Archive for October, 2009

Halloween

Posted in Day to day, Written Diarrhea on 31 October, 2009 by Troy

I’ve just come to the conclusion that I don’t care about Halloween.  It’s not that I hate it or don’t like it, it’s just that I don’t care about it.  I think it’s fun for the kids and “big kids” but I just can’t get behind it.  In months prior to Halloween, I look ahead to October 31st and think, “Halloween’s a couple months away.  That should be fun.  I should think of a costume.”  Days roll by and turn into weeks, which turn into months and the next thing I know it’s October 29th, I have no costume, haven’t even the faintest idea of what to be and quite frankly don’t care.  So I go down to the thrift shops looking for inspiration and ideas to a cheap costume but typically walk away empty-handed, or in this year’s case with a food processor.  It’s not that I don’t like costumes and dressing up, in fact I love themed costume parties such as 70’s, 80’s or white trash nights.  I like having something to work with and those nights usually require very little planning and effort to pull off plus it’s fun to see other people’s best white trash or interpretation of the 80’s.  I also really like parties and events that you dress up for, put on a nice shirt and your best digs but those seem to be so far and few.  Halloween on the other hand turns into a huge production that people work and plan toward for in months in advance all for one night that often ends up being not as fun or grand as many would hope.  All that build up with a fizzle at the end.  The same can be said for New Years.  In the last 10 years I can honestly say I have dressed up twice and they were last-minute things.  This year I’m not even going to try nor make excuses.  I can’t justify spending $40 on a shitty costume or crappy second-hand clothes.  I’d be better off, if I felt so benevolent and generous, donating that money to UNICEF and feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.  I’m just not behind Halloween.  I’m happy you are but I quite frankly don’t care. 

It’s great we live in a country where we have the rights and freedoms to dress up and have this type of day but I’m going to exercise my rights and freedoms to abstain from this day.

Edit:
Well I ended up par-taking in Halloween, attending a party and even dressing up.  I didn’t spend a dime though and assembled my costume with clothes I had at home, going as a used car salesman.  Kind of sad that I managed to use my wardrobe for that costume…

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The Lost Art of Conversation

Posted in Life, Written Diarrhea on 30 October, 2009 by Troy

What did we ever do before radio, TV, internet and video games?  Whatever happened to just getting together with a group of people in a room, around a dinner table or in a living room and simply sit around and talk without the TV on, without playing a video game or without pounding music that requires people to yell small talk to each other? 
Some of the best “parties” I’ve ever been to or nights I’ve had have involved people just hanging out, having some drinks and talking to one another or was around a dinner table involving food and good drink.  No loud music, no TV, no video games, just people.
I’m obviously old.

Mumblings

Posted in Life, Likes on 24 October, 2009 by Troy

Most Prized Possession
I’ve been thinking about what my most prized possession is in the world.  When asked if their house was burning down and they could only take one item with them, most people say their photo albums.  With the advent of digital photo, the internet, backing up photos on disc and so forth, I wonder if that answer is even valid in this day and age.  So photo albums aside, what is my most prized possession?  Everything I own I can load up in my car and drive away with, even the furniture in my room came with the room so I don’t own a hell of a lot of stuff.  I look around my room and contemplate that question ever so often and I must say I don’t think I have a prized possession that I couldn’t replace.  Yeah there’s stuff I really like that I own and things that I couldn’t live without; my kitchen knife, my coffee cup but those minor replaceable things are merely that, minor and replaceable.  I guess what it all amounts to is that I don’t have a “prized possession” or irreplaceable item. 

Readings
stumbling-upon-happiness-by-daniel-gilbert
I just finished Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert.  I can’t remember why I picked it up.  I think it was a recommended read in the back of Paradox of Choice and they had it at the library so I decided to give it a whirl.  To sum it up it looks at the hows, whats and whys of happiness, along with our personal insights into our futures and what we think will make us happy.  It’s an interesting read with some really cool insights, studies and examples as to what makes us happy.  It wasn’t the best written of books, at times I wanted to give up on it but I forced my way through the lows and I think the biggest problem was the over-usage of “for example”.  Writing aside, understanding some of the psychology of happiness, regret, satisfaction, and present actions and thoughts that we think will make us happy in the future was really interesting and insightful.  The last half of the book was really good.

Nick Cave
I was going to write about what music I was listening to lately so I could look back in 3 years and see what I was listening to.  I was thinking about what I had been listening to lately and what seems “as usual”, I was listening to a lot of Nick Cave.  So I decided to make a post on Nick Cave.  I’m told that there’s two types of people; people who love Nick Cave and everything he does and those that don’t.  I’m of the first.  He’s a sort of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen kind of singer and either you get him or you don’t.
I think I picked up my first Nick Cave and the Badseeds album in ’02 and since then anything Nick Cave has been a staple to my listening.  In those subsequent years I caught up on albums that he realesed in the 80’s and 90’s but best of all he kept on releasing amazing albums that I would argue are his best realses.  The ’04 double disc release of Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus is still still a regular listen for me.  I loved the The Lyre of Orpheus disc but feel I’m only just now discovering how amazing Abattoir Blues is.  I’m also just starting to realize how good of an album his ’07 side project Grinderman is.  In between he released another solid album Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!, which I fully enjoy but am sure that like 2 years time I’ll for some reason enjoy even more.  To top all of this off he’s just released a book, The Death of Bunny Munro, which is getting a lot of good press.  What’s really interesting is how much he uses and has embraced the internet with all of his projects.  Where other bands have neglected their websites, started legal battles over file sharing and in turn foresaken the 21st century’s primary media, Nick Cave has really embraced it and got on board putting up some really great websites.  Even his book has it’s own site to promote it and the amount of content he’s put on it is amazing, from video readings  and audiobooks of him reading to free chapters to even a soundtrack he’s made for it.  And again to top if off I’ve just read he’s set to release another Grinderman album in the new year.  So yeah, Nick Cave…

Cloudy Sunday

Posted in Life on 18 October, 2009 by Troy

Addictive Personality
I’ve heard the term a couple times through the years and I often wonder if I have an addictive personality.  I had to look up to see what the exact definition was.  I don’t exactly fit that.  I was a major pothead at one time and I’m sure I used it as a coping method.  Over the years addictions and obsessions changed, namely Crossfit and an obsession with health and fitness.  I question if that was “health” now and I’m sure I was using it as a way to cope with something. 

It makes me wonder if someone could be addicted to something or if people who are predisposed to having an addictive personality could be addicted to something beneficial and outright good for you.  Maybe that’s what we call people who are passionate?  My latest addiction is coffee and I look back through the years at what I was doing and they seemed to of consumed my life and I did them full out.  Is that an AP or is that OCD?

This brings me further along to a question that seems to dog a vast majority of people I know, “What do you want to do in life?”  Even my dad asks that question and he’s in his 60’s.  I’ve asked and contemplated this question since I was 17 when my mom started dogging me with it.  It’s been answered a couple times only to rear it’s ugly head again and again.  It popped up most recently last summer before moving out to Vancouver and again the last 5-6 months.  I’ve decided that the best answer to this question is to pick 5 things you love to do or about life and try to do one of them for a living. 

A couple years ago I figured I would probably have my own Crossfit facility someday.  I was obsessed and addicted to everything Crossfit.  Years later it’s coffee and now I figure I will have my own cafe someday.  I think this one is much more realistic.  I remember being in Laos and after going to a coffee farm I was ranting on about it when some guy said to me, “Gee, you sure like coffee.  You should open you’re own cafe someday.”  I chuckled and shrugged it off…

“And the award for Awesomeness goes to…..Bill Murray!”
I’ve been a fan of Bill Murray for years, loving his comedies to his recent dramatic roles.  Not many comedians age well but Murray is one of them and his most recent cameo in Zombieland is another layer of icing on the cake.  I mean there’s so few actors and comedies who would even contemplate doing anything like he did Zombieland but there he is doing it.  For that I feel that the academy needs to make a lifetime achievement award for Mr.Murray under the category of awesomeness.  Bill Murray, I salute you.

Positions, Decisions and Rantings

Posted in Life on 17 October, 2009 by Troy

It’s been a busy week and a half, with 12 hour days at the hospital, going home for Thanksgiving and the Transcend crew/family coming out here to Vancouver for the National barista competition.  I’m a little beat after alls been said and done and had an awesome time with a group of great people. 

Positions
I’m looking at my life right now and can’t help but feel and think that I’m in a really great position.  My nursing program is going well and I’m really enjoying working in the hospital.  The nursing gig is pretty good.  I like helping and working with people plus there’s a lot of oppurtunity to advance, make good money, travel and work abroad with it.  Now added to all of this is the fact that I know what my passion is in life.  I know what it is that I love to do and I have the opportunity to do it with an organization that feels more like a family than a buisness; Coffee.  So few people ever discover even what it is they’re passionate about, even fewer get to actually do it. 
I’m in the position that I’m blessed if I do and blessed if I don’t.

Decisions
So now it comes down to decisions.  I was going to see how things progressed here with my practicum and take it as it comes but I’ve just decided to stop fooling myself and make the decision that my heart is telling me to make.  Coffee.  I spend too much time and energy thinking about coffee that it would just be cruel not to do it and take the opportunity that is in front of me.
Yeah I forgo the life of making awesome money, travelling extensively, and working and living in cool cities for a while and living where I please but I get to do what it is I love to do.  Best of all it isn’t a permanent decision that has no going back.  If things don’t work out, I can jump back to that life of nursing and go from there.  Hell, what I’d really like is to make coffee my main job and nursing my part time thing, working a shift or two a week as a nurse.  Mix it up and do both if possible.

So my choice has been made and I’m heading back to Edmonton.  It’s been a good year here in Vancouver.  It’s a nice town and I will miss it but I think at the end of it all there’s more things that I miss in Edmonton than I’ll miss here.  When I left E-town I had a bit of a hate on for the city and needed to get away for a while and I’m glad I did.  That said, I don’t think I’ve had as much fun out here as I had the last weekend I was in Edmonton for Andrew’s wedding or the couple of times I had visited throughout the year, especially this last week and a bit.  The friends and people I have in Edmonton plus the life I left behind when I moved to Vancouver have always been in the back of my mind while I’ve been living here and I miss it all.

Rantings
I’m now more greatful and yearning for what Edmonton has to offer than what Vancouver has to offer.  Sure I love not having winter, riding my bike nearly year round, the cafe’s around the city, restaurant and food scene (which I sadly don’t take advantage enough of) and cool, hip micro cultures and areas around the city. 
But to take the city down a notch, rent is a bit pricey with limited and often very dodgy living quarters and arrangements.  People aren’t the warmest and in many cases can be outright cold, walking the streets with tunnel vision, blocking out and ignoring all those around them.  I’ve been here a year and I’ve not made any friends outside of people that I knew prior to or met from friends.  I have some great friends here but past the past, we don’t have much in common and that’s life. 
Also, there’s very little opportunities or chances here.  The market’s saturated and alls been said and done before.  It’s the land of competition and there’s 10 other guys I’m competing with.   Yeah it’s great having many of the ammenities at my finger tips already there but I think it was more fun helping building them and trying to create a culture in a place that it doesn’t yet exist.  Big fish in the little pond I guess.

Vancouver’s great and all but nothings happening here for me and it’s time to move on.  Ha, move on to someplace old I guess.  Even if I wanted to stay I don’t know if I could, with just getting my notice for eviction at the end of January prior to the Olympics and no job in line.  Being out on the streets and having to look or a place along with the other 7 people in my house alone, along with how many others out there that are in the same situation would suck.  It’s shit like that that seems to happen too often in this town and it’s complete bullshit.

But first comes first and I have to finish off school, pass my licensing exam in January, pack up my car with all my worldy possession and make the precarious journey back to Edmonton in midde of winter.
Should be fun.

Stuff is Good

Posted in Day to day, Life on 10 October, 2009 by Troy

A busy and interesting week and a bit.  Finished school, started practicum and made a trip back to Edmonton for Thanksgiving, all of which have been great. 

Feels nice to get out of the classroom, get some practical experience and see what the world of nursing is all about.  So far it’s good.  I like the 12 hour days, they’re long but I’d rather have a few long days instead of a long week.  The work is good too.  I got into nursing because I wanted to work and help with people and get that warm fuzzy feeling inside after a job well done.  Last practicum I didn’t really experience that but so far this time I have.  Now we’ll just have to see what I do with this education and possible career path…

I set out to Edmonton to ignore and neglect my family and spend it with my adopted family at Transcend.  The weather kind of sucked in Edmonton and it even bloody snowed while I was there but what can you do?  Oh yeah, you can have an awesome time with some great people.  Coffee, food, beer, liquor and like minded people all combined equals a great time.  Hell I even went to the new community center in Leduc and got a workout in at their awesome new fitness center.  That fills the Top 5.  To top it off, pretty much everyone is coming out to Van next week for the National barista comp.  It’s going to be awesome.

It’s weird; everything Edmonton lacks, Vancouver has and everything Vancouver lacks, Edmonton has.  Things were not as they were in Edmonton when I left it and instead much has changed and things are happening.  I see all that’s happening, the change, the opportunity and I can’t help but feel excited and wanting in.