Monthly Archives: August 2007

Trouble with Falling

I couldn’t see it coming,
the hole I fell through.

Four years ago
everything was a high.
It felt like I was floating
but it soon crashed down.

Since then, I’ve been looking around.
I need another hole to fall through.
This will be much harder.
I know it to be true
It’s so easy to fall in love
Why is it so hard to
fall
out
of
it
?

I See It!

For those of you unfamiliar with the excellent blog In Search Of Isis, I suggest that you click on the link and check it out. The blog is written by ECD and his mission is to celebrate the beauty of women everywhere. Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of what he sees everyday.

The first time I got this glimpse was as I stood at a service counter. I noticed that the girl serving me was beautiful. The way she spoke and carried herself just seemed to me to be amazing. I am a young guy and something would be amiss if I didn’t notice beautiful women. She was beautiful, this much is true, but I wasn’t fixated on her beauty in a typical male way. I seemed to recognize her as a person and not just a vision of beauty.

Later on that same day, I had the same feeling wash over me while looking at another girl. She was a waitress in a restaurant. She wasn’t gorgeous in a supermodel kind of way but she again had a natural beauty and presence that seemed to captivate me.

I didn’t pursue these girls in a romantic way at all. It never really crossed my mind until our all too brief encounters were far over. The memories of how I was feeling at the time of both encounters have stayed with me since yesterday. I think I saw what ECD sees everyday. I appreciate the beauty and grace and it is only well after the fact now that I feel lonely and empty.

Summer’s Gone

Well, that is pretty much it. The summer is gone.

This time every year I listen to a song that kind of gets me depressed. The song is called “Summer” by the excellent group Buffalo Tom.

“The summer’s gone. The summer’s gone. You wasted every day.”

Those lyrics usually haunt me because I always seem to think that the summer flew by. There is always so much that I want to do at the start of the summer that I find I haven’t done when it is finally over. It is kind of depressing to know that a long and beautiful summer has passed by. I then have to face the possibility that I could have wasted it. Every day.

This year, I don’t think that is the case. I think I had a really good summer. It was the first summer of my teaching career where I did not have to work a menial job to make ends meet. I actually had a vacation this summer. That was nice. I didn’t waste every day this year.

I spent lots of time with my family and friends. I finished a few projects that I had been wanting to get to for quite some time. And I am going to take the rest of the week off and go away. I don’t think I can complain at all this summer. It was great.

I more than likely won’t be blogging until next week. I will miss reading all the fabulous blogs I read every day. I will miss reading your comments. But I need this little break and I will see you soon.

If you want to check out the video for “Summer,” it is on YouTube at this link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzqEiyDZxz0

You can even find a performance they did on the John Stewart Show on YouTube. I have never been on this site before. My Internet is too slow for video. But you really should check it out. It is a great song by an excellent band.

Take care, and see you next week.

Writing Chair


This chair looks like a cross between an office chair and a rocking chair. It has a nice large cloth seat and cloth backrest. It is great for writers like me. I can type away at my keyboard for as long as I want. When I need a break, I can lean back and the back of the chair rests on the ground and keeps me in that position.

I wish I had one of these chairs. I wonder where you can even get one. I have never seen a chair like this before. I have a typical leather office chair with wheels that I use when I write. It is nice too, but I don’t roll around a lot when I write. I like to stop and lean back at times. This chair does that so much better. I think it is a great writing chair. Every writer should have one.

Now all I need is an idea to write about. I am still tinkering around with the murder mystery night but I need a new idea for a novel. I feel lazy because I haven’t written anything all summer. I hope it is just a dry spell. They are calling for rain tomorrow. Maybe this dry spell will come to an end soon. I hope so. I don’t like not writing.

I guess I could always try to do the rewrite and edit stage of my last novel but I think I need to give it some more time so it will be fresh again when I reread it. I want to get more use out of this chair but right now, the ideas just aren’t coming.

Anime Godfathers

I am not what you would call an anime fan. I have watched several anime movies over the past few years but none of them have really captured my imagination or attention. I usually end up shutting off the DVD player and saying to myself, “Well, that was okay.”

For the most part, I have found that the films let me down.

I am not sure what it is about anime that does not really speak to me. Some of the themes explored are interesting but the drawing and animation style seems to turn me off. I like the classical style of animation a lot better.

Last week, I signed out a movie from the public library called “Tokyo Godfathers.” I was pleasantly surprised about this movie. I think it is the first anime movie I have seen where I cared about the characters. It drew me in to the storyline as the writing was quite good.

The story is about three homeless people who find an abandoned baby around Christmas time. It was an interesting movie because there really wasn’t any need for it to be animated. This story could have been told with live actors and sets. There wasn’t anything fantastic about it that would lend itself to animation.

It is something to see now that the medium doesn’t necessarily dictate content. Comic books aren’t just about superheroes anymore. Anime isn’t just about robots or fighting. A good story could be told in any format and I think we, as a culture, are more open to this idea now.

I recommend this movie to anyone who likes dramas. I found it to be a bit mature because it deals with homelessness, homosexuality, and the responsibilities of family life. But it was very well done and a pleasant surprise to watch.

Water Bottles to Toys

There have been a few newspaper articles that caught my attention lately. First was the statistics on bottled water use here in Ontario. Apparently we drink a lot of bottled water. In one region here, the bottle water drinkers were reported at 45 %. I can’t fathom why this many people who choose to pay for water when we get perfectly good water from the tap.

I drink tap water and have done so all my life. I drink a lot of water too. I really don’t see the need to buy spring water in plastic bottles. I know that some people believe that it is a cleaner and fresher alternative but I don’t really buy it.

A related story that appeared in the paper had to deal with plastic bottle recycling. We put out blue boxes every week for the city to take away our recycling waste. The article stated that we ship the a lot of our plastic bottles to China. The article criticized the practice because the Chinese standards aren’t up to par and it could be dangerous for the recycling plant workers.

Other than this one story, I haven’t heard anything else about this. Is this an issue that deserves more attention? I’m not sure. But if this is related to one more issue that has been all over the news, then it is definitely worth more attention.

You may have heard about the numerous toy recalls lately. The one thing in common is that these toys were all plastic and manufactured in China.

I don’t want to start throwing blame here. I am sure that there is more than enough to go around. I just hope that the toys we give to our children are safe. And I know the tap water is safe. So what is the problem here?

Old and Falling Apart

I am relatively young, as people like to point out to me. Although, when I turned 30 people joked that it was “all down hill from here.” Part of me thought that maybe they could be right.

Perhaps, it is just a coincidence but getting older has meant that I have slowly started to slide down hill. First, I had to have an emergency appendectomy. A year later, I had to have an umbilical hernia repair. And today, I have a further story about falling apart.

I was swimming with some friends and was just running in the water as we chased each other. I don’t know how but I managed to throw my shoulder out of its socket doing this.

I got out of the water and laid down on the deck in pain. A lifeguard came up to me and asked me if I was okay. I said, “No,” and they took me to the first aid room.

My arm looked horrible. It was obviously hanging in an unnatural way and I think it worried some of the lifeguards. I told them about my history and how that this was actually an old skateboarding injury. I fell off of a mini-ramp one day as a teenager and landed directly on my shoulder. Since then, it has slipped out of a joint a dozen or so times. Every time it manages to pop back into place when I roll on the ground. Today it didn’t.

It really hurt and I started to go into shock. I felt like I was going to pass out. I laid down on the bed in the room but it hurt too much to stay in that position. The lifeguards put ice on my arm in the hopes that it would reduce the swelling and hopefully it would pop back into place.

I couldn’t just sit there any longer. I had to get up and walk around. So I did. Fortunately, it popped back into place all on its own. I tell you that was a long twenty minutes.

I feel old. I seem to be falling apart. I know that I am not, and that I really don’t have any health problems. It just feels good to vent about this stuff. I feel much better now. My arm feels fine, although it will probably be a bit tender for a few days. I’m just glad it popped back into place and that I didn’t need any more surgery.

What Makes a Volunteer?

I spent most of my weekend giving my time for a great yearly event. I didn’t have to think twice about signing up to volunteer for KidSpark. It was a great experience and thoroughly enjoyable. I wrote about it in detail yesterday. Today I want to focus on the volunteer aspect of the event. It could not happen without volunteers and there were hundreds on hand to help out.

As I sat waiting in the conference room for our orientation to start I glanced around at the other volunteers. I wondered what compelled them to sign up for the task. I noticed that most of them seemed to be high school kids and the majority of them were female.

At first, I thought that this was a natural make-up of people who would be interested in helping to run a popular children’s festival. After all, most elementary teachers seem to be female. But then I thought again of the age of the volunteers. Why were most of them high school students? And then I remembered the requirement that you need to get 40 hours of community service in order to graduate high school here in Ontario.

I wondered how many of these volunteers really wanted to be here and how many were just here to fill up their required hours. Throughout the weekend, I could easily pick out the people who were there because they wanted to be.

I remember reading somewhere that if you help other people get what they want that you will then get what you want. I volunteer for a lot of things in my community and have done so for roughly half of my life. I think it is an enriching experience that everyone should do.

I know that some people really don’t like the 40 hours of community service that they are required to do to graduate. I personally don’t have a problem with it. I didn’t have to do that when I went to school but I still choose to volunteer my time anyway.

I think kids can really benefit from this program because the type of service is so vague. I am sure that anyone could find something or some cause that they would enjoy to volunteer for. My only questions is that if we are forcing people to volunteer, is it really volunteering?

I know that this is a touchy debate with some students and parents. I was wondering what you think, dear reader. Do they have this in your state? Do you think it is a good idea? Please post a reply.

KidSpark


I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at KidSpark on the weekend. This is an amazing event that is put on every year by the Kitchener Public Library and an assortment of community sponsors. The event is totally free and takes over the huge and beautiful Victoria Park every August.

I have taken kids to this event before and we have spent the entire day there from 11:00 – 5:00 p.m. and we still didn’t have enough time to do everything that is available for the children. There are crafts, rides, children’s entertainers, games, and anything else that would appeal to a kid on hand for the event. We usually go both Saturday and Sunday to experience all of the wonderful things this event has to offer.

One of the highlights of the day is going to the Tim Horton’s booth and buying a cookie to decorate. This is about the only thing that actually costs anything to do. Tim Horton’s donates all the profits to breakfast programs in the region so I don’t feel bad at all supporting such a great cause.

There are tons of crafts for the children to make and take home. My job this weekend was to help out with the crafts. On Saturday, I helped man the booth that made “grassheads.” These little creatures were made from nylon stockings. First we put some potting soil into a cut-off stocking and then added some grass seed to the top of it. We then tied up the top and the children got to add googly eyes to it. They were like homemade Chia Pets. They turned out really good. It also turned out to be a very popular craft as we were overrun with people coming to do it. We had a line up all day long and developed a assembly line type production to speed things up a little. It was great!

On Sunday, I helped to make kaleidoscopes. We made those out of microscope slides. All in all, I think I must have made or helped to make, thousands of crafts this weekend. I would have loved to have counted but I was just so busy helping the children and their parents that I never would have had the chance. I was just glad to help out this year for such a great event.

Blog Catalog

Networking seems to be what the Internet is all about these days. Whether it is sites like Facebook or MySpace, it seems that people want to connect with other people online. I have let it be known on this blog that I don’t much care for these two particular websites.

I enjoy the community that seems to have naturally come together here in the blogosphere. I have a circle of friends that regularly read and comment on my blog and I do the same on theirs. It is a nice little community. It is a great feeling to know that people are reading and enjoying my blog.

How did we find each other though? It seems like it was completely random. I don’t know how to do a specific blog search. Every blog that I have found and enjoy, I stumbled across by either following a link or reading comments on different blogs and following up on those.

Recently I came across a blog that was listed on Blog Catolog. This site seems to be like MySpace because it allows you to put up a profile and a link to your blog. It also lets you add “friends.” I decided to sign up for this service and create an account. I hope it works out better than facebook did for me. I think it will. It seems like a service to help get exposure and readership.

So I have joined this new community. There is a logo on the sidebar for you to click on and find out more about it if you are interested. Or you can see my profile so far. I will update it more over the next week.

http://www.blogcatalog.com/user/chasemarch