I’m kidding, of course. I think my neighbour is secretly hoping to get Capital M in her pool of daters. She already told M that she’d be perfect for what one of her clients was looking for.
Maybe it's just as well she's not here...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hard wire

Surprisingly, a lot of people have recently written in asking the same question:
Can you eat an entire loaf of raisin bread in one weekend?

The short answer is: We don't know yet.
Half way into the weekend and half the loaf is gone, so odds are yes I can. However, at some point 'self restraint' will come into play and that very well could turn out to be the 'TSN turning point' and prolong the bread's life. As well, I am planning on eating something else besides raisin bread for my next few meals. But, don't make any bets just yet - this is still anyone's game.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Columns of steam

I was in Zellers today and saw a cookbook called "The Rookie Cookbook." On the cover was a man tearing up as he cut an onion. So here's my question: how many onions must a man cut before they no longer burn his eyes?
I don't know how many I've chopped but I do know that it hurts it just as much now as it did 12 years ago. So tell me Jean Pare, when does the pain end?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Riding in the backseat

There are hundreds of little smudges on the windows by Laptropolis III. Three windows, all decorated with the nose imprints of two cats. Their ears have become finely attuned to the sound of Marzi's car and they bound across the room when they hear it approaching. It's almost like having dogs except the cats aren't consistent. Sometimes they leave their mark on the windows, others they stay sleeping on whatever surface has taken their fancy that day.
By this point both cats have earned many different nicknames, the most current are: Private Brown (usually cat #2) and Stinky Nickels (usually cat #1). Perhaps 'earned' is misleading - cat 2 (usually) hasn't joined the armed forces and cat 1(usually) doesn't have smelly change.
Fortunately for me, they take my songs about them and nonsensical nicknames in stride. Though this could explain why they tend to prefer the company of Capital M. Or, they're just waiting for better nicknames.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Not goin' back

My first teaching assignment was a bust. I was supposed to teach a grade 12 English class but it ended up being a terrific waste of time for myself and the students (all three of them). They should have been in a beginner ESL course; instead they were advanced grade level by level because they were paying for the course and would have gone to another private school for the credit. The private school system is so corrupt that even when I discovered one barely literate student cheated on his grade 11 final exam nothing happened - at best he was told not to do it again. This isn't to say all private schools, just the new, unaccredited ones that are hoping to make a quick buck offering students who have no interest in actually learning, the credit to say they did.
I recently saw a job posting from the school. I think it's trying to tell only qualified people to apply but it reads quite differently (I swear this is directly from the job posting - I haven't altered a word):

Since the large volume of application, we strongly suggest people who have no idea of student recruitment, please do not apply for this job. We are looking for employee who has strong background of student recruitment, or has great recourses and connections with students locally or internationally

This has to be one of the most unintentionally funny things I have ever seen. If only the job posting I saw had been written that poorly I may not have applied. If only...