June 2001

Cup of Soup

Fri, Jun 1, 2001

Yesterday, we went to an Expos game, just to say we went to one. I haven't been a baseball fan since the strike of '94, and that certainly didn't change today; it was just time spent chatting. What an incredibly slow and boring game. We passed three-and-a-quarter hours watching multi-millionaires scratch themselves. Plus, my giant pretzel tasted all chemically. I think I might die from it. Really. It was that bad.

We did, however, run into the king of crazy men on the metro on the way over there. When he boarded, he immediately started yacking it up with everyone around him, but mainly with one of my roommates (who always seems to complain about the strange people he sees on the street, especially the ones that talk to themselves). I didn't hear everything he said, but I did note several references to the Expos, biker gangs, people that would kill you if you rubbed them the wrong way, and calls to his representatives in DC. Interesting fellow.

I was rather quite impressed with Olympic Stadium's staff, though, particularly the usherettes and the seventh-inning-stretch dancers.

Another note about "The Big O": It's as ghastly from the inside as it is from the outside. The hard, painful, bright-yellow metal seats are a nice added touch to the ghastliness.

To it's credit, there was still some sense of awe in the building as it was the centrepoint of the Olympics. It was the first former Olympic venue I had ever been in; I didn't get a chance to see any in London or Berlin. There's still something in the place that, in every sign that says "Olympique" on it, majestically calls out to say "For a short time many years ago, I was the centre of the world".

That it was, and that is something I desperately want for my home town. In a month-and-a-half's time, the IOC will decide on the venue for the 2008 games, and - with Istanbul and Osaka already given the thumbs down - Toronto is one of the top candidate cities, along with Paris and Beijing. Technically speaking, Toronto is best suited to host the games, but it's biggest challenge is defeating the political stigma of a Games in China. Personally, I think a country with such an atrocious record of human rights violations, unstable foreign relations, and tremendous environmental problems is not a suitable place to hold the world's largest celebration of peace and sport.

Hopefully, the IOC members will have the same view, and the Olympic Games will come to TO. Go to the committee's website; it's very impressive. Toronto is a beautiful city, and the benefits the Games would bring are simply exhilarating.

Wed, Jun 6, 2001

The weekend was rainy, but I got new gadgets, so it balanced out OK.

We went out to see "Moulin Rouge" on Saturday. I found it to be interestingly creative, if not wacko. I never expected it to start out with a narcileptic Argentinian and a midget dressed as a nun, nor to hear songs by Elton John, the Beatles, Madonna, and Nirvana all in the same movie. I must say, though, that it had a terrible finish. Nicole Kidman's character died in such over-dramatic fashion that the cinema audience was laughing at its absurdity. I can just hear the fat comic bookstore character from The Simpsons saying "Worst ending ever!"

I've fallen desperately behind in my distance course, and I tried to catch up on some of it last night. I ended up staying up far too late flipping through the pages of the text and looking at how the map of Europe changed constantly over the past 300 years. I found it fascinating to see these great kingdoms and empires rise and fall, form alliances, and wage war. The situations of today suddenly have a different flavour when you understand how they came about in the first place, and to think that a few decades from now, it will look very different again. You can sense a link between the past and the present, and a curiosity for the future. The world seems just a little bit smaller.

Thurs, Jun 7, 2001

Let me paint you a picture.

I am walking home from work late Wednesday afternoon. It's a cozy spring day and the Sun is shining amply, penetating the layers of smog with ease. As I turn off of the busy street, a soft cool breeze blows from the west; it makes the branches of the trees sway, and their leaves dance with pleasure. A young man in an SUV drives past. He looks like the typical wannabe gino, decked in his Nike baseball cap, RayBan sunglasses, and a too-tight white t-shirt that exposes the form of his underdeveloped muscles. A trio of girls glance as he passes, but quickly forget him after he is gone.

Now, let's add sound to our scene. What do you think you'd hear? The rustle of the leaves in the wind. The bustle of the cars in the busy street behind me. The giggling and incessant chatter of the girls ahead. The motor of the SUV passing by, and the unnecessarily loud pumping stereo emanating from within.

Let the image sit in your mind for a bit. A scene such as this one is common in any city at any time around the world. But, there's one little oversight that makes this particular scenario unique.

Note the music pumping from the semi-gino SUV. Listen... Those aren't techno beats rattling the windows of the houses nearby. No, those are, in fact, ultra-cheesey soft rock ballads. Not the popular kind, as one might guess, such as the likes of the Rock/Pop top 40. No, this is super-ultra-cheesey no-name CHFI-brand quality music blasted out loud so everyone can hear this miscellaneous whiney fellow, who feels it absolutely necessary to proclaim his love for the whole world to hear, despite that love being for no one in particular, but damn, he'll be passionate about it anyway.

Just a bit of a break from the ordinary to put a spin on life.

Fri, Jun 8, 2001

Khun Yee just got his Canadian citizenship! Congratulations!

It's Grand Prix weekend out here. The street outside of work has been closed off, and all the restaurants have expanded their patios. Jaguar has set up a nice showcase of fancy cars. We went around there for dinner last night; treated to some Brazilian music and dance. Quite fun.

Sat, Jun 9, 2001

I go to Waterloo for the best education in my field.

I just have to keep telling myself that.

Education is the purpose of school. If the purpose of school were to live in a popular apartment building across the street from campus, meet an absolutely gorgeous previous tenant with a dark Panamanian tan and an adorable South African accent, and help her find her old belongings amongst the junk stored in the many closets, then I definitely would have gone to McGill.

But, that's not what school is for. School is for learning.

I just have to keep telling myself that.

Mon, Jun 11, 2001

Ray Bourque finally got his Stanley Cup. Good for him. It's great to see someone that still has that boyhood dream have it come true, and be in near tears as he hoists hockey's Holy Grail high above his head. Moments like that shatter the cynists' views of overpaid greed. At that moment, money and contracts don't mean squat. All that matters is the man that overcame an incredible struggle, and the little boy inside him that leaps for joy so high that the heavens themselves become his playground.

Wed, Jun 13, 2001

Kevo has finally unveilled his website to the world. Be sure to read the Katie Holmes article, as it is the basis of many of our inside jokes. Incidentally, the Katie Holmes content across the street from my apartment increased by one part a couple of weeks ago. Oh, and according to his Iron Ring article, I, Mr. Underhill, am going to be severely mutilated. Ouch.

Fri, Jun 15, 2001

I got my tax refund, so Freedom Day remains on schedule!

It's bloody hot here at work. I think the air conditioning is broken. Ick. Can't write... sweating...

Sat, Jun 16, 2001

Yesterday was a fun little day. We went to the Jays/Expos game and sat in the furthest way-back seats where all the fun is. It's fun back there because it's too far away to see any of the game, and so you occupy your time with more interesting things. We witnessed a 9-3 shelacking of the 'Spos at the hands of my hometown team, but the Molson Ex dancers took it pretty well. 'Twas a good little time; met some new people and had some fun.

Today, I am roasting. We left at about noon for breakfast and went to the street sale on St Laurent. So very muggy. At the end of our outing, I was quite happy to get caught in a serious downpour and get completely drenched. My roommate was not so happy, but glad she wasn't wearing white.

Tues, Jun 19, 2001

There's been a lot of talk lately about the execution of Timothy McVeigh, particularly about the public's reaction to it and their views about the American government's stance on it. Regarding a recent newspaper column:

She's so right about the voyeurism from the safe distance of a closed-circuit TV and the detached, antiseptic quality of an execution. What I find most surreal is that these affairs - usually at the state level but including McVeigh's federal case - is that they're catered. Isn't there something patently repugnant (beyond the repugnance of the execution itself, of course) about grazing a buffet (even a modest one without floral arrangements and such) of sliced melon and cheese and crackers and a selection of bottled waters to kill the time before killing the criminal? Is it less barbaric than a stoning in the town square because fucking napkins are available? I just think that that one aspect is symbolic of what's so horribly not solemn about our executions. - Brian MacKenzie

Wed, Jun 20, 2001

Poor, poor Nick is going to be punished. Oh, why did he go astray! He seemed like such a nice little boy! But, now the netauthority.org minions have tagged him as blasphemous and hauled him away.

For heaven's sake, blasphemous? These people's manifesto is so utterly wrong that it's almost hilarious. Jesus taught that love is all important, and considering Succaland is dedicated to sweet lovin', I think He would be quite happy with it.

I wish people would stop preaching in the name of Jesus when all they're doing is preching through the plastic Jesus figurines on the dashboards of their cars.

On the brighter side, I went to the Beer Festival last night. I had various beverages from all around the world. Some were very good, like a maple ale from Belgium; some were pretty average, like a brew from the Bahamas; others were pretty nasty, like a lukewarm sake from Japan. It was a little pricey, but we each got a little stein and pleasant company.

(Hey, netauthority, I had BEER. Hear that? BEER!! I'll say it again if you tempt me..... BEER BEER BEER BEER BEER! Come on, tag me! I dare ya!)

Thurs, Jun 21, 2001

Somebody out there likes me... I got tagged by those wonderful nutty people at netauthority.org. Apparently I am guilty of:

  • Hate Literature
  • Pornography
  • Homosexual Pornography
  • General Blasphemy

It's nice to be noticed.

We saw fireworks last night. Pyro pyro!

Fri, Jun 22, 2001

Don't you just love causing a stir?

Sun, Jun 24, 2001

Bloody essays...

Mon, Jun 25, 2001

Mathematics has rotted my brain. I am absolutely certain of it now.

When I was in high school, we had to shovel out 800 word essays every two days. I'd finish each one the night before in a matter of a few hours. Now, I struggle to work out a decent paragraph.

I used to be rather good with writing, especially with creative writing, but that skill has fallen so far out of practice that it pains me to write the simple essays required of me for these "bird" courses at school. The endless math upon math has soured these skills to "Me write sentence; Me get marks; Me get degree".

That's one of the reasons why I created this website: to keep my writing skill from disappearing altogether. I would like to add a "Stories" section to this page, but I question whether I have the time or the skill to populate it with something entertaining.

I will attempt to write a story of The Gin Soaks' many adventures, but I know not when I will get the neuron activity to conjure the words, or the determination to write them down.

Tues, Jun 26, 2001

The CN Tower is 25 years old today. Happy Birthday, big boy! A very very very big boy indeed...

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