Thursday, December 31, 2009
I like getting Christmas cards - which is weird, because I never actually send any out myself. I guess I'm just selfish that way. But the thing about them is that, because usually people are sending out numerous cards at once, the writing inside is pretty standard, boiler-plate stuff.
Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year,
Now don't get me wrong - these types of cards are still great, and I appreciate the thought immensely (even when they are addressed to somebody else) but sometimes there's a card that just rises above all the rest. This year, that card was from Meghan.
First off, on the cover of the card was a cartoon picture of a house, with Christmas lights on the roof spelling the word "Free Beer" and then trailing into an arrow, which pointed to the chimney. The cartoon's caption was "One sure-fire way to get on Santa's nice list."
Sometimes a card just speaks to you, what can I say.
On the inside, Meghan wrote:
"Nick, way to go and get laid and get a hot girlfriend this year, and still manage to rant about everything. Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year to come :)"
If ever a card could sum up my 2009, this would probably be it.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
:: We can't do this anymore ::
"I'm like a cannon - built for one shot." - Scott, during a discussion on the difficulty of having sex multiple times in a short period of time.
There was a time - a few years ago now - when getting drunk on both a Friday and a Saturday was not just an amazing, death-defying feat. In fact, it was quite normal. Pick up a case of beer on Friday after work, drink it at somebody's house, maybe go to Shark Club, drink some more. Pass out.
Wake up Saturday, hangover breakfast at Ricky's, then get ready for Saturday. Rinse. Repeat.
This is how it once was. It's not exactly like that anymore. Of course, even back in our halcyon days of alcohol abuse, there would often be one casualty from the night before - one person who went way too hard, and whose hangover was always a bit over the top, compared to the rest.
But this was a minor problem. Hey, sometimes people have to be sacrificed for the greater good, and since most of us survived any given night, we were all OK with it. Sure, you knew that sooner or later your turn would come, but that was seen as a cost of doing business.
But on Saturday night, well, I think Saturday night - Kyle's surprise birthday party - may well have been the tipping point.
There were no survivors.
We started drinking at 6 p.m., which should have perhaps been the first warning sign - it was a little early, and we continued on into the wee hours of the morning (except for Christene and I, we left at 12:30 because we're old). But upon waking up Sunday and surveying the battlefield, there was some pretty serious carnage:
I woke up at 6:30 to the sound of Christene puking. I woke up again about an hour later to this very same sound.
When I eventually crawled out of bed at 10, I felt as bad as I've felt in weeks. I still have the remnants of a headache, and it's Monday morning.
Kelsey and Scott slept the next day until 2:30 p.m., then Kels was up just long enough to yak twice, before heading back to bed at 3:30.
Was Sean hungover? His response on Facebook: "Oh God yes."
And then there was Chris, who arrived home at 5:30 a.m. sans Jenna (who obviously didn't want to stay up that late) and woke up three-and-half hours late for work with blood all over his face. Asked how he came to acquire such injuries, his response was this: "Well, that's the question. I don't have a clue."
And let's not forget our good friend Bobby, who didn't even drink Saturday night because doctor's orders prohibit him from doing anymore damage to his liver. Seriously.
And I haven't actually seen or heard from Ian, Jeremy or even the Birthday Boy himself. Maybe they didn't make it.
God save us all on New Year's Eve.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
After a few days of Mother Nature attempting to snow (You'd see a few flakes and that was it, then a few hours later, a few more), it finally snowed for real today. Still is, as a matter of fact. It's nothing to get worked up about yet, and I'm sure when it stops there will be nothing more than 4-5 cm on the ground (knock on wood).
This new snowfall, however light, means that our strata unearths all the community snow shovels and the big bag of salt for the walkways and courtyards. In previous years, people have just grabbed the shovels when necessary, and I've only ever used them last year, when the snow in front of my garage door was too much to drive over. And once or twice I used them when I was feeling generous, and I shoveled a path through the snow so people could get to their front doors.
The common areas - walkways, court yards, etc - in each "pod" of townhouses have usually been cleared by one or two people. In my pod, it's the strata president usually. This is because a) many of the people who live in this pod are elderly, and b) because he's the fucking president.
Lately, this guy has been driving me crazy. He was first elected strata president because he's sort of the complex handyman anyway (He is a very "handy" guy, so it's a position he voluntarily takes, and seems to enjoy) and also because at the time of the strata elections, he was unemployed so, no matter his other faults, he was deemed the best choice because he'd have, presumably, all kinds of time to devote to the strata cause.
The last few weeks, I've seen him around the complex fixing things, and each and every time, he has to make a point about how "I'm just volunteering, you know" and "I don't get paid for this."
Listen Bucko, we know you don't get paid. You do the work because you're able to and it saves the strata money. We fucking get it. And while we certainly appreciate it, I don't need to be reminded that I should be appreciating it. If you didn't wanna do it, you shouldn't have signed on to the god damn president, and at this point, I'd just as soon pay somebody to come fix the roof, or shovel the snow, or whatever. At least that way I'd seen some tangible benefit to the $224 I pay in fees every month.
But if you want to do it, that's fine. But don't make the rest of us feel guilty. Because I don't tend to feel guilt about these things - I just get pissed off and annoyed.
Today, however, was the breaking point. We arrived home from grocery shopping and Mr. President was shoveling the area in front of his garage, and the three ajacent spaces (four people all share one common garage). My garage - and the garage that three or four fellow residents share with me - is not a part of this area.
Still, the guy feels the need to tell me that he's got the shovels and salt out, and they'll be by his front door again all winter.
"Thanks," I said. "I'll remember that."
Then I started to go inside, but he spoke up again.
"Yep, just by the front door.... I'm just sayin'."
Yeah, I get it. You're saying "Hey, you should shovel this area that you don't even use, because I'm always the one doing it." Or, more accurately, he's saying "Hey, you should volunteer to do help out."
And you know what? Maybe I should. Maybe I even will when I have the time or the inclination. But don't fucking guilt me into it. You aren't doing it out of the goodness of your heart. You are doing it because you only work 20 hours a week and oh, have I mentioned this before? You are the fucking president. (I know shoveling snow isn't actually written into the actual presidential duties, at least I assume it isn't, but the position does carry with it, by default, more responsibility than the average resident. That's all I'm saying.)
After this conversation, I immediately hopped in my truck to take it for a spin around the block (I'm having 4-wheel drive issues and wanted to see what was up with it), and unfortunately this meant driving right past Mr. President/Volunteer Shoveler again.
I notice that he has finished about half of what he was shovelling.
Of course, he waves me down. I roll the window down, and then he asks, "So... do you want me to just leave the shovel here for you?"
"Yeah, fine, whatever," is my response, and I drive away. He leaves the shovel leaning against a post and goes into his nice warm house.
And in the five minutes I was driving around, I just got angrier. For starters, I'm fucking driving away - how do you know when I'm coming back? Maybe I'm going to work and won't be back for 9 hours. Maybe I'm leaving forever. Or maybe I'll be back in five minutes.
The point is, he had no idea.
Secondly, he already guilt-tripped me once. But that's apparently not enough. So not only is he telling me "Yeah, do some of the work I volunteered for, and shovel the driveway" he's telling me also, "Oh yeah, also do it right now."
So I came home, parked the truck, went inside and got some gloves. And then I came back out and begrudgingly grabbed the shovel.
And then I cleared my own God damn driveway, and - because I'm so thoughtful and nice - the driveway of the old war veteran who parks next me. That was it.
Mr. President's side is still only half finished. He can fucking shovel it himself.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Me: Wow, minus-40 today up there, eh?
Kelsey: It's fucking terrible.... It's -46 with the wind, apparently. And I didn't wear pants today!
Me: It's way too cold to be pants-less.
Kelsey: I know. Real smart.
I know over the last 15 months I've taken more than my fair share number of shots at the city of Fort McMurray, and more specifically, shots at the people who voluntarily decide to move there. And each time, whether it's Lanette, Kelsey or sometimes others (Amanda, looking in your direction), I get an passionate retort about how I'm wrong, how the city isn't that bad, how the money's good, or about sometimes you gotta sacrifice, etc etc.
And, all joking aside, I can respect that. I really can. I mostly bash the northern experience because a) I didn't like it when I was there, and b) it's fun to be a "pot-stirrer" as Lanette called me a week ago. But truthfully, I understand their responses to my criticism. I'd expect you to defend the place you live, your home. Hell, I do the same thing when people bash Langley (But really, why would they? It's lovely.)
But having said that, sometimes I think you get to a point where any response you can muster in defence of your fair city is rendered impossible. And I think that point is about -46.
At that point, no matter how much you may like certain aspects of your town, I think you just have admit to a small part of yourself, "Yep, this really sucks."
It's like my old buddy Carlos – who grew up in balmy Mexico City – once said to me when I told him how cold it was when I lived in Peace River:
"I don't see the logic in building a city in uninhabitable conditions. It would be like building a city underwater. It's just not meant to be."
But if you absolutely must build a city there, I'd recommend a sweater and a snow suit – at least. Not wearing pants is just, well, stupid.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
"This is great. I'm batting one-hundred here." - random woman at Superstore tonight.
I didn't have the heart to tell her that batting .100 is actually piss poor ("Gregg Zaun," according to Chris) and that she probably meant "batting one-thousand." Instead, I simply took small satisfaction that, in this instance, I was much smarter than her and carried on with my shopping.
Also, tonight I was sorting through my list of blog posts (700 and counting!) and found about 8 drafts - basically, posts on a variety of subjects that were in some form of completion, from paragraph upon paragraph to simply a half sentence or a title. One of them was even from 2005.
None of them were publishable, but I did find one quote from Meghan from 2007 (I think) that I thought I would salvage and publish here, considering we are smack in the middle of holiday mayhem. Maybe it did get printed in another post, but maybe not. Either way, it seems fitting.
"Christmas shopping would be far more acceptable if I was allowed to fight through the crowds with a flamethrower and had a constant IV hookup of Ativan. Or Moonshine."
I whole-heartedly concur. (I really could've used that flamethrower last weekend at Best Buy when I watched from about 60 yards away as some middle-aged assbag decided to launch his empty shopping cart randomly through the parking lot. Of course it smashed into the back of my parked truck. Of course I yelled the shit out of him. Nothing more came of it because he ran away. Probably for the best.)
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Perhaps by now you've heard, but a few Fridays ago, Tiger Woods crashed his Cadillac into a tree and a whole bunch of women fell out.
And as one might expect when scandal hits the world's best golfer, richest athlete and sports' up-until-now Golden Child, there's been plenty spoken and written about the situation. But for any of you living buried beneath a sand trap, here's the quick breakdown as far as any of us can tell:
Rumours of Tiger cheating with some broad come up in the news. Wife Ellin (editor's note: She's the only woman in this story who doesn't look like she's been rode hard and put away wet. Tiger, what were you thinking? If you wanna cheat, that's your business, but c'mon pal - pick better) gets angry and the two have a fight. Tiger leaves the house. Ellin chases after him, and smashes the back window of the Caddy with a golf club. The incident then causes Tiger to crash into a fire hydrant followed by a tree.
Cops come. Rumours and stories swir. Enter TMZ.
And then all the ex-mistresses come out of the woodwork. Now, there's plenty of angles to tackle in this story - starting with the fact that one of his ladyfriends kept 300 voicemails and text messages simply so she could sell them to US Weekly (like this wasn't her plan the whole time), or we could debate the privacy vs. celebrity debate that's raged ever since Eldrick pleaded via his website for people to let his family deal with the situation in private.
However, I'd rather write about something that's been bugging me every since the alleged cheating stories came to light. I have a real problem with those people who are eulogizing this moment as the end of humanity, as if Tiger was the last bastion of Good in the world of sports, and their lives are now lesser because of Eldrick's wayward use of his putter. (Or maybe it's a Driver, you'd have to ask Rachel Uchitel).
I'm talking to you, GolfChannel.com.
Rich Lerner writes about it being an "end of an era" and how there is now a grieving process for all of us, when in reality, I think the only people grieving is the Woods family and likely the Golf Channel itself, since Tiger is its bread-and-butter and if not for the massive spike in popularity golf has enjoyed since Tiger arrived, the channel doesn't likely exist.
So grieve for your ratings, sure. But this isn't going to affect the common person's life. And if it does, well, I feel sorry for you.
Tiger Woods is not your brother, best friend or personal deity. He is a golfer on TV. And if he makes and mistake, well, that's too bad of course, but it probably should not affect your outlook on the world. He's just a man. A sometimes people make mistakes.
I had a quick conversation with Lanette the other day about this very situation, because she thought I was pinpointing her as one of these "oh-no-the-world-is-ending-how-will-I-go-on-now? types. But I'm not. Lanette, like thousands of others, simply like Tiger a little less now. And respect him less, too.
And that's fair. He deserves that, I'm pretty sure.
But my point, aside from the fact that the world is not in fact crumbling all around us, is that this doesn't affect Tiger the athlete. Unless his personal life gets inside his head so much that he suddenly starts shanking every tee shot, he's probably going to go out there and win 7 tournaments and at least one major next year, and the year after that and the year after that. Because Tiger Woods, when it comes to golf, is a robot. He's the best player on the planet, and that hasn't changed in the past 10 days.
And for all the Pollyannas out there who are crying into the hot dogs they bought at the turn, well, I hate to break it to you but sports hasn't been pure and untainted and good for about 15 years, at least.
(Some quick examples off the top of my head: Barry Bonds, Tom Cable punching his fellow coach, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Todd Bertuzzi, the whole Tour de France, Charles Barkley, Michael Phelps and oh, and in a near-exact situation as Mr. Woods is the man who was the World's Greatest/Richest Athlete before that mantle was Tiger's - Michael Jordan.)
To hold Tiger to a higher standard than other superstars isn't exactly fair. I mean, how is he different? He's a guy who made a mistake, and though some people will forgive him (as if he actually needs the forgiven of strangers, instead of just his family) and some will not, I doubt very much that, six months from now, when I see him birdie 18 to win the Masters, I'm going to shake my head in disgust and turn to somebody and say, "Yeah, that was a pretty good round, but remember the time he slept with that chick in New York?"
No, I'm much more likely to say one thing and one thing only: