rough notes

The last two weeks (and then some).

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Alright, where to begin? First, I should be at WalMart right now, buying, amoung other things, an ironing board. I have not yet washed however, as I am unsure when the painters will be back to finish painting the outside trim of the bathroom window. We have recently moved (more on that later), and have not yet bought new blinds. That’s tomorrow’s daytrip.

So, around the 1st of September, I disappeared from this service. My relationship with is tenuous, as best, so i worried little how the interuption of service would affect my LJ-ness. Yes, I type up sonnets. Yes, I even post them to communities. But that’s really the outward manifestation of a personal project of sorts.

(I love it when I use big words the wrong way.)

But, back to the beginning. Sept 1st, we moved. It was a harrowing experience, but certainly not my most difficult. (I reserve that honour for the midnight move-out of the third floor of Dewson St, into the 1AM move-in of the 3rd floor of Huron St, by way of a rickety fire escape. A close second is the emotionally difficult move out of Merton St, where once-guarenteed student loans no longer were earmakred for my schooling, leaving behind a letter of condolence from the Premier for the fiscal imbalance of the province and its difficuly effect on my education. [Cold Comfort.]) We were completely moved in at the end of the day, leaving only the unpacking to do for the next.

Unpacking begain on the 2nd, and stopped on the 3rd, when painters unexpectantly arrived to paint the apartment at 7:30AM. This occurred the next day as well, which left me in a rough state for the next couple days after that. Between the heavy move and the paint fumes, I had to work around the ultra-early mornings – ultra-early in the sense that work keeps me from hitting the bed until around 2AM, at the earliest. But more on that later. Despite my grumblings about exhaustion, the new coat of Eggshell white surely brightened up the place, and I’m quite happy with it. There are a couple missteps here and there (they has issues with the ceilings, and fucked up on the touchups around the computer alcove, but all-in-all, I’d say thye managed quite well, considering the amount of furniture (and two cats) they had to work around. We are still unpacking, by the way.

Later. I promised I’d get around to it. In my other, secret life, which I do not talk about much (except for spending my earnings, I try not to mix business with pleasure) (then again, I don’t talk much about anything), I wait on tables. On Labour Day, I transferred back from the Company’s tourist-trap property to their upscale-ish hotel restaurant. The tips are slightly better, but the hours are different. I used to come home around midnight, but now, as I perform several managerial functions (and am compensated sufficiently for it, I believe), do not make it home until after 1:30, sometimes 2:30, depending on last call. No worries on that one, though. I enjoy myself there. My co-workers are glad to have me back, and the management see me as a godsend at times as I filled a pressing (and immediate) need for competent staff.

In the mean time, I coped with the lack of internet access. The Phone Company took a frickin’ week and a half to tweak whatever it is they have to tweak, to get my DSL modem up and running. And man were they rude about it, too. It was like speaking to the ignorant shites at Aliant’s parent company, Ma Bell. If it were not for the extra ten-day turn-around time, I would have switched to cable in the process. (Mental note. Must call up Aliant and demand a huge discount for lack of service and poor customer relation skills of their staff.)

Closer to the present, I checked out a Gorden Downie concert. A great show! Gordon Downie is not the Tragically Hip, and The Tragically Hip is not Gordon Downie. Had he have played any Hip songs, they would have been covers at best. The concert, like the album, was energetic and alive, rough around the edges. There was some serious grooves in the air, courtesy of his backing band, The Country of Miracles, a roundup of Canadian all-star musician castaways from bands such as Eric’s Trip, The Skydiggers and the Rheostatics. I was separated from my group of friends at the show, but did not mind, as I basked in my own uber-Canadian white-boy groovability with the people around me. The club the show was in makes a great altar for Rock’n’Roll Communion. As for the actual sound of Downie, it was different. In some circles it might be blasphemous, but I don’t give a rat’s ass: Downie’s new stuff is like when Dylan went electric. Same person, but a completely different sound, and a marked improvement to go with the times, that yet does not disparage his earlier work.

Which leads us up to here. The actual present. The Toronto Film Festival has more or less now ported itself here and is now billing itself as the Atlantic Film Festival. Hooray. I’ve never been big on films. Yeah, the independent ones are much better, but if I’m to sit in a theatre to watch a giant television screen, its gotta be a serious blockbuster event that appeals to the child in me. Recent examples include LOTR and Star Wars, but even then, I’m still six months off the mark. All the power to those in love with the events in the city, but I’m not pressing for time off work right now.

I should be asking for more time off work, though. The Film Festival has set up its HQ in the four-star hotel my pub is in, Which means I’m currently catering to the whims and fancies of many, many, many directors, actors, writers and other big-wigs. And, they’re assholes. The whole lot of them. I’ve never come accross a more pompous group. They are here for their galas, premieres, viewings, and press about their artwork, so yes, eat, drink and be merry. This is after all, a Festival showcasing their productions, so we (the staff) expect them to be in high spirits to begin with, and good on them. But for fuck’s sakes, why can’t they do it with a little more humility and forethought? The majority of the Festival guests act like high school children on their first big trip out of town. There is much ordering on the fly, running from one table to another, out of the pub and down the road, trying to walk behind the bar (**against the law**) or into the kitchen to ask why their dinner is taking so long. All are high-maintenance, arrogant gits, who tip poorly because they are on their own budgets. Many want to dine in style, but on the cheap. For example, “I’d like to have your 12oz cut, done medium to medium well, seared lightly. But if I forego the veggies and potato, can I have a discount? And I’ll just have water with that. What do you mean you do now have fresh-baked sourdough rolls to go with that?” Other believe they are Gods gift to, well, everything, and we owe them for their presence here. Example: “Um um, EXCUSE ME. Why are you not letting US sit on the terrace? Why is the door locked TO US?1” (It was “locked because the poor lady was pushing when she should have pulled the handle. She was pretensious enough to retort, “Well, NEXT TIME, you will have to make that more clear TO US.” Fuck you. The best was the person who was livid about our inabality to grill a hamburger when some ass pulled a prank and pulled the fire alarm yesterday. If there is a fire alarm, the kitchen immediately shuts down – this includes the propane grills. Fire and propane is an awful combination, so naturally, the sous chef shuts off the valve and corralles his staff outside, away from the gas, until I can give him an all-clear from the hotel front desk, who cannot give that (or shut off the alarm) until a fire marshall says so. idiots!

Other things include the group of women, led by “Pamela Drynan” (Room 946), who sit for three hours at a time, run up $200 tabs, try to walk out on the bill, then sign it to the wrong room, without a tip. Ms Drynan of Room 946, I will never ever attend a viewing of your films, no matter how much you like the colour of my eyes or the decor of the restaurant I work in. Further, you and your cohorts have forever tainted my film-going/watching pleasure and habits. I will not attend any film in the festival now, for sure. And likely not next year, either. When you say things like, “Without me, people would not know what its like to laugh or cry,” I lose all respect I have for “artists.” Fuck off with your pretension.

The one nice thing about the Festival, however, is Michael Ondaatje. He really is a charming, sweet man, who deserves the respect offered to him by the festival brats. He quitely and discreetly picks up bills, does not sneer when it is last call or threaten to never drink here again, and, he thanks the low-lifes such as myself for our work serving he and his friends. Mr. Ondaatje, your sincere “Thank you” was worth well more than the sufficient tip you left me. I will now endeavour to read all of your books and short stories. You deserve it, by way of your nature alone. Your sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.

(The cute thing is the Festival brats, who run amok like they own the place, become quiet, reserved children when bigwigs like Ondaatje is in the room (and picking up their tab). They come on their more humble best behaviour, and are quite reserved and polite. They are so two-faced.)

And finally, to the idiots who yelled at my bartender and I for not serving them liquor after last call, and promptly tried to bribe us for booze, then threaten to never drink here again, well, I don’t mind. Don’t drink here again. You debase my person, make light of my working conditions, and laugh in the face of a potential viewer of your work. Take off. I don’t need you.

Ahh, what a rant that was. Nice, real nice. Now, I am off to do something more constructive with my life. If you don’t like long posts, then don’t read this far.


Written by mitchellirons

September 15, 2003 at 5:45 pm

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