Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Flashbacks: 2002

I don't have a lot of pictures from 2002, but the ones I do have are total gems. And Rebecca isn't in this year at all, so you can all be glad you don't have to see her 40 times today. But if you really want to, just scroll down to last week's flashback.

Did you know I used to be a curler? And that I was pretty darn good at it? In Grade 9, I wasn't going to go for the high school team, but they BEGGED me to join. And we ended up going to provincials, in Thunder Bay, which totally coincided with Alison living there for her year of teacher's college, so we got to visit her.

Out of the 32 teams at OFSAA, Kyle, Andrew, Me and Gavan placed 17th overall. We didn't place in the top half of the teams, so while the good teams were still competing for the top spot, the 16 loser teams competed in the Battle of the Sexes, which involved playing against each team, including the girls teams, which otherwise wouldn't have happened. It was all in good fun, but out team won the thing, so we were the winning-est losers. All the other teams ended up signing our banner, and it MAY still be hanging in our high school gym. What a great week off school :D

Here's Alison's graduation picture to prove the part about her going to teacher's college in Thunder Bay [you can tell by the generic portrait background that its Thunder Bay, no?]

That summer, we went on our annual family vacation. The last one. Here's a fun story! For some reason, my dad, who HATES to travel in the US, took us to Salt Lake City. The trip was thinly veiled on a 'lets see where this year's Olympics were' premise. We had the nicest hotel on any trip we ever took, we did expensive things. But OF COURSE there was SOMETHING going on, as suggested by the full day where dad went 'hiking' which is obviously something me and mom have no interest in, so we went shopping. [Who wants to fast forward a year, to the new wife from California? Anyone? Beuller?]... PS. This is a picture of Great Salt Lake.

We saw bison.

Momma even hung out with one for a while.

At the Olympic Park near Park City, we saw people ski jumping into a pool. Pretty sweet. I recall that at that location, there was this large hill that had apparently been removed, turned into a flat parking lot, and then recreated as a hill, all in the name of returning the land to the way it was pre-Olympics. Awesome. But I sure wish I'd seen that parking lot!

Since my dad is lame, he needed a picture of him in front of this. As a geographer, I care. It's nicknamed the devil's slide, and its pretty cool looking. The world rocks.

Grade 10 was the first year I was full on into the hair dying [after my first time, when Mrs. Edwards-Budden dyed my hair in the hotel bathroom in Thunder Bay, while Lindsay watched. We enjoyed some episodes of Trading Spaces that night. I remember everything.

Should it be noted that by the end of the year, the parents separated? Sure. Dad got an apartment, and Alison and I cranked up the level of humour another notch. We laughed our way through that entire divorce [mainly at dad's expense] and we turned out just fine! And that's 2002!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Roomie Photos

I'm just two days away from moving in with Darryl, and I've come up with an interesting look at my previous living situations, based on when I had my picture taken with the roommates.

This is the last picture I have of me with Lars. It is the only one. And Nicole is between us. We lived together in the same room in rez for 8 months, and our only picture was taken on day 5. We chatted online during the summer before living together [thanks, uOttawa] and we got along fantastically. But I guess sharing 110 square feet of space with another person is a bit of a challenge. We were definitely the biggest roommate conflict on the floor. The first few days went well [as noted by the aforementioned photo with Nicole, as we embarked upon a late-night adventure], but things got bad quickly. We finally moved out of rez in April 2006. In October 2008, we apologized to each other for being douchebags, via Facebook.

This is the last picture taken of me with Krista [looking quite snazzy!]. I met her because I had 5 weeks to find an apartment before school started, and she had an apartment across the street from school. I said all the right things as she interviewed me with her two best friends, and it was mine. Things were good with us at the beginning, and then she began to encroach upon my space way too much. I invited her home for Thanksgiving, since she wasn't going home to Newfoundland. That was a bit aggravating, and my mom stupidly opened her mouth and invited Krista to Christmas as well. Which was a pain in the freaking ass. Things continued to slide, I began to tell her to stop doing *insert thing here*. But then she decided she'd go to Alberta for the summer, which left me alone for the last few months. I have pictures spanning our entire roommateship, so I guess on a whole, it was a fairly good situation. But I will never speak to her again, as I later discovered that she threw out a piece of my mail from the government which was a request for supporting documents for my taxes. This cost me $400 and she was abruptly removed from Facebook. ;)

The terrible thing about the last [and again, only] picture of Tim and I is that it was taken in October 2006... just shortly after I moved in with Krista, and like 11 months before I eventually moved in with Tim. So there was a span of 19 months between this picture of us, and me moving out. Things didn't go so well, as you can imagine. I think I'm hard to live with, even though I keep to myself. But Tim was a fucking slob. Longtime readers will remember the messes he left. Oh, the messes. I was happy to move out, but I missed the walk-in closet. And the huge room. And he would come into my room and play guitar and sing to me, which is frowned upon, as you learned two posts ago.

So, after that fabulous roommate record, I decided to move in with Andrew, who I'd been dating for 14 months. Right after I moved in, I went away for a week on a school trip. A week after that, I broke up with him. To be fair, I shouldn't have moved in, because I saw things going downhill long before it happened. But at that point, I had nowhere else to live. So the first two months were pretty shitty, but we both moved on. He had originally given me 2 months to get out, and then downgraded that to move out whenever I find a decent place, and finally I stayed. It was gone quite well, other than my constant worrying that some dumb small thing meant he hated me and wanted me to move out. By the way, our last picture was taken two weeks before I moved in.

But for once in my life, I'm not dying to get rid of my roommate. The first three move-outs were jubilant, but this one is mixed emotions. Its great that I will be living with Darryl, but I will no longer see Andrew. After seeing him constantly for 2.5 years, even if its just the occasional hello or conversation now, it will be odd to not have him around. Several nights this week, I had dreams involving him. Kind of a recurring dream, where we lived together at my mom's house, and I was packing my stuff to move out, and he was decorating for a Christmas party, so he was decorating my boxes. Such an odd dream.

So, I will miss Andrew. To be honest, I've almost cried about it three times. I don't really know why. But its nice to be walking out of an apartment instead of running for a change. Darryl better be prepared for the roommate challenge! LOL

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Jay Brannan

As faithful readers, you know that most of my time blogging is spent bitching about things that suck. But occasionally, there are awesome things [see: any time there's a picture of myself to put up HAHA].

For once, I am here to praise someone else's awesomeness. Partially because I want to, and partially because I do everything the internet tells me to, and I was asked to in this video:



I freaking love Jay Brannan. [Sorry, Darryl]

I saw him several months ago in the movie Shortbus, which is crazy but super good. Especially if you want to watch Sook Yin Lee from MuchMusic having sex. Ahh, the good old VJs.

But yes, back to Jay Brannan. His song Soda Shop is awesome, and is part of the sound track for Shortbus. He also does amazing covers of songs like Zombie [hello, could there be a better song?] and Good Mother by Jann Arden [oh, so there COULD be a better song. I've got a good mother!].

This is such a terrible, rambling post. I guess I really am bad at promoting others. But the music is awesome, so go check out the cute indie folk guy, who isn't afraid to swear in his music. He gets like 50 billion points for awesomeness.

Go to his MySpace which then links to his YouTube, website, store, etc. And go love him. And maybe follow him on Twitter?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Serenade

The other day, Nathan and I were chatting on MSN about how awkward it is when someone serenades you in private. Like, its super awkward. Even worse if you don't know the song, and therefore can't even join in. Because we all know that people singing together is lovely. But one person singing to one person? AWKWARD.

One of the cooks at work likes to sing. He just sings in general, but somehow it came out that I like country music [because chances are usually slim that the other person does as well]. Naturally, the guy loves it too, and starts singing a Garth Brooks song. To me. With no one else in the room. And SOMEHOW it was a Garth Brooks song I didn't know.

So there I am, minding my own business in the dish pit where I belong, and not in the kitchen where he belongs. And he's singing to me. A song I don't know.

What was I doing while this happened? Well, I thought I should just continue with my work, and almost ignore the singing. But the work I was doing was cutting onions.

Me. Crying while being serenaded. Holy freaking embarrassment.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Long Con

I've been lying to my coworkers for at least a week, and I've still got another week to continue this lie... maybe even a week and a half.

Why you ask? Partly because I wanted to skip out on the staff party, and partly because I got the dates of said party wrong.

After working lengthy shifts on Saturday night, a bus was arriving at the restaurant to haul the employees off to Kingston for a two-day cottage extravaganza of free food and booze and cottaging, camping and water fun.

That's right, between the shift and then the 2 days of party, that's like 3 full days of being with your coworkers. Even stuck on an island with them, two hours away.

Why would I want to go to this? I like most of my coworkers, but I already see them 35-40 hours per week. That's more than I see anyone else. So why would I want to spend a couple full days with them, making it 13 consecutive days that I see them?

I just don't see the appeal of being work-focused on my days off. There are more important things in my life, like relaxing, and going to IKEA with Darryl to explore the magical world of shelving units.

Maybe a one night party? That would have been fine. I do love free food and booze. But 2 full days away? Ridiculous!

So where does the lie come in? As the party approached, I started being hounded by all the people who were going [which is everyone in the place, except for about half the kitchen staff, since we're kind of our own group]. At first, I thought the party was NEXT weekend, so I just said I was moving that day, and that was the end of that. But then I discovered that the party was THIS weekend, and rather than being a fool who doesn't even know when a party is, and also to avoid coming up with a NEW reason to weasel out of the party [with all the people who 'really wish I was going because they'd love to party with me'], I just kept up with the idea that I was moving today.

So if you happen to see me at work, I'll be able to answer all the questions about my big move today [see: dinner with Kathryn and Dave]. The weather was nice for my move, my sister took off work to come help, and I've already got some of my stuff set up in the new place.

And next Tuesday when I go to work, I will have to shut up about how tired I am from moving the day before. And yes, these people will ask. These people ask about everything, especially when its in relation to 'why aren't you going to the party?'

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Flashbacks: 2001

As we all know, 2001 was the future, what with its flying cars and teleporters and such, so I wont go into that any further. But since I was from a small town, we didn't have the flying cars or teleporters yet, so he's a unique look at how things used to be, way back in the past.

Our school trip took us to the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. Or maybe just Rebecca went. This was exciting for the following reasons:

1. At that time, I lived in Renfrew, and not Ottawa, and therefore I couldn't just go to the canal every single day if I wanted to.
2. It was at a time before 'global warming' and the canal was frozen for more than 8 minutes per year, so the ice was actually good on the scheduled trip day.
3. Who doesn't love skating on things that will eventually become UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

Mando was on the trip, so surely there was something non-skating planned for that day as well LOL.

NOTE: Her green and orange Nike jacket matched my black and yellow Nike jacket. Awesome.

Elyse, Rebecca and I had oh so much wintery fun that day! I look like such a loser.

I swear to god, Rebecca didn't pay me to write this post. 2001 was clearly a good year for her. For some reason, we had cake at school [I'm sure she'll remember why...her memory is insane] and for some other reason, Alex was being his normal weird self.

NOTE: I was wearing my snazzy green GE Canada shirt, because who doesn't love wearing a shirt of a place they'll eventually work at?

Just because I'm a loser, I competed in and won my 3rd consecutive Legion spelling bee. I mean, if I was competing, why did anyone else bother?

Then, I was the Valedictorian for our Grade 8 class. Us French Immersion kids were forced to write speeches, and even though I didn't want to do it [Hello, I HATE public speaking] I was chosen. It was 8,000 degrees in the gym, so I was a big sweat bag, but I made people cry. Or they were just really sweaty. And you know it was just lame girls crying, like Amanda H [who is creeping in the background of that picture above of Elyse, Rebecca and I... this post is very 'full circle'].

My hair did this fucking AWFUL thing due to all the sweaty, which was not noticed [by me at least] until the photos were developed. Thank God for digital cameras.

L-R: Natalie, Rebecca C., Stephanie, Kyle, Brandon, Me, Alison, Mando, Adam.

Rebecca and her parents. 3 cheers for Rebecca's family!

At the end of the summer, we took my sister to Thunder Bay and left her there. She decided to go to teacher's college or something to pass the time. Because we're a loving, adorable family, this picture was possible.

And then at some point, my cousin Kennedy put on her mom's cowboy boots, which is awesome for numerous reasons, starting with the ownership of cowboy boots.

I went to high school, and decided that the orange t-shirt look was classy enough for my Grade 9 photo.

And now, the picture you've all been waiting for, my cousin Erik and his mommy/my godmother Frances, in their brand new GORGEOUS house, which you can't see much of in this picture.

Happy New Year.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The MSN Breakdown

Two or three hours ago, I got home from work. I took the 12 bus, which involves walking a couple blocks up the hill to get home. A few stops before mine, all of the world's rain began pouring down. Pure insanity. By the time I got off the bus, the road and even the sidewalks were flooded. I pulled out my high-quality umbrella that Darryl bought me after my incredibly low-quality one got destroyed by the mere thought of rain.

Even a great umbrella couldn't stop me from getting wet. I actually swam uphill to get home. It was like the monsoon scene from Jumanji.

Somehow, my 8 year old waterproof school bag is STILL waterproof, which I was very happy about, since I had a cheque in my bag. This cheque is important, since it allows me to exchange it for money at the bank. Its some crazy new way of getting money non-electronically. High tech.

So why am I cashing a cheque, when I have direct deposit from work? They didn't pay me for my first three days of work, is why. You see, I worked three days in PAY PERIOD 1, and was told by my boss that the money would be added with PAY PERIOD 2. Before PAY PERIOD 2 ended, my boss quit, and I guess the replacement didn't know this. Now, we're almost at the end of PAY PERIOD 3 [and hello, these are two-week pay periods] so I was like I WANT MY MONEY! And the restaurant owner had no problem with giving it to me. He even paid me more than I was owed. I love him.

So anyway, I get home from Jumanji, and all the lights are on, but I don't see Andrew. I slowly move into his room to see if he's in there and to put his mail on his desk. He SHOULD be asleep at this point, but he's not in there either. So I'm sneaking back out and BAM! there he is coming toward me, seeing me in his room lol. Apparently he heard a noise on the balcony and was checking it out, silently and invisibly.

I put some clothes in the laundry, and I turn to my trusty, loving computer. Which fails me. Everything is working fine, except MSN. Its like 3 hours later, and its STILL not working. There better be a good excuse for this! So now, you're getting this blog post, which is really about nothing, but that's the best I can come up with lately. And now, some point form randomness:

-Momma bought her first brand new car today. Her previous car [used] died, and that just wont help her get to Pembroke every day to her fancy new job with her own clients and such.

-I've worked at my job close to a month now. So far, 2 kitchen staff have been fired, and 5 have quit. And I can foresee 1 more firing and 4-5 more quitters in the near future. And I shall just keep my nose down and do my job.

-Tomorrow, I need to cash my cheque, buy camera batteries [hoping they're still having a sweet sale so I can stock up], inform Old Navy of my impending address change so I can get my T4 from them in February, and then come home and throw the entire amount of that cheque onto my credit card so I'll then only owe $500 for my flight to the Olympics. Getting things paid off quickly totally rocks. And then I'll be off to work, since it never ends.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Flashbacks: 2000 Part 2

When we left off last week, we were in Newfoundland. The year was 2000. Bill Clinton was still president and terrorism didn't exist.

We decided to take the 14 hour ferry back to Nova Scotia from Newfoundland. We got on early, and found a nice quiet spot on the boat. Who decided to join us? Old people. 34 RVs full of old people, travelling the country. Surrounding us. Being old. And not being in their RVs.

When we got back to the better part of the country, we mainly drove home, without much tourism, although we did stop in Montreal for a day since the parents had really never been [And I had TWICE]. We went up the tower at Olympic Statium.

Look at that athlete's village. Its like Montreal's very own great pyramid!

We got back to Renfrew just in time for me to be in the newspaper yet again, this time for our sweet soccer win.

Then, we went to a big family BBQ at the house where my mommy grew up, in the country outside of Douglas. The house that was later basically stolen from their cousin Pat. BOO! HISS!

Mom and a selection of her siblings climbed the big hill out back to take this picture under their precious massive tree. I believe I took this picture!

In one of my most memorable trips to Ottawa ever [before actually moving here], we went to Parliament Hill to spend many hours standing in line, for the ultimate change to walk by the coffin of Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

The Centennial Flame was right covered with roses, I tell ya!

Here's a tiny portion of the crowd. It was quite the crowd. But not like a Canada Day crowd.

Grade 8. The beginning of the end at Central Public School. I'm in the back row, beside Madame AWESOME White. SOMEHOW Elyse is in the BACK ROW on the other end. Rebecca is front row, white shirt. Her sister Athena is 4 people over.

We got our graduation pictures taken in the fall [which I don't understand, since you don't graduate until June]. I have nice ultra crooked bangs. Thanks for that. But HELLO, no lip biting! A worthy graduate, I was!

In the Christmas play, I was a Jewish boy named... ahem... Michael. Why on earth did I audition for THAT part? ... The great thing was that we did two shorter plays back to back that year. So many people auditioned that there were two entire casts for each play, so one cast did the afternoon performance, and the other cast did the night performance [the good one]. No one else auditioned for my role, so I was the only person in BOTH shows. I'm awesome.

At Christmas, we visited my uncle Jeff and his wife Judy, and Judy's mother Stella, who lived until 105. She was like 98 in this picture. My entire life, I never understood a word she was saying, but she was lovely.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Killers

Its been a couple days since I talked about anything important [see: me] so I shall now discuss all the things that I've done. [If you see what I did there, give yourself 10 points! you rock!] This post is full of good things, so I expect you to all be jealous and leave comments.

First of all, the other day Darryl asked me one of those big life changing questions, and after a day or two of thinking, I have decided to move in with him. Huzzah! Because who doesn't love moving every year!?

The move was bound to happen eventually. It takes me a good 40 minutes to get to school, work, his place, downtown, blah blah. He lives mere minutes away from these things. Also, with my nighttime work schedule, and his soon to be back-to-work-after-the-summer-off daytime schedule, we will see each other about 4 hours per year, so this will help that situation. And then I will no longer have to see his damn sad face that I've seen EVERY SUNDAY for over months, which I go back home from our fun weekends. Even though we would have just spend a couple days together, and would probably see each other sometime during the week, and then again next weekend, he would still make this horrible sad face as if I were killing orphan babies, and I'd rather never see that again.

Furthermore, since he's Uncle Pennybags, and Andrew is Mr. Pay Half The Bills To The Exact Penny, I will totally save money for the various things I need to pay off.

Things I need to pay off, you say? Well today, I FINALLY got paid from my freaking job, and was able to use that money [with half left over!] to pay off my credit card, and then turn around and almost fill my credit card right back up with my FLIGHT TO THE VANCOUVER OLYMPICS!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Even though I already had my event tickets paid for long ago, I was always too poor to even think about booking the flight. Well, I finally did, and will have it paid off by mid-September at the latest. Can I get a high five in here? I'm totally going to the Olympics :D [which, by the way, are now less than 6 months away!]

Those are the main awesome points. I could add some inane work chatter here, but that's not really that exciting other than always having to work late this week since they're testing out new people and they're slow which forces me to wait for them so I can do my job. If you care about things like that, and what I ate for my free meal tonight, you can scroll through my Twitter page HERE.

Its 4:04am, so I'm too tired to continue or remember other things. Oh, I'll be moving in with Darryl by the end of the month. Speedy speedy! And Andrew is okay with it because now he's a big boy and can afford this fancy two bedroom apartment [with the washer and dryer I'm gonna miss so much that I may cry] all on his own.

Welcome to I am playing outside, Year 3.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The End Of Year Two

Ladies and gentlemen, two years of Michael blogging fun have come and gone. Wont you celebrate with me?

It is time for you to go back to POST NUMBER 1 and read my entire archives from the beginning, to relive each and every mundane memory.

Or, you can just have a glass of your favourite drink to toast me. Or leave a comment to roast me?

You decide. You're the faithful reader. Its really all about you.

That's why the next year of my blog is dedicated to YOU and no one else. Wont you join me?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Rock Show

I scored the day off on Friday, which ensured that Darryl and I could head to Montreal.

At 9:30am, we hoped on the train. Normally, such a method of transportation would be too pricey for my poverty stricken lifestyle, but the amazing 60% off all travel deal that VIA Rail had after their two day strike was definitely timed well for us. The trip was lovely, although we were tired. We arrived downtown Montreal at 11:30.

After a lengthy wandering session, trying to find a freaking metro station [which should have been much easier than it was], we headed to Old Montreal and the Old Port.

We toured around the port, Rue St. Paul, and had a lovely panini lunch on a patio, filled with lively diners [including a family that was clearly from the US, who were bitching about the location of their table on the patio, as it was too windy, and they demanded to be moved. Stereotypical American tourists at their finest!

We went into a Christmas store, which had these interesting ornaments. Only in Montreal.

Then there was more exploring in Old Montreal. There were a few drops of rain. Boo!

Darryl managed to use his French skills to make some new friends. I practically had to drag him away.

While the entire area is littered with souvenir shops, I've always found this one to be the nicest, so I took Darryl there. He spent forever looking for an Israeli flag.

We saw this old guy painting some pretty awesome pictures, which I absolutely would have bought if they weren't 100 bucks each.

SIDE STORY INTERRUPTION! ... When we first arrived in Montreal and were waiting for the Metro, a man with a family from Nova Scotia asked us how to get to Pi IX. While I've been there before, I am not familiar with Montreal enough to be giving metro directions to places I've never accessed by metro. We then headed in different directions. Several hours later, on this street with the artists, the same man came up behind us and said "I see you made it"... each of us had spent several hours doing separate things in a city none of us belonged to, and we ran into each other twice. The world is crazy.

We headed back to the metro station, and went to Rue Ste. Catherine to partake in some shopping.

We went to the always-enjoyable Simons, where Darryl bought shirts, and as gay tradition dictates, I got awesome underwear LOL.

We walked down the street, past the strip clubs and homeless people, and the well dressed people, and every guy in a 5 mile radius checking us out. I love Montreal.

Then we managed to meet up with Pam [who had appeared on this blog before, but first came into my life at En Francais à Quebec in Quebec City [CLICK HERE]. We ate dinner at Bofinger which just couldn't be more delicious. In December, I chatted with the owner and he told me they were planning a location in Ottawa. I'm still waiting.

Pam then walked us back down Ste. Catherine, to the Bell Center, and then headed off on her merry little way.

The Planet Smashers did a great job, as did Fall Out Boy. The Planet Smashers have officially joined Sum 41, Brad Paisley and Blue Rodeo in the 'concerts I've seen twice' competition.

The place was packed, and absolutely crazy loud. Montreal concert fans rock.

The main event was Blink 182, and oh my god I don't know if I've ever been so happy at a concert. They were ridiculously awesome, and even though the concert pictures are terrible quality, they're proof that I was there. Enjoying the amazing. And it ended with Travis Barker FLYING AROUND IN THE AIR WITH HIS DRUM KIT during an insane solo. You have not lived until you've seen this occur. There could not have been a better way for them to prove that he has recovered from his near-death plane accident.

As with all fantastic days, this one had to end. We headed to the bus station and caught the midnight train to Georgia bus back to Ottawa, which surprisingly wasn't crowded. We also got to witness the tragedy of one girl just making it onto the metro, while her friend desperately failed to reach the doors in time. Hilarius.

We jolted awake as the bus arrived in Ottawa at the Laurier bus stop. It is very weird to be waking up an instantly appear in the middle of a city you weren't in when you went to sleep. And when I reached into my pocket, my bus pass was gone. Lost to the VIA train, or the streets of Old Montreal, or seat 6, row FF, section 331 of the Bell Center. After replacing the pass, I've paid $142 to ride OC Transpo this month. Even a perfect day can't be completely perfect.