koczij: back in the saddle

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INDEX & What it is I am thinking of today
Wednesday, February 27

Does it get any bigger than this?

Last night, and not to jinx it, Heather and I signed the deal to buy a house!

It's located in South Etobicoke and is absolutely perfect. So we only have a few steps left and its ours, ready to be moved into on May 31st.

To celebrate, Heather and I went for some fajitas at the Fox and the Fiddle right across the street from where the new house is. We were told by our waitress that there's a new boardwalk being built on the lake front, there's a family of swans at the local pond which eat from your hand, and the used bookstore just down the street has been there for 30 years. Pure character.

Of course, the new Shopper's Drugmart being opened just down the street has put Heather over the moon.

We are so very very pumped for this. Special thanks to Shirley, our amazing real estate agent.
9:03 AM |

Tuesday, February 26

Michael Finkel, a great jounalist wrote an article for the New York Times Magazine. I read it and I was blown away.

Unfortunately, it turns out that there are some questions about the authenticity of the report.

There's a fine line that was crossed here. Finkel defended himself by saying that he was trying to convey a larger reality about child slavery. It's a line that's being tread apon every day. Literary Journalism, column writing, features in magazine. Very intelligent people, telling us stories about people and places we can bearly imagine. I'm moved, all the time, by magazine articles. It's one of my favourite forms of literature and I think I'd be bored to tears if I could only get news from the AP. To be honest, I'm not even sure how much I really believe all of the details of news stories anyway, and I've always been a sucker for a good story, true or not. I think the distinction between the spirit and letter of the law applies here. Giving latitude for a good story, that, at its core, is true is a good policy I think. But, of course, that kind of hazy 'policy' is impossible to create. I just hope that the leash is not shortened too much.

Another good article by Finkel, just to show you his range.

A propos, as I'm writing, CBC1 is airing an interview with successful Canadian columnists John MacLachlan Gray and Elizabeth Nixon who both expressed a preference for columns that are known more for the quality of the writing rather than the subjects or opinions covered. Art. Fact. Hmm.
11:04 AM |

Monday, February 25

Very strange ...

I was cruising Kottke today and found a neat little coincidence.

He has a link to a google search of images on his site, and deep in the search there is a link to this page: The image in question is at the bottom of the page.

I did this little ditty about a year and a half ago for a communal art project called Visualcomm that was run by Marty.

Nothing crazy really, just a funny overlap and the dogfood ads are pretty funny.
3:00 PM |

Eventful weekend.

Paully and Aird hosted a wonderful party on Saturday night where good times were had with no police intervention. Preceeding the party, Heather and I had the oppourtunity to see a great house in Etobicoke. We've decided to put an offer in.

We have to hope that we will be the only ones who put in an offer. If not, we have to enter a blind bidding war. From what I understand, the laws governing Real Estate dictate that both bidders in a multiple bid situation need to be told that they are not the only one's bidding on the house. BUT, there's no requirement for any party to be told what the other has bid. So you end up bidding as much as you possibly can. The only winner in this situation is the seller, which is fine, but this is our first house so we have no house to sell yet.

Anyway, nervousness abounds.

But on a completely unstressful note, congratulations to those great great great hockey players. The city went absolutely mad last night, and rightfully so. At the party on Saturday night, Fraser offered his analysis of the, then, upcoming game. He commented that, though there was offensive parity between the teams the defense is what was going to win it for Canada. Which can't be disputed now. Boy, Fraser sure knows hockey. Not to go overboard about this but I love Stephen Brunt's comment in his editorial today in the Globe:
How does the country feel today? Like everything's right with the world. Like your mom and dad really are infallible. Like there really is a Santa Claus. Like Wayne Gretzky can do no wrong.
9:33 AM |

Friday, February 22

Yesterday's Bionicrats.
Read and laugh. So well done. Fully capturing the unmittigated fear I have of gyms.
1:12 PM |

Thursday, February 21

Congratulations to the Canadian Men's Hockey Team for their hard fought win last night against the Finns. The second Canadian goal scored by Yzerman was one of the prettiest I've seen in months and it actually gave me shivers. Just beautiful. Of course, congratulations go out to the other Canadian athletes. And finally, good luck to the Women's Hockey team, who play the pesky Americans today for the gold medal.

I finished Joe Sacco's "Safe Area Gorazde" last night. It was a gift from Antony. I'm not sure if Sacco is the only comic journalist, but it's a fascinating genre that I'm certainly going to look into more. I loved the book. Really loved it. The art is impeccable, the story is gripping, and I learned more about the geo-political circumstances surrounding the war in Bosnia from this book than I ever did from reading the papers or talking to friends who served there. There's an obvious bias toward the Muslim situation there, but that - to me - is a natural part of journalism. Hopefully this genre will explode so we can get a chorus of voices and positions.
8:26 AM |

Wednesday, February 20

Week two of the job search has been as successful as one might expect. But there is good news on the horizon. Thanks to the help of toddy and e-more some work is coming my way. I'm thinking that the freelance gig, as long as it keeps up, isn't a bad option right now. But I can't go into it so softly. What I need to do is form some real intentions and then form some real plans. I don't believe that the kind of luck I've been having of late with freelance stuff is indicative of what's actually going on out there.

So, thoughts of Koczij Enterprises® are dancing in my head.

In other news, Heather and I registered at Home Outfitters, a Hudson's Bay Company off-shoot. We walked around with a woman named Jenni, pointed to things, and she wrote them down. "I'll take this, and that ... oh! and two of those". In hindsight it feels really bourgeois, but in the moment the whole thing is set up to feel totally natural. Everybody does it, don't worry. The one thing that gives me solace is that if someone doesn't want to buy us stuff from the registry, they don't have to. What we're really doing is providing a service. An option for those who don't have strong opinions one way or another about what to give us.

Finally, dooce. She's really a fantastic writer, fantastic designer, and she has a fantastic taste in music. But one thing I don't get is how the hell does she get away with saying the things she says about her workplace. The effect of what I write on my employment situation, given the industry I'm in, is always on my mind when I post. She's either got a lot of courage or a lot of other prospects. IMHO.
9:18 PM |

Thursday, February 14

"approximately 80 percent of job openings that are available at any given time are not advertised in the newspapers or online job boards" - source.

The upshot of that little quote is that I need to learn how to network, which is probably the scariest part about all of this for me. I'm notoriously bad at keeping up with old friends and acquaintances and I feel like a total shyster when I call old friends 'out of the blue' who now work in HR at ad agencies. But, I have found that people have a surprisingly high tolerance for transparent 'networking'. It's a fascinating but alien world for me, though I do have to admit that all work I've done on the web came to me, in some form or another, from people I've known before the project/job started.

I need to adjust my world view a bit. I need to simply strip the seediness away from the process, which will make me feel better and will probably improve me chances. It'll all be fine.

In other news, Heather and I are going to see the Raptors with some friends. Are we pumped? You better believe it.
9:34 AM |

Monday, February 11

The job search began today. I've hit all the usual suspects (monster, workopolis, jobshark), and now I'm in contact with a few recruiters.

Heather and I spent the weekend at the cottage with Warren and Agnes. Great fun was had. We made a valiant and (mostly) successful attempt at sushi. The rolling of sushi is remarkably easy to do, doing it well is another story entirely. If you are interested in giving it a go, research is recommended. If it wasn't for the back of the seaweed paper package things could have gone horribly wrong.

Finally, Heather and I are off to the Bay to do some registering. We will be armed with a SKU gun, three hours, and lifetime of indecisiveness to complete the task. Find out how it went, tomorrow, at Heather and Mark's Wedding Central (a transparent and shameless attempt to push traffic).

3:27 PM |

Thursday, February 7

I've found my very own Googlewhack.

jibbed frankfurter soil

Updates, changes, revisions are going on now. It's nice to be able to do a tidying up of the site. Just putting the finishing touches on. Thanks to those who have emailed with observations already. It feels so good to hear the positive things people are saying.

3:28 PM |

Wednesday, February 6

Check your watches ... mark it on your calendars ... koczij v.2 is now live! I'm really happy with how it came out.

Thanks to those who gave their input, technical assistance, and advice. And special thanks to nurun inc. for finally releasing me back into the world.

I was laid off on January 23rd which means that I am now in the market for a job and I'm looking in the Toronto area.

The first week was, by far, the most difficult. It wasn't difficult as a result of some deep psychological wound, and I haven't had to contend with self-doubt yet. It's been difficult because I'm now addressing the world in an entirely different way. I spend my entire day in my room working on whatever it is I'm working on and I listen to the radio all day long. I've been finding that everything on the news has been moving me.

A man in Windsor was killed by a snow-covered tree falling on his car and I couldn't get it out of my mind. All of the tributes to Peter Gzowski have actually touched me.

This sensitivity has been dulled in the last few days, partly because I'm getting used to the glare of the midday sun and partly because I've made changes in my routine. I've been avoiding full days of radio news casts, I avoid eating lunch at my desk, and I'm getting out of my apartment at least once a day.

So, there you go. Please hit the site as much as you can, and let me know if you run into anything strange.
8:04 PM |

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