I spent the majority of the weekend back in London, Ontario. I was taken there by great friends who treated me to everything my heart desired. I only ever took out my wallet to be told to put it away. A Kia Sportage
was rented for the trip and we stayed at one of the best hotels
The day started with a trip up to the old school
where we had a few pints at the Grad Club
after walking around, seeing the changes, and being overwhelmed by the flood of memories. We then proceeded downtown where we stopped in a few of the old haunts and then carried on to have dinner and a few drinks at the Runt Club
. Next stop was the renovated Poach'
- where the ownership has a well deserved reputation for assaholism. Then, probably my favourite part of the night, we had a number of drinks at the ever-popular, most familiar, and never-changing 'wick
- across the street from the Greyhound station.
From there, we slipped into all that is most maddening about London - standing in line to get into a bar. First we tried Jim Bob Ray's, then having given up on that, we moved on the legendary Barney's where Tony's insistence that we wait 15 more minutes actually paid off and we were treated to drinks on the patio just as a major lightening storm started. It all turned out alright - as it inevitably does in London - and we finished off the night with too much food at Sammy Souvlaki's.
Sunday morning consisted of breakfast at Prince Albert's
and a quiet drive home. So all in all a perfect London weekend - encapsulating my years at Western as well as can be done in a 24 hour period. The guys were incredibly generous and thoughtful and I'm as happy as can be.
So I'm over at Tony, Paul, and Aird's last night and at around 11pm I decide its time for me to be I'm on my way home. The bus ride is normally around 30 minutes at that hour, but as you may or may not know, Toronto is in the grips of World Youth Day and all assumptions have been thrown out the window. Knowing this, I borrowed a magazine (the April 2002 Rolling Stone) from Tony and made my way to the bus stop.
As I was waiting for the bus and reading a great article
I started getting a slight feeling of motion sickness, which I attributed to the fact that I was reading in low light and pacing a bit. By the time the bus shows up I'm really not feeling that well and I've decided not to read on the bus. When we passed Roncesvalles, around 150 WYD pilgrims cram the on the bus and this is where things go bad. They're yelling and singing and celebrating and I can make out at least 5 different languages ... and this would have been great except that at that moment my world is spinning at an alarming rate, I can't see anything, I'm soaked with sweat, riding a wave of nausea, and shivering cold. All the hubbub of happy pilgrims added to the surrealism of the moment and I seriously considered getting off to sort myself out.
Just as things were at their worst, the bus started emptying out, and things began clearing up; I stopped shivering, I could open my eyes again, and moving my head didn't throw me into a tailspin. So I began coming to terms with the feelings and started to feel slightly embarrassed about being 'that guy' on the bus. As I began to wonder what could have created such a violent reaction in me, the bus driver came on over the P.A. to tell us that the bus would be short-turning at Kipling (which is a 15 minute walk to the end of the line - it really wasn't a big deal, another bus would be coming pretty soon anyway).
At this a very large, very loud Polish man (who did not have any of the pilgrim-gear on) starts hollering at the bus driver, asking why there is a short-turn, why now, and that he has paid his fare so he has a right to demand this and that.... just your average jerk making a big deal out of nothing. The bus driver answers him quite reasonably, that it isn't her decision, and that she was just doing what her supervisor has instructed to do. Okay, everything's pretty normal here. But then things take a hard turn to the bizarre, likely feeling bolstered by the influx of Catholics into the city, he mutters in Polish "the manager is a Jew, he hates Catholics". Okay, he has said it in Polish, and that kind of statement, as horrible as it is, would be more likely said in Poland than in Canada, and to be honest, didn't sound as bad as it reads. But of course, it perked my ears up. Having gotten no reaction to that, he yells it this time, still in Polish - "the Manager is a JEW, he hates CATHOLICS". Still no one is reacting either way. The nausea starts to build in me again - I'm feeling like Alex after the Ludovico Treatment - the sheer hate and ugliness of this man's behaviour is starting to make me dizzy again.
As we're getting off the bus, he storms up to the bus driver and in English he says, (and I'm mean this, no word of a lie, this is verbatim), "YOU tell your MANAGER, that he is a FUCKING JEW ..." and he's screaming this "... and that a I KNOW he has done this because he HATES CATHOLICS ... and you tell him to FUCK off ... tell the FUCKING JEW to FUCK HIMSELF ..." and he goes on and on. So the two people he was with pull him off the bus and that bus just peeled out of there.
Needless to say, I walked to get away from the guy, choking on the ugliness of the moment, head spinning again. I literally couldn't get my head around what was happening. I was upset, unsettled, slightly scared, and ready to get into bed. As I approached my place, I saw the next bus, which had picked up all the folks stranded by the short-turn, and there he was sitting there jawing with his friends, big smile on his face. It was so upsetting. And a real shame - that's the way I'm going to remember World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto.
The migration is done! Email is back up, and now I've got SQL as a part of my hosting package, so there are some nice opportunities for PHP goodness.
Tonight is my stag and I'm really happy about that. Though some balls where dropped by Pancakes Jr., which I share blame for, alls well and tonight will go smoothly. I have been really nervous about it over the past few weeks, but now that its here I'm very excited and any anxieties have fallen by the wayside.Mike
and I just submitted a proposal to do some kick-ass work for MaRS
. Fingers crossed.
My mail problems continue unabated. I am going to be dumping my hosting company. If you've been trying to get in contact with me and my koczij.com mail address hasn't worked - please use this one
for now. I will post here when I have moved.
In lighter news, this Saturday, I played my first ever round of golf. I played at the Royal Ontario
course in Oakville/Milton, and I shot 126. I was told that I did quite well for a first time golfer. The key to my success was my consistent movement down the centre of the course at 100-150 yard increments. If I was able to putt anything less than a three-putt on any of the holes, I would have had an even better score. From what I understand the short game comes later, if ever.Drive for Show, Putt for Dough
My hosting company has managed to completely mess up their mail servers. So any mail sent to koczij.com hasn't been reaching me. Many apologies.
hasn't officially launched, I really wanted to add it to my portfolio. So enjoy the new addition
and more will be added as soon as possible.
I took the week off last week. No computer. It was great, but work has to be done and the vacation is over.
Highlights from last week include, the assembly and troubleshooting of my Vespa
, finalising insurance and the security system at the new house, moving Pancakes Jr. up to his summer job
, and tying up loose ends on a few projects I've been working on for the past little while.
I haven't really updated the portfolio section of the site in the last month, and in that time I have completed two projects. I intend to do that in the next day or so. VolunteersOnline
and Mars Discovery District
have been the main things I've worked on in the last little while and details will be following.
The most interesting thing I've been working on over the last month or so was a suite of icons for VolunteersOnline. I've posted a bit of a teaser, and they haven't been applied to the site yet, but take a look
So watch the Independent
area of the site as its content doubles in the coming days.