Monday, May 29, 2006

Self-Censoring the Coolest Guy on Earth

This whole blogging thing has been interesting, enjoyable and entertaining. It has also been challenging. Sometimes, it is outwardly driven: I feel like I should post so my loyal readership ;) has something to entertain them. Sometimes, it is inwardly driven: I post because I have things to say. Either way, I find myself inevitably limiting what I say to protect the innocent, or sometimes, myself. Sure, I know I can't post about work in any direct way. But with my life outside of work I am torn. I want to share my thoughts, be myself, maybe even entertain but I don't want to make people think less of me. Now, i know you're thinking: "How could we think any less of the Coolest Guy on Earth?" ;) Regardless of what you may think of me outside of my presence here, I am keenly aware of the fact that people I know are reading this. While it takes strength to be willing to make yourself vulnerable by being open, there are risks associated (see the last post). So, forgive me if I'm a little cryptic. I still want to be the tall, dark, handsome mysterious stranger sometimes (even if only at Hallowe'en).

Saturday, May 27, 2006

"Just" One of the Girls - With extra bloggy goodness.

I've had lots of female friends in my life. That's something that I'm extremely thankful for. Without it I might not be the kind, thoughtful, understanding, well-dressed man that I am today. ;) Okay, I'd like to think I'd still be all those things but I'm still thankful for those friendships and the multitude of things that I have learned from them.

Without making it seem like I have a problem with the whole endeavour, I do find one circumstance somewhat challenging. That's when I become "'Just' One of the Girls". I have to admit, I hate the term, just like I hate "'Just' friends". The "just" implies that it's somehow not as good as it could be. Sloppy-seconds. I do not like that implication because it is patently not true. Friends may be one of the most important things in our lives... how can you be "just" friends? Girls are clearly one of the most important things in the world. ;) The "just" shouldn't apply.

That being said, in the case of being "Just One of the Girls", I have had occasions where I feel like I'm perceived as so non-threatening that I become asexual. Being "One of the Girls" means (to me) that I can share in most any conversation without awkwardness. It seems though that by doing that I am no longer a man. I find that sad as I think everyone has a little of everything in them. Call it what you will: male/female, yin/yang, light side/dark side, peanut butter/jam, etc. I guess there are still some gender role expectations by which we live and you can't always bridge the gaps. Maybe it's not about bridging the gaps. Maybe the gaps are only in the minds of those who see them as gaps. In my life I may bridge them by being "one of the girls" to some and McDreamy to others. The trick for me may be to remember that and not get lost in trying to convince those who see me as "one of the girls" to change their thinking.

Following up on this line of thinking, I managed to come out of my day with my fingernails painted. I guess even if I'm thinking about these things, I manage to not take myself seriously enough to worry too much about it.

Do as I say, not as I do

Go outside. I said: go outside! So what if I'm sitting inside writing this? Listen to what I say.

Absurd under some circumstances, yes. Nonetheless, I find myself often dispensing advice that I don't follow. Now before anyone who I've ever provided advice to starts to wonder whether I am some sick bastard that likes to give bad advice and see what a mess I can make of people's lives, I assure you I'd happily give a money-back guarantee on any advice I've given (lucky for me nobody pays me for advice). ;) My challenge is knowing (or thinking I know) how things should be done but then promptly not doing them. I assure you, it has served as a great frustration. Obviously, if it frustrates me, I should do something about it. Have I? No, of course not. I guess I don't want to change things enough to actually follow through with the process of changing.

I wonder if I can't abide by my own advice, should I be giving any at all? I don't know how not to. Being all counsellor-y, it would be a great challenge not to try to help where I can. Maybe using the advice I give to other people as a way to frame my own experience is the way to go. If it is "obvious" that someone else in a similar situation should do thing-A, then by extension, I should also do thing-A. Oh yeah, that'll work.

Are you still reading? I told you to go outside a while ago.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


It is not as though the weather has been unseasonably cold of late. Sure I could've use a few more degrees on the long weekend (and I'm not talking about post-graduate degrees) but it hasn't been terrible. What's worst is that my apartment is 15 degrees! The heat was turned off probably a few weeks ago when the weather was warm and global warming told everyone that it would never drop below 20 degrees again. Well, global warming isn't as easy to predict as that. Did you know that the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety says that minimum workplace temperatures in Ontario should be 18 degrees? My place leaves my nose cold and a need for at least a fleece. I must admit, I'm looking forward to the warm weather. I'm sure I'll still break CCOHS rules, but at least I won't be freezing. Think of me while you sit in your comfortable work/play environment. :P

UPDATE: On the good news side of my whinging, I am inadvertantly helping do my part in the David Suzuki Foundation Nature Challenge by shivering at home. Try it yourself... the Nature Challenge, not the shivering (unless you're into that sort of thing).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Suzuki, sustainability and Sex in the City

Thanks to CBC's Quirks and Quarks for this "bitchin'" photo of the now 70 year-old Suzuki. Just thank your lucky stars I didn't choose one of his two... count 'em TWO nude promotional pics. Though his impression of Atlas is impressive for his age, I don't think I need to subject you all to it.

You might be asking yourself what it is about David Suzuki that I suddenly felt the need to present you with his likeness. Am I considering a new hairstyle? Glasses for fashion? A new wardrobe? Nah, I just saw him as part of his Autobiography book tour this evening. What a life the man has led. From internment during WWII to facilitating major environmental and social change around the world, the dude is pretty cool. Probably the coolest 70 year-old that I know.

While he was there to tell a bit of the story of his life, it would be impossible for that not to intersect with his environmental efforts. I think he may have even been MORE effective because he wasn't trying to hit us over the head with that side of things. It is at once inspiring and shaming. What little one needs to do to make positive change. What little has been done. What little I have done. For me, one of the most moving portions of the event involved him showing the video of one of his daughters speaking to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992. She was inspiring as a reminder of who these efforts are supposed to be for, those who come after us. She was 12 at the time. When I was 12, I can assure you I didn't have Al Gore telling me how inspiring I'd been.

David put it plainly at the end. Interestingly, he used a very simple tool to do so which I had used earlier in the day in planning for future events. All it requires is to think of how you want things to be. Not how you think they will be. The ideas that he put forward should get universal acceptance throughout the world. To be able to breath our air without fearing pollutants and illnesses like asthma. To be able to drink from a river and not to have to pay more for water than gasoline. Simple things that everyone could agree on. So why can't we make change to something that we all believe in. Public will can direct political power. As he highlighted, our government is all about getting re-elected. That isn't different from any other government out there. If we as people lucky enough to vote can emphasize the importance of this to us and our future generations then change may be possible. One of his many efforts is the Nature Challenge. A list of 10 things that anyone could do. The kicker: he's only asking people to do 3 of the 10. It's awfully like being let off the hook but it can still create change. The goal: Sustainability within a generation. Acheivable? Yes. It reminds me of a quote: "If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way." So join the challenge. Do those small things. Be concious.

Maybe conciousness is the most important aspect. Why? Well, I seem to float in and out of conciousness (figuratively, not literally... though there was that knock on the head... what am I talking about?). Tonight's talk shook my complacency. Reminded me of things that I already know but had allow myself to forget or ignore. The thing is... I didn't finish my evening by starting a worker's cooperative. I went and watched Sex in the City and got to know just a little bit more about the female psyche. Who's to say that's not living conciously? I think it important that I am aware. Of the world around me. Of why I like Coke sometimes, even though it's not good for me. Of who I am and my ability to change if I so desire. I can't imagine anything worse than not being aware. That is, except for the joyous inawareness of sleep. Ahh sleep. You can thank my pillow for shutting me up.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Olympic Range at Sunset

Olympic Range at Sunset
Originally uploaded by jukerr.
In honour of Suzanne and Pat's cross-country adventure I thought I would post a picture I took from right around the Mile Zero marker in Victoria. The sun setting over the Olympic Range is not something they're going to see for a while (but they will get to see all kinds of other cool sunsets).

A weekend of momentous occasions

No, I was not elected Prime Mover of Canadia this weekend. Nor did I find the Lost Treasure of Cheese String. Nonetheless things of note to many (or few) people occured and I might not be able to live with myself if I did not share them with you. While having missed a friend's birthday (the e-card is in the e-mail) I also missed a living legend's birthday. Yesterday, May 21, was the birthday of Mr. T! For the guy with the Mr. T bobblehead on his dashboard, I am, frankly, apalled with myself for not celebrating in proper fashion. It appears that I am the foo' to be pittied today. Sorry, I'll quit my jibber-jabber.

In other news, my step-sister Suzanne and her partner Pat departed on their cross-country odessey on Saturday. They've been in Victoria for... well, a while now. This summer though, they're travelling across Canada in Daisy the Van. Their stuff is in storage and they've got 'til November. I am jealous. Green. Ok, actually, I'm blue 'cause it's so ridiculously cold in my apartment. Whatever colour I am, I think they're going to have an amazing adventure and I look forward to hosting them when they get here to K-town. If you want to keep up to date, Pat started a blog. Happy Trails!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Long Weekend!!! Is it still the 2-4 on the 2-2?

Definitely a week of ups and downs. Good thing: the downs really were more flat than down. Better thing: the ups involved seeing people I hadn't seen in a while, being active and meeting new people from around the world. Oh ya, and being reunited with my two-wheeled steed.

As beer stores are over-run and highways are run-over, I'm happy not to have any particular plans for the weekend. I know I have had times where not having "great" plans for the weekend would've been a downer. Instead, I'm looking forward to making the most of my time with those who are around town (or maybe out of town, depending on how I feel). Most of all, I'm looking forward to a good lie-in.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I nearly forgot...

Upon arrival at the station to pick up Wheely from his sleep-over, I was told that I needed to sign an affidavit confirming my bike had been stolen, blah, blah, blah.

I was then given the choice to either swear to the contents of the affidavit or to affirm the truth. Is it wrong that I was tempted to swear by the "hair Jesus"?

Memorial plans for Wheely were a touch premature

Well folks, another day returning from work meant another police business card for me. A new one... A Detective Constable! It turns out that profiling works (opening a can of landmines). One of the officers saw someone who "didn't look like he went with the bike" (we're not talking racial profiling here). Turns out they were right. I go with the bike. Kudos to them on their quick work.

I just walked down to the station to pick up Wheely. He's here with me now. Roll, roll, click, click. Granted, he's not quite the same as when he rolled out the door. It turns out my the seat and tires weren't to the thief's liking so they were changed. I'm short my front brakes but my tires probably needed replacing anyway. Wheely is both pumpless and bell-less. The important thing is Wheely is whole. Frankenwhole, but whole nonetheless. It has been a touching reunion. The after-school special will begin filming soon with Joey Lawrence playing me and the inimitable Steve Buscemi playing Wheely.

"Whoa! Where's my bike?!"

"Roll, roll, click, click."

Monday, May 15, 2006


Interesting day...

Good start to the week... Pretty misty morning... Took a bunch of pics (which you can see on my flickr page). I even took long enough that New Kids came up on shuffle on my iPod. Nothing like "Hangin' Tough" before 9:00 am. At work I had a meeting with my boss for which I was, somewhat unwittingly, ill-prepared (though that is not meant to serve as any kind of an excuse - more of a statement of stupidity). That sort of thing sits with me as I consider how I could've been a better employee, nay, person (as they are my natural tendencies that lead me astray in the office and out). Of course it's valuable as long as it doesn't become the mental masturbation that I alluded to in my last post. That is, sadly, part of the problem. Too much thinking, not enough action. Anyway, it will be something to continue to work on. I don't need to dwell on it here though rest assured, it will get more thought.

The rest of the work day went well. After work it was off to the "hair Jesus". Oh woe is me, with long (and admittedly beautiful) ;) hair, I have been plenty of places to have my hair cut. From a swanky salon with head massages and some sort of patchouli-vanilla hybrid mashed into my temples to the middle of someone's living room. I have had few occasions where I felt a good connection with the person holding the sharp objects. Luckily, the "hair Jesus" came through. While my hair isn't remarkably different (sorry, no faux-hawk) I'm pleased and will be back and if someone asks me whether I believe in Jesus I'll be sure to confirm whether the "hair Jesus" counts.

I got home, opened my mailbox and found a couple of business cards... I was wondering what salesman or prostletizer had been by looking for my money or salvation. Turns out it was a constable who had been by. Turns out my place was a victim of a break and enter last night. Seems that the most direct victims of this (besides the perpetrator who seems to have cut themself while breaking a window) are myself and one other tenant. The tenant had her change taken from the laundry room along with having her clothes bloodied (yummy). Me, on the other hand, lost my bike which had lived in the laundry room for more than two years minding it's own business, not calling people names or anything. Oh my poor steed... What has become of you? Shockingly, I'm not kicking the crap out of myself for... well, for nothing because there's not a hell of a lot I could've done. Still, I feel like that would normally be my M.O. Good thing for me, it isn't. Here's hoping that I have some success in getting a new steed (not to say that there won't be a fitting memorial for Wheely). I'll be sure to let you know of any plans.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mental Masturbation

Does all this electronic navel-gazing represent developing a clear understanding of the world or is it just mental masturbation? The term came up this weekend (gotta love Mother's Day discussions) and, being a thinker, I couldn't help but wonder whether I'm actually accomplishing anything as I ponder the world and where I am in it. If I were going round and round in circles and not being aware of what I was writing I might be guilty of a little verbal self-gratification. Thankfully for me, I feel like this is a useful way of reconsidering things. Sadly for all of you, I've mentioned/used phrases that might disturb you. It's kinda like saying: "Don't think of the pink elephant!" Stop it! I know you are.

To remove any pictures from your head, disturbing or otherwise, here's a little Mother's Day flower.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Safe and Sound

Hawksley Workman played in town tonight. Like Sarah Harmer before him, the venue was Sydenham Street United Church. They just don't make places like they used to. Great location, great acoustics and pretty damn intimate. How often are you going to have an artist sit down on the front of the stage with a banjo (yes, a banjo) in their hands and sing without a mic? I think it's fair to say the answer to that is: not too damn often.

A great musician and a bit of a nut to boot. I think he talked almost as much as he played. From magic soap to the benefits of having the original Star Trek on your resume. I realized that, as a fan, I'll accept most anything from an artist that I'm really interested in. I can think of shows where they could've lit their hair on fire and I would've thought it was cool because it was them. Not having seen him play before I almost was overwhelmed by his banter. Then again, I like his quirkiness. It gives me hope. ;) I learned that it's only embarassing if you're not impossibly cool and carrying a guitar. I've got that first one down, now I just need to start carrying my guitar around.

Safe and Sound is a beautiful love song of his that I was introduced to last fall (thanks A & D). I never would've imagined it but the banjo/ragtime rendition did the song justice. I think I have The Silver Hearts to blame for a certain enjoyment of the banjo/ragtime vibe. What have you done to me!?

Monday, May 08, 2006

"Kids These Days"

I'm not old (though that doesn't keep people from telling me that I am). Then again, you have to be old (or acting it) to actually say "kids these days".

Friday afternoon: The quintiscential Canadian moment: Kids playing road hockey. Me: I was the "Car!" Like good little ones, who may have feared for their lives, most of them got out of the way. All but one. A twelve year-old kid who clearly thought he ran the show. I'm in no hurry as I roll (safely) through their game, until I came up to the net. In front of it, this kid would have nothing to do with moving. We laughed. The kid stared. I jokingly revved the engine. He pretended like he was going to give my hood a new look with his stick. Still funny. "We'd do more damage to you then you'd do to us." Slowly, grudgingly, he moves. Only he doesn't actually move off the road. Rather, he pushes the net over just a little. He's learned the art of compromise. Maybe a good lesson. Maybe a sign of his future. As we slowly slid by him and on our way I couldn't help but wonder what he might come across in the future and how his attitude would come into play. The one thing that was painfully obvious to me: In the equation of car v. kid, kid = power. It's impressive that he knew that, though a little unnerving at the same time. He may well bend the world to his needs in the future but I knew that if he decided not to move, we were turning around. I mean really, what else would we do? Tell his mom?

Friday, May 05, 2006

I hope at least one of you went pantsless today. While I didn't do so at work (all those pesky rules), I am representing right now. Or am I?

In further great yet inane news, Mr. T is getting his own talk show! Just imagine it: "I Pity the Fool!" (that is really what it's called) where ""The A-Team" star travels across the country dispensing inspiration and advice. I smile just thinking about it. It might be reason enough to get cable. Hmmm.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

If it's not on your calendar already...

Friday, May 5 is No Pants Day! According to the organizers: "No Pants Day is a day where everyone, be they students, respectable businessmen, or cherished community leaders, leave their pants behind. Usually this means wearing thick, appropriately modest boxer shorts, but bloomers, slips, briefs, and boxer-briefs all work as well." Definitely check out their FAQ's as you'll get a good feel for what they're going for. I'm all for it, though how this is going to work at the office is not yet clear. To paraphrase, one goal is for people to take life a little less seriously for a day. I do my best at that and even try to convince visitors to my place to have their picture taken with a clown nose, all for the same goal. It's a lofty goal, I know, but a worthwhile one. So remember... Say "no" to pants.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The cult of celebrity

We will watch anything. Whether it's got "real" celebrities (A-list, B-list, all the way to Q-list) or someone who becomes a celebrity based on their efforts to do so (that ass from Survivor comes to mind) we eat it up like candy. I had the opportunity to experience "America's Next Top Model" tonight. Will they really become the "next top model"? Unlikely. Then again, if this show had a broader audience base then it just might happen. Omarosa, the alpha-bitch from the Apprentice a while back has made a career of yet more "reality" shows based on her infamy. And to think, she didn't win. She got turfed but still managed to parlay that experience into a "career". Then again, we're buying in. Maybe it's just a dream that many people have: to become rich and famous, to live their lifestyle and all that. Maybe we watch for the same reason we buy lottery tickets: "if it can happen to them, maybe it can happen to me." But really, do you want to be known as the guy/girl that made a name for themselves eating some kind of slug or was such a complete ass that not only the people you were around but anyone who saw you on tv would hate you?

The good thing about our dedication to the cult is that we can also take the piss out of it. Anything that many people strive for is bound to also be the target of those who don't share that point of view. Enter: Go Fug Yourself (Don't be offended Gramma). This takes celebrities down a notch (or 10). Good laughs and a healthy reminder that even celebrities can look like crap (and generally be ridiculous).

Monday, May 01, 2006

I learned more than I expected to this evening. Sadly, it mainly has to do with odd mating rituals of the animal kingdom. I have it on very good authority that if you rub a Roman snail just "so" it will... uh, "stand at attention". Actually, according to my research it will expose it's "calcareous love dart". Why oh why am I telling you this? Well I'm just such a promoter of Canadian cultural programming that I couldn't help but share the Canadian Museum of Nature's Fatal Attraction exhibit with the rest of the world. If this hasn't given you the willies yet (no pun intended), I don't want to know what it'll take.