Monday, March 23, 2009

a nifty weekend

Hello everyone. It's Monday morning again. I've just had quite a nifty weekend. There was so much going on that I'm glad to be able to relax today and tomorrow. My grandmother came over for a visit. She's doing quite well and it was good to see her again. Her hearing might be dropping off a little but not too much thank goodness. Other than that, she sounds as healthy as ever. I showed her the netbook and she was amazed at how small it was.

Friday night, Janene and I went over to her friend Barry's house. He does this Barry Kirkey Show those of you who read peoples' comments to the blog will have seen mensionned. Not to cause anybody's cranium to rupture, but the best way to concisely describe it that I can think of is like a radio morning show served anal side up with generous helpings of smut and indecency. Definitely not recommended for parents or children. The anxt of the young adult single male writ large and with little heed to future consequences. Paradoxically, what little contact I've had with a few people involved in this group seem quite decent and thoughtful folks. They just seem to need this kind of bestial commic releaf. It certainly made for an interesting and darkly fun night out for Janene and I. Not something I'd do very often. I tend to be pretty conservative about publicly discussing sexual matters and such. Doubtless, most audience members found me quite dull.

Barry is one of those people who you can just tell are very loyal, caring and considerate despite themselves. Those who take the time to get to know him rather than judging him by his cover will come to realise that. Sadly, there are a great number of people in this world who refuse to take a closer look at people who are at all unusual. They lose out on a wonderfully unpredictable, quirky and refreshing dimension to life. They'll grow old fast because they fail to see the true value of childhood play and aspects of it. He has the strong whiff of antihero about him. You can never be certain which way he'll go or what he'll say next. The fatherly part of me wanted to reach out, tap him on the shoulder, and say something excrutiatingly paternalistic. "Come now. You have so much potential that could be far better directed to good purpose." or some such nonsense. That wouldn't be fare at all. He and his audience are just coming at life from a different angle than I am. They've had a lot more worldly experience while I've had a lot more time to absorb and reflect on things like self-identity. I can see how Janene thinks of him as a kind of younger brother. His girlfriend seems to be secure enough in her own identity to not mind him making a crass fool of himself. Barry's co-host is a good friend who I expect will stick by him through any rough weather which might happen should Barry take things too far with his show one day. Sadly, I believe that's a distinct possibility when you're pushing hard at all the social boundaries. Barry also tends to use voiceclips out of context so don't take anything you hear me say on the show or future ones seriously.

Saturday was extremely busy. Dad and I went out first thing in the morning to grab some beer. We also picked up a set of Bose Companion 3 speakers which were on sale at Futureshop. I think they'll be far better and easier to manage once I've moved in with Janene. I've never been comfortable with the idea of speaker wires trailing across an apartment floor. Also, over the years, I have yet to be in a situation where it's possible to actually position two rear speakers correctly. Having them not lined up right doesn't do wonders particularly while playing sound-based games. Also, having a sub-woofer which fires downward may annoy people below. The Bose Companion 3 speakers certainly have a high-quality feel to them. Their sub-woofer fires forward into the room so it should keep things somewhat more contained. There was just one little problem. The sub-woofer wouldn't fit under my desk as I had been positive it would. My estimation of the hight off the ground of my desk's shelf and the top of the sub-woofer was off by perhaps two centametres. Damnably annoying. Dad has thought of a very good solution but I was so positive he wouldn't have to at all.

Later that afternoon, we went over to my brother Dan's house to baby-sit Ava and Amia. It was the first time my grandmother had seen them in quite a while and we all had quite a good time. Amia is getting very quick and quite adept at grabbing things she wants. You really have to stay sharp. I let her check out my flexible keyboard as it seemed to interest her. She didn't seem curious about anything else in my netbook bag like Ava is. Neither of them pay attention to any one thing for very long. Ava did watch a show on Treehouse for a while but really wanted to go off with her gramma downstairs. Her great grandmother was completely overwelmed by the number of toys the kids have down there.

Saturday evening was spent in the new Keg in Waterdown where my brother is a bar manager. It was what they call a dry run where they iron out any remaining kinks before opening to the general public. They have friends and relatives come in and have a meal with some of the proceeds going to charity. Things went quite well overall. The only slight disaster was when our server spilled some wine on my father and I. The poor guy felt so bad about it. I felt bad for him but couldn't help a touch of dark amusement. Usually, I'm the one who accidentally knocks glasses over. It was refreshing, in more ways than one, to hear somebody else do that. As things turned out, they did a masterful job of making amends. We ended up getting a new choice of dinners which were better suited to our tastes. Not that it would have been easy to go very wrong eating pretty much anything at the Keg. The food was good to the tenth power as it tipically is. The conversation was also excellent. I got to hear more about Mom and Dad's younger days for one thing. The stark contrast between Friday and Saturday night was sharp enough to cut through steak with. Dan and the staff as a whole did a very good job as far as I could tell from my auditory vantage point. Dan really hit his stride checking up on people and making certain things went well. It was the first time I really got to hear him at work like that.

Sunday was busy as well. We went out to take my grandmother to my aunt Kae's house in Bright. She seems to be doing quite well. They'll be going on some sort of bus trip together soon before my grandmother returns to Winnipeg. Heading home afterwards, we had a nice relaxing afternoon. Mom and Dad certainly needed it and I was also glad of the lull. I took in a couple of movies. Namely, The Fantastic Four and the sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer. I wasn't certain what I'd make of comicbook adaptations having never read any. However, I found a depth of character I wasn't at all expecting. There wasn't as much of a dark gritty edge as in the case of Batman Begins. The premise was also somewhat more far-fetched. Certainly an enjoyable few hours all in all.

Another fantastic bit of news this weekend was hearing from a kind lady who is donating her accessible cellphone to me. It has been made especially for blind people and doesn't have all the bells and whistles I didn't want like Internet browsing and a camera. I merely wanted something I could call and possibly send text messages with and this phone does all that with all the menus and functions speaking. These phones aren't at all inexpensive and I deeply appreciate this lady's generocity. It was a terrific stroke of fortune that I happened to attend the same accessibility chat as she did last week. With everything going on in life these days, I'm far from a regular atendee. Now, I just have to figure out which GSM network provider to go with. That's one of the things I'll be working on this week.

Janene and I ended the weekend by having dinner together at Swiss Chalet. She ended up relaxing for most of the weekend and seems much better for having done so. It was good to do that and then have her over afterwards to visit with my parents and I. She'll likely be busier next weekend with school work. The pressure isn't quite over on that front. I guess I'll be catching up on news from CSUN as well as examining this new version of Internet Explorer more thoroughly. So far, it's working quite well for me but other people have apparently not been so lucky there. I'm not using all the new features so I hope there's less chance of my encountering snags with the basics.

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