Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sort of Like Guy Fawkes Day But Newer

Uptown Magazine! The blanket with sleeves!

I had a column published in the latest edition, discussing in brief the upcoming Louis Riel Day in Manitoba; it's only the second Louis Riel Day ever, so there's still lots to get sorted out with this holiday. Readers more familiar with my oeuvre will recall that I also wrote a column last year on the subject, when the Day was fresh and new -- and I'm happy to report that my Louis Riel Day tradition will continue this year, by which I mean I fully intend to spend the day reading Manitoba history and drinking steadily. I've already got the book picked out, in fact! What an organized fellow I am.

Speaking of organization, the big Toronto-themed post that I've promised previously should be coming down the pike by the end of the week. I've whittled the pictures down to about seventy, which is half the number I started with but still quite a handful to download at once; I may post them in two smaller chunks, if only so they'll travel down the main page faster and make life easier on everyone's modems in the future. And it wasn't until I got near the end of the whittlin' process that I saw and remembered that I took relevant video footage, so right now I'm also working on editing and encoding and uploading and--okay, yes, I see you're thrilled. Point taken, we'll move on.

Manitoba's Louis Riel Day is the third Monday in February, meaning that it coincides with Ontario's Family Day. And because universities tend to be run by clever people, damn their eyes, the Family Day also coincides with our upcoming reading week -- just to ensure that we don't get any extra days off anywhere, or anything. I'm quite looking forward to it! So expect my blog posts here to come fast and furious over the next calendar week; yes, I'll also have a metric crapload of schoolwork staring me down, but a brother's got to take his relaxation where he can get it. Fight the power!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dig That Car

Well, hello there! Toronto was very interesting, and I have many interesting stories and pictures to share. (It isn't everyday that I exit from an underground concourse to find myself smack in the middle of a thirty-thousand-person protest march, for example.) In fact, I appear to have taken about a hundred and fourty (!) pictures over the course of the trip; selecting and editing them for presentation is going about as quickly as one would expect, and I'm trying to figure out how I might post them here without completely clogging the internet connection of anybody who tries to visit this blog ever.

With that said, I'm afraid that the extended exposition about my recent getaway will have to wait. I know, I know! I said that I'd tell you all about it this week, and I had said that in good faith. But my scholastic endeavors are not going extravagantly well for me in the scheduling department right now, as it turns out; I've got more commitments than Roddy Doyle this week. (Ha ha, oh geez, sorry. A little book humour, there! I'm, uh... I think I'm losing my mind.)

In considering my position for this week I was reminded of a few photos that I took last Wednesday night, while on my way home to pack for the trip the next day. The weather in London never gets very dramatically cold, but it definitely loves to snow a lot around here -- and while I'm sure the locals must be used to it by now, it appears that some people still get caught unawares.

Yeah, wow. Good luck digging your vehicle out, gobsmacked car owner! It looks pretty bad from here, but it's nothing unmanageable; you just have to start digging, wherever it strikes you as best to start, and then keep going from there until you're able to free yourself and move on with your life.

Right? Am I thinking unreasonably here? Well, apparently I must be, because I walked home from school again today -- and that car is still there.

It hit temperatures of zero yesterday and the day before (zero! It was flippin' spring out here!), giving the previous snow some time to melt and congeal into ice, and then it snowed like crazy again overnight so this car is even worse off now than it was before. Whoever owns this vehicle has moved on from being surprised by the weather conditions to either A) being completely incompetent or B) having given up entirely on the idea of driving anywhere.

This is what motivates me, right now. There is no way I can let myself end up like this car.

(If you're in London at the moment and want some motivation yourself, feel free to go look at it and regard it with wonder; it's in the parking lot of the UWO store, just south of Sarnia and Western. I don't think it's going anywhere, just drop by whenever.)

So I've got a lot of work to do, and the Toronto trip recap will have to wait for now. But! In the meantime, let me pass along information that you may find useful. Certainly I find it to be very interesting and important information, but I am willing to accept that not everybody is as gung-ho about these sorts of things. To wit:

It's on, suckers! Next Monday it's half-off at the Value Village, and you can expect me to be there bright and early just to see what I can get my hands on. I did the same with the last sale and ended up with a coat so impressively swanky that I couldn't possibly have ever afforded it under normal circumstances; I doubt my luck is so strong as to set up a feat like that twice, but hey, you never know.

Will James Howard survive his gauntlet of assignments and obligations? Will he return to report on his adventures in the big city? Will someone dig that car out? Tune in next time!