Sunday, November 25, 2007 at 8:39 PM | 0 comments
As much as I've complained in the past, and sometimes I've had reason to, I must say that overall life is good. Amazing, actually.

I had the most amazing birthday week ever. My students threw a surprise birthday party for me on Thursday complete with ice cream cake and pizza. I was totally stunned.

Then on Friday I turned 30 and during our dinner out, I proposed to Catherine and I'm delighted to say that she accepted. Yes, it's true. We're now engaged.

I'm still stunned that it finally happened. I'm incredibly happy and I can't wait for us to continue sharing our lives together. We'll get married sooner rather than later, I expect, and I'll ballpark an estimate of about six months or so.

I'll get into more detail about how I proposed in a post later this week. It's a sweet story and I want to do it justice.

Last night was amazing as well. A ton of my friends and family gathered at the Bow & Arrow pub at Yonge & Davisville to help celebrate my birthday. It was a great night filled with drinks, fun, and catching up. Best birthday ever.

On top of all that, Catherine organized a group of my friends and family to buy an Xbox 360 for me. I was totally stunned. I'd be jokingly bugging Catherine about getting me one for a while now, but I didn't think it was going to happen. And then, there it was.

I also got a few gift certificates, a t-shirt, a couple bottles of wine, a new Nintendo controller and game, as well as a couple of books on top of many, many cards.

It will be a time that I won't ever forget. My new fiancee put together an amazing party with help from her friend, Patti.

Thanks to everyone who showed up and contributed to an outstanding time. In no particular order, Jamie and Nicole (my awesome houseguests), Paul, Vicky, Josh, Steph, Patti, Dave, Jamie, Victoria, sensei George, Scott, Ben, Jennifer, my mom, dad, uncle Brian, Barb, Doug, Mary Jane, Justin, Swapna, Traci, Peter, Rhonda, Darryl, Jeromy, Megan Griffith-Green, and Julia.

You're all awesome!
Posted by Parallel
Friday, November 16, 2007 at 9:04 PM | 0 comments
Shortpacked!
Posted by Parallel
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAs a resident of a big city like Toronto, you have to get used to the fact that because of the large number of people clustered in one place, you're going to run into some extreme or unusual personalities on a fairly regular basis. After a while you become somewhat numb to this kind of intrusion in your life and take it as being par for the course. Most of the time you can avoid any meaningful interaction, and other times you have to deal with it whether you like it or not.

While in Dominion today picking up a few essentials for a friend laid up in the hospital, I somehow invoked the ire of a man I can only assume is mentally challenged in some way. He was a large, round man with a scraggly beard, blue jacket, and sweat pants. Were it not for the hostile attitude, he could have passed for a department store Santa Claus.

What I did to insult this man was simple: I patiently stood in line behind him.

My attention focused on another part of the store, I was surprised when all of a sudden I was rammed in the midsection by his large butt. I looked to see why I was rudely pushed back a few feet and saw him fully bent over. Rather than get into an argument, I just assumed that he dropped something and accidentally bumped into me. I waited a moment for an apology that did not come.

"That guy just butt-rammed me," I told Catherine. She found this quite humourous.

In the end, not a big deal. Another few moments pass and once again my attention drifts away. Catherine grabs my arm as all of a sudden the basket the man was using was on the floor beside me. I didn't see him do it, but Catherine told me that he flung it back behind him in an attempt to hit me. By this point, I still hadn't said a word to the man or even looked at him.

Rather than get angry, I'm mostly just amused by this point. As the man lifts up his wallet to comb through it for change, he all of a sudden stretches one hand, and one finger in particular, out towards me. I laugh a little at this point.

He then leans over to the cashier and mutters something about his dislike for me. It was either that I'm "a bad man" or that I'm "an asshole." It amounts to the same thing either way. He shuffles off and the cashier flashes me a grin and offers an apology. I told her it wasn't necessary because up until that point my day had actually been quite dull.
Posted by Parallel
Sunday, November 04, 2007 at 5:08 PM | 0 comments
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usNow that I have students, it would be remiss of me not to comment on some of the more interesting things they hand in to me. Most of it is innocent mistakes, others are intended to elicit more interesting responses. Here are a few highlights from my grade 11 university class:

"If I had $500 right now, I would go downtown and treat myself with a satisfying meal that I hadn't eaten before. After that I would buy myself a pair of jeans, shoes, winter coats and many shirts that I would use for other days. If I had change, I would throw them to the bums and see what happened. That would be absolute amusement."

"If I had $500, I would first go to a store called "Mind Games" and buy electric shock gum. Then I would use the money that is left to throw an ice cream party for all my friends and family. Then I'd pull the electric shock gum prank on everyone who comes."

"If I was rich for a day, I would first buy a new computer as well as a laptop. Then I would buy hot melted fudge and throw it at the homeless. I'd then buy every Super Nintendo game in existence."

"...and the biggest thing I want to do is make my whole room Mickey Mouse. Posters, pictures, figures, bed sheet, carpet, etc. All Mickey Mouse."

"I have just found a flat $100 bill on the floor. What shall I do with it? I think I should take all my friends to the buffet. And then they are going to have to owe me, so each one of them will take me to a buffet which means that I pay once and get to go there ten times.

Or should I take my family out for dinner so they can say 'wow, he has grown up?'"

Some poetry examples:
Blue
I am writing with a blue pen in my hands
And I know I am not making any sense.

Mouse
It wanders around the house
Some call them mouse
But some call them rodents
It may be a pet, it may be trouble
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