Ink & Paper

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Just some links, nothing more, nothing less.

Check out this rather scary story from my good friends in the UK, The Guardian.

Also check out MoveOn, an anti-Bush site.

And the first person to see Michael Moore's new film, post a review comment, if you don't mind.

Later skater

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 4:43 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Friday, June 25, 2004

"A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart." ~~Jonathan Swift

We had a tourney today for women only, all employees of the Sawmill Resturants. Besides the fact that we will find thousands of lost golf balls next week, this was a good day for another reason. Some big cheese must have been there as in the parking lot, there was a brand new 2005 Lamborghini Diablo. Sweet doesn't begin to describe this car. And as we stood around gawking at this exotic, it struck me that the owner must fall into that one-half of 1% of the population that can afford something like this. I'll never own one, that is pretty much assured; nor will any of my co-workers. But it sure was nice to dream....

CD Reviews:

Band: Franz Ferdinand, self titled CD.
My brother picked this CD up and I burned it from him. It is really good, kind of a Strokes vibe if the Strokes were from the UK and still in college, as it has some more thick-voiced vocals. Lots of good music, layered upon itself, with driving bass and catchy hooks. Jeff said it best with: "This is a CD you put on at a party." I agree, one can't help nodding their noggin and tapping their fingers all through the CD. I would recommend this highly, buy it before the fickle UK press gets tired of them and ruins their career.

Artist: Matthew Good
CD: White Light Rock & Roll Review

I make no bones about the fact that I think Matt Good is pretty, well, good. He has attained some commercial success based upon his catchy, radio-friendly singles. But his real talent lies in his writing and poetic sense. He strings together some remarkable phrases, usually with a heavy left wing slant. This CD is his newest and it is quite good, lots of rocking songs with a few softer, introspective numbers. He still pulls no punches, but it seems that he is content to sting with his lyrics instead of his all too famous bitter persona.I think what gets overlooked with Good is his vocal skills; he has an incredible range, and his tendancy to include symphonic background sounds seem to fit. What is interesting is the 'hidden song' after track 12. It has a real country vibe to it and there is a rumour that Good is off to record with the Sadies, one of the few anti-corporate country acts. If this is any indication, the collaboration may prove successful. A good purchase, check his link on the left.

Book Reviews:

The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown.
This book is remarkably successful, a best seller many times over. And I must admit it is quite a fast read, a real page turner. It doesn't quality as heavy literature, but I'm a jaded ex-English major. However, I really enjoyed the chase, the intrigue and the suspense of the entire novel. Some big twists in the plot near the end, ones I didn't see coming. However I was little disappointed with the end, I felt it was bit of a let down after such a hectic pace throughout the entire novel. I won't say what happens, but I do recommend it for a rainy weekend.

Winston Spencer Churchill: The Last Lion, Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 Vol 1., by William Manchester
This book is not a short read, but it is an informative one, giving the reader a good sense of why Churchill is remembered as one of greatest (and wittiest)leaders of the 20th century. It reads, throughout all it's 888 pages of very small type, almost like a history essay, as Manchester includes hundreds of Churchill quotes to support various points. What I didn't know was that Churchill was a very talented (and respected) writer, having penned articles and books throughout his entire life. He traveled widely, from Africa where he was almost killed during the Boer War, to India. His courage in the face of danger was remarkable, as he strode into no-mans land during WWI to inspect the situtaion firsthand, something I will never see from a modern day politician. Of note is the fact that he and Ghandi crossed paths during the Boer War, on the same day battlefield where Ghandi was working as a stretcher bearer. He was also a political turncoat, pursuing actions that only enhanced his political future. It was said that he was not a member of any political party except the party of Churchill. If you fall into the history-buff category, I recommend this read, as well as Vol 2, which I plan on reading soon.

Until next time, sing aloud in your car.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 2:34 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Thursday, June 24, 2004

"Life is what happens to you when your busy making other plans." ~~ John Lennon

Part V: The Chapter Ends, Sunrise on the Horizon

It has been a long and winding road, bumpy and smooth, but always going in good direction. I'm happy with how it worked out, although I wish I had been a little more organized. I learned more outside of school that in, especially when living on my own. I saw friends come and go and drove that Calgary to Edmonton highway more times than I care to count. When I started post-secondary my little brother was in grade 10 and now he has a degree too. In short, which this expose has not been, I am amazed at how fast it has all gone by. It seems like only yesterday I was graduating high school, and yet it has been 8 years.

I fell in love with the ever patient Megan, who I love more that a thousand sunrises. She certainly deserves much credit for helping me get through tough times and has always been a balance for me, someone to turn to no matter what. We have cried, laughed, worked and played, but always, always, she is beside me no matter what. Thank you Megan. I love you.

My parents also deserve thanks, both for their occasional financial help and the fact that they let me go to Calgary to grow up. They are both planning on retiring sometime soon and having got both of their children through post secondary, deserve a round of applause. Thanks Ma & Pa..

What a long, strange trip it's been. This closes a rather lengthy chapter in my life. I have a few vague ideas where I want to go in the future, but everything in malleable. I'll teach for a bit, but I have other ideas, other dreams, I'm going to chase. If the past 8 years is any indication, I'm prone to change. So, Father Time will tell, as he always does.

Some Stats

-Number of jobs (full or part time) held throughout post-secondary: 14
-Number of places of employment with the word "World" in the title: 2 (Music World and Work World)
-Number of different dwellings: 4
-Number of classes enrolled in: 79
-Number of classes withdrawn from: 2
-Number of institutes attended: 4
-Number of times I traveled outside of Western Canada: 2
-Last time I saw my cousins from the Archibald side: 1999
-Number of degrees Megan and I will have between us by April 2005: 4
-Number of kilometers on my truck right now: 354, 890km
-Number of bicycles owned: 3
-Number of times I've been drunk: Uhhhhh.....
-Estimated amount of tuition paid: $30,000
-Number of self-published writings I have completed: 2 (one soon to be released)
-Number of rock stars met: 1 (Gordie Johnson from Big Sugar)
-Number of 'D's received as a final mark: 1

Thanks for reading, regular blog ranting resumes for Monday. Have a great weekend.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 7:27 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

"Everyone has the obligation to ponder well his own specific traits of character. He must also regulate them adequately and not wonder whether someone else's traits might suit him better. The more definitely his own a man's character is, the better it fits him." ~~ Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)

Monday, June 28 is Election Day and lets hope you are one of the 60% of Canadian citizens who will bother to vote. For all the info you need, click here. There, now you have no excuses. If you don't vote, you can't complain, and what good is life if you aren't bitching about something, right?

I was asked via the comment option who I had decided to vote for. I will be voting for Malcolm Azania, my local NDP candidate. I have heard the arguement "a vote for the NDP weakens the Liberals, therefore the Conservatives will be stronger" and I don't disagree with those arguements. But I'm looking at this from a local and personality perspective. Of all the candidates in the Edmonton-Strathcona riding, Azania is who I agree with most. And my political ideologies fall into the NDP moreso than the Liberals. So that is that, I will be voting on Monday and watching the TV all night long.

Irregardless of who I support, the likelihood of a minority government is almost a certainty. And minority governments have rarely, if ever, lasted longer than 18 months, so I do think that we'll be going back to the polls within two years.

Klein has backed down on his earlier comments that Alberta's forthcoming health reforms would violate the Canada Health Act. For now anyway, we'll see what happens if the Conservatives get elected. But I found this back-tracking a little funny, as it seemed Klein got a bit of his long-overdue 'comeuppance.' He announces this upcoming legislation a few days ago and was promptly blasted by both the federal Liberals ("Two-tier health system, in cahoots with Harper, vote Martin in") and the Conservatives ("Shut up fool, this election is too close to have you meddling with health care"). Ralph is a big fish in the small pond that is Alberta and as such, whenever he tries to step onto the federal landscape, he gets his ass handed to him. In the past there have been musings about Klein running for a federal position and it has always come back to the fact that he wouldn't have near the voice or influence on a federal scale as he enjoys here on a provincial level. And as such, he remains a provincial politician, a relatively easy job considering the price of oil and gas during his tenure.

Switching topics, I had a worrisome day today after hearing about the execution of the South Korean man in Iraq. Like I'm not worried enough about September, along comes this string of attacks. Kuwait has remained untouched by the war and it's after-effects, so that is good. The people I have been in contact with in Kuwait have all expressed how safe the country is, so that is a plus too. But in this media-drenched world, it makes me nervous. Whatever, if I gotta go, I going Bruce Willis/Die Hard style. Look for me to jersey the terrorist, sing the Hockey Night in Canada song, and fight Bertuzzi-dirty.

Good night, take care.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 7:27 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value."
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Part IV: Jay is Gonna Warp Some Young Minds

First year of the Education program, and as usual I bit off more than I could chew. I was doing my Introductory Placement Term (5 weeks) in the first semester, the Advanced Placement Term (9 weeks) in the second. In addition to this, I was working part time at Wilcor (albeit, not very hard), coaching basketball, and from November thru February, working at the ski hill. In January I instituted an 18 hour day just to keep on top of everything. It was madness.

Both of my placements went well althoughI realized just how much I still have left to learn. I had a kid throw up in the first week of my first placement, right when I was teaching. I wasn't a great teacher, but I didn't think I was that bad. It became more and more obvious that Education was the right path. I quit the ski hill job in late February, and wrapped up Wilcor on a sour note in early April. The best thing about Wilcor was the 1-800 line we had, so Cadrin could call me from Montreal when I was working late and we could yakkity yak for free.

I left Wilcor for a number of reasons, one of which was my bosses desire to overcharge anyone who was native or ethnic. It was crazy combination, he was as racist as they come, but went to church every Sunday. By this time I was a full fledged lefty, so his malicious conservative streak certainly was not sitting too well.

Summer 2003

I was working at RV Supply again, which was still as weird as ever, even moreso as I was much more political. This led to many a heated debate on a wide range of issues. I cannot say I enjoyed the work, but the debates passed the time and angered up the blood.

This was also the year I started writing, something I had never considered. In two short months I had written a published Vol 1 of my Manifestos, which was a shade over 100 pages. I handed them out and they were well received. Obviously now I write a great deal, both on the blog and in private, and I am happy that I found this method of self exploration. Perhaps it was staring me in the face the whole time.

This was also the summer Megan crashed my truck, The Beautiful Blazer. But I love her(Megan), so now it's funny.


Last year of Education and I was working at Career and Placement Services part time. This year was long, a lot of theory, but the job at CaPS was great. I worked with a whole bunch of really nice, really cool people and enjoyed it immensely.

I had one course that was memorable in the negative, as my professor seemed to enjoy hating us. He told one girl that he was not going to get into an intellectual debate with her because it would be unfair. This guy, who caused a complaint line up a mile long to form at the Dean's office, was remarkably dumb for having a doctorate. In short, the class damn near rioted every day, including people telling the prof to: "Shut the fuck up." to his face. Oh my, the stress. But I got a decent mark in it, despite his belief that we Education students have it way too easy. He was a 'locked up in an ivory tower for far too long' piece of work.

In the winter semester I was poised and counting the days until April 30, when I got slammed by one of my classes, Computers 101, which my right-brained mind could not handle. Logic and algorithims, I knew I was in over my head. I stressed out a lot, but in the end decided to withdraw and take a course (an easier one) in the Spring. This sucked, but it was better than an F on my transcripts. The worst part was that I did not get to grad with my little brother, I know that would have made my mom really happy. But it seems that for me to finish a degree, be it at the U of C or the U of A, I have to stretch into the Spring term of my last year. Old habits are hard to break I suppose.

I also accepted a teaching position with A'Takamul International School in Kuwait for the Sept 2004 start. A lot has been said about this already, but it feels like the right decision, and despite my bouts of stress and guilt, I am still feeling pretty good about it. If there is one thing I learned dancing through post secondary and life, it was that you can only plan so far ahead and that sometimes you have to hit the curve balls that life throws at you.

Almost done, Part V "The Chapter Ends, Sunrise on the Horizon" lands on Friday.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 9:36 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Monday, June 21, 2004

Hey hey and hello to Roxanne, who says that she was able to visit Westbrook Mall on a far too regular basis the last little while. Burn it donw for me Roxy, it would be a form of therapy.

Apologies must go out to Lindsay and Ryan, as we were unable to see them this past weekend, even though I said we would be there. I can offer no excuse except that I had to work the next morning at 5am and didn't feel like coming over to Cross's, only to have to go home to bed when everyone figured out what they were doing. Weak, I know. Sorry.

As an aside, I know I am far from perfect, so while mindlessly tending to my duties today, I compiled a Top 5 list of my faults.

#5- I worry way too much
#4- I overthink/overanalyze things way too much
#3- I can be a moody bugger
#2- I hold grudges
#1- I am very quick to take offence to percieved slights/insults

I'm sure you all have much longer lists when it comes to my faults, but no one is perfect and I care less about things like that every day.

Next chapter of the stroy will be up by Wednesday morning. And somehow, my comments re-appeared. I take no responsibility at all. "Hand of God" as Diego Maradonna would say...

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 2:33 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Sunday, June 20, 2004

My comments section has disappeared and I don't know why. Bear with me, if you can bear me at all.

I just bought the new Matt Good album. Now I am again viewing the world through some super-jaded eyes. I love Matt, he's so angry. Look for my album review soon! And check out his website, listed under "Tired Ears?" He has lots of really good links.

Matthew Good, et al.

Ain't got a job but the future's bright
Flip off the world you know they say it's all right
You never get what you want to
And modern love you just can't stand
That candy coating is just a scam
You never get what you want to
Oh ya, all right
North American for life
Ya mother fucker we're number one
All out of beer so go get your gun
And we'll take what we want to
The price of freedom is getting steep
For everyone one we spend three
Just to take what we want to
George is teaching the kids to fight
Look at the world and you tell me it's all right
My baby's New Amsterdam
If she can't do it no one can
And now I get what I want to
Oh ya, all right
North American for life

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 11:10 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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"Alert status red, but the sun comes up instead." ~~ Matt Good

Part III: Uncertain Tines
Winter 2000
I moved back to Sherwood Park, swallowing my pride and living again with my parents. I was taking Marketing at Nait, although in retrospect I should have considered what I truly wanted out of life, instead of panicking and running back to the confines of post-secondary. I did not mind living at home again, although the old saying that you can't ever truly go home again did echo in my head. I, again, was making numerous trips to Calgary to visit Megan, who was finishing up her degree. I must admit I am a bit of a bugger, always leaving her in the lurch.

Nait was okay at best. The classes were a lot less work than at the university level and my peers all seemed nice, if not overly academically oriented. It was basically a party school for kids who could not make the cut for university. Harsh, but that is how I see it.

I was a non working student this semester, causing me to take on my first bit of student debt, something that caused me great distress. I finished up with my first semester with an average of about 78% or so.

Summer, 2001

The first summer of RV Supply, the right-wing, oddball-filled store that was run by a weird little man named Les. He was not evil, just a half bubble off level. It was a job and paid decently, although my coworkers and customer base made me a little suspicious of the whole evolution argument. I also became quite aware that owning an RV of any kind was simply a substitute for going into the bank, withdrawing my life savings, and promptly flushing it down the loo.

Megan moved back this summer, living at her parents place again. Our lives were vaguely circular, as I was again doing late night drives home from Beaumont, much as I did in the first year of romance. Frankly, it sucked, but we couldn't afford to move out together, as Megan was starting he Physiotherapy degree at the U of A.


This was my full-time year at Nait, during so I worked for the Nait Nugget student newspaper. I was initially hired just for sports but soon was writing about everything and anything. It was also during this year that my political side began to develop, as I read No Logo by Naomi Klein and other left wing literature. I see this development as I look at old Nugget articles and I like to think this was the year that I became more socially conscious.

This emerging social consciousness was soon to come to loggerheads with my chosen major of marketing. I found it difficult to promote the "sell-sell, buy-buy" mentality that was required. I ended the year applying to Education at the U of A, driven in part by the desire to do something with my life beyond selling used dishwashers, a nightmare I envisioned if I remained in marketing.

In addition to my Nugget job, in November I also got a part time job with Work World in Kingsway Mall, selling boots and jackets to rig pigs. This was strictly for the money, as retail quickly reminded me why I hate the public. "What do you mean I can't return these boots? I only wore them for a year and a half while I worked in the acid mines. Look at 'em! Manufacturers defects all over the place."

The Nugget job was good in the beginning, terrible in the end. As the year progressed, the staff saw our editor increasingly at odds with the Students Association, as we were under their banner. It led, in the end, to a total communication breakdown, save for occasional screaming and temper tantrums. I managed to stay clear of it, but it did spoil the end. However, I did get to go to Ottawa for a conference and do all the touristy things, so that was rather sweet.

Megan and I moved into the Whyte ave apartment in April of 2002. It was a relief to be living on our own again, despite the all to familiar constraints of student budgets.

Summer, 2002

I ended the year at Nait by being accepted into the Naitworking course, which was basically a work practicum. I had yet to hear anything from the U of A. I was hired by Paul Cornell, owner of Wilcor Systems, a company that manufactures and sells mobile filing systems. I was supposed to learn the company, from sales to production to computer systems. I was desperate to get some experience, even at the slave labour rate of $1000 a month. This job was full-time in the summer and I worked at Work World part-time as well. It got to be pretty depressing, as I would work 12 or 13 hour days for a grand total of around $90, less tax. I was cycling to work, as Megan needed the truck to get to Beaumont for work. So I would be up at 6:00am, on the bike by 7:00, working from 7:30 to 4:00pm, on the bike from 4:00-4:45pm, at work from 5:00pm-9:30pm, home by 10:00. It was inevitable that something had to give, and in June, I bid adieu to Work World.

In July, I found out that I had been accepted into the U of A's Education program. I was at a crossroads, as I was only 4 months away from graduation at Nait. Do I stay at Nait, even though I disagree with where I am heading, or do I go to the U of A for another 2 years? More debt, more time, but a better feeling when I get up in the morning. I chose the U of A, simply because I knew that if I did not, I would hate myself when I was 45 and wearing a brown suitcoat, hawking used ceiling fans.

This was by far the most well thought out and best decision I ever made in my post-secondary realm. Megan saw me go from a grumpy SOB who had grown to hate consumerism, to a guy who suddenly had the world in his hands. I told my boss at Wilcor, who was agreed to keep me on for the school year. I worked at Wilcor, biting my tongue at the racist undertones my boss let slip once in a while, simply because I needed the job.

I also drove to Montreal with Cadrin, who had enrolled in McGill. We made it in 2 and a half days, in which we were pulled over by the OPP and performed 2 rather sketchy surgeries on the Civic. It was an exhausting, exhilarating trip, one I look back on fondly.

Part IV: Jay is Gonna Warp Some Minds, hits the street Wednesday morning

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