Tuesday, November 30, 2004 at 10:20 a.m. | 0 comments
I seem to go through a lot of those when trying to blog some days. It's been a week since the last time I posted, which means I had to have gotten rejected for at least one more job, but as it was my birthday last week that also means I had a lot of cake.

The universe has a quirky way of evening things out.

Catherine and I spent most of the weekend at my mom's house where we prepped her basement (our old apartment) for Christmas. It looks pretty good if I say so myself. Not wanting to stop there, when we got home Catherine and put up our tree and a nice bit of lights in the window. So far as I can tell, we're one of three people in the visible neighbourhood with lights up already.

Some might say that it's too early for Christmas decorations but the malls have us beat by nearly a month. I just didn't see the wisdom in putting up a tree a week or two before Christmas only to pull it down soon after. Besides, seeing it up gives me nice feelings and I'd like to keep those as long as possible.

Other than that, I've been called in to teach at my uncle's school two more times. I was really paranoid about this at first because my previous experience teaching there had been horrible, including an hour and a half drive from Guelph. Taking the TTC for 50 minutes is much less stressful, and coincidentally the same amount of time it takes for me to get to Humber.

I'm doing what I can to have money for the upcoming holidays as well as to make sure I can make my monthly loan payments. They aren't astronomical at $150 a month, but when you already need a ton of money for other things it can put a bit of a pinch on things financially.

Who knows if I'll get a job in December... I'm betting on not as a lot of places won't be hiring/firing until the new year. That sucks for me in terms of getting my career started, but luckily I have a lot of friends that require my services in exchange for pieces of paper called money so I can't really complain.

Well, I can, but that doesn't help anything.

Other than the above, I've been trying to squeeze in as much time as possible for Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, which Catherine bought me for my birthday. It's every bit as good as the first and perhaps a little bit better. It's going to be a good few months for me as a Nintendo fan... the new Mario Party is coming out, as is Resident Evil 4 and the new Mortal Kombat.

But first things first.... Christmas.

Cue tense music.
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, November 23, 2004 at 4:50 p.m. | 0 comments

It's here... it's brilliant... and just in time for my best birthday ever. Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
Today is my birthday. I say this not to ask for congrats, pats on the back, or anything else like that, but to share a revelation brought about in part from the release of U2's brilliant new album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, in part from a quote from C.S. Lewis (see above) and from the simple good will and grace of my friends and loved ones...

Sometimes you can't make it on your own...

For too long I've been working under the delusion that life is all about me. What I don't have in terms of a job or wealth, my frustration with sitting at home, and all the other excess that we each too frequently buy in to. The truth here is that without the love and support of my friends and family I would have nothing. I would be the nothing I feared I was just because I didn't have a job.

That's just ridiculous.

My birthday has been the best that I can ever remember and I haven't even gotten to the sweetest part... my dinner and time with the best girlfriend and most beautiful girl in the world, Catherine.

It began Saturday with a day with my Dad. A movie, National Treasure (not too shabby at all), then dinner and a long walk back home up Yonge and across Bloor. Why was it great? We just talked and talked. For all the world he was my best friend. It was great.

Today I got to spend the afternoon with my mom. One of the few advantages to not having a job is that you're pretty much always free. We had a great lunch and then to my total shock we wound up buying a few things that I needed and one I didn't (another movie... but can you really have too much?) Before I met up with her, I made a copy (shhh) of the U2 album for her to listen to. It's just that good. Everyone should have a copy. Just ask and I'll make you one.

My mom and I just walked and talked. It felt great. This week I got to spend really good quality time with two of the most important people in my life. I couldn't ask for more.

Tonight I spend with my family: Catherine and Truffle. The little one will get her free play time (half an hour outside the cage to run around), Catherine and I will enjoy a nice romantic dinner and most importantly I'll get presents. Actually, that's not important at all, I just like it. ;)

I'm not religious, but the only word I can think of that matches my situation is blessed. I have a wonderful home, a loving girlfriend, great parents, a great kid (Truffle) and with friends like Jeromy, Aaron, Chris, Brody, Jamie, Josh, Paul, Pushee, Patti, my brother Graydon, Catherine's great family, and my parents.

Man, I don't think anyone else has it as good as I do.

Oh, and buy the new U2 album. I got up first thing and rushed out to get it. It's worth it. $10.99 at Music World. Or I'll make you a copy. ;)

I'm 27 now. Crazy.
Posted by Parallel
Saturday, November 20, 2004 at 11:26 a.m. | 0 comments
Neither could I, really. What follows is absolutely true, though why anyone would believe it is beyond me. Well, okay, maybe it isn't beyond the realm of believability, but it is pretty damn funny.

Here is an email I sent to an old editor friend of mine at the Toronto Sun. It was in relation to a job opening they had for their layout division:

He
y XXXX,

Hope things are going well with you. I'm still doing the job search thing, which I must admit, is steadily growing on my nerves.

At any rate, I'm going to apply for a job at the Sun doing layout (it's been posted online) and I was just wondering if you had any tips or suggestions that I could use should I get called for an interview?

Anything at all would be great!




The reply is surreal to say the least. This comes to me three days later:








Are you ready? It's pretty odd...





Here it is (unedited):

Hi Tim,

No, sorry, no suggestions ... and I've thought about it, I really have. Unfortunately, it's not my area of expertise. Wait... here's something. The current graphic artists do maps, charts and lay out pages. They also do a little copy editing, although sometimes they are discouraged from doing that. Hope that helps.
XXXX

Catherine still finds this funny...


Posted by Parallel
Thursday, November 18, 2004 at 3:15 p.m. | 0 comments
Put on your thinking cap

Meaning: Carefully and thoughtfully consider something

Origin: In previous centuries, it was customary for judges to put a cap on before sentencing criminals. Because judges were respected thinkers, it was referred to as a “thinking cap.”

Want some more useless trivia? Every 3 months you replace your eyelashes. You'll have 600 sets of them in your lifetime.

You probably thought this post was going to be interesting and relevant. Hopefully the above trivia is interesting and you find a relevant way to use it in your life.

Not much else is going on, really. I tried to bite my tongue off last week in karate. I got hit in the jaw with an uppercut (headgear on, of course) as I was trying to speak and now it looks like a piece of hamburger. There are teeth marks all around the outside and a bit of a scab on one side.

Yum, don't you think?

It took a few days for it to get back to normal. Catherine had gone home for the weekend so I was pretty much here feeling useless. Jer, Aaron and I went to see Garden State on Friday night and it was a pretty decent flick. The rest of the weekend Pushee was supposed to show up but didn't. So I cleaned.

Other than that, I started doing supply teaching for my Uncle in Scarborough again. This is a terrible job. Well, not so much terrible as it is a long commute to do things with disabled, dysfunctional and disorderly kids. It's a taxing job. I don't know how he manages it. So far I've only been called in on one day, Monday, but that was more than enough for me.

The rest of the week it's been doing eBay listings for the Wicked Witch of the Consignment Stores. God, I hate that job. That seems to be a theme these days. But it's money in my pocket which slowly but surely is getting larger and larger. I'm by no means self-sufficient yet nor satisfied with my current condition, but I'm working on it. Catherine thinks I still need to lighten up. Maybe I do.

Other than that, been watching Angel, Lost, and doing my best to keep my head down. Next Tuesday is my birthday and I plan to... oh, wait, I never make birthday plans. Somehow I always forget. I got a card in the mail today that reminded me it was coming up.

I'll be 27. God, that's old. Too old.

Posted by Parallel
Thursday, November 11, 2004 at 4:09 p.m. | 0 comments
Ever since Sept 7, the release date of season 4 of Angel, I've been pestering those poor souls to give up the ghost and get it in so I could rent it.

Seriously.

At least one or two calls a week, and I'd stop in at least once a week and ask about the inevitable arrival of this show. After all, they had every other season of both Angel, Buffy and the brilliant Firefly so I don't think I was that off base in expecting the next season.

See, I'd never seen the show (any of them) before this summer when I went on a huge rampage and rented them all. I became hopelessly addicted over the course of the 200 shows or so and was left with a cliffhanger at the end of season 3... Angel being dumped in a metal tank into the ocean.

And then those jerks dragged their butts for TWO MONTHS before they got it in.

If I had the money, I would have just bought the damn thing. Alas, I do not.

But, today was a good day for TV and for Brian because they finally had it in (along with season 7 of Buffy which I broke down and watched off of Space before I'd even seen all of season 6). So I have it now.

Of course, Catherine is making me promise not to watch it this weekend as she'll be going home to visit family.

Curses!

Ah... but wait... my newly purchased piece of technology may have arrived just in time to prevent a disaster...
Posted by Parallel
Monday, November 08, 2004 at 2:28 p.m. | 0 comments

The Incredibles... the best superhero movie ever made. And THAT is from a self-confessed Marvel zombie. Go see it! Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
Sunday, November 07, 2004 at 8:00 p.m. | 1 comments
I've finally done it after much talking, debating and patient waiting. The new burner is installed and running like a top which means that I was finally able to clear out the gutters of my computer and bring it into the new milennium.

That's kind of ironic given that I was running Milennium Edition before, which is nothing more than a slightly souped-up version of Windows 98.

Paul came over this weekend and generously donated his time (I say Thankya) and now the comp has a shiny new face in the form of Windows XP!

Right now I'm in the middle of ruining all that hard work by installing a bunch of crap programs that, unfortunately, I've come to know and love over the years. It's all coming together... it's all happening...

But even geeks need breaks. Today, Catherine and I headed out for a great afternoon at the zoo. We checked out our old favorites, had a hamburger or two, and even picked up a zoo Christmas ornament. Not bad for a day out, dontcha think?
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, November 03, 2004 at 1:31 p.m. | 0 comments
This one is for Occupational Health & Saftey magazine, or more specifically, a weekly newsletter that the same organization produces. There would also be the need for me to write one feature-length article of around 2500 words every six weeks, otherwise I need to be in charge of about six pages a week. It's not a ton of work, just stuff that requires constant attention. All in all it doesn't sound like a bad job, it's just not going to be laugh a minute. Well, so far that I can see. Still, maybe this will turn out to be a bit of a fun experience. I've learned never to rule anything out. If they want me, they'll likely get me and the best work that I can do as well.

The day: well, I left really early to make sure that I was there on time. I did too good of a job as I was half an hour early. So I sat in the lobby and read. It was nice, but the sun focused through the windows seems to have burned almost half my face.

The interview was done with two women, the editors of both a weekly newsletter and the magazine which is published eight times a year. It seems my job would be a contract position, lasting december to december, where I would be in charge of the weekly six-page newsletter including layout. I'd also have an editorial assistant for a couple of days a week.

That's just bizarre if you ask me.

The rate of pay, benefits, etc didn't enter the conversation and part of me is wishing that I had asked. But seeing as how I wasn't offered the job on the spot, I figured that might be a bit much. I almost never ask even though it's the question on top of the pile in my brain.

The interview went well. Discussed strengths, kinds of stories, approaches, office environment, etc. Things seemed to be fairly relaxed and easy going. The office is a bit stuffier than others I've been to, giving it an air almost of a banking office or something along those lines. Most magazines are a bit more cluttered and relaxed. It's funny, given that magazines have specific looks and polishes so people assume the places they're made would be the same.

So, I think it went well. The commute is roughly 40-50 minutes depending on traffic (passing a PetSmart along the way), the building is 9 stories in a semi-residential area. On the whole, it doesn't seem too bad. Keep in mind that I really don't want this job (I want the others I interviewed for) but a job is a job.

I'm not sure about this year-long contract though as I'm still considering applying for teacher's college, which would start in September. A year is a bit long to be tied to a place. I much prefer the old method of come and go as you please.

I figure I have a week or two to go before I find out from any of these places, so in the meantime it's back to normal life and the job search. Which I hate.

I hate a lot of things, though.

But not my birthday! That's coming up soon and Catherine has asked me for a list of things... the only problem is keeping it narrowed down. And reasonable. I don't know if she can do a 'world trip' at this point, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, November 02, 2004 at 3:34 p.m. | 0 comments
The interview went fine. It lasted about 35 to 40 minutes and pretty much talked about the same kinds of things that I did at my last interview. There were two people, one younger woman that was talking to me and seemed interested, then an older guy who I think was the EIC or Publisher who talked very little but mostly just wrote on a pad of paper. It was quite distracting.

All in all, it sounds like a brilliant job to be honest. Lots of creative freedom, the kinds of subjects that I'm interested in and plenty of wiggle room to make it mine. All I need to do is employ some kind of mind control technique to get them to pick me. Money works the best, I've found.

Oh well. Hopefully I'll be offered the job. They said it could be as long as two weeks before they start the second round of interviews. They said this round was continuing this week and into next. There was a girl who came in as I was leaving for her interview.

Who knows how it will all work out. Hopefully the job I'm meant to have will be the one I get. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed.
Posted by Parallel
In 1845, Congress selected the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November as Election Day. Here’s why:

• Because most Americans were farmers, November was the most convenient month—the harvest was over and the weather was still mild enough to allow travel over dirt roads.

• Tuesday was chosen over Monday so the rural voters would have time to travel to the polls. (They couldn’t leave on Sunday because of church.)

• Why the first Tuesday after the first Monday? Two reasons: November 1 is All Saints Day, a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics, and most merchants did their books from the preceding month on the 1st.

Fascinating stuff, isn't it? No? Well, the heck with all of you. I hope Kerry wins.

On an unrelated manner, I have an interview Chart magazine for their entertainment editor position at 2pm today. Unlike the previous interview that I was all kinds of nervous about, I feel almost nothing about this one. Perhaps it's because they're only offering $18,000 a year (which isn't enough to live on in Toronto). Kind of them, isn't it? Oh well, maybe it will be better than that and open a lot of other doors.

I just don't have a lot of options these days.
Posted by Parallel
Flugie: A rule that helps only the rule maker

Bloviate: To speechify pompously

Roorback: An invented rumor intended to smear an opponent

Snollygoster: A politician who puts politics ahead of principle

Boondoggle: A wasteful or crooked government-funded project

Mugwump: A political maverick

Bafflegab: Intentionally confusing jargon
Posted by Parallel
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