Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Case of the Holidays

Saturday 7:00 pm (or some time not unlike 7:00 pm)

The plane shakes, intensifying your headache. You feel strange and sober and immediately depressed.

Two hours ago you arrived at the Winnipeg airport to an unruly line-up of irritable holiday travelers who had no doubt come directly from returning their Christmas presents at the nearest Wal-Mart location.

An airport worker gives four passengers permission to cut you in line. As the last woman passes you, you mutter under your breath, “This is why you show up to the airport on time.” Your sister insists this makes the woman cry. You feel no remorse.

The worker then informs you that your flight has been delayed and you will not be able to make your connection. She smiles and offers to put you on a flight the next afternoon. You give her a hateful glare and tell her it will be a snowy day in hell before that happens. Your family is embarrassed.

Eventually you agree to spend the night in the Montreal airport, waiting for a red eye flight back home. On the plane you are irritated to be sitting next to the fattest woman on the aircraft, until you discover that she is funny. You are momentarily cheery. All fat people should be funny.

An overbearing man in a worn Boston Bruins hooded sweatshirt is grumbling behind you. He swears (to no one in particular) that he is never returning to Winnipeg for Christmas again. You silently appreciate his sentiment and hope the floor of the Montreal airport is comfortable.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dorothy, we're not on Queen St. Anymore.

Last week I quietly slipped onto a bus with a plane ticket neatly tucked into the front pocket of my bag and made my way to the airport.

A week later, I've let my blogging duties slip. But you can't blame a guy for taking some time to catch up with the life he once lived.
Since making the prodigal's return to Manitoba, I've sipped beers, smoked shisha, and caused as much trouble as possible celebrating friends both new and old.

With Christmas morning now making its inevitable appearance, I'm starting to get worn out, ready for my own bed in my own condo back in the city that has firmly become home number two.

With a new ticket to Paris arriving in my e-mail inbox this morning, I'm in debt, and happy.

Merry Christmas.

Oh, and My dad rules, hard.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Newsprint fingers.

As an underemployed writer pursuing an education to work in a rapidly disappearing industry, I am on one of the lowest rungs of the impending recession.

To pinch an invisible penny I spent the afternoon wrapping gifts in a newspaper I picked up for free. Each gift is wrapped in the recipient's favourite section. My mother: life, my father: sports and my sister: the crosswords.

If the economic situation gets any worse, I may have to stop taking Mondays off and actually go into the office. Until then I'll continue to spend my days waking up late and having coffee dates with Toronto's most quote-able "fringe-hipster."

That or I'll start a prescription pill addiction, like everyone else. God bless the holidays.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

This is my reaction to being punched. This is Zach's reaction to my being punched. Circa 2004.

Boys Night Out-I got punched in the nose for sticking my face in other people's business is the first song I'm putting on my playlist for my trip home. I plan to listen to each song in a very specific place in Manitoba. This band put out two terrible records, but recorded two very specific great songs that bring back amazing memories.

Long titles that don't-mean-anything-but-sort-of-mean-a-lot please me. They remind me of the days before Ashlee Simpson had heard of Fall Out Boy. Also, this title is special because it actually happened to me.

In high school I made a girl cry one night when I had been drinking and didn't think much of it. A few days later her boyfriend found me and forcefully shoved his knuckles into my face. It wasn't until my friend threatened him with a skateboard that he backed off. I was stunned the entire time; I hadn't even set down my beer. But I learned an important lesson that day: make friend's with anyone who skateboards.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My December, two thousand and eight.

The days blend together sleepily between solitary late breakfasts and compliments in the work place.

You are a Decemberist. In the winter things change, but not too quickly.

At work, new furniture has been purchased in a colour scheme reminiscent of the IKEA furniture that was all you could afford to put in you're home. It's still all you can afford.

But as you remind the cashier in the smoke shop, things could be worse. You are thankful when someone else cooks you dinner. You only drink when you can sleep in, and every morning you wake up uncharacteristically well rested. It's about time.

So you take the phone off the hook, put the plane ticket on the table and stare at the ceiling. The ceiling is very pretty, in its own way.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Puck Fuck?

The NHL just got a little bit sleazier.

At my high school, the hockey players got all the girls. Despite their missing teeth, scarred faces and tendency to shower with other men, they had their pick of the ladies. Girls with bleach blond hair and the sluttiest snowboots money can buy flocked to games in hopes that they would be the girl chosen to spend the night drinking Coors Light with whoever was at center ice.

Most of the guys who played hockey for my high school team have long since gotten chubby, grown bad goatees and found jobs at gas stations. But for a few lucky hockey stars, the good times continue to the major leagues, where they ditch their old puck bunnies and date b-list celebrities.

Sean Avery is the Dallas Stars resident bad boy. Ed Belfour used to be the team's
troublemaker, who coincidently did go to my high school, before I ever attended. During his days as a Star, Belfour caused enough chaos to inspire the phrase "Goin' Belfour"; as in: JR has had about 8 drinks so far...he's goin' Ed Belfour.

Recently, Avery has easily outdone Belfour's legacy. Before facing off against the Calgary Flames, and his latest arch nemesis, Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf, Avery decided to have a quick chat with the press.

Avery called out Phaneu, who is dating his ex-girlfriend and fellow Canadian, Elisha Cuthbert. Before dating Phaneu, the former Girl Next Door was linked to Mike Komisarek of the Montreal Canadiens. Avery decided he had had enough.

Facing the cameras, Avery spewed, "I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds.

This is exactly the type of excitement the NHL needs if it wants to attract viewers south of the border, where most of its teams play. But in true Canadian tradition Don Cherry got his plaid pants in a twist and the league slapped Avery with an indefinite suspension for the comments.

Which serves as a reminder: gentlemen, this isn't high school anymore.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'll trust anyone with a kitten.

Whether you support the villainous tyrant with the beady eyes, think the Francophones are crybabies, dream of taking the Via Rail with Elizabeth May or are trying to grow a mustache to rival that of Jack Layton, one thing is certain.

This is not about any of them. It's not about men in over-priced and under-styled suits or women whose heels tap as they walk down the long hallways ontop Parliament Hill.

It's about you.

So find your MP, shoot them an e-mail, and let them know what you think.

Participating in a democracy is like having sex with the government. If you let them do it alone, it'll just be a bunch of politicians jerking off.