Tuesday, July 30, 2002


It's mighty windy today. I should've taken the kite out for a spin. Meri and I visited some friends of hers in the Eastern Townships on Sunday and I got to take the Delta for a spin.

Maybe the winds will still be strong tonight and I'll be able to test the night lights on my kite. Yep, there are people who fly their kites at night like The Midnight Squadron.
Second Guessing

Sometimes I get so frustrated with myself and I can't always hide it.

I was out last night to meet some friends for a wriiters meeting and I stopped by a Book Fair to pick up a couple of good deals. When I tried to pull the funds from my bank, I realized there were none left. The funds are starting to run out already.

Although Toast has warned me of the dangers of being a shut-in, I find myself with less and less energy to do anything. This coupled with the fact that when I leave the house, I tend to spend, it makes it very stressful on my general well-being.

So when I chat with people sometimes, my frustration with myself or my situation comes through when I don't mean it to, and I have to constantly say "No, I'm not mad at you. It's me... I'm frustrated with myself."

Of course, the damage is already done and the person at the other end of the line has already been hurt. I try to keep this stuff in check as much as I can, but it slips out every once in a while.

So then I start second guessing everything I say and do. Is my tone okay here? Am I acting too aggressive now? Will this action offend the person I'm talking to? Then I get frustrated with all the questions and drop them, wearing my true emotions on my sleeve. And the cycle starts again.

It's not that I'm not happy in general. I'm just tired of this non-life trend I'm going through right now. I feel stalled. I don't feel I'm accomplishing enough things with the free time I have and life is passing me by.

I know there are a few recently laid-off people reading this blog... Are you going through the same thing?
Local Toast is Exposed

So my CD is thiiiiis much closer to being distributed to the masses! I met with Toast yesterday at a Second Cup on Sherbrooke so we could talk about what images would appear on the cover of the CD. We then we retired to the Underground Lair of Toast (certainly not a "cave", right Marmalade?) not far away for further discussion. I'm hoping to have the complete package all together in the next couple of weeks. Yay!

As I was returning home from a writer's meeting last night, I ran into Jack, Claudette, and Judith, all storytellers and friends. They told me about a two-day festival taking place on August 17-18 in a park near Viau metro that will be raising funds for a children's charity. Apparently, there will be thousands of people in attendance to this shindig and my friends were all asked to perform as storytellers. Then Jack turned to me and asked if I'd be interested in telling a story or two, to which I eagerly nodded yes! Another storytelling gig!

I'm going to have to start putting together a storytelling CV and website if I'm going to start actively pursuing more gigs in the future. When I get my CD together, the first place I'll be applying is the Storytelling Festival hosted by the Toronto School of Storytelling. It's a very prestigious festival that brings in storytellers from all over Canada and the world. That woudl be a great feather in my cap.

What would really be great is to see the world one festival at a time, telling stories and hearing stories from all over. Maybe if I'm lucky, I could make it out to the Cape Clear Storytelling Festival in Ireland and visit my friend Toby, who makes a living out of being a storyteller.

Amazing. Wouldn't that be fun...

Sunday, July 28, 2002

Ooooh... the water's cold!

Ick... I don't have a very hot blog! The last time I checked, I've only got a score of 2.6 on 10 (10 being very hot, 1 being very not).

This score probably stems from the fact that I'm not a chick, I don't talk about my sex life in detail, and I'm not sporting a giant set of gazongas at the top of the blog page. Sex sells, kiddies.

Oh well... I can live with such a low score. I still have you, my faithful readers! Right? Right?!? Bueller? Bueller?

Of course you are... never doubted it for a minute.... *nervous laughter*

Friday, July 26, 2002

Time flies

I can't believe it has been only a month since I got laid off from my last job at Dream Mechanics. It feels like it's been a few months at least.

Thankfully, the weather has been pleasant, but I find myself strangely trapped. Money is tight and, although I should be outside taking advantage of the bright skies, I don't venture out too far. When I leave the house, I tend to spend and money being what it is... So I stay trapped in the house so I can save money.

And what do I do in this house? Not a whole lot, I have to tell ya. I'm writing more at least, but I mostly tend to mope around from room to room. Some days, I make a list of the things I need to do and I got out and do them. Those are good days.
But when I look at the number of days I've been off and the amount I've accomplished... Yikes. I guess I just need to face the facts.

I'm lazy.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Mr. Blog International

Sure... I won the Pagan International Beauty Contest and was crowned the King of May, but is my blog pretty?

If I you find my blog to be hot, I promise I will rid the world of hate, anger, and that pesky spam that riddles our inboxes and annoy us so much, we just want to spit. Poo-poo on spam!

I hope you like my blog and it's an honor just to be nominated. Really it is. (snagged from Bevie)

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Local Tourist

In honor of the Pope's visit to TO, Meri and I decided to visit the Ste. Joseph Oratory. I've driven passed the Oratory many times (I can even see the dome at the end of my street in NDG), but I had never actually visited it.

I highly recommend that you visit the Oratory if you've never seen it. The grounds are impeccable (they have a set of gardens with statues that represent the 12 stations of the Cross) and the architecture of the Oratory itself, both inside and outside, is stunning. And the gift shop is definitely worth a visit (see if you can find the Fuzzy Wisemen!).

Even if you are not Christianically-inclined, a visit to the Oratory is definitely worth your time. If nothing else, the general feeling about the place is one of peace and tranquility.

Lastest News: my story CD has been recorded! With the help of my friend Wen (of New Ends Studio) I recorded 4 of my favorite tales to a CD. The next step is to design a CD cover and label for it. I'll be talking to Toast about that.

If you'd like to have a copy, let me know and I'll reserve one for you. Ha... I never thought I'd hear myself saying something like that.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

The Good and the Bad

Good: I've been offered a 2 month editing contract with Softimage that will start mid-August. Yay!

It probably won't be extended or transformed into anything else, but it's a definite foot-in-the-door. Sweet.

Bad: Toon Boom just laid off another set of people, including Peter, one of my writers. Some of the others have been with the company almost since its inception and know the most about the products they were coding. Anyone else feel like they're tossing the propeller away to keep the ship from sinking?

Good: I just finished recording the first two tracks of my storytelling CD (there should be 4 to 5 stories in all). I may sell copies of this CD to people, but I'll most likely be sending copies to festivals as a Demo to gain admission.

I'll also be giving a copy of the CD to a couple of musician friends of mine who are interested in putting my stories to music. That should be fun!

Bad: I was running to catch a bus to meet my friend Roxanne at the comedy festival last night. The bus had arrived and people were boarding. Just as I crossed the street and I was a mere five feet from the bus, holding my bus pass aloft to indicate I wanted to board, the bus driver slapped the doors shut in my face (I nearly ran face-first into the glass doors). Infuriated, I shouted at the driver as he pulled away and he smirked back at me, shrugging his shoulders.

And these bus drivers wonder why people get abusive with them. Bastard.

Good: We've got a recording date set for a recording of a radio drama version of the Sherlock Holmes classic: The Hound of the Baskervilles. I get to play Doc Watson! We'll probably be going to Kingston to record it, so I hope we get a bit of a chance to see the sights.

There's talk of airing this particular recording of the play on a local radio station in Kingston and maybe even the CBC! There's even talk about doing a live reading in full costume on television, but that's still just talk. I'll keep you posted.

Little naked gold statue... here I come! Shoud I start constructing the display case now?

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

I know you're out there...

I just joined yet another Blorg that is supposed to make it easier for people to find me (see the top of the Blorg section on left sidebar for a little squiggle face).

But first, I need to post the following pap. Call it a rite of passage.

Google! DayPop! This is my blogchalk: English, Canada, Montreal, Notre-Dame de Grace, Dave, Male, 31-35!

Monday, July 15, 2002

Half-Life Jokes

I survived another weekend at Domaine (more on that later), swinging my foam axe at Lizardmen and other dastardly creatures of the New World, and I was discussing the weekend with my buddies Arnot and Erik over some Rickard's Red and a game of Unreal (of which, they whooped my bum vigorously).

I had to admit I had never played Warcraft (gasp), but I am now intrigued and wonder what all the hoopla is about (I gotta upgrade my system (it's a P233)).

We then started talking about Half-Life and its mods CounterStrike and Team Fortress. Neither Arnot nor Erik had heard of TF, so I was explaining about the different character classes you can play to defend your own flag or capture the other teams flag.

Grand Poohbah: ... And then there's the Engineer class. You can build a sentry gun virtually anywhere and it will detect any enemy movement nearby.

Arnot: What happens?

GP: It lets fly with a whack of missles and bullets and BLAMMO: the enemy is reduced to a pile of goo. If the sentry gun gets damaged, you can just go over and fix it. Great fun. It's my fav class.

A: How many guns can you build?

GP: Just the one per Engineer.

A: How many Engineers can you have?

GP: There's a cap on how many of each class you can have.

A: Too bad. It would be great to have a team all made of Engineers.

GP: What would be the point of that? If one team was all Engineers, they wouldn't even care about the flag they'all supposed to be protecting. All they would do is talk about Star Trek.

    Eng1: What about the new Star Trek? I kinda like Enterprise...

    Eng2: You like that?!? It's an affront to Roddenberry's vision.

    Eng5: And that theme song... Ick! I can see the title now:
    Enterprise: Where Big Hair Bands Have Never Sung Before.

    Eng12: Ummm guys? The other team's making off with the flag...

    Eng6: Who cares? He's probably a Star Wars geek... Beam this up buddy! (much snorting and guffaws) Hand me some of that Vanilla Coke...

I must come to terms with the fact that, on some levels, I'm just a gamer geek. Superman has kryptonite, Batman has gothic obsession, and the Grand Poohbah has a Gamer side to his personality.

"The Dark Poohbah Returns"... That sounds like a winner. Maybe I'll pitch to my buddies Moore, Miller, and Gaiman. Maybe this time, they'll lift that pesky restriction order and return my calls. And emails. And postcards.

Yeah... everything will be fine now, Mother....

Thursday, July 11, 2002


One of the toughest things in building a relationship with someone, I've discovered, is striking a balance between being yourself, supporting your partner, and supporting yourself (meeting your own needs).

But what ends up happening is that one or two of those three gets all the attention, while the other suffers for a time. As time passes, you can redistribute the energy and try to rebalance it, but it will eventually tip and favour one side more than the other.
This is a constant juggling act and through patience and caring, the relationship can continue to grow.

I hope.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Ding! Stop the Presses!

My submission of the next chapter to the ongoing saga known as the SoapBox Derby is in and ready for your perusal. Yay! Go me!
I was about due for another one of these...

What Was Your PastLife?

(snagged from Paul),

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Yellow skies

The sky is covered in a thick haze today, bathing everything in a yellowish glow. I've never seen anything like it.

I've taken pictures of the sky and the sun for posterity's sake, but something strikes of doom to me. This doesn't feel right.

Then Meri called and told me that fires were raging north of Quebec city. I checked the Sympatico news site and found out that there are about 50 fires burning out of control in Northern Quebec. The smoke can be seen in southern Quebec, Ontario, even in the state of New York, and is apparently causes all of this haze way out this way as well.

Although my parents don't live anywhere close to these fires, I've called them to check up. No answer. Drat.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Garage Sailing

I love Garage Sales and Flea Markets. This is an obsession I picked up from my Dad. Every Sunday morning, my Dad would be the first one up and out of the house, heading for the Ste. Foy Marche aux Puces that took place at the arena (both inside and out in the parking lot). Dad would be there at 7 am just as the people were setting up their tables.

Dad has always been an early riser. I used to be able to get out of bed at 6 am and have breakfast with him on Saturdays. I've since lost that rhythm (not Dad though), but I still can't stay in bed past 9 am. I think my Dad's Early Rising Syndrome stems from his days of growing up on the farm in Ste. Malachie (about 45 minutes south of Quebec city).

Anyhoo, I remember just finishing up eating my breakfast with my mum when Dad would come back from the Marche aux Puces with his "treasures". Dad was pretty good about not bringing back home junk that we would never use. With every treasure there was a story that Dad would just be bursting to tell us about. Sometimes it would be some kind of story behind the item he just bought, some little history of how it started in this person's house and now ended up in his possession. Sometimes it would be just how he was able to strike a better deal on the price just by being friendly. I always enjoyed listening to his stories, how he would beam with pride over the story behind the treasure, even more than the treasure itself.

I never truly mastered the haggle technique. When somebody was asking 1$ for ten feet of speaker wire, I would just pay the $1 for it. I mean, that's just a steal for the money, right? But my Dad would probably try to haggle it down to 75 cents. It's not because he's stingy; my Dad just likes to be able to chat with people and strike a better deal because of it. And then maybe he'd get a story out of the item as well. I'm still working on my haggle techniques.

I was wandering around my neighborhood and found a little garage sale that had the typical stuff up for sale: clothes, books, toys, furnishings, etc. As I perused the books, a hard-cover book caught my eye. The pages were rough-cut, the cover was red with a black binding, and it was called The Lost City by John Gunther (Copyright 1964).

I buy used books for the strangest reasons. Sometimes it's because I'm intrigued by the book, but other times it's because I like the way the book is bound, or I find an inscription on the fly-leaf that I like ("To my grandson: I hope these stories will fill your imagination as they filled mine. With love, Granny"). I liked the feel of this book, but I was waffling on whether to buy it. Then I flipped the book open and what I found inside secured the deal for me:

I asked the family at the Garage Sale about it. They all looked inside the book and then at each other and their eyes flashed as the memories flooded back and they smiled warmly. They said that this book must've belonged to ther beloved aunt Elizabeth who used to grow her own flowers and often used them as bookmarks.

It was the best 50 cents I ever spent: a treasure with a story to it. Maybe I'll even read about Mr. Gunther's Lost city someday.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Palm trees and snowmen

I've heard that the temp will drop to 20 degrees tonight. Joy. Montrealers will finally get a good night's sleep.

It's days like this that remind me how much I dislike vacationning in tropical places. Friends show me photos of their vacations abroad, sleeping in hammocks, leaning against grass shacks, frolicking in the warm water. It's just enough to fool me into thinking how much I would love to live in a place like that.

And then I suffer through hot days like this where water keeps dripping from the most unfortunate of places. If you think it looks unpretty, I can tell you it sure feels unpretty.

That's why if I had a choice, I would vacation in temperate climates, even cold climates. My dream vacation would still be to spend two weeks in the Savoie region of France skiing on their various mountains. That'll be me suntanning on the mountain face with my skis planted in the brilliant snow, a bottle of wine, and some ski bunny babe at my side.

That's it... concentrate on the snow. Stick your head in the freezer and make slooshing sounds as your skis carve the 4 foot-deep powder.

I. can. just. taste. it.
Slowly Dissolving

I realize that I've been lacking in my Pooh Loggian responsibilities, but it's just too damn hot to type/move/breathe/think. Please stay with me and we'll get through this together... promise!

There is actually something I've been meaning to log in the past few weeks and that is the tials and tribulations of a Slowly Dissolving Friendship. And yes, this is currently happening between myself and a "friend".

Friendships are bizarre things. They can be strong as steel at one time and then easily tearable as tissue paper the next. I have a few friends that I only see once in a blue moon and we act as if we had just seen each other yesterday. Over the course of our lifetime, we go through cycles with our friends. We're moving along our path and maybe our lives take a different turn and friends fall away, the common ground no longer being as common. Sometimes we can re-establish that friendship, sometimes we can't, sometimes we don't want to even try.

But then there's the friendship that slowly dissolves. It starts out strong, but somewhere along the way, one party decides that he/she wants out of this friendship or wants to take a step back. How this gets expressed can be subtle or blunt, but it's a painful thing to realize either way.

I started noticing this pattern in my friend over the past few months. She smiled less when I would arrive, conversation dropped off, she seemed more and more annoyed with the things I said or did, my efforts/contributions to situations seemed to disappoint her more than please her, attempts at conversation would draw a baleful look.

All of these situations sound like pretty obvious indicators that something is afoot, but I would just write them off as she's having a bad day or she's stressed out about something. But then I thought, "Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm doing something that she doesn't like" and so I started trying to change my behavior. I tried to be more neutral, less familiar. I tried treating her like I would someone I just met, being cautious.

Of course, by the time I had this revelation, it was too late. The damage was done and nothing short of disappearing from existence would solve the problem.

So now I have to learn to take some distance myself. I have to change how I see this person and how I relate to this person. This person and I share some common ground, so I can't not be in her presence, but I have to redefine my relationship with her so that we can still work together.

And anyways, she's a good person and I wouldn't want to lose her from my life completely. I just don't want to be a burden in her life so that it can make my life better.

Frienships can be tricky things, but ultimately, they are always worth the effort, no matter what direction they take.

Monday, July 01, 2002

Oh Say Can You See.... wait, that's not it

Happy Canada Day folks! I'll be spending the day outdoors catching rays and the Blue Rodeo Concert down at the Old Port. It ain't perfect, it's got its quirks and its quandries, but Canada's a cool place to live.