Where you can read the relatively rational ramblings of a silly half-monkey, half-boy. This freak of nature is named Joel. He also responds to the name 'Bart Wang'.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I so hate consequences...

Welcome back! To me, that is. I've been away while you've been here, wondering when you'd get something new. Here it is, my friends. Drivel, just like you wanted. Luckily for you, I've got to stay up and write for a while because I drank two cans of pop (Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet 7-Up) in the past hour or so and I don't want to wet the bed again. I mean, uhh, never mind...

It's been a great two week vacation. Melanie and I went up to Bruce Peninsula National Park where her dad was camping. It's on Cypress Lake, right next to Georgian Bay, down the road from Tobermory. Melanie's family has gone up there for many years and we finally had the opportunity to head up. I've never been to that part of the world so it was neat to experience it. We went swimming (those bodies of water are FREEZING), snorkeling, hiking and on a really long bike ride to Cabot Head Lighthouse.
It was really nice and, honestly, spiritually uplifting. I had been reading the book, Heaven, by Randy Alcorn that Mike lent me. It was up there that I really got a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. Fun, relaxing, enjoyable and beautiful. I haven't had one of those moments in quite a while so it felt good to have my spirit moved.

After we got home, we had a day to pack for our trip north to Barry's Bay. It was a quick turnaround, which I didn't care for. Making it worse, I got the dreaded phone call from Mike. He was moving. In five days. To Halifax, Nova Scotia. Very far away. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm actually happy for him (and Sandi) on many levels. Of course, those levels are very, very deep so they cannot necessarily be observed from the surface. I'm used to Mike leaving me - that creates a special bond between Sandi and I because he says he loves us but he never stays with us. Right, Sandi? Hahahaha. He's like the Littlest Hobo. "Can't stay for long, just turn around and I'm gone again..." If Jon listens to that song, he gets sad. I can't blame him. Here's the updated version of the song by some English band called Scooch. Anyhow, I'm going to miss the boy a ton but hope he returns soon. It's crazy that Mike and Sandi will now live together after three years of marriage. Hahahaha. You win this round, Sandi. But you know the saying about the battle and the war? It's not over. Can you believe Mike chose this over me? Yeah, I can believe that too. She's smart, funny, beautiful, witty, and vibrant (even if her manners are questionable, judging by the picture). All I've got is the beauty part. I can't compete with her.

It sucks when your friends live far away because it costs a lot of money to visit them. And the ones that live far away don't even live near each other so I can't can't see them at the same time. Seriously, you guys have got to plan better. Mike on the east coast, Jon toward the middle and Whitney, Laurie, Jonathan A. and Michelle on the west coast. Of course, Blondel is only two and a half hours north and I haven't seen that guy in a long time in spite of the fact that I drove past his house (literally) on Highway 7 on our way home from the cottage. Dude, I couldn't stop because Melanie was supposed to meet her friends last night. I'm sorry. I thought of you all the way through Peterborough, if that makes you feel any better.

Jon just called me. Well, twice actually. He called around 12:40AM. He didn't say anything, I just heard noise. Then he called at 1:15AM and I could hear music and him singing something incoherent. He finally talked and said he was at the Pearl Jam concert before stating that he would call tomorrow at a more reasonable hour.

Ok, so back to me. We were at the cottage all last week and had a wonderfully relaxing time. From Friday evening to yesterday (Saturday morning). We read a lot, snoozed (I never nap usually), ran (did 10km one day and at 5km at least two-to-three times), swam a lot and played plenty of board/card games. Melanie made delicious food as usual, including a great Shittake mushroom soup and her famous apple cake. Josh and Amanda came up on Thursday for a couple days. We laughed - a lot.

TV? None. Well, almost none. I watched about 15 minutes of news coverage after hearing about the insane devastation down in New Orleans. That is terrible. The personal stories I've heard about (mostly through blogs such as Bill's) are incredibly sad and upsetting. I am blessed. Music? Again, none. We brought up our portable CD player but didn't play anything on it except for the Frank Spadone CD Amanda and Josh had. We had nature all around us so that was enough music. Books? Whoa. I impressed even myself with my reading prowess. I rocked through Anne Lamott's Travelling Mercies, Donald Miller's Through Painted Deserts and Richard Taylor's House Inside The Waves. I started Noam Chomsky's 9-11 (that I bought in town for $2.99) as well as enjoyed reading about Molvania (thanks, Lucci!). You can check out more of Anne Lamott's writings on the Salon site. She's great.

We made great time on the way home - just over four hours. Gas prices were the same up north ($1.29/litre - about $4.10 US/gallon) as they were in the city - ridiculous. It's a good thing we, as a country, export all our oil instead of just use it ourselves. Idiots. I wish I had a hybrid or any likelihood of owning one in the near future.

When we got home, I was happy to have received two DVDs from one Phil Donlon. He told me that he just sold the rights of his first short film, Wrestled, to IFC, which is rad. Finally have my own copy of A Series Of Small Things, which is great. I know it's small but I like to brag that it is because of me that the closing credits feature 'Lakes Of Canada' by Jonathan Inc., one of my favourite songs. I facilitated that connection. Sort of like getting your name in the liner notes - it's a cool experience. The other bit of mail? The new Cottage Life magazine. Sweeeeet. I get home from the cottage and get to re-live life up north.

I learned from Bill that Dashboard Confessional is opening for U2. Yes, it is an odd mix, Bill, but it works really well for Melanie and I because we love both of them. Two shows that I would otherwise attend separately. Saturday, September 17th will find us there. The week before? Sufjan Stevens with Todd Brown. Week after that? My sister's wedding. Week after that? Head's wedding. [Edit: Ok, Head pointed out to me that his wedding is actually October 1st. Sorry, Toast.] September weekends are packed!

Melanie took off to Toronto on Sunday morning (oh yeah, we're now in Monday - I had to go to sleep but had lots more to write) to visit some friends. I went to church and got to catch up with Chantal as well as Sean & Michelle Smith (who remains very pregnant in spite of passing her due date last Friday). They're moving to Hinton, Alberta at the end of the month as Sean got a job as a youth pastor out there. It's been good to see them at church since they left the area a couple years ago just after I got to know them a bit. The sermon was really good, drawing the series on Romans to a conclusion and reminding me how important it is to live what I believe, not just believe things.

I promptly followed that up by sitting my pie-ass in front of the computer for about five hours, reading junk and downloading music. I'm so glad we have today (Labour Daber, the words of Strongbad) off.

While killing way too much time on the Internet, I listened to The Everglow by Mae, Mayday by King Cobb Steelie (Below The Stars is an amazing tune) and Emotion Is Dead by The Juliana Theory. That last one is still a kick-asser album. I love every track on it. I'd put that as an essential one on my list.

I finally got to call Heather Schofield, uhh, I mean, Heather Johnson back. I always forget that her last name is changed (sorry Ryan). It's only been a few years now so you can understand the challenge. Hahaha. Heather is so awesome. We met back in university and had several mutual friends. You'd probably meet very few people as kind and gentle and positive as Heather. She's a breath of fresh air to my stank, smoky soul. We had a good discussion about work and people we know. She really challenged me to remember that we're all hurting, broken people. I kept thinking about it afterwards and it was good to feel convicted that I don't extend grace and mercy to people enough. I get too wound up in personal responsibility (though that certainly has its place) and forget that we're all just "fucking human," as Heather put it (and I totally agree). Hahahaha. Thanks, Heather! Oh yeah, and though it sounds wussy, this is one of the best wedding pictures I've ever seen. I hope they don't mind me sharing it with you (just tell me if you do).

After that, I finally got around to watching Dirty Pretty Things, which was excellent. I was disappointed after watching the movie to see that Audrey Tatou was the headlining actor in spite of the fact that she was only a supporting actor. Chiwetel Ejiofor was actually the main actor and he was marvelous. The first thing in my mind was that he is black and less well-known so the cover went to Audrey. I give him the props he deserved here then!

Well, Melanie's back after getting towed from Toronto after getting a flat tire. CAA still screwed up our membership (I signed us both up in February but they only have me down as a member in spite of my call to them to fix it) but she managed to get home safely. She's watching CSI while I'm giving you lots of stuff to read.

I cut the lawn this morning, went to Shopper's to pick up some milk and bread and then dropped by my dad's house. Only a few hours left until I am forced to resume working life. Blech. Like I said, I'm blessed. Even if I act like an ungrateful, spoiled brat (because I am that). I hope you have a great long weekend. Good luck to Jenn, who starts her new job tomorrow. Another big shout out to Whitney - thanks for the e-mail (I'll reply soon - I miss you lots too). Enjoy another week in slave labour.


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4:36 p.m.


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