Ink & Paper

Friday, October 22, 2004

Ahh the end of the weekend draws near, another week of work begins tomorrow and will help to pass the time for this old cat.

Not a bad weekend, I guess, although it wasn't fantastic either. Got up and watched the Red Sox smack the Yankees around like a one-sided schoolyard scrap. Yay, but I was tired. Went to the school on Thursday morning and got all my marking done, as well as all my planning for the week. That makes life a little better for me in the immediate future. Then I went grocery shopping, which was sheer madness. The thing is, with Ramadan in full swing, people aren't allowed to eat when the sun is up. But they can, and do, go grocery shopping, stocking up for that evening's "Breaking of the Fast" dinner. So the grocery store resembles a grocer's in Canada at about 4pm on Thanksgiving, just packed. So I was happy to get out of there.

I then bummed around, failing to take a nap and doing little of anything until I chatted with Meg on Thursday night. After I did that, I wandered over to a little games night party that was going on. It was a bust, not because nothing was happening, but because the people that showed weren't anyone I particularily like hanging out with. Plus Roy, a PE guy, was ripped drunk, and a massive jerk of a drunk too. Lots of people bitching about the school, which is tiresome to listen to after awhile. So booked it out of there by 10pm. Crawled into bed, and got up 6 hours later to walk the dog.

After the dog walk, I hung aorund until George came by and chauffered me and Monday, along with two of his eight dogs, and one cat, to the vet for some shots. It was a packed car to say the least, but I guess that is the kind of things one does for puppy love. But the dogs, besides drooling a lot, behaved themselves, and Monday was good. She didn't even flinch when the needles hit, although she didn't like getting her nails clipped. But she is flat out now, exhausted, and is holding a sleepy court under the kitchen table. Came home, had a shower, did some laundry, and got me a paper. I thought about going to the Hilton, but the motivation wasn't happening, so I'm chilling at home today. I'm thinking a nap may creep up on me later today...

So a weekend passes by, another two notches in the count. In other news, I would like to mention that CKUA, the greatest music station in the world, has started their Fall Fundraiser. You can, and should, donate via the link on the left side of this very website. Indepedent, eclectic, and a model of what radio could be, I urge you to support one of the last outposts of pure radio goodness on the airwaves. Mind you, for the next two weeks the station will feel like a PBS drive, but try to think a long term.

Secondly, Fidel Castro fell the other day after giving a speech in Cuba. The guy is 78 years old and subsequently broke his arm and knee in the tumble. This has refired the rumours that perhaps he is too old to rule, rumours that emerge mainly from the US. Perhaps it may be true, but for a rinky dink island, they have done a remarkable job of being a burr under the US saddle for the last 45 years. Castro is one of the last truly Communist leaders left in the world today, certainly one of the last 'old defintion' communists, those men who were painted red with McCarthy's 1950/60s paranioa brush. I'm too young to remember the "Red Threat" of the past, but I suspect that the parallels between today's terrorism-screeching and yesteryear's red-bashing are not as fuzzy as the politicians like us to think. Anyway I'm sure Castro will be back on his feet soon, probably railing against the US in a massive rally.

And with that little geopolitical comment, I bid you a good North American weekend. Be safe and donate some coin to CKUA. You can count it as my birthday or Xmas gift. Cheers.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 6:20 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I sit down to type another blog, with CKUA on the "radio," it almost feels like home. If only I had 2 feet of snow on the ground and a beer in hand....

Well it's Wednesday afternoon, meaning that another school week has drawn to a close. Not a bad week, all in all. It just kinda went by, nothing spectacular. This weekend is looking okay though, at least busy enough to keep me from thinking too much. Tonight, in about 2 hours, I'm going to chat with Meg, so I always look forward to that. Then it is early to bed, after I walk the pooch, because at 3am is when the party starts. That's right, Game 7 of the ALCS at Jim's apartment. An ungodly hour, but after I ripped the Red Sox in a past blog, they haved tied the series at 3-3. So I suppose I can get up and watch the game. Usually the team I cheer for loses, so maybe I ought to stay in bed. But that'll be ok, looks like the about 20 (mostly male) teachers are gonna be there. Hell, lets crack the malty near beer and pretend to get hammered.

Then, after the game, I am going into the school to do some planning. I get a lot of work done on the weekend, especially if I am at the school, so I figure it's worthwhile. Then I'll come home, walk the dog, hit the Hilton until 5ish, then there is a 'games nights' at someone's apartment. Usually, as some of you know, I hate board (bored) games, but social contact is a good thing.

Then Friday morning, me and Monday are making the first trip to the vet, to get all her shots updated. Not exciting, but necessary and something to do. Then I'll kill the rest of the weekend by sleeping on the beach at the Hilton, maybe going for a swim in the ocean or a soak in the spa. Or both, what the hell.

So it's looking like a decent weekend. Next week I get paid and it ought to go quick, these short Ramadan hours are sweet, altho going back to real life in November is gonna hurt I suspect. But I can handle it. 14 more teaching days until the November break, 91 days until I see Megsy in London, so the clock is ticking. Oh yea, and today is another "20", October 20th, which is the end of my psychological month. So I'm doing okay. Hope the rest of the North American week goes quickly. Cheers for reading, take care.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 7:43 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Sunday, October 17, 2004

Read carefully, the truth is in between the lines...


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I-I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 1:11 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Why, I'm doing fine, thanks for asking.

Just another day in the Middle East, nothing too new to report. Meetings up the wazoo this week, but other than that, I am enjoying these shortened Ramadan hours. I'm a little odd that way (and other ways, but shut up about it). I like to have something to do and when I don't, say at the end of the weekend, I get pretty antsy. But I love going to do something and then getting the hell out of there early. A two-sided coing perhaps...

Movie Monday tomorrow, wherein a group of teachers gather around the idiot box and watch a movie that makes us homesick for Western culture. It's a good way to kill a night, which is all anyone seems to be looking for over here. Not too many people appear to have much of a life outside the school, almost as if they are in a holding pattern for a year or two. I know I am, so a killed night is one night closer to Canada.

And the election is coming, which has got me all interested. I read the NY Times International edition, which is really good. I can get all the basic news from the websites, but what I like about the paper is the essays and op-ed pieces. Maybe I'm a nerd, but that's what boils my potato. Looking like a dead heat, ought to come down to who has the better lawyers to argue it out in front of the supreme court. Ah, so this is what has become of democracy, perhaps Mr. Marx wasn't the crackpot he's been made out to be.

And the goddamn Red Sox are gonna lose, getting their asses handed to them 19-8 in Game 3. It's over, I think, but I will try to sacrifice a Yankee fan to the gods in some sort of skewed appeasement ceremony.

Oh, I almost forgot. Today Bush Jr. said that he was the best hope against the re-emergence of the military draft. Two points on this. One, there is already a 'soft' draft going on, wherein National Guards (NG) alumni are being called up after having not been involved with the military for over three years. And most of these National Guards signed up for the NG for the same reason Bush did it in the late 60s, mainly to avoid war and set aside some money for college. Now they are getting phone calls from out of the near-blue and being shipped off to Iraq.

Number two point is that this is the first mention in mainstream media about the potential for a draft. Rumours have been circulating since early this year, or perhaps even before that, online in little political corners of the internet, but this is the first major mention of it, and I am betting that it shocks some people that the idea of a draft is even in play. It strikes me as odd that the 'stick to my guns no matter what' hawkish administration that the US has now come out saying they are the best defence against a draft. Two plus two is equalling five here.

Aren't these the same people who are vowing to stick it out, see the plan through in Iraq? So how then, without a draft, are they proposing to do this? They cannot keep extending the tours of duty for those forces already in Iraq, not unless they want a massive backlash from the military families at home. And their enrollment numbers are down, missing targets for the first time in a long while. So what other option do they have, besides cutting and running? If Bush is re-elected, I am making a prediction (with sidebar accolades to Mr. T is Calgary who brought it to my attention) that there will be a draft before June 2005.

Now might you be thinking Kerry is the lesser of two evils?

And finally, something I wrote off-hand a while ago, seems appropriate as we run to the election.

I am watching TV again and I see the politicians talking confidently into the camera, delivering a sense of calm in an 8-second soundbite. And I think to myself, in a rare instance of independent thought, that we are a soundbite nation. Attention spans aren't what they used to be and black vs. white is easier to explain in this small one-sided window that is television.

And I cry to keep from laughing, cause it's so funny it hurts.
Good night, sleep tight.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 9:41 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


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