31 July 2008

Turning 31

What is 31 but 365 days into my 30s? It sounds like alot but it's only 10% of this middling decade.

And what are my 30s but that silvery sliver of a decade when I'm still considered young by all the olds, looked upon with a curious mixture of wonder and scorn by those in their 20s, and (dis)regarded as a mess of anachronisms and hopelessly outdated notions by those teens and tweens whom I'm not related too. Give children and pets candy and attention and they won't discriminate based on age.

Regardless of my relationship with pets of any species know this: I have history. Knowledge and experiences you youngsters couldn't possibly understand, no matter how much you get into retro, 'ironic' styles. And you olds, just forget it, you are even less able to understand. Go read a book.

I'm talking about my generation. We were on the cusp. We grew up on the brink of new ideas and watched, touched, and used new stuff and new ideas and fads and technology. Plus we lived back in the olden days, when 'wireless' was still just a type of radio. I'm talking about the 1980s, and the 1990s.

Know this:

My first piece of formal wear was a red plastic tie purchased at the novelty shop 'San Francisco' aged 8.

I know how to bush party.

I skateboarded years before it was a video game.

I remember home phones before there were answering machines. (If you think this experience predates cellular technology, you are correct.)

I had a pager.

And a dot matrix printer. And a minidisc player.

I made plans for Y2K looting, and indulged in a cocktail of mayhem on the dawn of the new millenium.

What's the point of all this bragging? The point is: all the people who were born in 1977 are turning 31 this year, same as me. And that fact is not something for all you non-31 year olds to get so high and mighty about.

Because we've seen both sides: before email, cell phones, and GPS, we were there, fighting and fucking and dancing and writing letters with a pen. Reading encyclopedias written by experts and categorized alphabetically.

And yet we've been quick to take up this technology too, despite not having grown up with it. We've ridden the donkey, and the lightning.

Technically this doesn't apply only to people who are 31, but it does apply to me. And I'm 31.

There, I said it.


30 July 2008

A Honeymoon Photo

My office conversations today consisted of me describing my honeymoon. Some snippets from my side:

"Weather was great. Sunny and hot. No you're right, I'm not very tan. I don't tan very well."

"Lots of seafood. Good seafood. And alot of it."

"Sardinia. Nice. We explored alot of the Northeast coastline. We had a small apartment and a rental car, and just explored various beaches."

"No, not too expensive."

"Um, no, not really that good to be back."

"The hot weather sure is different when you're sitting in an un-air conditioned office in work clothes, not in shorts at the beach."

So now you too, dear reader, get an idea of how the honeymoon was. More pictures to come.


28 July 2008

Back from honeymoon

We're back. Tales and photos to come. It's hot and muggy in Brussels. I've got a sunburn. I'm tired. The milk went bad in the fridge. The plants are happily caretaken. It's good to be home, but only because we had somewhere to go.


16 July 2008

Amazing wedding photos

Our friend Leanne, who happens to be an amazing wedding photographer, put together this advance slideshow of some of wedding photos. It's for Chiara and I, on the eve of our honeymoon.

I'm not sure that it is for public consumption, but seeing how you're probably friend or family, I'm going to go ahead and share it:

Wedding photos

Leanne's website: http://www.leannepedersen.com/


Vonnegut on writing with style

Kurt Vonnegut was an incredible writer. Personal, warm, with an authentic and insightful voice, unique and compelling.

I could go on, but will wait until I more fully absorb his lessons.

Here's a link to an article he wrote, doling out helpful writers to writers such as myself: How to write with style, by Kurt Vonnegut

(Netiquette would have me attribute how I stumbled upon this link, but alas, I don't recall.)


15 July 2008

On marriage

I have been married for 6 weeks. So far it's alright, I mean, sure it's a drag, what with all the bills bills bills, and yes dear, no dear, and no relief except for one night a week playing touch football with the guys, or having a quick drink after work, and having to leave amid the jeers and catcalls as everybody orders another round.

But the stability of marriage: the comfort of the familiar warm body in bed, planning your life with a beautiful woman who has hardly aged since you met, except more prone (free?) to criticize, the looks and silences that can say so much, sometimes good, sometimes not, but comfortable and understood. Is romance gone? No, the romance lives on but with a different context, that of 'weddedness' - but still surprises and smiles and unexpected kisses make gray mornings a softer shade.

The holiday is coming. Sundappled, sundrenched, seabreeze and seafood, rental car and roadmaps. Honeymoon comes from two ancient Latin words: honey and moon. Honey is what you drizzle onto something to make it sweeter, and moon is the big pizza pie in the sky. That's amore.


14 July 2008

Eat well, waste less

This is a great article from the Guardian on how to cut down on food wastage. Especially relevant for those in the UK, who were publicly shamed by their Prime Minister, but also useful if you live elsewhere and want to waste less food. Like me.

In general I enjoy listicles, and all types of lists. And life improvement suggestions (particularly in listicle form), so this is pretty much a win all-around.


Abstract Earth from space

This picture of clouds above the Aleutian Islands was taken from space. There are 29 other awesome, breathtaking, and bizarre photos of Planet Thisone taken by satellite. They are here. I was led to them by www.kottke.org, always a hotbed of great links. Go have a look at where you live.


10 July 2008

Turf War in Brussels

It's official, the writing is on the wall. Literally.

Two Brussels Communes are locked in conflict. Postal Code 1050, Ixelles (Elsene in Flemish) is 'versus' 1140, Evere. Let it be known.

I rep 1050, so I guess I'm in this too. I didn't ask for this ugly conflict, but I won't stand idly by while my neighbors suffer these injustices.

OK. I don't know what injustices they suffered per se, but one doesn't scrawl 2 postal codes on the wall on a tiny one-way sidestreet without provocation. We are honourable people.

What do I do now?

I'll get some chalk, just in case.


Scaling Walls

I've noticed that my lifestyle of snacking whilst sitting on my fat lazy ass in an office chair have not been kind to my physique. My health neither, for that matter; no matter how awesome a verb it is, in this context, 'surf' does not count as exercise. As I approach 31, these concerns become more concerning, considering my advancing age.

So I've started playing football when I can. It's fun, and there's a nice level of competitiveness with the lads. I don't really know them, but I call them 'lads'. In a jocular, convivial way. I have a weak shot, but am a pretty good passer, and would be described as 'plucky' by any opposition team member.

I enjoy running around, as long as i have a ball to chase and kick. That's called exercise.

As it turns out I also enjoy climbing walls, provided there's stuff to hold onto.

I went simulated rock climbing last night. With William Smith. The climbergym (hard 'b') is very close to both of our houses. We went for just an hour, until closing, but next time, a little longer.
It's an impressive facility, inocuous on the outside, expansive on the inside, like Oscar the Grouch's garbage can. Plenty of bright, oddly shaped handholds, nooks, crannies, and outcroppings. And pretty ropes.

Will was kind enough to take me under his wing and show me the 'figure of eight' knotting system etc.

Afterwards we had a cheeky beer around the corner. Here's to many more hours of rock climbing followed by tasty alco-calorific beverages!


07 July 2008

Peanuts and Corn SALE!

I recently received in the mail 5 CDs from venerable Canadian prairie/west coast hip hop label Peanuts and Corn.

Park-Like Setting - School Day 2, Garbage Day 4

Pipi Skid - Best Friends Forever

John Smith - Blunderbus or "In Transit"

DJ Moves featuring Birdapres - Alleged Legends

J Rawls - Histories Greatest Battles

All for 44 CAD. Yeah, that's right - 44 loonies, (or 22 toonies)

To me that's a more than fair price. In fact, that's damn cheap.

Do yourself a favour: pick yourself up some Canuckrap on the cheap, support indie hip-hop, and rock some summerjams.


03 July 2008

How drunk are the Canucks?

Mats Sundin cries purple tearts of embarrassment for the Canucks obscenely over-generous valuation.

It's free-agent signing season in the National Hockey League. That means that those players without contract to specific teams can be courted and signed by others, and of course many trades also happen during this period of activity. This is the time when teams build their rosters to plug holes and add depth, size, defense, scoring abililty, goaltending... whatever it is they lack.

My precious Vancouver Canucks, it is universally acknowledge, have a pretty solid defense and the best goaltender in the universe. However, they didn't make the playoffs because they can't score goals. They lack what we call 'firepower' (GOALSCORERS!).

So to celebrate this season's rich crop of free agent talent, they have signed a number of no-name, no-point scoring journeymen. Darcy Hordichuk (1 goal and 2 assists last season), Ryan Johnson (5 goals, 13 assists last season), and Kyle Wellwood (8 goals 13 assists last season).

Meanwhile players such as Radim Vrbata (27 goals, 29 assists last season), Kristian Huselius (25 goals, 41 assists last season), Marian Hossa (10 points in 12 playoff games for Stanley Cup finalist Pittsburgh), Andrew Brunette (19 goals, 40 assists last season), Cory Stillman (24 goals, 41 assists last season) and Michael Ryder (14 goals, 17 assists last season) all are Unrestricted Free Agents, all have inked multi-million dollar, multi-year contracts.

Now I don't know the business or those players intimately but I know there's some talent and proven goal-scroing ability there, and they're all in the prime of their careers. Except Cory Stillman, who at 34 is probably past his prime. But the Canucks don't go after these guys. No. Instead...

They go after Mats Sundin, (32 goals, 46 assists last season) who is unquestionably a really great player, and has put up great numbers but he is also 37 years old - definitely past his prime. And I think most people would agree not worth 10 million dollars a year for the next two years - which is what the Canucks have offered him.

What the fuck is wrong with these people!?! 20 million could have got them 2 or even 3 of the aforementioned guys - decent character guys who put up consistent numbers, but instead the Canucks are chasing an over-the-hill bigname, perhaps even to pin the captaincy on. Has the Mark Messier debacle faded so quickly from the collective memory? He will probably be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, but not for anything he might do as an overpaid 38 year old with the Canucks.

To boil it down the choices available are: young solid core offensive contributors... or one great, yet elderly, player whose star is fading (he's human) but unable to resist the great whopping wasteful wads of money you wave in his face (he's human)?

Seriously, what is wrong with these people?

Fucking retards.


01 July 2008

Birthday Blowout

Just last week everybody's friend Yar! Eric Moya was here. He was also here before the wedding, then at the wedding, and then trekking around Europe trying to keep his Mom out of trouble.

He blew through for a final night of Millar-time before flying back to his adopted home of San Diego en route to his soon-to-be newly adopted home of Austin, Texas..

It was also his birthday (June 18th, if you're keeping score at home), and we had some cake and presents and blowout-the-candles pictures.