Archive for November, 2002


It is a universally accepted concept
that the minute one part of your life starts going okay
another part falls spectacularly to pieces

Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones’ Diary

November 30th, 2002.Saturday.

Tomorrow, horrifically, is December. 4 more weekends for shopping and too much to do. How is it that even though people say that time flies, it seems to rush and wane with almost complete impunity. There are times when certain months last forever, a feeling that throughout August and September was most prevalent, and then times like today when you are hit with the sudden realization that like so many hair clips and lighters that you have lost several weeks or more. Of course, days like today when I am at work at 6am in order to reboot a Novell server that for some reason seems not to want to allow a specific handful of users to log in unless they are willing to reboot their computers several times first. At a loss of what else to do, I am once again driving in the dark and the snow to do something that really shouldn’t need my personal presence to do. But what are you going to do? This coming week is going to be a monumental test of my relationship with certain of my panicky co-workers as I have somehow managed to become the Project Manager for the rebuilding and construction of the “new” computer room. This sounds deceptively simple, however since the existing room will have to be cordoned off and the construction will happen on the other side of a piece of plastic only millimeters thick the chance for major catastrophe is glaringly at hand. Funnily enough, everyone in the department was involved in the upgrade of the Clinical System last weekend, an event that took months of planning and hundreds of person hours but yet somehow the reconstruction of the most sensitive room in the entire hospital, a room that contains ALL the patient data and records, all the financials and all the employee records is left until someone with a shred of common sense takes the initiative and organizes the departmental lemmings into doing something before the big men with crowbars turn up on Tuesday. The worst part of it all is that if something were to happen, lets say that the giant Hepa-filtered vacuum that they hope to clean under the existing floor with springs a leak and detroys the Clinical data guess who will catch hell?


See, the only way for a self-respecting employee to protect himself when getting lumped with the jobs that nobody else wants is to make sure that you work by proxy, that is to say that all decisions, large or small are communicated explicitly with one’s boss and their peers ensuring that any improprietaries were communicated before exploding into massive hardware melting, data scrambling catastrophes. That ensures that those who should have known better than to try and ignore the projects that they find too frightening or too boring to tackle themselves have the opportunity to explain their behaviour to Senior Management if and when the shit hits the fan. That way, the only let down I will experience will be the disappointment of a job well done, a flawlessly executed operation of which the military would be jelous. But I am used to that.

Funny how office politics can take on such significance during the daytime hours, but the moment you step out of the office, it is hard to recall why you ever felt so hostile. Hostile seems harsh, but it is entirely approprite in this context. I seem to spend most of my days talking to people whose sole occupation is either screwing the company for money, complaining about people they work with or watching the clock until days end when “not my job” melts into the background noise of their otherwise spectacularly fulfilling life. Well, it must be, otherwise where are they rushing to?


My tea’s gone cold
I’m wondering why I
Got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
And I can’t see at all
And even if I could it’d all be gray
but your picture on my wall
It reminds me that it’s not so bad
It’s not so bad

Dido, Thank-You

November 28th, 2002. Thursday.

I have been cutting my own hair for years. Not that in itself that fact is shocking or revolutionary but it signifies a triumph over capitalism that to a very small degree puts a smile on my face every time I do it.

Not as bad as it has been, but still, I look like a pineapple when I get up in the morning, and if I actually have to take countermeasures against my own hair embarrassing me then it is time for the Clippers of Doom.

Much better, I can shower and leave the house without thinking twice about scaring small children in the street.

It is also the time of year that I make the pilgrimage up north to see my cousins, both of whom are now disgracefully old, since looking back at the 1998 Thanksgiving Pictures of them here I feel like they are completely different people. I guess everyone experiences this at some time, and I am sure I have too somewhere in my past, but now more than ever it seems strange that these kids, these little girls are suddenly independent women with emotions, opinions and a distinct personality separate from their past and their surroundings.

Time is flying. That is the only thought that occurs to me on a regular basis any more. Maybe the time of year as I know full well lends itself to reflection and the differences self-evident in our daily lives, but still, the focus seems unnervingly similar as days go by. This, one might suggest is the seed of the mid-life crisis, the dawning revelation that our youth is past and regardless of any attempts to recapture it, it remains as elusive as a cat who just threw your favourite pasta bowl off the top of the fridge and refuses to pay the piper.

Lightning. Not that I want to “name names” but last night at about 1am we were awoken to the crashing sound of a large ceramic bowl crashing onto the tiles of the kitchen floor. Followed quickly by the sound of four fat furry feet hitting the floor, scurrying for cover. He is a bad, bad cat.

Family. Whether it is human, feline or canine, it is the glue that holds us together. Regardless of what or who you call your own, it is that sense of belonging, the fraternity of sharing living quarters and relying on one another for support, entertainment and comfort that brings colour and flavour into our lives. It doesn’t matter that time flies by, it only matters how you choose to spend that time, and with whom you choose to share. In the end, you can’t get it back, so make sure that everything you do, past, present and future is in line with what you want your life to become. That way, no matter how long it takes, you will always be on your way to creating something magnificent.

It's Getting Hot In Here…

I’m cocky on the mic but I’m humble in real life
Taking nothin’ for granted blessin e’rything on my life

Nelly, #1 – Country Grammar

November 18, 2002. Monday

Meanwhile, Nelly continues to evidence a humility that’s refreshingly at odds with the prevailing hip-hop ethos. Reflecting on his success thus far, he told Wall of Sound, “It feels good. I appreciate it, but we’re still working hard, and hopefully this is just the beginning. The good thing is that people are excited now; they’re starting to believe they can make it up out of here. It’s all about the love now.

I believe, having heard plenty of the guy on the radio and TV that this is true, which in itself is the greatest compliment an artist can receive in my opinion. His humility is self-evident in every aspect of his life except his lyrics which are carefully designed to give the most broad appeal possible without either losing touch with his roots, or alienating those who believe that talent is what makes records, not attitude.

But that is all conjecture, the question is, what makes people go to see this guy live? Well, if you have a plan like Nicole did, everyone should participate at least once.

We left work at 4ish as usual, but rather than heading home we set our sights on the Goodwill store at Lawrence and Warden with the notion that in order to appreciate fully the evening, we should do what we could to fit in and become a part of the supporting masses. After some careful and entertaining searches, I came up with a pair of huge brown canvas pants (farmer style) and an old bright red Tommy Hilfiger Shirt that somehow managed to be long enough to reach the waistline of my pants which was wrapped snugly around my “hips”. I was unable to find a hat, a little wool beanie or something, but even so, I believe I looked like I belonged with the throngs of screaming teenagers that wandered around outside the ACC waiting to catch a glimpse of the famous St. Louis native and his bandaid. To backtrack a little, I had a little fun during the day with the whole bandaid face thing, and below are the fruits of that hilarity:

Yes, they are the Nelly Cats…

In case you are wondering what the heck all this means… Check it out:

Apparently (and there are conflicting stories about this) he has a friend in jail and the bandaid is supposedly staying there until he is released. There are other stories about him having been hit in the face while playing ball, but that somehow doesn’t ring true to me. Also, recently a certain “women’s group” petitioned him to take it off since they were offended by it’s meaning. My thought is that the jail story certainly has more offensive potential than an athletic injury so my money is on that for the time being.

Meanwhile, back at Goodwill, Nicole found a pair of Adidas tearaways and a funky yellow flowered shirt to wear and decided to top off her outfit she was going to require some footwear:

So we visited our friends at Foot Locker in The Eaton Centre (who had previously managed to grab a jacket Nicole wanted out of the grasp of their inventory team) and minutes later were scarfing down cheeseburgers at McDonalds laughing at each other at how bizarre the evening was going to be. Once fed and happy, we walked south to the ACC where we were met by the previously mentioned teenage hoards all apparently just as excited to be out on a Monday as they were to see the show. The entrances were jammed with people, except for the ones not near Yonge and Front Streets which were completely empty, I guess they weren’t handing out common sense popsicles on the Go Train that evening… So we made our way to our seats, pretty good ones, a great view of the big screen and right across from what would be Centre Ice. It wasn’t my first visit to ACC, but it was the first time I had been to a concert and the sound quality was surprisingly good. This in comparison to the SkyTent at Skydome which has the acoustical characteristics of my underwear, muffled and rather restricted in size.

The concert itself was great, although only 75 minutes and frankly more of a one man show than a group effort the familiar songs were there and also the introduction of the new single “Air Force One” which included a huge flying sneaker that went from mid-crowd to the stage and back with one of the crew on board. The band did not lack stage presence, they managed to keep everyone entertained and on their feet for most of the show, except for the pot smoking few bwhind us who were very quietly sitting after the 5th song, no doubt planning a trip to the concession stand once they were able to walk again.

All in all, a very enjoyable night, enhanced magnificently by the idea of getting all dressed up like the Urban media would have us believe is cool and letting go, if only for a few hours, of the man I am and getting in touch with the Hip Hop Gangsta that lives inside us all.