Well, it’s official: the provincial government has a $5.6 billion deficit, courtesy of the PC Party of Ontario. Part of me always knew this was coming, but I didn’t imagine it to be this bad. Amazing how provincial politics works.
The federal Liberals injected more money and equipment into Canada’s armed forces today. I’m quite happy about that. I’m not a fan of war by any means, but a well-equipped, nimble military is a good thing for peacekeeping operations, in my humble opinion.
The Toronto Raptors’ season starts tonight – warts and all. Hopefully this year, the Raptors can avoid last year’s problems, which were compounded through the injuries of Vince Carter. No doubt the Raptors are, on paper, a very good team with opportunities to make it through the NBA playoffs, but can coach Kevin O’Neill make the desired impact? I hope so. Toronto’s had a rough ride in the last few years sports-wise (The Blue Jays are only now beginning to show signs of improvement, the Maple Leafs have officially turned into hockey’s version of the Chicago Cubs, the Argos are basically off the rader screen of most sports fans in Toronto) that a winning season – one that makes you feel proud of your team – is required this year. Good luck to them.
Tonight, go for a run and watch some TVO. I know, I’m such a nerd because of it. But at least it’s healthy activity – I’d much rather be a nerd with a point of view than a “normal” person with nothing relevant to say.
Ah, sweet Tim Hortons coffee. Liquid gold as I’ve heard it referred to (only in a corporate context), it’s good for the soul and damn does it ever motivate you!
Getting my graduate school applications together these days. It’s the kind of project that will likely be done by the end of November – I’m excited about this.
I’m going for a run tonight and then going to listen to The Blues on CBC Radio. I’m just nuts about how good CBC Radio is – I love it and I wish I had listened more back when I was in high school. I listened to After Hours on CBC Radio Two for a few years in high school (jazz is one of those rare musical genres that I impress upon people as more than just music – it’s an historical and political journey) and it was great to listen to when I was in bed and going to sleep. I still listen to it, but JAZZ-FM has a special place with me now. Give it a listen.
Of all the digital technologies I use, the one technology I appreciate more than any other is Canada Post. Why? Because it’s more mysterious and is efficient above all else. There’s something to be said about spending a mere 48 cents on a stamp and mailing something across the country. Sure, it would cost nothing with email, but I’ve found people tend to take much more personal appreciation out of sending a letter than writing an email. That’s just me.
Student Debt 101: how does one cope with a $35,000 debt incurred from their undergraduate degree? I’m lucky to have no debt, but it’s amazing how scary-expensive earning a degree has become. A friend of mine whom I worked with last fall said she’s $35,000 in debt, and that was *after* the government waved a portion of her debt load. Yikes. Think about that: how in the world would someone be able to start their life (i.e. buying a condo or house) if they’re making student loan payments every month? Either make the loans system much more flexible or re-introduce the grants system so middle and lower-class students can afford to earn degrees without turning to a) multiple part-time jobs or b) reduced course loads or c) dropping out completely.
Okay, rant done.
News from the homefront:
I’ve come to the conclusion that Britney Spears, the resident nice girl turned, well, I have no idea what she is now, has become far too isolated from her own fans to appreciate how truly awful her music is. For example, good old MuchMusic – ah, the days of Erica Ehm are sorely missed – has been airing ad infintium this Ms. Spears special on her new video Me Against The Music, which co-stars Madonna. I don’t know, unlike Christina Aguilera whom I actually believe wants to be sexy and liberated because that’s her real persona, Britney seems forced and unnatural with such a take on her status as a sex kitten (of course, having Madonna in a video with you isn’t as safe a bet as it was ten years ago).
Watching the MATM video was a kind of surreal experience: Britney finally becoming her own worst enemy, captured on camera. Think about it: Britney Spears rode the teen pop cottails so strongly that she became the archetype for the era. So did Madonna, with her True Blue/I’m Breathless/Like A Prayer/Erotica hit factory of the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Now, with their careers kind of veering off into post-modern cultural dust bins (did anyone at all buy Madonna’s American Life album? No? Didn’t think so), they’re stuck in a weird kind of “who cares anymore” state of their careers, not sure what to do next.
I don’t know, open-mouth kissing someone on the MTV Video Music Awards might do it. Or writing a crappy song with an idiotic video.
So today marks not only the end of Daylight Savings Time, it also marks my second day of blogging.
Got the 28 Days Later DVD today as a gift. What a gift it is. This was arguably the best movie of the summer, given that no other summer movie (with the notable exception of The Matrix: Reloaded) managed to resonate with the public as much as this one. Director Danny Boyle (the guy who made Trainspotting, The Beach) and writer Alex Garland (the author of The Beach) teamed up again for 28 Days Later, and the results were worth it. It’s really intense and uses DV technology (DV = Digital Video, for those film geeks like me out there) to give some of the fight scenes that much more of an edge. Besides, zombie horror is always a thrill (my brother would agree with me).
Okay, promised a note on The Way The Crow Flies. I was lucky enough to interview Ann-Marie MacDonald back in 1997 when she was still basking in the glow of her award-winning (and Oprah-endorsed) book Fall On Your Knees. TWTCF is much darker than FOYK, and it revolves around a murder mystery of sorts during the height of the Cold War. Ann-Marie is definitely the kind of writer that knows how important history, location and character development is to the broader narrative – she knows her stuff and knows how to tell a good story. Go pick up this book.
Oh, and if you’re in for a good laugh (or dropped jaw, for that matter), go check out Frank Magazine. It’s undergone a major re-design under publisher Fabrice Taylor, and it’s focusing more on the business world this time around. It’s acidic but damn is it funny.
Anyway, gotta go. Check in later.
Forgot a little detail to add on here: I’ve included a link to a web site/blog of my friend, Peter Jaworski – he’s an excellent writer and currently a graduate student at the University of Waterloo. He’s into libertarianism and free markets and Youth For Liberty. I don’t agree with him on certain topics but he articulates his points so well you have to respect him and his opinions. Great guy, please check out his work here.
Also, if you want to read some of my works, check out these links:
Shift Magazine – Defunct technology culture magazine but was my favourite magazine for years and I’m glad I got to contribute a little before it was shut down. Run a search for my name and I’m there!
Silicon Valley North – terrific magazine that I currently do work for. Same deal, run a search if you want to read some of my stuff.
Have a great weekend,
Well, here it is. I suppose you could say that I’m a “wired” journalist now, considering the fact I currently don’t have a web site, cell phone or more than one email address. Still, if Columbia University teaches blogging as a journalistic skill nowadays, I figure I should probably join the crowd and conform a little.
Today in the Toronto Star, a great article on the new Liberal cabinet was published. It includes how the Liberals are going to deal with an appalling $5 billion deficit that those “fiscally responsible” Tories managed to rack up in eight years of governance. I don’t know, sometimes I wonder how governments manage to have such a great group of people surrounding them in advisory roles but the politicians themselves seem to create so many problems.
Anyway, as you’ve probably already guessed (if you’re reading this, which isn’t likely considering it’s my first post and no one knows about it yet), I’m a Liberal and I’m proud to be one. Also, I promise to minimize my jabs at Tories because many of them are friends and colleagues and I’m not one to be an ass for the sake of being an ass.
Okay, just a little tidbit of info before I go: I’ll get around to posting some articles on here soon, as well as being somewhat interesting above writing about Liberals and other stuff that most people don’t care about. I promise this might actually become an interesting blog, no doubt due to the fact I’m seeing Alien: The Director’s Cut next week and I’m reading a fabulous book called The Way The Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald. Promise to have ideas on this soon.