Sunday, September 28, 2008

:: Financial responsibility ::

Pretty much my whole life, I've been very responsible with my money. Even when I worked only a day or two a week while in high school and college, I still managed to save enough cash to do all the stuff I wanted to do - which was mostly drink and buy video games. As a result of my ability to save, very rarely in my life have I not been able to do something I wanted to do because of money, or lack thereof (within reason, of course. It's not like I could ever afford to jet off to Australia for 6 months, just 'cuz).

And the last few years, responsibility has reared it's ugly head again - the first thing I did with my money was pay off student loans, my car and bought a townhouse. Cristal, hookers and blow it ain't, but that's just me.

Such financial thriftyness would seem to come in handy right about now, because I have an expensive fall coming up - which is usually "save time" after an always-expensive summer. But I'm going to kamloops in 3 weeks to hang out, followed immediately by Vegas a week later. And closer to home, I am in need of purchasing a new mattress/box spring, as well as a new washer/dryer, as mine could explode at a moment's notice.

However, my money concerns were slightly abated last week when I discovered, tucked into my passport, $300 in traveller's cheques from trip to Vegas last April, which I thought I'd redeposited at the bank upon my return, but apparently not. Score.

So, what did I do? Reinvest that cash into my upcoming Vegas trip? Perhaps look into buying some new appliances before my current ones explode in a hail of metal, fire and Bounce sheets? Or hell, maybe live dangerously and just put it back into my savings account?

All good options, for sure. All smart ideas.

So I bought some new golf clubs instead.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"Sean, you are 20 years ahead of the future." - Scotty, discussing a man who is apparently far, far ahead of his time.

"It's bad when you can't figure out whether it came from somebody's ass or their mouth." - Unknown, the day of the gift opening. (editor's note: that's what she said)

"Jesus's brother was an astronaut." - Bobby

:: The track, a wedding and the open road ::

Well, first thing's first - I probably shouldn't mention anything until I talk about a certain event which shook down last Saturday... Jer and Katie's wedding.

I've known Jer a real long time - he's like a brother to me, practically - so I'm obviously happy for him and Katie, who I haven't obviously known as long, but is still pretty awesome in my books. Far better than a jerk like Jer probably deserves, but hey - life's funny that way :) (Just kidding, Jer).

And while I could probably write a sappy post about love and marriage and all that stuff, I'm not going too. Mostly because it wouldn't be very good. (For the record though, I could fake it well enough that you'd probably not notice the difference). However, I'm going to do something I'm better at - whine.

The wedding, like most, was Saturday afternoon. 3 p.m. No problem.

I had plans with some folks from work to go out the night before, and those nights always turn messy. However, with the wedding the next day, I figured I'd take 'er easy Friday, call it a night early, and then save my liver and my energy reserves for the toonie bar at the wedding reception.

And while a good idea in theory, it was not executed with much precision. None at all, actually.

By 9:00 Friday night I'm fairly certain I was loaded, and was - along with a few other co-workers - making annoying, loud phone calls to our other co-workers who chose not to attend. I ended up spending $100, getting home at 1:30 in the morning, and not dragging myself out of bed until12:15, with one helluva headache that took 4 advils, and about 4 hours to eradicate.

However, I did it - and managed to get to the wedding with other an hour to spare so I could help set up. I'd have been there earlier, but my booze-addled brain forgot black socks and a belt when I drove to my parent's house to pick up my pants which had been hemmed. Preparation was a bit of a trainwreck, what can I say?

Thankfully I started feeling better as the reception progressed, and I still got loaded on $2 beers and free wine, but I still came perilously close to fucking up the evening's festivities for myself.

So what's the lesson here, you may ask? Don't be a fucking idiot - that's what.

In other non-wedding news, I recently wrapped up my glorious 2 weeks of vacation, which actually turns into about 17 days off when you factor in weekends and Labour Day. I spent the first week in the Okanagan - first going from Langley to Kamloops to Wells Gray Park, then followed that by going back through Kamloops, then to Enderby/Sicamous, then home.

All in all, it was awesome, but a lot of driving. I felt like I spent far too much time on the road. I figured this out the day after I returned home. It was a Monday afternoon, and I decided I should go run some laps at the track and work off all the beer and food I'd recently consumed. As I approached the tennis courts at the park, a guy in a slick looking black sedan zipped past. I didn't get a look at what kind of car it was, but thought it was an Audi. Hoping to catch a glimpse of a decal on the trunk to confirm my suspicions, I turned my head to the left to check my rearview mirror.

There was no mirror though.

I was walking.

Speaking of the track, I was there again tonight (for the record, this is about Day 525 of my on-again, off-again get in shape plan). Normally, I just walk there, do my thing, and walk home, but tonight I couldn't help but notice the amount of rule-breakers, weirdos, and just plain fucking idiots that were there, too. So with that in mind, I present to you my Rules for Going to the Track:

#1 - Run the same fucking direction as everyone else. Listen pops, this one shouldn't be too hard to follow. When you get to the park in your Tony Soprano full-body-matching track suit (complete with headband), take a quick look at the 20-25 other people who are already there. Notice something? Yeah, they're all running counter-clockwise, like normally fucking people. Hell, even race horses run that damn direction, likely without being told twice. Just do it - the rest of us don't want to worry we're going to have a head-on collision just because we glance down at our iPods. Besides that, you look like a fucking douchebag.

#2 - Do not bring your dog to the track. If you want to run with your dog, keep your exercise to neighbourhood streets and parks like everybody else. The reason people come to the track in the first place is so they don't have to dodge dogshit and traffic.

#3 - If you absolutely insist on letting your dog run on the track alongside you, make sure it's not a Bichon Frise. Look, I've got no problem with small dogs - I used to have two, but they aren't "running dogs." If you're running alongside a German sheppard or a lab, that's fine - they're built for it, presumably. But jogging next to your tiny, little pooch is not only cruel to the dog - how fast do you think his fucking legs move, Toots? - you also look like an idiot. And that little pink sweater you're making Princess wear isn't helping your cause either, sweetheart.

#4 - Once your girlfriend with the little dog is done her two draining "power laps" around the track, and gives Princess to you to watch while she "cools down," don't try to look tough. Yeah Muscles, I'm talking to you - the guy standing on the edge of the soccer turf with the Affliction shirt holding the leash. Uncross your arms, take the don't-fuck-with-me scowl off your face, and relax. Your dog has a pink jacket on - now is not the time to Man Up.

#5 - If, during the course of your jog, a soccer ball from the practice in the middle of the track happens to bounce off the field and come within five feet of you, kick it back. Look D-Bag, just do the guys on the field a favour and boot it back to 'em - it takes you a lot less effort to move your foot in a kicking motion once than it does for the goalie to run 40-50 feet behind the net and across the track surface to get the ball once it's rolled to the fence. Don't pretend you don't see it; don't start fiddling with your iPod headphones, and don't look the other way. Just stop the friggin ball. And even if it's more than five feet in front of you, if you can speed up a bit - hell, even sprint for a second - in order to save the shot, do it. Picking up the pace momentarily isn't gonna kill you, and you can probably afford to burn an extra calorie or two anyway, Lardo.

#6 - Only do wind sprints on the straightaway portion of the track if you actually should be doing them. Look, there are people at the track who are legitimate sprinters - college and high school athletes who are training for serious. It's pretty damn obvious who they are - for starters, they're the only ones there actually in shape. You can also tell just by watching their routines for 20 seconds that they know what they are doing. Leave it to them. Midway through your jog, do not wander over to the straightaway and start doing sprints. You aren't impressing anybody, douche, and you aren't fooling us either. If you were really a serious sprinter, you wouldn't have ran 8 laps at a leisurely pace before doing the 100m. Yeah, you gotta warm up - but I don't think Usain Bolt runs two miles before stepping into the blocks.

#7 - If you can only run half a set of stairs - barely - don't run stairs at all. Pretty simple. Sure, I'd like to run a marathon, but I'm not start doing it then quit after 500 metres. I applaud your effort, for sure - but you're embarassing yourself. Run down on the flat surface like the rest of us.

And finally, #8 - Don't bring your God damn kids. The last thing any of us wanna do is have to trip over three kids who've decided that "play time" should occur around the last corner. No, it's not cute when little Billy cheers your name every time you run past, nor is it adorable when your 6-year-old daughter runs part of the way with you every lap. They're in the fucking way, and if you don't move 'em, well...